What Does a Dehydration Headache Feel Like?

June 21, 2023

We’ve probably all experienced some level of headache pain during our lives. They can range from mild to severe and can develop from stress or illness. One common cause of headaches that often goes undiagnosed is dehydration. In this blog, we’ll explain how dehydration causes a headache and how to recognize the symptoms.

For same-day headache treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills. Our team of medical providers specialize in treating a range of conditions and can provide more guidance on preventing headaches down the road You can check-in online or simply walk into the clinic, seven days a week.

How Does Dehydration Cause a Headache?

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in. Our bodies depend on water for various natural functions, like regulating body temperature and energy levels. When our water consumption is lacking, these functions can be disrupted. This causes a range of symptoms to develop– including a headache.

Dehydration headaches generally occur when you're experiencing a state of mild to moderate dehydration. When the body lacks sufficient hydration, the protective layer of water around the brain can become thinner. As a result, you can experience a headache.

How To Recognize Dehydration Headache Symptoms

Dehydration headaches often share similar symptoms with other types of headaches. This makes it easy for people to overlook dehydration as a cause for concern. However, there are a few key indicators to look for that can help you identify if your headache is caused by a lack of water intake.

First, dehydration headaches are usually located on both sides of the head and can cause a moderately uncomfortable throbbing sensation. The pain rarely reaches severe levels. You may also experience a level of thirst and have a dry mouth alongside a headache. This is a strong indication that your headache has developed as a result of dehydration. Another symptom of a dehydration headache is fatigue and dizziness.

Preventing and Alleviating Dehydration Headache Pain

There are a few steps you can take to prevent and alleviate dehydration symptoms. The most effective and straightforward way to prevent dehydration headaches is to stay hydrated. Be sure to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. The recommended daily intake is around 8 cups of water, but individual needs may vary. Drinking enough water is especially important during hot weather, physical activity, and during the course of illness.

Furthermore, you can eat foods that are high in water content, like watermelon and celery. Ensure a balanced intake of electrolytes to further maintain proper hydration levels. You should also avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as these substances can contribute to dehydration. Pay attention to the signs of dehydration and consult a healthcare provider for any concerning symptoms.

Get Same-Day Care at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills

Dehydration is a common, yet overlooked, cause of headaches. For a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, visit AFC Urgent Care Short Hills. The clinic is open seven days a week and offers treatment on a walk-in basis. We accept most major insurances and provide affordable pricing for all self-paying patients. Visit our center today to get started on your mono treatment plan. If you have any additional questions about headaches, call us directly at (973) 671-5350.

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