Thursday, March 16, 2023

Can Stress Cause Cluster Headaches

Telling The Difference Between Headache Types: Migraines Cluster And Tension Headaches

Cluster Headaches

Learning more about the different types of headaches can help you take the right steps to resolve the pain you are feeling and to know when to seek out medical help. There are key differences between the different types of headaches, from the location of the pain to the duration and type of pain you are feeling. Some headaches resolve easily with ibuprofen or another NSAID that is available over the counter, while others require medical intervention or a prescription remedy. Learning about the ways different headaches feel, can help you determine what your best course of action is.

Do Not Eat Smoked Or Processed Meats

Cluster Headaches can be triggered by foods that contain nitrates, which is found in smoked and processed meats. Cutting these completely out of your diet and consuming baked meats instead can lower the frequency of your headaches.

As painful as these cluster headaches are, they can be treated. A combination of good doctors care, exercise, and a good diet will help reduce and hopefully eliminate your pain altogether.

Below Is An Abstract From A Research Article Showing How Upper Cervical Spine Injury Can Be A Precipitating Factor In The Onset Of Cluster Headache:

Posttraumatic headaches usually have tension-type or migraine-like characteristics. A correlation between head trauma and cluster headaches has been previously reported. CH in children are rare and require a thorough differential diagnosis.

We present an original case of a 15-year-old boy with cluster headaches associated with allodynia probably evoked by neck trauma. Severe headache attacks started one month after neck trauma. In the beginning, the clinical presentation of our patient’s headaches was very misleading.

Headaches were bilateral and associated with infection. An initial diagnosis of sinusitis was made. During further observation headaches have become unilateral with typical for CH associated symptoms and additionally with allodynia. Other causes of secondary CH like cervicogenic headaches, brain tumors, and vascular malformation have been excluded.

The boy has undergone prophylactic treatment based on flunarizine and gabapentin with good results. Possible pathogenesis of our patient’s headaches has been proposed and diagnostic traps discussed.

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Complications Associated With Cluster Headaches

Although a person may worry that they are dying during a cluster headache due to the intensity of the pain, this condition is not life-threatening and does not pose any direct health risks. However, relative to the general population, people affected by CHs may be more prone to certain behaviors which carry severe health risks, including:

  • Injuring themselves during CH attacks
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Other forms of substance abuse
  • Suicide attempts, in particular in cases of severe and persistent CHs)

Diagnosing and beginning treatment for CHs is the best means of minimising these risks and avoiding complications.

For people who have been correctly diagnosed with this condition, and who are being treated effectively, the most likely negative impact of CHs is a reduced quality of life, due to having to spend time away from work, education or social events during headache attacks. The extent to which a personâs quality of life is reduced by CHs can, in many cases, be lessened by accessing effective treatment options.

How Can Stress Cause Headaches

Does Caffeine Help Headaches

Stress is a fight-or-flight reaction triggered by situations the mind considers threatening or beyond its control. Instinctually, stress came in handy when humans lived in caves and killed bears for dinner. The physical effects of the reaction helped a person gather energy and run to safety.

Today, however, most people dont encounter existential threats on a regular basis. Instead of killing wild animals for dinner, we buy food from the grocery store. Stress triggers have evolved from our hunting and gathering days, and now consist of things like chronic health concerns, family conflicts, and office politics.

The difference between historic stressors and these new ones is that while the bear eventually disappeared, work, family, and health concerns dont. Because of this, many people live their entire lives while inundated with chronic stress. This can lead to significant health problems.

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Can Stress Cause Headaches

Stress is one of the top triggers for headaches, with even short periods of tension potentially causing your head to pound. Long-term stress sometimes leads to more serious concerns, such as chronic headaches, cluster headaches, or migraines.

Headaches may feel like your brain is literally pounding, but the brain doesnt have any pain receptors, which means the pain comes from some other place. Those places include blood vessels, nerves, sinuses, or subcutaneous tissue that sustain damage or become inflamed. The brain processes signals from nerves sending messages of damage or inflammation, and the brain believes the damage is coming from inside itself, leading to the sensation of pain.

The stress response and the natural chemicals it releases such as cortisol result in tensed muscles and inflammation, which in turn can cause a headache. Different people experience different types of headaches, but establishing effective ways of managing stress is an effective way to limit their occurrence, no matter which type you suffer from.

Do Not Eat Chocolate Or Drink Coffee

I know. Chocolate is one of the guilty pleasures that usually sends the most gratifying sensation to your insides, but it can potentially cause your cluster headaches to be triggered due to caffeine constricting the blood vessels and increasing the sensation of pressure in your head. This is a well established food trigger in migraine but less known for cluster headaches. Roughly 22% of self reported cases linked chocolate to their head pain. Try healthy alternatives to this diabolical cacao goodness, such as dried fruits or treats made from carob.

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How Are Cluster Headaches Diagnosed

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and give you a physical and neurological exam. This may include an MRI or CT scan of your brain to rule out other causes of the headaches, such as a brain tumor.

Treatment involves relieving and preventing your headache symptoms using medication. In rare cases, when pain relief and preventive treatment do not work, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Types Of Cluster Headaches

Cluster Headaches

There are two types of cluster headaches: episodic and chronic.

Episodic cluster headaches occur regularly between one week and one year, followed by a headache-free period of one month or more.

Chronic cluster headaches occur regularly for longer than one year, followed by a headache-free period that lasts for less than one month.

A person who has episodic cluster headaches may develop chronic cluster headaches, and vice versa.

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How Dangerous Are Cluster Headaches

Despite the intense pain of cluster headaches, they are not life-threatening. They are harmful to a persons quality of life, however, and sometimes induce depression and/or anxiety disorders, especially if the headaches are uncontrolled by medication or other therapies. Doctors conduct thorough examinations of persons with cluster headaches in order to rule out truly life-threatening causes of headaches like tumors or subarachnoid hemorrhages .

How Are Headaches Diagnosed

Your doctor often can tell what kind of headache you have. He or she can do this by examining you and reviewing your symptoms. It may help if you keep track of the time and pattern of your headaches, as well as how they feel. This can help determine what the causes, or triggers, are and how to treat them. It also helps to rate your level of pain on a scale. A good way to do this is the keep a headache journal.

In rare cases, the doctor may perform tests to aid in a diagnosis. These could include lab tests to check your blood or chemical levels. They also could include imaging tests, such as X-rays, computed tomography , or magnetic resonance imaging scans.

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How Are Cluster Headaches Treated

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cluster headaches. But you do have treatment options that can make them a little less painful. Treatment options include:

  • Abortive treatment to stop attacks: Often, a headache will stop before you have a chance to see a healthcare provider. But if you get there in time, there are several effective ways to stop a cluster headache. A healthcare provider may give you injected medications or a nasal spray. These include sumatriptan, dihydroergotamine and zolmitriptan. The provider may also give you oxygen through a mask.
  • Medications to improve quality of life: Prescription medications can shorten a headache cycle. They can also make the headaches less severe. Calcium channel blockers, verapamil, lithium carbonate, divalproex sodium, melatonin or topiramate may help. There is a new preventive therapy that is a calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibody.
  • Other options when needed: Surgeons have tried operations for cluster headaches. But they havent had much success preventing them. Researchers are now testing newer therapies to see if they can work. One option uses mild electrical stimulation on the neck. Another creates electrical stimulation by placing a medical device through the upper gums.

Cluster Headaches Or Migraine


Cluster headaches and migraine are both severe forms of headache, but they are different and need specific treatments.

Before a migraine headache, a person will typically experience an aura, or visual disturbances, including flashing lights or zigzag lines. Migraine can last for up to 72 hours, and commonly involves nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

A cluster headache starts and ends suddenly, and it lasts a shorter time. It can feature congestion, watery eyes, and a runny nose. It normally affects only one side of the head, and the eye that is watering is on the same side.

A person with migraine prefers to lie down during an attack, but people with cluster headaches may find that lying down worsens the pain.

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How Is The Age Of A Star Cluster Calculated

Astronomers frequently use this technique of Main Sequence Turn-Off fitting to estimate the age of star clusters. The way this is done in practice is the following: Astronomers use computer models to create a theoretical HR Diagram for a population of stars with a specific age, say 500 million years.

What Else Can I Do For Cluster Headaches

Some alternative therapies may provide relief from cluster headaches, including:

  • Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese treatment, acupuncture uses small needles. Theyre inserted into your skin at various points to relieve pain.
  • Physiotherapy: Treatment focuses on stretching, moving joints and massaging.
  • Spinal manipulation: This chiropractic adjustment adjusts the alignment of your spine.

Your healthcare provider can recommend what might help for your situation. Ask about your options.

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Deep Brain Electrical Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation may relieve chronic cluster headaches that do not respond to drug therapy. A similar technique is approved for treating the tremors associated with Parkinson disease. The surgeon implants a tiny wire in a specific part of the hypothalamus. The wire receives electrical pulses from a small generator implanted under the collarbone.

Although only a small number of people have been treated, results to date are promising. Some people have remained completely free of pain for an average of more than 7 months when the device is switched on. When the device is turned off, headaches reappear within days to weeks. The procedure is reversible and appears to be generally safe, although a few cases of fatal cerebral hemorrhage have occurred. There are other risks of this surgery, such as infection. Patients with these implanted wires and stimulator may be at great risk of injury if subjected to an MRI scan.

The Best Diet For Cluster Headaches

Cluster Headaches. What Is The Cause?

If youve suffered from cluster headaches, youve probably experienced what it would be like to give birthbut through your brain. The pain is one of the worst, described as severe headache that is felt between your temple and above the eye and is usually on one side of your head. Reportedly it only affects about two people in every thousand but this may be an under-estimate. If youre one of the unlucky ones, you not only know that they can last between 15 and 30 minutes, but the treatment can also vary. Whether youve tried to self-treat by using over-the-counter medications, or have gone to the doctor to receive oxygen or Sumatriptan injections and other preventative drugs, theres also a more simplistic way to control these horrific pains happening inside of your skull: watching what you eat and drink. Here are a couple dos and donts that will hopefully alleviate your agony.

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What Tests Are Done For People With Cluster Headaches

Doctors reach a diagnosis of cluster headache entirely on the basis of the signs and symptoms of the condition. Rarely, the signs and symptoms caused by tumors or other masses mimic those of cluster headaches. In these uncertain cases, doctors will order a CT scan or MRI .

Sometimes, a lumbar puncture is needed. This procedure may help confirm if an individual’s cluster headaches are caused by an infection or by bleeding in or around the brain.

These tests are necessary because people with the following medical problems can have signs and symptoms that may be mistaken for those of cluster headaches:

  • Meningiomas of the cavernous sinus
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Vertebral artery aneurysms
  • Metastatic carcinoma of the lung
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the membranes of the brain

Signs & Symptoms Of Cluster Headaches

  • Severe pain usually focused behind or around one eye that radiates to the rest of the head and neck
  • Pain on one side of the body only
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Drooping eyelids on the affected side of the head
  • Flushing or pallor in the face
  • Fatigue and lethargy
Common more than 37 million Americans affected Rare only 1 million Americans affected

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Neurologist Explains The Causes Of Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are uncommon and short but severely painful headaches that occur every day for an extended period of time. This time period could be a couple of weeks, but it could go on for as long as a month. They are thought to be related to the seasons as those who suffer from them report them during the same time frame each year.

While many may know what these headaches are, fewer know what causes them. Neurologists have worked for many years to determine the exact cause and have narrowed it down to a nerve in the face that causes extreme pain around one eye.

While the cause has been linked to that facial nerve, there are more causes than just that alone. Certain events can trigger cluster headaches. So knowing the causes can help prevent them or ease the pain in the future. Before discussing the causes, however, it is important to narrow down the symptoms so you know for sure that cluster headaches are the problem.

What Are Cluster Headaches


Cluster headaches are severe headaches on one side of your head that happen in groups, or “clusters.” They usually occur over weeks or months.

Cluster headaches can be so painful that you are not able to follow your normal routine or do your usual activities. The pain is often called the worst type of headache pain.

Cluster headaches come in cycles . Most people who get cluster headaches have one or two cluster periods each year. A cluster period might last 1 month or longer. After a cluster period ends, you may not get another headache for months or even years.

As you get older, it’s likely that you’ll have longer and longer times without headaches. At some point, you may not get cluster headaches ever again.

Having cluster headaches can be scary. But even though they are very painful, cluster headaches don’t cause long-term harm. During a cycle, you may be able to reduce how often you have them, how bad they are, and how long they last.

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Chronic Stress Could Affect Your Diet

Stress may even amplify the risks of eating foods high in fat and sugar, according to research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco . Researchers found that stressed people with unhealthy diets are more likely to develop health problems than non-stressed people who eat the same diet. Lead study author Kirstin Aschbacher says:

Many people think a calorie is a calorie, but this study suggests that two women who eat the same thing could have different metabolic responses based on their level of stress.

Chronic stress, the UCSF research says, increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, which refers to a slew of factors including high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, in addition to excess stomach fat. Metabolic syndrome is related to obesity and increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

The study suggests that chronic stress may have an even greater impact on health than diet alone. Many headache conditions, such as migraine, are tied to food triggers. These changes could have a direct effect on the amount, duration, and severity of your headaches.

What Exactly Does A Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor Do Unleashing Proper Nervous System Function

Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to find spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine. This is determined by running the prospective patient through a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury.

Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone beam computed tomography is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the offending joint.

Each persons anatomy is different and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to be used to correct each patient’s individual misalignment pattern. Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling.

The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in adjustment.

It isnt the correction that produces healing. It is the removal of nerve irritation and the adjustment holding in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process.

If you or a loved one is looking for natural cluster headache relief our offices offer a FREE consultation.


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