Alcohol & Migraines: Can Drinking Cause a Migraine Headache?

On the other hand, there are many foods such as dried fruits, chips, raisins, soy sauce, pickles and juice fruits containing concentration of sulphites even ten times higher than that of wine. I realized that if I drink one glass of beer after I notice the pain, it helps me relax and even reduces the feelings of pressure in my head.

  • It is clear that quantity can play a role in triggering headaches, and quality probably plays a role, but we do not know for sure how any type of wine or alcohol will affect people with migraine or who are prone to headaches.
  • The most effective way to prevent tension headaches or a migraine trigger is abstinence.
  • Low doses of alcohol during meals significantly lower the frequency of induced-attacks and the alcoholic consumption during stress was related to higher migraine attack frequency .
  • A person may experience migraine after drinking if they are susceptible to it.

Congeners are primarily found in darker liquors like brandy, whiskey, and wine. There are exceptions to this rule, however, such as tequila—a light-colored liquor that nevertheless carries high levels of congeners. One more thing to consider is that the headaches could be natural, or be caused by stress, lack of sleep, or any other stressors to the body. The first year of recovery can be challenging, and changes to diet and activity in your sober life may be causing some “growing pains” for you. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are some of the strongest and most dangerous withdrawal symptoms of any drug.

Why do I get a headache when I drink alcohol?

When it comes to addiction treatment and recovery, Bright Future Recovery’s team delivers beyond expectation. Alcohol withdrawal comes on quickly , has an intense peak of symptoms , and the symptoms can continue on for weeks, months or years – due to a high rate of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome . It’s another good source of fructose and it helps the body process alcohol faster. In fact, it was also suggested that dural mast cells could promote headache by releasing 5-HT, prostaglandin I and histamine .

alcohol and headaches

Hydration and electrolyte replacement is one of the best things you can do to help recover from an alcohol-induced headache. Make sure to avoid hydrating drinks that are heavy in sugar, as either low blood sugar or high blood sugar can make a hangover headache worse. As mentioned above, B vitamins such as B6 and B12 can also be helpful after drinking, and pain medication should be used sparingly and with caution. 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. So, she recommends reducing alcohol intake or stopping drinking altogether if a patient does, indeed, find a connection between drinking and migraine. We asked the experts about the relationship between drinking and headaches to determine why and how alcohol specifically triggers headaches or migraine attacks.

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Moreover, there were significant trends of decreasing prevalence of migraine and non-migraine headache with the increasing number of alcohol units consumed . My prescriptions generally go to the pharmacy and not the liquor store.

Alcohol-induced headaches can last for a few hours, though they may linger for the rest of the day. And researchers suggest that experiencing an unpleasant effect from drinking alcohol may alter alcohol consumption. Schürks M, Kurth T, Knorn P, Pageler L, Diener HC. Predictors of hazardous alcohol consumption among patients with cluster headache. Andress-Rothrock D, King W, Rothrock J. An analysis of migraine triggers in a clinic-based population.

How to Stop Alcohol Headaches: What the Doctor Says

But unless you intend to keep drinking, the alcohol levels in your body will eventually drop, causing a headache anyway. And, of course, continuing to drink to avoid hangover symptoms can increase your risk of alcohol dependence in the long run. The most effective way to prevent tension headaches alcohol and headaches or a migraine trigger is abstinence. Not drinking is easier said than done for some, but it is the only proven, time-honored way to prevent alcohol-induced headache disorders. Individuals who are already prone to have migraine headaches should be especially aware of alcohol-induced migraines.

Our inpatient treatment center offers the evidence-based care you need to overcome addiction and lead an alcohol-free life. More severe side effects may include a condition such as delirium tremens .