Low Sugar

I was reading Ali’s story and he (she?) said this:

“congestion and runny nose correlates with low sugar and then with spinning sensation”

Does this ring a bell with anyone?
And why would congestion and runny nose present with low blood sugar?
I’m reactive hypoglycemic.


For me, low blood sugar can cause a minor headache and cause my balance to go out of whack. Everything is OK if I eat soon enough.

I have no idea why or how congestion and a runny nose can correlate to low blood sugar. That is a new one to me, but I am not diebetic, and not familar with all of the weird things that can happen with low blood sugar.

Congestion is not uncommon with migraine.

I did a Google Scholar search and came up with a number of hits showing migraine appearing hypoglycemic attacks. Here’s one:

Seventy-four patients were evaluated who suffered from migraine and associated their attacks to the mid-morning or mid-afternoon fasting state. These seventy-four patients underwent a standard five hour, 100 gram glucose tolerance test. The glucose tolerance curves of six of the patients were classified diabetic and fifty-six patients exhibited a curve consistent with degrees of reactive hypoglycemia, i.e., serum glucose of less than 65 mg% or a drop of 75 mg% within one hour. Following dietary therapy with a low sucrose, six meal regimen, all patients who demonstrated a diabetic glucose tolerance curve showed an improvement of greater than 75%, and three have been headache free. Of the fifty-six patients who showed reactive hypoglycemia curves, forty-three returned for follow-up after dietary instruction. Of those forty-three patients 27, (63%) showed greater than 75% improvement, 17 (40%) showed 50 to 75% improvement and 4 (9%) showed 25 to 50% improvement.

Thus: She gets a migraine when she’s hypoglycemic and one of her migraine symptoms is congestion and a runny nose.

Another member of this forum suffers with the same symptom, as does my niece (the congestion, not the hypoglycemia)


I can’t personally comment on the low sugar thing, its never been a problem for me. However, I can say this:

When I migraine, my sinuses are majorly affected. So much so, that 20 years ago, I was taking a round of antibiotics for so-called “sinus infections” literally every 3 months. I even went so far as to have sinus surgery.
None of it helped.

I haven’t come across many who suffer sinus problems like I do with migraine, but its real. I’m living proof.
It definitely makes sense to me.



did i tell you i saw a scholarly article about this? that this is one of the symptoms that accopanies migraine? In addition, my niece has this symptom. She suffers status migraine with horrible head congestion.


Thanks Jul. It always helps to know you’re not such a freak !!! :mrgreen:

Ya know, its just a shame, its taken so long (and I pretty much had to figure it out for myself, with help from you guys), but I guess that can be said for alot of us here, about alot of different symptoms. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - “It’s what I LOVE about this place”!!! :smiley:

I was getting these weird symptoms of fading away, shaking, shivering a different sort of dizziness and shivering inside like going down with the flu (got a glucometer from the chemist and tested and it showed low blood sugar). Dr. Sent me to hospital and had the glucose tolerance test and it proved I had it. I get low blood sugar attacks several times a day.
I also get blocked nose (it doesnt go with the blood sugar attacks). It was there when I had the last big vertigo attack. It happens frequently when I am talking on the phone (dont understand this one). I get blocked nose when lying down in bed and then, sometimes my left ear starts popping a lot and wont stop. I guess it is the eustachian tubes.


Huh, so maybe my nose IS because of migraine after all… it’s really freaky! I blow my nose perhaps… 4-8 times a day? Every day, and nights as well. At times it hurts and adds to my headache as well.
The real question is, though: has anyone had something similar and gotten better from treatment (studies included)? If not, how can we be sure it’s a migraine symptom? :slight_smile:

Tran -

I am MUCH improved, sinus-wise since I started treatment. MUCH!!! :smiley:

I’m telling you, it was very chronic for me for many years! Since treatment, I still have sinus problems, but its much easier to see its running with my migraine cycle, and when the migraine goes, so does the congestion.

Very good to know I’m not the only one!!!


p.s. - Bucholz mentions in his book about the effects migraine has on sinus, that was the first clue I had.


Thanks for the explanation. I have just recently learned about how sinus problems can be migraine related, wich appears to be true for me, so this makes sense.


Hi All,

I too have sinus symptoms with migraine. It is very annoying. Low blood sugar is also a trigger for me, but I now have that specific trigger under control with a controlled carbohydrate diet. The two don’t seem to be linked for me other than they are both migraine related. I have the sinus symptoms almost all the time, whereas the low blood sugar is only present if I overeat carbohydrates and take a ride on the blood sugar rollercoaster.


People with diabetic issues can have low glucose levels because of the drugs they have to take to deal with their diabetic issues. They may need a hormonal agent called insulin shots or diabetic issues tablets.

— Begin quote from “rechorobert”

… or diabetic issues tablets.

— End quote

Nice one rechorobert – you’ve just invented a whole new term for anti-hyperglycemic agents. :lol: Should we call cough syrup and anti histamines “cold issues tablets and drinks”?

Some of you spammers really come across as incredibly stupid. At least get the terminology right before you spam this forum.

I see this is an old thread, but to reply to the original poster’s question, “why would congestion and runny nose present with low blood sugar?”, you need to remember that the different endocrine systems do not work independently of each other. In this case, the histamine response, which causes the runny nose and congestion, is linked to the insulin response, which causes the low blood sugar. So when one reacts, the other does too.

This leads to a lot of unfortunate consequences for me. If I catch a cold, which is often, I have a lot more trouble keeping my blood sugar high enough. Same with exposure to allergens. And that makes my migraine much worse, along with the MAV, of course.