It is not unusual for people to experience headaches when they first quit smoking. It is possible that the headaches experienced during nicotine withdrawal are the result of fluctuating serotonin levels.
When you quit smoking your brain and nervous system suffer physical stresses due to changes in the production of various chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Both are modified by smoking and addiction to nicotine.
When you quit smoking, serotonin levels will drop and it has been found that reduced serotonin levels can lead to migraines.
The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) plays a role in the development of migraine attacks. This conclusion is supported by evidence indicating that migraine patients tend to have low levels of serotonin in their brains (Panconesi 2008). Additional support for this theory is found in data indicating that tricyclic antidepressants, which increase serotonin signaling, reduce the frequency of migraine attacks (Cutrer 2012). – www.lef.org/
Of course, additional factors may also play a role in causing headaches during a quit smoking campaign.
Below are a few example causes;
- Excessive Caffeine and Caffeine withdrawal.
- Fatigue, another common nicotine withdrawal symptom.
- Changes in climate and weather.
- Lack of sleep.
Tips for Managing the Headaches That Come With Quitting Smoking.
- If the headaches are extreme or do not go away, seek medical advice.
- Use painkillers such as Aspirin and Paracetamol as directed.
- Get plenty of sleep and rest.
- Consider switching coffee for teas that contain significantly less caffeine. Herbal teas that are caffeine free would be even better.
- Ensure you are drinking enough water.
- Eat good food with plenty of nutrients.