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Can not eating breakfast cause headaches?

Last updated on January 10th, 2023 at 09:58 am

Does not eating breakfast cause headaches? It certainly does. Keep reading to learn more about the link between hypoglycemia and headaches…

Not eating breakfast does cause headaches. When you skip breakfast, your blood sugar level declines. So to compensate, your body releases hormones that tell you that you are hungry. Unfortunately, the hormones released in this process can increase your blood pressure and tighten blood vessels, which in turn triggers headaches and migraine.

Can you get a headache from not eating enough?

Yes, you can get headaches from not eating enough or not drinking enough. Skipping meals can not only give you headaches it can cause you many health-related side effects.

Let’s see what happens when you skip your meals?

  • When you skip your breakfast then your blood sugar level starts to decline. In response to this low sugar level (hypoglycemia), your body releases a chemical substance called histamine that tenses your muscles and increases your blood pressure.
  • This can also trigger hunger headaches and migraine. When you have not eaten enough and experience a headache this can be a sign you are hungry and need some calories.
  • We all sometimes skip breakfast particularly when we get up late in the morning. Skipping breakfast on some days is okay but skipping breakfast frequently can impact your health in a multitude of ways. If you skip your breakfast regularly then you might experience things like weight gain, slow metabolism, dizziness, and headache.

Hunger headaches

A hunger headache can sometimes cause a more severe headache like a migraine. In case, you are experiencing hunger-related migraine headaches then simply eating is not enough to ease the pain.

In such a case, you should take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as naproxen or ibuprofen. You can also consider having a large cup of coffee it may help relieve some pain.

Let’s see what else you can do to cure a hunger headache if it’s not a migraine.

  • Hunger headaches are easy to cure unlike other types of headaches like migraine or sinus headaches. Hunger headache occurs when your blood sugar levels go beyond the normal level.
  • So to stable your blood sugar levels try not to skip your breakfast. In case, you don’t have time because of a busy schedule. Then consider carrying portable healthy snacks like dry fruits or some energy bars with yourself and try to eat them in between office hours.
  • Drink a lot of water throughout the day. In case you are not sure if you’re drinking enough or not? Check your urine if it is brownish or dark yellow then it means you are dehydrated.
  • In case you experience headaches because of caffeine withdrawal then don’t immediately cut your caffeine intake. Try to have a cup of tea or coffee that contains a lower amount of caffeine and slowly quit it.

What are the Main Hunger Headache Symptoms

A hunger headache happens when your blood sugar levels decline beyond their normal levels.

A hunger headache may occur due to several reasons.

The reasons maybe you are not eating because of some religious purpose, following some strict diet plans or simply missing your breakfast because of a tight schedule.

Let’s see what are the symptoms of hunger headache.

Some primary symptoms may include:

  • Dull pain
  • Feeling tension on your shoulders and in the back of your neck. 
  • Experiencing pressure on both sides of your head.
  • Feeling as if someone wrapped a tight band on your head

 Also, when your blood sugar level declines then you might feel some other symptoms that include:

  • fatigue
  • shakiness
  • dizziness
  • feeling cold
  • stomach pain

Remember, these symptoms of Hunger headache will get resolved within about 30 minutes of eating a meal.

If it does not get resolved within 30 minutes, and you experience severe headache with the symptoms like numbness in your arms or slurred speech. Then you should seek the help of doctors, it might be a sign of stroke.

Can Not Eating Enough Cause Headaches and Nausea?

Yes, skipping meals and not eating enough can cause you headaches and nausea. Let’s see what factors contribute to headaches and nausea.

  •  Hypoglycemia: To function properly the brain needs enough amount of glucose from the blood. But when you don’t eat enough your body’s glucose levels drop (as happens in hypoglycemia). In such a case your brain gets affected and consequently results in headache, migraine, sweating, and nausea.
  • To stable your blood glucose levels you should try to eat small healthy meals throughout the day and never miss your breakfast.
  • Dehydration: If your body is dehydrated then you might also feel headaches and nausea. So stay hydrated and drink at least 80-100 ounces of water a day.
  • Caffeine withdrawal: You might experience headaches or nausea if you suddenly stop drinking high caffeine drinks like coffee. So reduce your coffee intake gradually to avoid a headache.

What to Eat for a Hunger Headache?

Hunger headache occurs when your blood sugar levels decline beyond certain levels. This may happen because you have not eaten anything, are dehydrated, or because you quit your caffeine dozes. 

When your body’s blood sugar drops down then your body releases certain hormones that increase your blood pressure. And because of this process, you might feel hunger and headache.

Let’s see what you should eat for a hunger headache.

  • Make sure that your diet is completely balanced and includes proteins, carbohydrates, and a lot of fiber. Vitamins like riboflavin also known as vitamin B2s and magnesium and minerals.
  • Fruits like bananas are a great source of energy and are rich in magnesium, bananas are also 74% water which means they will keep you hydrated as well.
  • Foods like squash, quinoa, or black beans are rich in carbohydrates that will stabilize your blood sugar levels.
  • Magnesium deficiency is the biggest reason for headaches. So you should eat things like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and cashews that are all rich in magnesium to prevent yourself from headaches.
  • Coffee can also help with hunger headaches. Coffee contains caffeine that is used in some headache-related medications. But try not to drink too much.

FAQ Relating to Headaches and Eating Breakfast:

not eating breakfast cause headaches

Can Skipping Breakfast Cause Migraines?

Skipping breakfast can cause a migraine if your blood sugar level dips below a certain level. What you are doing when you are skipping your breakfast is that you are cutting off the regular food supply to your brain.

When you don’t eat your breakfast your brain gets stressed and releases a signal that you are hungry. This may cause migraine. Likewise, when you eat inconsistently or skip breakfast.

Then you are causing drastic spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels that may lead to migraine.

So to keep your blood sugar levels stable always keep some portable food that you can eat anytime.

From personal experience, I can tell you that people like me have very easily triggered migraines. Skipping a meal of one of a handful of guaranteed ways for me to get a migraine.

Other people only get migraines from specific causes, though, like wine or chocolate. If you get migraines, your best bet is to be aware of all triggers that can be avoided, including what and how often you eat.

What Happens if You Don’t Eat Breakfast in the Morning?

When life gets busy we sometimes tend to skip one thing i.e. breakfast. We all know, that breakfast is the paramount meal of the day and still we skip it. Skipping breakfast can impact your health especially if you skip it daily.

Let’s see what happens when you don’t eat breakfast in the morning.

  •  Skipping breakfast regularly can slow down your metabolism. You are already in a fasted state overnight and when you skip your breakfast in the morning. Then your body’s capacity to burn calories get reduces which causes fat accumulation in your body.
  • Some experts say that skipping breakfast can cause increased hunger throughout the day due to which you may indulge in extra snacking which in turn can cause weight gain. 
  • Skipping breakfast can increase the cortisol levels in your body. Increased cortisol in the body can cause weight gain and blood sugar imbalances.
  • Skipping breakfast can drop your blood glucose levels which can trigger headaches and migraines.

What Are the Side Effects of Skipping Breakfast?

Let’s see what may happen to you if you regularly skip your breakfast. 

  •   If you skip your breakfast then you are at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack.
  • When you skip breakfast you deprive your body of all the important nutrients that your body needs to fight against several diseases.
  • When you skip breakfast your body’s blood sugar level goes down which can make you “hangry” (hungry and angry at the same time).
  • Skipping breakfast means your brain lacks fuel in the form of glucose which will affect the proper functioning of your brain cells. In addition, you may also experience dizziness and headache.

Why Do I Get Headaches if I Don’t Eat on Time?

You may experience headaches if you don’t eat on time. Because when you skip your meal then your blood sugar level drops beyond a normal level.

So to compensate low level of sugar, your body releases some chemical substances that signal the body that you are hungry. The hormones released in this process increase your blood pressure which can trigger headaches.

Also, when you eat food inconsistently or do not eat food at all. Then you are causing sudden ups and downs in your blood sugar levels that may also lead to migraine.

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