If you feel like you have a headache when you’re eating, it’s possible that your brain is processing the food differently.
There are a million things that can influence how your brain processes and responds to food. A lot of our habits, like what we eat and how much, can affect whether or not we have a headache.
What can cause a headache when we don’t eat?
The most common cause of a headache when you don’t eat is something called rebound headaches.
Rebound headaches are a phenomenon that occurs after eating a meal. These headaches are common in people who are overweight or obese. They occur because the body processes the food differently after eating it.
The brain then tells the body that it’s not getting enough nutrition. The body then begins to crave more food, which causes the headache.
Other things that could cause a headache when you don’t eat include:
- Post-meal pain
- Acid reflux
- Acid indigestion
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food allergies
- Headache after eating or drinking
- Food poisoning
If your headache is a result of food, it’s important that you tell your doctor.
They may be able to prescribe you a medication to help reduce the number of calories you’re eating and help you avoid the headache.
What if my headache is bad, but I don’t have a headache when I eat?
The first thing you should do if you have a headache is to determine if it’s a rebound headache or something else. If you’ve had a headache before you ate, you may be experiencing rebound headaches. If you had one of these headaches, you should try to reduce or eliminate your headache triggers before you notice the headache start to subside.
If you think you have rebound headaches, try removing things that you associate with your headache.
For example, if you have a headache when you eat, you could try removing yourself from a group or a situation where you might be in a room with other people who are eating.
You could also try eliminating certain foods from your diet.
Foods that may trigger rebound headaches include:
- Caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee and tea
- Fatty or fried foods, such as pastries, donuts, and doughnuts
- Fried foods, such as french fries
- Hot sauce
- Tomato-based foods, such as spaghetti sauce
- Unsaturated fats, such as butter, margarine, and coconut oil
- Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and liquor
- Sugary foods, such as cakes, cookies, candy, and pastries
If you’re having a food-related headache and don’t have one when you eat, you may have a food allergy.
Food allergies are caused by an immune system response to an allergen. If you have a food allergy, your body may try to attack the food as it processes it. This may cause a headache.
Other symptoms that may indicate that you have a food allergy include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Itchy skin
- Blisters or hives
- A rash
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- A cough
- A nasal congestion
- A loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
If you find that one of these symptoms is affecting your daily activities or your quality of life, it may be time to see your doctor.
If you have a food allergy, you may have to avoid certain foods. You may also have to avoid certain foods if you have a severe food allergy.
What if i’m having a headache that’s hard to control?
If you’re having a headache that’s hard to control, chances are it’s a sign that you need to see your doctor. These headaches may be a sign of a medical condition.
If you have a headache that’s hard to control, it may be related to:
- Talk to your doctor about your headache
If you think you have a headache when you don’t eat, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about your headache symptoms. Together, you can determine if you need to try some of the things that we mentioned above. You can also talk to your doctor about additional symptoms that you may have.
If your headache is related to food or something else, you’ll know what to do next.
What is the treatment for a headache when you don’t eat?
Treatment for a headache when you don’t eat might depend on the underlying cause of the headache.
If your headache is caused by something other than food or rebound headaches, your doctor may prescribe something to help reduce your headache.
If your headache results from food, your doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce your appetite and reduce the number of calories you’re eating.
Medications that can help with a headache when you don’t eat include:
- Antidepressants. If you have a headache when you don’t eat, your doctor may prescribe a medication called an antidepressant. These medications work by decreasing the number of chemical messengers in your brain. This is known as serotonin.
- Pain medications. If your headache results from a toothache, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication.
- Antihistamine. If you have a headache when you don’t eat, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine. This medication helps reduce inflammation throughout the body, including in the brain.
- Migraine medication. If you have a headache when you don’t eat, your doctor may prescribe a migraine medication.
- Pain medication. If your headache results from muscle pain, your doctor may prescribe a pain medication.
The bottom line
If you have a headache when you don’t have a meal, but you’re not hungry, this could be a sign of a food-related headache.
You can try eliminating the foods that you associate with headaches. If that doesn’t work, your doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce your appetite and reduce the number of calories you’re eating.
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