How to Avoid a Halloween Migraine

Halloween is one of the most festive, fun-filled times of the year – for young and old alike. From dressing up in creative costumes and attending Halloween parties to indulging in all your favorite candy, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or is it?

For migraine sufferers, Halloween can lead to misery. Unfortunately, candy and all of the laboratory-made chemicals in it, has been linked to migraines, making the upcoming spooky holiday a tough one.

If you or your child suffer from migraines, it is important you understand the do’s and don’ts of migraines. Sure, it can be tempting to just go about your business and cross your fingers, hoping a migraine won’t hit at the most inopportune moment, but this simply isn’t smart. When it comes to Halloween and your migraine, do yourself and your kiddo a favor by cutting down on the candy consumption. Believe me, no one will be complaining when you are able to avoid a nasty migraine by not overindulging.

The Link Between Migraines and Sugar

One of the most common triggers for people who suffer from migraines is a spike in sugar. Called hypoglycemia, excessive amounts of carbohydrates and sugars can cause debilitating migraine headaches. When you eat these types of foods (such as Halloween candy), it causes your blood sugar to rise. The body then has to kick things into overdrive by creating enough insulin to break these sugars down, which can lead to a huge decrease in your blood sugar levels. When this blood sugar rollercoaster occurs, it can trigger a migraine.

In addition to a migraine, changes in blood sugar levels can also create the following:

  • Nausea
  • Faintness
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sweating
  • Regular headaches
  • Hypothermia

 

In extreme cases, these symptoms can even be fatal. Take the time to understand your body and its relationship to sugar (glucose) and carbohydrates. The above symptoms may also be warning signs of an oncoming migraine. If you or your child suffer from migraines, make calculated choices when it comes to what you put into your body to avoid a painful, debilitating situation.

How to Avoid a Halloween Migraine

If we haven’t scared you away from partaking in the Halloween festivities yet — good. Just because there is a strong link between candy and migraines, that doesn’t mean you have to swear off trick-or-treating for good. Everyone is different and has different relationships with certain foods, including sugar. While food intolerances can cause migraines, this doesn’t necessarily mean eating a few pieces of Halloween candy will send you over the edge.

That being said, if you know you are sensitive to chocolate or other sweet foods, don’t overdo it. Moderation is key here, as consuming too much sugar all at once can lead to that sugar rollercoaster we mentioned earlier.

Be Smart About Candy Consumption

The hard part here is making sure your kids understand candy can lead to a migraine. We all remember what it was like to be young and get dressed up for Halloween, only to come home and dump your sugar-filled haul out on the floor and start indulging. If your child is prone to migraines, go through their candy and look for options that are more natural and easier for the body to process. The refined sugars that are found in common Halloween candy can be damaging, unless they are consumed in moderation.

Some good alternatives are peppermint candies, dried fruits, and candied ginger. While these options may not be as exciting as a Butterfinger or Snickers, they will save you a serious headache down the road.

 

Research

Migraine Centers – Halloween Headaches More Tricks Than Treats

The Migraine Relief Center – Can Halloween Candy Be a Migraine Trigger?

Migraine Again – Sugar and Migraine: How Your Cravings Can Hurt You