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Persistent headaches can be a nuisance or they can be incredibly debilitating, affecting your ability to work, play, and otherwise enjoy your life. Unfortunately for many individuals, and especially for women, headaches may have any of a number of causes, which can make it difficult to treat them. While most headaches are easily remedied and not a source for much concern, headaches can in some cases be symptomatic of other health issues, and as such should not be ignored, especially when they are exceptionally painful, difficult to get rid of, or present with other potentially problematic symptoms.

Among the most common causes for headache are issues such as stress, fatigue, and sleep deprivation. Individuals who find that they are experiencing an increased number of migraines during a time of high stress or as a result of lack of sleep (or even oversleeping) can remedy their headaches through better self care or, in cases where these issues are related to psychological issues such as depression, by receiving the appropriate medical treatment.

Headaches are also often linked to dietary changes. For example, individuals who consume caffeine on a regular basis through sodas, coffee, and other sugary drinks may find themselves suffering headaches as a part of the overall withdrawal symptoms that they experience when reducing their caffeine intake. Likewise, many individuals experience intense headaches when they attempt to stop smoking as a result of nicotine withdrawal. Fortunately, these symptoms are only temporary, and will go away over time.

For many women, migraine headaches are one of the most challenging medical ailments to deal with. The pain from migraines can be incredibly intense, and other symptoms ranging from nausea to visual disturbances and light sensitivity may present in those who have migraine headaches. While they typically become less intense as people age, many individuals have migraines their entire lives. Even worse for women, hormonal fluctuations that occur during PMS, pregnancy, and menopause can increase the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.

Individuals who believe they are experiencing migraines should speak to their doctors about potential treatments, and in cases of women who experience migraines as a part of PMS or menopause, certain hormonal treatments may be necessary in order to remedy them. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one such option, and through rebalancing the hormones many women can find relief for these and other hormone related issues.

Regardless of the potential source of the headache, individuals should be able to communicate their headache symptoms to their doctor in order to assess whether it may be a sign of something more serious. An important factor to take into consideration is the location of the headache – for example, whether it is occurring only on one side of the head or across the entire forehead. Additionally, the type of pain an individual is experiencing can be important in determining the cause of a headache. Dull, aching headaches typically have a difference source than headaches that occur with sharp, stabbing pains. Any individual that experiences a sudden, very painful headache should seek emergency help immediately, as intense headache can be a sign of dangerous issues such as a ruptured aneurysm. Emergency treatment can be crucial in such cases.