How Important Is Alcohol As A Trigger Of Migraine
Migraine patients consider many foods capable of triggering migraines. The food-trigger relationship is frequently equivocal. In fact, lists of triggers induce the migraineur to equate their migraine attack with a food just consumed. This is similar to crediting a new symptom to a drug they are taking at that moment. With full review, the cause and effect may or may not be true.
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 must be considered. When chocolate was studied to assess a chocolate trigger-headache link no connection was found with migraine and tension-type headache. Many consider alcohol to be a sure migraine trigger, but its importance is still debated.
In a forward-looking study published in 2007, Austrian researchers examined a large number of factors related to migraine. After an advanced data analysis, they found limited importance of nutrition, including alcoholic beverages in the precipitation of migraine. This work considered alcohol and other nutritional factors taken the day before onset of headache.
Why Is Alcohol Suddenly Giving Me Migraines
Not only does alcohol contain the chemical histamine, but it also encourages your immune system to produce more of it. Inflammation is increased throughout the body as a result of this. Alcohol is made up primarily of a chemical called ethanol. It is converted into a chemical that causes migraines once it enters your system.
What Causes Red Wine Headaches
So, if sulfites and tannins arent to blame, then whats causing red wine headaches? The most likely causes are histamines and tyramine.
Tyramine is an amino acid produced during fermentation and, if not broken down properly, can affect blood pressure in a way that leads to headaches. To process tyramine, the body has to have a specific enzyme. If your body doesnt have enough of that enzyme, tyramine will first constrict and then dilate your blood vessels. This leads to slightly higher blood pressure, which oftentimes means getting a headache. This particular compound is already a well-known trigger for those who suffer from migraines.
Basically, if your body doesnt know how to process tyramine properly, youll probably get a headache after ingesting food or drink with tyramine. Many aged foods, like different kinds of cheeses, have tyramine in them. So, if tyramine already gives you a headache, that makes those wine and cheese parties pretty risky.
Its likely that youre already somewhat familiar with histamines. Thats because theyre the compounds that get released during an allergic reaction. Just how some people have more allergies than others, some people are more affected by extra histamines than others. If your body is more sensitive to them, the histamines in wine will cause your blood vessels to dilate, your face to flush, and then produce extra inflammation. Ergo, headache.
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Myth: Tannins Probably Dont Cause Red Wine Headaches
The second myth is tannins. Tannins, a type of polyphenol, are found in the skin of grapes and theyre responsible for the dry, bitter experience many red wines have. In general, the darker the grape, the more polyphenols. It should come as no surprise then that bold red wines, like cabernet sauvignons, have the highest amount of tannins.
Many believe that tannins are the culprit of the dreaded red wine headache, but the jury is still out on that one too. If tannins were the problem, then strong black tea would also give people headaches. While there are studies that show worse hangovers after drinking alcohol with lots of tannins , theres not much evidence that tannins are the main culprit of basic red wine headaches.
We wont lie, considering that tannins add so much richness and complexity to our favorite red wines, its hard for us to be impartial. However, theres just not enough evidence to say for sure that tannins are the main issue,
How Is Cooking Wine Different From Regular Wine
The difference between the two wines is the quality of the drink. Regular wine is finer, more flavorful, and will have a stronger taste in your dishes. Cooking wine is a go-to wine that will add the flavor you need, but will not be enjoyable to drink, as the flavors it will bring wont be as potent.
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The Fallacy Of Sulfites
Youll 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.
Red wine usually contains fewer sulfites than white or sweet wines do. If experience shows that sulfites could help to provoke an episode, stick to organic wines that usually have lower levels of sulfites. You can expect these to both taste differently and differ in cost as well.
What Can I Drink To Make My Migraine Go Away
Have a cup of tea, coffee, or another caffeinated beverage. It may help to relieve headache pain if you get it soon enough after the pain begins. It can also improve the effectiveness of over-the-counter analgesics like acetaminophen. Just be careful not to drink too much, as caffeine withdrawal can result in a headache of its own.
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How Can I Reduce The Risk Of A Migraine Attack From Drinking
If alcohol is a trigger for you, it may be best to not drink at all. However, if you find that small amounts of alcohol dont seem to trigger your attacks, be sure to stick to small amounts when you drink. It could also help to drink water as youre drinking dehydration is a very common migraine trigger and alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes your body to remove fluids quicker than usual through your urine.
Sometimes you might get an attack because multiple triggers are working in combination. For example, you might have overslept and skipped breakfast, and be tired and stressed from a busy week at work. Adding alcohol into the mix could then tip you over the threshold for having an attack. If you want to drink, it may be best to do so on days where you feel relaxed, youve followed your usual daily routine, and youve avoided your other triggers, as this could reduce your risk of a migraine attack.
Question: Does Cooked Red Wine Cause Migraines
Tannins, another grape-skin constituent, could be at fault. 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.
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Is Red Wine A Migraine Trigger
Most people find that any alcoholic drink can cause a migraine, but others may find that particular drinks are more of a problem for them.
Many people believe that red wine is a migraine trigger for them, and there is some scientific evidence to suggest that ingredients in red wine could cause issues for people with certain sensitivities or intolerances2.
For example, some people have an intolerance to histamine, which is contained in red wine and can be associated with migraines.
Red wine can contain 20 200 times the amount of histamine as white wine.
Red wine can also cause a rise in the level of serotonin in the blood3, which has been linked to migraine headaches. Sulphites are often blamed for causing headaches too, although in fact, white wine contains higher levels of sulphites than red wine.
What Causes A Wine Headache
Among alcoholic beverages, wine has quite the reputation as a headache trigger, particularly red wine. That first twinge of a headache can occur within a sip or two, or it may show up several hours later.
Alcohol can dilate blood vessels in your brain, which can cause a headache. Red wine, in particular, has long been known as a migraine trigger.
But even among those who identify red wine as a trigger, it doesnt hold true every time. Its likely that migraine attacks involve several contributing factors.
There are many theories, but no clear evidence as to why wine gives some people a headache.
Here are some possible theories regarding wine headaches.
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Red Wines With Lower Tannins
Although some types of wine are characteristic of their low tannins, like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, you are better off hunting the labels or asking your local wine store which wine they would recommend that is low in tannins. Use these wines as a guide, but make sure you know if they are truly low in tannins or not. Certain grapes and certain types of wines can vary in tannin levels depending on where they are from and how they are made.
Why Does Cheap Red Wine Give Me A Headache
Histamines are present in almost all wines because they are a natural component of the winemaking process, but they can cause headaches in those who are sensitive to them. The greatest increase in biogenic amine levels usually occurs during the aging process, according to ETS Labs. This can be found in both inexpensive and more expensive wines.
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Why Does Cheap Wine Give Me A Headache
Wines high in tannins can sometimes but not always interfere with serotonin levels, which can result in a headache. The reason cheap wines get blamed so often is because, just like with the sugar, in cheaper wines these tannins tend to be added or even synthetic, which can create the headache.
What To Do If Wine Gives You A Headache
The Fix for Your Tannin Wine Headaches To find out if tannins are the cause of your headaches, brew a strong cup of black tea. Were talking really strong. Let the tea bag steep for like 10 extra minutes. Black tea is rich in tannins, and when you over-steep it, tannins will get released into the hot water.
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How Can I Treat A Migraine Attack From Drinking
If you feel an attack coming on when youve had alcohol, stop drinking straight away. Drink plenty of water and take your usual rescue medication such as triptans or pain relief. These are generally safe to take if youve been drinking but dont drink any more and be aware that the alcohol could make the medications side effects worse for example, you may feel a bit drowsy or dizzy, so lie down and rest if you can. Its important to always check the leaflet that comes with your medication just in case it says that you should not mix it with alcohol, or ask your doctor about it when they prescribe it.
Is The Red Wine Dilemma Solved
Does that mean people who love red wine but fear it may bring on a headache should just stick to a cabernet or merlot? Alas, the answer is not so clear cut.
Krymchantowski says cabernet sauvignon wines from France, for example, have much higher tannin levels than any of the wines he tested from South America, making it tough for consumers to compare wines grape-to-grape if they come from different countries.
Headache experts who reviewed the study for WebMD praised the research for looking into something that’s a common problem for patients, but one that’s had very little attention from science.
“We hear quite often that wine, specifically red wine, is a trigger for people,” says Brian Grosberg, MD, director of the Montefiore Headache Center in New York City.
But Grosberg says the study also leaves many important questions unanswered.
“Usually it’s a combination of two or more triggers that precipitates a attack. Many women will notice that their menstrual period is a very strong trigger. Or it may be that, ‘Oh, I didn’t get enough sleep, and I had that glass of wine the night before,'” he says. “I’d like to know if they were looking at any of these other variables.”
Grosberg says there are other substances in wine that may cause problems for people, such as sulfites, and he wonders if the researchers looked at sulfite levels in the wines.
Other experts agree that the study is interesting but offers limited information.
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Added Sugar And Chemicals In Cheap Wine
If a wine is super-cheap , it’s probably made with low-quality grapes, then treated with additives to make it taste better. These wines can be chaptalized, which means that sugar is added to the unfermented grape juice to boost the alcohol content. They can be fined & filtered with different chemicals synthetic compounds could be added to contribute tannin or acid, and they can be blasted with food coloring. This is all legally permitted, but since wine companies aren’t required to list their ingredients, many mass-produced wine drinkers don’t realize all of the things besides grapes that they’re imbibing. This article goes in-depth on 11 common additives that might be lurking in your wine if you’d like to know more.
If you genuinely enjoy the flavor and wallet-friendly price of mass-produced bulk wines, there’s nothing wrong with that I compare these wines to junk food. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a handful of Doritos, but there’s no question they’re filled with lots of ingredients you can’t pronounce that aren’t great for your body. Think of bulk wines in that same light.
Most reputable wineries do not actually load their wines up with sugar, chemicals, and coloring . So, in terms of wine headaches, the extra $5 you spend on a bottle from a winery that doesn’t flood their wines with unnecessary additives will save you lots of cash in Ibuprofen.
The Fix For Your Sugar Wine Headache
First of all, stay hydrated in general and while youre drinking wine. You can go glass-for-glass wine and water, or you can simply enjoy a nice tall glass of water before you start drinking and again at the end of the night.
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Sulfites: Innocent Or Evil
A lot of people might be thinking as they read this: Wait a minuteI already know the answer. Isnt the culprit sulfites?
The short answer is no. Those compounds have been used in wine production since antiquity to prevent spoilage and to keep reds bright and whites from browning. Theyre also a natural by-product of fermentation, so a truly sulfite-free wine is actually an impossibility. Since 1987, wine labels in the US have been required to disclose whether bottles contain sulfite levels of 10 parts per million or greater, a measure introduced to protect the small percentage of the populationabout one person in a hundredthat is truly allergic to sulfites. But scientists have found no link between sulfites in wine and headaches. In fact, for people who have this allergy, the typical response is not a headache but hives and difficulty breathing. Whats more, white wines generally have more added sulfites than reds.
Is There Any Alcohol That Doesnt Give You A Headache
However, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, vodka is the least likely to cause a hangover because it is so pure that it contains almost no congeners. Sugary soft drinks can cause a headache the morning after the night before, so mixing vodka with soda or fruit juice is ideal. You should be careful, though.
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The Connection Between Wine And Migraines
- The Red Wine Headache Syndrome Various studies produced conflicting results on the type of wine that triggers migraines. A European study showed 11% of sufferers claimed red wine as the most common cause, while a French study found 54% of attacks were caused by white wine.
What Red Wine Is Good For Headaches
Pinot Gris White wines with low tannins, such as Pinot Gris, or Pinot Noir red wines with low tannins, such as Pinot Noir. Tannins, which can also be found in chocolate, have been linked to migraine headaches, but dehydration is the most common cause of wine headaches. Sav Blanc and Chard both lower levels of tyramine as a result of this.
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Keep A Diary To Understand Your Triggers
Migraines and their triggers are very individual what affects one person may cause no problems for the next. Many migraine sufferers find that keeping a diary helps them identify their own personal triggers and understand their patterns of migraines better.
If you want to try keeping a diary, you may wish to record what food youve eaten and how much caffeine youve drunk, as well as any alcoholic drinks, as these are all things which can be linked to migraines. Stress can play a big part in migraines4, so you might notice youre more prone to getting one after a difficult week at work, and for women, your period could also be a factor.