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Reasons Why You Get Headaches When You Are Hungry

Updated on March 14, 2017

Hunger headaches

You can experience headaches when you are hungry
You can experience headaches when you are hungry

Causes of hunger headaches

Reasons Why You Get Headaches When You Are Hungry

Why do I get headaches when I am hungry? This is one of the most commonly asked questions with regard to headaches. If you are one of those wondering why headaches and hunger often move hand in hand, then you are in luck since this article will explain to you the reason why that strange thing happens to you from time to time.

Why hunger causes headaches

There are a number of reasons why a person would likely suffer from a headache when they are hungry. The most prominent of these reasons is as a result of a low blood sugar level which can be brought on by hunger.

Many readers might be wondering what hunger has to do with a drop in one’s blood sugar levels. In fact hunger has everything to do with your blood sugar level dropping. It is a fact that when a person is hungry and hasn’t eaten in a while, his or her blood sugar level drops.

The reason why this happens is simply because when you don’t eat anything, there is no way sugar can enter into your blood. And when no sugar enters into your blood, then your blood sugar will obviously drop. It is as simple as that! The longer you starve yourself, the less sugar you are going to have in your system. The only way sugar can get into your blood is if you eat or drink something.

Now that you have understood how hunger leads to a drop in your blood sugar, let us now take a look at how a drop in the blood sugar levels causes headaches.

Why low blood sugar levels cause headaches

  • According to scientists, there are a number of likely reasons why the problem of low blood sugar often leads to headaches. One of these has to do with the blood vessels in the average person’s brain. Since the brain needs a regular and decent supply of glucose in order for it to work very well, when it is starved of the required amount of glucose, the blood vessels in the brain can easily contract or tighten. And when this happens, pain receptors around the brain are triggered, thereby increasing one’s likelihood of suffering from a headache.
  • Another likely reason why a low blood sugar level can cause a headache is because sometimes when a person’s blood sugar drops drastically, the body is forced to produce certain types of stress hormones to avert the negative effects of the body having low glucose levels. The production or release of these stress hormones can also trigger headaches in an individual.

These are the reasons why one of the most common symptoms of a low blood sugar level is a headache.

Hunger and dehydration often move hand in hand

In addition to the above, another common reason why hunger often causes headaches is as a result of the fact that more often than not when a person is hungry, he or she is normally also dehydrated. And as we might all be aware, one of the most common causes of headaches is as a result of dehydration.

Hunger can lead to dehydration

Hunger can lead to dehydration, which can then lead to headaches
Hunger can lead to dehydration, which can then lead to headaches

How does dehydration cause headaches?

When you are dehydrated, the tissues of your brain begin to lose water rapidly. As this process occurs, your brain shrinks and gradually moves away from the skull. The moment this happens, the pain receptors that surround the brain are triggered, thereby causing a headache. This is one of the reasons why the more dehydrated you are, the higher your risks are of suffering from headaches. Also, the hungrier you are, the higher the chances are that you are dehydrated, thus your likelihood of having a headache increases.


You have now learnt that when you are hungry, you are very prone to headaches. You have also know some of the reasons that account for hunger headaches.

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    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      19 months ago from Tennessee

      Very informative, well-written hub.


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