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.
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 als Continue reading