Can Sugar Cause Headaches?

Did you know that both too much sugar and too little of sugar can cause headaches? When you consume too much sugar at once or don’t eat for an extended period of time, you can cause rapid fluctuations in your blood sugar levels which can trigger a headache. Some people are more prone to these sugar-triggered headaches. Let’s take a look.

Who is Prone to Sugar Headaches?

Migraine Sufferers

Not all migraine sufferers have the same triggers. However, one common trigger of migraines is sugar. And it’s not just sugar that is a trigger for these intense headaches, but also sweeteners like sucralose. That means your Splenda could be a potential trigger for a migraine attack.

People With Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where the body doesn't produce enough insulin or cannot use it correctly. This causes blood sugar levels to rise in the blood. Continuously having high or low blood sugar levels can lead to many life-threatening conditions. It can also lead to headaches.  

Not everyone with diabetes will experience headaches; however, those who have trouble managing their fluctuating blood sugar levels may develop headaches. The more the blood sugar levels fluctuate, the more likely these headaches will occur.

Depending on whether the headache was caused by too much blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia), there are different ways to treat the headache. For example, if your blood test confirms too low of blood sugar, eating a small amount of simple carbohydrates (15-20 grams) may help. Speak with your doctor or pain clinic specialist for more specific information on treating your headaches.

People Who Consume Too Much Sugar

Unfortunately, Americans eat way more sugar than they should. Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends only 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women and 9 for men? On average, we consume a lot more than these recommended values. In fact, American adults consume about 22 teaspoons per day and children consume 34.

Consuming high amounts of sugar on a consistent basis can lead to a sugar addiction. A high intake of sugar over a period of time can cause changes to the brain that are similar to addictive drugs. Therefore, if someone who usually consumes a lot of sugar suddenly stops consuming it, their body and brain can go into withdrawal and cause a headache. When it comes to sugar, you shouldn’t stop “cold turkey.” Rather, you should gradually reduce your sugar intake.

Finding Help with Your Headaches

If your sugar-related headaches are frequent, it may be due to diabetes or another serious condition. Contact your doctor. A pain clinic may also be a good choice for you, especially if you have migraines. A pain clinic specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Apex Medical Center, a pain clinic in Las Vegas, focuses on finding pain relief for our patients. We also specialize in headaches, migraines, and diabetes treatment. Call us for more information or to book an appointment. You can also book online!  


Author
Apex Medical Center

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