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 >>
Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can cause serious health complications. That's why it is very important to know how to spot type 2 diabetes symptoms. Even prediabetes can increase the chance of heart disease, just like type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Talk to your doctor about preventive measures you can take now to reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes due to high blood sugar may include: Increased thirst Increased hunger (especially after eating) Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry) Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) Loss of consciousness (rare) Contact your health care provider if you have any type 2 diabetes symptoms or if you have further questions about type 2 diabetes. It's important to get diabetes testing and start a treatment plan early to prevent serious diabetes complications. Type 2 diabetes is usually not diagnosed until health complications have occurred. Most often, there are no diabetes symptoms or a very gradual development of the above symptoms of type 2 diabetes. In fact, about one out of every four people with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include: Slow-healing sores or cuts Itching of the skin (usually around the vaginal or groin area) Recent weight gain or unexplained weight loss Velvety dark skin changes of the neck, armpit, and groin, called acanthosis nigricans Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet Erectile dysfunction (impotency) Continue reading >>
Causes Of Headaches With Diabetes
ByVatsal Anand , Onlymyhealth editorial team High level of sugar can lead to headache. Diabetics suffer more from headaches than general people. Impact of diabetes on headaches depends on its type. Headaches occurs right after having meal. Diabetes causes high levels of blood sugar leading to a host of health problems. These problems can also lead to headache. Studies have also shown the relation between headaches and diabetes. Compared to the general population, diabetics suffer more from headaches. High blood sugar is the major cause of a diabetic headache, but even low blood sugar caused by diabetes results in headaches. Low blood sugar affects those diabetics who have trouble in controlling the level of insulin in their blood. Some of the other conditions that can cause headache in diabetics are given below. Neuropathy Diabetes is known to affect the functioning of nerves and even its damage. If such damage occurs in the cranial nerves of the brain, headache can result. When this happens, severe pain is experienced by the patient. Stress due to diabetes After living with diabetes for long, it begins to result in some lifestyle complications, one of which is stress. Fatigue is immediately seen in diabetics due to reduction of blood sugar. Besides, diabetics are more sensitive to stress hormones than others. They show long-term effects of stress much earlier than normal people. Glaucoma Many eye problems can be caused by diabetes, which include glaucoma. It leads to increased and excess fluid in the eye. This excess of fluid puts a lot of strain on the optic nerve and damages it permanently. Heart diseases Several heart diseases have been linked to headaches, and diabetics can develop these. Stroke Risk of stroke increases with diabetes. Severe headaches can result f Continue reading >>
Migraines And Diabetes
Migraines and diabetes. Is there a connection? Although the two diseases can be comorbid, statistics don’t show that people with Migraine are more likely to have diabetes than people with Migraine; nor do they show that people with diabetes are more likely to have Migraine disease. One study did show that, among Migraineurs, those who have Migraine with aura have diabetes more commonly than those who have Migraine without aura.1 No reason was identified for this. As with any condition, diabetes can, however impact Migraine attacks, and Migraine attacks can impact diabetes. Our bodies are their own ecosystem. Everything affects everything else. Many Migraineurs report that missing a meal or needing to fast triggers a Migraine attack. Peroutka makes a quite accurate observation, “The Migraine patient does not react well to change from within or without.”2 He goes on to remark about Migraine triggers that are changes in sleep patterns, hormone levels, weather, and diet to say: “These seemingly diverse trigger factors are all united in that they all cause physiologic “stress” to the nervous system, and each may activate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), as evidenced by the release of stress-related neurotransmitters and hormones such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol.”2 Some Migraineurs also report that eating sugar or a large amount of carbohydrate also triggers a Migraine. Both missing a meal or fasting and eating sugar or a large amount of carbohydrates are stressful to the body. Fasting can cause the depletion of glycogen stored in the liver. Eating a large amount of carbohydrates can cause reactive hyperglycemia (increased blood glucose levels). To avoid these triggers, it’s recommended that Migraineurs eat on a regular schedule. Peroutka Continue reading >>
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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 >>
Is Diabetes To Blame For Your Headache?
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that results in blood sugar, or glucose, abnormalities. This causes a host of symptoms and related complications, some of which can be life-threatening. A common symptom of high or low blood glucose is a headache. Headaches alone aren’t harmful, but they can signal that your blood sugar is out of its target range. If you have frequent headaches, diabetes may be to blame. Find out if diabetes is the cause of your headache so you can take proper action. Can diabetes cause seizures? Learn how to prevent them » Headaches are common in both children and adults. In fact, headaches are the most common source of pain. They’re also a leading cause for days missed from work and school. Headaches are a frequent problem among the American population, but there are numerous causes. Headaches are classified as being primary or secondary. Primary headaches occur when brain cells or nerves, blood vessels, or muscles around the head send pain signals to the brain. Migraines and tension headaches are common examples. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are not directly caused by the type of pain signals mentioned above. These types of headaches are attributed to underlying health conditions or medical problems. Diabetes is one cause of secondary headaches. Other causes can include: fever or infection injury high blood pressure, or hypertension stroke anxiety or stress hormone fluctuations, such as those occurring during menstrual cycle eye disorders structural abnormalities within the brain Just as causes can vary, the pain associated with secondary headaches can vary. Headaches due to diabetes are often moderate to severe in nature, and are known to occur frequently. These headaches can be a sign that your blood glucose is either too high Continue reading >>
What Cause Headaches In Diabetes?
People suffering from diabetes are highly susceptible to headaches. In fact, persistent headache is an obvious sign of diabetes. Diabetes headaches can be due to various reasons. Hyperglycemia is a term that refers to having too much glucose circulating in the blood as a result of lack of insulin production in the pancreas, or cellular resistance to insulin. Hyperglycemia is a serious condition since high concentrations of glucose can be toxic to the blood vessels and the nerves. According to health experts, headache is considered an early symptom of hyperglycemia and is usually accompanied with fatigue, confusion and blurred vision. In the absence of insulin therapy, hyperglycemia can lead to the buildup of ketones which are waste products in both the urine and blood. Buildup of ketones that can lead to coma and death. Hypoglycemia happens when there is too little amount of glucose in the blood for the body to use for energy. If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia can occur if you mismanaged your insulin therapy. If you do not have diabetes, not eating enough nutrients like carbohydrates, which the body needs to breakdown to glucose, may result in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a serious condition because glucose is the main source of energy for the brain. Without enough glucose our brains are not able to function properly. According to the American Heart Association, dull headache is an early sign of hypoglycemia and can come with other related symptoms like cloudy vision, dizziness, sweating, confusion and tremors. If you do not eat sufficient carbohydrates, like fruits, pasta, breads or juices, hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, convulsions and even death. If you’re suffering from diabetes, then you should know that you’re at high risk of glaucoma. Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Headaches?
We all get the odd headache. In fact, 15 per cent of Australians will have popped a painkiller to treat one by the time you finish reading this story. People living with diabetes, however, are more likely to be hit with headaches than the rest of the population, and having diabetes may even increase your migraine risk. ‘Headaches are one of the most common complaints doctors are presented with,’ says Dr Tony Bartone, president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria. ‘That, combined with the fact they can be caused by a variety of things, means it’s understandable that some people may not make the link between their diabetes and their headaches.’ Find the link and you are halfway to solving the problem. Here’s what to look for… High or low blood glucose levels A headache can be a symptom of hypo- or hyper glycaemia – when blood glucose levels go too low or too high. Low blood glucose levels trigger the release of hormones that cause vasoconstriction – a narrowing of the blood vessels – which may bring on a headache. High BGLs can cause you to run to the loo more often, which sometimes leads to dehydration and, in turn, a headache. THE FIX: As soon as you feel a headache coming on, test your blood glucose levels. This is especially important if you frequently wake up with a pounding head, which could be a sign of nocturnal hypoglycaemia (going too low overnight) if you take insulin or certain other medications. See your doctor if you suspect this is the cause of your headaches. If your levels are low, treat them with 15g of fast-acting carbohydrate and monitor your symptoms as your blood glucose levels return to normal. Once they stabilise, the headache may ease. On the other hand, if your levels are high, exercise may help, but first che Continue reading >>
Diabetic Headache Symptoms
Diabetes impairs your body’s ability to produce or use insulin, which regulates blood glucose levels and generates energy. In type I diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin. Without insulin, too much sugar remains in the blood and becomes toxic, leading to fatigue, neuropathy, headaches, blindness and death if left untreated. Type II diabetes is developmental and involves cellular resistance to insulin, which doctors usually don't diagnose until patients report obvious symptoms such as chronic headaches. Video of the Day Hyperglycemia occurs when too much glucose circulates in the blood owing to either lack of insulin production in the pancreas or cellular resistance to insulin. Hyperglycemia is a hallmark of both types of diabetes and is a serious condition because high concentrations of glucose are toxic to nerves and blood vessels. According to the Mayo Clinic, headache is an early symptom of hyperglycemia and frequently includes blurred vision, fatigue and confusion. In the absence of insulin therapy, hyperglycemia can cause a buildup of ketones, which are waste products in the blood and urine, leading to coma and death. Hypoglycemia occurs when too little glucose is in the blood or getting into cells, where the body uses it for energy. If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia can occur if you mismanage your insulin therapy and take too much. If you don't have diabetes, failure to eat enough nutrients such as carbohydrates that the body can easily break down to glucose molecules can result in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a serious condition because glucose is the primary source of energy for brain function. According to the American Heart Association, a dull headache is a common, early sign of hypoglycemia and often includes related symptoms such as dizziness, Continue reading >>
Headache In Diabetes—occipital Neuropathy
Go to: CASE HISTORIES Case 1 A woman of 59 with a 21-year history of type 2 diabetes mellitus reported severe left-sided headache of sudden onset. She had already experienced a remarkable series of neuropathic episodes—right 4th nerve palsy (age 54); right 3rd nerve palsy with pupillary sparing (57); left 7th nerve palsy (58); right 6th nerve palsy (58); right ophthalmic trigeminal neuralgia (58); acute painful peripheral neuropathy (59). In the present instance the headache was characterized by unilateral occipito-parietal stabbing pains radiating to the frontal region and scalp tenderness in the occipital region. She was frequently kept awake at night by the pain and said she could not bear to put her head on the pillow, the contact causing an exacerbation. She had no sensory loss in the cervical root distribution and no occipital tenderness. She had experienced the pain for the first time about 2 years previously, when it lasted for four to six months on and off and then moved to the contralateral side of her head. The pain was typically neuralgic in nature, and was felt to be yet another manifestation of mononeuritis multiplex. Carbamazepine only helped a little and she was intolerant of tricyclic antidepressants. The pain settled spontaneously a few months later. The following year she developed another mononeuropathy—left maxillary trigeminal neuralgia. Case 2 A woman aged 37 with a 14-year history of uncomplicated type 1 diabetes mellitus developed severe left-sided occipito-parietal headaches. Her glycaemic control had formerly been very good, but had deteriorated about 2 years before the onset of headaches. The agonizing stabbing pains initially lasted a few seconds at a time, but subsequently increased in duration to a few hours at a time. She reported an Continue reading >>
The Connection Between Hypoglycemia And Headaches
❮ GO BACK TO Common Headaches Hypoglycemia is a condition marked by low blood sugar in the body, which is significant because the brain needs a constant supply of glucose to function properly. When glucose levels drop, the brain is among the first organs affected. Common symptoms of hypoglycemia are weakness, lightheadedness, sweating, and a shift in one’s level of consciousness. But what many people don’t realize is that hypoglycemia can actually be responsible for triggering headaches too. This is because a lack of glucose in the brain can cause severe pain and pressure. This article will explore the connection between hypoglycemia and headaches, as well as lifestyle habits that trigger the onset of these conditions. Causes of Hypoglycemia There are many different causes of hypoglycemia because various factors affect blood sugar production, regulation, absorption, and storage in the body. For example, certain medications that are used to treat diabetes can result in low blood sugar. For individuals who do not have diabetes, hypoglycemia can be caused by other types of medications, such as those used to treat kidney failure and malaria. Liver, kidney, and anorexia nervosa are all illnesses that can lead to hypoglycemic symptoms as well. Hormone deficiencies and excessive alcohol consumption may play a role as well in some individuals. Finally, diet plays a significant role in the way the human body processes sugars. Therefore, it is important to eat enough calories per day to keep blood sugar at a healthy level. Habits That Make Hypoglycemia Worse Bad eating habits can make an existing condition of hypoglycemia worse, such as excessive dieting, fasting, skipping meals, and exercising on an empty stomach. Interestingly, eating meals with too much sugar can actuall Continue reading >>
Relief For Diabetic Headache
Type 2 diabetics are more prone to both migraines and regular headaches than an otherwise healthy person. However, relief for a diabetic headache should not come in an over-the-counter painkiller. More often than not, your headache is trying to tell you that your blood sugar levels are out of balance. So instead of treating the headache and masking the problem, learn to associate the pain with your blood sugar levels and treat the cause of your pain. Hypoglycemia Low blood sugar--also known as hypoglycemia or insulin reaction-- is a common cause of headache in diabetics. A hypoglycemia-related headache often results after missing a meal, over-exercising, drinking alcohol, or taking too much insulin or other medication. If you think your headache is related to low blood sugar, confirm it by checking your blood glucose level with your meter. If your levels are below 70 mg/dL, take one of these remedies immediately: 3 glucose tablets or 1 serving of glucose gel 1/2 cup of fruit juice 1/2 cup of soda (not diet) 1 cup of milk 1 tbsp. of sugar or honey (However, be advised that if you are taking Acarbose or Miglitol your blood glucose levels can only be raised by taking a pure glucose tablet or gel.) After the dose, re-check your blood glucose level to make sure that it is above 70 mg/dL. Then, have a snack if your next meal is more than an hour away. Hyperglycemia High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, also can cause headaches in diabetics. High blood sugar can develop over several days or hours and can be the result of eating too much or too frequently, exercising too little, taking too little diabetes medication, stress, illness or injury. If your headache arrives in conjunction with any of those factors or your meter reading is high for you, eat a piece of vinegar soaked in Continue reading >>
Why Does Diabetes Cause Headaches?
Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin, or cannot use it properly, causing glucose to build up in the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes does not usually cause headaches. But, while headaches are not dangerous, they may be an indication of poor blood sugar control in a person with diabetes. Over time, periods of continuous high or low blood sugar can lead to serious and even life-threatening health complications, such as heart disease and kidney failure. This article looks at the connection between diabetes and headaches and suggests ways to relieve diabetes-induced headaches. Contents of this article: Types of headache According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, published by the International Headache Society, there are over 150 types of headaches. Broadly speaking, headaches can be classified as either primary or secondary: Primary headaches are ones that are not linked to another medical condition. Examples of primary headaches include migraines and tension headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by underlying medical conditions or health issues and include the type of headache often experienced by people with diabetes. Other causes of secondary headaches include: hormone fluctuations infection nerve disorders overuse of medication trauma The pain associated with either primary or secondary headaches can vary in severity and duration. Some people may not experience headaches often, while others can get a headache several days each week. Depending on the type of headache, other symptoms may be present. For example, migraines can be linked with nausea and increased sensitivity to sound or light. Continue reading >>
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 >>
Diabetes Can Be (and Cause) A Real Headache
Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb and flow of blood sugar levels can result in headaches whether sugar is high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia.) The mechanisms are different, but the pain is the same. Types of Headaches Headaches are the most common cause of pain experienced by otherwise healthy people, according to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Diabetics have also been found to have more frequent headaches than the general population. Classification Of The Headaches Generally, headaches are classified as primary or secondary. A primary headache occurs when neurotransmitters in the brain send signals to certain groups of nerves. Migraine and stress headaches are examples of this type. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are the result of some disease or disorder within the body that causes disruption to the nervous system. Diabetes is one of these diseases. Doctors have not determined the exact process for every different type of headache but they have a pretty good idea of what causes most of them. Hypoglycemic Headache Your brain runs on glucose, using as much as 25 percent of the glucose circulating in the body. The brain can sense when there is an inadequate supply. Despite sending off a lot of commands to different parts of the body – to the liver for increased glycogen production, the pancreas for insulin production, and so forth - blood vessels in the brain constrict, or spasm. This spasming can be very painful. Brain cells starved for glucose can also become irritated, causing pain. Hyperglycemic Headache When there is too much sugar in the bloodstream, the body seeks to get rid of it. The kidneys work harder, pushing out more urine. This increas Continue reading >>