What you drink is far less important than how much, but there’s some evidence that darker beverages — whiskey, brandy, red wine, tequila — cause more problems than clear drinks such as gin and vodka. They are thought to contain chemicals called congeners that add to ethanol’s harmful effects. Like so many other answers to science questions, “it depends.” Body weight and gender are very important factors.
- Next, drink this tea and focus on your body to see if you find yourself fighting a headache or any other “allergy-like” side effects.
- For many people drinking alcohol is a mild pastime that doesn’t have a major effect on their everyday life.
- It is worth noting that grape skins contain considerable quantities of histamines and histamine precursors, which would explain why the high histamine content in certain varieties of red wine may induce a merciless headache.
- Others blame the congeners in alcohol or the dilating effects of alcohol.
By giving your provider as much information as possible about your headaches, you’re more likely to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan that will help you feel better. If your headaches are interfering with your daily functioning or affecting your mood, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. If possible, try to write down how you feel when you’re experiencing a headache.
Can Alcoholism Cause Chronic Headaches?
Generally, the studies on alcohol-induced headache have not carried out the distinction between the immediate and delayed alcohol-induced headache, which in migraine patients can be partially artificial and difficult to perform . Some studies report that alcohol provokes headache within 30 min to 3 h; principally the red wine [9–11]. Others consider an evaluation period of 6  or 24 h , while some affirm that headaches appear frequently the next morning/day [10, 14]. Generally, a larger person will require more drinks to achieve the same blood-alcohol concentration as a smaller person. 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. In addition to ethanol, alcoholic beverages contain other chemicals called congeners that create the specific flavors of each drink.
A 2019 study recognized alcoholic beverages, especially red wine, as a migraine trigger factor for people with migraine. For instance, alcohol byproducts called congeners have been linked to headaches. Dark-colored alcohols like red wine, brandy, and whiskey may contain more of them.
Why Does Beer Give Me A Headache But Not Other Alcohol?
Darker, amber-colored liquors contain more congeners than light-colored liquors, such as vodka and gin. Since brands vary in the amounts and types of these ingredients, some drinks are more likely than others to produce the headache. For people prone to migraines, even the smallest amount of alcohol can be enough to ruin a fun night out.
However, this factor is frequently reported at about 10%, which is a percentage more plausible. No significant differences appeared between the migraines with or without aura and between migraine and tension headache. Some studies on the alcohol habits in migraine patients show a low percentage of drinkers in migraine patients. why does alcohol cause headaches This was supposed to be due to previous experiences of alcohol as headache trigger, but one study does not agree . Certainly, if a less alcohol preference in migraine patients will be confirmed in large controlled studies, it merits a correlation with 5-HT system, which is involved in migraine pathogenesis in some way.
Symptoms and Causes
This may partially explain why you wake up with a pounding headache after a night of drinking and dancing. Towards the end of my drinking days, I could barely tolerate beer, which I used to love. After one pint, my nose would get congested, and I’d get a throbbing headache.
Of the 58 nonconsumer patients, 16 were abstainers but the others have consumed some type of alcoholic drinks during their life without the development of headache. 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 (Table 3). Various retrospective studies show that a high percentage (about one-third) of migraine patients refer alcohol as a trigger factor.