The Most Common Reasons for Headaches in Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you are plagued with many woes. Thankfully, many of the weird and beautiful things that happen in pregnancy are physiologic and expected. Some women, however, find it hard to explain what causes headaches during pregnancy.
If you are wondering about what causes headaches during pregnancy, you are not alone. Actually, headaches during pregnancy have numerous causes. For instance, fatigue, lack of sleep, and stress can cause quite a few headaches.
It is important to note that any kind of emotional upset can lower your threshold for pain, greatly increasing the frequency of body aches and pains, including headaches.
Pregnancy hormones are also to blame.
Different hormones necessary for the baby’s growth and development may wreak havoc on a woman’s body. The increase in estrogen during pregnancy, more often than not, is what causes headaches during pregnancy.
You should learn to watch her diet if you want to keep headaches to a minimum.
Some food items contain substances that aggravate headaches. Food-related headaches may become more common as you are encouraged to consume calcium-rich foods such as cheese; unfortunately, some cheeses contain a lot of tyramine. This substance is known to dilate blood vessels in the brain and is what causes headaches during pregnancy. Tyramine is also found in yogurt, ripe fruits, and several protein sources, all of which you include in your diet.
During pregnancy, some women eat ice chips to help alleviate morning sickness. You may also experience cravings for different types of food, some of which are served cold or chilled. The extremely cold temperature of these food items is what causes headaches during pregnancy. In addition, morning sickness, skipping meals, and food aversions may all lead to low blood glucose levels, of which a headache is a common symptom.
Some drugs taken during pregnancy may also play a role.
For example, if you take multivitamins containing Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid or niacin), the niacin causes dilation of blood vessels in the brain. This stretches the surrounding pain-sensitive tissues, eventually inducing headaches.
There are also medical conditions that may cause headaches in a pregnant woman.
A doctor should exclude hypertension as a potential cause of untreated hypertension in pregnancy may lead to seizures. A sudden build-up of pressure in the brain brought about by excessively high blood pressure may also lead to hemorrhagic stroke.
Brain tumors can cause headaches, especially as some types of tumors increase in size due to several hormones produced during pregnancy. In addition, women are particularly predisposed to cerebral venous thrombosis (clotting of veins and sinuses in the brain). This condition is caused by a woman’s increased tendency to clot during pregnancy and may manifest initially as headaches.
It is vital for a mother-to-be to know what causes headaches during pregnancy.
After all, having frequent headaches can keep you from enjoying the many wonders of pregnancy. Your well-being may also greatly affect the health of your baby. Hence, pregnancy should not cause any headaches – figuratively speaking, at least.
The Most Common Reasons for Headaches in Pregnancy, Last Update: 28/4/2017
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