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Harvard Health Blog
Alcohol and headaches
- By Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS, Contributor
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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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