‘Sup, headache?

I get headaches pretty frequently. My head is so damn sensitive to temperature change, among other things. God forbid I miss a meal – this is why I could never really diet. My body physically wouldn’t allow me to skip or welsh on a meal. I guess that’s cool? But really. Lack of sleep will do it, too, although I sophomore year sorta killed that notion. Even my head was too tired to put me through the pain of a headache. Yay?

In any case, apparently I pampered it far too much this summer term by actually getting good nights of sleep, because now when it visits, and I’m not expecting it (aka sometime before the joyous monthly event of womanhood), I pretty much want to destroy everything, turn off the lights, and go to sleep. Forever. Today was a pretty good day. Until something – God knows what – set off my head enough to make it decide to start throbbing.

The mechanism behind headaches is interesting, and yet there is so much we still don’t know. While triggers differ from person to person, the eventual result occurs in a pretty similar fashion (from what I’ve read so far). Essentially, the “triggers” can be lack of food, sleep, caffeine, temperature change, hormones, or a number of other things. Not helpful, right. But these triggers cause various chemicals in the brain to then either perceive pain or cause blood vessels around the brain to constrict, thereby causing the headache. Again, this is my very basic science student knowledge talking, so please do not quote me on this. But this is how I understand it.

Something interesting I found was that caffeine actually reduces blood flow to the brain. This is why, when I don’t get my daily cup of coffee (or strong tea), I get cranky. The influx of blood flow has my brain yelling to hell and high water for me to get a damn cup of coffee. This is really cool to me because recently, I found that soda has helped reduce or completely stop some of my headaches. Now I know why.

In about 45 minutes, I have a statistics class in which I have to somehow understand and apply weird things like p-values, t-tests and F-statistics (yeah, really). So I’m going to continue to sip my Cherry Coke and pray that this headache leaves me, or at least dies down somewhat, before then. I have enough trouble with math as it is.

One of the results when I googled "headache science." Feels pretty appropriate.