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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.

Source: Utopia Diabetes Healthline Migraine Relief Centre

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The Migraine Relief Centre wrote how massage can release endorphins, increase serotonin levels, reduce sleep disturbances, and relieve stress. Paired with relaxation techniques and stress management, massages can eliminate physical and emotional tension. All of this can result in fewer migraines and symptom relief.

Here are a few types of massage you could add to your pain management toolbox:

  • Deep Tissue Massage Therapy uses firm pressure to reach the deeper skin tissues and underlying layers of muscle. This massage type can help you relax but could actually worsen the migraine if the pain has already started.
  • Craniosacral Therapy focuses on your skull and scalp and can soothe the nerve endings to help alleviate your headaches.
  • Reflexology stimulates zones in the feet to bring relief from pain in head areas. Many migraine sufferers find this helpful, as well as massage of the hands and fingers.
  • Neuromuscular Massage (also known as trigger point massage) targets specific spots within a muscle that are sensitive or painful to touch. 

Read more about massage as a migraine remedy on their blog here. 

Not all types of massage will be suitable for all migraine sufferers or all types of migraine headaches. Talk first with your doctor or migraine specialist before seeking massage therapy. 

Massage does help many migraineurs manage pain, and hopefully, it can help you too! 

Source: Migraine Relief Centre

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With Migraine Awareness Week taking place this week I thought these useful tips on managing your migraines from Migraine Relief Centre might be helpful to sufferers of migraine.

With the longer days and hotter temperatures comes an increase in migraine attacks for many people. Changes in weather (due to barometric pressure changes) can trigger migraines, and high heat can increase dehydration and exhaustion.

If you want to enjoy your summer to the fullest without being held down by head pain, here are some tips for coping with migraine during the summer season.

  • Stay hydrated. You will sweat more when the temperatures are hotter, which means you should be drinking more water to replenish. Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables also helps increase your water intake.
  • Exercise with caution. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, try to do so in the early morning or late evening. Otherwise, consider moving your exercising indoors to avoid over-exerting yourself in the heat.
  • Protect your eyes. Many people with migraines are triggered by light. Protect your eyes against the bright summer sun with high quality sunglasses.
  • Be prepared. If you are traveling or going out for the day, be sure to bring with you a kit with anything you may need in case of migraine attack (including things like medication, sunglasses, earplugs, etc.).

Everyone should be able to enjoy the summertime, including those of us who are dealing with chronic migraines. If your migraines are keeping you from living your everyday life, schedule an evaluationwith our doctors to find out what treatment solution is best for you.

Migraines are a common health condition, which normally begins in early adulthood. Usually, a migraine is felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head, although sometimes it can affect both sides of your head. Some people may suffer from frequent migraine attacks, up to several times a week in severe cases, whereas others can go years without experiencing an episode. It’s thought that around one in every five women and one in every fifteen men are affected by migraines.

The main symptom of a migraine is a moderate/severe headache on one side of the head. Migraine symptoms usually differ for each individual so it’s not unusual for pain to occur on both sides of your head, your face or even your neck.

Additional symptoms often associated with migraines include:

  • feeling nauseous
  • being sick
  • sensitivity to light or sound (this is why lots of migraine sufferers like to rest in a dark and quiet room)

Migraine sufferers may occasionally experience other symptoms such as:

  • poor concentration
  • feeling either very hot or very cold
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea

Migraine symptoms can last anywhere between four hours and up to three days in very severe instances. If you have had a particularly bad migraine you might feel very tired afterwards, so it’s important to get plenty of rest.

A couple of links from Migraine Relief Centre may also help if you are struggling with the pain. Which medications can help prevent migraine? and The Five Best Stretches to Help with Migraine.

Source: Migraine Relief Centre, Healthline, Medical News Today and Nurofen.