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HeadWay, Issue #170 -- Attacked by Sugar
October 22, 2018

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In this issue:

Attacked by Sugar

Recently at Headache and Migraine News...

Say what?! Fructose

Attacked by Sugar

A recent poll at Headache and Migraine News showed some surprises. The question was this - in the real world, when people cut things out of their diet, what actually helps to fight migraine and/or headache, and related symptoms? We hear about a lot of diets and triggers, but of the bigger categories of food, are people really finding that anything is helping?

The two clear winners were maybe not such a shock. Alcohol was number 1. There are complex reasons that make alcohol a challenge - we're not just talking about hangovers. But that's not today's topic.

#2 might surprise some of you - processed food. The strange ingredients and lack of good nutrients in processed foods are taking their toll.

But at #3 - and, I might add, ahead of usual suspects such as chocolate or caffeine - was sugar.

Of course "processed food" has already covered the dangers of artificial sweeteners. So let's look in particular at sugar. Table sugar is glucose-fructose. (High fructose corn syrup, by the way, is only slightly different chemically than table sugar - so we're talking about all these related terms.) What is sugar doing to our bodies?

We know from experience that migraine brains, in particular, do not like sudden changes. And eating sugar means a spike in the sugar - that includes drinking juices, by the way.

Whereas most of the sugar we find in nature is "packaged", and so it takes the body time to unwrap it (it is released slowly), plain sugar is a bomb that just explodes. Also, the sugars you find in nature are usually in relatively low quantities.

There are many reasons why a "sugar bomb" from a soft drink, or piece of cake, or BBQ sauce, can trigger migraine attacks. We won't take the space to go into more detail, but you might want to continue reading Sugar and Migraines?

But glucose and fructose do more than just cause sudden changes. They also make us fat, can disrupt liver function, and keep us from good nutrients. There are even growing concerns that fructose in particular may raise cancer risk.

We know very well that our consumption of sugars has skyrocketed in recent decades. We also know that many people are cutting sugar out of their diets, and finding relief from headaches.

Why don't we hear more about this? On the positive side, we are hearing more and more about it, especially in migraine circles - as you might guess from our recent poll.

If you want to learn more, why not check out these resources?

Recently at Headache and Migraine News...

Here are a few of the articles you may have missed - check them out and join the conversation!

Say what?! Fructose

Fructose is a simple sugar (a "monosaccharide") that is found in honey, and in low amounts in many fruits and some vegetables. Fructose is converted into glucose by the liver, so that your cells can use it. Unless you're short on glucose, the fructose will be stored as fat.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
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