Hangover headaches: Possible cures, causes, and when to seek help

alcohol causing headaches

You could also search our Resources Library to learn more about symptoms, triggers and treatments. Treatment options vary, from acute treatment to relieve symptoms to preventive treatment to reduce the number of attacks you experience. There are also behavioral treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help. The content on this website is provided for educational purposes only. While it is doctor-verified, it is not intended to serve as medical advice, and users are advised to seek the advice of their doctors before making any decisions based on the information in this article.

  • As you work with your doctor on next steps, it will be important to maintain access to reliable resources on migraine.
  • You could also search our Resources Library to learn more about symptoms, triggers and treatments.
  • A 2015 study suggests that the inactivity of alcohol dehydrogenase 2, an enzyme that helps break down alcohol, might contribute to hangover headaches.
  • Common sinus headache symptoms of sinus pain and congestion are often symptoms of a migraine attack.
  • The weights are adjusted based on the prediction outcome and then fed into the next decision tree.

Alcohol and migraine: what should we tell patients?

Everyday Health follows strict sourcing guidelines to ensure the accuracy of its content, outlined in our editorial policy. We use only trustworthy sources, including peer-reviewed studies, board-certified medical experts, patients with lived experience, and information from top institutions. Among people who find alcohol can trigger a migraine, most find that any alcoholic drink can trigger one, but others may find that particular drinks are more of a problem.

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  • Did you know that 20% of women say they avoid pregnancy because of migraine?
  • There are also behavioral treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help.
  • A cocktail headache develops the same evening, and even a tiny amount of alcohol can trigger it.
  • A tendency toward migraine may also play a role in hangovers, especially hangovers that cause migraine-like headaches.
  • These symptoms may begin within minutes or hours of drinking and vary widely in severity.
  • Features with a collinearity greater than 0.95 were eliminated from the dataset.

To determine if drinking is one of yours, it’s helpful to learn the signs of alcohol-induced headaches. We also examine the types of headache alcohol can trigger and the types of alcohol likely to cause more headaches. Out of these participants, 63.2% or 440 patients were female, while 36.8% or 256 patients were male. The median age of the participants was 35.0 years old, with an interquartile range (IQR) of 19. A vast majority of the study participants, 91.5%, reported experiencing fever during their hospital admission. Additionally, 47.4% of the total 696 study participants required oxygen therapy during their hospitalization.

Keep a diary to understand your triggers

alcohol causing headaches

Unlike a hangover headache, cocktail headaches can be caused by even small amounts of alcohol. If you develop a cocktail headache, take care to rest and nourish your body with water, electrolytes, and a healthy fruit or vegetable snack if possible. Brandy, red wine, and rum have the highest levels of congeners, while gin and vodka contain fewer alcohol and headaches of these chemicals. However, a 2019 study found higher rates of vodka consumption among drinkers with frequent migraine attacks. The response to alcohol varies from person to person, and there is no alcohol that absolutely will not cause a migraine or other headache. Whether or not alcohol is a migraine headache trigger is debatable.

alcohol causing headaches

Migraine causes a specific type of headache that involves neurological symptoms such as light sensitivity and aura. Other types of headaches, including severe headaches, can occur as a result of alcohol consumption. People who experience a headache after drinking should not assume that it is a migraine, especially if they have symptoms consistent with other types of headaches. For example, a tension headache may cause pain in the neck or shoulders. About two-thirds of people who drink alcohol develop these headaches.

Levels of flavanol can vary dramatically in red wine — in part because quercetin is produced in response to sunlight, says Waterhouse. “If you grow grapes with the clusters exposed, such as they do in the Napa Valley for their cabernets, you get much higher levels of quercetin. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines are designed to help all adults keep the health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level. Migraines and their triggers are very individual – what affects one person may cause no problems for the next.

Patients sometimes have a tendency not to admit their drinking habits [90]. It has been proved that self-reported alcohol consumption by patients can be underestimated; therefore, more reliable methods such as toxicological hair analysis may help to provide stronger evidence [91]. Of the studies included in our analysis, 19 were based only on questionnaires while five included interviews with patients. However, these limitations are to some extent discounted by the number of studies included and the cultural diversity of participants. Criteria to recognize habits for alcohol consumption was various in almost each study. Some of them assessed the drinking by daily alcohol intake [44, 45, 47, 48, 55, 58, 59, 62], part of them measured drinking within one week [44, 47, 51, 53, 60, 61] or month [36, 44, 47, 49, 51].

If you’re interested in connecting with more people in the migraine community, we recommend joining our Facebook support group, Move Against Migraine. There, you will find https://ecosoberhouse.com/boston-sober-house-roxbury/ a wonderful community of people who are ready to listen and lift each other up. Yawning and fatigue are typical symptoms of prodrome, the first phase of a migraine attack.

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