Migraine Trigger: Processed Sugar

Migraine Trigger: Processed Sugar

Sugar is a major migraine trigger because it’s inflammatory, hard on the gut, spikes blood glucose levels, increases oxidative stress, and reduces ketones.

Ten reasons why sugar is a migraine trigger:

1. Increased Oxidative Stress

Processed sugar increases oxidative stress (study link).

Oxidative stress is the largest migraine trigger (study 1, 2).

2. Top Migraine Trigger

Successful elimination diets have found that sugar is a top migraine trigger (study 1, 2).

3. Increased Inflammation

Sugar increases inflammation (study link).

Migraines are associated with increased inflammation levels (study link).

4. Sugar Spike

Sugar creates glucose spikes in the blood that may result in low blood sugar, a common migraine trigger (Migraine Trust link).

What goes up must come down.

5. Obesity

Sugar is a well-known factor in the obesity epidemic (study link).

Obesity increases migraine risk by 81 percent (study link).

6. Dehydration

Sugary sodas and sports drinks that claim hydration benefits may actually worsen dehydration (study link).

Dehydration is a top migraine trigger.

7. Gut Punch

Sugar can create gut inflammation and aggravate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (study 1, 2).

IBS is up to five times more likely in migraine sufferers (study 1, 2).

Sugar should be reduced or eliminated in both conditions (article link).

8. Reduced Ketones

Sugar stops the natural production of ketones.

Ketones are one of the most successful migraine treatments (article link).

9. Aging, Oxidative Stress, and Thyroid Problems

Excess sugar produces advanced glycation end products (AGE’s) that literally make your body age and deteriorate (study link).

AGE’s are correlated with increased levels of oxidative stress—the migraine trigger—and thyroid dysfunction (study link).

Migraine sufferers are 3.5 times as likely to have hypothyroidism (Study link).

10. Estrogen Goes Out of Control

Too much sugar turns off the gene that controls estrogen (study 1, 2).

Low estrogen levels are more likely to trigger migraines before and during menstruation—termed menstrual migraines.

However, new research shows female migraine sufferers have a 30 percent greater drop in estrogen than non-migraineurs (study link).

This suggests that all migraine sufferers may have a problem regulating estrogen.

Avoid sugar because it may disrupt your estrogen levels and trigger migraines.

Sugar is Hidden Everywhere

The hardest part of eliminating processed sugar is that it is hidden in most processed foods.

Wheat bread, yogurt, muffins, tomato sauce, crackers, salad dressing, and numerous other foods that we think are healthy actually contain processed sugar.

For example, my father thought that his muffins from Costco were a healthy breakfast. But they contained over 40 grams of sugar—that’s more sugar than a soda.

I thought my prepackaged salad from Trader Joe’s was healthy until I looked at the label and found that it contains 16 grams of sugar.

Reduce Processed Foods

In order to reduce sugar, it is necessary to reduce processed foods (article link).

Reduce or Eliminate Processed Sugar

Processed sugar is one of the most dangerous migraine foods. Reduce or eliminate processed sugar.

This is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Read the disclaimer.

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