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Can Lack Of Water Cause Migraines

How To Prevent A Dehydration Headache

Can You Get A Headache From Drinking Too Much Water?

The only way to prevent a dehydration headache is to stay adequately hydrated, which means getting 15.5 cups of fluids per day for men and 11.5 cups of fluids for women.

This can include water, but also other beverages, such as fruit juices or tea, and meals. In fact, one fifth of our daily fluid intake is from water-rich foods like celery or yogurt.

Important: Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine as they will only contribute to dehydration, possibly exacerbating your headache.

Brain Fog Or Poor Concentration

As the human brain is made up of approximately 90 percent water, it definitely shows signs when dehydrated. Lack of water in the brain can affect your decision making, memory and mood.

Dehydration can even cause symptoms of brain fog, such as forgetfulness and difficulty focusing, thinking and communicating.

A 2013 study published in Clinical Autonomic Research says that dehydration is one of the most frequently reported brain-fog triggers, along with fatigue, lack of sleep, prolonged standing and feeling faint.

In a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that mildly dehydrated people performed worse on cognitive tasks and also reported difficulty making decisions. There were also adverse changes in mood states of fatigue and anxiety.

Another 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration and headache symptoms resulted from a 1.36 percent dehydration in females.

Other Symptoms Of Dehydration

The initial symptoms of dehydration include thirst and minor discomfort, but can also include the following prior to, or during a dehydration headache:

  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps

A decrease in urine output, and urine that is dark or amber in color, is also a sign of dehydration. Severe dehydration can lead to low blood pressure, swelling of the tongue, unconsciousness, and even death in the most extreme cases. Seek medical attention right away if you experience extreme thirst, feeling unusually tired or confused, have a not passed urine for eight hours, have a rapid heartbeat, or experience dizziness when you stand up that doesn’t go away after a few seconds.

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Is It A Trigger Or A Warning

We know that the brain of someone with migraine likes balance, like regular sleep and meal patterns. We also know that migraine can be triggered by alcohol and the menstrual cycle. The evidence for other triggers, such as exercise, eating chocolate and bright light, is less certain.

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if something is really a trigger, or if what youre experiencing is an early symptom of a migraine attack.

Studies have found that sometimes what you may think is a trigger is actually to do with the premonitory or warning stage of a migraine attack.

During this stage, you may get symptoms such as changes in your mood or emotions, cravings for certain foods, and being more sensitive to light, sound or smells.

These symptoms can lead to you think that something is triggering your migraine attack. For example, at the beginning of a migraine attack, you may start to crave sweet foods. You may then eat some chocolate to satisfy the craving. When you then get a headache, you may think that eating chocolate was the trigger. But actually you were starting to have a migraine attack when the cravings started and the cravings were the warning sign.

The same could be true for other triggers. If you are more sensitive to light in the warning stage, you might think bright lights are a trigger. If you are more sensitive to smells, you might think certain scents are a trigger.

How Do I Prevent A Dehydration Headache

Did you know that a lack of water can can cause fatigue ...

The best way to avoid a dehydration headache is to stay hydrated. To prevent dehydration, you should:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Carry water with you when you leave home, and take sips throughout the day.
  • Hydrate before you feel thirsty: Drink fluids throughout the day. Dont wait until you feel thirsty. If you wait until youre craving water, youre already a little dehydrated. People who are older might not feel thirsty at all because you can lose your sense of thirst as you age.
  • Replace the fluids you lose: When youre exercising or doing physical activity, take water breaks often. During some sports , you may not notice how much youre sweating. Drinking fluid throughout the day prior to participating in a sport is also helpful.
  • Take a break when you need to rest: Listen to your body. If you feel tired or dizzy, take a water break.
  • Watch the heat: If youre outside on a hot day, drink extra water. Rest often, and find a way to stay cool in hot weather.

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Find A Comfortable Bedroom Temperature

Sweating can cause water loss at night, and if your bedroom is too warm or you tend to sleep hot, heavy sweating can make it more likely that youll wake up dehydrated.

To avoid this, try to make sure that you can easily maintain a comfortable temperature through the night. Most experts recommend keeping your bedroom thermostat on the cooler side. You can also wear light, loose clothing and use breathable bedding that keeps you from overheating.

Stay Hydrated Without Frequent Urination At Night

A common challenge is knowing how to stay hydrated during sleep without having to frequently wake up at night to go to the bathroom. Several tips can help you avoid both dehydration and excess trips to the bathroom:

  • Reduce fluid consumption in the hour or two before bed. While its fine to sip water, try not to take in large quantities of any beverage in the lead-up to bedtime.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine at night. Both of these can have a diuretic effect, making you need to pee during the night. In addition, alcohol and caffeine can interfere with your normal sleep cycle and sleep quality.
  • Elevate your legs in the evening. Some nighttime urination happens because your body reabsorbs water from your legs once youre lying down. If you put your legs up a few hours before bed, you can allow this process to take place without causing sleep interruptions.
  • Pee before you go to bed. Try to empty your bladder as part of your routine before bed so youre less likely to feel a strong need to urinate during the night.

In some cases, it may be unavoidable that youll have to wake up at least once in the night to pee. This is normal for many people and becomes more common with aging and some medical conditions or medications.

In this situation, its important to make it as easy as possible to get back to sleep after you return to bed. Some simple tips that can help with falling back asleep include:

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How To Prevent Dehydration

The best way to prevent dehydration headache is to drink water before you notice the signs. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, along with other unsweetened beverages. Eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

Use the formula at the beginning of this article to determine how much water you need to stay healthy. Set a goal to drink that much every day for 7 days. Then extend the goal to 14 days. Then a whole month!

Some tips to stay hydrated include:

  • Drink when you are thirsty: Thirst is one of your body’s first signs of dehydration. Don’t ignore it!
  • Pay attention to your pee: You want to be heading to the bathroom fairly often, and you want your urine to be clear or pale in color.
  • Drink plenty of water before exercising: You lose more water through sweat, especially if temps are high. Drink water before you lose it to prevent dehydration and dehydration migraine.
  • Replace fluids lost through sweat: Try to pay attention to how much you sweat. If you sweat a lot, drink more water.
  • Replace fluids lost through vomiting or diarrhea: Sadly, an upset stomach is really common with a Migraine attack. If you are vomiting or having diarrhea, you need to make sure to drink even more water. If you’re unable to keep fluids down for more than 24 hours, seek medical attention.
  • Dont forget electrolytes: Regular water is enough to prevent dehydration for most people most of the timeMigraine Again Verified Source

For even more tips for staying hydrated, read this.

Dehydration And Alcohol Hangovers

Top 8 Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration: Water Deficiency

Alcohol hangovers may also lead to headaches resulting from dehydration. Symptoms may include nausea and a reduced cognitive and spatial performance. These effects can be caused by dehydration, hormonal alterations, dysregulated cytokine pathways and toxic alcohol effects. Alcohol hangover results in increased levels of a hormone called ADH. Releasing ADH is the bodys way of stopping too much water being lost in the urine. When you consume alcohol, ADH stops working in the kidneys, which causes your body to start producing too much urine and losing too much fluid . This can result in dehydration and the headache experienced while hungover.

There are clear links between dehydration and headaches. Be sure to rehydrate properlyespecially after exercise, hot days, or drinking alcohol to try to reduce the painful symptoms of dehydration.

Writer: James Gunnell

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Dehydration Could Be The Culprit When It Comes To Your Headaches

We’re surrounded by drinking water, yet many of us don’t get enough of this important fluid during the day. And some people don’t drink any fluids for hours and hours, which registered dietician MEd, CSSD, LDN, CDE told INSIDER can be a contributing factor in headaches.

“If you fall in this category, consider setting the alarm on your phone or computer to cue you to drink,” recommended Stefanski. She said to focus on drinking eight ounces of water several times per day. “Everyone has different fluid needs, but you should aim for at least 64 ounces of fluid as an adult,” she explained.

Read more: 11 signs of dehydration you might be missing

What Is The Relationship Between Hydration And Sleep

Hydration is important for most systems of the body, which is why dehydration can have diverse symptoms, including effects on sleep.

People who are suffering from significant dehydration often find that they feel extremely tired, lethargic, or fatigued. Other symptoms of dehydration, such as headaches, dry mouth and nasal passages, and muscle cramps may cause discomfort that makes it harder to sleep well.

At the same time, excess hydration can contribute to sleeping problems. Frequent urination at night, known as nocturia, can interrupt sleep with repeated trips to the bathroom. Nocturia can be especially problematic for people who struggle to fall back asleep after getting up from bed.

There is also evidence that a lack of sleep may contribute to dehydration. In a study of nearly 20,000 adults in both the United States and China, people who slept only six hours per night were found to have significantly higher rates of dehydration than people who slept eight hours.

While this was an observational study and cannot prove causality, that the association existed in two distinct cultural contexts adds weight to the findings. In addition, there are potential biological explanations for why poor sleep can affect hydration.

If sleep is interrupted or cut short, though, this natural process may be disrupted, interfering with the hormonal signals for water retention. As a result, sleep deprivation may directly contribute to dehydration.

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How Do I Know If I Have A Dehydration Headache

There are many different types of headaches. Some headaches have no known cause. Healthcare providers call these primary headaches.

Dehydration headaches are secondary headaches because providers know what causes them. You probably have a dehydration headache if:

  • Headache pain goes away or gets better with water and rest.
  • Pain is only in your head .
  • You also have other symptoms of dehydration.

If your headache doesnt get better after drinking water and resting, see your provider for a checkup. Another condition or illness may be causing your headache. Your provider may order imaging studies to see pictures of your brain and determine whats causing the pain.

You Wake Up With A Headache Because You Have Sleeping Issues

10 Warning Signs that Your Body is Lacking Water

One reason why people get headaches in the morning is because of the poor quality of their sleep . In order to be at our best, we need to have a full nights rest under your belt. Without it, well be more likely to wake up with a headacheand they may also feel worse, depending on how long your bad nights sleep has been going on it can lower our pain threshold, which can make the pain feel worse than it otherwise would. To prevent morning head pain from becoming a regular occurrence, its important to identify whats causing your sleep problems. For example, it may be that your sleeping routine isnt conducive to a night of rest. If youre using your smartphone or tablet until the moment you want to fall asleep, you may find it difficult to fall asleep . Other common sources of poor sleep are caffeine intake and noise pollution from outside.

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What Causes A Dehydration Headache

When youre dehydrated, your brain and other tissues in your body shrink . As your brain shrinks, it pulls away from the skull, puts pressure on nerves and causes pain.

Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache. When you drink water and other fluids, the brain plumps up to its previous size and the pain goes away.

Dehydration Messes With Your Whole Body And Can Trigger Migraines Read Up On The Signs Of Dehydration So You Know What To Look Out For To Prevent Dehydration Headache And Migraine

Water is life. That is, water is essential for a living human body. More than 60 percent of your body, in fact, is made up of water. It should be no surprise, then, that not getting enough water can cause a whole bunch of uncomfortable health effects.

Dehydration occurs when we lose more water than we take in. Mild dehydration can easily be fixed by drinking an extra glass or two of H2O, but severe dehydration has more serious consequences. Headaches, Migraine attacks, fainting, organ failure, and even death are possible when dehydration becomes severe.

This article will help you learn to recognize the signs of dehydration in your own body. Drinking up at the first sign of dehydration is the best way to keep your body healthy.

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Preventing A Dehydration Headache

The best way to prevent a dehydration headache is to avoid dehydration. A person can take the following steps to keep their fluid and electrolyte levels in balance:

  • Drink enough fluid: Most people need at least 8 cups of water per day, though some individuals may need more.
  • Eat fluid-rich foods: Foods such as cucumbers, other vegetables, and fruits have a high water content.
  • Get enough fluid throughout the day: Spreading out the amount of fluid consumed rather than drinking it all at once helps keep the body hydrated.
  • Hydrate more during exercise or exposure to hot weather: During times of heavy sweating, such as during heavy exercise or exposure to hot weather, increase water intake. Drinking more water during these times will replenish the extra fluids lost through sweat.
  • Treat underlying causes of dehydration: Fevers and infections can cause the body to lose more fluid than usual. Addressing the causes of dehydration while increasing fluid intake can help prevent dehydration.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol: Caffeine and alcohol can both increase urine output, leading to a higher risk of dehydration.
  • Reduce strenuous activity during heat or if feeling unwell: Heat and illness can both increase the bodyĆ¢s need for fluids. Heavy exercise can cause extra fluid loss through sweat, which can be dangerous in these situations.

Following these steps should help prevent dehydration headaches.

Nutrient Deficiencies That Could Be Causing Your Headaches

How to Use Natural Methods to Cure a Headache

Oh, my head is pounding.

We have all muddled through days when a headache gets in the way of what may have been planned. Before you grab that over-the-counter remedy to silence the drum banging in your head, experts say there could be several deficiencies that are contributing to your headache.


Water, water everywhere, but yet if we fail to drink enough it can spark a headache. According to the National Headache Foundation, even mild dehydration can cause a dehydration headache or even a migraine. Since its often not clear what is causing a headache, drinking a full glass of water and continuing to sip more fluids during the day is a simple way to ease the pain.

Magnesium Deficiency

Neurologist Dr. Joshua Daniel of Shore Physicians Group said many migraine headache sufferers are found to be deficient in magnesium when they have blood work done. He instructs patients to take magnesium not only to prevent the onset of future migraines because it stops the transmission of pain but also because there are no side effects. Magnesium is affordable and available over the counter, according to the physician.

Dr. Daniel said he includes magnesium with the IV fusion therapy to treat migraines that has proven to be very helpful with patients. He added that it is safe and has no contraindications for patients.

Fight Deficiency with Diet

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin B2 Deficiency

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Bad Breath And Dry Mouth

Bad breath is another sign that your body lacks water. Due to lack of water, your body produces less saliva, which contains antibacterial properties. This leads to an excess growth of bacteria in the mouth, causing bad or stinky breath.

Along with bad breath, you can have a dry mouth. Water works like a lubricant, which keeps the mucus membranes moist in the throat, thus preventing dry mouth.


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