Friday, September 19, 2008

Headaches & Sugar?

I've been having almost daily headaches since I was diagnosed in 8/06. Two years of headaches and I'm finally getting serious about trying to find a way to stop them. I've just assumed they're part of the disease (I've heard of other acromegalics who have headaches after surgery), but maybe that isn't so.

I've been to a neurologist who wanted to medicate me, which I didn't want. So I let her send me to physical therapy. The heat and massage helped, but didn't solve it. I notice I get headaches when I get stressed (never used to happen before acro). My neck tenses on the left side and then the headache is always on the left side of my head. I've had blood tests to check for vitamin deficiencies, glucose problems, etc. Everything is normal. And I am happy about that :-) I've been to the chiropracter, that seems to have helped. I learned my C1 vertebrae is out of place slightly. I'm looking forward to seeing how the chiropracter may help my headaches. Although insurance doesn't cover it so I can't go very often, not 3x a week at $40 each visit. As a result I'm trying to locate other possibilities.

I'm wondering if I'm creating my own problems. I always had a sweet tooth when I was younger. But with the acromegaly the sugar cravings (mainly for refined sugars it seems) really seem to have grown. I noticed so many things that I buy are sweet things. Maybe it's a combination of things? Too much sugar, and not enough water? Fluctuations in blood sugars causing headaches? I don't think it's a caffeine problem. I have a soda a day or less. So I just started a journal a few weeks ago to try to pinpoint the cause of the headaches. I believe it was Ken who mentioned early on to me that sugar and coffee were very bad for acromegalics. I kind of brushed that off, probably because I love them so much! :-D In the first article below I read, "One of sugar's major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones." So maybe my sugar cravings have been my body's response to the disease, trying to decrease my elevated growth hormone levels. Interesting.

Hopefully I'll have some interesting answers to report in a few more weeks. I'm trying really hard to cut out refined sugars (seems impossible in our fast food/prepackaged society).

Sugar's effect

Sugar: Pleasure or Poison

Sugar Sleuths