Can diabetes cause a headache?

Fact Checked

Diabetes disrupts with the ability of the body to generate or utilize insulin. This hormone is responsible for controlling the blood sugar levels and produces energy. Among those with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not generate insulin.

If there is lack of insulin, there is excess sugar in the blood and symptoms arise such as fatigue, headaches, neuropathy, blindness and even death if untreated. As for type 2 diabetes, it involves cellular resistance to insulin and not diagnosed until the individual has evident signs such as chronic headaches.

Hyperglycemic headache

Hyperglycemia occurs if excess glucose is present in the blood due to lack of insulin or cellular resistance. Remember that hyperglycemia is a distinctive sign in both forms of diabetes and a serious condition due to the high concentrations of glucose that can be toxic to the blood vessels and nerves.

A dull headache is a common, initial sign of hypoglycemia and often accompanied by cloudy vision, dizziness, tremors, sweating and confusion.

A headache is an initial sign of hyperglycemia and frequently accompanied by fatigue, blurry vision and confusion.

Hypoglycemia headache

Hypoglycemia develops if there is limited glucose in the blood or being used by the cells. If an individual is diabetic, hypoglycemia develops if too much insulin is used. Among those without diabetes, unable to eat enough carbohydrates that the body breaks down into glucose can result to hypoglycemia.

A dull headache is a common, initial sign of hypoglycemia and often accompanied by cloudy vision, dizziness, tremors, sweating and confusion. If simple carbohydrates are not eaten, hypoglycemia can result to convulsion, loss of consciousness and death.

Glaucoma headache

If an individual is diagnosed with diabetes, particularly type 2, he/she is susceptible to develop glaucoma. In this condition, the optic nerve is impaired which leads to progressive, permanent blindness. It is important to note that diabetes is accompanied by a higher likelihood for glaucoma since the optic nerve is highly sensitive to high amounts of blood glucose.

Neuropathic headache

It is important to note that diabetes often results to neuropathy or nerve damage due to the elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.