Headache when empty stomach or after jogging

by anonymous

Blood Sugar Metabolism

Blood Sugar Metabolism


My age is 35 and I experience headaches upon the following 2 conditions:

(1) If I remain empty stomach for a long period of time.
(Prevention) I usually prevent it by carrying some chocolate bars etc with me and eat it whenever I feel I am crossing my hunger threshold limit.

(2) After jogging:
Since past 1 year, I experince headaches after jogging or exercises. Simple walks or slow swimming do not cause a headache.
But jogging, fast paced swimming or weight-training and I am gone for the day with a bad headache.
(Prevention) Stop exercising. I know is a bad idea!!

Most of the headaches are in half head (either side).
Sometimes its full head.

After headache, the only and best solution is sleep.
If I get a headache in the day, I bear it till night.
I avoid pills (asprins etc).
After a good sleep of 4-8 hours, I am fine.

What is wrong with my body and what treatment should I take to cure this.

Thank you in advance.


Well at first glance it would be very easy to say that you are having exercise induced headaches..except you aren't. Exercise induced headaches begin just after initiating exercise.

Headaches that are on one side or both and are relieved by sleep are most probably migraine. You can have migraines start at any time in your life, and although there usually is a family history of migraine, there doesn't have to be.

Headaches that happen with low blood sugar are caused by hypoglycemia and may also be migraine. So the question is..are you getting migraines and is low blood sugar a trigger? I say this because heavy exercise calls for adequate blood sugar to burn off..if you do not eat within an hour or two before exercising, hypoglycemia will result and as you have discovered..a headache.

You have already identified two triggers, not eating and heavy exercise, both of which result in low blood sugar. Eat regularly, perhaps four to five smaller meals per day to avoid this. Complex carbs will help also.

If you have never had headaches before you should see your physician to rule out any underlying causes of the hypoglycemia, and get treatment for the headaches.

Good luck!

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C


I have also same problem. Sometime I had so much pain only in half head. And after sometime or in night I had vomiting. And it's taste very sour. After vomiting I feel very good.
Advise me what to do?


Sounds like exercise induced migraine. See your doctor for treatment.
Mary Kay

Headache when empty stomach or after jogging

Looks like for me, low sugar is a trigger factor for Migraine. I do not have diabetes. But I need to explore this.

A short period of low sugar triggers off migraine.
Sugar replenishment does get my glucose levels back to normal, but by then the migraine headache has started and leaves me with a bad headache.

Let me know if I understand you right or if I may have missed anything?

Thx again for your advice.

Yes, hypoglycemia is a trigger but unfortunately eating sugar doesn't treat the migraine. Once a migraine is triggered there are neurological events that just take off and there you are with pain.

If severe, usually OTC meds don't work too well..talk to your doctor about treatment, as the triptans really do work in 15-20 minutes.

Good luck!
Mary Kay

Nice post. I typically experience headaches after intense workouts, which began as I got older and started watching more carefully what I ate.

Since the brain uses fat as a source of energy, I thought that I might not be getting enough lipids in my brain.

After reading your article, it might be as you suggested, low blood sugar.

Would you suggest something that has a low glycemic value or high. I know that high gets in your blood faster, but it also causes you to store fat more easily.

Any thoughts?


Hi Juan,

The brain doesn't utilize fats..it utilizes sugars as a primary source of energy. There are two ways to go about avoiding the exercise induced headache from hypoglycemia..

1. Eating complex carbs about an hour before exercise. These stay with you longer to provide energy and prevent hypoglycemia. You need about an hour to avoid the abdominal cramps that may happen if you eat right before exercising. The brain is busy sending the stomach blood and digesting things and it doesn't want to send anything to the muscles at that point.

2.Energy drinks such as Gatorade actually do work if used during exercise. You are right..they have sugars in them which provides quick energy. If you are working out intensely by running then this might be a good option for you. It will be used right away as an energy source and not go to fat..that happens only when the body doesn't need the energy source and puts things into "storage".

Good luck.
Mary Kay

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