I always get a headache on Monday

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

Although I rest enough during the weekend, I always get a headache on Monday which affects mostly the right eye. Why?

Dear Bingi,
Much as a headache, which is pain on or in the head, may be nasty, it is usually innocuous, the reason it is one of the most over the counter treated ailments.

Headache is mostly due to psychological reasons though it can result from problems with structures of the head such as the eyes or a general disease such as malaria. Commonly, severe throbbing headache on one side of the face may be of a type known as migraine which is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine headache has triggers including stress and anxiety, drugs including for pressure and hormonal contraception, hunger, alcohol intake, lack of sleep, fatigue, smells, loud sounds and flickering lights.

Much as fatigue from overworking during the week may trigger a migraine, oversleeping in the name of enough rest during weekends may, on its own trigger migraine headaches. Then one requires to try to wake up at the same time on weekends as during the week so that he maintains a regular sleep pattern throughout the entire week.

Many people during weekends, take lots of alcohol, especially red wine, watch lots of movies on TV for relaxation, use lots of other electronic equipment, including mobile phones and computers all of which have flickering lights that may trigger migraines. This, of course, is not to mention nights out, resulting in little weekend sleep and loud disco music which may both risk migraines.

Sometimes, a relationship problem at home may trigger headaches during weekends when you are fully at home with your partner but the headache may wane when you are away at work during weekdays. However, intense physical exertion, including sexual activity at the weekend, usually missed due to heavy week schedules, may provoke migraines.

Many office workers take lots of coffee at work (also sodas and energy drinks) to keep them awake and alert and avoid it at home during weekends so that they can rest, risking headache from caffeine withdrawal.

Sometimes, workaholics may feel sick during weekends and vacations than when they are working in a condition known as leisure sickness, which includes psychological issues that may lead to a headache.

Avoiding triggers mentioned above may help and if this does not work, you may require visiting a doctor for further examination.


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