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NEWSLETTER

Can dehydration trigger headaches?

Is it possible for dehydration to trigger headaches?

I occasionally suffer from headaches. Could it be a result of insufficient water consumption?

A. Yes, dehydration can result in headaches. Certain individuals are far more sensitive than others to dehydration-related headaches, and those who are more susceptible can avoid the headaches by drinking adequate fluids everyday. A water-deprivation headache might be widespread or more confined to the front or rear of the head. Occasionally, it is one-sided. When you bend your head forward or do other head movements, the discomfort tends to get worse. Even walking can aggravate headaches.


It is uncertain why dehydration causes headaches. The brain lacks pain receptors. A dehydration headache may be induced by pain receptors in the meninges, the lining that surrounds the brain. When a person is dehydrated, fluid can escape the brain, putting traction on the meninges and activating the pain receptors. Another probable cause is the increased response you could feel to any form of discomfort when you are thirsty.



A headache caused by dehydration should subside after an hour or two of drinking 16 to 32 ounces of water. Prolonged or severe dehydration requires additional fluids and many hours of resting down until the pain subsides. If severe dehydration occurs and vomiting stops you from drinking enough fluids to compensate, you may require IV fluids to alleviate the headache. Bear in mind that dehydration might prolong a migraine attack or any other sort of headache. Even if you experience nausea during a migraine attack, you should attempt to drink a small number of liquids every few minutes once symptoms begin.

Disclaimer:

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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