Missing meals and/or taking too long to eat between meals is one of my migraine triggers? Do you have this problem? If you do this is why:
It’s because our blood glucose levels/blood sugar levels play a role in regulating our bodies.
What’s does blood glucose (sugar) level mean?
Our bodies run on energy; most of which come from carbohydrates (simple and complex). When we eat carbs, our body converts the carbs into glucose (a simple sugar), which then enters our blood stream; our blood stream then delivers it where it’s needed. Therefore our blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) found in our bloodstream before or after a meal.
Just as our bodies need to be regulated, our blood glucose levels have to be too. The hormones insulin and glucagon are responsible for that. If our blood glucose level becomes too high (HYPERglycemia), our body secretes insulin to bring it down; if it’s too low (HYPOglycemia) our body releases glucagon to raise it. Fascinating isn’t it?
What happens when we skip or take to long to eat in between meals?
When we skip or take to long to eat a meal our body lacks the fuel it needs to create glucose. As a result, our blood glucose level drops making us hypoglycemic. For some migriaineurs, hypoglycemia is a trigger. To avoid it we can do the following:
1. Eat on time. Since I started my action plan I’ve been eating every three to four hours (a doctor would be the best person to determine the time in between your meals).
2. Avoid eating meals or snacks that are high in sugar. This can cause reactive hypoglycemia. When your body recognizes the high sugary content it can over produce insulin (the hormone used to lower your blood glucose level), driving the level way to low.
3. Avoid skipping meals. This is a no brainer, no fuel = no glucose; no glucose = low glucose in the blood – hypoglycemia.
4. Have an early, healthy snack if you can’t get breakfast right away. Or if you have a migraine and have difficulty waking due to exhaustion have a healthy snack until you’re able to get something more substantial.
What are some of the quick healthy snacks that you enjoy? If you have none here are a few:
Quick Healthy snacks:
Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds
Fruits low in sugar
Slices of meat (without any triggers: nitrates, nitrites, msg…if they are a problem for you)
Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Nut Butter with a fruit or veg
Veggies with Hummus or Hummus and Crackers
Veggie and/or fruit smoothies
Warning: Avoid any of the suggested snacks that may be a trigger for you.
For a more thorough explanation of this subject please see: Hypoglycemia and Migraine | The Migraine Trust.
Click HERE if you want to learn how to plan and eat tasty, healthy, meals despite having chronic migraines.
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