Can sugar cause headaches?
Migraine Relief Centre has written an article on how sugar can cause headaches. They write that consuming too much or too little sugar can trigger head pain, especially for those with conditions like diabetes. This happens because of changes in your blood glucose level.
The sugar itself doesn’t cause the pain, but sugar-heavy foods spike your blood sugar levels. The quick change in your blood glucose level can directly affect your brain. That swing from low to high sugar levels is what can trigger a headache. If your migraine attacks appear to be triggered or made worse by having low blood sugar levels, make sure you have small, frequent, low-sugar meals.
Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints.
Eating too much sugar can also trigger reactive hypoglycemia, as your body fights to stabilize the levels of sugar in the blood — also known as a ‘sugar hangover‘.
If you suspect that sugar may be a migraine trigger, keep a migraine diary and food log to identify any correlation between what you eat and when you experience headaches or migraines. If you find a connection, talk to your doctor about hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and how best to take care of your health.
An isolated sugar headache can be treated with over-the-counter medicine and (sugar-free) hydration, but chronic sugar-related headaches should prompt a trip to your doctor or headache specialist.
You can have a sugar headache and not a migraine as the headaches caused by glucose and your brain are also related to hormones activated by sugar levels.
In general, you should maintain a blood sugar level between 70–120 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). This number may change if you have diabetes or another health condition. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations about blood sugar levels.
Some conditions, like diabetes, may also make you more likely to experience sugar-related headaches. That’s because you may have an increased risk for hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Those who have diabetes are prone to sugar headaches as their blood levels quickly fluctuate. But diabetes is not the only cause of these headaches, so monitor your diet before jumping to conclusions.
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle may reduce the frequency of sugar headaches, but don’t hesitate to get professional help if you need it.
A few tips and tricks to avoid that headache from taking over your day. Sleeping in even just for half an hour can cause a headache, in particular for coffee lovers as the caffeine affects the blood vessels in the brain and reduction when you sleep in, exacerbated by low blood sugar due to a late breakfast, can cause pain.
Dehydration is another trigger for a headache so when the temperatures rise make sure you are taking in lots of fluids.
Acupuncture, Yoga nd a head massage can reduce intensity and frequency of headaches but always contact your GP if the headache does not go away.