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Can Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches


Heart Attack And Stroke

Hypoglycemia and Headaches

At its most serious, lightheadedness may be a sign of a heart attack or stroke. Other symptoms of a heart attack often accompanying lightheadedness are chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, arm pain, back pain, or jaw pain. Symptoms suggesting a stroke are the sudden onset of headache, numbness, weakness, visual changes, trouble walking, or slurred speech. “But in older adults, lightheadedness may be the only symptom of a heart attack or a stroke, especially if it doesn’t go away,” says Dr. Grossman. In that case, every second counts, so get to an emergency room for treatment.

Sugar Is A Potentially Inflammatory Food

I think the overwhelming majority of people agree that adding sugar is not a healthy practice. Over the past few years, as certain chronic, inflammatory diseases have risen along with the steep increase in our sugar consumption, more research is being done linking sugars and simple carbohydrates to preventable diseases.

Just having daily sugary drinks can increase biochemical markers of inflammation in healthy people. Additionally, diets high is refined sugars and starches may also lead to increased illnesses associated with inflammation.

How is this relevant to migraine? Increasingly, experts believe that chronic inflammation plays a role in migraine. Perhaps the sugar and migraine connection has to do with neurogenic inflammation that can be influenced by several factors including what we eat.


What about anti-inflammatory diets?

While there is no one anti-inflammatory diet that nutrition professionals can agree upon, all the diet approaches to reducing inflammation significantly limit sugars and refined carbohydrates. The Mediterranean diet is a popular approach to reducing inflammation in the body. Healthline has a good overview of the Mediterranean diet and specifies avoiding added sugar, soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others. During this years Migraine World Summit, one of the experts discussed the topic of migraine and obesity. His recommendation was to consider the Mediterranean diet as a healthy approach to weight management and overall wellness.

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How To Treat Diabetes And Headaches

Diabetic headaches stem from different conditions surrounding diabetes. Yet, these headaches all have diabetes in common, meaning that treatment should focus on managing diabetes.

In other words, in order to treat a diabetic headache, the diabetes should be treated.


Headaches caused by hypo- or hyperglycemia can be treated immediately with the standard methods for dealing with low or high blood sugar.

When looking for how to fix low blood sugar, carbs should be taken. When looking for how to reduce blood sugar level immediately, insulin is usually taken . And dont forget to drink plenty of water!

Calculating the carbs or insulin you need can be quite the headache. See how Hedia can take that off your mind with its carb and insulin recommendations . Download Hedia at the App Store or !

Long-term stable blood sugar will also reduce the problems associated with neuropathy and high blood pressure, and will alleviate symptoms associated with those conditions including headaches. For tips on general blood sugar management, see How to keep Blood Sugar Stable.

In some cases of neuropathic headaches, the pain might be severe enough that some form of pain-killer might be needed. Over-the-counter headache pills might not be enough in these cases certain steroid medications can dull the pain instead.


Certain drugs might also be prescribed, such as amitriptyline, a kind of antidepressant which is additionally used to treat other conditions including migraines.

Other Common Migraine Triggers In Sugary Foods

PCOS And PCOS Hypoglycemic Attacks

Sometimes people may erroneously assume the triggering factor in their food choice was sugar. When it was actually something else in the sweet treat. Sugary foods are often combined with other ingredients that are considered common migraine triggers such as nuts, chocolate, food colorings and certain dried foods.

Determining migraine foods triggers can be very tricky especially when you have frequent attacks. From observation, some people have a handful of common foods that are triggering. So, eliminating one food at a time often does not yield results. For example, they may avoid chocolate while continuing the eat nuts and protein bars while being sensitive to all three foods. It can be quite frustrating especially since many well-meaning experts suggest avoiding suspected foods one at a time.

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Does High Blood Sugar Make You Dizzy

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Peace Of Mind: Achieved

Getting to the bottom of diabetic headaches should give some peace of mind: youll know that they usually can be treated along with your general diabetes treatment. Plus, it could give you literal peace of mind when you avoid headaches in the future.

Keep your blood sugar in place, try Hedia , keep hydrated, and dont let Algos rear its ugly head again!

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Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia

Low Sugar | Hypoglycemia – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment | Dr Tejas Limaye | English

Some people dont have symptoms or dont notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge arent aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. Theyre then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.


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Migraines And Blood Sugar

Susie called me, unable to keep her massage appointment with me due to her migraine headache. She was my massage therapist, very effective at what she did. One massage from Susie was all I needed every month, and I felt strong and limber.

She had had migraine headaches her entire life but they had come on strong in the last few weeks. We discussed what might be triggering them and found that one possible reason why she was having the migraines was related to poor eating habits.

For example, this particular headache came on around 10 p.m. and the last meal she had eaten was lunch at 3 p.m. She wasnt usually a breakfast eater, which means she essentially only had one meal that day, plus a snack.


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Can You Cure Diabetes

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When Your Blood Sugar Is High

Can You Get Headaches From Diabetes

Its easy to forget that your brain isnt getting the proper fuel it needs when your blood sugar is high, too, because while there is plenty of glucose in the bloodstream, it requires insulin to help your body actually make use of it.


While the effect of high blood sugar levels doesnt feel as emergent as the symptoms of low blood sugars, your body is still struggling in other ways.

Flooded with glucose but without adequate insulin quickly leads to varying levels of:

Diabetes-related ketones are the result of your body being forced to burn fat for fuel in a very dangerous way, producing ketones at a very dangerous rate and quantity. It is a state of stress for your entire body including your brain.

Additionally, when your blood sugar is high, your body will become dehydrated. The higher your blood sugar is and the greater the length of time its high, the more dehydrated youll become.

Dehydration even in those without diabetes is an obvious and well-known cause for a headache. But keep in mind that dehydration can also lead to high blood sugars. The less water there is in your bodily tissue and bloodstream, the more concentrated the glucose in your bloodstream becomes.


Drinking enough water as a person with diabetes ought to be considered as critical as taking your medications, but its an easy one to overlook.

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How Does Hypoglycemia Cause Headaches

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is said to occur at blood glucose levels lower than 70 mg/dL. The body relies on glucose as its primary source of fuel for many cells, including the cells in the brain. Without an adequate amount of fuel, the body is unable to function properly and symptoms typically develop quickly, including headaches.

With low blood sugar, you may feel perfectly fine one minute and then develop a bad headache just moments later. However, you are also likely to experience other symptoms of hypoglycemia at the same time.

In addition to headache, symptoms of hypoglycemia include:


  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Weakness

People with diabetes can experience hypoglycemia if they use too much insulin or other medications to manage their diabetes. Severe hypoglycemia can cause life-threatening complications, including seizures, loss of consciousness, or coma, so its important to know how to recognize the signs and take action when needed.

Rapid-absorbing glucose powder and other fast-acting carb and sugar products can come in handy when this happens. Regularly experiencing hypoglycemia is a sign that a person may need to make changes to their diabetes care plan.

How Does The Body Maintain Blood Sugar

Glucose is our bodys main source of energy and it is obtained by breaking down the foods we eat mainly from carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.

When glucose is absorbed by the blood, a type of hormone called insulin is produced by the pancreas to tell cells in other parts of the body to use the blood sugar for energy. Excess glucose that are not used immediately will be converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles as backup energy reserve. In normal circumstances, when blood sugar is being used up or stored, insulin production will reduce and/or stop.

In between meals when we are not eating, our blood sugar level will drop gradually over time. When it falls beyond a certain level, the pancreas will get to work again. This time, it will produce another type of hormone called glucagon in an attempt to return the blood sugar level to normal. It accomplishes this task by telling the liver to release its backup energy reserve and convert glycogen into glucose for fuel. Glucagon also activates the release of insulin, so that the fresh dose of glucose will be put to good use.


As you can see, insulin and glucagon work hand in hand to ensure that the level of glucose in our body remains steady and balanced. When they are working properly, we will feel physically strong and mentally alert and stable.

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If Your Headaches Are Unrelated To Your Diabetes

And of course, if your headaches persist to an unmanageable levelyou may be suffering from migraines which is really a different beast than your basic headache. Theres also a slew of other diagnosable health conditions unrelated to diabetes that can result in a headache.

Dont hesitate to contact your healthcare team if you think your headaches have become severe or are actually migraines.

Why Does Sugar Trigger An Attack

Healthy Eating & Living : What Is Low Blood Sugar?

Your body needs a certain amount of sugar to operate, and when you consume sugar it causes your blood glucose levels to fluctuate. Your brain needs a consistent flow of glucose, and when it doesnt receive enough or gets too much, it responds negatively. This negative response triggers a headache or migraine.


Too high or too low is not good. If your blood sugar is too high, you have Hyperglycemia. This is a medical condition where your body is unable to break down glucose with insulin, so your blood sugar rises . Symptoms that occur with hyperglycemia include frequent need to urinate, extreme thirst, blurry vision, or fatigue.

Too low and you have a medical condition called Hypoglycemia. Your blood sugar can dip . You can experience hypoglycemia if you skip meals or only eat simple sugars, such as white sugar. Symptoms that accompany hypoglycemia include lightheadedness, weakness, pale skin, hunger, anxiety, dizziness, or sweating.

Either one of these conditions can cause headaches and migraine.

So does sugar cause migraine headaches? It sure can. Too much or too little! Fasting, eating processed or high-sugar foods, dieting too rigorously, and skipping meals can all trigger an attack. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference because of your blood-glucose levels falling too low.

Also Check: A1c Definition Of Diabetes


What Are The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can start quickly, with people experiencing them in different ways. The signs of hypoglycemia are unpleasant. But they provide good warnings that you should take action before blood sugar drops more. The signs include:

  • Shaking or trembling.
  • Tingling or numbness in the face or mouth.

During a severe hypoglycemic event, a person may:

  • Be unable to eat or drink.
  • Have a seizure or convulsions .
  • Lose consciousness.
  • Slip into a coma or die .

What If The 15

If you dont feel better after three tries, or if your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider or 911. Healthcare providers can use a medication called glucagon. They inject it with a needle or squirt it up your nose. Glucagon is also available for home use. Your healthcare provider can prescribe it and teach a family member or friend how to use it in the event of severe hypoglycemia.

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First Up How To Tell If Its A Diabetes

When youre not staying on top of your diabetes, it can cause your blood sugar to drop too low or climb too high. Both of these problems are triggers for headaches. Having a headache itself isnt harmful, but it could be a sign that your blood sugar isnt where it should be.

How exactly do blood sugar levels lead to head pain, though? Lets take a closer look at the culprits.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, happens when your blood glucose levels drop below where they need to be. It can happen if you skip a meal or if you inject too much insulin.

Its also possible for your blood glucose to dip if you eat something with too many carbs, since the sudden spike in blood sugar can lead to an unhealthy drop after the body tries to compensate.

Usually hypoglycemia-related headaches come on quickly as your blood sugar takes a nosedive. Basically, the brain needs a steady supply of glucose to function. If you dont have enough glucose in your bloodstream to give the brain what it needs, you can end up with a throbbing headache.

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may occur when your blood glucose levels get too high usually at least over 180 mg/dL or 10 mmol/L.

If you have diabetes and are insulin-resistant or arent producing or injecting enough insulin, the glucose from your food cant be absorbed by your cells for energy. That causes the glucose to build up in your bloodstream, which then leads to high blood sugar.

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