Diabetes Headache and Eye Pain

You may be aware that frequent urination and extreme thirst are symptoms of diabetes, but did you realize that headaches and eye discomfort are also associated with this dreadful disease?

Diabetes and headaches

Headaches are one of the symptoms of high blood sugar (1), which is a defining feature of diabetes. When your blood sugar levels are too high, it might create brain changes that result in headaches. Furthermore, elevated blood sugar levels might lead to dehydration (2). Dehydration can cause tension headaches and migraines in certain people (3).

High blood sugar levels can also induce alterations in blood vessels, resulting in vascular headaches.

This is related to the blood’s viscosity, or runniness, which causes pressure in the blood vessels. This also causes a rise in blood pressure, which is a factor in diabetes headaches (4).

A headache caused by elevated blood sugar might feel like a dull discomfort, tension headache, or migraine. A high blood sugar headache may also cause a sense of fullness or tightness in the head, weariness, sensitivity to light, dizziness, nausea, and perhaps blurred vision.

Headache

How to prevent diabetes headaches

As previously stated, diabetes headaches can be caused by high blood sugar, leading to dehydration, which can induce headaches. On the other hand, dips in blood sugar levels might produce headaches. Furthermore, some diabetic drugs might have negative side effects. These adverse effects may include headaches, dizziness, and anxiety as a result of low blood sugar (5). The good news is that you may adopt a variety of lifestyle adjustments to reduce the frequency and severity of these diabetes-related headaches.

To begin, remain hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, ideally water, throughout the day. Second, strive to keep your blood sugar levels consistent by carefully monitoring your food. In other words, eat frequent meals rich in healthy grains and veggies. Sugary snacks and meals high in processed carbs should also be avoided. This is because processed carbohydrates are quickly absorbed and, as a result, rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. This blood sugar surge is rapidly followed by a drop in blood sugar, which can produce fatigue and headaches. This is known as hypoglycemia, and it can cause dizziness, irritability, exhaustion, disorientation, and even loss of consciousness and seizures (6).

Additionally, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep are all critical for managing diabetes and, as a result, preventing diabetic headaches. Discuss any potential side effects with your doctor if you take diabetic medication. You may help keep headaches at bay by following these tips.

How to treat diabetes headaches

If you do have a headache, drink a glass of water first. This may be all that is required. It may also assist in relaxing and sleeping in a darkened area. If the pain is severe, you may find using over-the-counter medicine or seeing your doctor for additional treatment beneficial.

If you prefer natural solutions, the good news is that there are a variety of herbal cures, essential oils, acupressure spots, and yoga positions that can help ease the pain. Peppermint oil, for example, has been found to be an excellent natural headache cure (7). Simply massage a few drops of oil into your temples and forehead. To ease a headache, try breathing lavender oil (8) or peppermint oil (9).

If essential oils aren’t for you, try acupressure. When certain locations on the head and neck are stimulated, they can help ease headache discomfort (10). For example, the region between the brows is thought to be beneficial for tension headaches. Sinus headaches are supposed to benefit from the location behind the earlobe. The occipital ridge point at the base of the skull is also known to assist with migraines.

Finally, yoga and meditation can assist with headaches induced by stress and tension. Certain yoga positions have been demonstrated to be particularly useful in alleviating headache discomfort (11). Regular meditation practice can also help you relax and relieve discomfort (12). You can assist prevent headaches from becoming a problem with a little care and attention.

Diabetes Eye Pain

Diabetes can produce a variety of vision problems, some of which are unpleasant. Glaucoma, cataracts, and macular oedema are examples of eye illnesses (swelling of the retina). In addition to diabetes, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking increases the chance of getting eye illness (13).

Glaucoma

Unfortunately, diabetes doubles your risk of developing glaucoma (13). This is a painful, dangerous illness that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma is often caused by an accumulation of watery fluids in the eye. This raises the pressure inside the eye, potentially damaging the optic nerve. Symptoms include eye pressure, blurred vision, halos surrounding lights, and eye discomfort (14). If you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult an eye doctor. Medication or surgery to lower ocular pressure is usually used as treatment. Glaucoma may be managed and visual loss avoided with early diagnosis and treatment.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is a transparent portion of the eye that aids in light focus. The clouding can result in symptoms such as blurred vision, which frequently begins with difficulty seeing at night. The risk of having cataracts rises with age. People with diabetes, on the other hand, are more likely than those without diabetes to develop cataracts at a younger age. This is due to the fact that excessive blood sugar levels can harm the proteins in the lens, causing them to clump and fog the lens (16).

Cataract treatment often entails surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one (17).

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the major cause of adult blindness. One in every three diabetics will develop diabetic retinopathy, which is retinal damage caused by diabetes (13). Diabetic retinopathy symptoms include hazy vision, difficulties seeing at night, and floaters (black spots or strings in your vision).

If you have diabetes, getting complete eye exams once a year is vital since it can help spot any problems. The sooner they are identified, the sooner you can obtain treatment and prevent your vision from deteriorating. As a result, if you suffer any of the symptoms listed above or if your eyesight changes, you should immediately consult an optician.

While there is no cure for diabetes-related vision problems, early detection and treatment can help prevent or halt the advancement of certain eye illnesses. Whether you have diabetes or not, it is critical to control your blood sugar levels to help avoid the development of eye disorders.

Diabetes can be difficult to manage, but it’s vital to realize that you’re not alone. Several specialists and services are available to assist you in managing your disease and living a healthy, happy life.

References

  1. Hyperglycemia in diabetes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperglycemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20373631
  2. Dehydration and Diabetes https://www.diabetes.co.uk/dehydration-and-diabetes.html
  3. Dehydration Headache https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21517-dehydration-headache
  4. Blood viscosity and blood pressure: role of temperature and hyperglycemia https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/14/5/433/205476
  5. Side Effects and Interactions of Diabetes Drugs https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-drugs-side-effects-interaction
  6. Sugar crash effects and how to fix them https://news.sanfordhealth.org/healthy-living/sugar-crash-effects/
  7. Efficacy and safety of an ethanolic solution of peppermint oil for patients with episodic tension type headache https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0037-1607119
  8. Lavender and the Nervous System https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
  9. Comparing the Effect of Intranasal Lidocaine 4% with Peppermint Essential Oil Drop 1.5% on Migraine Attacks: A Double-Blind Clinical Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6647908/
  10. Effect of Acupressure and Trigger Points in treating Headache: A randomized Controlled Trial https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1071.901&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  11. Effects of yoga exercises for headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpts/27/7/27_jpts-2015-145/_pdf
  12. A reanalysis of a randomized trial on meditation for migraine headaches: Distraction is not enough but meditation takes time https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091992/
  13. Diabetic Eye Disease https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-eye-disease
  14. Glaucoma https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/glaucoma/
  15. Night Vision Problems: What’s to Blame? https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/night-vision-problems-halos-blurred-vision-night-blindness
  16. Does Diabetes Increase the Risk of Cataracts? https://www.byrdeyeclinic.com/blog/2016/12/29/does-diabetes-increase-the-risk-178393
  17. What Are Cataracts? https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/what-are-cataracts

 

 

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