A headache or cephalalgia is pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It can be a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head and neck. The brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain because it lacks pain receptors. Rather, the pain is caused by disturbance of the pain-sensitive structures around the brain. Several areas of the head and neck have these pain-sensitive structures, which are the cranium (the periosteum of the skull), muscles, nerves, arteries and veins, subcutaneous tissues, eyes, ears, sinuses and mucous membranes. There are a number of different classification systems for headaches. The most well-recognized is that of the International Headache Society. Treatment of a headache depends on the underlying etiology or cause, but commonly involves analgesics. There are over 200 types of headache, and the causes range from harmless to life-threatening. The description of the headache, together with findings on neurological examination, determines the need for any further investigations and the most appropriate treatment. The most common types of headache are the "primary headache disorders", such as tension-type headache and migrane. They have typical features; migraine, for example, tends to be pulsating in character, affecting one side of the head, associated with nausea, disabling in severity, and usually lasts between 3 hours and 3 days. Rarer primary headache disorders are trigeminal neuralgia (a shooting face pain), cluster headache (severe pains that occur together in bouts), and hemicrania continua (a continuous headache on one side of the head). Other classifications for headaches include: acute and chronic. Secondary headaches: Headaches may be caused by problems elsewhere in the head or neck. Some of these are not harmful, such as cervicogenic headache (pain arising from the neck muscles). Medication overuse headache may occur in those using excessive painkillers for headaches, paradoxically causing worsening headaches. A number of characteristics make it more likely that the headache is due to potentially dangerous secondary causes; some of these may be life-threatening or cause long-term damage. A number of "red flag" symptoms therefore means that a headache warrants further investigations, usually by a specialist. The red flag symptoms are a new or different headache in someone over 50 years old, headache that develops within minutes (thunderclap headache), inability to move a limb or abnormalities on neurological examination, mental confusion, being woken by headache, headache that worsens with changing posture, headache worsened by exertion or Valsalva manoeuvre (coughing, straining), visual loss or visual abnormalities, jaw claudication (jaw pain on chewing that resolves afterwards), neck stiffness, fever, and headaches in people with HIV, cancer or risk factors for thrombosis.Photo from Featured Project near Headaches
Brunel Health Food Intolerance Testing
Many of us suffer from the consequences of food intolerance. Studies show that some 45% of the population is intolerant to one or more types of common food. The symptoms can manifest themselves as a bloated feeling, low mood or skin disorders among many others.
First you provide a few drops of blood, which I send to the Brunel Health laboratory. There it is analysed for reactions to 134 food types.
The report comes back, identifying your personal trigger foods, which we can remove from your diet, replacing them with foods to create a varied, healthy diet that is just right for you.
Brunel Health test for food intolerance in these major food groups:
- Staples & Grains
- Nuts, Seeds & Beans
- Dairy & Eggs
- Oils, Herbs & Spices
- Meat & Fish
- Protein Supplements
For a full list of the food types included in the Brunel Health Food Intolerance Tests, see our Foods Tested page