Alcohol and migraines Migraine Insight: The all-you-need migraine app and trigger finder

Let’s look at why alcohol makes your head hurt, what you can do to remedy it, and how to avoid headaches down the road. Migraine sufferers consume less alcohol, especially beer and liquors, and are more vulnerable to migraine-like hangover symptoms than nonsufferers. The finding that the tendency to develop migraine attacks affects the hangover symptomatology may suggest a similarity in pathophysiology, and possibly in treatment options. Dr. Crystal said she finds that many of her patients have a sensitivity to alcohol. Others find that it is more likely to trigger migraine attacks during vulnerable periods—hormonal changes, stress, and weather changes, for example.

If headaches last for longer, this can be a sign that you’ll have more severe withdrawal symptoms. You may want to seek medical care if you feel like your headaches are not going away. While people who have these headaches report a connection to alcohol, there’s no real consistency in how alcohol causes these headaches to develop, according to studies that have been done. Instead, researchers suggest that alcohol as a trigger is more of a personal reaction — common in certain types of headaches — than a general effect. It has been suggested that a tendency to experience alcohol-induced headaches could be genetic.

Why Does Drinking Give Me a Migraine Headache?

MSG often serves as a flavor enhancer and may be included in various seasonings and condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce. Plus, drinking alcohol may lead to dehydration, which can also contribute to a headache, said Dr. Peterkin. As if migraines weren’t awful enough, it can be downright overwhelming to sidestep all the things that could set off an attack.

Therefore, smaller people might need less alcohol to trigger an alcohol-related headache.This is particularly the case for migraine sensitive people who have Asian flush. This type of alcohol headache is known as the ‘cocktail headache’ and comes on shortly after taking an alcoholic drink. This type of headache is less common, but many people may notice the symptoms developing within 3 hours of drinking. However, the headache is known to clear after 72 hours of abstinence. Another thing that remains unclear is whether the type of alcohol you drink determines whether or not you will get a migraine headache.

A word of advice if you’re struggling to stop drinking

Gatorade or other fitness drinks may be better than water alone, but there is no scientific proof. A chemical called N-acetyl-cysteine may be useful in detoxifying the body from acetaldehyde buildup, but this too is an unproven treatment. The migraines tend to start within three hours of consuming alcohol.

Why do I get a headache after 1 glass of wine?

Tannins are plant chemicals that impart flavor to red wines and contain antioxidants. But they also spur the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which at high levels can cause headaches in some people. Other plant chemicals (polyphenols) may be involved.

Treatment options vary depending on the person’s needs but often start with a medical detox before moving into psychotherapy, management of withdrawal symptoms, and contacting support groups. Many people have experienced a headache after drinking alcohol — especially after drinking too much. While headaches are generally recognized as a side effect of alcohol in many people, its reputation as a migraine headache trigger may be overestimated.

What are Your Treatment Options?

Those diagnosed with a specific type of headache may be more prone to develop a specific type of headache after consuming alcohol. As a result, a female’s blood alcohol concentration tends to be higher, making it more likely for females to experience headaches and hangovers. No matter what you call it—a headache journal, migraine diary, headache tracker—keeping track of your symptoms can be a versatile tool to help better manage your health. It can help you identify patterns over time and help your doctor identify if you are experiencing migraine. This includes being careful about the amount of alcohol you consume and paying attention to how and when your migraine symptoms flare up in relation to drinking.

why does alcohol cause migraines