Headaches Associated with Brain Tumor

Depending upon the type and location of the tumor, its symptoms tend to vary greatly. These symptoms arise owing to two reasons―one, the tumor grows within the skull, exercising pressure over the brain as it develops. Secondly, since different parts of the brain control different functions, a tumor may display varied symptoms, depending on its location.

Since the skull is only adequately sized to cover the brain, any growth in this part increases pressure, known as raised intracranial pressure. This may cause headaches, sickness, and seizures. However, it is important to note that headaches and sickness are common indicators associated with various other mild illnesses―headaches are therefore not considered to be a conclusive symptom of a tumor.

Identifying Headaches Associated with Brain Tumor

Headaches associated with brain tumors tend to differ from those caused by other reasons. Look out for these indications:

  • Recurring, non-migraine headaches
  • Recurring nausea and vomiting
  • Possible throbbing in a specific area of the head
  • Pain that intensifies with coughing or any bodily movement
  • Non-responsive to usual headache medication

Besides these, the presence of a tumor in the brain may affect other functions of the body. Look out for these signs:

  • Weakness in motor skills
  • Change in vision or intermittent spells of blindness
  • Change in speech, memory, or thinking
  • Muscle waekness or paralysis
  • Lactation or sudden alteration of menstrual cycles in women
  • Difficulty in swallowing, facial weakness or numbness

Often experienced in the early morning hours, these headaches are known to be severe, and tend to worsen with movement and activity.

Doctors opine that it may usually take several months or even years for the lesion in the brain to develop to a size sufficient enough to produce symptoms. In some cases, their discovery is purely accidental, during routine screening for migraines or following a minor head trauma.

A positive statistic states that among the large number of people who suffer from recurring headaches, a very small percentage are diagnosed with any serious disease. However, any of the symptoms mentioned here warrant immediate attention from a medical professional.

How to care Stiff Neck and Headache

Stiff neck is usually accompanied with symptoms like headache, pain in the back or shoulders and arms. It is one of the rare conditions that occurs only in serious cases. Hence, stiff neck accompanied with headache should be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Causes

In minor cases, a stiff neck can be caused due of sitting or sleeping in improper posture. If this continues for a longer time, it might result in severe headache. The following symptoms can be caused due to the following conditions.

➡ Mild to moderate headache and stiff neck – Meningitis, tension headaches
➡ Moderate to severe headache and stiff neck – Encephalitis, migraine, sinus headache
➡ Extreme headache and stiff neck – Trigeminal neuralgia, meningitis

Injury
Injury is the most common cause of stiff neck accompanied with headache observed in people. A sudden concussion or a blow to the head due to fall or accident can lead to this condition. Sometimes, one may also other symptoms like unconsciousness, burning or tingling in ears, etc.

Bacterial Meningitis
Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges or the membrane that envelops the brain. As the name suggests, bacterial meningitis is caused due to bacteria that affect the upper respiratory tract first, and then invade the meninges of the brain. Bacterial meningitis is quite rare as compared to the other types of meningitis. Stiff neck, headache, high fever, confusion, etc. are the symptoms of bacterial meningitis.

Viral Meningitis
Viral meningitis is caused due to a virus known as enteroviruses. This is fairly common condition and also much milder in nature as compared to bacterial meningitis. Viral meningitis is also one of the leading causes of stiff neck followed by headache in children. The virus causing meningitis spreads easily and quickly in unhygienic areas. Muscle spasms, fever, headache, sore throat, behavioral changes, stiff neck are symptoms of viral meningitis.

Stress
One of the lesser known causes of headache followed by stiffening of the neck and arms is stress. Stress is commonly found in people of all age groups today. Tension headache, specially, caused due to contraction of muscles in the neck give rise to stiffness in neck. Apart from stress, migraine headache can also cause stiff neck.

Treatment and Home Remedies

If any of the aforementioned symptoms are observed; or you experience pain in neck and head that does not subside for a long time, you should consult the doctor immediately. It is essential to have the underlying causes of this symptom diagnosed properly in order to have an effective stiff neck treatment. The doctor will make use of X-ray or MRI in order to diagnose the condition.

Stiff neck caused due to injury is detected and can be diagnosed very quickly. Bacterial meningitis is detected with the help of a sample of the spinal fluid. This disease can be treated with the help of antibiotics. However, it is essential to get the condition diagnosed and treated at an early stage. There is no treatment for viral meningitis as the condition gets cured in itself with the help of antibodies created by the immune system. But, the doctor may prescribe medications for alleviating other symptoms like fever, sore throat, etc.

➡ If looking for home remedies, note that neck massage and stretching can help treat these symptoms, if caused due to minor conditions.

➡ You can lightly massage your neck and even do gentle neck stretches. But, do not overdo or it can result in sprain.

➡ On the other hand, using cold therapy, i.e., ice packs can also relieve inflammation and pain in the neck.

➡ Stress management techniques should be followed for preventing headache caused due to stress.

If the symptoms persist even after following these remedies, you should look for quick medical help. Most of the above mentioned causes can be cured if timely and proper treatment is undertaken.

How to Ginger Tea for Migraines

gingertea-s10Well, it definitely didn’t come as a surprise when I first heard about the efficacy of ginger tea for migraines. After all, haven’t we often heard from our grandparents and many elderly relatives about the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of this wondrous modified rhizome? Don’t followers and practitioners of herbal medicine swear by its potency to fight various infections, such as sore throat and dry cough? My ear-nose-throat area has always been a sensitive zone and I catch a cold very easily, which mostly starts with a slight, tingling pain in the back of my throat and graduates into cough, slight chest congestion and a full-fledged fever. Back when I was young, my grandmother used to make me a mixture of crushed ginger, honey and black pepper which was spooned into my mouth and I was to slowly swallow this pungent stuff, allowing it to take its own sweet time to pass over my throat. I still resort to this ginger-and-honey remedy whenever I get strep throat and a cough and trust me, it still works as well as any over-the-counter medication would!

Coming back to ginger tea for migraines, we all know that tea (or, rather, the caffeine in it) is a nerve stimulant which, if taken in moderate quantities, relieves stress and helps in keeping awake. Ginger, with all its anti-inflammatory properties, is a potent herb that is good for any type of pain, or swelling of tissues. Ginger tea for headaches is a tried and tested remedy, and if you drink some of it at the very onset of a headache, it will disappear without leaving as much as a crease on your forehead! I’ve tried it so many times and it does work. So, let’s take a look at how ginger tea benefits migraine from the subsequent paragraphs.

Ginger Tea for Migraine Treatment

Before we discuss how ginger tea is effective in combating a migraine attack, let’s briefly understand the mechanics of this vascular headache. Migraine headaches mostly occur when the blood vessels in and around the brain get inflamed, or when certain muscles in the jaws and the neck become tender and sensitive. Mostly, inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain is the reason behind the onset of these headaches due to increased pressure on the brain. Now, these blood vessel undergo swelling due to the actions of prostaglandins which are lipids that regulate the relaxation and contraction of smooth muscle tissues.

Now, studies and various experiments have clearly shown that the enzymes and chemical compounds found in ginger have the ability of blocking the hyperactivity of these prostaglandins, thereby soothing the vascular inflammation. This is also the same mechanism through which ginger or ginger extracts successfully arrest pain or inflammation of any tissue in any other part of the body. However, for ginger tea to have the maximum effect, it is best to drink it at the very onset of the migraine attack. Ginger is also a very popular home remedy for curbing nausea. It is a safe alternative to harsh drugs for pregnant women who suffer from nausea and morning sickness. This means that drinking ginger tea during migraine attacks also takes care of the second aspect of migraine, besides the headache.

Making Ginger Tea

It is best to make ginger tea from fresh whole ginger rather than go for those packaged commercial products, or use ginger powder. You can either make ginger tea with milk or without it, in the same way you make black tea. I am going to provide the most basic ginger tea recipe here. If you wish your ginger tea to be in the chai style, pour half a cup of water and half a cup of milk in a saucepan. Grate some fresh ginger into this mixture, add the tea leaves and bring to boil twice. Take the saucepan off the flame and add honey, sugar or any other sweetener as per taste. If you like your tea black, then also follow the same procedure. However, skip the milk and add one full cup of water instead of half a cup. You can also use tea bags instead of tea leaves but I would suggest you go for the latter as the fresh, aromatic experience of using whole tea leaves can never, ever, be rivaled by the much processed tea residues in those tea bags. Sip the hot, pungent tea and you’ll literally feel the oncoming heaviness in your head receding with each sip.

Ginger tea for migraines is one of the best and most easy-to-make home remedies that has no adverse side effects of chemical painkillers and works best when taken in the earliest stage. Also, it is a great soothing remedy for conditions like cold, sore throat and fever. In fact, ginger tea for colds is a time-tested herbal formula! Drinking ginger tea twice, daily on a regular basis is known to have provided some relief to arthritis patients who are in the early stages of this joint condition. Now that you know how good ginger is for migraine and other pains, and also know how to make ginger tea, why don’t you fix yourself some, the next time you feel like having something hot to drink? Other than the ginger tea health benefits, as far as I am concerned, it feels great to sip a cup of hot, aromatic, slightly pungent tea on a lazy winter afternoon or a chilly December evening. You’ll be amazed how it simply revs you up!

Mold and Headaches

Can mold cause headaches? This must be the first question that arose in your mind when you saw the title ‘mold and headaches’! Well, the answer is ‘YES’! Molds, especially black mold can cause migraine headaches. As per the studies of Mayo clinic, mold allergy is the cause behind 37 million Americans suffering from chronic sinus infections and headaches. Although mold plays an important role in the environment by decomposing dead plants and trees, and also by recycling essential nutrients in the environment, existence of mold in households can cause some health infections and allergies as well! A mold is a downy substance which grows in moist and damp environment! Unlike olden days wherein the houses were big and airy, the modern houses today are more compact! Therefore, if you have a leaking pipe, damp basements and attic; resulting in too much moisture in the surrounding, then, there are chances of mold causing headaches.

Why Does Mold Cause Headaches?

If you are breathing in an environment containing mold, it is obvious that the surroundings would be moist and damp. Such environment consists of tiny mold spores which are present in the air. Inhaling them into your immune system results in antibodies to fight against them as a part of the defense mechanism. These mold spores are foreign elements in the body and therefore the immune system reacts to them as ‘unwanted invaders’ and releases a substance known as histamine, which results in allergic reactions such as sneezing, running nose, and even headaches!

Another point to be kept in mind is that molds are of different kinds and can cause different allergic reactions based on their individual properties. But the good news is that not all molds can cause allergies. Mentioned below are the names of some kinds of mold that can cause headaches and other allergic symptoms.

  • Stachybotrys atra
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium

What makes these mold a health hazard are the microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) that release from their growth and give the surroundings a suffocating foul odor that can cause not only migraines, but other health problems. Apart from severe headaches, mentioned below are some more health issues and reactions related to molds. Have a look at these mold symptoms to get an idea how dangerous is mold allergy!

  • Itching
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Cold and flu
  • Appetite Loss
  • Memory loss
  • Fever
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pneumonia
  • Breathing problems
  • Skin Infections and allergies
  • Toxic reactions include dizziness, fatigue, lack of concentration, and nervousness.

Aren’t the symptoms shocking enough!! Well, these symptoms are nothing compared to the severe symptoms that can prove to be fatal to some people. As mentioned earlier, not everyone is affected by mold allergy in the same manner. While some people get minor allergies, for some people, mold has also been the cause of long-term memory loss, brain damage, and even death in some cases! So, understand the seriousness and make sure that you don’t let the mold have any space in your house or work. This can be done by adapting some necessary measures, which may seem to be a headache now, but would prove to be a great remedy for the unexplainable health problems that you are dealing with.

How Can Headaches Related to Mold be Prevented?

If mold is the reason behind headaches and other infections, what could be a better remedy than to prevent its growth in your surroundings by using mold removal techniques. Usually offices install various methods and techniques to get rid of the excess humidity by using a dehumidifier! There are various techniques that can help you get effective mold remediation. Some ways to prevent molds are mentioned as follows.

  • Prevent anything that results in making some areas at your home moist, like a leaking pipe, or less air ventilation!
  • You can make sure that your bathroom, kitchen, etc., is adequately ventilated, and the areas around the tiles, sink, drainage pipe, etc., are dry and clean.
  • Using a mask while cleaning the attic or other areas of the house is advisable.
  • As remedial measures, you can also wear a dust mask most of the time, specially if you are going outside your house in a foggy or humid weather. This is because during these weathers, the number of mold spores present in the air are high and therefore you are more prone to mold allergies.
  • It is also advisable to sleep with your windows closed during such weather as the mold spores may enter your body during sleep!

However, in this case, prevention is better than cure. Now that you have understood the reason how mold and headaches are interrelated, it would be easier for you to understand the reasons behind those unexplained headaches and allergies that you were suffering from. So next time, after popping a pill for a headache, start cleaning the mold that has caused it in the first place. I don’t have to say that you should get it done by professionals, and stay away from that place while the cleaning is happening. Take care.