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February 9, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Hypoglycemia

Question from Loomis, Nebraska, USA:

I have been experiencing headaches, ranging from a daily chronic headache to a mild migraine headache once a week, for a large part of my life. Some symptoms involve headaches when waking up, before meals,sleeping in, etc. Caffeine seems to help. Could hypoglycemia be a possible cause? If so, what steps should I take?


From: DTeam Staff

Headaches can have many causes as you well know. If you have concerns about your risk of diabetes, I encourage you to discuss this with your physician. You can have your blood sugar tested to see if there are any abnormalities before or after eating.

If you are curious to see if you are having low blood sugar during a headache, checking your blood sugar as a headache begins might be helpful. You can check it a couple of ways: One would be at home using a blood glucose monitor. These monitors are available for about $35-100 at most pharmacies and come with a small amount of strips to begin testing. Another would be to discuss with your physician about borrowing a meter from their office or having someone drive you in to be tested when the headache is present.

Since you have had headaches for a long time, it seems unlikely that they would be associated with low blood sugar, but it never hurts to check out all the possibilities.