Can I get a headache after eating sugar or fasting from sugar?


Our body needs a certain amount of sugar to function. It converts the sugar we eat into glucose, which provides energy to our cells. If your blood glucose level gets too high or low, it can affect the hormones that cause the blood vessels in the brain to narrow or widen, leading to headaches . When a headache is caused by too much sugar in the blood ( hyperglycemia ), it is often called a sugar headache. On the other hand, when this is due to a lack of sugar ( hypoglycemia ), it is called a sugar withdrawal headache. There is a sweet spot when it comes to sugar consumption. These headaches generally occur in people with diabetes , but they can also occur in people without the disease.

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Fluctuations in sugar levels cause changes in hormone levels. Some hormones that can be affected include adrenaline and norepinephrine. These changes cause the blood vessels in the brain to expand. Headaches due to hypoglycemia are often described as a dull throbbing pain in the temples.

Migraines can also be caused by hypoglycemia. They present with severe stabbing pain that usually occurs on one side of the head. People with hypoglycemic migraines generally only experience headaches and not the symptoms usually associated with migraines. These headaches can last from several hours to several days.

Hypoglycemia (defined as a fasting blood glucose level below 70 mg / dL) has also been reported to be associated with hypnic headaches, also called wake-up headaches. These types of headaches occur around the same time every night and appear as a mild to severe throbbing pain in the head.


Hypoglycemia is common in people with type 1 diabetes and can occur in people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or certain medications. On average, a person with type 1 diabetes can experience up to two episodes of moderately low blood sugar each week, and that's just a count of symptom episodes. It can also be called insulin shock or insulin response.

Does not eat

Hypoglycemia can occur in people who don't eat regularly enough or who skip meals entirely. When there is not enough food to convert to glucose, blood sugar levels drop.

Generally, not eating enough carbohydrates and eating foods with fewer carbohydrates than normal without reducing the amount of insulin given can cause low blood sugar levels. The timing of insulin administration, depending on whether it comes from a liquid or solid food, can also affect your blood sugar levels. Liquids are absorbed much faster than solids. The composition of foods (the amount of fat, protein, and fiber) can also affect carbohydrate absorption.

For people with eating disorders and fasting diets. more susceptible to hypoglycemia.

Healthy diet and headaches.

While more research is needed to show that a healthy diet can help prevent headaches, some research has shown that dietary intervention can be a helpful tool for those with habitual headaches or migraines, because a healthy diet can help to alleviate some chronic conditions. which can lead to these conditions.


Drinking large amounts of alcohol can affect blood glucose levels due to its effect on insulin. When a person overeats, the body's insulin production process slows down. Since insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels, this blockage can lead to an imbalance in blood sugar levels.

Alcohol has also been shown to inhibit the body's process of creating sugar from its own fats or proteins, reduce growth hormone levels, and induce hypoglycemia without the typical symptoms.

Drug reactions

Hypoglycemia can also occur with certain medications. In people with diabetes, the medications they take to treat their condition can sometimes cause low blood sugar. People who do not have diabetes but who take diabetes medications can also develop hypoglycemia.

Medications for diabetes that can lower blood sugar levels include:

  • Insulin
  • Metformin , if used with sulfonylurea
  • Thiazolidinediones, if used with sulfonylureas
  • SGLT2 inhibitors

Other types of medications that, in rare cases, can lower blood sugar levels include:


Rare tumors known as insulinomas can form in the pancreas and cause an overproduction of insulin. Because insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels, too much insulin can cause glucose levels to drop and lead to hypoglycemia.

Hormonal deficiency

Hormones play a vital role in glucose levels in the body, especially cortisol . This hormone aids in many of the regulatory processes associated with glucose levels, such as insulin signaling, the breakdown of fats to release fatty acids, and the utilization of glucose. When cortisol levels are out of balance, they cannot help with these processes. Studies have shown that people with Addison's disease (in which the body does not make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone) are at increased risk of hypoglycemia because it affects cortisol levels.

Reactive hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when low blood sugar occurs two to five hours after eating. It is caused by the overproduction of insulin. The type of headache that occurs with reactive hypoglycemia is the same as typical hypoglycemia, affecting both sides of the head near the temples. The pain is usually dull and stabbing.


Hyperglycemic headaches (fasting blood sugar 125 mg / dL) tend to come on earlier and can be a sign that your blood sugar is higher than normal. Unlike hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia causes the blood vessels in the brain to narrow, leading to headaches. They are usually mild at first, but as blood sugar continues to rise or remains high, the headache may get worse.

Sugar rush

Consuming too much sugar can cause what's called a sugar crash or sugar hangover. This happens when you eat too much sugar at one time. When the body consumes too much sugar or carbohydrates at one time, the pancreas begins to work at full speed to produce insulin, which helps break down sugar and regulate blood glucose levels. When this happens, a sudden drop in blood sugar levels causes hypoglycemia.

This can lead to various symptoms such as an upset stomach and nausea, tremors, fatigue, dizziness, mood swings, and headaches. The type of sugar withdrawal headache is similar to a typical hypoglycemic headache. The headache is likely to be dull and throbbing in the temples.

Avoiding sugar

Sugar has the ability to affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. Dopamine plays a role in mood, learning, memory, and behavior. It is also an important reward pathway found in the brain and as such plays a vital role in feelings of satisfaction and pleasure.

When a person consumes too much sugar on a regular basis, dopamine levels drop. Sugar is considered an addictive substance because of the way it affects these levels. The more sugar a person consumes on a regular basis, the more sugar will be required to activate this reward center.

That is why when someone decides to limit their sugar intake after a long period of consuming large amounts of sugar, they experience withdrawal symptoms, as if they stopped smoking or using drugs. A sudden drop in blood sugar levels can cause migraine headaches. This occurs on the first day of a new sugar-free diet and tends to decrease for the first few days or weeks as the brain adjusts to a sugar-free life.

Research has shown that there are many parallels between sugar addiction and drug addiction. They affect the neurochemistry and behavior of the brain in the same way, which is why sugar addiction is considered as real and serious as drug addiction.

Get the word of drug information

Sugar is necessary for the body to function properly, but consuming too much or too little sugar can wreak havoc on many systems. In the short term, consuming too much sugar may seem like a good idea, but that's only because of how it affects the reward center in the brain. The truth is that excess sugar alters the entire balance of the body and therefore can cause unwanted effects such as headaches or migraines. On the other hand, eliminating sugar completely seems like a healthy option, but too little sugar in the body also causes problems. To avoid these complications, avoid added sugar whenever possible and remember that moderation is key in your sugar intake.

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