Why does the head hurt during poisoning – what to do?

Intoxication headache is an ancient evolutionary mechanism that is triggered when there are problems in the body.

Cephalalgia not only informs and calls for action, but also ensures the survival of the body in almost any disease, including after poisoning.

The human nervous system is highly sensitive to the development of inflammatory processes, as well as the entry of toxins into the bloodstream.

Despite the fact that the brain has a protective blood-brain barrier, this fact does not save people from headache.

There are many different classifications of intoxication, which differ according to the signs and type of toxic agent.

The factors causing a severe headache can be varied:

  •                                 toxicoinfections after food poisoning (salmonellosis, dysentery, etc.);
  •                                 heavy metal poisoning;
  •                                 intoxication with chemical warfare agents, organophosphate compounds;
  •                                 intoxication with plants, poisonous mushrooms, from a bite of animals or insects;
  •                                 poisoning with vodka or other alcoholic beverages, nicotine;
  •                                 from drug abuse;
  •                                 constipation, intestinal obstruction also cause severe autointoxication.

According to the signs of the route of entry, poisoning is divided into types – inhalation, injection, percutaneous, oral and others.

Similarly, poisoning is divided according to the severity – mild, moderate, severe, extremely severe.

It is the intensity of the headache that indicates the degree of changes, as well as the severity of the pathology. Therefore, if the cephalalgia is mild, then you should not particularly worry.
But if the head hurts badly during poisoning, while other unpleasant sensations appear ( appetite, diarrhea, abdominal cramps disappear ), it is recommended to immediately seek medical help.
There are many other divisions, which we will look at in detail below.


Intoxication is a disorder of the normal functioning of organs resulting from the penetration of toxins or poisons into the systemic circulation.

Depending on the type of ingestion of a toxic agent, poisoning is distinguished by type.


In case of food poisoning, harmful microorganisms enter the stomach, causing circulatory disorders, the formation of blood clots in the vessels of the brain, and dehydration.

Common pathogens for food poisoning are staphylococci, streptococci, salmonella and others like them.

The peak of poisoning occurs in the summer. All perishable foods, nitrates, pesticides are classified as dangerous for consumption.

Headache and nausea, as well as other signs after intoxication, usually appear several hours after the ingestion of toxic microorganisms.

If it hurts to swallow, speech, vision or nervous disorders appear, you do not need to think about what to take from the medicines.

It is recommended to urgently see a doctor without wasting any extra time.


There are certain intoxication signs in which it is recommended to urgently seek help:

  •                                 headaches and fever above 39;
  •                                 forced posture (usually with the head thrown back);
  •                                 disorders of nerves and consciousness (stupor, coma, etc.);
  •                                 migraine lasts more than 3 days;
  •                                 convulsive syndrome, fever;
  •                                 visual impairment;
  •                                 increased reaction to external stimuli (noise, sound, light);
  •                                 manifestation of hypotension;
  •                                 limbs grow cold;
  •                                 difficulty breathing;
  •                                 vomiting or diarrhea without interruption;
  •                                 weakness, dehydration.


Pain syndrome is caused by three causes of occurrence after intoxication:

  1.                              Stagnation of blood in the right-sided region of the affected organ causes an increase in the liver. As a result, the hemoglobin level drops.
  2.                              In case of poisoning, the stomach walls are stretched, as a result of which it becomes heavier. At the same time, digestion slows down, food dampens, and additional toxic substances start to burst.
  3.                              Poisoning disrupts the normal functioning of the pancreas, which causes a decrease in insulin production.

As a result of all these processes, there are similar consequences – dizziness and severe headache.


This type of intoxication is considered the most common. The following pathological processes provoke headache:
Exposure to toxic bacteria.
Intensive reproduction occurs in the cells of the intestinal walls, as well as in the periphery of the lymph nodes.

At the same time, a huge amount of toxins are released into the systemic circulation.

The nerve endings in the protective barrier are irritated, leading to headaches.
Change in ionic and water balance.
An imbalance in the blood (occurs with the gag reflex, diarrhea, etc.) causes an increase or decrease in ICP (intracranial pressure).

In receptors in the brain, impulses arise. This provokes bursting pains radiating to the back of the head, forehead and temples.
Generalization of infection and development of meningitis.
This pathology is typical for salmonellosis and enteroviruses.

With a weakened immune system, microorganisms are able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

In the process, the meningeal membranes of the brain are affected. As a result, inflammation begins, characterized by infectious symptoms.


Most of the poisonous substances that enter the body with food do not have the ability to cross the defense system.

Their mechanism of action is similar to bacterial toxins that irritate nerve endings.

However, there are substances (for example, pesticides) that freely overcome any protective barriers.

They act directly on the tissue structures of the brain. In this case, focal lesions occur, as well as violations of the vital functions of the body.


A headache with a hangover syndrome for a drinker is inseparable. As well as accompanying symptoms – lack of appetite, nausea, chills and others. The main reason is hypoxia, due to which the cells of the cerebral cortex are destroyed. 

During and also after drinking alcohol, red blood cell damage occurs.

As a result, clots are formed, clogging the capillaries of the brain, which, when decomposed, release a large amount of toxins.

The body’s defense system throws out an increased level of fluid, which provokes an increase in ICP and the destruction of nerve endings.

As a result of these complex processes, a person suffers from severe morning pains.


It is necessary to take medications as directed by a doctor, strictly observing the prescribed dosage. In this case, it is imperative that you read the instructions to find out about the side effects.
Drug intoxication can be very harmful to health. The result is unpredictable, since it directly depends on the specific tool.

Most chemical poisons (for example, arsenic, organophosphates, mercury) destroy red blood cells.

Toxins lead to energy deficiency, causing hypoxia and circulatory disorders.

Carbon monoxide poisoning, which releases carbon monoxide, is common. It is a powerful poison that has a destructive effect on the heart, muscle tissue and blood.


Pain sensations are localized in different parts of the body. It depends on the type or type of intoxication.

For example, with food poisoning, pain spreads to the stomach, navel, or lower abdomen.

Headaches with any poisoning are usually localized in the forehead, temporal lobes and the back of the head.


A child with intoxication has weakness, reflex vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Mild malaise can be eliminated on your own:

  •                                 do a gastric lavage;
  •                                 let’s drink some water to stay hydrated;
  •                                 activated carbon tablets or smecta will help get rid of toxins;
  •                                 provide nutrition based on a therapeutic diet.

In case of poisoning in children under 3 years old, independent actions are not allowed. Call an ambulance immediately.


In case of intoxication, it is highly discouraged to self-medicate. Only a specialist can determine the severity of the poisoning and take the necessary actions to cure the patient.

You need to wait for the SPM team, which decides whether you need hospitalization or you can help on the spot.


Diagnostics is carried out only in acute poisoning.

Research types

  1.                              Clinical – establishes the type of poison, the route of entry into the body, the amount and exposure of toxins.
  2.                              Instrumental – determines the characteristics and severity of intoxication.
  3.                              Laboratory toxicology – qualitative and quantitative analysis of the poison in the human biological environment is carried out.


What you can do at home:

  •                                 flushing – you need to repeatedly drink a large volume of liquid, while causing vomiting;
  •                                 bowel cleansing – make an enema with plain boiled water;
  •                                 eliminate the symptoms of intoxication with sorbents;
  •                                 you can relieve vomiting with mineral water without gas or sweet tea.

on loss of consciousness:

  •                                 place the person on a hard surface;
  •                                 lift your legs for blood flow;
  •                                 the head must be turned to one side so that the patient does not choke on vomit;
  •                                 give a smell of ammonia.

After providing first aid, wait for a doctor.


Many people prefer to use natural ingredients to remove toxins from the body.
Althea infusion.
Grind marshmallow root 3 tsp, pour a glass of boiling water. Let stand, strain. The solution is drunk during the day.

For children, add honey, give 1 spoonful, the dose increases with severe intoxication.
Herbal decoction.
Mix yarrow with bitter wormwood in equal proportions. Pour half a liter of boiling water into 1 tbsp. l. herbal mixture. Put on fire for literally 3 minutes, let stand. Divide the broth into several parts, drink during the day.


The consequences depend on the type and amount of toxic substances that have entered the human body.

The most serious complications:

  •                                 decreased functional activity of the urinary system:
  •                                 cardiovascular disorders;
  •                                 damage to the digestive tract;
  •                                 psychogenic disorders.


What is forbidden to do in case of poisoning:

  1.                              Induce vomiting in an unconscious person, in a pregnant woman, in a baby up to two years old, with convulsive syndrome and cardiac pathology.
  2.                              Put a heating pad on your stomach.
  3.                              Fix diarrhea with drugs.
  4.                              Give an enema during pregnancy, in old age, but especially for young children.
  5.                              Drink milk and water with gas.
  6.                              Give an alkaline drink for acid intoxication.
  7.                              Show amateur performance.

Professional help is able not only to preserve health, but in most cases also a person’s life.


To avoid poisoning, it is enough to follow the basic rules:

  1.                              Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before every meal, especially if coming in contact with meat or fish.
  2.                              Do not eat raw eggs, fish, meat products. Food should be cooked until cooked through.
  3.                              Highlight a separate cutting board for meat products.
  4.                              Always keep dairy products in the refrigerator.
  5.                              Rinse fruits and vegetables with water under the tap and pour over with boiling water.
  6.                              When buying, check the expiration date of the products.
  7.                              Observe the storage rules.

Why are headaches and nausea worried about poisoning?

Poisoning is understood by specialists as a pronounced disorder of the activity of the human body, which is formed as a direct consequence of the penetration of toxins into it from the outside.

Everyone has at least once experienced severe discomfort, for example, after consuming stale yogurt or a pie: suddenly dizzy and a headache, nausea and vomiting appear, general weakness is observed throughout the body.


Experts subdivide the state of poisoning by the type of toxic agent identified:

• food – the most common;

• gas – for example, carbon monoxide;

• various pesticides;

• medicinal;

• alcoholic.

By the method of penetration of a toxic agent, one can distinguish:

• inhalation;

• injection;

• oral administration.

For the convenience of assessing symptoms, it is also customary to subdivide poisoning according to the severity of the patient’s condition – from mild to severe.

Mechanism of occurrence

After poisoning, the victim suffers all organs and systems, in particular, blood stagnates in the liver, which provokes a decrease in hemoglobin parameters in the bloodstream – dizzy, a feeling of weakness is formed.

The walls of the stomach after food poisoning are significantly stretched, and it is forced to go down – a decrease in intra-abdominal pressure is formed. The process of splitting food begins to slow down, food stagnates, toxins are produced – overall health continues to deteriorate.

All of the above leads to an imbalance in the activity of the pancreas – the production of enzymes decreases, for example, insulin. Other unpleasant symptoms are provoked – a headache in case of poisoning is a frequent occurrence. The body temperature may fluctuate, diarrhea appears, cramps in different parts of the intestine, against the background of vomiting, dehydration is observed – severe dryness of the tissues of the mouth and thirst due to the loss of a huge volume of fluid.

Assessment of symptoms

To understand why, after the poisoning, there was an intense headache and nausea, you need to figure out which organ has suffered more:

1. If discomfort is localized in the region of the crown, with spread to the temples and forehead – the pancreas has suffered as a result of poisoning – due to hypoglycemia, the brain tissue lacks nutrients, the vessels spasm, local ischemia is formed, which will be evidenced by pain in different regions heads.

2. The liver enlarged after poisoning and the distended stomach begin to put pressure on the kidneys as much as possible – this prevents the full-fledged outflow of the volumes of urine ready for excretion, which then provokes a reflex increase in the pressure parameters. A characteristic difference will be the location of the pain impulses – the occipital region. Against this background, nausea also appears, the head is spinning, flies flicker before the eyes.

3. Severe poisoning can provoke instability of pressure parameters – after all, all organs suffer: if the main blow falls on the pancreas, it falls – the head hurts in the temples, if the kidney structures begin to suffer – the pressure rises and the back of the head hurts more.

After any type of poisoning, it is recommended to immediately consult a specialist – only adequate medical care will help restore well-being and return the joy of life.

Alcohol poisoning

Separately, it is necessary to consider the headaches that occur after excessive doses of alcohol.

It is the throbbing, pressing, breaking pain after the alcohol taken the day before that will be a characteristic sign of a hangover. In addition to her, the victim is worried about severe dryness of the tongue, a sharp decrease in appetite, nausea, when trying to move – everything floats and dizzy before his eyes.

Alcoholic products, even in small volumes, cause massive death of red blood cells, which are responsible for the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the brain structures. Due to an acute deficiency, focal ischemia forms in the cerebral cortex, neurocytes die, provoking a sensation of intense headache.

To protect against this condition, the human body reflexively increases the volume of circulating fluid – because of this, intracranial pressure increases significantly, which is also accompanied by intense pain inside the head.

A peculiar pattern is noted – the more a person drank alcohol, the more damage was done to the structures of the brain, the longer it will take to restore the body, and the discomfort in different areas of the head will disturb. If it is not possible to remember individual events of the past evening, then those neurocytes that are responsible for adequate memory have died.

Nicotine poisoning

Another common variant of poisoning is nicotine. After entering the human lungs, nicotine spreads throughout the body, reaching the brain and very negatively affecting its cortex.

Nicotine poisoning can form even in an experienced smoker – it all depends on the dose of nicotine, the initial state of the human body and its susceptibility to cigarette components.

When using small doses of nicotine, a person develops a mild degree of poisoning: pressing pain in the head, vomiting, heart disorders – tachycardia, profuse salivation, dizziness. The duration of the discomfort is different – from one day to 3-4 days.

In severe nicotine poisoning, the symptoms become more serious: indomitable urge to vomit, which does not bring significant relief, disturbances in the activity of vision and hearing, severe tachycardia, the presence of cardialgia and myalgia, chills, severe headache and general weakness, abdominal cramps. If you do not seek medical help in time, you may even lose consciousness, experience epileptic seizures, and death.

local_offerevent_note December 12, 2020

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