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What Causes Mystery Headaches?

By June 23, 2011 August 25th, 2018 Chronic Pain, Mystery Symptoms

Nobody wants to be told their mystery symptoms are all in their head. Even if, in this case, they are. Though everybody gets a headache now and again, those with mystery headaches want to know what’s causing them and how to finally be rid of the pain. Learn what causes mystery headaches and what you can do to finally get some relief.

Food Allergies

The cause of mystery headaches can be as simple as what’s on your dinner plate.

Tension and migraine headaches are often caused by an undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance to one or more foods. Common culprit foods are wheat/gluten, dairy, citrus fruits, dairy products, nuts, shellfish and soy.

The best way to test if food allergies are causing your mystery headaches is to eliminate suspected foods from the diet for at least a couple of weeks and then reintroduce them en masse at the end of the elimination period. If your symptoms have gone away and then return, you’ve found the cause and can eliminate the offending food or foods.

Food Additives and Preservatives

In addition to food allergies, food additives and preservatives can cause mystery headaches.

Common offenders are:

• Aspartame

• High Fructose Corn Syrup

• Sulfites and Nitrates

• Food Dyes

• Polysorbate 80


The best way to find out if food additives and preservatives are causing your mystery headaches is to cut processed food from your diet and replace it with whole-foods such as:

• Lean Organic Meat, Poultry and Fish

• Whole Grains

• Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

• Beans and Legumes

• Nuts

A diet rich in healthy foods may be all you need to eliminate your unusual headaches.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies sometimes mean more than just springtime hay fever. Have you gotten any new carpeting or flooring lately? You may be having a bad reaction to the chemicals. What about a new mattress? Same thing.

Also, take a look at your cleaning products, make-up and air fresheners. Most commercial products contain massive amounts of chemicals that can cause mystery headaches, among other allergic reactions.

The best way to eliminate toxins from your home is to replace your personal-care and cleaning products with natural, organic alternatives.

Also, a note on air freshener: Research has shown many of the popular air freshener products on the market have been known to cause neurological problems in mice. Neurological problems = mystery headaches, among other nasty symptoms. Do your health a favor and ditch the air fresheners.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Because of the poor nutritional content of the American diet, many people suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies and can contribute to chronic headaches.

A simple blood test can tell you if your vitamin D deficient.
One of the easiest ways to get a healthy dose of vitamin D is to get twenty minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day. Supplementing your diet with 1,000 – 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day can also relieve mystery headaches.

Medication Side Effects

If you’re on any prescription medications, ask your doctor of pharmacist if headaches are a common side effect. Your doctor may be able to switch you to a different brand or suggest another method of treatment.

Also, if you habitually use over-the-counter pain relievers for your mystery headaches, you may be getting what’s called a ‘rebound headache’ as your body becomes “immune” to the drug.

Vision Problems

Do you often get your mystery headaches after watching TV, reading or using the computer? If so, you might need glasses or contact lenses.

Also, if your pain is mostly around your eyes after spending too much time on the computer, you may be suffering from eye strain. Make sure your desk is ergonomically correct and you take frequent breaks during the day to avoid discomfort.

Neck or Head Injury

Even if a car accident or sports injury happened months or even years ago, it might have left lasting damage that is causing your mystery headaches.

I know from experience that a herniated disk in the neck can take months to show up and can cause excruciating head and neck pain.

Physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic medicine and natural ant-inflammatories such as omega 3 krill oil, boswellia and cayenne pepper can work wonders in providing relief.

I use iHerb.com. They provide fast service and great prices on supplements.

Other Physical Causes

Other possible physical causes of mystery headaches are:

• High Blood Pressure

• Hypothyroidism

• Hypoglycemia

• Caffeine Withdrawal

• Intracranial Hypotension

• Hypnic Headache Syndrome

In intracranial hypotension, the mystery headaches are caused by sacs in the brain filling with fluid and causing pressure on the brain. In hypnic headache syndrome, the sufferer wakes during the night with a headache lasting for thirty minutes to an hour.

Whatever the reason for your mystery headaches, this article gives you something to start with. Be sure to do plenty of your own research and don’t give up. If you have a serious medical condition, consult your doctor before trying any alternative methods.

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