Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Could my headaches be caused by not eating enough?"

ZocdocAnswersCould my headaches be caused by not eating enough?


I'm pretty busy and don't eat as much as I probably should and I noticed that I'm getting more and more headaches lately. Could it be from not eating enough?


It is not good that you are getting too busy to take care of proper nutrition, but it is a good thing that you are aware of this and are trying to change! In general, headaches are not usually caused by inadequate caloric intake, although there are certainly associations with types of foods and headaches. Wine, certain kinds of cheese, and even chocolate can bring on migraine headaches. In addition, dehydration can also exacerbate headaches in some people, and if you aren't eating enough it is likely that you aren't getting enough fluid during the day either. Beyond food intake, however, there are many other factors that can cause headaches in someone who is as busy as you describe. Tension headaches are among the most common types of headaches, and are brought on by stress. If you are too busy to eat, it seems that you are probably under a great deal of stress during the day. Sleep deprivation can also exacerbate headaches. Headaches are one of the most common reasons people visit a primary care physician, and this would be the best thing for you to do in this setting as well. Your doctor can go over your recent health to make sure that you don't need any additional workup for the headaches. He or she can also discuss healthy eating strategies (even for busy people!) as well as work with you on medications that can be used to help manage your headaches.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.