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Why Does Red Wine Or White Wine Give Me A Headache?


Why Does Red Wine Or White Wine Give Me A Headache?

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The 13 hangover symptoms were divided by the researches into migraine-like and other nonmigraine-like symptoms. Alcohol hangover is a poorly understood cluster of symptoms occurring following a heavy consumption of alcohol. The term “delayed alcohol-induced headache” is often used synonymously.

  • The susceptibility of Japanese headache sufferers to alcohol-associated headaches may vary with the type of headache and their ALDH2 genotype.
  • Individuals with migraine are at higher risk of delayed alcohol-induced headache, previously named hangover headache, than people without migraine and phenotypically both types of headache have similar clinical features .
  • The question about past facial flushing is important, because some individuals become tolerant to the facial flushing effect as a result of habitual drinking .
  • The studies that have been conducted suggest that red wine, but not white and sparkling wines, trigger headache independent of how much a person drinks in less than 30% of people.
  • Headaches associated with alcohol flushing and hangover are at least in part mediated by acetaldehyde production [8–11].
  • A questionnaire inquiring about current and past facial flushing after drinking a glass (≈180 ml) of beer is capable of identifying the presence of inactive ALDH2 with a sensitivity and specificity of approximately 90% in both genders .

The group with “other headaches” that did not fulfill the diagnostic criteria for migraine or tension-type headache included probable migraine and probable tension-type headache. The third potential limitation was that we did not ask the subjects whether or how often their headache attacks were precipitated by drinking alcohol. The percentages of headache patients reporting alcohol as a trigger have been reported to be 17–42% .


Flavonoid phenols and tannins, both alike in character and action, are by-products of alcohol fermentation. These congeners, or alike minor chemical substances, give wine its distinctive character. Others known congeners include acetone, acetaldehyde, fuseil Sobriety oil, and furfural. These alcohol by-products have been suggested as responsible for triggering migraine. Darker colored drinks such as whiskey, brandy, and red wine have more of these by-products than lighter drinks such as vodka, gin, or white wine.

headache after drinking

Our objective was to compare alcohol hangover symptoms in migraine sufferers and nonsufferers. Increased artery size is the mechanism frequently suggested. This vasodilatation could explain the immediate stages of alcohol addiction headache provoked by high initial blood/brain levels. Vasodilatation cannot explain Delayed Alcohol-Induced Headache as the symptom of alcohol hangover appears when alcohol levels decline to reach zero.

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One explanation for these symptoms, explains Fuksina, is that a body and brain accustomed to drinking daily has adapted to the widening of blood vessels alcohol is known to cause. The removal of alcohol causes blood vessels to change their configuration abruptly, which can trigger pain signalling pathways throughout the brain, resulting in the sensation of a headache. Migraine sufferers also show different drinking habits – they consume less alcohol, especially beer and liquors. It is possible, that due to higher tendency to develop hangover, “experienced” migraine sufferers voluntarily reduce their alcohol consumption, to avoid unpleasant hangover experience. Data were analyzed using IBM® SPSS® Statistics, Version 20 software. In this cross-sectional study, university students were asked to fill structured questionnaires assessing headache history, alcoholic consumption, and hangover symptoms (using the Hangover Symptom Scale ). Subjects were classified as suffering from migraine with or without aura and nonsufferers according the International Classification of Headache Disorders 2nd Edition (ICHD-II).

headache after drinking

However, there are reports of also spirits, sparkling wine and beer triggering headache. Wine does not need to be ingested in large quantities http://argosoft.com.ar/index.php/2021/01/14/what-is-alcoholics-anonymous/ to produce headache. In wine sensitive patients the time between drinking red wine and developing headache varied from 30 min to 3 hours.

Study Population

Individual difference in susceptibility to alcohol flushing and hangover may be associated with individual difference in the trigger effect of alcohol. Another limitation was the difficulty of precisely defining hangover Drug rehabilitation headache. Differentiating between hangover headache or delayed alcohol-induced headache and usual headache or migraine triggered by alcohol is sometimes difficult in non-migrainous headache and migraine subjects .

Nevertheless, the headache triggered by red wine is not hangover. The interval between drinking red wine and developing headache varied from 30 min to 3 h, and only one or two glasses needed to be ingested. In addition to ethanol and water, most alcoholic drinks also contain congeners, either as flavoring or as a by-product of fermentation and the wine aging process. While ethanol is by itself sufficient to produce most hangover effects, congeners may potentially aggravate hangover and other residual effects to some extent. Congeners include substances such as amines, amides, acetones, acetaldehydes, polyphenols, methanol, histamines, fusel oil, esters, furfural, and tannins, many but not all of which are toxic. One study in mice indicates that fusel oil may have a mitigating effect on hangover symptoms, while some whiskey congeners such as butanol protect the stomach against gastric mucosal damage in the rat. Different types of alcoholic beverages contain different amounts of congeners.

Furthermore, migraine patients can develop headache with the ingestion of modest amounts of alcohol. All alcoholic drinks can provoke either immediate or delayed headache. The first potential limitation was that it was a cross-sectional survey based on the results of the questionnaire about alcohol Transitional living flushing and the possible causation is highly speculative. In addition, we did not perform ALDH2 genotyping, although when current or former flushers classified by the flushing questionnaire were assumed to have inactive ALDH2, both the sensitivity and specificity are approximately 90% .

One friend’s headaches are triggered by some types of odors/scents as well, a trigger that’s mostly out of her control. It is naturally formed in small quantities during fermentation and it can be accidentally concentrated by improper distillation techniques.

In one study, the odds of a person citing red wine as a trigger of headache were over three times greater than the odds of indicating beer as a headache trigger. In some studies, it was observed that spirits and sparkling wines were associated with migraines significantly more frequently than other alcoholic beverages. Alcohol has long been associated with the development of headache, with about one-third of patients with migraine noting alcohol as a trigger. Based on this association, population studies show that patients with migraine tend to drink alcohol less often than people without migraine.

headache after drinking

This hangover headache appears in the next morning after alcohol intake. At this time the blood alcohol level is falling and reaches zero. The symptom of headache is present in 2/3 of subjects with alcohol hangover. The DAIH can be experienced by anyone, but people with migraine are more susceptible.


In fact, migraine sufferers tend to have more trouble with those darker spirits as well, Dr. Newman notes. But while some studies have shown a connection between drinking alcohol with more tannins and worse hangovers, there isn’t a lot of evidence to prove that they cause migraines after just one or two glasses of vino. But, according to Dr. Newman, many other alcohols contain similar amounts of both these chemicals and aren’t known to cause migraines as frequently as red wine.

headache after drinking

Alcohol in low dose, especially of red wine, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Migraine, specifically with aura or high frequency, increases the risk of some cardiovascular diseases. The unselective suggestion of alcohol abstinence for all migraine patients is not correct. In fact, patients with high migraine frequency with increased risk of ischemic stroke may benefit from a low dose of alcohol. Certainly, alcoholic drinks may trigger migraine and tension headache in some subjects.

Histamine infused by vein is a time-tested way to provoke a migraine attack. However, other than headache, many symptoms of so-called “histamine intolerance” are not characteristic of a migraine attack. That antihistamine drugs do not prevent red wine headache further fails to support histamine as a critical trigger. Although migraine sufferers consider red wine the principal migraine trigger, studies show that other alcoholic drinks are equally or more frequently the cause. In current research, the significant relationship between immune factors and hangover severity is the most convincing among all factors so far studied.

Why Alcohol Causes A Hangover

Among the modifiable trigger factors for headache, alcohol is one that patients commonly minimize or avoid. Step one in mitigating headaches caused by alcohol is to reduce your alcohol consumption. If you regularly get headaches after drinking, this could be a sign that you’re drinking too much, not consuming adequate water or food, or that you’re simply more sensitive to alcohol’s negative effects. It’s important to talk to your doctor about recurring headaches, whatever the cause, and also important to seek support in reducing your alcohol intake if you’re finding it hard to cut back. Alcohol has also been shown to render neurons involved in pain signalling more likely to fire and to trigger the release of a peptide involved in pain sensation called CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide). Even people who are not prone to headaches will wake up in pain after a night of heavy drinking.