Gin and Migraines: Is Gin Good or Bad for Migraine?

Gin and Migraines: Is Gin Good or Bad for Migraine?

This type of headache can happen to anyone, but people with migraines are more likely to get one. It can happen even if you drink less than people who don’t get migraine headaches. Whether or not alcohol is a migraine headache trigger is debatable.

can alcohol cause migraines

Like other alcohols, red wine can dilate blood vessels in your brain, which can provoke a headache. Alcohol can also lead to dehydration, which you guessed it, can also lead to a pounding head. While they have found that many people with migraine do report alcohol as a trigger, it seems to happen occasionally. Congeners are minor compounds that occur in alcoholic beverages as a natural result of distilling and fermenting. 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.

Types of headaches

Continuing to talk with your doctor throughout the course of your treatment is important for determining the strategies that prove beneficial and those that may not be as effective. Pregnancy can add another complicated layer to your migraine journey, but having a strong support system will make it easier to navigate the ups and downs. You can find additional support from people in your position and those who have already experienced pregnancy with migraine in our Move Against Migraine Facebook group.

Even people who are not prone to headaches can find themselves with hangover headaches, and about one-third of patients with migraine note alcohol as a trigger for their attacks. In conclusion, no significant association between alcohol consumption with migraine and tension headache was found in many studies [26, 28–30]. Chemicals called congeners are also a component of alcoholic drinks. These chemicals may also trigger migraine headaches in certain people. Early effects of alcohol can dull sensations and have an analgesic effect, but as alcohol leaves the body it can have the opposite effect and actually increase sensitivity to pain. Some studies have reported that alcohol can trigger a migraine headache in people who are sensitive to it in as little as 30 minutes — or it could take 3 hours.

Cream of Tartar for Migraine: Can It Really Help?

It can help you identify patterns over time and help your doctor identify if you are experiencing migraine. The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. To learn more about all of your migraine treatment options, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool.

  • Aside from contributing to the flavor of the alcohol, congeners increase the severity and frequency of hangover symptoms, including headaches.
  • If you suffer from migraines, talk with your doctor about how alcohol may affect you.
  • Drink lots of water to rehydrate your body and help flush the alcohol from your system.
  • If you tend to get migraines within three hours or less of drinking, this might work best for you.

By learning how migraine and mental health impact one another and ways to manage both, you can improve your quality of life. Learn more about the relationship between can alcohol cause migraines migraine and mental health in this AMF webinar. While migraine is a common disease that affects 39 million Americans, no two migraine experiences are the same.

How to Prevent a Headache After Drinking Alcohol

But delirium tremens is a medical emergency and requires a hospital stay. You may need to be sedated for more than a week until the alcohol withdrawal symptoms go away. And a doctor may use brain-imaging techniques to monitor treatment over time.

  • No matter the exact percentage of migraine episodes that occur after drinking — be those red or white wine or other alcoholic beverages — the truth is that any alcohol can cause a migraine.
  • Learning more about exactly what causes alcohol-induced headaches can provide motivation for building healthier habits and feeling better.
  • A common misconception is that overconsumption of alcohol is what triggers headaches.
  • Once you stop alcohol intake, a doctor can address your specific symptoms.

A 2015 study suggests that the inactivity of alcohol dehydrogenase 2, an enzyme that helps break down alcohol, might contribute to hangover headaches. However, the study author also cautions that no single factor causes all hangover headaches. 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.

Track Yourself and the Type of Alcohol You Drink

The role of dietary triggers has been well reviewed previously [1, 2]. Some studies show that patients in whom alcohol or wine/beer acts as a trigger factor also had significantly more other foods as a trigger [19,73]. Certainly, some headache patients cannot tolerate some alcoholic drinks, although not frequently, and perhaps only in combination in the presence of other trigger factors (stress, for example). However, a few negative experiences cannot justify the media and scientific information on alcohol as a major headache trigger and the suggestion of abstinence. In fact, to deny the beneficial effect of a low dose of alcohol in a wide number of people, who can also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease like migraine patients [74, 75], is not medically appropriate. This study investigates the importance of alcohol as a migraine trigger factor, the prevalence of alcohol consumers and the mechanism of headache provocation.

Alcohol-related neurologic disease refers to a range of conditions caused by alcohol intake that affect the nerves and nervous system. Neurologic disorders can include fetal alcohol syndrome, dementia, and alcoholic neuropathy. People who rely on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage migraine pain should also be careful with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking NSAIDs can increase the risk of serious side effects, like gastrointestinal bleeding. The more alcohol consumed, the more the risk of these problems increases. When enjoying a night out on the town, there are several triggers you may expose yourself to including bright flashing lights, loud music, food and alcohol.


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