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.
Foods Dont Taste Sweet Enough
If youve noticed that foods dont taste as sweet as they used to, or if you need to add sugar to foods to make them taste good , it could be that youre getting too much sugar to begin with.
If youre trying to make healthier choices, say by switching from flavored yogurt to plain yogurt, the difference will be more noticeable.
You train your brain to expect a very high level of sweetness, and when youre used to that, it can be harder to feel satisfied with foods that are less sweet because youre primed to expect the high sweet levels, Cording says.
If youre replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in your diet, you may also want to give it a second thought. A lot of these sugar substitutes are so much sweeter than actual sugar so it tricks our brains into expecting this insanely high level of sweetness, Cording says. This can increase sugar cravings overall.
Eating Sugary Foods By Themselves
Sugar intake translates pretty directly to a blood sugar spike, which as we know, can then result in a headache when those levels eventually fall again.
“If you have a sugar spike and energy high after consuming a sugary food or beverage,” says Goodson.”You better believe a blood sugar drop and energy slump is coming as well. This can lead to headaches and feeling fatigued, and what’s worse, it leaves you looking for more sugar.”
Of course, the best solution here is to simply avoid foods with lots of added sugar. If that’s impossible Goodson says one way to circumvent the side effects is by consuming a protein simultaneously.
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Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion
Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.
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Toomuch Sugar Can Cause Low Sugar
When you eat carbohydrates, your body converts the carbs to glucose, which is the medical term for sugar. Glucose travels through your body to be used as energy.
“High glucose itself is not the problem,” says Michael Doerrler, DO, assistant professor of neurology and a headache specialist at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. “When you load up on sugar, your body produces more insulin to use up the sugar. Your blood sugar can drop rapidly. This is called reactive hypoglycemia.”
As he explains, “anything that upsets the delicate balance of the brain can trigger a headache and other low-sugar symptoms.”
Low sugar can cause a migraine headache, and it also may be why some people with migraines crave sugar just before or during a migraine attack, according to The Migraine Trust. Migraine headache symptoms include intense and throbbing pain on one side of the head along with nausea and vomiting, according to Harvard Medical School.
For people who don’t get migraines, a low-blood-sugar headache can cause a dull, throbbing headache on both sides of the head over the temples, according to the National Headache Foundation.
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Why Does Sugar Trigger My Migraines
Have you ever experienced pounding pain in your head after eating your favorite ice cream? That mint chocolate chip tasted so good in the moment, but an hour later you find yourself on the couch, hunched over in debilitating pain.
Its not guilt-driven pain you feel from indulging in your nighttime treat, but it is a literal throbbing in your head. Its not natural. Others dont experience this. And you wish it would just go away.Let me see if I can help. Lets first figure out why you feel this pain, and then well talk about how you can fix the problem.
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.
If your blood sugar is too high, you have a medical condition called Hyperglycemia. Your body is unable to break down glucose with insulin, so your blood sugar rises to 180-200 mg/dL. Symptoms that occur with hyperglycemia include frequent need to urinate, extreme thirst, blurry vision, or fatigue.
Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia both cause headaches and migraines. Patients who have experienced either condition become afraid to eat food, or they abstain from food, worried that whatever they end up doing will bring on a headache.
I want to dispel your fear.
2. Eat healthy
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.
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How To Avoid Sugar Headaches
Whether you have diabetes or not, you can manage your diet to avoid developing a headache after sugar consumption. Try these strategies:
Avoid sugar binges. Remember that sugar exists in many foodsand in alcohol. To avoid a sugar headache, dont binge on candy, desserts or cocktails.
Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration can help your body eliminate excessive glucose from the bloodstream.
Eat complex carbohydrates instead of simple ones. Simple carbohydrates like refined grains, potatoes and table sugar cause insulin levels to spike, which can lead to headache. To avoid that, aim to eat more complex carbohydrates like fresh vegetables and whole grains. Complex carbs take longer to digest and dont dramatically raise insulin levels.
Reduce your sugar consumption gradually. Taper off sugary drinks, for example, instead of quitting cold turkey. This approach will allow your brain and blood vessels to adapt to the change in glucose levels.
Track your carbohydrate and sugar consumption, either formally or informally. People with diabetes should precisely track all the simple and complex carbs they consume throughout the day to keep their blood sugar levels stable. Others can use a dietary app for this purpose, or simply limit the amount of simple carbohydrates you eat with each meal.
Final Tips & Takeaway
In addition to the treatment options mentioned above, people may also take over the counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to provide short term relief from their headache symptoms. However, these painkillers will not address the underlying cause of the headache, which is likely blood sugar levels outside of the normal range.
People with diabetes can best avoid headaches by carefully monitoring their blood sugar levels, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and using medications at prescribed intervals to manage their blood sugar. Use of a diabetes wallet that contains all of the diabetes management supplies a patient requires can be useful in ensuring that patients always have access to the supplies they need in the event of high or low blood sugar levels.
For more helpful info about managing your diabetes, check out the Diathrive blog for advice, guidance, and answers from Diathrive staff and diabetes educators!
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What Causes High Blood Sugar
A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar level in people with diabetes, including:
- missing a dose of your diabetes medicine or taking an incorrect dose
- overtreating an episode of low blood sugar
- taking certain medicines, such as steroids
Occasional episodes of hyperglycaemia can also occur in children and young adults during growth spurts.
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The sugar in your diet is affecting your brain and body. and not in a good way. Does sugar cause brain fog?
Sugar affects the brain by releasing dopamine, which makes us feel good, but also causes a craving for more sugar. This can lead to an addiction thats hard to break. Sugary foods also cause inflammation in the body, leading to weight gain and other health problems like diabetes or heart disease.
Its time for you to make a change! Learn how sugar affects the brain and how it affects the brain so you know what youre up against when it comes to making healthy choices. You deserve better than this cycle of poor choices that will only hurt your physical and mental health over time if left unchecked.
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Why An Excessive Amount Of Sugar Can Trigger Headaches
Easter is an exciting time of the year filled with lots of delicious goodies! However chocolate is a bigger trigger for lots of headache and migraine sufferers . Why does it trigger an attack and what can you do about it? Dr. Beth reveals all ..Type survey in the comments section to begin the journey towards getting to the bottom of your headaches and migraines today!Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Melbourne-Headache-Solutions-459801120824382/.
Video taken from the channel: Melbourne Headache Solutions
#TomorrowsDiscoveries: How does eating too much sugar lead to health problems? Dr. Hart explains the connection between dietary sugar and a unique sugar in our bodies that alters proteins function in response to nutrients and glucose. His team is finding unexpected clues about how to treat metabolic and other diseases. Learn about more discoveries at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Research/about-faculty/discoveries-for-a-better-tomorrow.html
Video taken from the channel: Johns Hopkins Medicine
The Dangers Of Bad Bacteria Overgrowth
The majority of your bodys immune system is located in the digestive tract. This leaves you vulnerable to infections from bacteria and yeast. A Candida yeast infection in your gut can do serious damage if it spreads throughout your body via the bloodstream. It can cause inflammation that restricts blood flow through arteries. This will lead to heart diseases such as angina and heart attacks. It can also lead to pulmonary embolisms by obstructing blood flow through lungs.
If someone has a lot of bad bacteria in their intestines, then they will have many symptoms. These can include feeling tired, having too much air in their stomach and gas after eating sugary foods.
The interesting thing here is your gut is your second brain and if your gut is all clogged and filled with toxic bacteria it can also lead to brain fog.
No matter what you may have been taught about sugar, there is a thing as too much sugar especially if you want a healthy mind.
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Sugar Headache: Symptoms Causes And Treatment
Dr. Joel Warsh – Genexa Healthcare Provider& Partner on May 12, 2021
Have you ever felt a slight headache when you skip lunch for work and opt for a candy bar, or when you eat too much cake at a party? Thats a sugar headache. While you as an adult might know how to identify and avoid these uncomfortable issues, kids usually dont.
Plus, kids love eating the most sugary foods and candies they can get their hands on. Chances are your kid will learn what a sugar headache is sooner or later, so lets go over how to tell if your child has a sugar headache, plus explore some ways you can alleviate their symptoms.
Youre Experiencing Digestive Issues And Irregular Bowel Movements
Some research suggests that sugar might decrease the diversity of healthy bacteria in your gut within as little as a week, making your digestive system sluggish. Too much white sugar wont help you if youre trying to promote healthy bacteria in your system, adds Zeitlin. Foods naturally high in fiber have a positive impactâand people eating lots of sugar generally arent eating a lot of fiber, says Ansel.
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Fatigue And Low Energy
Sugar is easily absorbed and digested, so if youre feeling fatigued, it could be due to the amount of sugar youre getting in your diet.
Sugar is a very quick energy source, so regardless of how much you eat, in 30 minutes youre going to be hungry again, low on energy, or looking for energy again, Stoner-Davis says.
Large swings of blood sugar and insulin can also cause energy levels to plummet and affect your overall energy level, Li says.
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What If I Cant Eat For A Day Because Im Fasting For Religious Purposes
Fasting headaches are common. You can lower your risk by planning ahead.
A few days before the fast:
- Avoid caffeine.
- Increase the amount of water youre drinking.
The meal before the fast:
- Consume complex carbohydrates, like potatoes and other starchy vegetables, with some protein.
- Dont eat portions that are larger than normal.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hunger headaches are your bodys way of signaling that you need calories. They dont go away on their own. The best treatment is eating a balanced meal with protein, fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates. Most people dont need to see their healthcare provider for a hunger headache. You may need care if your symptoms are severe or dont respond to pain relievers, though.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/18/2022.
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Not Eating Protein At Meals And Snacks
One way to help ensure stable blood sugar is to be mindful about incorporating protein into meals and snacks, even in small ways.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
As Goodson outlines, “when you eat carbohydrates by themselves , your blood sugar tends to rise then drop more substantially due to the lack of protein. The blood sugar drop, similar to when skipping meals, can give you a headache fast.”
She recommends tying in protein however possible: for example, putting peanut butter on toast, eating nuts with your granola bars, or adding Greek yogurt to your bowl of cereal. If you pass up protein, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of head pain.
How Much Sugar Does A Person Need
In general, a person should maintain a blood sugar level between 70-120 milligrams per deciliter. This number may change if you have diabetes or another health condition.
The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day and men consume no more than nine teaspoons .
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Causes Of Lightheadedness May Be Dehydration Medication Side Effects Sudden Blood Pressure Drops Low Blood Sugar And Heart Disease Or Stroke
Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults. Although its not usually caused by anything life-threatening, it could be, so you need to be careful.
Dont ignore it. Even if the lightheadedness does not have a serious cause, it could lead to serious injuries from a fall. And at the worst, the cause may itself be life-threatening, says Dr. Shamai Grossman, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School.
If you feel lightheaded and/or woozy, Dr. Grossman recommends having a drink of water or orange juice and lying down. If symptoms last more than 15 minutes, he says its time to seek medical help in an urgent or emergency care setting. Even if symptoms are brief, and even if you think you know the cause, report the lightheadedness to your doctor.
Treating Headaches From Hypoglycemia
The first step in treating a hypoglycemia-induced headache is to confirm that the pain is occurring due to low blood glucose. A blood glucose test can verify this issue.
Taking a blood glucose test is especially important for people with diabetes who wake up with a headache in the morning, as it can be a sign of nocturnal hypoglycemia.
The ADA recommend that people with low blood sugar consume 15 grams of simple carbohydrates or glucose before rechecking levels after 15 minutes.
Once blood sugar returns to the target range, the headache pain should reduce.
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