Alcohol consumption increases the risk of migraine attacks, says study

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of migraine attacks, says study

Migraines are severely painful and recurring headaches. According to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF), nearly 36 million Americans are afflicted with this disorder. There are many triggers known to cause a migraine attack and one of them is alcohol. Corroborating this further, a recent study, published in the European Journal of Neurology in December 2018, found that alcoholic drinks act as serious triggers of migraine and have an impact on the consumption behavior of alcoholic beverages.

The researchers studied several parameters such as the consumption of alcoholic beverage, self-reported trigger potential, causes of abstinence and the time gap between alcohol consumption and the onset of the migraine attack to understand the link between alcohol and migraine and if alcohol caused migraine.

Red wine reported as most common trigger

The study population comprised 2197 migraine patients. Nearly 36 percent of the large migraine cohort reported alcohol to be one of the prominent migraine triggers. Of all the alcoholic beverages, red wine was reported to be the most common trigger. A press release on the study stated that red wine provoked migraine attacks in 9 percent of the patients. In addition, in one-third of the study population, alcohol triggered a migraine attack in less than three hours of its consumption. Regardless of the alcoholic drink the participants consumed, nearly 90 percent of the population suffered an attack in under 10 hours.

Joint first author G. L. J. Onderwater shared in the press release that alcohol induced migraines occurred rapidly after the consumption of alcohol. However, they had a different mechanism from that of hangover headaches. Nevertheless, additional research is warranted to understand why and how alcohol triggers a migraine attack.

According to the AMF, people with migraine tend to drink lesser amount of alcohol compared to people who do not get migraine. Further, people struggling with migraine attacks tend to drink less red wine since it is considered to be a major trigger, however, studies haven’t supported this fact yet. Though reports from the Wall Street Journal state that white wine has more sulfites than red wine, it is not linked with the onset of migraine headaches.

What causes migraines?

According to, a migraine is triggered upon consuming alcohol because of the presence of chemicals like tyramine and histamine in the latter. Additionally, some researchers also believe that a migraine attack is triggered by alcohol and stress because alcohol intake increases with stress.

While more studies are required to establish a concrete relationship between alcohol and the onset of migraines, one must identify the triggers that cause these attacks. One must abstain from drinking and try to reduce the levels of stress in everyday life.

Alcohol can ruin lives

Alcohol consumption can have devastating effects on a person’s life. It can ruin relationships, adversely affect one’s finances, cause a dip in performance at work, make one violent and cause one to offend with a driving under the influence (DUI) felony. As alcohol is an addictive substance, it can cause dependence and then addiction which can cause many types of cancers and other harmful short- and long-effects on the body.

Quitting alcohol takes time and patience. Usually the first step is a detox at a credible rapid detox center. Here, the body is flushed of all the toxins accumulated with years of substance use and simultaneously fortified with minerals and nutrients to prepare it for the addiction treatment ahead.

If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol or drugs, contact the Rapid Detox Helpline for immediate assistance. Call us at our 24/7 helpline – 866-403-5591 to find the best rapid detox centers near you. You may also chat with one of our online representatives for expert advice regarding rapid detox programs and neurotransmitter restoration programs, customized to your needs.