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Headaches in children with diabetes
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Headaches in children with diabetes

My 9 year old son was diagnosed nearly 1 year ago with Type 1 diabetes.  About 1 month after  the onset he started getting daily headaches.  They are very localized (right temple.  His pediatrician ordered an MRI which was normal (THANK HEAVENS), but since then we have not been able to rule out the cause  of the headaches.  Has anyone else experienced such a side effect of insulin or problems with headaches in children with diabetes?  I am desperate for help.  Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
While I have never heard of headaches being related to any kind of reaction to insulin, I know from personal experience that horrible headaches sometimes accompany low blood sugar levels. While they sometimes go away when the glucose levels return to normal after drinking some juice, I have found that sometimes they stay with me for hours after a low blood sugar spell. So my first question would be: has your son experienced any low blood sugar episodes at all on days when he has headaches? That would be the only diabetes-related thing that I am aware of that can cause horrible headaches.

Other than that, maybe his doctor should look at other possible causes. I occasionally hear of a child or adult who has suffered from reactions to one brand of insulin or another, but I personally have never heard of headaches being the symptom.
17 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I am particularly interested in your posting.  My son is 12 and was just diagnosed with Type 1 a month ago.  Before my son was diagnosed he complained of headaches at least monthly for about a year and some were fairly intense.  I really think it was a signal of something because since he has been on insulin he has not had an intense headache or even mentioned one, but we are just a month into treating the diabetes.  The headaches may return, but I am hopeful they won
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Avatar_n_tn
My 11-year-old son was also diagnosed 10 months ago with Type 1 diabetes.  He never had a headache in his life before this diagnosis.  My curiositiy was peaked when I read the headline to your post because my son also gets terrible headaches now.  On average, he gets 3-4 headaches per week.  Most of them are unresponsive to ibuprofen or Tylenol.  We check his BS immediately if he complains of a headache.  Most times he's within good range 80-120.  His control is extremely good with an A1c of 5.9.  When we spoke to the endo about this he said that it was due to hi or low BS's.  Not true based on our observations.  Occasionally with a bad site his BS will rise to near 300 and NO HEADACHE.  Occasionally, like tonight, his BS was 40 due to riding his bike and getting ahead of his dinner carbs and NO HEADACHE.  So, it's a mystery to us.  If you find an answer, please share it with us.  Blessings.  
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Avatar_n_tn
We are in the process of testing our 11 yr old son for diabetes. When I saw your post about headaches it got my attention. Our son suffers from severe headaches regularly to the point where they put him on migrain preventatives.
however the more research I do the more I feel this is just another symptom of diabetes. We too have gone the CT route and came up negative. I would be very interested to know if this is a possible symptom also. We have a couple more days of tests to do to hopefully rule out diabetes. The more reading I do though the more he sounds text book.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Kendaz,  Thanks for your comment.  Your son's headaches sound all too familiar.  I cannot  link them to high or low bs. My 9 yr old son has been type 1 for 1 year. we have had a CT and  and MRI both normal!  We are seeing a neurologist in 1 month.   I would love to know if you get any more clues on this. I will pass along my email if you can keep me updated on your son too.  Maybe together we can figure this out!

Thanks,
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your comments.  My endo doesn't think the two are related, but I am starting to wonder.  I feel like we have ruled out many other sources.  My son has been diabetic for 1 year to the day. He never had headaches before.  This is a huge change and adjustment for us.  His physician did tell me that if his blood sugar was low he could get a headache.  I cannot begin to express the frustration.  I would love for you to share any data you have.

Thanks,
Laura
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Avatar_n_tn
My 11 y/o was dx with type 1 at the end of March, since then she has had  occational headaches, rarely complained of headaches before the dx. Blood sugars are in the 80-120 range. She is still honeymooning so she does not go above the 130s with a good diet. Sometimes she also complains of a stomache ache. Not as severe as some I have read on this post. She has an appt with her endo this am so maybe they can explain it to me. She is of the age where she does not want to be different from everyone else so we have had problems with her not testing or taking her insulin on overnights with friends. Thanks for the forum, I learned alot today just reading this forum.
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Avatar_n_tn
I find this post very intriguing. My sister is a type I and my teenager has been complaining about headaches and stomachaches for a few years and we have always thought it was stress. (She's also a high achiever, A student.) She also eats a lot of white pasta, white bread and potatoes. However, I am sure she will rebel at the idea of monitoring her blood sugars. Hmm...maybe if I give her the choice of no whites or blood tests.
Anyone have any other comments about teens and headaches or stomachaches?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so happy to find this posting...my son gets terrible headaches, recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. But we do see a pattern...after a really high high or a low. We are having trouble keeping his BS up. Honeymoon I guess, but we have dropped his insulin 3 times, and still he drops. We give him snacks, and juice but sometimes is not enough. It is very frustrating.
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Avatar_n_tn
both my sons have type 1 diabetes..the 13 year old was diagnosed at one year; the 11 year old at 5 years old-both boys...
the 11 year old has had headaches and stomachaches nearly 3 a week since Christmas-he has developed Right Frontal Lobe Seizure Disorder-Neuro and Endo says rare in general public but uncommonly high incidence in Juvenile Diabetes( but no funds for research nor testing-)
He has colon problems as well

    In my experience- they can go High from stress-a test at school , being in a Wedding, a Roller Coaster ride...
They can go low from exercise with an eight to 24 hour delay....in other words-he plays Lacrosse Wed @ 7pm might get low at 3 am
very hands on disease! Don't lose heart with those that tell you -just watch their diet and exercise  or we have "good" control,yeah right -usually they have not taken care first hand with Type 1 or their lying!!
   Importantly-any growth spurt can cause a low(from a doctor we had in Tampa-who had the disease himself!) He said their feet can grow-an organ- usually it takes me 2nd day with alot of lows to realize he is in a growth spurt! usually lasts 3 days!!oh and high sometimes is a sign of a cold or flu(infection) even if they do not get full blown sick-
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this web site. My daugther is 4 years old and got diagnosed with type 1, 3 months ago. She is ALWAYS complaning of a headache and stomach ache. She also has very loose stools. I've taken her to her ped and endo and both can't seem to find anything wrong with her. Her sugar is everywhere, one day her BS went from 123, 353, 58, 400, but it doesn't matter where her sugars are, she just never feels good!! what do i do?!?
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Avatar_f_tn
While my 15 year old son does not complain of stomach aches, he is complaining of headaches lately. His BS is very well controlled, but I am thinking that the headaches are more tension related than realted to his type 1 diabetes. He's a sophmore in high school and was diagnosed on New Year's Eve 2011, so he is still honeymooning. From what I see in this forum, CT scans aren't providing any answers to the headaches. I'll start looking in the activites/stress direction. Thanks for posting!
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Avatar_m_tn
my sonn recently was dx with type 1 my question is ....can they take advil or tylenol for headache? and  we sttill having problems with his carb where can i get a recipes for diabetics type 1
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Avatar_f_tn
This is very interesting to me, my son is 14 and diagnosed in April 2011. He complains of a headached several times a week and keeps saying he didn't feel this way until he was diagnosed!! He thinks maybe the insulin is the cause.  I can't find any info on this except for highs and lows. And with him that's not the case.  Would love to find out more about this.

Miranda
Bridgeport WV
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Avatar_f_tn
Please please help guys. After reading above posts I feel I should comment. My 8 yr old son was diagnosed with diabetes 12 months ago. For some time now he has been complaining of terrible headaches regularly. His sugars seem to be controlled generally within acceptable limits but the headaches seem if anything to be getting worse. His GP and diabetic nurse have been informed but both say is nothing to worry about ! I'm not at all happy with this. Did anyone get anywhere with this as I see posts are dated 2007 ish. Also he constantly complains of a sore tummy. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Tim.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am physician and a parent of a type 1 diabetic (diagnosed 6 months ago).  I have noticed that my son now complains of headache where he never did before his diabetes diagnosis.  I do think that shifting sugar levels, especially if they are shifting rapidly, are what casue the headaches.  Unfortunately, we can't do much about that, except for trying to have better control of his sugar fluctuations with better nutrition and insulin timing.  I think these headaches are just another unfortunate thing we have to deal with.
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad I found this site. My son age 9 was diagnosed 7 days ago. The bg is not under control yet but twice the level has dipped to low 100's and both times instant headache and vomiting, and then as fast as the headached appeared it is gone. He did not have headaches before insulin treatment. Endo is determined it childhood migranines and just a coincidence. As his mom I know is not. Very frustrated.
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