World Brain Tumour Day - Morning headaches are a concern, especially if you feel nauseous.

Headaches, while limiting, have become more common due to lifestyle choices such as stress, lack sleep, and dietary habits.

We have all experienced a throbbing pain, a sharp pain, or a dull sensation. It may be time to take this symptom more serious. Recurring headaches may be the result of a condition such as a brain tumor, a growth in the area surrounding the brain.

Dr Vishal Bhasme is a Consultant Neurologist at Ruby Hall Clinic, in Pune. He says that persistent headaches or headaches that worsen are some of the early signs of brain tumors. “Headaches worsening in the morning, or waking you from sleep are particularly concerning,” says Dr Vishal Bhasme.

Many people dismiss “modest symptoms”, or ignore them, as not important, or as unrelated to a brain tumor, says Dr Shiva Kumar R. Senior Consultant in Neurology and Epilepsy at Sakra World Hospital.

“It is important to keep track of the frequency, intensity and pattern of headaches. Many factors can contribute to fatigue or feeling tired, including lack of sleep, stress, or lifestyle choices. Listen to your body and be aware of any changes, no matter how small,” he says.

It is important to get checked if headaches persist over time or become more severe. It is even more concerning if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, changes in vision and unexpected changes in mood, behaviour or personality.Dr Krishna Chaitanya, Senior Consultant-Neurosurgery at Kauvery Hospital, Electronic City, Bangalore, says that brain tumours can be cured if diagnosed early. Early diagnosis is key to a cure. “Any symptoms that keep recurring or progressing should not be ignored, and should be shown a neuro specialist,” says he.

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Listen to your body and be aware of any changes, no matter how mild they may seem.

The symptoms of a tumour in the brain can vary depending on their size, location, and rate of growth.

Dr Shylesh, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road in Bangalore, explains that brain tumours are classified into benign (slowly growing and non-invasive) and malignant (fast-growing type that invades surrounding areas).

He says that some brain tumours develop primarily in the brain, or at its coverings, or other structures inside the skull. Others spread from cancer elsewhere, which is called a metastatic tumour.

All age groups are susceptible to brain tumours, including infants and the elderly. It is the leading cause of cancer death among individuals aged between 20 and 39.

Early Warning Signs

The brain is the control centre for the body and is responsible for consciousness. It also controls movements, feelings, sensations, thoughts.

Each part of the brain is assigned a specific function. When a tumour grows it can cause irritation to the cells. This can lead to certain symptoms.

Anomalies or neurological changes that are not explained can be a warning. Be on the lookout for cognitive and behavioural changes such as personality changes, memory issues, difficulty concentrating, and changes in speech patterns. Brain tumours may also cause blurred or double-vision, peripheral vision loss, or changes in hearing or vision. These changes can be sudden or gradual, depending on where the tumour is located and its rate of growth.

Children with brain tumors may show developmental delays or behavioral changes.

The pressure effects of a growing tumor can limit daily function. This includes the inability to speak, impaired vision and hearing, persistent fatigue, drowsiness, and difficulty sleeping. The growth of a tumour will lead to frequent seizures. The more rapid the tumour grows, then the worse the headaches will be.

Dr Bhasme says that if someone experiences unexplained seizure, especially if it is the first time they have occurred in adulthood, this could be a sign of brain tumour.

The hormone production can be affected by tumours in certain parts of the brain, leading to hormonal imbalances.

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A brain tumour is an abnormal, excessive growth of cells in the brain or its immediate surroundings.

Dr Shylesh warns that early morning headaches, which are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or blurred vision, may be the first sign of a brain tumor.

Some tumours are asymptomatic, but may become symptomatic as they grow or begin to affect certain regions. Dr Kumar says to be aware of any changes in weight or appetite, or any memory loss. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any persistent or worrying symptoms.

Take Control of Your Control Centre

A balanced diet can help improve brain health and reduce the risk of certain neurological diseases.

Brain-healthy food includes fatty fish, berries and turmeric, spinach, broccoli pumpkin seeds, green Tea, dark chocolate, nuts, and spinach. Experts say that these foods can improve cognitive performance.

A balanced lifestyle, which includes regular physical exercise, adequate sleep and stress management, is also essential for brain health. Consultations with a licensed dietitian or healthcare practitioner can provide you with nutrition and brain-health advice that is tailored to your specific needs.

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