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Headache after eating
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Headache after eating

I get intense, throbbing headaches 2 hours after eating food.  The more sugar content, the more intense the headache, and the longer the headache lasts.  If I eat something like a snickers bar or a piece of cake, the intensity is debilitating and the pain can last for days.  Just about anything with more than a few grams of sugar gives me a headache.  I've dealt with this since I can remember, and I've been physically and mentally drained for most of my life (ie, if I can go 2 or 3 days a month without having some kind of head pain, I'd be ecstatic).  

Here's some extra information:
I'm very underweight.  I am about 5' 10" and I weigh 120 ~ 125lbs.  The most I've ever weighed was 135, and I had to work very hard lifting weights at the gym for months to reach that weight.  I have about 5% body fat.

My mom is diabetic (type II) and her parents were diabetic (needed insulin shots, so type I?)

My half-sister has Grave's Disease.

I've been to the emergency room a few times because of headaches, but my blood sugar is always "normal".  MRI's have shown nothing abnormal.

I yawn incessantly after eating - especially during the afternoon.  I can yawn 20+ times a minute for over an hour depending on how much I eat.  After the yawning stops, the headache usually starts to kick in.

I wake up and have to go pee at least 1 to 3 times a night.

I've wasted lots of time and money seeing internists and specialists.  No doctor has ever run a test outside of standard "blood work", which shows my blood sugar as being "normal".  Every doctor is eager to treat the symptom, but the best "cause" I've heard is that "headaches just happen to some people".  The diagnosis is always given about 5 minutes after I say that I have headaches, and then I'm sent off to the pharmacy to pick up the latest prescription migraine medication.  I'm very frustrated by this.

Any recommendations?
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Forgot to mention, my upper thighs and quads cramp up a lot during times where I am suffering particularly bad.  I also have very poor flexibility in my legs.  I took a physical and got 5/5 on everything except flexibility, which I got 1/5 on.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Sudden rush of sugar after meals is known to trigger headaches in some people. Make sure to balance the sugar in your meals with proteins and fats to avoid the post meal headaches.
Also make sure to drink lots of water after meal and during the day.
Headaches after meals can also occur if one is allergic to some food additives, this also needs to be looked into.

Hope this helps!
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768044_tn?1294227036
Have you tried going on an elimination diet? They are awful to deal with and very boring. But, you can find migraine triggers that way. Do it only under the advice and care of your doctor. So, before you start, go to your doctor and ask them about starting an elimination diet to find migraine triggers in what you are eating. Your doctor will then give you a lot of information on how to start doing this and what you will have to do.

You absolutely must do this under a doctors care because it is dangerous to do so otherwise since it requires that you eliminate quite a lot of different types of food from your diet, which can be quite dangerous, ESPECIALLY if you MIGHT have diabetes (just because you haven't tested positive for diabetes yet, doesn't mean that you don't have it, because it is in your family history... you could have the genes that put you at risk for diabetes, just because they haven't been "turned on" yet doesn't mean that they won't ever "turn on", and just because the tests haven't shown your diabetic doesn't mean that you aren't either... sometimes tests are wrong, it's rare, but it can happen).

The elimination diet might help you discover what you are eating (other than sugar, because the sugar might be a red herring) that is triggering your headaches.

You might also want to buy a blood glucose monitor and strips (although this usually isn't covered by medical plans, just to warn you) and start testing Yourself. Test the moment you wake up and then before meals and 30 minutes after meals. Record all of your test results for a month and take them into your doctor for your doctor to look at. Your daily results (that show all the different lows and peaks) might reveal something that the "average fasting" result that you get done at the doctors office or hospital isn't showing.

In the meantime... just don't eat sugar!! I know that sounds awful, but you'll feel so much better! If you know sugar makes you feel bad, don't eat it!

When I was a teenager, sugar made me feel very similar to the way you are describing (just minus the headache). I would get so tired after meals that I sometimes fainted. When I stopped eating sugar and "white things" (white rice, white pasta, white bread) and replaced everything with whole-wheat this and that, and made sure that most of my meals were focused on protein (i am a vegetarian, so most of my protein consisted of tofu, veggie-meats and edemame), I stopped feeling tired all the time and I stopped passing out after meal-time! My mom is a diabetic too.

In the end, my doctor diagnosed me with "hypoglycemia" which is "low blood sugar" which is why it was so important for me not to eat tons of sugar (oddly enough)... because too much sugar would just make me crash. I needed to eat lots of little meals throughout the day with lots of whole-wheat carbs and LOTS of protein in each meal, and I needed to get my sugar from whole fruits instead of sugary pop and candy. Part of what helped my doctor figure that out was the fact that after meals... my blood sugar would read lower than it did prior to the meal! When I started eating properly, my blood sugar would stay within a healthy range.

Anyway... that's my story. As for you, I would for sure talk to your doctor about an elimination diet if you think that your headaches are directly related to food. And, if you really think that this is could be a diabetes thing, then yeah, buy a blood glucose monitor (or try to get one for free by asking the pharmacy if the companies are giving them out for free at any point or have any coupons... they do that sometimes) and the strips to go with them (which you can never get for free and health plans never seem to cover even if you ARE diabetic...) and test yourself for a month just to make sure.
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449909_tn?1233413497
This is unusual headache and one may have to think outside the box. So keep us posted.

You said after eating sweet food you have headache. Does that mean if you don't eat anything sweet at a meal you can avoid a headache?

Also, did you have your teeth checked by a dentist? Some teeth can be very sensitive that sugar can trigger severe pain felt as headache.

Best rgds,

Dr.Thomas Antony
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@marileew

I've been experimenting with various foods for about 2 years now.  I first determined that chocolate candy bars (twix, snickers, etc...) were causes.  However, after completely eliminating chocolate bars, I still would get intense headaches, but there was improvement in the intensity of the headaches.  I then started looking at foods that contained ingrediants that chocolate bars had (namely, high fructose corn syrup), and removed those from my diet.  This drastically cut down on the intensity of headaches.  However, I still had headaches on a regular basis varying from extremely intense, writhing pain to a dull ache.  

On a whim, I decided to eliminate corn starch and modified food starch.  This further reduced the frequency and intensity of headaches, but I still had them quite often.  By this point, I'm eating things like plain white or brown rice, potatoes, steak, etc... with no seasonings or sauces.  My headaches were reduced in intensity, but I still had them.  Then, I had the chance event of eating half of a potato and feeling fine, and a few days later, eating an entire potato and feeling absolutely miserable.  Then it dawned on me that the amount of starch/sugar I was ingesting played a direct role in the headaches.

If I eat about half the recommended serving size for a low-starch/low-sugar meal, I'm generally okay as far as pain goes, but I'm really hungry for most of the day.  I know that I could eat small snacks, but most snacks have some sort of refined sugar, which tends to make me feel lousy and causes a dull pain at the least.

@tomsant

Interesting suggestion, and brings a new meaning to "sweet tooth"!  I do in fact have teeth that are very sensitive to hot and cold.  The dentist used to be unbearable for me...  If for some bizarre reason this turns out to be the cause of my headaches, what solution could exist?

Some additional information:

If I eat any and all that I want, I have extremely bad digestion problems... for lack of a better description, I have non-stop diarhea (diarrhea).

The only thing I've found that makes my headaches go away is to take 2 or 3 advil.  That makes the "throbbing" non-existant.

I was really hyperactive as a child, and had focus problems.  Eventually, the hyperactivity was replaced with head pain.  The only "headache-free" time in my life that I can recall was when I was on the wrestling team in high school, and I suspect it was because I did strenuous excersize daily (ran for an hour, did lots of cardio, etc...).  Soon after quitting, the headaches resumed and I lost about 15 lbs.  
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About the "snack food"... when snacking, just don't eat typical snack food. eat a small meal instead. so... if half a potato doesn't trigger a headache, but a full potato does... then eat half a potato and then an hour later eat the other half... so, lots of small meals throughout the day. think like 6 or 8 small meals through out the day. so, although you are technically "snacking" you aren't eating snack food... you're eating healthy foods with low sugar content that will provide you with the nutrients you need to stay healthy. also, if you find that eating half a potato and then the other half later is still triggering the same headache... then, eat half a potato and find another half of something to eat an hour later that doesn't trigger your headaches when you eat it in a small portion. i know that for me, eating too much of the same type of food over and over again can begin increasing the trigger effect of that food. if i only eat chocolate, cheese, or drink tea (common migraine triggers) very rarely, they very rarely trigger migraines... but, if i start including them as daily parts of my diet, they start triggering migraines every single time i eat them. if i mix up my diet to include lots of variety... then i can sometimes get away with some of the softer cheeses in my diet and the occasional cup of tea....
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449909_tn?1233413497
Post sweet food headache, digestion problems, low body weight...

1. Your dentist will have sort out the problem with your teeth, he may advise special tooth paste for sensitive teeth. Maybe the roots or dentine of the teeth may have got exposed. But this paste may not help it if it is due to root infection or problem with fillings.

2. (a)Your post-food excessive yawning has to be investigated. (b) "Diarrhoea" and underweight, even if you eat well; Did you consult an internal medicine specialist? One may have to consider situations like 'gluten enteropathy' ( sorry, I am stretching my imagination. But this is what one can do without seeing the person)

(c) Did you have a Glucose Tolerance Test? (Measuring glucose level in blood every half our after a meal, for 2 1/2 hrs)

Hope this helps.

Best,

Dr.Thomas Antony
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2a.) What sort of tests can I request as part of this investigation?  The first doctor I told about these symptoms put me on adderall (adderrall) to treat "having a headache and a hard time focusing", and so you see why I might want to go in with specific suggestions.
2b.) I've seen several internal specialists.  None of them have given a response when I tell them about the digestion problems.  In any case, I seem to be okay eating wheat.
2c.) I've suggested a GTT to my current internist, but he said "that's usually done for overweight people", and insisted that I take the prescribed migraine medications.

I bought a glucose monitor recently.  Could I administer the test myself or are there special considerations that must be made?
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Have you had your heart tested at all?
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Has your thyroid been tested?  You mentioned that your half sister has Grave's Disease which is an overactive thyroid. I had mine treated about 15 years ago.  My symptoms were not at all typical, but I was very underweight and ate constantly.  I do not recall headaches being a problem for me personally but I would definitely have it checked out.
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1. Yawning in itself doesn't suggest anything. But with your other unusual symptoms, one has to scratch the brains. (But there are unrecorded observations which we get through discussions. One is that while getting some injections if the patient starts to yawn, it may be a warning that the patient's BP is falling)
2. Your diarrhoea: If it is persisting, you may have to consult a gastro-enterologist. There are many reasons, and there is an algorithm to follow to find out what may be the cause.
3. GTTs were designed before they invented glucometers. In GTT venous blood is drawn as I know. But here you will be checking capillary blood. But it may give some clue. No harm done, except you have to suffer the pain :-)

About the 'sweet-headache' again; if you avoid eating sweet food for a day, headache will be absent?
And on such a day, why not apply 'honey' (or other sticky sweet food) on your teeth and wash it off after some time (like what you may do after eating food) and see if it brings on a headache.

Keep us posted!

Best,

Dr.Thomas Antony
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@alagirl
My heartbeat is normal, though I occasionally experience palpitations preceeding a headache.

@PTMama
My thyroid hasn't been tested.  Would I go to an endocrinologist for this?  What tests would I request?

@tomsant
2.) I don't get the digestion problems anymore.  I eliminated things like tv dinners, cheap boxed items (like ramen noodles), and fast food, and that seems to have cleared up that problem.

I will perform a controlled "honey" test and see what happens.  Thanks for this suggestion!

Oh, and one other thing that has been commented on.  Nurses who drew my blood asked if I was on any blood thinners, because my blood was very thin.  At the time, I hadn't taken advil in well over a month, and other than that, I wasn't on any kind of medication.
Just mentioning this incase it means anything.
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About honey; see that your application includes the exposed area of teeth.Up to the gums.

"controlled honey test" : You seem to catch the academics fast. What do you do for a living :-)?

Best,
Dr.Thomas Antony
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768044_tn?1294227036
I have a thyroid problem. I get my thyroid levels tested every few months and I have to take a medication called synthroid.

To get my thyroid levels checked, I go to my family doctor (my GP) or to the walk-in clinic if I can't get a convenient appointment with my GP in order to get a req form for a blood test. If it is a clinic doctor, I tell them that I have a thyroid condition and ask them to give me a req form for a thyroid test. Then I go to a blood lab and get the blood drawn and ask them to send the results to my family doctor as well as the doctor who wrote the req (I ask the clinic doctor to put this on the req form as well... but I always mention it to the lab tech doing the blood work as well just to make sure that my family doctor gets the results too).

In your case, if you went to a clinic, just explain that you have concerns about your thyroid because of your headaches and energy level. That will usually be enough to get a req form. If you're in America, you'll be paying out of pocket for the blood work anyway so it's not like they'll really care. If you're in Canada, they might ask you a lot more questions before giving you the req... but that's okay!! You might actually find something out if they ask you questions!! Maybe you'll happen upon a clinic doctor who'll figure out what's wrong with you. If it's your family doctor, then just explain why you want the blood tests and I am sure that he'll give you a req form... then just go to a blood lab and if you are in America I guess you pay out of pocket for the blood work? or if you are in Canada you just give them the req form and they draw the blood and then you wait for the doctor to call you to come in and discuss your results!!

No need for a specialist or anything! :) Pretty simple!
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P.S.

The addresses of all the labs in your local area where you can get blood work done will be on the back of the req form usually. So... once you get the req form, it is pretty self-explanatory. And there is no prep for a thyroid test either like there is for a diabetes test. You don't have to fast or anything, so you can go in when ever it is convenient for you to get the blood work done. And, they only have to take one vial to run the tests (although the doctor will always run a complete blood panel... but still, this will only be another one or two vials... and it will all be drawn at the same time) so you don't have to wait around for them to draw multiple samples from different sites or anything like that. It is pretty much the simplest blood work you'll get done! :)
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Thank you all for the helpful information!  Also, I'm a software developer, and so I spend a lot of time coming up with experiments to test ideas.

So, I just remembered some stuff that might be useful information.  I've had two experiences in my life where my headaches have "magically" disappeared.  Once, while driving with a throbbing headache, I had to make a sudden stop to avoid a wreck.  Immediately, the pain went away and I felt normal for the rest of the day.  The other time, I was jogging strenuously with a very painful headache, and when the pain was just about unbearable, I heard a tiny "popping" noise in my head, and the headache went away.  I think both times I had a surge of adrenaline.

Of further note, I stumbled upon the idea that "DHEA" could prevent migraines.  Taking this naive assumption, I've been taking 25 to 50mg of the supplement per day for about a week.  Surprisingly, I've yet to have a headache, and I've been eating anything and everything.  The only headache-related symptom I've felt in the last week is that I feel worn out in the morning.  However, I used to feel far more worn out when I was just dealing with the head pain without medication.
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449909_tn?1233413497
So your problem is settled, at least for the time being, but you don't know how.

About DHEA (Hope it is Dehydro Epiandrosterone) I am unable to comment.

About the two occasions when there was a jolt associated with a 'snap' when the headache left. It might have been a 'cervicogenic headache' where the cervical vertebra malalignment might have been the problem. Next time just in case you get such a headache, alert your neuro about this story of yours.

Still wondering about what could have caused headache after eating sweets :-)

Best,

TA
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Avatar_m_tn
I have exactly the same symptons as you. I've been using antidepressives with partial results.
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Avatar_m_tn
My height and weight are about the same as you. I have 1,70m (5' 8") and 60Kg (130lbs).
My father is diabetic and need insulin daily. My glucose is normal.
My problem have many coincidences with your's.
My headaches after eating sugar started when I was 18. Since then, my sensitivity to this substance has increased year after year. Now, I can't eat any amount of sugar at all.
About two years ago my sensitivity to sugar increased to the level of intolerance to any kind of carbohydrates. This includes any food that contais wheat flour.
I have tested my glucose and didn't find any relationship between headache and glucose level.
To avoid headaches, I usualy avoid eat sugar, wheat flour and fruits.
I've tested many things to reduce my intolerance.
The most efective are:
Carbohydrate blocker : suplement made of white bean
Carbohydrate blocker : acarbose
Antidepressive : nortriptilyne

I'd like to know the results of testing DHEA.
Thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
Any updates?  I have the same thing for the past 5 years.  originally started only after drinking alcohol and only one per day..meaning headache, not drink ;-) , and since stopping drinking entirely for the past 18 months I get them incessantly.

What I have figured - 1.5 hours after eating.  If I don't eat, I don't get them.

Have tracked my blood sugar with a meter - my doc says no correlation.  I have been tracking my food intake and while limited - if I do no gluten, it seems fine.  I didn't have one for the last 36 hours - first time in months, and made rice/veg with some navy beans in it, and presto - back.

I've noticed that if I eat when I start getting one, they seem to subside.  It doesn't seem to matter what, though from thinking it way hypoglycemia its usually an apple.

I get the yawns as well.  I have to pee or deficate, or the feeling as well.

So any updates, I'd like to know.  I had 4 of them the other day....
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You may want to look at blood levels (ie hemoglobin).  You may be simply anemic for whatever reasons, basing this on age and size. Look into this, you may be suprised.
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I have similar issues - if i do not sleep within two hours of a cereal only breakfast i go into headaches, nausea, fatigue and the like... My doctor decided to perform a blood sugar drop test (even if the numbers are all normal, the change in the blood sugar drop can be so high to cause these side effects). So, I show up fasting and take a reading (blood sugar) on the hour, next I eat horrible amounts of sweet foods and drinks for half an hour. Then on the hour for the next five hours the reading is taken. my results were 90-117-126-107-97-62. The nurse said all is normal. the great doctor on the other hand told me that the 62 is a major drop below the fasting reading and that is when my symptoms show the worst... he said these numbers and the symptoms i deal with are all related to a disease called "reactive hypoglycemia"... there are lots of helpful documentation on this disease ... i know the post is old... but i hope this helps.
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This is actually for all.

I love sweet potato casserole and just recently noticed a correlation between eating it and getting headaches even though I've had headaches for a long time now.  That's why I was prompted to find these posts.  

I would like to point out that alcohol and sugar have the same effect on the body - dehydration.  If you ingest too much and don't drink enough water (and add diuretics to your diet like coffee or tea), you can basically trigger a hangover.  This is what I've been told so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Well, it's been a while since I posted on here, and I have some good news and bad news.  I finally found a doctor who was willing to administer more than just the standard blood work.  

The doctor suggested we could try a glucose tolerance test, and I oblidged.  During the test, I dropped to 49 at around the 2 hour mark, which is a very low number, and also happened to be the point when I started getting a headache.  Within an hour, my blood sugar was back to normal, but the symptoms still persisted for quite some time afterwards.  

The doctor labeled this "reactive hypoglycemia", which was nice since it finally put a name on something I was experiencing.  On the other hand, the cause is unknown and the treatment is to eat 6 or so small meals a day with a heavy restriction on what I can eat, so that wasn't good news.

As far as what I can eat, I basically stick to everything that's 50 or below on the glycemic index, and I occasionally ingest guar gum supplements to slow down absorption.  This has been by far the most effective means of avoiding headaches.  Assuming I always eat the recommended serving size or less in a 2 hour period and stick to the right foods, I'm generally alright in terms of how I feel.

I get maybe 1 headache every month because I try eating something new, and I've only had 1 headache that has caused me to miss a day of work.  So, I'm reasonably satisfied with regard to how I lived previously.

The same doctor that diagnosed reactive hypoglycemia gave me a migraine medication that was seemingly effective, but it caused me to have nightmares and feel extremely sleepy.  I wasn't getting a good night sleep, so I took myself off the medication.  I developed some serious vertigo for about a week and missed 3 days of work, and that's really the last time I tried to take migraine meds.  I don't remember the name of the medication, but I think the brand name started with an E.

Oh, and one last thing that I didn't mention because I really only notice it after no longer getting regular headaches.  After eating a large meal, I would always get VERY HEAVY brain fog.  It's very apparent to me now since it doesn't happen anymore, but after eating, I would have a very hard time comprehending what was going on around me.  It's hard to believe I existed in this lull for so long, but now I'm finally out of it!
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Avatar_f_tn
  Yawning is the way the body takes in large amounts of oxygen. May or may not be related to food issues. Probably need to drink large amounts of water and this will stop the yawning.

  Botox injections in the forehead and between the eyes will relieve tension headaches. It works! If you are in front of a computer all day or reading alot tension builds.

  Adrenaline definitely can be a cure for what ails ya, Captain! Running is
a good thing.
   Jen
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello,

I get intensive headache with naucseatic feeling after eating hot sweets in liquid form like gulab jamun, gajar ka halwa etc....

However, I can eat them cold without any trouble.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Migraine headaches usually present with throbbing headaches with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.  Attacks can be due to exposure to triggers such as food, temperature, weather and and many others. It is good that you can identify the cause ( in this case, the hot food). Try to avoid such trigger. Rest, ice packs, and pain medication may also help provide relief. Take care and regards.
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Avatar_m_tn
Any updates in the last year?
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, kind of neat how this became one of the top google search results for "headache after eating".  Anyway, I can give an update.

My diet is now extremely restricted.  Here is a great list for the glycemic effect of certain foods: http://www.montignac.com/en/ig_tableau.php

I have to eat 30 or below, and in small quantities.  I can't seem to eat rice though, which this chart suggests I should be able to.

Over time, the condition seems to be getting worse.  I'm having to eat less and less, and lower on the glycemic scale.  In fact, I'm only posting this because I had a bad headache yesterday and had to miss work this morning.  I can't do my job with the kind of head pain I experience.  Taking 6 advil after every meal is not an option.

Any amount of eggs, steak, or high protein content in general will trigger a bad headache.  The only meats I seem to be able to eat are pork, chicken, and turkey.

I've been thinking lately that the yawning might indicate something.  I feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen even after a really big yawn.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I yawn non-stop for almost 2 hours sometimes.  This only ever happens after lunch time.  What could cause a sudden drop in blood pressure after eating?  Sometimes the end of a headache corresponds with a series of heart palpitations or a slight burning (like an adrenaline rush) in the chest.  However, most of the time my head stops hurting while I'm asleep.  On a related note, I've been woken up by extreme rushes of adrenaline in the middle of the night on occasion.  I wasn't having a nightmare or anything - but I just would get what felt like a huge surge of adrenaline.

One other thing; doing yoga or exercising regularly seems to help.  DO NOT attempt to do yoga with a headache.  You will get extremely nauseated.  Think of it as a preventative.
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I and my husband had similiar syptoms (symptoms) always yawning and intense headaches and getting  up to urinate  several times a night.  We both have sleep apnea, and I have thyroid problems (hypothyroidism but with your weight being light you are probably hyperthyroidism).  do a sleep test. I did not realize how much your body suffers if you think you are going to sleep every night but you are really not reaching REM.  With sleep apnea you stop breathing several times at night which cuts off oxygen to the brain causing you to wake with sevier headaches.  Any doctor can do a thryroid test, but you have to go to sleep center for a sleep test.  Hope this helps
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Here I am again with another update.  

I saw a cardiologist, and my heart is in good health.  So, no PFO or abnormal rhythm detected in a 24 hour period of time.  He also checked my thyroid hormones, and everything looked normal.

My doctor noticed that my heart beat was hypo-dynamic, which is normally caused by an adrenaline response.  Prior to a headache, this hypo-dynamic beat increases dramatically.  My palms also become oily/sweaty, my vision a little blurry, and of course, I get head pain.

I have to wait until November to see an endocrinologist, but in the mean time, my doctor suggested I try an anti-anxiety med since anxiety can cause headaches.  I was prescribed Effexor and took it for about a week, but that just made me tired, nauseated, and unusually depressed about my situation.

I also tried over the counter GABA and L-Theanine.  In large quantities, these two seem to limit my symptoms.  I'm having to take about 2000mg of GABA and 800mg of L-Theanine for any kind of effect.  I get a fiery sensation in the back of my head and spine when I take these supplements.  I'd like to understand what's going on there.

During my doctor visit, the nurse measured my vitals, and I was 100/60.  This was about 20 minutes after I ate lunch  Over the next hour, I started getting a headache, as per usual.  The doctor came in and measured my vitals again, and this time I was 120/90.  He thought maybe the nurse measured when I was in a valley, but I think it was because my head pain started to kick in.

Also, I've lost about 6 lbs because I can hardly eat anything, and so I'm now 119lbs standing at 5' 9".  
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I found this site today by, yes, Googling "headache after eating"  Read your posts and happy to see a recent one as I started with the 2009.  This is to you and all others it will help here. I am 45. I have had severe headaches for several years with no doctor being able to tell me why. I have been diagnosed with TMJ; fibromyalgia; tension and migraine headaches.  I have a tall, willowy build and thus told my headaches are also due to poor posture. I knew that was not true. I know by how I feel and when they come on that it was not this. I also wake up in the wee hours with them constantly. My husband is currently studying to be a nurse. To make a long story short, we both figured out that I may be hypoglycemic. I have cut out almost all sugar which is helping a lot. He also suggested I eat a shortbread cookie when I wake up in the early morning about 1:30 am prior to a headache. I normally have to go to the bathroom. He said this should be the right amount of carbs/sugar to get me through the night with no headache.  Since August 1, this has been working like a gem almost all nights. A couple of nights, however, it has not and I have wondered why. When I found this site today, I realized I have more trigger foods. I had potatoes for supper last night and BAM headache!  Now I know I need to also watch for more trigger foods.  I am also a very tired person/low energy and always have been. By chance how many on here have had Mono?  Just curious.  I have blood tested for it twice in my life.  The first time I was five. I'm not sure that means anything, but I was just wondering. For my headaches I take 100 mg of Topamax a day but I'd like to get off that because I don't really think it helps. And I also take generic Imitrex when I get a headache that gets extremely severe.  I have cut down having to take those by a lot since I cut out sugar.  I wish all the best. I know how horrible it is living with headaches and trying to function. Thank you all for sharing.
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In relation to the lowering of blood pressure after eating.

Here is a link to post-prandial hypotension.
http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/eating-can-cause-low-blood-pressure

Came here because of a headache a  larger than normal lunch.
I know most of the headache's the I have are related to tension & poor posture while at work (tension from event outside of work and also a programming, can't seem to bring myself to sit up straight in the chair, so I pay the consequences...)

But this was a bit different. I could feel my shoulders tensing up as I drove back to the office.

Hope everything is going well for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for you comments you sound like a doctor.  I never got headaches but about two months ago I started getting them real bad. when I get a headache in the past I would work it thru to avoid taking advil etc now I am popping 3 advil each time I get a bad headache about twice a day.  Trying to figure out what it might be, I told my doctor that maybe i have an ear infection he called in antibiotic 5 day pak. So see how thats going to play out. I been having pain from center on my head down to my temples and sometimes to my jar or gums. I get really tired then a get a bad headache, If the antibiotic does work I will start eliminating certain foods, completely like white bread, brown surgar, cookies homemade, etc. example this morning I had bran flakes with banana and half tsp of brown surgar and afterwards I felt very tired then for lucnch I had half of turkey sub and a cooky. got very tired again and very bad headache. Also let me know what you think of additives I normally eat organic but like with certain things like turkey and white bread on the sub could have additives etc.
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Hi everyone, this was an interesting post and the comments were pretty interesting also.  I know the constant headache thing is terrible and only those who go through it can really understand how debilitating it can be.  Now I notice others have mentioned an elimination diet which I think is a great idea but you should also consider having an allergy test done.  You may be allergic to alot of things and its showing in this way.  I would also request to be tested for a gluten/casein sensitivity or celiacs disease.  Your inability to gain weight and difficulty digesting some proteins suggests some serious gi problems.  Some doctors are reluctant to look at food allergies as triggers as they always want to treat the symptoms, but what does it hurt to do the test?  You might find that something you never suspected is an issue for you.  Also, have you looked the paleo/primal way of eating, it's not a solution for everyone but some people have found some success.  And finally it sounds like you really should eat foods with a little bit more fat, more extra virgin olive oil, organic butter, coconut oil  things like that.  Fats and proteins combined keep you full longer at least that has been my experience and that may help keep your blood sugar more stable.  Remember the organs need a decent amount of fat to function properly.  I noticed personally when i cut out coffee and flour i reduced the number and severity of migraines and when i added them back the sluggishness and headaches returned with a vengeance.  I've decided that the biscuits and spaghetti are not worth the headaches, back to the diet for me.
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Why hello again everyone.  It turns out I get extreme anxiety after eating, and have just been in a constant state if anxiety for most of my life.  I take about 2mg of klonopin per day, and I can eat whatever I want.  I am up to 140lbs now and feel amazing.  I take gingko to help with the memory problemside effects, but otherwise it is a good temporary solution.
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Hey, it's great that you have finally found a prognosis! Me having the same headache symptoms, It's been a while since I started trying to get rid of those. Anyways...
Are you sure that anxiety is the primary reason for the headaches and is not just another symptom to go along with them? It'll be interesting to know how you got the diagnosis.
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Get tested for Celiac Disease. Anxiety is a symptom. Klonipin (klonopin) is a bandaid. Most meds stop working over time, so, keep looking for the root problem while you're feeling better.
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Hello,
I took Klonopin for two years and it almost made me kill myself. You should never take that medicine for more than two weeks. I developed a tolerance to it and went through withdrawal even though I was still taking the medicine. It drove me crazy. I put myself in the hospital and when I got out I stopped the medicine. I started a severe withdrawal and went to no less than 12 doctors and none of them diagnosed withdrawal from the Klonopin. It has been the worst nightmare of my life. If you go to ************.org website you will read about the many people suffering relentlessly from Benzo withdrawal. Klonopin is a Benzodiazepine. I am 9 months from taking my last klonopin and I am suffering from the same symptoms you mentioned. I know it is from the klonopin and am hoping that once my brain heals from the klonopin I will get better and be back to normal. Withdrawal can take up to 3 years. Taking klonopin was the biggest mistake of my life. Please be sure to do tons of research before you take that medicine for more than a few weeks. Good luck.
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I also wanted to tell you that I went to a nutritionist and she said that my problem is that my digestive system and my liver are sick and that it why this is happening, She said that since they are the guards of the brain castle and that what I am eating is not being processed properly and too much glutamate is getting to my brain. I was told to eat a fat, protein and carb with each meal and snack and given digestive enzymes and probiotics to take. This is to build up my intestinal wall so it is healthy again. The headaches were worse so I am going to have to move slower and going to see a accupressure doctor who can get my liver on the right track as well. It seems my liver and digestive system are so compromised they are why I am so sick. It is also from allergies. I tested allergic to everything food wise and it is from my compromised digestive system. I am sure it is from the klonopin I took and I hope and pray that my brain heals soon and takes in all the GABA it needs to counteract the glutamate I eat with foods. The lower the glutamate level I eat the less the headaches. If you look up benzo support sites you will see many people that have diet issues like ours.
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Hello,
I have the same symptoms but have read a book called Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates and believe I have found the problem. Candida and leaky gut from all the medicines and antibiotics I have taken in the past. As well as my diet being so bad as I struggle with withdrawal. I started the diet 5 days ago and I have less and less headaches and my sleep and improved amazingly. I really think I may have found the answer. It may be something you may want to try and not the klonopin.
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Avatar_m_tn
Amazing to read this forum, it has helped me to look further into my headaches. Last year I suffered headaches the palpitations, tiredness and other things so I did research and changed my diet. However, the last two or three months they have returned slowly getting worse, my diet has gone backwards. It's crazy..

Im 10kg over weight I used to be 20kg after having a baby 4 years ago. Ive had problems losing weight because of anti depressants and all kinds of contraception's.

Ive had small changes and I eat smaller portions that I used to, I have increased eating rice again.. Due to relatives moving in. So I visited my doctor's again asking questions. Last year the did the normal blood and nothing came out and didn't check further. I tried another doctor but they couldn't see anything, I told them changing my diet a little has helped but they too couldn't really say anything about it. It helped for awhile but its back, need a solution not a short fix. I feel so helpless that they can not help.

I desperately wanted to see a nutritionist at that time but my husband won't allow me because it's expensive but I know that they will be able to help me more that my GP. They really upset in Feb this year, they told me twice i had the flu(no tests) when really i suffered a urine and kidney infect for about 3-4 weeks (waited for appointments and test results too) and lost 5kg. so i changed places. I hate Doctor's they want to treat the symptoms, I want the real cause..

Anyways, I will wait for my blood test checking for food allergies friday. I am worried because we plan for a baby about november so Im worried I don't want to suffer the next year of this.
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Avatar_m_tn
Amazing to read this forum, it has helped me to look further into my headaches. Last year I suffered headaches the palpitations, tiredness and other things so I did research and changed my diet. However, the last two or three months they have returned slowly getting worse, my diet has gone backwards. It's crazy..

Im 10kg over weight I used to be 20kg after having a baby 4 years ago. Ive had problems losing weight because of anti depressants and all kinds of contraception's.

Ive had small changes and I eat smaller portions that I used to, I have increased eating rice again.. Due to relatives moving in. So I visited my doctor's again asking questions. Last year the did the normal blood and nothing came out and didn't check further. I tried another doctor but they couldn't see anything, I told them changing my diet a little has helped but they too couldn't really say anything about it. It helped for awhile but its back, need a solution not a short fix. I feel so helpless that they can not help.

I desperately wanted to see a nutritionist at that time but my husband won't allow me because it's expensive but I know that they will be able to help me more that my GP. They really upset in Feb this year, they told me twice i had the flu(no tests) when really i suffered a urine and kidney infect for about 3-4 weeks (waited for appointments and test results too) and lost 5kg. so i changed places. I hate Doctor's they want to treat the symptoms, I want the real cause..

Anyways, I will wait for my blood test checking for food allergies friday. I am worried because we plan for a baby about november so Im worried I don't want to suffer the next year of this.
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it could be parasites too. Most thrive on starch and sugar. My brother had such a bad reaction to starch/sugar (sluggishness, brain fog, fatigue) he wouldn't eat anything all day, then eat a huge meal before bed.
He's been treated for a bacteria called blastocystis hominis and is fine now. But while he was sick, he found that many parasites can cause such symptoms, including the common yeast candida.
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You may want to check and see if you have a protein intolerance or you body can not asorb proteins. Many people have allergies to proteins or can not digest those proteins. It sounds like with you not being able to keep on weight that may be your issues. Protein helps people with muscle mass. I hope this helps on your search for a cure. :-)
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My guess...yeast infection/ overgrowth (or a bacterial overgrowth)

Read the webpage by Karen Tripp on Candida

She eliminated carbs/sugars as much as possible and used Undecylenic acid from castor oil( she used a product called Thorne Formula SF722) acid and Caprylic acid from coconut oil acid to kill the fungus and then a probiotic to have beneficial bacteria compete for food with the fungus.

I would say that the headaches are dehydration and/or toxins (yeast are used to make alcohol and everyone gets headaches when they have too much alcohol, so if you are feeding yeast inside you maybe they are dumping toxins in you that add to the headaches; you also said you get regular diarrhea  which is dehydrating) You stated that headaches were less freq. when you were a wrestler...maybe you burned off a lot of the carbs used to feed the fungus. Less fungal growth = less headaches?
Yawning....skipping meals and being low on carbs results in "air hunger"...if the fungus is using up your carbs, along with your body dumping carbs through urination and diarrhea   (possibly as a defense to starve the fungus

Tired after meals ....if you are starving (again b/c of diarrhea  and  the fungus competing for the sugar) as soon as you eat you will be very tired/sleepy

Your doctors seem to be chasing symptoms and forgetting about looking for a cause.  Stomach ulcers were stress/runs in family/spicy food.....turns out it is H.Pylori bacterium.  Arthritis...again was runs in family/cold work environments, etc....now bacteria.  Heart disease.....was poor genetics, IE runs in families....now caused by viruses. Look for a cause and the cure is in foods along with your own immune system.

On the Karen Tripp Diet  she avoided and pre-made foods b/c they contain a lot of cabs/sugars.  Yo have to go back to eating real foods....for example for beakfast, bacon is manufactured food, so substitute a slice of pork for breakfast along with a couple of eggs and no toast or cereals and no OJ which has a lot of sugar. Replace the calories from sugar with calories from oils, like olive oil.  Lunch for example can be a large salad with low carbs veggies like bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, cabbage drenched with spices and olive oil and eaten with a protein source like roast chicken  but not with luncheon meats b/c they contain a lot of sugar.

If the Karen Tripp Candida Diet works for you I want the Nobel Prize okay?
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I, too, found this forum after searching "headache after eating." I am a 36 year old male. These symptoms  began happening to me two months ago, and was first triggered after having a bit of alcohol. I got a pretty intense pain at my left temple and behind my left eye.I did not connect this as cause and effect at the time. A week later, after once again having some alcohol, the same thing happened. So I swore off alcohol.

But I began to discover that seemingly randomly after meals, I would get the same migraine, always in my left temple/eye. I started to pay attention to what I was eating and when I would get these migraines. Although I haven't nailed down all the triggers, so far I suspect Rice, Potatoes and Fish.

I also get slightly anxious, and I even experience some flank pain (kidney pain), although I am not convinced this is related to the migraines.

Captain Headache, you have mentioned that the cause of your condition could be hypoglycemia or fibromalgya. If you could elaborate on these diagnosis, I would much appreciate it. Have your doctors come to a more solid conclusion on what is causing you to endure this terrible ordeal?

Unfortunately, I am uninsured, and if I pay for a doctors visit, I'd like to go in with as much information about my possible condition as possible.

Thanks for keeping this thread updated Captain Headache, you are a true advocate for your fellow human beings who endure this terrible and mysterious illness.
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Avatar_m_tn
oh and two more trigger foods I forgot to mention:

Beer and Orange Juice, along with the aforementioned Rice, Potatoes and Fish
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Your night time adrenaline rushes could be related to cortisol levels. You may want to see if your MD can check into that.
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I have had the same symptoms as you for the last 6 years. It does appear that sugars, too many carbs will trigger this for me.

I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia. The root cause *appears to be* a hereditary high triglycerides, which serves to shut down function of the pancreas.

Since the pancreas controls insulin production / release, the explanation given me was that when I eat sugar/carbs, it puts glucose into my system. Instead of a correct amount of insulin being released, a huge amount gets dumped, which knocks my blood sugar low.

The body then releases epinephrine & norepinephrine, to halt the insulin production / release. This causes some blood vessel restriction etc., and the headache. Since epinephrine is adrenaline, it causes elevated heart rate & blood pressure as well - which is consistant with what you reported.

All of that said - there was a commentor above (SMH1969) who mentioned a systemic yeast problem possibly causing this. In addition to my confirmed triglyceride & pancreas problem, I have begun to suspect that yeast may be the main culprit instead - but I haven't confirmed this yet. It is worth checking into.

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Check out fructose malabsorption and FODMAPs.

The best research is from Australia.  Sue Shepherd did her phd on this.  

Symptoms: digestive complaints (diarrhea and or constipation), headache (behind the eyes), fuzzy head (poor memory, inability to think logically), irritability, depression, bloating, gas, etc.

What to do about it: cut out most fruits and veggies (especially onions and garlic), eat a lot of protein, cut out wheat (fructans), honey, juices, alcohol.

I eat sourdough bread, peanut butter, small serves of raspberry jam, lactose free milk, oatmeal, potatoes, dark chocolate, coffee, carrots, spinach, hard cheeses,
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I also eat potatoes.  Sometimes I can handle rice and sometimes I can't.  That is why I started looking for headache info.
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This is all very interesting.  I don't necessarily get headaches just after eating (I pretty much always have a headache, or did until I had Botox and now have a reduction it seems so far).   However, as someone who is in recovery from an eating disorder as well, I put 2 and 2 together and realized that I didn't really suffer migraines when I was actively restricting calories.  I did some research on the matter after I started hearing about Ketogenic diets for children with epilepsy (which I also have, but it's controlled with meds), and there's a lot of not-so-scientific, anecdotal information about it online:  http://www.hcop.com/?z=1080

I bought Keto strips and tried to maintain on it; it DOES help me, moreso than anything else, but it's really hard for me to maintain without spiraling out of control.  So. . .it might be a better option for some than others.
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I thought i was the only one this happens to. When I tell people sugar and/or carbs make me sick, they look at me and say "oh". I suffered with migraines for years. I noticed that before it rained they were really bad. It wasn't until my husband and I were on a cruise and I got a migraine everyday. By the third day my husband suggested I see about the acupuncturist on board. He was the one who told me to cut out all sugars and carbs. I did and never had a headache. That was 5 years ago. Now I am at a different job and it is very difficult. There are cakes, soft pretzels, etc. almost 2x a week. So we are back to square one. I was curious if anyone ever experienced drainage from the ear when they are sleeping. I experience this when I eat rice, potatoes or any sugar.
Thank you everyone for all the wonderful tips and info.
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Your experiences are consistent with migraines that are rooted in metabolic syndrome.  The leg cramps are a clue that you might respond well to magnesium therapy - since low magnesium this is a factor in both issues.

Magnesium of about 400mg extra a day, above and beyond what you would normally need to balance your calacium intake.  If you take this therapy, it goes better if you have a well rounded multi-vitamin.  Other vitams that do very well include B2 at about 200mg extra per day.  200mg of Q10 helps the B2.  

Metabolic syndrome involves an insensitivity to insulin, which might be why your situation is so easily triggered by sugar.  Metabolic syndrome is often linked to migraines, in which case, unchecked, the symptoms only get worse until it develops into full blown diabetes.  

If that is the case, it's very important to avoid refined sugars and refined grains.  Vigorous exercise for at least 15 minutes a day is also crucial if you have Metabolic Syndrome but you need to be sure to follow that with some kind of protein snack like a glass of milk.  I've found that if I do this exercise pre-bed, it further helps the leg cramping.

I hope that helps.
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PS:  The yawning and the frequent peeing are also symptoms common in migraine sufferers.  Most doctors don't know that.  
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I also had severe headaches whenever I ate chocolate. It turns out that I have a problem with the casein in milk, which is a protein. I'll get a migraine that lasts for a while if I eat products that contain milk. Also, my throat constricts, I get congested, and I just feel bad. Benedryl is the only thing that works; not Tylenol, Advil, Aleeve, or any other over the counter-products for headaches. For the longest, I thought that if I took Dairy Ease and used lactose-free milk, that would be the end to my problems. However, I didn't have an issue with lactose, but the casein. I tried to eat soy cheese and drink Silk, but I was still getting congested, although not nearly as bad as I get with milk. I'll take that congestion because I like to bake. I was still having abnormal lab tests, so I got tested for Celiacs. I have it and was told to eliminate all gluten, which has been VERY difficult as many things contain it. When I first went gluten free, I noticed a change in the first few weeks. My joints didn't ache, my head didn't hurt, I wasn't congested, I thought more clearly, and my food didn't get "stuck" in my throat. Before, I had been diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux disease). My food wasn't digesting properly and I would basically regurgitate my food in the back of my esophagus. It got so bad that I actually got a yeast infection in my esophagus (YUCK!) and had to have a procedure to open it back up because it had constricted (hence the feeling that my food was "stuck"). I had a set back recently after eating some fries from a local fish restaurant. Apparently, they fried the fries in the same grease they use to cook their fish. Also, I don't do well with the fried foods due my GERD. Anywho, I hope that you're feeling great by now as it has been some years since you've put up this post, lol. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
dear i have same problem like you had.i have this problem for two years.daily headache after eating.feel foggy brain after eating. all symptoms like you.are you all right now? If you all right then plzz tell me how overcome this problem.plzz help me i am so frustrated with this condition.
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