Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Dehydration And Headaches

DISCLAIMER: This is a health blog post borderline medical. I am not a medical professional so if you are experiencing anything of what I am going to mention in this blog post then please go and see your GP or health professional. Also, refrain from doing online self-diagnosis', this is very dangerous and could cause you a lot of worry over something very minor. I am aware that this post contains sources from the internet but I have visited my GP and will continue to do so if the symptoms persist. This blog post is firstly; a way of me recording how I feel and what I've done to try and remedy the pain and secondly; offer advice to anyone who may be experiencing the same pain and has the same habits as I. With that being said, I hope you find this blog post interesting and helpful. 

As I am writing this, I have a pain in the back and front of my head. 

Recently, I have been experiencing this pain every day. I did wonder if this could be due to my contraceptive pill as this is a common side effect (said pill should cease to be taken if this occurs). However, I am on my pill-free week and I am still experiencing this pain. I also thought it could be down to me not wearing my glasses enough. Again however, I have been wearing them every time I use my laptop and the pain is still there. 

I was told 2 weeks ago by the nurse at my doctors surgery that I was dehydrated. This wasn't a great surprise to me. 

For as long as I can remember, I have been awful with drinking water regularly and I got into a habit of going a whole day without drinking a thing. I do not advise this type of behaviour, it's very dangerous. I do not have this habit anymore but I am still not drinking as much as I should be. 

Anyway, back to the headaches. I was researching the causes of headaches and couldn't really decipher what was going on until I typed in 'Dehydration and headaches' into Google. I found this article here and quite a lot of it made sense to me. I feel pain in my head when I bend over to pick up something (almost like I am going to fall over) I also felt pain in my head when I was at the gym a week ago and I had to stop my exercise. This could be down to what the article mentions as lost electrolytes that haven't been replenished after heavy sweat loss. I went to the gym last night and felt fine afterwards despite sweating a lot and drinking about a pint and a half of water during and after my workout. This may not be enough and I need to up my fluid intake. Another tip the article gives you is to take electrolytes in your water after every workout. These are small dissolvable tablets that you pop into your water and they are packed with sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. All of the ium's. 

Here is a link to where you can buy these tablets from Holland & Barrett (they come in all different flavours) :

Also, this morning I slept in and I read elsewhere that oversleeping has the potential to cause headaches. Your body functions just as it should on 8 hours of sleep so I need to get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at a sensible time with 8 hours in the bank. This also means that you have more time and can be more productive. 

It has also been very hot where I live right now which does contribute to headaches, whether dehydration caused or otherwise. Maybe I should buy a hat.

As I have mentioned, I am awful at remembering when to drink water. In the digital age, technology has been created to help curb this habit. I have found a useful app on the App Store (I am unsure if it is available on other platforms- have a look!) called 'Waterlogged'. This app gives you the ability to record a measurement of fluid intake be it 500ml, 1 litre or more. You can also set reminders to ensure you are drinking regularly as drinking large volumes of water in one go is actually not very hydrating at all. Every time you log water intake, the bottle (or snowflake in my case!) will fill up. I really like this feature as I can visually see what I've achieved and what I have left to achieve in my day. 

Here is a link to the iTunes Store website where you can read up about this App and pictures of what it looks like: 

Now I have come to the end of writing this blog post, my headache has subsided after drinking about 750ml of water. I am going to walk down to Holland & Barrett now to pick up some electrolyte tablets and have a chat with the staff about other things I can do to help. I will check back with an update in about 2 weeks or so. 

UPDATE: I am drinking my water now with one of the electrolyte tablets I just picked up from H&B. They didn't have any of the ones I featured in this post in stock so I went for the EXTREME ones. Added to 500ml of water, it tastes like watery palmer violets sweets.

I know this hasn't been my typical blog post but if you have found it interesting or you have any tips for me, please comment below :)

Thank you for reading!

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