Despite the fact that new and stronger evidence is constantly arriving about how tobacco smoke affects our bodies, a global problem is still a huge number of smokers who put themselves and all the people around them at risk.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one person dies every eight seconds as a result of exposure to tobacco smoke. Nicotine is the active ingredient in cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products.
According to its mechanism of action, it is a stimulant, which means that it increases the activity of the central nervous system. When nicotine enters the bloodstream, it then promotes the release of two neurotransmitters: dopamine and epinephrine.
The release of these chemicals in the brain can lead to a pleasant feeling and a sense of relaxation ie. relaxation, but since nicotine also stimulates the brain's reward centers, nicotine consumption is highly addictive.
Nicotine and other substances that tobacco contains in chronic users lead to numerous damage to various organs. The carcinogenic properties of tobacco ingredients have been irrefutably established, and among smokers cancer of the larynx, and lungs, chronic obstructive bronchitis and emphysema, coronary disease with myocardial infarctions, stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases, peripheral damage to blood vessels with atherosclerotic changes are common (M.
Raynaud, M. Burger). It is known that tobacco affects the development of the fetus during pregnancy, as well as that such babies are born with a lower body weight and reduced general vitality. Nicotine is associated with numerous side effects, including headaches.
Is there a connection between nicotine and headaches?
It is possible that nicotine may increase the risk of headaches. In fact, headache is a potential side effect of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which is used to treat nicotine addiction.
However, most research on the association between nicotine and headache has been conducted in the context of tobacco smoking. Indeed, various studies have linked tobacco smoking with an increased frequency of headaches. This is important because nicotine is not the only chemical found in tobacco smoke.
It is known that tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 different chemical substances, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the United States of America. This means that, in addition to nicotine, many other chemical substances present in tobacco products can also contribute to the occurrence of headaches.
How can nicotine contribute to headaches?
There are several different ways nicotine can increase your risk of developing headaches: The stimulating effects of nicotine can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels in the body.
This can reduce blood flow to the brain, leading to headaches. Continuous exposure to nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco products can increase the sensitivity of pain receptors in brain tissue. Nicotine can reduce the positive effects of some painkillers used to relieve headaches.
Because of this, it may be more difficult for people who consume tobacco products to reduce their pain with traditional painkillers.
Is nicotine linked to certain types of headaches?
There are some types of headaches that are more closely related to the use of nicotine or tobacco products.
These include: Cluster headaches – Cluster headaches are severe headache attacks that can last for weeks to months. Cluster headaches are more common in smokers, and smoking can cause or stimulate an episode of pain.
Trigeminal Neuralgia – Trigeminal neuralgia is believed to be caused by blood vessel pressure on the trigeminal nerve, which is located in the face and head. Pain due to this pathological pressure of the blood vessel on the nerve can be caused by smoking.
Migraine – Migraine is a type of recurring headache that causes throbbing or throbbing pain. It can be caused by a number of factors, including tobacco. However, a 2015 study notes that there is conflicting data on tobacco as a migraine trigger.
What can you do to relieve a headache?
One of the best ways to relieve nicotine headaches is to try to stop using nicotine. There are a number of ways you can achieve this. However, keep in mind that nicotine withdrawal can also cause headaches.
Pain relievers – These include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. However, nicotine use can make these drugs less effective. Cooling – Placing a cold compress or ice pack over the forehead can help relieve headaches.
Adequate fluids – Proper hydration can help reduce headaches. Relaxation – When a headache strikes, you may need to rest in a calm and quiet place. In addition, relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or breathing exercises can also be helpful in managing headaches.