Grandma, 82 years old, diabetic with headaches every morning

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 22, 2012 at 12:28 AM


maybe you can help me out. My grandma is 82 and has diabetes type 2. She has a pretty constant diet but has this constant headache every single day, sometimes only in the morning, sometimes longer in the day.

This is what she eats regularly:

Breakfast: 2 slices of light oatmeal bread, margarine, decaf coffee with skim milk. Sometimes tea instead.

Mid morning: fruit.

Lunch: meat, rice, beans, legumes.

Mid afternoon: fruit. Sometimes white cheese.

Dinner: meat, rice, legumes. Sometimes soup.

So what does she needs to do to stop the headaches? Any idea what may be causing this? For example, I thought of asking her to stop eating bread. I believe this might help. But what can I advise her to eat instead? Scrambled eggs with ham maybe?

Thanks guys! Levy

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7 Answers



on October 14, 2012
at 09:36 AM

I'm guessing dehydration, many older people don't drink enough water because they don't want to have to make extra trips to the bathroom, especially in the middle of the night.


on September 30, 2012
at 03:07 AM

Morning headaches can be caused by arthritis in the neck. I agree about rebound headaches as well.



on September 22, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Sleep apnea often causes morning headaches.


on September 22, 2012
at 02:17 PM

When I cut out gluten completely from my diet 4 years ago, the migraines I had my entire life (53 yrs) were nearly eradicated. I still get an occasional much milder migraine that can be triggered by legumes or dairy. I'd have her eliminate the grains first, see how that goes, then try eliminating the legumes or dairy next. In other words, eat mostly paleo.



on September 22, 2012
at 01:17 AM

More fat. No grains. What are her normal fasting glucose levels?



on September 22, 2012
at 01:06 AM

She might consider trading the margarine for butter, but truthfully she's probably been eating this way for some time. Is she eating any nitrate meats, soup with MSG or have any meds that might aggravate the headache issue. Might be worth a talk with the doctor or pharmacist. How have her blood sugars been?

Something to consider with headaches is the whole analgesic overuse thing and rebound headaches. Trying to find other things to help with the headache instead of analgesics can help that over the long term. Physical therapy may help.

You might consider looking into more than diet. Something more serious could be going on.



on September 22, 2012
at 12:48 AM

Does the margarine have trans fats? I guess many don't nowadays, but if it does that be a big factor. Emily Deans at the blog Evolutionary Pscychiatry had a good post a while back about how trans fats mess with the proper functioning of the brain. Pertinent quote:

"neurons need plenty of omega 3 to keep the lights on, so to speak, and trans fats interfere with omega 3 metabolism. In addition, trans fats on their own seem to cause inflammation, cell energetics problems, and oxidative stress".

There may other factors causes her headaches, but that one is the first one that struck me. Unless the margarine doesn't actually have trans fat, in which case it's still probably full of questionable oils that could also be bad (just not as bad I guess).

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