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Harvard Health Blog
Alcohol and headaches
- By: Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS, Contributor
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When I drink wine presently, it’s quite often just red wine, normally only 1-2 half-glasses w/a dinner, with water going with the supper as well. No cerebral pains. For individuals w/headaches, life is distinctive and more difficult– a few of my companions have languished headache migraines over years, attempted an assortment of prescriptions, slims down, and so on., w/constrained achievement. Best case scenario, the medications have diminished recurrence. One companion’s migraines are activated by a few kinds of smells/aromas also, a trigger that is for the most part out of her control.
Red wine was never a problem (caused headaches) for me, the cheaper white wines were. The white wines that produced headaches must’ve been in the “highly processed” category. I’ve never gotten a headache from hard liquor (mixed drinks) unless I drank too much–then I had a hangover. That happened only twice, when I was much younger. Prevention was easy, drink much less.
When I drink wine now, it’s almost always only red wine, usually just 1-2 half-glasses w/a meal, with water accompanying the meal too. No headaches. For people w/migraines, life is different & more difficult–several of my friends have suffered migraine headaches for years, tried a variety of medications, diets, etc., w/limited success. At best, the treatments have decreased frequency. One friend’s headaches are triggered by some types of odors/scents as well, a trigger that’s mostly out of her control.
I admire their ability to function despite the pain, & other symptoms that may accompany migraines.
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