What Causes Headaches?

 We've just launched our very first book, written with the aim of answering the question What Causes Headaches? The book is written by Jack Corbyn; as a long term headache sufferer he is more than qualified to write this book. 

To learn more about his story, please click here: http://www.templeheadache.co/temple-headache/my-story-my-battle-with-temple-headache

The book answers questions like “What is a headache?” It explains the various headaches you may be suffering with and what in your lifestyle or diet might be triggering the headache. A very important part of the book is the headace cures and treatments section. It covers a very wide range of treatments and even touches on the potential long term cure of headaches and migraines.

This book is available to purchase on Amazon Kindle in most of the world.

To buy the book in the UK visit this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Causes-Headaches-Jack-Corbyn-ebook/dp/B00H907KRU

To buy the book in the US visit this link: http://www.amazon.com/What-Causes-Headaches-Jack-Corbyn-ebook/dp/B00H907KRU

To buy the book in France visit this link: http://www.amazon.fr/What-Causes-Headaches-Jack-Corbyn-ebook/dp/B00H907KRU

To buy the book in Italy visit this link: http://www.amazon.it/What-Causes-Headaches-Jack-Corbyn-ebook/dp/B00H907KRU

To buy the book in Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/What-Causes-Headaches-Jack-Corbyn-ebook/dp/B00H907KRU

If your country isn't listed just do a search in Amazon for What Causes Headaches? and it'll be the first result.

Happy reading and good luck.

Keeping A Headache Diary

Keeping a headache diary is by far the most important thing to do before visiting your GP. This gives your GP an idea of which patterns are emerging with your headaches. It will also help him or her to identify if there is perhaps a trigger in both your diet and your lifestyle. 

It will also help your GP if you arrive with a food diary. This makes it even easy for your GP because he or she can see the time you ate a certain food, which may or may not correlate with when you are getting your headaches. He or she may also see if you’re not eating or drinking enough, which can also give you headaches. 

If you join our mailing list, you will not only be kept up to date on all our latest articles, advice, new treatments, new research, special offers and all those wonderful things, but you can also download a FREE headache diary, a FREE food diary and 22 headache beating recipes. These recipes are for those of you who may have identified a trigger in your diet and are eliminating it to see if your headaches improve.

Visit this article for keeping a food diary: http://www.templeheadache.co/headache-after-eating/headache-after-eating-keeping-a-headache-diary

Keeping a food diary and a headache diary will not only make your doctor's life a lot easier, but it will be invaluable in helping you to identify a trigger. In a headache diary, you need to record:

1. The time and date you get your headache.

2. How long the headache lasted.

3. Where the pain was located.

4. The location of the pain in your own words e.g. throbbing or constant.

5. What may have triggered the headache.

6. What did you take to alleviate your symptoms.

7. Did the drug help the pain in any way?

The reason these records are all necessary is because after a few weeks, you can get a picture of your experience and try and work out:  A) What might be causing the pain, and B) What alleviates the pain.

You might be able to interpret the results yourself, but it’s best to present it to your GP along with the food diary. So, if your headaches are recurrent, book yourself in with your GP and between now and the appointment, fill in your diaries with as much detail as you can. Don’t forget to join the mailing list by filling in your name and email. Once you've joined our mailing list, you have access to our newsletter and 22 headache beating recipes along with both your food and headache diaries.

Helpful Links – Patient Advice and Liaison Service

In my experience of the NHS, sometimes things do not work out well for you with regards to your treatment. It may be a simple mistake in the system, meaning your appointment gets canceled or you may find yourself with an unsympathetic Doctor.

If on the rare occasion this occurs, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service is there to help. Known as PALS for short, they are a confidential service aimed at helping patients, their families, carers and visitors to a hospital.

What they do:

  • Provide help and advice if you have concerns about the care provided by the hospital services. They will swiftly liaise with hospital staff and try to resolve whatever issues you may have.
  • Provide information about NHS services, hospitals, communities and support services.
  • Provide advice about the NHS complaints procedure and the process when issues cannot be resolved.
  • Provide access to the hospital’s interpreter services.
  • They will also listen to your comments, criticisms or suggestions

You will find PALS officers at your nearest hospital.

Find your local PALS office on the NHS Choices website. You can also contact your GP surgery, hospital or call NHS 111.

This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Migraine Stories – Virus That Causes Headaches and Fever

When I was a teenager, I had mumps. After a day or two of feeling generally unwell, I woke up with a painful, swollen face. It was especially bad on one side, around my lower jaw. Off I went to see my GP, who took one look at me and confirmed I had mumps. My mother contacted my school, and was told that I needed to come in as soon as possible because I had to take my mock A-levels!

After 3 days of rest and plenty of fluids, the swelling went down. I went back to school and took my exams, and presumed I was better. I was wrong. Exactly one week after my face started to swell, I woke up with the worst headache I’ve ever experienced. The pain was all over my head, spreading down my neck. It hurt to keep my eyes open, and I felt sick and dizzy if I tried to move. I tried taking aspirin (it was more common to take as a painkiller than paracetamol in the 1970s), but it made no difference. I spent the morning lying on my bedroom floor whimpering and feeling a bit scared that I was dying. In the end, my mother phoned the GP for advice. He told her that severe headaches were common after mumps, especially after the swelling had gone down, and that there was nothing to worry about as long as I didn’t get any worse! He said that the headaches usually last between 12 – 24 hours, and then suddenly disappear. I’m glad to say he was right. My headache lasted all day, and was still just as bad when I went to bed at about 7.00pm that evening – but the next morning, I had no pain and felt completely back to normal.

Apparently, these symptoms are often mistaken for meningitis in children – and mumps can actually develop into viral meningitis. Another, and rarer, complication is encephalitis, which can be life-threatening. So if you do develop a severe headache after mumps, please seek some medical advice. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


by Paula Stavri


We’d love to hear your story, if you have personal experience with Temple Headache or Migraine, then we’d like to invite you to send it in to us at info@templeheadache.co we’d love to share it with our readers.


This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Migraine Stories – Hormonal Headaches – Another unpleasant monthly visitor

 As if the bleeding, cramps and mood swings weren’t bad enough, many women are plagued with other nasty symptoms before and during their period. Some women suffer excruciating and limiting symptoms of IBS, others develop fatigue, and many women struggle with hormonal headaches. Im going to share my personal experience of hormonal headaches with you, in the hope that fellow sufferers will get in touch and share some tips. One thing is for certain – we don’t have to put up with hormonal headaches on top of everything else.

Hormonal headaches may be naturally occurring or as a result of birth control. In my case, I suspect my hormonal headaches are a side effect of the pill I am taking (Cilest). It begins on the second day of my period, when at some point in the day I will develop a dull, throbbing, blocked feeling in the sinuses and across my forehead. This is accompanied by a stuffy nose that lasts the whole of my period, a discombobulated “wooly-headed” feeling, stiffness in the neck and incredible fatigue. These flu-like symptoms really add insult to injury!

The headache refuses to leave until my period stops, and it varies in intensity throughout. Several times, the hormonal headache has become so extremely painful that it feels like a migraine, with my head and neck feeling constricted and  squeezed so tight it could burst. The sinus pain can also be excruciating, leading to tooth and jaw ache plus shooting pains when I turn my head. It is always a relief when my period finishes because the headache and stuffy nose dissolves instantly.

So, what helps a persistent hormonal headache? I wish I could tell you. I’ve not found success yet – painkillers don’t touch my hormonal headaches, and sinus clearing medications make little difference too. For instance, a week ago I had my monthly “friend” of hormonal headache. I took some ibuprofen, which helped with the cramps but left my head throbbing. Later I took a Cold and Flu tablet containing paracetamol, caffeine and decongestant, which neither cleared my stuffy nose nor my head. I do find that regular sleep during this time helps, in addition to reducing stress and eating well (though those ravenous, sugar-hungry menstrual cravings may affect this!)

Although other hormonal symptoms such as hormonal spots are notoriously difficult to treat, I am convinced and hopeful that an answer to curing hormonal headaches is out there, and that hormonal headache sufferers no longer have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous hormones.

by Miss Create


This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Migraine Stories – A Migraine With Aura

Headaches with auras can be quite common, but often the first headache you suffer with a visual or other sensory aura can be very alarming. This is my story about my first experience of a migraine aura, and the headaches that followed.

A couple of years ago I awoke as normal on a working day and noticed something strange with my vision. Although I could see I was aware of a shimmering effect around the periphery of my vision like yellow electrical discharges. I didn’t think that much of it until I noticed that that this started moving towards the central part of my vision and within approximately 45 minutes my vision had become like a looking out through a dark broken mirror – I couldn’t make anything out in the middle part of my vision and as my vision moved away from the centre it was like looking out through a kaleidoscope, a face if that what I was seeing had been reassembled with features where you would not expect.

 My wife took me first to the GP who was concerned that I couldn’t see her properly and she sent me off to casualty to get me checked out. In Casualty they did various tests all of which seemed inconclusive and they suspected a bleed in my brain and referred me to a stroke unit to be checked out. I was sent off to a specialist eye unit at a major hospital and their tests were inconclusive too and they then suggested a CT scan to eliminate a stroke and that was really scary for me as a stroke I considered to be the end of everything for me. Shortly after that my vision began to come back to normal but I still needed the CT scan to eliminate a stroke and to great relief the scan was normal. After all that I was tired, dead achy and sleepy for the next fortnight.  It recurred again a few weeks later but only lasted a few days. Since then I’ve had a few visual auras which have lasted about 20 minutes without any headache symptoms.  

by Kyri Stavri

We’d love to hear your story, if you have personal experience with Temple Headache or Migraine, then we’d like to invite you to send it in to us at info@templeheadache.co we’d love to share it with our readers. 


This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Migraine Stories – My Battle With Temple Headache

Temple Headache and migraines were something that entered my life back in 1997. I was in my final year of primary school, it was the dead of summer and my head was absolutely throbbing. Looking back, I must have been a bit dehydrated. I don't remember when the headache began, but I remember in the playground after lunch getting some advice from one of my classmates to go and see the nurse. The rest of that day was a bit of a blur, but it was to be the start of a long period of time where I was in a state of confusion and pain.

This wasn't my first headache by any means. I used to experience them in my early childhood but I never mentioned anything to anyone as I thought it was perfectly normal. I remember after eating Twiglets at school, during a lesson-free afternoon devoted to learning French I developed a headache literally 30 minutes after eating the Twiglets. Ever since that moment I've never touched another Twiglet. The same happened again when I was 13 after eating a Panettone in cafe Nero. I also remember my father offering me the chance to join a Judo class, and I declined because I knew that when I'd hit the floor I would experience a throbbing headache. This was because for as long as I can remember, a simple judder to my neck or shaking my head a little in excitement caused me to have a throbbing headache, lasting 30 seconds to a minute. To this day, not a single Doctor or Neurologist has taken note of this experience I had (more on this in later posts).

I was to continue experiencing migraines at various intervals over the next couple of years. My father had great sympathy for me as he has not only had headaches himself, but he remembers his mother, my grandmother, experiencing excruciating migraines as she sat in the dark on the edge of her bed, hoping the codeine her doctor prescribed would work. My father gave me over-the-counter Propain, which at that young age, I recall having great difficulty swallowing. Propain was a mixture of Paracetemol, Codeine and Caffeine; I must say this combination gave me great relief when I suffered with a migraine, but it began a vicious cycle causing me to develop chronic migraine (more on this in later posts).

At secondary school, I experienced some pretty severe migraines and would sit in the Nurse's office waiting for my father to collect me, which he'd do in literally a matter of minutes irregardless what he was doing at the time. My mother was a teacher, whereas my father was self employed which allowed him the freedom to collect me from school. School would start at 8:30am, and I'd venture up to the Science lab that was our form room where we'd all wait for our form tutor to arrive to take the register. I didn't enjoy school at all, I disliked the structure of the day, and to be completely honest I didn't generally fit in with my classmates.

When I got these migraines, I was collected from the Nurse's office and driven home where I had to draw the curtains in my bedroom, shut the door, turn out the lights, then climb up into my bunk bed and close my eyes. They were absolutely horrendous. My GP at the time tried me on Migralieve, which to my memory were a series of pink and yellow tablets that did not work very well.

I later developed a virus and had a very bad fever, but although the fever went away, my headache didn't. I was off school for an entire month. My GP wanted to me to go straight to hospital for further tests, so I was rushed over to Kingston Hospital and kept there. My memory of this time is very vague, with only a few select memories. For instance, I remember waiting in a big white room in the Hospital and being terribly uncomfortable. I think I was waiting for a bed – the wait felt like forver.

After being assessed overnight, the doctor at Kingston Hospital decided to put me under a paediatrician at Queen Mary's Hospital. I was under her care for a year, and she sent me everywhere, to no avail. I was supposed to get an MRI scan, but this never occurred. I remember these visits to the paediatrician well (back then, you'd see a consultant many more times than you do these days). The waiting room was huge, with toys for all ages around the room. I remember seeing all kinds of other children there with all kinds of different conditions. The work of paediatrician must be a tough one.

All this was occurred while I was in Year 8, making me only 12 years old. It was in this school year that I dropped out of full-time education entirely due to my headaches. My suffering had long stopped being every now and again, and had become a daily occurrence upon waking. As a young 12 year old who disliked school, it made be very relieved not to go to school despite my daily suffering. I regret this now, but one cannot turn back the clock.

My mother started taking lots of time off work to attend these hospital appointments with me, as I was far too young and sick to organise it myself. She was very disappointed that I was not getting the medical help I rightfully deserved from the paediatrician, nor was she pleased that I'd not received my MRI scan. So she pushed and pushed until she succesfully got me referred to a Neurologist at St George's Hospital in Wimbledon, where she hoped I would finally be on the right path to recovery.

To be continued…

by Mister Jack

We'd love to hear your story, if you have personal experience with Temple Headache or Migraine, then we'd like to invite you to send it in to us at info@templeheadache.co we'd love to share it with our readers. 

This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Headache After Eating – Allergy Headache

In this headache after eating article, we want to focus on Allergy Headaches. In the last article we focused on the main trigger foods for migraines and temple headache but another cause of headache after eating is more complex allergies. There have been many studies around the world connecting headaches and allergies, main culprits in food allergy are wheat, yeast, corn, cane sugar, grains, dairy and eggs. Processed foods are proving to be the hidden cause of many modern illnesses, they contain preservatives, colorings and flavorings, which appear to trigger migraines. A sweetner, found in soft drinks and sweets known as Aspartame, is known to be a common cause of headaches and should probably be avoided if you find a connection. If you commonly suffer with gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea then you should see your GP for some further investigations to identify if you do indeed, have any underlying gastric conditions. 

In some modern research allergies appear to be caused at least to a certain extent by an imbalance of gut flora, where bad bacreriums feed on the allergenic foods, causing them to breed, this can put the bodies immune system into over drive. Also tsome bacterias produce gasses when they breed causing bloating and gas in your intestinal tract. If you do manage to identify any allergies then you may wish to reduce your intake of these foods. If after reducing these foods your headaches improve, then you should possibly remove them from your diet completely; so long as it doesn’t compromise a balanced diet. For the remainder of this article we will proceed to discuss common allergenic and trigger foods. 


Photo by Mister Jack


Tea contains something called Tannins which are a common cause of both headaches and migraines. Tannins are plant compounds creating that strong astringent taste. Tannins are also found in Apples, Pears, Cider and Red Wine.

Photo by GregPC


Sausages a British favourite often contain something known as Nitrates, it is both a preservative and a flavouring. It is also found in hot dogs, peperoni, deli meats, jerky, corned beef, and other cured, smoked and pickled meats. Nitrates are known to cause headaches in some people.

Red Wine

As discussed before Red Wine and other alcohols contain Tyramine, a very common cause of headaches. In addition to Red Wine, be very cautious of sherry and beer. If you find you don’t have a problem with these drinks always alternate alcohol with water to avoid dehydration, which is one of the most common causes of headache. Always drink responsibly and do not consume more than the reccomended daily amount. www.drinkaware.co.uk


As previously mentioned Cheese is one of the infamous 3 C’s. Cheese contains Tyramine and phenylethylamine, these are amino acids, also found in Chocolate, Citrus, Soy Foods, Nuts and Vinegar. So if you and your GP have found one of the three C’s are triggers then try reducing or removing other foods from your diet which contain both Tyramine and Phenylethylamine.

Dried Fruits

Dried foods contain something called sulfites, these are preservatives. Sulfites are found in prunes, figs and apricots and occasionally found in wine. If possible, avoid this if you’ve found that you are sensitive to any food addatives.

Food Addatives

Many processed foods contain chemicals also known as food addatives, giving the food a longer life, extra colour and flavour. There have been many studies showing that these addatives can cause headaches after eating, it is always best to eat organically and maintain a healthy balanced diet. Avoid monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, hydrolized vegetable protien, hydrolized and aurolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed plant protien, sodium caseinate, and kombu extract which is commonly used in Japanese food.


Aspartame which is produced by Bacteria after being fed a specific type of toxin has been a very popular sweetner until recent years, when it has come to light that it has some toxic elements to the human body. Have you ever drunk a diet coke and developed a headache? If so then you most likely have an allergy or at least an intolerance to it.


After drinking Coffee, Black Tea, Green Tea and some soft drinks you may devlop a migraine of some kind. However, many over the counter medications contain caffiene because it can help to prevent a migraine when it starts.


If you discover that you may have an allergy to bread you could have what’s known as coeliac disease, ask your GP for a test if you suspect it. Bread contains Wheat, which can cause a variety of symptoms besides headaches. These include bloating, joint pain, sneezing, itching, rashes, diarrhoea.


Eating too much sugar can lead to dehydration which is a common cause of headaches, the body does it’s best to dilute the sugar by draining water from other parts of the body. Another possibility as to why Sugar can cause a headache is because the body produces it’s own sugar in the form of Glucose, so processed sugars are toxic to the red blood cells that carry sugar around the body, this toxicity can lead to headaches. If you are experiencing headaches after eating sugar, you must see your Doctor and get tested for diabetes. 


Firstly Dairy allergy and lactose intolerance are both very different, milk allergy has many, many symptoms. These include Eczema, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, plus many more. In recent years however, scientists have discovered that dairy products may have a direct link to fatigue, migraine, hyperactivity, sore muscles and painful joints.


Egg allergy is very common in the UK, my brother used to get horrendous headaches when he ate an egg. So watch out for a connection with eating eggs and headache after eating.


Despite the fact that corn is found in many products on the market many people have allergies to corn without even realising it. Besides headaches and migraines, symptoms include eczema, smelly breath, shadows under the eyes (sign of allergy to numerous food), weight gain and much more…


If you feel you may have an allergy of some kind or have been using a headache diary and identified an allergy, I suggest you visit your GP to discuss it further.


This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Headache After Eating – Keeping a Headache Diary

Photo by KieranLane

There is a definite relationship between headaches and eating. Most people are familiar with the infamous advice to avoid the three Cs: chocolate, cheese and citrus. These are very common trigger foods for headaches, which can actually make the pain in your head worse. You may have turned to cheese or chocolate for comfort during a bad headache, or you might have poured yourself a glass of fresh orange juice to feel invigorated, only to find that your headache increases. Similarly, you may eat these foods and feel absolutely fine, if not better. The three Cs may not be trigger foods for you, but you will most likely discover that some foods do make your headaches worse, and perhaps you will even find that eliminating certain foods from your diet puts an end to your head pain for good.When I suffer from headaches, I keep a food diary by recording everything I eat on the days that head pain strikes. I record what time I noticed the headache with the rough timings of each food I eat. By doing this, I have discovered a relationship between the foods I eat and the intensity of the headache. In my case, yeast extract and blackcurrant flavouring are the main offenders for causing a headache. When I eat cheese during a headache, it tends to develop into a nastier migraine. On the positive side, I have found that when I eat healthy protein-rich foods such as fresh fish and iron-rich food such as spinach, my headaches subside. Keeping a food diary has been instrumental in helping me to control my headaches, and in some cases to even prevent an attack from occuring. I cannot recommend keeping a food diary strongly enough to headache sufferers, so give this free and easy method a go to discover your triggers.In the full throes of a painful, throbbing temple headache, the last thing you will feel like is eating. However, if you are taking regular painkillers, you may find that eating regular small amounts helps the medication to work more effectively. On the other hand, if you suffer from migraines with vomiting as I did, then there is no need to eat unless you feel like it. The key is to listen to your body – whatever you may be craving, the chances are that your body needs the chemicals in the food you desire to ease your headache.

Of course, most foods will not cure your headaches, but knowing your trigger foods really works as a preventative measure and helps you to manage your pain. If you have the opportunity to see a nutrionist, you will have access to expert advice about which foods to avoid and which foods to introduce into your diet. A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh foods will be brimming with vitamins and minerals. Dietary supplements of vitamins and minerals can make a big difference to the frequency and intensity of your headaches. Nutritional deficiencies may even be the culprit of your headaches, so don’t rule this out! Since taking regular iron tablets, I have noticed that I have more energy and therefore less headaches. When I consider that iron-rich leafy green vegetables such as spinach help my headaches to subside, it is obvious that a lack of iron is linked to my headaches. Keeping a food diary helped me to realise this (and it also made me feel less guilty about having the odd pint of iron-rich Guinness – not that I’m advocating alcohol as effective headache relief!)

I can’t offer you any groundbreaking advice regarding headaches after eating, as it isn’t rocket science. Discover the foods that cause and exacerbate headaches or migraines, then try to avoid them or take preventative measures against the pain. Try to find your ‘magic foods’ that make you feel better, tune in to the foods that your body craves during an attack, and consider whether you may have any deficiencies. A nutrionist can help you to create a sustainable, healthy, headache-reducing diet, but once you know your trigger foods and magic foods, you may find that this is all you need to manage your headaches better.
by Miss Create
This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Headache After Eating – Trigger Foods

Photo by La.Catholique

If you’re experiencing a headache after eating, the first thing to do is to try and identify a trigger. The three main triggers for headaches are Citrus, Chocolate and Caffiene, they are known as the three C’s, if you’d eaten those prior to experiencing your headache then it would be safe to assume it was a trigger. 

This is always one of the first things to investigate because the simple fix would be to eliminate that trigger from your diet, if you feel you’ve identified a trigger it would be safe to try an elimation diet. The key to a succesful elimination diet is to remove the trigger from your diet for specific period of time and then reintroduce it. If you stopped experiencing these headaches then after reintroducing it, the headache returns that would indicate your suspicion was correct. 

There will be suitable substitutes available on the market, for whatever foods you elimiate from your diet. Please note, it would be safest to discuss these and any elimination diets with a trained professional i.e. your GP or a dietician. 

Other triggers to bear in mind include Alcohol, shellfish, nicotine and Cheese. Cheese contains tyramine, it’s tyramine that causes these headaches so of you find that cheese is a trigger it would be wise to eliminate other foods containing tyramine. Foods containing Tyramine include marmite, beer, wine, chocolate, ham and beef.


Tyramine increases blood flow to the brain, triggering the headache pathways, these kind of headaches are normally on both sides of the head as opposed to one side which you find in classic migraine. Foods containing phenylethylamine can also be triggers, both tyramine and phenylethylamine are amino acids

There are indeed other causes of headache after eating besides trigger foods, these can be food intolerances or allergycardiovascular or even an indication of diabeties. I will begin to discuss these in more detail over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. If you are experiencing headaches after eating you should always consult your doctor to find out if you have any underlying condition which you have not yet identified.


This article is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice – the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.