Migraine is a neurovascular condition which affects approximately 15 percent of western society. Compounds found in food items as well as beverages (wine, chocolate, citrus, etc) regarded as migraine triggers include phenylethylamine, tyramine, and possibly phenolic compounds and histamine. Avoiding these migraine triggers could reduce the occurrence of migraines in certain individuals significantly.
Even so, just a small number of individuals in 1 study became headache-free by just eliminating these food items, epidemiological research is indicating that genetic factors could be an underlying reason. Discrepancies in how individuals are reacting to drinking wine, and if wine is a migraine trigger, could be perhaps explained by genetic polymorphisms in certain enzymes associated with metabolism.
Alcohol is a migraine trigger in approximately a third of individuals with migraine in research on migraine trigger factors. Numerous population studies reveal that individuals having migraine drink alcohol in a smaller percentage compared to general population. Studies have revealed a decreased occurrence of headache with increasing amount of alcohol drunk. The classification criteria of alcohol associated headaches continue to be problematic.
A review summarizes the scientific data associated with migraine headaches and alcohol. The factors which trigger a migraine attack, or also other headaches, are inadequately understood. While studies have a tendency to include alcohol as a migraine trigger, the review explains that in a recent prospective study, stress, menstruation and fatigue were found in most cases to relate to a subsequent attack. The mechanism of the action and the role of alcohol or other elements of alcoholic beverages in connection with alcohol-induced headache was reviewed. It was concluded that studies overestimate the role of alcohol, and also other foods, as migraine triggers.
Despite the fact that certain people have the start of a migraine or other kind of headache after drinking wine or alcohol, the conclusions aren’t consistent. It could be practical for migraine sufferers to drink small quantities of different types of alcohol to find out if each type is tolerated or not. After observing the effects in addition to factoring in symptoms as a result of other dietary or lifestyle factors (dehydration, stress, and sleep), a discussion can be had with a physician regarding starting or continuing alcohol use.