Why are headaches related to sugar consumption? – VnExpress

Eating a lot of sugar causes hyperglycemia, which affects hormones, causing blood vessels in the brain to constrict, causing headaches.

Our body needs a certain amount of sugar to function, when sugar enters the body, it converts into glucose to provide energy for cells. If blood sugar is too high or too low, it affects the hormones that cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict or dilate, leading to a headache.

Here are some reasons why sugar is the cause of headaches.


Fluctuations in sugar levels cause changes in hormone levels. The hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine affect blood vessels, dilating the brain and causing headaches. Migraines can also be triggered by hypoglycemia. A low blood sugar headache is often described as a dull, throbbing pain in the temples. In addition, it presents with severe pain and sharp pain, usually occurring on one side of the head. These headaches can last from a few hours to a few days.

Diabetes: People with diabetes often have common hypoglycemia, usually a person with diabetes experiences at least two hypoglycemia a week.

Fast: Hypoglycemia can occur in people who do not eat enough meals, often skip meals. When there isn’t enough food to convert to glucose, blood sugar levels drop, causing headaches.

Drinking a lot of alcohol: Drinking a lot of alcohol can affect blood sugar levels. When a person drinks too much, the body’s insulin release process will be inhibited. Since insulin is used to help regulate blood sugar levels, when suppressed it causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels. Alcohol has also been shown to inhibit the body’s process of making sugar from its own stored fat or protein, lowering growth hormone levels and causing hypoglycemia.

Sugar can cause low or high blood sugar. Image: Freepik

Reactions to drugsHypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia also occurs as a result of the body’s response to certain medications. In people with diabetes, the medicines they take to help control the condition sometimes cause low blood sugar. People who don’t have diabetes but are taking diabetes medications can also experience low blood sugar.

Tumor: Rare tumors such as pancreatic tumors can cause overproduction of insulin. Because insulin helps keep blood sugar levels regulated, too much insulin can lead to a drop in blood sugar and cause hypoglycemia.

Hormonal deficiency: The hormone specifically cortisol plays an important role in determining the level of glucose in the body. When cortisol levels are out of balance, they cannot help with glucose balancing processes. Research has shown that people with Addison’s disease (the body doesn’t produce any of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone) have a higher-than-normal risk of hypoglycemia.

Sugar causes low blood sugar leading to headaches.  Photo: Freepik

Sugar can cause low blood sugar, which can lead to headaches. Image: Freepik

Reactive hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is low blood sugar about 2-5 hours after the end of a meal. The cause of reactive hypoglycemia is an overproduction of insulin by the body. Reactive hypoglycaemic headaches, like those that occur in typical hypoglycemia, affect both sides of the head proximal to the temples. The pain is usually dull and sharp.

Increased blood sugar

Headaches that occur with hyperglycemia (fasting blood sugar 125 mg/dL) tend to appear early and are a sign of higher-than-normal blood sugar. Unlike hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia causes the blood vessels in the brain to constrict, leading to a headache. They tend to be mild at first, but as blood sugar levels continue to rise or remain high, headaches can get worse.

Eating too much sugar at once can cause a hangover. When the body consumes too much sugar or carbohydrates in one sitting, the pancreas works hard to make insulin to help break down sugar and regulate blood sugar. When this happens, a sudden drop in blood sugar causes hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia in this condition can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain and nausea, tremors, fatigue, dizziness, mood swings, and headaches.

The body needs sugar to function properly, but consuming too much or too little sugar can wreak havoc on many body systems. Excess sugar upsets the entire balance of the body and can lead to unwanted effects like headaches or migraines.

On the other hand, cutting out sugar completely, which seems to be a healthy option for weight loss, can also cause some blood sugar-related problems. Therefore, people who often have headaches should pay attention to balance the use of sugar in daily meals, listen to the body’s response to make appropriate adjustments.

Mr. Chi
(According to VeryWellHealth)


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