2 Nov 2020 Ferado

How alcohol is linked to headaches and migraines

A MEDLINE search from 1988 to October 2007 was performed for “headache and alcohol”, “headache and wine”, “migraine and alcohol” and “migraine and wine”. Regional differences were reported, perhaps depending in part on alcohol habits. No differences were found between migraine and tension headache and different genders. However, prospective studies limit considerably the importance of alcohol as a trigger.

  • Consider joining our Move Against Migraine support group on Facebook so you can connect with others who live with migraine.
  • Ethanol is also a diuretic, meaning it increases urination, which then leads to electrolyte loss and dehydration.
  • Dehydration causes brain cells to contract temporarily, also resulting in headaches.
  • If alcohol is a confirmed trigger for your migraine, then avoiding alcohol is the best solution.
  • The tyramine content of both the red and white wine was negligible 1–2 mg/L (9) in comparison with the tyramine doses utilized in oral challenge studies (100–200 mg).

Various retrospective studies show that a high percentage (about one-third) of migraine patients refer alcohol as a trigger factor. However, this factor is frequently reported at about 10%, which is a percentage more plausible. No significant differences appeared between the migraines with or without aura and between migraine and tension headache. Some studies on the alcohol habits in migraine patients show a low percentage of drinkers in migraine patients.

Move Against Migraine

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. People who consume greater quantities of alcohol report more alcohol-related headaches, according to several studies. Then again, in some groups, alcohol appears to have protective effects against headaches. Substances such as sulfites, histamine, and tyramines are found in alcohol and may contribute to headaches as well. It has also been proposed that alcohol triggers an inflammatory response that can lead to a headache.

If you have a pounding headache the next morning, it’s likely a hangover and not a migraine caused by red wine. It may also be helpful to keep a food journal to help narrow the list down of food and drink triggers. Since wines are made from a variety of grapes, preservatives, and other ingredients, there are many potential culprits. Talking to a doctor and allergist may also help you pinpoint the food or drink giving you a headache. Since red wine has more tannins than white wine, tannins are a commonly called-out culprit for those fateful migraine episodes. These plant chemicals give your body the green light to produce serotonin (aka the happy hormone), which can also (sadly) cause headaches in some people.

Hiding Migraine Symptoms

As a result, a female’s blood alcohol concentration tends to be higher, making it more likely for females to experience headaches and hangovers. 2020 research shows that females are more likely to experience hangovers, memory problems, and liver disease from consuming alcohol. It can’t prevent a migraine, but it can help stop one after it starts. Triptans work best when you take them at the early signs of a migraine. You might have heard that red wine is most likely to cause problems. But other drinks like sparkling wine, beer, and hard liquor may be just as likely, if not more, to cause problems.

  • A person may experience migraine after drinking if they are susceptible to it.
  • In these cases, people with migraine might be able to drink a glass or two of alcohol without any trouble most of the time, but they might occasionally find that just half a drink triggers a migraine.
  • Of the 1,547 participants, 783 said that alcohol was a trigger, and 195 were not sure.

Other types of headaches, including severe headaches, can occur as a result of alcohol consumption. Of the 1,547 participants, 783 said that alcohol was a trigger, and 195 were not sure. People who experienced migraine with alcohol were more likely to have migraine with aura and to experience more migraine days and more frequent attacks.

Does drinking alcohol trigger migraines?

Red wine strongly inhibits the binding of 5-HT to 5-HT1 receptors; white wine possesses this ability to a much lesser extent [47]. Studies on red wine-sensitive subjects, in order to show a mediation of induced headache by some types of 5-HT2 receptors, give inconclusive results [42]. In this light, direct or indirect (by 5-HT release) stimulation of 5-HT2 receptors can alcohol cause migraines was supposed to be the mechanism of headache induced by some serotonergic agonists ([60], for review). The principal substances of the alcoholic drinks thought to be involved in headache provoked by alcoholic drinks are successively discussed. If you regularly have signs and symptoms of migraine, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them.

  • Or you might be fine until after your blood alcohol level returns to normal.
  • Unfortunately, nothing can prevent reactions to alcohol or ingredients in alcoholic beverages.
  • Congeners tend to aggravate brain tissue and blood vessels, which contributes to headaches.
  • Start your search with these complementary and integrative therapies.
  • If drinking alcohol appears to be a potent headache trigger for you, then, by all means, abstain from it.