Why do I get a headache after I eat sugar?

In this brief guide, we will address the query,” Why do I get a headache after I eat sugar?” We will also discuss the different food that may trigger headaches after eating. Moreover, we will also talk about what to do on getting headaches after eating food.

Why do I get a headache after I eat sugar?

Various causes of a headache after eating sugar result in multiple forms of pain levels. Some of the major causes of headaches due to sugar are :


Hypoglycemia is characterized by insufficient blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL, you experience hypoglycemia. Skipping a meal and having sugar instead or going for a long time without eating may trigger hypoglycemia. Production of excessive insulin by the body after having sugar is the cause of headaches. 


Consumption of sugar also triggers hyperglycemia which may result in headaches. Hyperglycemia is brought on by having a very high blood sugar level. When insulin cannot effectively break down glucose in your body, this occurs. Your blood sugar can exceed 180–200 mg/dL. A headache could be an early sign that you have very high blood sugar.

Sugar hangover

Your blood glucose levels could change quickly if you consume a lot of sugar in a short period and then do not consume any. That may result in a sugar hangover. In moderation, sugar shouldn’t give someone a headache, but too much or too little sugar can cause a sudden change in blood sugar levels.

Sugar withdrawal

Sugar has the potential to become addictive. This brings similar changes in brain activity as when someone becomes a drug addict.

A “sugar withdrawal” headache can also be brought on by eating less sugar than usual. This might occur, for instance, on the first day of a new diet or after reducing your intake of sweet candies or sugary beverages.

Which foods can trigger headaches after eating?

Food triggering headaches varies from person to person so there is no such fixed food that triggers headaches. One affecting of such headaches should self-report food they are allergic to and that normally causes headaches constantly 20 minutes to 2 hours after eating. Avoiding such food is the best option to be on the safe side of preventing headaches after eating.

Although food-triggering headaches depend on people there are some common foods that most people find the potential to trigger a headache. Some of them are:

  • Cheese and its byproducts such as breed, crackers, and desserts
  • Alcohol among which red wine, champagne, whiskey, and beer are the most common.
  • Tomato-based products such as pizza
  • Peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, and other nuts and seed-based ingredients
  • Chocolate and caffeinated beverages including coffee and tea.
  • Onion, garlic 
  • Certain fresh and dried fruits such as ripe bananas, avocados, citrus fruits, kiwi, pineapple, papaya, dates, figs, and raisins
  • Different foods that contain Monosodium glutamates (MSG) such as soy sauce, packed food, and meat tenderizer.
  • Hot dogs, sausage, bacon, pepperoni
  • Aspartame sweetener 

What should I do when I get a headache after eating?

If you suffer from a headache regularly after eating food consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. This condition is not unusual but this shouldn’t be ignored because it may also have medical conditions which may lead to various problems.

Food allergy causes headaches and some people have multiple foods that trigger headaches if you can’t distinguish allergic food consult your doctor. Along with headaches if you also have muscle weakness, fainting, trouble walking, nausea, vision, and speech change after eating better see your doctor soon.

There are some home remedies for headaches after eating because they are common in most people. Drinking plenty of water, gentle massage to the head, and eliminating food triggering a headache are common prevention methods that can be done at home to prevent headaches after eating foods.

Prevention of headaches can be a better option rather than treating headaches afterward. Some of the prevention methods of headaches after eating are :

  • Avoid allergic food
  • Look for Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Stay hydrated
  • Balanced diet
  • Limit the intake of sugar, a carbohydrate that results in Post-prandial hypoglycemia. For more details on the causes, symptoms, and preventive measures for post-prandial hypoglycemia, please click the link here.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query,” Why do I get a headache after I eat?” We have also discussed different foods that may trigger headaches after eating. Moreover, we also talked about what to do on getting headaches after eating food.