High Blood Sugar And Headaches? Here’s What To Do

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high blood sugar and headaches - what is the reason?

High blood sugar and headaches have a close connection. This is a phenomenon most frequently observed in people with a condition like diabetes. A spike in your blood glucose level leads to headaches which could be a direct result of increased intake of sugar or the lack of it. It’s come to be popularly known as “sugar hangover”.

How are high blood sugar and headaches related to each other?

Our body gets energy when we consume sugar from the glucose that enters our bloodstream. A healthy level of proper blood sugar level is maintained when insulin-regulated the breaking of glucose in our bodies.

These sudden spikes directly lead to headaches because of the fluctuation in glucose and hormonal changes due to sugar levels.

How much sugar is good for your body?

Maintaining an appropriate level of blood sugar in the body is a tough task. It is tougher for Americans because they have the highest intake of sugar on a daily basis than any other country in the world.

Generally, it has been observed that 70-120 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is good enough for the body. WHO has given a number too. They recommend no more than 11 grams on a daily basis or approx. 5% of the daily calorie intake at max. However, in America, the average individual consumption is around 126 gms.

American Heart Association, on the other hand, recommends six teaspoons of sugar for adult females and nine teaspoons of sugar for adult males to keep things in check. These numbers look small in front of the actual no. of teaspoons (22 on average) that Americans consume on day to day basis.

Depending on the seriousness of your condition and other eating habits, this number can fluctuate too.

What About Migraines & Blood Sugar? Are They Co-Related?

Not exactly. An increase or decrease in the blood sugar levels may not be the sole reason for migraines. In fact, people who are prone to migraines are more likely to suffer if they have one of the two conditions – hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, which causes acute headaches.

Risky Conditions Associated With Blood Sugar Levels

Unfortunately, even the lack of sugar in the body can lead to frequent headaches. An increased risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia is always present depending on how the intake of sugar has been.

Condition 1: Hypoglycemia

  • Occurs in the body from the lack of having enough sugar in the bloodstream
  • Levels dip below 70 mg/dL
  • Can occur if one goes on without food for long hours at a stretch
  • Regulating blood sugar with this condition is tough
  • Can lead to headaches & migraines
  • May feel nauseatic or dizzy

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

  • exhaustion or excessive tiredness
  • increase heart palpitations
  • skin turns pale
  • odd time hunger pangs
  • increased anxiety
  • excessive sweating
  • feeling weak
  • temporary blurry vision
  • feeling perplexed or confused
  • slight tremors/shakes in the body

Condition 2: Hyperglycemia

When the blood sugar levels go up a lot higher than usual, it leads to a condition called Hyperglycemia. In this case, the insulin in the body is unable to break the glucose down properly. The blood sugar levels noted in this condition can be anything between 180-200 mg/dL.

As much as migraines don’t come to be associated specifically with high blood sugar levels, early headaches however are a sure shot premature sign. They might initially only take place mildly but can get worse as and when the blood sugar levels spike.

Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

  • excessive urination
  • feeling thirsty frequently
  • vision gets blurry sporadically
  • feeling tired all the time

What is a Sugar Hangover?

When the blood sugar levels in your body fluctuate rapidly due to eating excess sugar in a short amount of time, it causes something called “sugar hangover” in our bodies. In fact, it can have some pretty adverse effects on our biological functioning on a daily basis.

Some of the symptoms of sugar hangover are mentioned below:

  • frequent & untimely headaches
  • feeling nauseous
  • losing focus
  • body shaking
  • exhaustion and lightheadedness
  • excessive mood swings

How To Cure Sugar Hangover?

Sugar related headaches are very common and are usually caused by the consumption of sugar-heavy or artificially processed foods.

Although, if you think you’ve had more sugar intake than the recommended amount, the following simple measures can lead to some immediate positive results:

  • drinking lots of water (without sugar or sugar-free drinks only!)
  • shift to eating whole foods that don’t contain added sugars (nuts, eggs, green leafy vegetables, foods rich in protein)
  • include working out or light physical exercises like walking, yoga, pilates, running or swimming to help improve blood circulation in the body

How To Check For High Blood Sugar?

First thing’s first- visit your doctor. He/she will most likely check your glucose levels to see if the headaches that are occurring are because of excess sugar intake or not.

Your doctor can suggest a fasting test depending on your history of the condition. For instance, you could be asked about the following things:

  • your recent symptoms
  • recent eating habits
  • health history in general
  • other applicable information

Have you read our hand-curated list of 14 best foods that help lower sugar almost instantly?

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