You have a very important day ahead but you are having a pounding headache. Why do you do it? Resort to Caffeine? Yes, we all have been there…
But, does it really help get rid of the pain? In order to find out the answer, we turned to the internet. We found that while caffeine may seem to solve your headache problems, it can also worsen it. According to experts, the following factors determine whether caffeine can cure headaches.
- Amount of consumption of caffeine.
- The intensity of headache.
- The human body’s sensitivity towards caffeine
Inflammation of blood vessels in the brain causes headaches. Caffeine forces the blood vessels to contract to bring instant relief. However, a high dosage of caffeine makes the same muscles more worked up and intensify the pain.
What Experts Have To Say
According to Laura M. Juliano, director of Behavioral Pharmacology and Health Promotion at American University, Washington, DC:
“There have been some case reports of people experiencing a headache after drinking caffeine, but in general caffeine does not directly cause headaches.
Regular caffeine consumption leads to physical dependence on caffeine. This manifests as withdrawal symptoms when a caffeine user abruptly stops using caffeine.
A diffuse throbbing headache is a hallmark feature of caffeine withdrawal. The reason for this is that one of the pharmacological effects of caffeine is a constriction of blood vessels in the brain.
When someone regularly drinks caffeine, the body adjusts, in essence, fighting this effect. Then when caffeine isn’t consumed the result is that blood vessels dilate too much, which causes a headache. It takes a little while for the body to readjust to not having caffeine and that is why caffeine withdrawal headaches can persist for a week or more.
A person doesn’t have to be a very heavy caffeine user to experience a caffeine withdrawal headache. It varies from person to person but even as little as a small cup of coffee (100 mg of caffeine) each day could lead to withdrawal if someone stops caffeine abruptly.
Caffeine can cure headaches that are caused by caffeine withdrawal. In fact, most people experiencing a caffeine withdrawal headache will feel better within 30 to 60 minutes of consuming caffeine. Caffeine is also added to some over-the-counter and prescription headache medications. There is some evidence that it enhances the effectiveness of analgesics (medications for pain).
If someone is headache-prone, they should avoid using caffeine regularly.”
What You Can Do
Your body can easily get used to the effects of caffeine. When you don’t have it in your system, you have withdrawal. A headache is one of the symptoms. This can happen when you have caffeine regularly, even as little as a cup of coffee a day.
Cutting down on caffeine consumption is the first step. If you quit suddenly, it can take up to a week to get past the withdrawal symptoms. It is better to do it gradually.
Second, Go natural. Intake of peppermint, black pepper, and honey can help reduce the pain.
Also, you can practice relaxation techniques, meditation or head massage instead of going for medication or caffeine.