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What Does A Low Blood Sugar Headache Feel Like?

Ketogenic Diet And Hypoglycemia

Ketogenic Diet And Hypoglycemia

Grief had me wide awake at 3 a.m. on Saturday, I was trying to figure out which chores I could cram into the 14 hours before I returned to the land of migraine disability. I had admitted defeat with the ketogenic diet. One more meal was all I had left on the diet; dinner would take me back to migraine as usual. Ketogenic Diet and Hypoglycemia: Cause and Effect Frustratingly, even though the ketogenic diet reduced my migraine attack severity and enabled me to be more functional, it also caused hypoglycemia—which is in itself a migraine trigger. Despite a month of various fixes, I couldn’t get it under control. (I’ve actually been wrestling with it for two months. That awful nausea I attributed to dehydration was actually hypoglycemia. The wrung out feeling I woke up with each day was the fallout from hypoglycemia-triggered migraine attacks that came on while I slept.) How I Discovered Hypoglycemia Was the Problem After increasing to 2500 calories to gain some weight back, I woke up each day ravenous and shaky. This seemed odd—how could I be hungrier than when I ate 1700 calories a day? Knowing that a ketogenic diet could cause hypoglycemia, I began researching. Not only did I discover that it was likely I had hypoglycemia, but the nausea and accompanying symptoms of the previous month fit the pattern of reactive hypoglycemia perfectly. Reactive Hypoglycemia Reactive, or postprandial, hypoglycemia occurs two to four hours after eating. It’s usually a crash after eating a meal high in carbohydrates. Although I wasn’t eating many carbohydrates, my blood sugar was so low the rest of the time that I’d crash after my meal each day. It would start two hours after the meal, but I’m so used to ignoring vague physical symptoms that I didn’t notice until they got Continue reading >>

Does Sugar Cause Headaches?

Does Sugar Cause Headaches?

Sugar is a vital component of your body chemistry. Too much or too little sugar can cause problems, including headaches. This is because sugar has a direct effect on your brain and nervous system. Learning how to maintain a proper level of sugar in your diet may prevent future headaches. If you have persistent headaches related to sugar, you should talk to your doctor. Headaches caused by sugar have a lot to do with your blood glucose level. Glucose gives your body energy by entering your blood stream after you consume sugar. Your body maintains a proper blood sugar level by breaking down glucose with insulin. Fluctuations in your glucose level affect your brain more than any other organ. These rises and drops can result in a headache. The headaches caused by glucose and your brain are also related to hormones activated by sugar levels. How much sugar do you need? It’s 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. Learn more: America’s deadly sugar addiction has reached epidemic levels » In general, you should maintain a blood sugar level between 70–120 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). This number may change if you have diabetes or another health condition. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations about blood sugar levels. Consuming a lot of sugar or not consuming enough may cause an occasional sugar-related headache. Some conditions, like diabetes, may also make you more likely to experience sugar-related headaches. Tha Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia: How Low Can You Go?

Hypoglycemia: How Low Can You Go?

If you have diabetes, you probably know the warning signs of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. "It's been described best as a little like the feeling you get when you're sliding on ice in a car: panic, rapid heart rate, [and] sort of a sense of doom," says John Buse, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, chief of the division of endocrinology, and executive associate dean for clinical research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. You also probably know that hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and must be treated right away by eating sugar or carbohydrates. Other signs of hypoglycemia include dizziness, shakiness, difficulty paying attention, hunger, headaches, clumsy or jerky movements, and sudden moodiness like crying, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). But sometimes, people with low blood sugar don't get or even notice these warning symptoms. Instead, they develop a dangerous condition called hypoglycemic unawareness, which, in its worst form, can lead to unconsciousness, coma, or even death, though the latter is rare, Buse says. "Hypoglycemic unawareness is sort of a race," he says. "Will the patient figure out that they're hypoglycemic before they become incapacitated?" Hypoglycemic unawareness occurs most often in insulin-treated people with type 1 diabetes but also happens in those with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, says Buse. It's more common in pregnant women and in those who have had diabetes for a long time, according to the ADA. In addition, "skipping or delaying a meal, increasing physical activity, or drinking alcohol can trigger an episode of low blood sugar," says Buse. "Even modest alcohol intake can bring it on." Often, the very medicines used to treat diabetes can cause hypoglycemia and in turn lead to hy Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes - Topic Overview

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes - Topic Overview

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is most common in people who have diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and need more information about low blood sugar, see the topics: You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you've gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It's easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about. But low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can also be an ongoing problem. It occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy. Ongoing problems with low blood sugar can be caused by: Medicines. Metabolic problems. Alcohol use. Symptoms can be different depending on how low your blood sugar level drops. Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat. Or your skin might turn cold and clammy. Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking. Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death. If you've had hypoglycemia during the night, you may wake up tired or with a headache. And you may have nightmares. Or you may sweat so much during the night that your pajamas or sheets are damp when you wake up. To diagnose hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your health and any medicines you take. You will need blood tests to check your blood sugar levels. Some tests might include not eating (fasting) and watching for symptoms. Other tests might involve eating a meal that could cause symptoms of low blood sugar seve Continue reading >>

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like.

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like.

Across the board, a low blood sugar seems to be considered as anything under 70 mg/dL. Revisiting the American Diabetes Association’s website this morning offers up a list of symptoms of low blood sugar, like: Shakiness Nervousness or anxiety Sweating, chills and clamminess Irritability or impatience Confusion, including delirium Rapid/fast heartbeat Lightheadedness or dizziness Hunger and nausea Sleepiness Blurred/impaired vision Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue Headaches Weakness or fatigue Anger, stubbornness, or sadness Lack of coordination Nightmares or crying out during sleep Seizures Unconsciousness (As with most diabetes-related lists on the Internet, the further down the list you read, the worse shit seems to get.) The “what happens if a low blood sugar goes untreated” answer is short, and to the point: “If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to a seizure or unconsciousness (passing out, a coma). In this case, someone else must take over.” When my daughter hears my Dexcom beeping, she understands the difference between the alert signaling a high blood sugar and the alert signaling a low. If the high alarm goes off, she doesn’t react, but if the low alarm goes off, she perks up immediately and asks me if I need a “glupose tab.” The immediacy and seriousness of low blood sugars is noticed by my three year old because she’s seen me go from normal, functional Mom to confused, sweaty, and tangled-in-my-own-words Mom in a matter of minutes. The symptoms of low blood sugars don’t just vary from PWD to PWD, but often vary within the PWD’s own lifetime. When I was very small, my low blood sugar “tell” was when my mouth would go numb and my face felt like I’d had Novocaine hours earlier and it was just starting to wear off, with th Continue reading >>

Why Does High (or Low) Blood Sugar Give Me Headaches?

Why Does High (or Low) Blood Sugar Give Me Headaches?

Susan B. Sloane, BS, RPh, CDE, has been a registered pharmacist for more than 20 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for more than 15 years. Her two sons were diagnosed with diabetes, and since then, she has been dedicated to promoting wellness and optimal outcomes as a patient advocate, information expert, educator, and corporate partner. Headaches can be debilitating, and patients with diabetes can get headaches from blood sugars dropping too low or climbing too high. As if we didn’t have enough to think about, right? There are many factors that can trigger headaches or even migraines, and blood sugar fluctuations are just one of those factors. The key to avoiding blood sugar-related headaches is keeping blood sugars from spiking or dropping too rapidly. For example, when you are treating a low blood sugar, don’t go on a high carbohydrate-eating binge, even though you may be ravenous. Eat a sensible meal with some protein as directed by your healthcare provider. When blood sugar is too low One of the suspected causes of low blood sugar-caused headaches has to do with the blood vessels in your brain. Your brain needs a readily available supply of glucose in order to function properly. If the brain senses it does not have enough sugar, blood vessels in the brain can spasm, triggering a headache. In the fasting state, stress hormones are also released which can cause vasoconstriction leading to headache. There is also a type of headache that can be seen in patients with diabetes that experience frequent low blood sugars, which are followed by rebound high blood sugars. This rebound phenomenon is often due to hormones that the body releases in response to a low blood sugar in an attempt to regulate itself. When blood sugar is too high High blood sugars can cause l Continue reading >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>

Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia is the medical condition of having an abnormally low blood sugar (glucose) level, and can be responsible for triggering or exacerbating migraine and other headaches The importance of blood-glucose We need energy to function, and most of this energy comes from consuming carbohydrates (sugars). Our bodies convert these carbohydrates into glucose (which is easier to use), and is then carried in the blood to whichever parts of the body need it. The brain requires a continuous supply of glucose from the blood in order to function, and if glucose levels drop (as in hypoglycaemia) the brain is one of the first organs affected. Maintaining blood-glucose levels Our bodies have to keep their blood-glucose levels from becoming too low or too high, and they do this using two fast-acting hormones: insulin and glucagon. When blood-glucose levels get too high, insulin acts to bring them down; when levels get too low, glucagon pushes them back up. Causes of hypoglycaemia If we don’t eat enough calories for our bodies’ needs, then our blood-glucose levels drop too low. This can happen if we skip meals, fast, diet, or exercise on insufficient food. Eating a high-sugar meal can cause ‘reactive hypoglycaemia’, because the sudden rise in blood-glucose from the sugary food triggers an over-production of insulin, which in turn makes the blood-glucose levels fall too low. If diabetes patients inject too much insulin into their bodies, it can also cause their blood-glucose levels to fall too low. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia The brain not receiving enough glucose causes most of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, which include: headache, migraine, confusion, nausea, sweating, faintness, and hypothermia. If the hypoglycaemia is very severe and prolonged, it can even cause loss-of-c Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Headaches: Soothing That Aching Head

Diabetes And Headaches: Soothing That Aching Head

We’ve all had headaches. Some more than others, I suspect. I woke up the other morning with a pounding headache, as a matter of fact. Having a headache is definitely not the way to start your day. Perhaps not surprisingly, people who have diabetes can certainly get headaches, and apart from the “usual” culprits, these headaches can stem from fluctuations in blood sugar. There are ways to treat and manage them, however. Read on to learn more. What is a headache anyway? Simply put, a headache is a pain that occurs in any part of the head — on the side, in the front, or in the back. The type of headache pain can vary widely, from sharp, to dull, to throbbing. And the frequency of pain may be different — the pain may come on all of a sudden, or more gradually, and it can last an hour or last days. Types of headaches A headache is a headache, right? Not exactly. There are two main forms of headaches: primary and secondary. A primary headache is due to a problem with or overactivity of pain structures in the head, such as blood vessels, nerves, or muscles. Examples of primary headaches include: • Migraines • Cluster headaches • Tension headaches Secondary headaches occur as a symptom of a disease or condition, such as: • Blood clot • Brain aneurysm • Brain freeze (also known as “ice cream headache”) • Brain tumor • Carbon monoxide poisoning • Flu • Ear infection • Sinus infection • Stroke • Concussion • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) • Panic attacks • Changes in hormones Why might diabetes cause headaches? Having diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll automatically have headaches. However, diabetes headaches tend to occur due to changes in blood sugar levels. The more “up and down” your blood sugars are, the more likely Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms After Exercise

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms After Exercise

Exercise induced low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia occurs when your body’s blood sugar is used up too quickly. Sugar, or glucose comes from the food that you eat and your body uses it as a source of energy during exercise. When you don’t eat enough food or you participate in vigorous exercise without increasing the amount of food you eat, you can experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Severe symptoms can be life-threatening. Video of the Day Your nervous system is extremely sensitive to the effects of low blood sugar. The first neurological effects of hypoglycemia during exercise include confusion, abnormal behavior, fatigue, irritability and trembling, according to Medline Plus. These are signs that your blood sugar is low and that you immediately need to reduce the intensity of your physical activity and eat a food that is high in carbohydrates or drink a sports drink. In addition, you should drink one to two cups of water to make sure you are adequately hydrated. Symptoms of dehydration are commonly confused with the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Continue to monitor these early warning signs and seek medical treatment promptly if they do not improve. More serious neurological symptoms include visual disturbances, seizures, tremor and loss of consciousness. These critical symptoms can be avoided if you take the proper action to increase your blood sugar but they do require immediate medical attention. Low blood sugar after exercise can also have unwanted effects on your gastrointestinal system. Initially you may experience hunger, but as your blood sugar declines you can have nausea, vomiting, malaise and diarrhea. If you begin to experience these symptoms, you should avoid the temptation to “push yourself.” Take the proper precautions to prevent your blood sugar Continue reading >>

What Is Hypoglycemia?

What Is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition in which your blood sugar drops perilously low. Low blood sugar will most often make you feel shaky and weak. In extreme cases, you could lose consciousness and slip into a coma. People develop hypoglycemia for different reasons, but those with diabetes run the greatest risk of developing the condition. Glucose and Hypoglycemia Your body uses glucose as its main fuel source. Glucose is derived from food, and it's delivered to cells through the bloodstream. The body uses different hormones to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucagon, cortisol, and epinephrine are some hormones that help regulate glucose. Your body uses another hormone called insulin to help your cells absorb glucose and burn it for fuel. If your blood sugar level drops below a certain point, your body can develop various symptoms and sensations. For people with diabetes, this typically happens when blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), although the exact level may vary from person to person. Causes of Hypoglycemia Low blood sugar often happens in people with diabetes who are using insulin or other medicines that increase insulin production or its actions. Too much insulin can make your blood glucose drop too low. Low blood sugar can happen if: Your body's supply of glucose is used up too quickly. Glucose is released into your bloodstream too slowly. There's too much insulin in your bloodstream. Hypoglycemia Symptoms Although no two people will have the exact same symptoms of low blood sugar, there are some common signs to watch out for: Sudden, intense hunger Dizziness or light-headedness Excessive sweating (often sudden and without regard to temperature) Shaking or tremors Sudden feelings of anxiety Irritability, mood swings, and Continue reading >>

Tiredness And Diabetes

Tiredness And Diabetes

Tweet Many people with diabetes will describe themselves as feeling tired, lethargic or fatigued at times. It could be a result of stress, hard work or a lack of a decent night’s sleep but it could also be related to having too high or too low blood glucose levels. Tiredness as a symptom of diabetes Regular tiredness, particularly tiredness following meals, is a common symptom of diabetes. Read more on the symptoms of diabetes What causes people with diabetes to be tired? Two common reasons for tiredness or lethargy are having too high or too low blood sugar levels. In both cases, the tiredness is the result of having an imbalance between one’s level of blood glucose and the amount or effectiveness of circulating insulin. If you feel tired during the day, despite having slept well, it could be a result of either high or low sugar levels. It is best to test your blood glucose levels to see whether the tiredness is indeed a result of having high or low sugar levels. This is particularly important for people on insulin. Read about the recommended blood glucose levels ranges Tiredness and high blood sugar levels Blood glucose levels go high when there is either insufficient insulin (typically in the case of type 1 diabetes) or the insulin is not working effectively enough (typically in type 2 diabetes). To provide us with energy, insulin is needed to transport glucose from blood into our cells to be used for energy. When there is not enough insulin, or the insulin isn’t working effectively, it means the sugar in our blood cannot get into our cells and therefore our cells do not receive the energy they need. As a result, we feel tired. Managing tiredness and high blood sugar after meals If tiredness is accompanied by high blood glucose levels after meals, it can indica Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia And Headaches

Hypoglycemia And Headaches

When we think of how sugar impacts our health, it's often because we’re watching our waistline or are worried about cavities. However, the levels of sugar in our bodies can also affect our headaches. Understanding Hypoglycemia To better understand how sugar triggers headaches, let’s first talk about hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia occurs when the body’s glucose (or sugar) levels drop below 70mg/dL. This can not only trigger a headache, but also cause confusion, dizziness, shakiness, hunger, irritability, and weakness. If your glucose levels are not brought back up to a level between 70 to 100mg/dL quickly, then symptoms can worsen to include numbness, poor concentration, poor coordination, passing out, and even coma. There are a few causes of hypoglycemia. One cause is fasting, as the body is not able to take in enough glucose to maintain proper levels. Hypoglycemia is also common in patients with diabetes and can occur when someone takes the wrong amount of insulin or diabetes medicine, takes the medicine at a different time than usual, waits too long to eat or doesn’t eat enough, exercises at a different time of day, or drinks alcohol. Hypoglycemia can also occur without diabetes. It can come from excessive alcohol consumption, chronic illnesses like kidney disease, overproduction of insulin by the pancreas, and endocrine-related issues. Headaches From Hypoglycemia Headaches from hypoglycemia are usually described as a dull, throbbing feeling in the temples. The pain can occur with other hypoglycemic symptoms, like blurry vision, increased heart rate, nervousness, fatigue, irritability, and confusion. Hypoglycemia can also trigger a migraine headache. In fact, some migraine sufferers report craving carbohydrates before the migraine hits, which may be the body’s w Continue reading >>

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like

In this article, we will explore what low blood sugar feels like for different people with diabetes. We will look at the symptoms, how they can change over time, and how they are often different from person to person. We will look at planning ahead, and the treatment of hypoglycemia, hereafter referred to as “low blood sugar.” To get started, patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were interviewed and asked the question: What is it like and what do you do when life hands you the low blood sugar agenda for the day? Describe your experience. Melissa’s story Melissa is usually gung-ho and ready to go for the day, but when she is handed the low blood sugar agenda, it takes all the wind out of her “cells.” They feel wrinkled up and emaciate. Here is how Melissa describes her low blood sugars: I imagine you, (you wrinkly old emaciated cell with no food in you), as a grumpy old man. I scream at you, though I can’t move. No, I won’t take your stifling agenda! I have to work after all. My kids need me to take them to dance class after school. I’m reluctant to take your agenda, packed with the helplessness that is my poison pill of the day. If I believe those positive self-help type blogs, then I would know that to decide you are happy determines your destination for the day. If you have diabetes, that’s a crock. With diabetes, your low blood sugar determines your agenda, and ultimately what you will be able to do for the day. When it gets below 70, or dips severely low- it begs and screams to be addressed! Especially if it dips fast, then I’m in trouble. Every cell in my body screams out. If it’s too low, I can’t move to do anything about it! Often I get a little dizzy feeling, and then I know I have to treat. I will get the shakes so bad that I can’t Continue reading >>

All About Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

All About Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia refers to an abnormally low level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Hypoglycemia is not a disease in itself, it is a sign of a health problem. The brain uses a lot of energy and needs glucose to function. Because the brain cannot store or manufacture glucose, it needs a continuous supply. Signs of low blood sugar include hunger, trembling, heart racing, nausea, and sweating. Hypoglycemia is commonly linked with diabetes, but many other conditions can also cause low blood sugar. This article will discuss the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoglycemia, and the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. We will also look at how to prevent it. Here are some key points about hypoglycemia. More detail is in the main article. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a symptom of another condition. Early symptoms include hunger, sweating, and trembling. A common cause is diabetes. Alcohol abuse and kidney disorders can also lower blood sugar levels. What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia is a condition where there is not enough glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Levels of blood sugar are below 4 mmol/L (72mg/dL). Adults and children with mild hypoglycemia may experience the following early symptoms: hunger tremor or trembling sweating irritability a pale face heart palpitations accelerated heart rate tingling lips dizziness weakness Severe hypoglycemia is sometimes called diabetic shock. It may involve: concentration problems confusion irrational and disorderly behavior, similar to intoxication inability to eat or drink Complications If a person does not take action when symptoms of hypoclycemia appear, it can lead to: A person who regularly experiences hypoglycemia may become unaware that it is happening. They will not notice the warning signs, and this can lea Continue reading >>

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