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4 Tips for Managing Headaches With Hydrocephalus

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I get more headaches than most people because I have a condition called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain. The purpose of CSF is to protect the brain and spinal cord, but when there is too much fluid it can be dangerous. The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is to insert a tube called a shunt to drain excess fluid from the head to another place where the body can remove it naturally. Getting a hydrocephalus diagnosis can be frustrating because you typically get more headaches than the average person. I will explain some of the things I do to manage my headaches so I don’t get as many.

  1. Hydration — If you get dehydrated, you will probably get a headache. How do you avoid this problem? Make sure you drink enough water! Drinking soda is not the same thing as drinking water, so if you drink a lot of soda but no water and get a lot of headaches, that could be the reason for your headaches. If you don’t drink water because you want something flavored, you could either buy flavored water or add some fruit to your water to give it some flavor.

2. Essential Oils — There are a lot of benefits to essential oils. There are a few essential oils that you can buy that may help your headaches. Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary are a few essential oils that could help your headaches. The type of a headache you have will determine what kind of essential oil will work best for you. Some people apply essential oils directly on their skin but I personally don’t do that. I use a diffuser and put the oils inside of it.

3. Stress — Do you go to work and immediately get a headache, but then it goes away as soon as you leave work? You probably have a stress headache. Go get a massage or do something else you would enjoy to make you forget about whatever is stressing you out. If your job is making you stressed to the point that it is putting stress on your body, you may want to consider talking to your boss about it or finding a new job.

4. Nutrition — I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who skip meals and then complain they have a headache. You don’t have proper nutrition when you are skipping meals. If you want to avoid a headache, you need to get on a regular eating schedule.

Having hydrocephalus can be frustrating. Sometimes you are doing everything you are supposed to and you still get a headache and don’t know why. I have had headaches for a week or two and there is nothing I could do to make them go away. There is medicine they can prescribe that will make headaches less frequent, but it won’t prevent them totally. If you have any questions about how I manage my headaches with hydrocephalus, please leave them in the comments below!

Getty image by V. Sot.

Originally published: July 18, 2018
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