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What chemical in alcohol can trigger migraine?

ANSWER

Alcohol triggers about 1 of every 3 migraine headaches. Your body converts the ethanol in alcohol into a chemical that triggers migraine. Ethanol is also a natural diuretic. That means it makes you pee more than normal. All of these things can set you up for a migraine.

You might have heard that red wine is most likely to cause problems. But other drinks like sparkling wine, beer, and hard liquor may be just as likely, if not more, to cause problems.

SOURCES:

Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice : “Alcohol consumption and hangover patterns among migraine sufferers.”

NHS Choices: “Antihistamines -- How They Work,” “Migraines -- Causes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Migraine: Symptoms and Causes.”

Current Pain and Headache Reports: “Alcohol and Migraine: What Should We Tell Patients?”

American Migraine Foundation: “Understanding Migraine: Alcohol and Migraine.”            

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Hangover Headache.”

National Headache Foundation: “Alcohol and Headaches,” “Facts About Triptans.”

The Journal of Headache and Pain : “Alcohol and migraine: trigger factor, consumption, mechanisms. A review.”

National Stroke Association: “Ischemic Stroke.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “What Is a Standard Drink?”

Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research : “Wine and migraine: compatibility or incompatibility?”

Reviewed by Stephen D. Silberstein on July 17, 2017

SOURCES:

Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice : “Alcohol consumption and hangover patterns among migraine sufferers.”

NHS Choices: “Antihistamines -- How They Work,” “Migraines -- Causes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Migraine: Symptoms and Causes.”

Current Pain and Headache Reports: “Alcohol and Migraine: What Should We Tell Patients?”

American Migraine Foundation: “Understanding Migraine: Alcohol and Migraine.”            

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Hangover Headache.”

National Headache Foundation: “Alcohol and Headaches,” “Facts About Triptans.”

The Journal of Headache and Pain : “Alcohol and migraine: trigger factor, consumption, mechanisms. A review.”

National Stroke Association: “Ischemic Stroke.”

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “What Is a Standard Drink?”

Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research : “Wine and migraine: compatibility or incompatibility?”

Reviewed by Stephen D. Silberstein on July 17, 2017

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What relaxation techniques are used to treat headaches?

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