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Headaches & Sugar (Page 1)

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Hey all,
I've been on a long life search to find the cause of my consist headaches & migraines which appear to have no pattern. A friend gave me a book all about refined sugar affecting headaches and I've decided to give it a go, coming up to 3 weeks soon, no relief as yet but I will allow 3 months. We're talking every sugar, cane sugar, glucose, fructose dextrose etc. The book is called Victory Over Migraine, by Rodolfo Low if anyone has ever heard of it. He seems to be aiming at people who are hypoglycemic and need to eat every 3 hours, such as myself.
Has anyone tried this/heard of this? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!
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First Helper gengberg
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replied October 20th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Have you been done certain tests for diagnosing hypoglycemia?
Do you get headaches only when you get other symptoms related to low blood sugar?
Where is your headache usually located?
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replied October 20th, 2008
Supporter
I understand that your headaches "appear to have no pattern" but is there some sort of frequency that you can estimate?

Have not heard of Low's book. What are his steps towards managing migraines?
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replied October 20th, 2008
thanks...
i've been to several doctors (GP's) chiropractors, naturopaths & acupunturists...have not been diagnosed hyperglycemia as such but I do have all the symptoms - having to eat every 3 hours or else dizzy/nasea/headaches.
the doctors I have been to only want to prescribe pills for me - i've been on several but with no effect - plus I want to get to the source of the problem, not just cover it up.
MandMs - the headaches are never in the same spot - sometimes at the base of my skull, sometimes around both temple or just one. I have had several injuries off horses which make me think i am out somewhere in my neck/back but have not found a chiropractor to right the problem. i've had 2 cat scans, but not an MRI.
Mame - the author of the book basically says go off all refined sugar. It's exactly 3 weeks to the day for me, not much has happened and ironically i am off work sick at the moment with a migraine!!
Also, although I have not found any pattern relating to headaches, there is a SLIGHT increase around the time of my period. Was talking to the massage therapist yesterday & he said there is such a thing as this, and something to take for it.
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replied October 28th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
What kind of injuries you had?
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replied October 29th, 2008
My main ones have been breaking my shoulder after a horse rolled on me, and landing on my back on bitumen - first time I was about 17 and was urinating/spitting blood, second time just recently and now have the problem in my lower back where the spinous processes are being pushed together & the doctor has advised me not to ride. (but I still do) The injuries play up from time to time and I do lots of excersises to prevent them from causing me too much pain. All chiros/massage therapsits I have been to say that yes, I am out in me back/neck area, and this would cause headaches, but this often?
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replied November 5th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Headaches can result from problems in the neck and shoulders being referred to the head.
Cluster, migraine, and the many forms of tension headaches, as well as postconcussion and "whiplash" headache, may also be consequences of traumatic cervical spine injury.
Investigation should include a detailed musculoskeletal search for cervical spine injury. Headcaches due to cervical spine injury can be felt even years after the injury.
MRI will be useful in this situation.
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replied August 25th, 2009
Personally for me, I have suffered from Migraines for 13 years now...I find when THAT headache comes on, all I crave is sugar...but know I cant have any. Sugar triggers my headaches even more so. This includes the tiny-ist bit of sugar in any food, and there are times when I cant eat anything because of it. Get to know what triggers your headaches, it could be the pressure change in the weather as it is for me. Spring and Summer months seem to be the worst for me. Best tip, the minute you feel a headache/migrain coming on, treat it then, dont wait for it to get worse.
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replied August 25th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Sugar and Caffeine are the only reliable way for me to break a Migraine. Everyone's headache is differnet but to be sure sugar affects metabolism and bloodflow so there is definately ground under the theory that sugar can cause or agrivate a Migraine.
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replied August 26th, 2009
Nonstop Migraines
My doctor told me to stay away from artificial sweeteners, like Splenda (especially) and anything with aspartame in it, since they both have been known to trigger migraines.

I also wonder how many of us are actually suffering from "rebound" headaches. I knew enough to know the basics, but I had NO IDEA that you could trigger a rebound headache by just regularly relying on Excedrin Migraine ONCE a week! Knowing that (since it's my go-to med for a migraine), I wonder how many rebound headaches I caused myself to have instead of toughing it out or finding another solution.

My doctor put me on a preventative (Topomax), but it just makes me feel stupid all the time - completely airheaded, a common side effect complaint, it seems - but it hasn't worked at all. She won't put me on abortive meds (like Maxalt) because I have high blood pressure.

Anyone found a safe abortive for someone with BP issues?
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replied November 27th, 2009
migraines and sugar
I'm relatively new to migraine headaches (within the last four months or so) and have noticed that after I drink pop loaded with sugar that the headache come on very quickly and is located mainly in both temples. I'm not diabetic. It's taken awhile for me to pinpoint this and I started watching for patterns about a month after I started to get the migraines. I can still drink ginger ale but root beer is definitely off of the list.
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replied May 31st, 2010
migraines and sugar
iv had migraines all my life and iv also been really sensitive to refined sugar all my life too - iv had several diabetes tests and all came back negative but if i dont eat regular than i can get really dizzy and if i eat sugar then i get a really intense migraine. saying that there are days when i just crave sugar but i usually get a migraine a day or two later, its an unreliable trigger i guess.
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replied May 31st, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
tanny_lou

Have you ever had an allergy pannel run?
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replied November 9th, 2010
Re: Headaches & Sugar
Yes! I have a problem with sugar and headaches. I have never been able to figure out why, but it is very serious and I have known about it for many years now. If I eat a little bit of white sugar or brown sugar, I get a headache. If I eat honey or barley malt of other natural sugars, even a lot , this does not happen. It seems to only happen with processed sugars. I completely avoid sugar, but every once in a while I have some by mistakes and I get a headache. Usually what happens is that I wake up with a headache and have to figure out what I had that had sugar in it. The last time this happened, I had been at a party and had eaten some cherries and strawberries. I found out later that the host had sprinkled some sugar on the fruit and that explained it. So it's not about blood sugar levels and it's also not my imagination or somehow psychosomatic because it happens when I have sugar and don't know that I am. I have done some research online to figure out why this is the case for me but I have never found the answer. All I know is that it is absolutely true for me. Processed sugar = bad headache!
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replied November 9th, 2010
Re: Headaches & Sugar
Yes! I have a problem with sugar and headaches. I have never been able to figure out why, but it is very serious and I have known about it for many years now. If I eat a little bit of white sugar or brown sugar, I get a headache. If I eat honey or barley malt of other natural sugars, even a lot , this does not happen. It seems to only happen with processed sugars. I completely avoid sugar, but every once in a while I have some by mistakes and I get a headache. Usually what happens is that I wake up with a headache and have to figure out what I had that had sugar in it. The last time this happened, I had been at a party and had eaten some cherries and strawberries. I found out later that the host had sprinkled some sugar on the fruit and that explained it. So it's not about blood sugar levels and it's also not my imagination or somehow psychosomatic because it happens when I have sugar and don't know that I am. I have done some research online to figure out why this is the case for me but I have never found the answer. All I know is that it is absolutely true for me. Processed sugar = bad headache!
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replied October 2nd, 2011
My sugar barometer
I am much like "gengberg", I used to get headaches 2-3 times a week that turned into pulsing migraines. I thought it was stress making my neck muscles tense or something, spent thousands on massages, hot tubs (honestly, I spent like $8k twice just for headache relief!!), pillows (bought every version you can imagine... Remember the sobakawa [sp?] bean pillow? Lol!), not to mention bottles and bottles of excedrin, the only medicine that helped. Totally unrelated I decided a few years ago to go with diet sodas. My headaches all but disappeared!
Now I can tell exactly when I will get a headache. Anything with high sugar content... By the way, it's amazing how much sugar some food items have, like the strawberry yoplait I had last night: I woke up with a headache. On the upside, I am 42 (m) and my headache "barometer" has as great advantage that it motivates me to eat healthy, so I don't mind:)
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replied April 4th, 2012
could processed sugar be a trigger?
For me, it seems like the less I eat, the fewer migraines I have. I don't drink soda or anything with caffeine. I'm beginning to think anything with sugar is also a trigger. I was having up to 15 lost days per month due to migraines. Now, I can control it to a degree through monitoring what I consume. I have a very limited diet. Some of my Triggers: Caffeine, cheese, nuts, processed meats, noise, lack of sleep, or disturbed sleep patterns, cigarette smoke, perfume
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replied May 14th, 2012
crave sugar when have a headache
It has been very helpful reading this blog. For the past 10 years I have had really bad headaches bordering on migraines. I have thought the triggers were alchohol, stress, neck tension, grains, pollen, altitude, and barometric changes. But all have been inconsistent. I have just begun to figure out that it could actually be sugar! I have always had a sweet tooth and I crave sweets when I have a headache. I often allow myself a treat at that time because I want to feel better! From now on I'm going to eliminate processed sugar and see what happens. I love my morning chai with honey, so am hoping that natural sweeteners are going to be ok.
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replied May 17th, 2012
Experienced User
Have any of you ever consider that you are diabetic?

The other possibility is that chocolate gives headaches and migraines.

Last but not least, that you have pinched and dislocated nerves in your upper back and neck areas and those nerves need to be reset soonest. I know as I have been a Healer for 14+ years.
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replied September 12th, 2012
Sound like blood sugar management problems to me
Another possibility is reactive hypoglycemia: refined sugar easily brings your blood sugar up very high very rapidly, and your body reacts by dumping a load of insulin into your blood. If you are prone to reactive hypoglycemia, your body releases too much insulin and consequently brings your blood sugar below normal, where it stays until you consume more sugar (but if you consume too much too fast or stop too suddenly you'll just retrigger the cycle again). Symptoms of low blood sugar include both headaches and sugar cravings. The solution to this is to ingest a TINY amount of sugar, SLOWLY (then wait too see if it helps, and if so try a little it more, then wait again, etc.), or preferably some other food with a low glycemic index, to give your body time to gradually adjust its insulin level to more correctly cancel out the sugar in your blood.
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