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Hunger and Migraines

Can hunger trigger migraine headaches?

Skipping meals and causing hunger can be a powerful migraine trigger in some migraine sufferers and also appears to be an issue that occurs more often for women than for men. In one study, hunger was a triggering mechanism in up to 40% of people suffering from migraine. There is a possibility that the mechanism for hunger as a migraine trigger could be hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, although there is little evidence to support this theory.

Hypoglycemia can definitely cause migraines in some individuals and is often caused by the individual consuming a meal that is high in simple sugars. Not too long after consumption of such a meal, the blood sugar tends to rise, only to fall to a fairly low level several hours later. It is best to avoid such meals or eat more frequent and smaller portions of meals if this is an issue for you.

Other causes of hypoglycemia can be prolonged fasting or excessive insulin in the bloodstream.  Diabetics who are dependent on insulin are at a higher risk to develop hypoglycemia especially if they take more insulin than actually needed.