The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a branch called the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). According to NINDS, approximately half of migraines are caused, in part, by what we eat. Sugar plays a major role in the relationship between diet and headaches. Let's look at why that is the case.
Why do we get head pain? The short answer is that oxygen supplies decrease when arteries in and around the brain constrict (typical headache) and dilate (migraines, in which they do both). Often the initial constriction arises because the amount of blood sugar is fluctuating. Blood sugar is the fuel that reaches the brain through the circulatory system, and oxygen accompanies it. You can see how sugar and headaches are closely connected.
In a healthy body, blood sugar or blood glucose levels remain steady because the pancreas secretes substantial insulin to remove it from the blood. In an unbalanced body, which can result temporarily when heavy-sugar foods are consumed, the arteries respond with constriction. The constriction lets the brain know that the circulatory system is overloaded.
There are two basic types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Straight sugar – which exists in table sugar, dairy products, fruit, and corn syrup – is simple and converts directly into glucose. The complex variety – which we get from grains and some vegetables – is slower to convert into glucose but can also contribute to excess.
In hypoglycemia, cells are not getting enough glucose. The condition means that metabolic processes in the body are not functioning correctly. Oxygen and nutrients in food are not reaching the cells in adequate amounts. Migraineurs frequently desire carbohydrates while undergoing headaches because the body wants to boost a diminished supply of glucose. Sugar is consumed, followed by hypoglycemia, in which high sugar levels cause arterial constriction and lack of oxygen to the brain. A headache diet prevents this imbalance from happening.
In other words, sugar and headaches are related through the physical process that results when it is eaten in large quantities. Reading labels can help us avoid sugar and corn syrup. Carbohydrates should also not be the centerpiece of a diet.
As described above, headaches involve complicated physiological processes. Solutions to combat headaches should respect the intricate nature of the human body. The MiRx Protocol combines a medical approach with biomechanical tactics – including nutrition – to cure headaches rather than just suppress them.