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This article states following about dehydration headaches:

Our brains are 80% water. When you become dehydrated your brain tissue loses water causing your brain to shrink and pull away from the skull. This triggers the pain receptors surrounding the brain, giving you a headache.

Dehydration also causes your blood volume to drop which in turn lowers the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. In response the blood vessels in the brain dilate leading to swelling and inflammation, worsening the headache.

Which of these symptoms should be visible on an MRI scan?

  • It's an interesting query. But, MRI scans fail to show vasculature well. – Andrew Aug 19 at 11:53
  • @Andrew What about the shrinking of the brain and detachment from the skull? – Hinko Pih Pih Aug 20 at 12:18
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    A quick search on google scholar showed that yes MRI scans have been able to image the effects of acute dehydration on the human brain: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hbm.20500 . What exactly do you mean by detachment from the skull? It may be more difficult to find that information. – Andrew Aug 20 at 23:20
  • @Andrew This article says that the pain receptors are trigerred when the brain pulls away from the skull. That's what I meant by detachment from the skull. – Hinko Pih Pih Aug 21 at 6:02

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