Alcohol and red wine as a trigger of migraine is overrated

New study: migraine overestimated-causing effects of red wine?

According to health experts, about 15 percent of Germans suffer from migraine. Triggered the headache attacks may be a result of certain triggers. Also red wine is one of these. But a new study now provides evidence that the migraine was overestimated triggering effect of alcohol/red wine yet, maybe.

Red wine is possibly not a stand-alone migraine Trigger

About 15 percent of the population suffers from migraine. Affected can be reset by the disease is literally out of action. Migraine attacks can be triggered by a variety of Stimuli. Also red wine is one of these so-called triggers. However, according to a new study by the wine dissolves only a few patients a migraine attack. The authors of the study to doubt, therefore, that alcohol/red wine is a stand-alone migraine Trigger.

The authors of a new study on doubts that red wine is a stand-alone migraine Trigger. Was overestimated, the migraine-inducing effects of the drink yet? (Image: Syda Productions/

Severely restricted quality of life

Such as the German society for neurology (DGN) explained in a communication, the migraines are recurring, usually very strong, one-sided headaches that go with some of the Affected with certain neurological symptoms (so-called Aura symptoms).

These occur mostly before the actual headache, to dizziness, for example, eyes flicker, narrowing of the visual field, tingling or numbness in the limbs.

In some patients, during the headache phase of Nausea and vomiting, often a particularly strong noise or sensitivity to light during the headache attack.

The duration of the migraine varies seizure from Patient to Patient – some of it is over “already” after four hours, in others it lasts up to three days.

Also, the frequency of migraine attacks is quite different. Out of the question, that the disease for those Affected, is extremely stressful and the quality of life severely limits.

Many patients have to take for the prevention of severe migraine attacks continuously drugs.

The causes are still not fully explored

How the DGN will be further explained, is one of migraine, the neurological disease, whose causes are not yet fully explored.

Known trigger (Trigger) a migraine attack, such as Stress, Changes in the sleep-Wake cycle, changes in the weather or cycle-related hormonal changes in women (the proportion of women suffering from migraine is nearly twice as high as that of the men!).

Unfamiliar, “extreme” sensory perceptions, such as noise, visual stimuli, or smells can also trigger migraine attacks.

In addition, the diet can play into it: For some people, the headaches can be provoked by Skipping meals, in others by certain food and beverages.

Including chocolate and alcohol, especially red wine: “in Particular red wine releases from the platelets of Serotonin, what Migraineurs are sensitive can react,” writes the Foundation’s headache on your website.

Role of alcoholic drinks as triggers of migraine attacks investigated

A Dutch study published recently in the journal “European Journal of Neurology”, looked at the role of alcoholic drinks as triggers of migraine attacks and the effect on the consumption of alcohol in migraine patients.

The information, according to 2.197 patients were behavior web-based to your drink, and the triggers that trigger you the headache attacks, interrogated.

The respondents were participants of the “Leiden University MIgraine Neuro Analysis” (LUMINA) project at the age of 18 to 80 years, suffering from migraine according to the international medical classification ICHD-3.

1.547 of the respondents indicated to consume alcohol. A total of 783 patients (35.6%) said that alcohol makes you head pain attacks.

Among the subjects who drink occasionally alcohol, the proportion was even higher: In this group, 42.5 percent indicated that alcohol was a migraine Trigger.

These patients, in which the consumption of alcohol is a migraine trigger seizures, in comparison to the other a lower Body Mass Index (BMI), suffered more often among migraine without Aura-symptoms, had more migraine attacks per year and more “migraine days”.

Only a “perceived” trigger?

In addition, the study of what alcohol lead to drinks often to migraine attacks was looking for. Most wine was called, especially red wine.

According to the DGN is assumed that certain red wine contained ingredients such as histamine, tyramine or phenylethylamine may cause this effect.

The respondents indicated that two standard glasses are not sufficient to provoke a migraine attack.

However, only 8.8 percent of the study participants reported that red wine leads to you always and without exception to migraine attacks.

Therefore, the study’s authors doubt that alcohol/red wine is a independent Trigger. The fact, however, is that migraine is changing the consumption behavior of alcohol, many patients take distance.

The study authors estimate that can be discussed, therefore, is whether alcohol was a real or only a “perceived” trigger of migraine attacks.

Avoidable Trigger handle

“Rarely has only a single Trigger for the onset of a migraine attack is responsible, usually several triggers come together,” said DGN spokesperson Professor Dr. Hans-Christoph Diener, Essen.

“Red wine, you can easily bypass, other migraine triggers, such as hormone fluctuations or changes in the weather, but not. That is why it is wise to refrain from avoidable triggers, in order to keep the risk for the Occurrence of migraine attacks is low,“ says the expert.

“The study should not be interpreted that migraine patients should drink red wine – alcohol, especially red wine, remains to be a migraine Trigger, it is not clear just how big his influence is, indeed,” said the servant.

“Migraine patients are always well advised to circumvent any avoidable triggers of a migraine attack.” (ad)