What Is The Best Alcohol To Drink If You Get Migraines?

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Alcohol and migraine: Drinks to avoid, remedies, and more – Medical News Today

Alcohol and migraine: Drinks to avoid, remedies, and more.

Posted: Mon, 08 Nov 2021 08:00:00 GMT [source]

However, only 6% of people with this problem have an attack after drinking beer because alcohol doesn’t have a consistent effect on this type of headache. Drinking alcohol can trigger migraines in some people, possibly as a result of histamines contained in some alcoholic beverages. Your immune system also releases histamines during an allergic reaction. Curiously, I have treated several individuals who can drink one brand of beer without developing a Sober living houses headache but can’t stand even a sip of any other brand. Many people can drink white wine without developing a headache but will invariably experience a severe headache when they drink red wine. In addition to ethanol, alcoholic beverages contain other chemicals called congeners that create the specific flavors of each drink. These chemicals can often trigger headaches, alter chemicals in the body, and induce the hangover effect if consumed in excess.

Immediate Alcohol

A study of over 50,000 people in Norway found a relationship betweengreateralcohol use and fewer migraine headaches. Another study, in Austria, found that people who drank beer were atlowerrisk for a migraine the next day. There is some evidence that vitamin B6 taken before drinking can be mildly helpful. An anti-inflammatory drug called tolfenamic acid has been shown to be somewhat helpful when taken during alcohol consumption. While this drug is not available in the U.S., other related medications, including ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be similarly helpful. However, when combined with alcohol they might increase the risk of stomach bleeding.

does alcohol cause migraines

Although any type of alcohol can trigger a migraine, people who experience regular migraine attacks cite red wine as the most frequent culprit. Flavonoid phenols and tannins, both alike in character and action, are by-products of alcohol fermentation.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

Alcohol-induced migraines also come with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Sulfites are added to alcohol to limit yeast growth and act as a preservative.

does alcohol cause migraines

National Library of Medicine, one-third of migraine sufferers point to alcohol as a trigger. Migraine is a symptom of an underlying condition, and one of the elements of a migraine is a headache.

How Soon After Drinking Alcohol Will A Migraine Headache Occur?

They usually start out mild and depending on the amount and usage of alcohol consumption, can become life-threatening. Even if you are a migraine sufferer, red wine won’t necessarily be one of your triggers. If you get a headache after just one glass but have never been diagnosed with migraines before, it’s worth seeing a doctor to figure out what’s going on. When you stick to one drink a day, your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases also theoretically reduces. This article highlights everything you should know about alcohol and migraines. If you wake up with a hangover you can’t beat, contact the Hangover Hospital in Key West to try our tested and proven hangover cures. Aspartame, sucralose and others can trigger migraines for some, but not others.

  • Avoid these headaches by identifying your common sources of stress and doing your best to avoid them.
  • After quitting alcohol, the symptoms of withdrawal will show up quickly, and the first symptoms to show are usually anxiety and headaches.
  • Of course, like all medications, they have their own side effects.
  • Keep in mind that it often takes multiple triggers to set off a migraine attack.
  • Alcohol intolerance occurs when your body doesn’t have the proper enzymes to break down the toxins in alcohol.

But these too, after two or three can produce devastating effects. I have been told that I may be allergic to hops, but not all beers produce those effects. Is there a light beer that can be ingested w/o fear of these effects? On the other hand, people who often suffer from cluster headaches are usually susceptible to alcohol, including beer.

Prolonged Alcohol Withdrawal

These headaches cause very intense pain that often primarily affects the area behind one eye. More than half of those who experience cluster headaches say that alcohol is a trigger. A 2015 study suggests that the inactivity of alcohol dehydrogenase 2, an enzyme that helps break down alcohol, might contribute to hangover headaches. However, the study author also cautions that no single factor causes all hangover headaches. Although genetic factors influence the risk of having migraine, environmental triggers can cause episodes or increase their frequency. When enjoying a night out on the town, there are several triggers you may expose yourself to including bright flashing lights, loud music, food and alcohol.

But without scientific proof, alcohol itself continues to be considered a migraine trigger until specific components and causes can be identified. A large majority of respondents (77.8%) considered wine, especially red wine, to be the most common alcoholic trigger for migraine. Yet only 8.8% of participants reported that drinking wine consistently lead to an attack.

Avoid Alcohol During Stress

For example, one medication used to treat migraines is gabapentin. But taking gabapentin and drinking alcohol at the same time can be dangerous. While the medication can be used to treat the painful symptoms of migraines, it should never be taken along with alcohol. Keep in mind, too, that triggers tend to be additive, so you may find that alcohol triggers a migraine attack primarily when you’re stressed, premenstrual, or have had inadequate sleep.

At present, most studies seem to link to headaches after alcohol to congeners, a byproduct of alcohol, most commonly found in darker drinks, such as whiskey, brandy and red wine. When I drink wine presently, it’s quite often just red wine, normally only 1-2 half-glasses w/a dinner, with water going with the supper as well. One companion’s migraines are activated by a few kinds of smells/aromas also, a trigger that is for the most part out of her control. If drinking alcohol appears to be a alcohol and headaches potent headache trigger for you, then, by all means, abstain from it. But if a cocktail with friends once in a while or a glass of wine with your dinner on Saturday night does not seem to trigger a bad headache, then it’s probably OK. Talk to your doctor about any concerns and about whether it is safe to drink alcohol with any medications you are taking. Another thing that remains unclear is whether the type of alcohol you drink determines whether or not you will get a migraine headache.

Alcoholism, Mental Health

However, a few negative experiences cannot justify the media and scientific information on alcohol as a major headache trigger and the suggestion of abstinence. In fact, to deny the beneficial effect of a low dose of alcohol in a wide number of people, who can also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease like migraine patients , is not medically appropriate.

does alcohol cause migraines

Researchers concluded that red wine must contain a migraine-provoking agent that is not alcohol. Conversely, some European studies report white wine as the most common trigger. Other studies indicate spirits, sparkling wine, and beer as triggers for headaches. Surprisingly migraine sufferers consumed the same amount of wine as nonsufferers. Nevertheless, the headache triggered by red wine is not hangover.

Is Alcohol Or Another Component Of The Drink The Headache Trigger?

There has been some research into the effect alcohol has in increasing blood flow to certain parts of the brain, but whether this causes or relieves headache symptoms depends largely on the type of headache. These include dried fruits, chips, raisins, soy sauce, pickles, and juice fruits. So-called “sulfite sensitivity” provokes asthmatic responses rather than headache. Perhaps this combination activates the pathways necessary for headache to become active. Otherwise, if alcohol is not directly involved in producing headache per se, a substance present in the different alcoholic drinks seems responsible or facilitates the alcohol effect.

Its main limitation is the fact that its data is based solely on self-reported questionnaires. Migraine diagnosis was based on these questionnaires and the students were not examined by a neurologist. A recall bias may be present regarding hangover symptomatology during the last year. Results of MIDAS score among migraine sufferers ranged from 0 to 70 with a mean of 12.52 and SD of 13.81, classified as medium grade disability.

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