Alcohol’s Role in Migraines is Overhyped, Say Researchers | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Alcohol’s Role in Migraines is Overhyped, Say Researchers

Menstruation, stress, and fatigue are more likely to trigger migraines than booze.


It's all in your head.
Photo via thinkstockphotos

By Dirk Hanson


| Share

Alcohol, long considered a common trigger for migraine headaches, may not be a major culprit after all. New research on the disease, which afflicts about 15% of the population, shows that most patients who exclude foods and drinks considered to be triggers do not become headache-free. While alcoholic drinks can trigger headaches in about one-third of migraine patients, “menstruation, stress, and fatigue were found most commonly to relate to a subsequent attack,” says the Boston University School of Medicine. And a study in the Journal of Headache Pain found that “only 10% of migraine patients reported alcohol as a migraine trigger frequently.” To confuse things even more, the study found that beer consumption on the previous day actually reduced the risk of a migraine attack. “Patients with migraines have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease,” and therefore might even benefit “from moderate wine/alcohol consumption.” The researchers conclude that the evidence “does not justify the consideration that alcohol is a major trigger and the suggestion of abstinence.” And an earlier study by Austrian researchers found “limited importance of nutrition, including alcoholic beverages in the precipitation of migraine.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv