Additionally, for some work or school may limit the times that they can eat resulting in long periods of fasting, which may also trigger migraine attacks. Foods that trigger migraine attacks are different for everyone, but some common suspects include gluten, monosodium glutamate , alcohol, artificial sweeteners and caffeine. Roughly a third of migraine sufferers say that alcoholic beverages can trigger their migraine attacks. A tenth of migraine sufferers say alcohol is a frequent or consistent trigger. Flavonoid phenols and tannins, two very similar components, are by-products of alcohol fermentation and give wine its distinctive character. Other known alcohol by-products, such as acetone, acetaldehyde, fuseil oil, and furfural, have been suggested as responsible for triggering migraines. Darker colored drinks such as red wine, whiskey, and brandy have more of these by-products than lighter drinks such as white wine, vodka, or gin.
However, young adults commonly use these drugs in combination with alcohol, making it difficult to identify the actual trigger. If you’ve consumed too much alcohol and have to work the next day, what do you do?
This chemical builds up in the blood as the liver breaks down the alcohol into a form that can be eliminated from the body. While not a disease we treat at the Johns Hopkins Headache Center, delayed alcohol-induced headaches are extremely common, disabling and costly to society.
In fact, it was also suggested that dural mast cells could promote headache by releasing 5-HT, prostaglandin I and histamine . Keep reading to learn more about the connection between migraine and headache. Wechsler H, Davenport A, Dowdall G, Moeykens B, Castillo S. Health and behavioral consequences of binge drinking in college. Many people have turned to abstinence as their preventative measure for reasons stated above. If you have persistent lightheadedness or vomiting, seek medical attention. Generally, these episodes resolve within a few hours but can last up to a whole day. It’s important to note that alcohol use disorder is a serious illness that can have life-threatening consequences.
A migraine is a headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, these headaches affect one half of the head and are pulsating in nature, often with intense throbbing in a particular area. Migraine headaches can last for hours or days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities. Common symptoms of migraines include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light, sound, and/or smell.
Many people confuse this with a regular hangover until the intensity of the migraine sets in. Whether or not alcohol is a migraine headache trigger is debatable. While some people do experience migraine headaches after drinking alcohol, not everyone does. Avoiding alcohol isn’t the only way to avoid an alcohol-related migraine headache. There are some health benefits to moderate alcohol consumption, but the key is knowing what types of alcohol cause your headaches, in what amounts, and what other factors might be involved. Alcohol is identified as an occasional trigger in about a third of people who experience migraine headaches, but it’s only a consistent trigger in about 10 percent of migraine sufferers.
A food may be likely considered a trigger of a migraine attack If a) a strict time relationship exists between the consumption and the start of headache, or b) that this link is not occasional. From retrospective patient reports, it is very difficult to make sure a link exists. In fact, especially in the drug-new symptoms example, a possible link to other frequent triggers (stress, post-stress, fear, anxiety, menstruation, weather changes, etc.) must be considered.
Therefore, the release of 5-HT possibly from central stores could represent a plausible mechanism for wine induced headache. Relaxation techniques may help ease stress-related migraines, and they may make migraine episodes feel less severe when they happen. Perhaps inflammatory mechanisms and the known vasodilatatoric effect of alcohol are the link between hangover and migraine.
Sulphites are considered to be the cause of red wine intolerance, particularly asthma . The relation between tyramine and migraine has been studied most extensively. Half were pioneering studies performed by Hanington et al. (see ) which showed that oral tyramine provoked headaches in dietary migraine patients but not in nondietary migraine or controls.
In this study, six subjects of the consumer group identified white wine as a trigger, while two subjects reported red wine and two both the types of wine in the nonconsumer group . This hangover headache appears in the next morning after alcohol intake. At this time the blood alcohol level is falling and reaches zero. The symptom of headache is present in 2/3 of subjects with alcohol hangover. The DAIH can be experienced by anyone, but people with migraine are more susceptible. Furthermore, migraine patients can develop headache with the ingestion of modest amounts of alcohol.
However these are retrospective studies, and until recently only a prospective study based exclusively on the subjective patients information exists . Recent studies show that alcohol acts as a trigger at least occasionally in a percentage similar to that of the previous studies (37%), but as a frequent/consistent trigger in only 10% of the patients .
You’ll often see the wording “contains sulfites” on wine bottles, which means the product contains a sulfur-based preservative to prevent oxidization and retain freshness. Sulfites are naturally-occurring chemical compounds that prevent microbial growth and reproduction, and winemakers often add extra sulfites to the wine to extend its shelf life. Sulfites are also found in foods, and are believed to trigger asthma attacks more than migraines. Once the headache starts, light, smell, alcohol and headaches or sound may bother people with migraines or make them feel worse. Sometimes, if they try to continue with their usual routine, they may become nauseated and vomit. Often the pain begins only on one side of the head, but it might eventually affect both sides. A few hours or even days before the actual headache, people might feel funny or «not right. They might crave different foods, or feel thirsty, irritable, tired, or even full of energy. This is called a «premonition.»
Alcohol-free red wine polyphenol extract increases endothelial NO release . However in vivo studies show that only the ingestion of red wine with alcohol, but not of dealcoholized red wine, provokes arterial dilatation and thus the effect of wine is due to ethanol . Also oral intake of pure alcohol produces significant vasodilatation in man . This study is in accordance with a larger population-based study performed Alcohol to detect cardiovascular risk factor in migraine, showing significantly less alcohol consumption in migraine than in control subjects . A tendency toward migraine may also play a role in hangovers, especially hangovers that cause migraine-like headaches. A 2014 survey of 692 students, 95 of whom had migraine, found that those with migraine were more likely to experience migraine-like symptoms during a hangover.
This study investigates the importance of alcohol as a migraine trigger factor, the prevalence of alcohol consumers and the mechanism of headache provocation. 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.
These congeners also have a variety of effects that can cause headaches, alter other chemicals in the body, and induce the hangover effect if consumed in excess. Fructose, the naturally occurring sugar from fruits, helps return portions of the body’s chemical balance back to normal following ethanol consumption. The fundamental question remains – is it alcohol or another component of the drink that is responsible for triggering headaches? It may take a combination of factors to provoke a migraine attack, and some people’s brains may simply be more sensitive to alcohol than others.
Talk with your doctor to determine if you can drink alcohol at all, and if so, how much you can safely drink depending on your symptoms, medical history, and any medications you take. Most people who experience the soon-after headache have had headaches in the past, usually migraine or related headaches. These headaches are actually genetic — the brain biology changes so that it overreacts to both internal or external changes, such as a swig from the bottle. The other type of headache is the morning-after headache that occurs several hours after drinking has ceased and is usually part of the hangover. Because alcohol use can increase with stress, some researchers believe it is a combination of the alcohol and stress which sets migraine attack in motion. Many with migraine, and most with cluster headaches, are sensitive to alcohol, at times in even small amounts. The same is true for sulfites, with much higher amounts found in many foods compared to wine.
Headaches, including migraine, are treatable with the right combination of medication and lifestyle adjustments. Migraine episodes can be a periodic inconvenience, or they can be debilitating. The most severe migraine attacks may last up to 3 days and make it impossible to do anything. This prospective study looked at migraine diaries spanning up to 90 days. Wine, beer, and spirits did not elevate the risk of migraine with aura, but sparkling wine did. Only a few clinical trials have studied treatment for hangover symptoms. Some of the agents tested were propranolol, tropisetron, tolfenamic acid, fructose or glucose, and the dietary supplements Borago officinalis , Cynara scolymus , Opuntia ficus-indica , and a yeast-based preparation.