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Alcohol & Migraines: Can Drinking Cause a Migraine Headache?

By February 8, 2023March 3rd, 2023No Comments

Instead, researchers suggest that alcohol as a trigger is more of a personal reaction — common in certain types of headaches — than a general effect. According to Aurora, however, alcohol consumption isn’t just a question of what’s considered a safe amount. It also depends on whether or not you’re likely to develop headaches. “Some patients with migraine are particularly susceptible to dehydration,” she says.

consumption and hangover

She was a hockey player and played goalie for several high level mens’ teams. Dr. Klenk also reads avidly and enjoys spending time with her children, playing music, hiking, and participating in cattle herding competitions across the country with her Border Collies. She lives on a working cattle ranch in Ohio with her family and is an active part of the farm in her spare time. Join a candid conversation about building coping skills to address anxious feelings while navigating sobriety or moderation.

When to see a doctor?

Many foods are considered to have the capacity to release histamine from tissue mast cells, even if they themselves contain only small amounts of histamine. However, alcohol potently inhibited, in itself, diamine oxidase and may activate the release on histamine from mast cells. It is known since antiquity that wine could be a trigger for migraine. This tendency attenuated through the years, and during the last year they have a similar tendency as compared with nonmigraine sufferers. Nevertheless, the tendency was higher to develop migraine-like symptoms of the hangover.

What everyone with migraines should know about alcohol?

Everyone has had a headache after a night of one too many whiskeys, but for people with migraines, even one drink can trigger a debilitating attack. Around a third of people with migraines have had them tipped off by booze, often within a few hours of knocking one back.

They usually appear within the first two hours of consuming alcohol. Beer is a diuretic, which dehydrates drinkers throughout a night of casual consumption. Beer’s ingredients — like tyramine, histamine or tannins — may be an equal problem for others. However, researchers are conflicted about the link between these ingredients and migraine. For some, the byproduct of beer’s fermentation process may be enough to trigger migraine. Eating food is just as important as drinking water during alcohol use. If you have alcohol on an empty stomach, it will speed up absorption and increase your chances of both immediate and delayed headaches.

Alcohol consumption in headache patients

Since can alcohol cause migraines has a dehydrating effect, drinking 16 ounces of water between each alcoholic beverage can help offset alcohol-related dehydration. Drinks that include electrolytes, such as sports drinks, can help replace the electrolytes you lose from the diuretic effects of alcohol.

Is it OK to drink alcohol with a migraine?

Even a modest amount of alcohol can cause people with migraine to develop a delayed headache or trigger an attack.

The French seem to be able to drink red wine without the hangover headache and poor health. Scientists explored the mystery in this study about the “French paradox.” I recently drank some flavored cream liquor (Bailey’s brand) and woke with a migraine.

Free Support Group: How to address anxiety while managing your drinking

However, there isn’t currently enough research to conclusively say why this is the case. Many believe that it is for similar reasons why alcohol causes headaches. In particular, the dehydration aspect is seen as a big migraine trigger. As mentioned above, if you already suffer from things like chronic headaches or migraines, being dehydrated will likely make this worse and cause a migraine episode. Again, it is reported that alcohol is a major trigger for migraines in lots of people. In fact, around one-third of migraine sufferers have indicated that alcohol has triggered migraines in the past.

  • If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
  • Sances G, Tassorelli C, Pucci E, Ghiotto N, Sandrini G, Nappi G. Reliability of the nitroglycerin provocative test in the diagnosis of neurovascular headaches.
  • Even the smallest amount of alcohol can trigger a cluster headache attack for people prone to these kinds of headaches.
  • This will be a valuable resource for you and your doctor to start identifying more specific migraine triggers.

Beer and other dark beverages are also believed to be bad if you suffer from headaches, while clearer drinks are better. Vodka and other spirits may reduce your chances of developing headaches when you drink because they contain fewer substances than darker alcoholic beverages. Don’t drown your sorrows.If you’ve had a tough day at work or a stressful interaction with someone, drinking alcohol might not be the best way of coping. In fact, drinking alcohol to calm yourself down can elevate your risk of triggering a migraine attack or an alcohol-induced headache.

While alcohol can help you feel sleepy and induce sleep, it tends to interfere with sleep in the later stages of the evening. Wechsler H, Davenport A, Dowdall G, Moeykens B, Castillo S. Health and behavioral consequences of binge drinking in college. A total of 739 questionnaires were handed to students; 47 of them met the exclusion criteria, therefore 692 questionnaires were studied. Ninety-five participants (14%) met the IHS criteria for episodic migraine with or without aura. Participants were asked about cigarette smoking and marijuana smoking habits. Students who reported marijuana smoking more than once were considered as marijuana smokers.

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