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can dehydration cause headaches

can dehydration cause headaches

The answer is YES.

There are many different types of headaches and 9 out of 10 adults will experience some time in their lives.

Different types of headaches, such as dehydration heads, can be easily treated and avoided. This article examines what dehydration headache is, what symptoms indicate that a person may have it, and how to treat or prevent it.

What is a dehydration headache?

Dehydration headache is the second headache, which is caused by a lack of enough fluids in the body. Dehydration headache can be as mild or severe as a migraine

Dehydration can occur after sweating when the body loses the essential fluid to function properly.

The body needs the right balance of fluids and electrolytes to function properly. Every day, especially the human body loses water through daily activities, such as sweating and urinating.

In many cases, the amount of fluid lost can be easily balanced by drinking or eating a diet rich in fluids. However, sometimes the body loses water faster than it can replenish.

During these times, the body can become dehydrated, which can lead to serious problems including unpleasant dehydration headaches.

When the body is dehydrated, the brain may temporarily contract. This mechanism causes the brain to withdraw from the skull, causing pain and leading to dehydration headache.

When rehydrated, the brain returns to its normal state, calming the head.


Dehydration can feel like a faint headache or a severe migraine. Pain from dehydration can occur in the front, back, side, or throughout the head.

Unlike a sinus headache, a person suffering from dementia may not experience pain in the face. Pain also is unlikely to occur in the back of the neck as it can with head trauma.

Since dehydration headache occurs only when the body is dehydrated.  symptoms of dehydration include the following:

  • excessive thirst
  • reducing urination
  • black urine
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • dry, sticky mouth
  • loss of skin firmness
  • low blood pressure
  • heartburn

Some people may experience dehydration headaches only if they are  badly dehydrated. These people may not only have headaches and some of the above symptoms but may also experience other symptoms.

Some Other symptoms of dehydration, include:

  • lack of sweat
  • eyes are sunken
  • fever
  • delirium
  • fainting
  • wrinkled skin


Dehydration headache occurs only when a person is dehydrated. Even mild forms of  dehydration can cause dehydration headaches.

Dehydration occurs when the body does not get enough water to meet its needs. Most of the time, the amount of fluid that enters the body is the same as the amount of fluid that leaves the body. Water leaks from the body through sweat or urination.

However,  some factors  can contribute to this. These factors increase the risk of dehydration and include the following:

  • diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • excessive sweating, either through strenuous exercise or heat
  • fever
  • excessive urination

Dangerous features of dehydration

Anyone can become dehydrated. Chances are that everyone will experience periods of severe physical exhaustion. However, some people are at greater risk for dehydration.

People at high risk of dehydration include:

  • people living in very high altitudes
  • infants and young children
  • older people
  • people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and kidney disease
  • people taking antiretroviral drugs
  • people living in the tropics

These groups of people must take special care to maintain good water intake.

Treatment of  dehydrating headache

If a person has a headache, they should do the following strategies:

can dehydration cause headaches

  • increase water intake
  • replace lost electrolytes with  drink
  • temporarily reduce physical activity and protect against heat to reduce sweating

While the above steps can cure dehydration, it may take some time for the headache to relieve.

For quick relief, one may want to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.

Treatment of  severe dehydration

In some cases, such as a severe episode of vomiting or diarrhea, home remedies may not be enough to prevent dehydration.

In the event of severe dehydration, a person should seek immediate medical attention to prevent serious complications, such as:

kidney damage



Emergency health professionals can treat severe dehydration with intravenous fluids.

Prevention from  dehydrating headache

The best way to prevent dehydration headache is to avoid dehydration. The following steps can be taken to prevent dehydration headache

Drink plenty of fluids: Most people need between 4 and 6 glasses of water a day, or some people may need more or less.

Eat foods rich in fluid: Foods, such as cucumbers, other vegetables, and fruits are high in water.

Get enough fluids throughout the day: Distributing the amount of fluid used instead of drinking it all at once helps to keep the body hydrated.

Increase the amount of water during exercise or when exposed to hot weather: During heavy sweating, such as during strenuous exercise or exposure to hot weather, water requirements increase. Drinking plenty of water during these times will replenish the excess fluid lost through sweat.

Manage the underlying causes of dehydration: Fever and infection can cause the body to lose more fluids than usual. Dealing with the causes of dehydration while increasing the amount of fluid can help prevent dryness.

Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcoholic beverages: Caffeine and alcohol may increase urinary excretion, leading to an increased risk of dehydration.

Reduce hard work during the heat or if you feel uncomfortable:

Heat and sickness can increase the body's need for water. Heavy exercise can cause excessive fluid loss through sweating which can be dangerous in these situations.

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