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 Can Hunger Cause Headaches? Know the Facts

Did you miss a meal and then have had to deal with a pounding head? Well, you are not alone.

You would be amazed by how our eating habits trigger a good headache. There is a connection between lack of diet and hunger-related headaches. We will make it easy for you to comprehend hunger headaches, what causes them and ways to manage and avoid them effectively.

can not eating cause headaches? : Hunger Headache
Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash. .copyright 2020.

1. What Are The Possible Causes of a Hunger Headache?

It is an excruciating thing indeed – a headache!

The thin layers of tissue in your brain can start to tighten and press on pain receptors, leading to an intense headache. There are many reasons for these unpleasant sensations, such as stress, hormonal changes, and health issues. However, what are the other possible causes of headaches?  Missing meals can be a crucial trigger for those painful hunger headaches. Determining the underlying cause of this headache can help identify successful treatments and prevention measures.

2. The Importance Of A Consistent Energy Source

It is no secret that our bodies require a steady supply of nutrients to function optimally. When we skip meals, our body releases hormones that can cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to a severe headache. In short, a dull headache from not eating meals is a common symptom.

Small, frequent meals and snacks help keep the blood sugar and blood pressure constant. Foods high in protein and complex dietary fiber give prolonged power and suppress hunger.

Why Do I Get Migraines And Headaches From Not Eating And What To Do

3. How can Skipping Meals Trigger Hunger Headaches

Why is it that not eating on time causes headaches? Different types of headaches can result as skipping meals may generate them ranging from dull to severe. When we skip meals, there are fluctuations in the blood sugar level and migraine attack triggers. So, being punctual with meal times, healthy eating regimes, and not missing meals could help prevent them.

4. Impact Of Dehydration On Headaches

Did you know dehydration can cause severe headaches? When our body loses more fluid than we consume, we get dehydrated. When we lose blood volume, the imbalance of electrolytes or mineral salts within our body can interrupt regular brain activity.

Our brain doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver nutrients throughout the body, which can trigger migraine attacks and cause dull pain. It is crucial to understand that dehydration can be caused by various factors such as sweating, urination, and breathing. Therefore, it is essential to drink enough water regularly to replenish lost fluids and maintain our body’s electrolyte balance.

The recommended daily water intake is about 2 liters for an average adult, but it may vary depending on the individual’s age, gender, and physical activity level. Regularly drinking enough water is the only solution to reducing dehydration.


Can not eating cause headache?
Picture by Arnie Watkins on pixels Copyright 2019.

5. How do Low Blood Sugar Levels Induce Headaches?

We need to discuss how blood glucose levels are connected with experiencing hunger-related headaches to comprehend how intermittent fasting is related to the frequency of migraines.

The body’s cells get their energy from blood sugar or glucose. One of the common symptoms of not eating enough calories is low blood sugar levels, also known as hypoglycemia. It can cause the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can tighten blood vessels in the brain.

Because the brain needs a steady supply of glucose to function, a deficiency can result in a hunger headache as additional symptoms start gradually, including fatigue, weakness, and attention problems.

 5.1 How To Treat Low Blood Sugar Levels

When blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dL, this is hypoglycemia. To treat hypoglycemia, one can always follow the 15-15 rule. The 15-15 rule says you must take 15g of carbohydrates, wait for at least 15 minutes after taking 15g, and then test your blood sugar. If the blood sugar starts to become less than 70 mg/dL, repeat the 15-15 process until you get the optimal level.


Low blood sugar
Picture by Mali Maeder on pixels Copyright 2016.

6. The Role Of Caffeine On Headaches 

Caffeine is like a double-edged sword, present in numerous beverages and meals. It is a double-edged sword because it is a classic remedy for tension headaches and a factor to trigger migraine headaches.

Migraine sufferers may find temporary relief in small amounts of coffee, but when the “caffeine-buzz” tears off, your blood capillaries constrict again, making you uncomfortable. If you regularly consume two or more cups of coffee per day, it can lead to your head feeling pressure.

Excess caffeine intake induces tension headaches, and abrupt quitting may cause caffeine withdrawal headaches. Caffeine is a stimulant that boosts your energy by expanding the blood vessels in your brain; however, if consumed too much, it will constrict them and make your head tense.

7. Tips To Prevent Hunger Headaches

Preventing a common hunger headache is possible by eating healthy foods and establishing good eating habits throughout the day. Ensure having a balanced diet, including vegetables, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Nutritious foods comprising raw veggies, whole grains, and low-fat proteins can supply the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals necessary to maintain overall wellness. These foods keep you full for long periods. Try to keep unhealthy foods out of your diet to stay fit.

7.1 How Magnesium Affects Migraine Relief

Magnesium may ease a fasting headache, and lower the intensity of migraines.

To increase your magnesium intake, consider incorporating spinach, almonds, and avocado into your meals. By including these foods in your diet, you may be able to improve your overall well-being and manage your headaches more effectively.

7.2 Effects of Eating Healthy Foods and Staying Hydrated

Drinking water, fruit juice or any fluid substances throughout the day helps maintain adequate body hydration and stable blood sugar. Limiting caffeine intake to moderate levels and avoiding sudden withdrawal helps to lessen the frequent headaches.

Keep healthy snacks on hand to prevent more extended periods without eating. Processed foods, high in refined sugars, artificial additives, and trans fats, can trigger inflammation in the body, including the brain. These foods spike blood sugar levels quickly, leading to plummeting levels and a hunger headache soon after.

7.3 Hungry Stomach Leads To Hunger Headaches

Attend to your appetite’s signals, and don’t let your stomach rumble. Some days are rough and stressful; it is natural to feel hungry. But when hunger pangs come with head, eating slightly more food might be helpful. Foods like raw fruits help keep your energy bars up.

While an occasional hunger headache is common, it can often be treated with self-care techniques and managed through lifestyle changes. Nevertheless, recurring or frequent headaches require medical aid. Evaluating underlying causes would then help recommend suitable guidance from a healthcare provider.

Balanced diet
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Our body is a sophisticated mechanism that demands proper maintenance and nutrition for its topmost work.

An empty stomach is neither the only nor the exclusive cause of head pain— but it can provoke or exacerbate such ache. When you realize that blood sugar, caffeine, food timing, and water all play their part in the cause of common headaches, it becomes easier to address them actively. Nourish your body, avoid skipping meals, eat at regular intervals, drink water, and you can help avoid getting hunger-related headaches.

Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by