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Can Low Blood Sugar Trigger Migraines

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The Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Ocular migraine caused by low blood sugar, fixed by pie filling?

As mentioned above, the brain is one of the first organs to be affected by hypoglycemia. Therefore, its no surprise that migraines can be caused by low blood glucose.

Many symptoms are related to the brain including confusion, sweating, nausea, faintness, headaches, and hypothermia .

If you begin to feel shaky, dizzy, irritable, weak, or hungry, its possible you are suffering from hypoglycemia. If blood glucose levels remain low, you can experience numbness, poor coordination, poor concentration, or coma. If prolonged, hypoglycemia can result in death, although this is a rare consequence.

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.

Tingling Sensation Around The Mouth

If your mouth or lips are tingling, you might be experiencing hypoglycemia, according to Harvard Health. You might also feel tongue numbness or metallic taste in the mouth. It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but Cedars Sinai Hospital notes it’s possible that the nerves in the mouth and tongue react poorly to low blood sugar.

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Treating Headaches From Hyperglycemia

Exercise can help relieve a headache from high blood glucose levels.

If a person with type 1 diabetes is concerned about their level of ketones, it is important to check their urine for ketones first, especially if blood sugar levels reach 240 mg/dl.

People with ketones in their urine should not exercise and must contact their doctor immediately. Exercise could have the unintentional effect of increasing blood sugar levels.

A person can also help prevent hyperglycemia headaches by maintaining a healthy weight, following a nutritious and balanced diet, and taking the correct medications.

Headaches can signal periods of either high or low blood glucose that can lead to life-threatening complications without treatment. People with diabetes who experience frequent headaches should, therefore, consult their doctor.

It is vital to contact a doctor immediately if the following becomes apparent:

  • A headache is severe and impacts daily life.
  • Blood sugar levels do not return to the necessary range.
  • Other severe or persistent symptoms develop alongside headaches.

According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders that the International Headache Society publish, there are over 150 types of headache.

Broadly, headaches can be classified as either primary or secondary:

Other causes of secondary headaches include:

Secondary Headaches Can Be Caused By A Variety Of Factors Including Diabetes Other Factors To Consider Are:

Does Low Blood Sugar Cause Headaches  Diabetes Care Talk
  • high blood pressures or hypertension
  • stroke
  • injuries
  • structural abnormalities inside the brain

The discomfort linked to secondary headaches varies, just as the reasons do. Diabetic headaches can range from mild to severe, and theyre believed to happen frequently. These headaches could indicate that your blood sugar is either high or too low. The very first approach towards relief would be to get your blood sugar levels under control. Second-line pain medications, including such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be beneficial.

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When Your Blood Sugar Is Low

The headache that comes with a mild or severe low blood sugar can feel like your skull is cracking apart its brutal. And often times, the headache will linger long after youve treated the hypoglycemia and your blood sugar is back up to a safe range.

As mentioned earlier, your brain requires that second-by-second delivery of glucose in order to think and function. Some of the symptoms that come with some low blood sugars like a lack of coordination or sudden confusion are perfect evidence of what it looks like when your brain is struggling to function when that gas tank of sugar is low.

In one way, you could think of your headache during a low blood sugar as your brains way of trying to get your attention begging you to give your body the fast-acting carbohydrates it needs to recover.

How To Keep Low

  • Test your blood glucose level. There are many possible causes of headaches. To check whether yours is caused by low blood sugar, the best way is to get a test. You can get a reading of your blood glucose level either through your family physician or with an inexpensive blood glucose meter.

  • Avoid foods with high glycemic load. These foods are converted into glucose quickly and will spike the blood sugar quickly. Glycemic load is a better gauge than glycemic index of the impact of a particular food on blood glucose level as it takes into consideration the amount of carbohydrate. If you are trying to maintain a stable blood sugar level, avoid foods with glycemic load values above 19. You can find a pretty comprehensive list of foods with their glycemic load values here.

  • Choose complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits and whole grains have lower glycemic load compared to highly processed white flour based products and sugars. That means, they will break down more slowly and release glucose more gradually and steadily into the bloodstream.

  • What other ways do you use to prevent low blood sugar level from giving you headaches? Share with us in the comments. Thanks!

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    What Causes Ocular Migraine

    Migraine aura is considered to be a result of abnormal electrical activity involving certain regions of the cortex of the brain. This abnormal activity spreads across the cortex at a slow rate of about 3mm per minute and this spread is responsible for the growth and movement of the visual disturbance over the 20-60 minutes that the visual aura lasts. Retinal migraine may be due to the same type of disturbance except occurring at the back of the eye in the retina, or it may be due to a reduction in blood flow to the retina.

    Like other types of migraine, harsh lights and electronic screens can be triggers. Straining your eyes by staring at a screen for long periods of time, spending time in fluorescent or other harsh lighting, driving long distances and other taxing visual activities can increase your risk for attacks. Talk to your eye doctor about how to avoid attacks.

    Are The Headaches Caused By Hypoglycemia Migraine Headaches

    Hypoglycemia and Headaches

    Headaches that are due to low blood sugar are not migraine headaches. You can usually figure this out if your headache goes away quickly when you have something to eat, especially if its high in sugar content, like a candy bar or orange juice. Headaches caused by hypoglycemia are quite common. If you have frequent headaches, hypoglycemia is an important cause to consider because the treatment for a hypoglycemia-caused headache is different from the treatment for a migraine headache. Unfortunately, many people in the United States who have frequent headaches never even see a doctor for them, may never receive the correct headache diagnosis, and then dont get the appropriate medical treatment that they need.

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    Coeliac Disease And Gluten Sensitivity

    Coeliac disease is a serious condition where a persons immune system reacts when they eat gluten and causes damage to the lining of their gut. When this happens, they have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, vomiting and stomach cramps. There can also be serious complications if it is not treated, such as anaemia. There is no cure for coeliac disease and people with it need to avoid gluten all their life.

    There have been studies into the link between coeliac disease and migraine. There is no evidence to suggest that coeliac disease causes migraine. It is thought that if people with coeliac disease and migraine follow a gluten-free diet, this may help with both of their conditions.

    Gluten sensitivity is when a person has a bad reaction if they eat gluten. They may have similar symptoms to coeliac disease, but there is no damage to the lining of their gut or the risk of serious complications that can happen with coeliac disease.

    Gluten is found in foods that contain wheat, barley or rye. These include pasta, bread, cakes, some sauces and most ready meals.

    One of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity is headache. But there is no evidence that gluten sensitivity causes migraine. However, if you are sensitive to gluten, you may find that if you eat food containing gluten, it makes migraine attacks more likely or the symptoms more painful.

    What Should You Do If You Have An Ocular Migraine

    If you note ocular migraine symptoms, your actions will depend on the severity of the symptoms and how much they affect your ability to function. Since ocular migraines are generally painless, you may be able to continue with your normal daily activities, especially if symptoms are confined to one eye or wear off quickly. You should also follow these steps:

    Make sure that you are in a place where you do not require visual clarity. If you are on the road, for example, you should pull over as soon as it is possible to do so safely. If you suffer complete blindness, sit or lie down and wait for the migraine to pass. Ocular migraines may also be disorienting, so you may need to sit down while waiting for symptoms to stop.

    See if you can isolate a trigger. If possible, note what is going on in your environment that could have triggered a migraine, whether you note that you are highly stressed, that there are extremely bright or flashing lights in the room, or that you have recently consumed a specific food.

    Contact your doctor if needed. While ocular migraines are generally harmless, you should consult your doctor to rule out any larger problems, especially if you have recently had an ocular migraine for the first time or frequency appears to be increasing. In some cases, your doctor may be able to help you manage ocular migraines with medication. In other cases, they may work with you to help isolate a trigger, which can help you avoid potential future episodes.

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    How Much Sugar Do You Need

    Its increasingly difficult to manage a proper sugar intake. Americans eat far more sugar than they should on average. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day and men consume no more than nine teaspoons. This is in sharp contrast to what Americans actually consume, which is 22 teaspoons for adults and 34 teaspoons for children daily.

    Issue 92 Item 6 Migraines Caused By Low Blood Sugar Episodes

    Hypoglycemia: Overview and More

    Hypoglycemic episodes can cause migraines People whose blood sugars are not stable and have Type 1 diabetes can experience severe headaches after an episode of low blood glucose according to a researcher from Dartmouth. Dr. Jacome, MD, from Dartmouth, Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, found that hypoglycemic episodes could be the cause of migraines.

    He studied the clinical history of a patient with type 1 diabetes. It was observed that the patient, who had suffered from severe bouts of low blood glucose for 40 years, got a migraine after each episode once his blood-glucose levels were stabilized. Both the low blood glucose and the headache improved after the man was given valproic acid, a medicine to control seizures.

    After a bout of low blood glucose, migraines, may occur in patients with unstable diabetes as a rebound phenomenon, Dr. Janocme states. Headache Oct. 2001

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    If You Do Have A Headache In Relation To Sugar What Suggestions Do You Have For Relief

    If youre experiencing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels, and its not related to an illness like diabetes, symptoms can be treated by consuming 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, or cabs easily converted sugar like gel, juice, soft drinks and sugary candy.

    Dr. Patel was quoted as saying:Hypoglycemic attacks mostly occur in diabetics. If you think youre experiencing a hypoglycemic attack, you should go to the doctor immediately. Those with diabetes or hormone deficiencies should consult their physicians about long-term symptom relief plans, which generally include a structured diet.

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    Patient safety is our utmost priority at Medical Offices of Manhattan.

    Migraines May Protect Against Alcoholism

    There is another beneficial effect of migraine: research has suggested that migraine sufferers are relatively protected against the development of alcoholism. This may be a more intuitive relationship than with diabetes, since many people with migraine report that they avoid alcohol because it can trigger headache.

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    When Headache From Eating Too Much Sugar Is Really Prodrome The First Phase Of Migraine

    What if the migraine attack was already set in motion before the sweet tooth was satisfied? What if there is no relationship between sugar and migraine for you?

    Migraine has 4 distinct phases and understanding them helps to minimize the frequency and intensity of attacks.

    In the first phase, prodrome, many people experience intense food cravings. For some people, prodrome has them reaching for salty foods like potato or corn chips. For others it is probably best to not get between them and the Haagen Dazs ice cream or bag of gummy bears. BUT, prodrome is shortly followed by aura and the full attack phase of migraine. So, while there may be a notable pattern: sugar craving +overdoing it with sweets= migraine, the sugar may not be to blame. The attack was going to happen with or without the goodies and darn! Those Oreos were good!

    As with most aspects of getting migraine attacks under good control, it starts with educating yourself about the complexities of migraine and the human body. Then comes determining a strategy to find the right combination of interventions that work best.

    As a registered dietitian passionate about helping people with migraine, I suggest limiting sugars and highly processed foods. This is good for overall wellness, attaining and maintaining a healthy weight and helping to reduce the burden of migraine.

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    The Hypoglycemic Connection To Migraines

    Sugar Headache: Causes And Prevention

    Since hypoglycemia affects the brain first, most symptoms begin there. For those prone to them, migraines are often the result of fasting, eating high-sugar foods, or skipping meals. Sometimes delayed or irregular meals can create the conditions for a migraine to occur.

    In fact, several of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are also harbingers of an approaching migraine: pallor, yawning, sweating, craving sweets, and mood changes . However, other hormones may be released due to the stress of fasting, dehydration, or lack of sleep that are indirect causes of migraines or headaches.

    Strangely enough, migraines caused by hypoglycemia may not be accompanied by other typical migraine symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light or sound.

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    Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels

    When we eat food, our body gets to work on digesting and absorbing the meal. Assuming our digestive and endocrine systems are working properly, there is a normal, healthy rise in blood sugar followed by a gradual decline. Blood sugar is kept in a range that allows our body to have enough fuel to provide the brain and all organs of the body to perform vital functions.

    For some people, the ability to regulate blood sugar is impaired. Blood sugar levels may climb too high in response to sugars and other high-carbohydrate foods. Their body may sense this elevated blood sugar and respond with a surge in a hormone called insulin to try to reduce the elevated blood sugar. The surge sometimes results in blood sugar getting too low. This can cause sugar headache for those who are prone to it.

    The migraine brain is often described as being hyper responsive to normal, benign stimulation. A person who is not prone to headache or migraine attacks may be completely unaware of the ups and downs of their blood sugar whether they are normal fluctuations or not. Contrarily, the person predisposed to migraine may be triggered by the inconsistencies and abnormalities in blood sugar. In this theory about sugar and migraines, the body is sometimes unable to maintain blood sugar in the proper range. This causes the brain to respond with pain as a warning signal that something is wrong.

    A leading experts opinion

    3 steps to take to avoid sugar migraine episodes

    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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