18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, September 15, 1913: For one thing I’ve had a splitting headache this afternoon and it still continues.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Ouch. . . headaches are no fun! I wonder what caused Grandma’s headache.
Here is what a hundred-year-old book said about headaches causes:
Headache is a symptom rather than a disease, but there is no symptom which requires more careful investigation of its cause than that of headache. It occurs at all ages, but is most common from ten to twenty-five years and from thirty-five to forty-five years. Women suffer from headache more than men, in the proportion of about three to one. Headaches are most common in the spring and fall of the year and in the temperate climates.
Causes of headache—These may be classified into those in which the blood is at fault; reflex causes; various nervous disorders; and organic diseases.
The blood may be impoverished, as in the case of anemia, where there is a deficiency in hemoglobin; but by far the most frequent cause of headache is where the blood is disordered, as in gout, rheumatism, kidney diseases, diabetes, and the infectious fevers and malaria.
Among the more common reflex causes are eye-strain, especially errors of refraction; disorders of digestion, particularly constipation; and pelvic disorders, as in inflammation of the pelvic viscera.
Functional diseases of the nervous system causing headache are overwork, neurasthenia, hysteria, epilepsy, and neuritis.
Among the most common of the organic diseases is arteriosclerosis; other diseases are meningitis and brain tumors.
Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women (1911) by Anna M. Galbraith
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