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Rest, rehydration can treat headaches without meds

Posted November 30, 2020 1:59 p.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2020 6:19 p.m. EST

The stress of 2020 wears on your body. One fallout for many has been headaches.

When they hit, they hit hard. Severe headaches impact some people for days.

“They come on suddenly," said Teresa Robinson. "Sometimes, it’s to the point where I can’t lift my head up. I have missed work, family functions, birthday parties, hanging out with the family, barbecues.”

Robinson has suffered tension headaches for years.

A national survey shows nearly 25% of women and approximately 12% of men ages 18 to 44 recently suffered a migraine or other severe headache.

If you’re suffering, talk with your doctor and identify what’s causing them.

For migraines, it can be stress, hormonal changes, even dehydration.

Medicines offer relief, but prevention is even better.

"There is evidence that shows that simple lifestyle changes can help prevent headaches. Those are things like keeping consistent mealtimes, bedtimes and wake times and also staying hydrated,” said Lauren Friedman with Consumer Reports.

20 minutes of aerobic exercise each day has been found to decrease the frequency and severity of migraines.

Other treatment options include physical therapy, biofeedback and acupuncture.

Sufferers say sometimes, a quiet room and a warm compress can make a difference.

Be aware that headaches can sometimes signal more dangerous conditions, like a stroke, which must be addressed immediately.

Headaches can also be a symptom of COVID-19, appearing in about a third of diagnosed patients in the U.S.

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