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diabetes headache

Diabetes and Headache: Symptoms, Causes, and Cure


If you have diabetes and frequent headaches, there may be an imbalance in your blood sugar levels.

When a person gets diabetes, their body cannot effectively utilize the hormone insulin, which is necessary for maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Long-term high or low blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening health complications, such as heart disease and kidney failure. The first step in averting more serious health concerns is determining that your headaches are caused by an inability to control your blood sugar.

Diabetic headaches may signify a high or low blood sugar level.

Let’s explore more about diabetes headaches in this post. 

This article examines the relationship between diabetes and headaches. It presents important information related to diabetes headaches and discusses diabetic headache symptoms along with causes and cures. 

Diabetes Headache

Changes in the level of glucose in the blood can affect the pressure within the brain’s blood arteries. There is a possibility that this will induce a diabetes headache. Headaches are a typical symptom of type 2 diabetes and can be caused by high or low blood glucose levels. Even though headaches are a typical side effect of various diabetes therapies, type 2 diabetes is unlikely to result in headaches if blood sugar levels are well-managed. 

Headaches are common medical complaints, and there are numerous causes. There are two types of headaches, including primary and secondary headaches. 

Primary headaches occur when the brain receives pain signals from brain cells, nerves, blood vessels, or muscles around the head. Another medical issue does not induce primary headaches. They are sometimes known as “independent migraines” because nothing else causes them. Migraines and tension headaches are examples of primary headaches.

Secondary headaches are caused by health conditions such as diabetes. Depending on the initial cause of the headache, the severity of the pain from a secondary headache can vary. Diabetes headaches due to hyperglycemia can range from moderate to severe in intensity. 

Diabetic Headache Symptoms

Diabetes headaches are symptoms caused by both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. They can be extremely painful and cause the head to feel pounding or pulsing. You may also experience fatigue, illness, and high light and sound sensitivity.

If you have a headache due to diabetes, you may also experience additional symptoms, depending on whether the blood glucose is too high or too low.

Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when the body’s blood sugar level falls below 70 mg/dL. In addition to the symptoms stated above, this can result in headaches, confusion, dizziness, tremors, hunger, irritability, and weakness.

If your blood glucose levels are not immediately restored to between 70 and 100 mg/dL, your symptoms, such as numbness, difficulty concentrating, poor coordination, fainting, and even coma, may worsen.

Most individuals with hypoglycemia describe their temple aches as dull and throbbing. In addition to pain, other symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Agitation, irritability, and confusion

Hypoglycemia is an additional cause of migraine headaches. Several migraine sufferers report craving carbohydrates just before their headaches begin. It could be how the body regulates blood sugar and prevents headaches.

Low blood sugar headaches might cause nausea, dizziness, an upset stomach, or excessive perspiration.

Diabetic headache symptoms due to high blood sugar include extreme thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, and difficulty seeing.

Causes of Diabetic Headaches

Although headaches are a sign of diabetes, not all diabetics experience them. On the other hand, people just diagnosed with diabetes may occasionally experience headaches.

As a result of their fluctuating blood glucose levels, people with diabetes for a long period may feel headaches.

When blood glucose levels are abnormally high, hyperglycemia expresses itself as a headache. Headaches may also be symptoms of hypoglycemia, which occurs when the blood sugar level is too low.

These headaches may be caused by variable amounts of hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine. By restricting the blood arteries in the brain, these hormones can produce pain or discomfort.

When the glucose levels in the blood are too high, the body loses water and dehydrates. When your blood sugar is up for an extended period, particularly if it is already elevated, your body loses more and more water.

Dehydration is a well-known and obvious cause of headaches in people without diabetes. However, insufficient water intake can also cause high blood sugar; when your body’s tissues and bloodstream contain less water, the glucose concentration in your bloodstream increases.

Cure for Diabetic Headaches

Over-the-counter pain medications can alleviate diabetic headaches. Migraine sufferers should discuss possible treatments with their physicians.

If a person experiences a headache due to high or low blood sugar, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately. They will probably need to alter their treatment. 

People with diabetes should consult their physician before changing their medication, food habits, or exercise routines. If you follow your doctor’s instructions, you can prevent your blood sugar from fluctuating, so reducing the likelihood of headaches.

The treatment for diabetic headaches depends on glucose levels in the blood. 

People with diabetes who awaken with a headache should immediately check their blood sugar since this could indicate nocturnal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar throughout the night).

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with low blood sugar consume 15 grams of glucose or simple carbs and recheck their blood sugar in 15 minutes.

Once the blood sugar returns to normal, the symptoms, notably the headache, will likely improve.

If a headache is caused by high blood sugar, a person can exercise or drink beverages to increase the body’s water content.

A person with type 1 diabetes should periodically monitor their blood glucose levels and assess their ketone levels with a urine test. They should also take insulin or other medications prescribed by their doctor.

People with ketones in their urine should not exercise and should contact a doctor immediately if they experience any symptoms. When performed at this time, exercise may increase blood sugar levels unfavorably.

Other treatments for diabetes headaches brought on by high blood sugar include:

  • Maintaining a healthy, normal weight
  • Consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Taking any prescription medications


Diabetes is just one of the many causes of headaches. The majority of the time, over-the-counter pain medicines are effective, but migraine sufferers may require medical attention.

People with diabetes who experience frequent headaches should check their blood sugar levels each time to determine if the headaches are blood sugar-related.

Anyone who experiences frequent diabetes headaches due to high or low blood sugar levels should consult a physician. To better manage their blood sugar, it may be necessary to modify their current treatment.

If a person’s headaches are severe or persist despite normal blood sugar levels, they should consult their primary care physician. Even though headaches are not inherently harmful, they may indicate that the blood glucose is too high or too low, and both can be fatal.

Maintaining blood sugar levels within the target range will help you feel better and prevent diabetes-related negative effects. 

Experts at HG Analytics are here to ease your pain and suffering with their professional diagnostic and care services. Book your consultation now to get rid of health risks. 

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