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Headaches following alcohol consumption ...
   For around three or four years now, I have been suffering from headaches some two hours or more after the consumption of any amount of alcohol - although typically as few as two drinks upwards of any kind of alcohol.  The headaches come on slowly but persistently and follow a line from the left side of my neck across the top of my head to just above the left eyebrow.  They are not sharp pains but more of a constant 'throb' and can go on for hours.  Pain relief medication does nothing and the only relief I can get at all is the application of something topical like '4-Head' or the American 'Head-On'.  Although I have been a reasonably 'active' drinker in the past, if anything now, at the age of 61 (male), I rarely have more than two drinks at a time ... which is why I'm surprised at the onset of these headaches.  My own doctor has, thus-far, not taken it very seriously and tends to take the line that, after years of 'getting away with it, maybe you've finally developed an allergy!'  
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Avatar_universal
Hi,

Aside from alcohol, what other known events or conditions trigger your headaches?

Are there any other associated symptoms with your headaches like blurring of vision, seeing bright waves or lines?

Any associated weakness or numbness that comes with the headaches?

Any underlying systemic disease like hypertension and diabetes?

Do keep us posted.
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363682_tn?1299492962
  Thanks for your interest Vanessa.  
  No ... apart from 'mild' hypertension (for which I am prescribed Perindopril 2mg.), I can't say there are any other noticeable accompanying symptoms.
  What I have noticed in recent months though is that I am starting to get hot flushes - usually in early evening - and exacerbated by having eaten a hot meal and/or a preceding alcoholic drink.
  The only other thing I thought about yesterday after I posted is that the severity of the headaches can be eased by finger pressure on the back of the neck or even by the way I sit ... for example, if I sit upright (as opposed to leaning back in a soft seat) and if I am watching television with my head inclined to the left as opposed to the right.  The headaches are also nowhere near as bad if I'm moving around for some  reason.
   As far as 'triggers' (although I'd rather it were not the case!), alcohol is almost exclusively the only one.
   I do have to be honest and say that, having been an airline crew member for almost all of my working life, the amounts of alcohol we, as a group, consumed when we were away would probably have horrified most medics.  
   Nevertheless, these symptoms have only really manifested themselves since I retired last year .. and I would say that my alcohol consumption since that time has dropped by around 80% - although I also have to concede to having at least a single drink on most days ... but rarely more than two.
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Hi,

How would you describe this flushing that you have ?

Is this a sensation of warmth in the body or on the face?

Is this asssociated with any redness in certain parts of the body?

Is your hypertension well controlled?

Flushing may be associated with food and alcohol intake as in your case.This may be a normal reaction of your body since hot and spicy meals as well as alcohol may cause dilation of blood vessels and increase the blood flow  to the area which causes the flushing.

However,it is best to have  this assessed by your physician.Hormonal imbalance, an underlying allergic reaction,and certain medications may cause this.

Have your cervical spine checked by your physician. A cervical spine headache may be a differential.
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   I'm really impressed and grateful for your response Vanessa.  Our medical service isn't what it was in the UK and, although I get on well with my doctor, she and I really haven't solved many of my (thankfully small thus-far) problems to date.
   The flushing is exclusively around my face, is certainly warm and I am not aware of any elsewhere.  I also have not noticed the flushing during the taking of any other meals during the day - again just the evening one - but it is also true to say that the other meals are rarely preceded by alcohol. The onset of this would probably have coincided roughly with the prescription of the tert-butylamine, but I cannot be certain of that.    
   Strangely enough, I have had chiropractic treatment 'on and off' for lower back pain that began (as I thought) as a pulled muscle on the middle left side just above the buttocks.  Since this treatment, although much better, the back pain is still nagging around following any lifting/bending - but, with hindsight, the onset of the back problem may well also coincide with the onset of these headaches.  
   What I don't understand is that, even if the headaches are associated with this back problem, why there is always an 'alcohol accompaniment' to their onset.  And, in closing, I also have to stress that the headaches and flushing do not seem to be related to each other given their timings.
   Thank you so much again for your time and patience.
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Hi,

You are welcome.

Just continue to observe your symptoms.At this point it may be something physiological. Some patients present with more flushing after taking alcohol than their peers.This has some molecular and genetic explanation which has something to do with  alcohol metabolism in the body.

In the absence of other symptoms though (eg weight loss,changes in bowel movement,neurological deficits) ,this may not be very urgent.

One important thing to exclude here though is an allergic reaction.Watch out for any diffiulty of breathing, rash that involves the entire body and generalized sensation of flushing.

Continue to have a close follow up with your doctor.
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363682_tn?1299492962
Hi Vanessa (if you're still out there?) ...
   Didn't really get anywhere with the local doctor - they're very busy and this really didn't rate up there with some of the urgent issues they deal with.
   However ... I have been gradually working my way through your suggestions and (wonder of wonders!) I think you may have hit it on the button with the allergic response suggestion.
   Having read various Google-search items about this which seemed to revolve around an excess of histamine being a possible cause, I decided to try a lapsed prescription I still had in the cupboard for hay fever - Neoclarityn (deloratadine) 5mg.
   The result is noticeable.  When taking one of these little blue tablets before I socialise, lthough I still get a slight ache after even a couple of drinks, it's nowhere near as debilitating as the previous migraine-type headaches that I was suffering previously.
   I'm sure you can all read more into this than I can - but, given that I really do actually enjoy a social drink, what should I be looking to do:-  increase the dose of my new 'wonder drug' so that I don't get any headache at all ... or take the headache as a warning that my system really doesn't want me to drink alcohol at all?
   Just for the record, the reason that this is a 'lapsed' drug is because I haven't actually had any hay fever symptoms worth talking about for the last couple of years - after many years of suffering with them.
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I have EXACTLY the same symptoms as you have described.

2+ drinks trigger a left-side headache that spreads from the neck to the temples to above the eyebrow, accompanied by a general flush. These headaches occur 99% of the time. I, however, am 23 years old and I've had these symptoms ever since the first time I ever picked up a drink. I too have several lower back lumbar problems and I also have TMJ. I've tried countless options to prevent these headaches, until I learned that the source of the problem does have to do with faulty alcoholic metabolism and breakdown (linked to several things: acetaldehyde poisoning, blood vessel dilation/constriction, tension headaches, etc.)

As some solutions regarding medication, taking Pepcid AC 30 minutes to an hour before drinking took care of the flushing, but not the headaches. Taking ibuprofen tablets while drinking does help with the headaches, and I finally thought I found the answer to my problems, but that method stopped working after I relied on it too often. (yes, mixing ibuprofen+alcohol is not recommended but one cannot resist some social drinking EVERY TIME, right?)

I now rely on using the ibuprofen method, reduced to doing it once in a while.

I've never met anyone with similar symptoms as mine, and I thought my problem was a specific, personal one. After countless hours of researching for solutions and stories online and not finding much reference, it's somewhat relieving to see that we basically share the exact same problems with alcoholic drinks and headaches.

At over 60 years of age and being able to drink previously, perhaps you've come to produce less of some alcoholic enzyme, and perhaps I've always lacked that enzyme. It could also be a specific but screwy tension/nerve/muscle thing.

I see that your comments were posted in March of last year. If you were somehow to read this now it would be interesting to see if you've made any progress or new discoveries regarding this problem.
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Hi Guys,
Just to let you know, I'm also Exactly in the same boat, except I have no back pains to complain about. But a single glass of wine or beer is enough to trigger a throbbing headache on the frontal lobe and almost in the same degree everywhere else in the head, and hot flashes in the face. It's extremely disturbing, as it kills my social life after a drink.

I'll tell you what I've done to fix this:
-Full blood work: nothing unusual. Trigylercirin is high, but hey. 320 where <150 is normal.
-my doctor has prescribed AntiHestamin and allergy medicine ( patanase, veramist) to clear up any de-congestion that I would have in my nasal system.
- MRI :I don't have sinus problems, just a minimal normal cavity, which my doctor too has along with 25% of the population. So that's not it.

I'm 27, and this started at 26. This all started after I got sick while in vacation drinking in Europe. One illness, and I've been alcohol intolerant and ear congestion. My doctor gave up, but he never tried allergy tests.
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I also get the same headaches sometimes after even one drink. Same spot, left side, up the neck to the eyebrow. Neck seems a little stiff even. I do have a history of ear problems, most times they were infections and lack of drainage. I am 28 with no other health problems. I never noticed a problem until a couple years ago when I consumed many drinks but the headaches have gotten more severe and are triggered with much less alcohol. I also have only found relieve by taking 800 to 1200 mg of ibuprofen. It is so bad I don't even enjoy it anymore.  :(
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363682_tn?1299492962
   Sounds like there's a growing band of sufferers here!
   As a result of the previous posts, I've now done an updated evaluation of what I tried before and come to the conclusion that neither the anti-histamine nor the ibuprofen really do make much of an impact on these headaches when they happen.
   However, I now think that the application of analgesic gels (the types that feel really icy on your skin) right across the back of the neck from right under my left ear downwards then right across to the other side ... then right across my forehead from one side to the other just above the eyebrows, DEFINITELY makes a difference in my case.
   Just for reference, I even got the same result from 'BackAid Back Balm' - although they got very sniffy when I informed them of this 'other' use for their product and flatly refused to have anything to do with it!  (I think they've got out of business now anyway).
   Either way, if I couple this with not sitting 'slumped' anywhere (like with another beer in front of a TV screen!), I find the pain disappears altogether - although it sometimes needs a second application after an hour or so.
   Like everyone else, I suspect, I thought I was alone in this problem.  I'm sure someone out there in the medical world knows exactly what we're talking about - they just haven't read these posts yet!
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This list is growing.. I just recently have started with the same symptoms of having the neck pain up the left side up to the top after a few hours of drinking a minimum of 1 glass of any type of alcohol. It lasts throughout out the night until late morning. I'm 42yrs old, had my share of drinking when I was younger but drink a couple drinks, on an average of 1-2 x's a month , if that. No lower back pain, no hypertension, no TMJ. I do have thyroid issues for the last 2 years, but the headaches just started.
I'd really like to know why this may have kicked in, and try to resolve that issue, than trying to cover up the pain when it does happen.
If anyone has anymore insight, your posting would be appreciated!
Thanks,
Kay
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Add another to the list.  Used to be I'd only get the headaches after drinking about two glasses of red wine.  But recently, I've started suffering from the same problem after consuming any kind of alcohol.  Since being at bars and clubs is part of my job, it's a bit frustrating, but I have cut down drinking to once a week.  Next time I go out, I'm going to try taking an antihistamine an hour prior to drinking.
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I am 24 and suffer all the same problems. My headaches are so debilitating that if I move the "throbbing" gets worse. Most time only sleep will help but I have found that Excedrin Migraine does work. It is no fun having these headaches because it is hard to have the social drink with my friends. I have also discovered that certain beers do it more then others, for example any bud light will for sure give me a migraine. the more expensive the beer the less likely I will have a headache. But, excedrine has been my only real relief. Hope this helps.
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I too suffer from migraines after drinking any kind of alcohol, in varying quantities.  Mine are more like Russian roulette.  I can get a migraine after one, sometimes after two, sometimes, no headache after 3 or more.  But the pain is escruciating and long lasting.  Only my expensive prescription migraine medicine cures mine.  My pain is always in the same spot, which is over to the right of my right eye above the forehead.  I never had this occur until about a year and a half ago.  It doesn't matter if its wine, beer or mixed drink.  I do suffer with TMJ, take hydrochlorithiazide for having one high blood pressure reading and have degenerative disc disease  (common).  I am 52. I basically was reading these posts that caught my eye to be assured that there wasn't some underlying disease that I wasn't aware of.
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363682_tn?1299492962
   Well ... I think I put the original post in about this one.
   For what it's worth, I was also suffering from high blood pressure but an investigatory angiogram this week as to whether I was 'furred up' (necessitating a stent or possible bypass) found that I wasn't.    
   However, after much putting of medics' heads together, they decided that I did have an enlarged heart with a 'left branch bundle blockage'.
   After more consultations, they decided that my previous history of quite heavy drinking as an airline crew member (off-duty I may add!) may have contributed to the problem.  Thus, I am off the booze for three months to see if it helps to reduce the enlargement and (presumably) increase my blood flow.
   This finding may be totally unrelated to the headaches, but, of course - maybe due to the restricted blood flow - they may be connected.  Currently, I am only two days into this 'abstention' - grumpy but holding firm!
   Will post again when / if there's something to report.
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Hi all
Im 21 and would happily drink a bottle of spirits and wake up the next day feeling fine. Last weekend i did the same though and had the most intense headache ive had for a long time. I thought it may just be a one off but then Two nights ago i had a few beers and again, the next morning i had a bad headache although not as bad as the one previously mentioned. So last night i only had 5 bottles of beer and this morning again i have a headache and hot flushes! Really confusing me. Ive been getting back and shoulder pain the last couple of weeks too. Im gonna work through some of the suggestions on here and hope it helps. Dont wanna cut down on my drinking yet!!!
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I have the same reaction that everyone is describing after VERY small amounts of alcohol.  I also find them accompanied by heart palpitations and burning eyes.  It very much feels like an allergic reaction.  I am 33 and drank all through my 20's without trouble.  Last night I drank a tonic water that gave me the EXACT reaction and did a little research.  I found that quinine is a common allergen and many people who cannot process it are unable to uptake serotonin and it recommended triptophan supplements.  I don't know if it is related but I am going to try these supplements.  Has anyone else heard of this?
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This is crazy that this is happining to so many people with no definate answers to why...i also suffer from headaches on the left side of my neck and back of my head. as i sit here typing this i currently have one and jus doing sum research on it
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363682_tn?1299492962
  S'funny, but I have had answers from some of the medics out there in the past about this ... but, lately, seemingly coinciding with more people reporting symptoms, it seems to have gone very quiet on here.  Am wondering if anyone knows something they can't or shouldn't comment on, but the incidents of this seem to be growing daily.  Can anyone from MedHelp comment ... ?
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I just started experiencing headaches as well. I've consulted with my doctor and he gave me a prescription of Naproxen.  It works really well but I'm concerned that I have to take drugs to enjoy alcohol. He did recommend a followup if this should persist and it has. So back to the doctor I go. I will post suggestions if I find any problems.

PS One solution that I found that really worked well, stay away from coffee. Drink water after the headache starts, it sometimes resolves it quickly. These headaches maybe a sign of dehydration.
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363682_tn?1299492962
   ALL comments about this welcome!  However - and I'm sure these are available in the USA too - I've tried sachets of Dioralyte (an oral electrolyte powder used in cases of dehydration here in the UK) both before and after alcohol ... and, in my case, it made no difference at all.
   I think I've now tried just about everything ... from the above to anti-histamines, topical and tablet analgesics, etc., etc., but, as I've also mentioned above, I have still been getting these headaches having been off the alcohol altogether for two months now - although nowhere near as bad.
   In my case, I'm sure it's linked to a back problem which may be exacerbated by alcohol because it only really gets noticeable when I sit at the same angle in the same seat (I know, I know ... there's an answer to THAT one!).
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Wow...

I have almost all of the symptoms listed by the group (I thought I was the only one).  Up till about 2 years ago I could drink with out a problem.  Now anytime after about 2 drinks a massive pain will run from the (right) side of my neck and up towards my eyebrow, starting slowly and then getting more and more painful.

No allergies or TMJ.  I take klonopin for anxiety.  I do sit crouched over at work, and have had some minor back issues, but like Mark said where does the alcohol come in to play then?

I've used every method mentioned in this thread with different amounts of success.  I now use ibuprofen when I can but it loses effect once you have to take 8 or more.  Most other painkillers seem to work, when used in the early stages of the migraine (I don't recommend you take tylenol and drink).  Later on it's prescription meds and Head-On.  I don't know why but that stuff makes the pain a lot more dulled.

Well, thanks guys for posting, my hats off to ya Mark.  Anyone have any tricks to getting rid of these things? please post.
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I have suffered from headaches my whole life and alcohol is a definite trigger.  I had unsuccessfully seen many doctors about my condition and was only able to get the proper diagnosis of my problem a few years back.  I now know that I get what are known as "cluster headaches".  They are definitely triggered if I consume alcohol.  I have been helped by taking a blood pressure medication called verapamil which minimizes the frequency and severity of the headaches.  As I said previously I never drink alcohol because it is a definite trigger.  When I do get the headaches I take imatrex, which generally relieves the headache pain within 30-60 minutes.  Please check the web for more information about "cluster headaches" or suicide headaches as they are sometimes called.  Here is a good link for general information.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_headache
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I'm 32 and have been having the same problem for a couple of years now, i've decided to look into it and have come across this thread. 1 beer and i'm fine, 2 and i get the migranes, and they really hurt! I too have found different beers effect me more than others, some beers i have to keep away from. I've often wondered if they add aspartame (arterficial sweetners, known to cause many problems from headaches to coma and death) to certain beers, i have certainly noticed a different taste to these beers over others. I get headaches from drinks containing  aspartame, which is understandable, Aspartame collects in the body as Methanol, which in turn breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde. I'm sure that the adding of aspartame to alcoholic drinks is the cause, which would explain why everyone is being effected now, when they could drink till they passed out before, often with not much of a hangover the morning after. Oh yeah, if i drink past the headaches, the hangover the next morning is like hell, i'm unable to move, my head hurts that much, i'm sweating because of overheating and dry-heaving what must be stomach lining, nothing that a traditional English breakfast and a coffee would fix!
I've just Googled "aspartame in beer", and it's in Bud, (noticed the comment above) maybe i will try and look into which breweries use it and which don't, and see if that helps. Hope i've thrown some light on the subject for you all, and hope you all find a way round this problem, as i do to. Darrell
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I'm 48 and have had migraines for 18 years.  Hormones, weather, stress...usual causes.  I rarely have periods anymore, and am retired - so the stress is almost non-existent.  Have been a social drinker since my 20s and only recently have had a problem with just 2 drinks with dinner causing a migraine.

I've recently had Botox injections in my neck and the base of my skull and was doing well until the last few days.  I want to be able to enjoy a drink out with my husband, but can't keep taking migraine abortive meds for prevention.  

Guess there aren't any answers, but I just wanted to put my 2 cents in and let people know there are a lot of us out here.
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Hi grimmts,

Thank you for posting. How right you are! There are a lot of us out here!

I also cannot drink alcohol without getting a migraine headache. I am sorry that it is the same for you as well. It is sometimes not fun being a migraineur. :( But, at least we have each other for support. :)

May I ask when your last Botox Injections were? Because, the Botox Injections can wear off after 3 months. If it has been 3 months since your last Botox Injections, you may need to go back to your neurologist for another round of injections. If it's just time for more Botox, then you might be able to have a little bit of wine again. If not, then I am sorry and I understand how you feel about this. It can all be very frustrating, but I guess it is better to make the sacrifices and not be in pain (although it doesn't make it any less frustrating!).

Thanks again for writing in!

Keep in touch!

- marilee
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Hey Everyone! It looks like I am in the same boat as everyone else here. I'm pretty sure my problem is a histamine intolerance after researching online. It also would explain why Marks hay fever medication worked until he built up a tolerance to it (antihistamine). And it could explain why he was still getting headache after he stopped drinking alcohol since many foods are high in histamine.

I plan on starting a 4 week histamine free diet to see if this helps my problem. The only histamine free alcohols are plain vodka, gin, and white rum. Since I am not a hard liquor fan, this is saddening for me. But I will try anything at this point.

Here is a website that lists allowed and restricted foods and beverages that I found if anyone is interested to try. I will also keep you guys updated if this helped or not. http://www.urticaria.thunderworksinc.com/pages/lowhistamine.htm#allowedrestricted
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Any more botox users out there. What dos it cost?
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363682_tn?1299492962
   Well, I certainly think we're all circling around the actual answer somewhere amongst all these posts.  I don't take botox - although I may look as if I do! - but I am currently trying a chiropractor I've used before in the possible belief that, as most headaches can be put down to a back problem, this may be the root of mine.
   To date, I would say that, after all the loud clicking from my neck and spine, my 'pain-after-alcohol' has reduced by around 20%-30% - altho' I'm still getting the odd 'thumper' from time to time.
   Strangely enough, as I may have mentioned before, exerting finger pressure (in my case) to the left of my neck vertebrae relieved the headache considerably.  And this is where the chiropractor is now working - without me telling him this.
   With the added application of a topical analgesic like '4-Head' (here in the UK) or 'Head-On' (still in the US?) to the forehead and neck, it's really starting to get the pain under control now.
   Not sure in closing that this is the total answer, but anything that alleviates it at all is OK in my book.  Will keep in touch with progress - or otherwise.
   Hope everyone enjoyed Christmas regardless?   Cheers!!!
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Hi,

I have read your post and the thread afterwards. I am writing after again waking with a throbbing head following 2 glasses of white wine. I used to be able to put away alcohol no problem but for the past year have been drinking juices because of the effects of small amounts alcohol. This is difficult especially at this time of year when everyone is drinking. I always end up as the driver because I don't want to drink.

One thing that has not been mentioned is if this is hereditary- I am 41 and can remember that when I started drinking my father would barely have a drop. I just assumed it was because he was old!! but now thinking more it could be he suffered the same and couldn't drink.

Would be interested to hear from others on this point.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
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I also get these headaches (on my right side most of the time). I get a very stiff neck with them as well. It is rather annoying as sometimes I can drink a 3 pints and other times about 5 before it kicks in. I'm glad that I am not the only one who suffers from this. I have found that a migraine tablet and heat on my neck and pressure on my nose right by eye helps.
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Hello all, very seldom ever had a headache until recently I tried to cut sugar out of my diet at least for coffee and such, used stevia and started getting bad headaches, switched to agave syrup, same thing. now i am back to less proccessed sugars or honey which seems to be okay. Now in the last couple of months I seem to get a headache from alchohol, wine, beer, and tonight rye and seven. Never been much of a drinker at all. have not started any new meds. Blood pressure problem under control, bad psoriasis and reflux disease. All my headaches seem to happen on the left side of my head and can be from mild to fairly severe. Had a sinus operation a few years back and still seem to get some infection on and off. Presently 51 yrs old. Has anyone gotten any medical answers at all.
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I'm 28 and for the past year get a headache after 1 or 2 drinks.  Never was a problem before.  The only thing that cures it for me is vigourous exercise.  Exedrin, motrin ect. don't even touch it.  The headaches start shortly after finishing my drinks, but are worst the next morning.  I find it strange that 2 drinks would effect me 8-12 hours later!  thinking of giving up the drink completely.  
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   It's interesting to see just how many people are starting to suffer from these symptoms.  The question I originally asked myself was:  has this problem always been around or has something been added to our alcohol?(!!!).  
   Now, I think the answer lies somewhere within these posts.  I'm currently having a chiropractor work on my neck and posture ... but the jury's still out on the end results of that.
   One of the websites I visited recently (http://www.nyheadache.com/index.php?Itemid=81&id=44&option=com_content&task=view) has this to say:-  
"Alcohol, especially red wine, is commonly identified as a headache trigger by migraine sufferers.  It can either trigger a headache shortly after drinking, or it can cause a hangover headache the next morning.  Headaches that occur within several hours after drinking alcohol are probably the result of blood vessel dilation and constriction.  Wine also contains substances such as tyramine, histamine, and sulfites, all of which can trigger headaches...".  
   It seems to me that a high number of posts on here touch on some, if not all, of the points from this website's findings.  But, although it seems that existing migraine sufferers will have this problem regardless, it seems that my own version of it seems to center around posture - and maybe resulting 'blood vessel dilation'?
   I'm sure that between us we'll get to find a mutually-beneficial set of answers to this - but the question I keep asking myself is why none of the medics in the community can help with this problem whilst we're trying to solve it ourselves?
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It is refreshing to see that there are other people out there suffering from the same symptoms I do! Unfortunately, I am only 23 years old and this problem has worsened over the years. I always would get really bad hangovers when I would binge drink. Now, after 1-2 drinks, I have a throbbing migraine. It is unilateral, on my right side and radiates down my neck. It is very frustrating considering I am in college and all of my close friends drink socially. Plus, I LOVE wine. It has gotten way worse in recent months.

I looked into it and found this article: http://www.foodreactions.org/intolerance/alcohol/index.html
Basically it looks like we may have a deficiency in the ALDH enzyme that breaks down alcohol. The same deficiency commonly seen in asians that leads to the "asian glow." It is also known as alcohol intolerance. Yay for us! Unfortunately, I feel there is no way to avoid it. I have tried everything from drinking water/gatorade before and while drinking, taking ibuprofen before I drink (very bad for you), sticking with the same liquor all night- the grain or the vine. Absolutely nothing helps.

If you guys hear of anything that may help, please let me know! I am a pharmacist and have exhausted every medical option I could think of. Unfortunately, looks like I may need to cut out alcohol entirely. Good luck all!
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No !!!  ANYTHING but that !!!
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I just came across this thread as I was searching for alcoholic drinks that may NOT cause migraines.  Over the past few years, I've noticed if I over drink I will always wake up with a splitting headache/migraine and have it for at least 2 days.  I have even had to call out of work because of it!  Mine tends to be over my right eye - like an arrow going through my head.  Red wine has always been my drink of choice but I've read that red wine could be the worst.  I started reading a book on migraines - http://www.amazon.com/Heal-Your-Headache-Program-Taking/dp/0761125663 - the author says red wine may have more triggers than white wine.  To be honest, I'm frightened to try different options but I do love a drink or two.  I'm only 29 so this is really depressing for me to learn that I may no longer be able to drink alcohol.  The author does say we all have a certain threshold and we have to be careful that we don't go over that.. so sometimes, alcohol may NOT actually give you a migraine if you avoided other triggers.  I have heard that Coors Lite doesn't have (any or as much) sulfites, so maybe that wouldn't be so bad.  I have tried drinking red wine and alternating it with water and that helps, or maybe it just slows down my drinking - but again this last round of migraines was so bad I'm actually scared.
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I too am in the same boat. I drink once or twice a week, 1 or 2 drinks each time. It seems that as I drink less and less over the years the problem gets intensified when I do have a drink. Interesting that Dawnyelle5 stated that vodka, rum and gin are histamine free. I make my own Mojito's or rum and Coke's, without issue. If I have a beer or champagne, and sometimes wine, I get the headache in the top of the neck region through the temples and into the eyes. Light sensitivity and some hot flushing, even very mild nausea can follow - a light form of a migrane I guess you could say. I

do notice like someone else mentioned when I eat spicy food this is worse. Chili's happy hour did this to me 4 consecutive times now. The meal consists of their hot wings, chips and salsa, and Coors light. I tried Blue Moon last time and it wasn't quite as bad.

Danno9899: I have cut back on more sugar recently as well. This is starting to get in to alternative medicine a bit, but I'm wondering if your issue is centered around yeast. Yeast feed off of sugar, and reducing it causes a "die off reaction" from the yeast dying, which is described by flu-like symptoms and most notable a headache. Not sure how the alcohol comes into play, although alcohol does further lower blood sugar. When I drink more sugary drinks I don't get much of the headache. Have you been on lots of antibiotics? Those folks are at higher risk for more yeast issues. The treatment for this is supposed to be probiotics daily, but you will feel like crap for several weeks after about 2 weeks of taking them, until the good bacteria take over the yeast you have accumulated. Anti yeast pills like Diflucan can also help. This might be a connection? Since I started taking probiotics a few months ago my headache drinking problem has gotten much worse.
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I too am in the same boat. I drink once or twice a week, 1 or 2 drinks each time. It seems that as I drink less and less over the years the problem gets intensified when I do have a drink. Interesting that Dawnyelle5 stated that vodka, rum and gin are histamine free. I make my own Mojito's or rum and Coke's, without issue. If I have a beer or champagne, and sometimes wine, I get the headache in the top of the neck region through the temples and into the eyes. Light sensitivity and some hot flushing, even very mild nausea can follow - a light form of a migrane I guess you could say. I

do notice like someone else mentioned when I eat spicy food this is worse. Chili's happy hour did this to me 4 consecutive times now. The meal consists of their hot wings, chips and salsa, and Coors light. I tried Blue Moon last time and it wasn't quite as bad.

Danno9899: I have cut back on more sugar recently as well. This is starting to get in to alternative medicine a bit, but I'm wondering if your issue is centered around yeast. Yeast feed off of sugar, and reducing it causes a "die off reaction" from the yeast dying, which is described by flu-like symptoms and most notable a headache. Not sure how the alcohol comes into play, although alcohol does further lower blood sugar. When I drink more sugary drinks I don't get much of the headache. Have you been on lots of antibiotics? Those folks are at higher risk for more yeast issues. The treatment for this is supposed to be probiotics daily, but you will feel like crap for several weeks after about 2 weeks of taking them, until the good bacteria take over the yeast you have accumulated. Anti yeast pills like Diflucan can also help. This might be a connection? Since I started taking probiotics a few months ago my headache drinking problem has gotten much worse.
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I too am in the same boat. I drink once or twice a week, 1 or 2 drinks each time. It seems that as I drink less and less over the years the problem gets intensified when I do have a drink. Interesting that Dawnyelle5 stated that vodka, rum and gin are histamine free. I make my own Mojito's or rum and Coke's, without issue. If I have a beer or champagne, and sometimes wine, I get the headache in the top of the neck region through the temples and into the eyes. Light sensitivity and some hot flushing, even very mild nausea can follow - a light form of a migrane I guess you could say. I

do notice like someone else mentioned when I eat spicy food this is worse. Chili's happy hour did this to me 4 consecutive times now. The meal consists of their hot wings, chips and salsa, and Coors light. I tried Blue Moon last time and it wasn't quite as bad.

Danno9899: I have cut back on more sugar recently as well. This is starting to get in to alternative medicine a bit, but I'm wondering if your issue is centered around yeast. Yeast feed off of sugar, and reducing it causes a "die off reaction" from the yeast dying, which is described by flu-like symptoms and most notable a headache. Not sure how the alcohol comes into play, although alcohol does further lower blood sugar. When I drink more sugary drinks I don't get much of the headache. Have you been on lots of antibiotics? Those folks are at higher risk for more yeast issues. The treatment for this is supposed to be probiotics daily, but you will feel like crap for several weeks after about 2 weeks of taking them, until the good bacteria take over the yeast you have accumulated. Anti yeast pills like Diflucan can also help. This might be a connection? Since I started taking probiotics a few months ago my headache drinking problem has gotten much worse.
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I to suffer with this. I have been for several years now, and it does seem to be getting worse the less I drink. It used to be the headache would show up after a couple or three beers or two bourbon and water drinks, but now if I have one sip of wine or one sip of bourbon it will trigger the migrane. I wonder if there is some test for yeast in your system? I just don't drink any kind of alcohol any more. I have just resigned to being the designated driver.
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I am just adding to the thread to demonstrate the prevalence of the problem. I hope a headache specialist sees this and our comments helps find a solution!

I have suffered from headaches my whole life. However, just until a couple weeks ago I was able to drink alcohol without getting a headache (I am 24), but now it only take a little bit. I am very vigilant with hydrating myself-water and Gatorade (before and after).  My headaches are the same-stiff neck all the way up my left side and on top of my head. Sometimes my face aches.

I use aspartame (with my alcohol: crystal light+ water+vodka) and am in the process of cutting all the aspartame out. I am seeing a chiropractor. Spicy food is a trigger for me. I have taken antibiotics within the last 3 months.  

I take the RX. Treximet-it helps over 50% of the time, but last Sunday-it made no difference (I have felt a faint headache since last Sunday-today is Saturday).

I will not be drinking-the pain is too terrible. Really hope we find a solution. When you are in pain-please know you are not alone. We know it is terrible.
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I too get these throbbing headaches after even a single beer. I drink once or twice a week and its really annoying to wake up with a crazy headache. I am 27 years old and never had this problem until a year back. Earlier popping in a tylenol in the morning worked but lately even that doesn' help. My headache starts from my neck and ends up near my left eye. Applying gels like vicks on my forehead provides a temporary relief. I have even tried switching to vodka and white rum but that too doesn't seem to work. There was a time when I could down 6-7 beers with no after effect. I am really really frustrated and annoyed with these headaches.
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Hi Ken ...
   Welcome to the (growing) club!  As you'll see if you read all the threads, most of us have noticed this problem over the past few years only (?) and we've all tried various potions and treatments, so far without success.
   My own experiments with a chiropractic approach haven't really resulted in much of an improvement although it's certainly true that if I really make an effort to straighten my back (military-style) and push my shoulders and neck back, the throbbing is definitely eased - at least temporarily.
   The chiropractor's opinion is that he can definitely improve the situation over 'a period of time' (!) and the symptoms will gradually diminish, but I have my own doubts about this.
   Overall, despite the fact that there's some people on this site who may just have another underlying cause, I think there's a far simpler answer for the rest of us.
   Just pinning it down is all ... !
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I've never been much of a drinker but do (did) enjoy a beer or glass of wine now and  but....(drum roll)....then the headaches started.

If I have even a half glass of wine I get an aggravating pain in the back of the left lower side of the head just above the neck....usually within a half hour or so.  'Usually' the same with beer but only 90% of the time. It can last for hours and spread to most of the left side of my head. I don't drink hard alcohol so don't know about vodka, etc.

I'm 55 and this only started 3 years ago. Otherwise I'm healthy with mild hypertension. I eat well, am fit, etc.   I run 4 kms everyday and running relieves the headache...but doesn't cure it.  I also think that a hot water bottle to the neck helps...but cold doesn't.   I'm not, however, 'confident' as to what helps. During the day, the headache will last 3 hours or so...but at night they seem longer.

A friend of mine had a similar experience with alcohol and said thay gin is the only alcohol he can drink. I'll pass on that. As stated beer gives me a headache 90% of the time...'I think' I  haven't got one when drinking a can of Guiness but don't want to chance it again.

The headache is 'sort of' like a tension headache or posture issue headache...but...the association with drinking is too one-on-one for it not to be the alcohol.  Even half a glass of wine is a trigger so I doubt that sugar level is a variable. I also don't think it is a liver, etc. issue as the amount of alcohol is too low to tax the system (and I'm otherwise healthy). Dehydration is a non-issue with a half glass of wine.

From the personal histories in above postings I'm leaning towards the development of  allergic reaction . I've never taken an antihistamine before but will try one next time when I give into the temptation of a cold beer.  If it doesn't work I'll convert to some alcohol-free cult or religion.

'Misery loves company' is too nasty a saying but I appreciate finding individuals with the same issue. There is a comfort in not being alone.  Fortunately there doesn't seem to be a shared serious health issue underlying the headaches.    
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   Almost word for word the same problems as I get myself.  
   All I got out of my visit to the chiropractor was an additional pins and needles effect in my left hand and lower arm after he manipulated my neck a few times.  To his credit, he says he really doesn't think there's any more he can do and has written me a letter of referral to give my doctor to go for a scan next.  Will keep everyone in touch with that one as well - maybe, between all of us, we can eliminate unnecessary expense on our way to sorting this out!
   Either way, it still interests me that none of the medics on this site (or others) seem willing or able to take this problem on for us .....
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I am SOO amazed at all the people that have the same symptoms I am going through!  I am 41 and up until the last couple years I could drink whenever and however much I wanted...not the case anymore!  Even after a few drinks, and it doesn't matter what kind, I start getting a throbbing headache and ends up turning into a migraine the following morning. The only thing I have been able to take and find relief is my prescription migraine med, Maxalt...but I still feel lousy and the headache lasts for 2 days..why has it changed in last couple years?  I am very frustrated as I am not a heavy drinker, but like to socially drink now and then and it really bums my evening out when I have to stop at 2..if I don't, I pay the price!  I also have that "hungover" feeling after only a few drinks, in which several years ago could drink, get up the next day with no problem and go out again. It's really miserable now. :(
I have been to a neurologist and I think he thinks I am crazy...he said "yes, alcohol is a trigger"...but I ask him whyyyy only the last couple years? He is not taking me seriously!   Like I said, I don't drink much at all anymore, but it sure is nice to be able to go out with friends to dinner and not have to "worry" about the headaches to come...I have had an MRI and brain wave tests and they were normal. I also get a very stiff neck and shoulders at this point as well. I do have problems with the neck and shoulders and lower back from time to time and as someone else mentioned have degenerative disk disease, I do too in neck and lower back.  But I'm not thinking that is a common factor here, as a lot of people said they don't have that. I have tried the allergy pills, ibuprofren, drinking water, etc....so far none have worked :(   PLEASE someone have an answer to this frustration and miserableness!!!
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It is relieving to know I'm not the only one suffering from this.  I'm 24 years old and was never a heavy drinker (4-8 drinks when I drank, which was anywhere from once to 3 times every two weeks), but in the last year or so, I've been suffering from these crippling headaches.  

I DO get minor headaches every once in awhile when not drinking, but I think everybody does.  I'm very healthy as far as I know.

As of right now, my headache shows up about half way through my first beer, and will last until I wake up in the morning.  I can never even drink to a "buzz" anymore, as I need to switch to water/soda after one or two beers.  I've tried liquor, and I get the same headaches.

This is so terrible for me, because at 24 years old, the bar is the "hang out spot" for me and all my friends.  We always go to the same bar, and all the bartenders bring me a Sprite as soon as I walk in the door because that's what I always order.  I can still have a good time without drinking, but I hate having to resist alcohol EVERY time.  It's not like I even want to get drunk, just enjoy a few drinks every now and then.

One thing that I *think* may be the cause is lack of excercise.  I was a very active and athletic person all throughout college, but in the past year or so, I've been slacking as I have a professional job and just don't have time anymore.  Once it gets nicer outside (live in eastern PA - 4 snowstorms this year!), I'm going to start running to try to get back in shape.

I also smoke cigarettes.  I haven't noticed anybody else who said that in here, but I feel is important to note.  Seems like if cigarettes are a unity we all (or most of us) share, that might have something to do with it too.

I do seem to suffer less from certain beers than others (miller lite, molson canadian ALWAYS give me the headaches while Sam Adams and the more "fancier" beers do not.)

I know how terrible this is and I feel for all of you.  Hopefully something comes along to relieve us!
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I'm sorry, I forgot to mention this and I don't see that I can edit my last post.  

I've NEVER had a hangover in my life.  Even the few times I've drank to extreme excess in the past, I felt fine the next morning.

It seems that most or all of us note that we either don't drink or only drink one or two.  Has anybody tried drinking through the pain and had enough to get "drunk"?  I'm wondering if maybe only drinking a couple is our problem, and drinking more than that would be ok?  I'm too scared to try it...haha.
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Wow, I had thought that I was also a wierd case because of this problem. Rather comforting in an odd sense that there are others out there with this malady as well.

I am 24, I have had migraines for most of my life, I am rather active (due to my work) and a smoker (1 pack a day).

My first drink of alcohol (One Beer) About 10 minutes later I had a wicked migraine, I had thought that something else triggered it and thought nothing of it, later that month about ten minutes after I drank a beer again it came back and has done so every time. Oddly enough harder achohol does not trigger it as fast I wonder if anyone else has noticed this in themselves.

These are some of the things i've done to help stave off the headache, I hope it works for you as well.
I take four tablets of regular strength Ibuprofen before consuming, Always try to have something in my stomach
Personally I wear glasses, I've noticed that if I take them off when I drink the headache does not come as fast.
throughout the night( If possible) take one or two more ibruprofen.
It helps immensely if I have a second non-achoholic drink( For me it's soda) that I drink in about a two to one ratio of the alcohol.

You all have my sympathies as I know this is a rather frustrating problem.
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  What a great thought - but (speaking personally, of course) FORGET IT !!!
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   Actually guys, I think this has gone on long enough without summoning help from medical expertise.  I've tried rousing the medics from their slumbers on this and other sites about the problem, so now I'm going to 'pay the bucks' and actually direct the guy MedHelp says handles such things to actually DEAL with our problem if he can.  Watch this space!
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I am in the same boat as everyone here for the most part. In the past I was able to drink a little or a lot and would be fine. Starting maybe a year or two ago I end up getting a headache in my left eye and temple. The weird thing with my headache is that it doesn't happen until two days after drinking. For instance this Saturday I went out for a couple friends birthdays and got pretty drunk. Woke up on Sunday slightly hungover and soon felt fine with no headache. I wake up on Monday and felt fine, but as the day progressed the headache crept in and by the end of the day it was pretty bad.

So I get home from work and forced myself to go to the gym and work out even though I just wanted to take a nap. I took one ibuprofen and then worked out pretty hard. My headache was gone by the time I was done with my workout. Usually nothing will make the headache go away, except for a nights sleep. This was the first time I have been able to get the headache to go away. Popping pills for headache or sinus stuff usually doesnt do anything, but maybe  the workout is the answer.

I just find it weird that mine doesn't show up until two days later and it always happens this way. I thought it wouldn't yesterday, but sure enough it did.
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Despite my regular postings, am still not absolutely sure how this site works in its entirety.  However, having also posted in the Allergy area as well, I was notified of this reply which appears to be from 'someone who moderates' :-

by dame_wilbur, 17 hours ago
To: All
Alcohol is a VERY common trigger of headaches and migraines for a number of reasons. A lot of times it's because of an amino acid called Tyramine, which increases in potency as food ages or ferments. As all alcohol is fermented, it's very high in tyramine.

Red wine is especially high in tyramine (and more likely to cause headaches or migraines) as red grapes by themselves are higher in tyramine than the green grapes that make up white wine.

As for beer, tyramine appears naturally in the yeast that gives beer half of its flavor. I believe (not 100% sure tho) that hops, the grain that goes into making beer, is also full of tyramine.

I'm not sure about all the hard liquors, but I know that a lot of them contain high levels of tyramine as well, again, because of fermentation.

If you have a sensitivity/allergy in which you get a headache or migraine from alcohol, I would recommend trying a low tyramine diet in general for a while. Tyramine is in almost all foods, but is high in foods that are pretty easy to avoid if necessary. If you keep yourself on a low tyramine diet, then the occasional alcoholic drink is less likely to effect you as much because you won't have as much of it in your system to react to.

Does that make sense?
Any questions?

~Dame
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Hi all, I posted here a few posts back, and have had some time to "experiment" since then.  Just last night, I went to a get together at my friend's house.  I figured this was the perfect time to give some things a try.

I took 2 acetimenophen (sp?) at around 7:30.  I got there around 8 and started drinking shortly after that.  I ended up having 2 beers and 5 or 6 shots.  This is as much as I would normally drink in the past, before the headaches started.

By 1 AM I was still feeling fine!  No headache to speak of.  This was the first time in a year or so that I've had a sip of alcohol without getting the headache shortly after.

Oddly enough, around 1:30 (6 hours after the pain reliever, which is when it says to take more), I felt a slight headache.  It never got to the point of being unbearable, but I'm guessing that if I hadn't taken anything before going, my headache would have been much worse all night.

Just figured I'd post this to recommend trying this to anybody who hasn't.  Obviously this isn't an optimal situation, but it's better than nothing!!
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hi everyone i think it goes with out saying that having googled this topic i also have started getting headaches from very moderate alcohol consumption. tonight is was prompted by literally 2 sips of whiskey, i dont mean mouth fulls, i mean sips, i did not know my body would even register such a minor amount. it is rather concerning considering i have plans to go to beer fest tomorrow in atlantic city... four hours of dedicated drinking that i prepaid for and i cant drink....

---------------------any way
i am by no means a doctor so for the love of god dont take my advice with out checking with one, but i do have a decent biochemical background.

i think it very possible that the "swelling" in the brain is a possible cause. this would explain why the previous poster had his problem solved by taking acetaminophen. it is a general pain reliever, and also an anti inflammatory drug. which is why aspirin is often prescribed for high blood pressure. a thickening of the blood vessels in the brain would restrict blood flow and could possibly lead to head pain. Or a rush of blood to the area could have a similar effect, although i think this is less likely. that the pain is in the same location and presents in the same manor would lead credit to a blood flow problem in the brain. (also personally my pain tends to throb with the beating of my heart)

--the medical community does not actually entirely understand how anti inflamatories solve headaches, primarily because they do not really understand headaches. do to the fact that they can hardly go cutting open some ones skull every-time they complain of headaches and see what the problem is. the leading theory as i understand it is "swelling"

--many people benefit more from one pain reliever over another, again no one knows why. it is possible that while one pain reliever may not work for you another may. for instance i know aspirin does nothing for me. however be sure to be careful while trying different pain relievers and alcohol as they are different chemical compounds and will react differently, possibly in a toxic manor. ALSO DONT TRY 2 DIFFERENT PAIN KILLERS AT ONCE



-------------as to the tyramine idea
tyramine is an animo acid your body makes from tyrosine/phenoalanine. both of these are common in meats and high protein foods. i was able to find an article about possible problems with this amino acid, its worth the

readhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foods_containing_tyramine#Cheeses

tyraime is high in fermented foods, alc, cheeses (which is why its called the cheese effect), and soy products. so if you eat a heavy cheese meal, or go out for some sushi and get similar headaches, thats probably your answer.

general info on tyramine can be found here but it gets a tad technical and your general reader probably can skip it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyramine

anyway I plan to try this out by having a meal full of really heavy tyramine foods :) wish me luck ill let you know how it goes. BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU TRY THIS TOO. if your body is having a problem breaking down tyramine, there is no way to tell how it would react to such a meal.

i am a little skeptical of the theory however, as tyramine can not cross the blood brain barrier an so should not be able to enter the brain from an ingested source.

anyway good luck to us all, and hope to see you at the bar soon
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  At last we seem to be maybe getting somewhere with all of this,  Thanks for all of that Nick_Brainpain - tho I didn't know whether to laugh or cry about the Atlantic City 'abstentionfest'!
   I mentioned all of this - especially the tyramine bit - to my own doc and she felt it maybe had some legs and was worth a thought in the absence of any other relief.  She put me on a course of Ibuprofen four times a day for issues caused by my lousy posture and resulting neck stiffness at the same time as I went into semi-alcoholic mode by starting to drink Absolut Pear Vodka and Soda (!) to test the tyramine theory.
   So far - NO headaches at all ... although it's obviously early days and I can't obviously be sure whether it's the ibuprofen or tyramine-reduced drinking behind it.  Will have to test it out in a few hours again (!) and will stay in touch.
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Ok guys and gals, I have read most of the posts and I too have been having excruciating headaches after alcohol, spicy foods, and excessive yelling or talking" I'm a teacher" I do have some insight for you. The pain is cause by your glands located near your chin and jaw bones. They swell or become infected quickly causing pain that starts from the left side of your neck, going to your ears and then the head with no help from everyday head medicines for pain. For some of you it is a small allergic reaction that can happen anywhere in life at any age. This can be solved by drinking very expensive non generic beers and liquors with less sulfates including wine. Beers are cruical because the better the taste the more additives and the worse pain from just one beer like Bud. The darker the drink also relates to it if it contains alot of carbs. Liquors should not be taken with out a low sugar chaser like sprite and non carbonated water. Anti imflammation med, are the only things that will work and should be taken before the pain moves from your neck. Once it goes around your neck area and throat, there is no stopping it unless you have high power inflammation pills including vicoden and so on. IBU, ASP, and common headache medicines including the ones that your doctor may prescribe you will only kill your liver. Narcotics work because they are also inflammation fighters but as much as I like them we all know they are addictive and bad for the liver. The major problem with our problem is the ability to correctly diagnose a problem that cannot be identified through various tests other than alcohol consumption which leads your doctor to say hey it's you it's not a real problem, stop drinking but by this time they only blame it on drinking even when it happens more frequently and with various things causing it.
Rule number one: For every soda or coffee you drink, drink 2 glasses of water. If you like spicy foods well sorry guys, water cannot help.
Number two: if you must drink be prepared with medication and be aware of where the pain is and react quickly. Be smart about it and don't drive and mix med. with alcohol at high levels now that would be asking for trouble.
Rule number three: seeing a doctor with a problem seemingly coming about or around drinking immediately stereotypes you and after that it's actually put into your med. history as a alcohol related problem, so people, never say it revolves around alcohol try something around spicy foods or sulfates in everday foods and beverages.
Rule number four: remember this name COMPOUND PARACETAMOL and AMANTADINE HYDROCHLORIDE. It's a common OTC drug for the common cold but holds two main ingredients that help you more than anything. One is for infection and the other inflammation. It will knock out your pain in 40 min. In bad cases 4 can be taken but you better not drive or continue drinking, you will be completely stupid if you do and I hold no responsibility for that.
Number five and the  probable and unfortunate part: this allergic reaction can be caused by HPV. It is a STD. Please don't let that scare you for although highly contagious it is similar to cold sores, if your parents have it or you  are or have been sexually active you have a 98% chance of having 1 out of 110 of the strainds. Their is alot of information about it and men, typically they don't even treat it because almost all times it goes away on it's own. It never leaves you but it does go away from the skin. Women, on rare cases if you have a low immune system you may need to be treated. Symptoms sometimes are non exsistent for years, some happen in about 3 months. Now, now, everyone don't freak out. Protection does not stop the spread. Skin to skin contact much like cold sores are how this virus is spread. Please don't go to Web Md for the info on this site is dire at best and nearly all information ends in cancer or death. But last time I checked the site for the common cold symptoms it said I had the Black Plaque. And the soreness around the left side before my headache lead to stop and call emergency help for I was having a heart attack. Research it and ask you doctor you find it's very typical and always remember a virus is a disease. The common cold is a disease. Whether we like it or not, cold sores and mouth ulcers and even chicken poxs are herpes. So don't fret and remember the medicine.
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... can you say that again .... ?







   Just going to take that away for a L-O-N-G time to digest it!  Initial reaction is that it mostly ties in with my own symptoms and is probably the most coherent answer I've seen for this problem.  It does seem though that there's little bits in lots of posts that may help, but they just need tying together.  
   As I said in my last post, I wasn't sure whether it was the Ibuprofen or cutting back on all other alcohol other than vodka/soda with a twist that was helping but I sure haven't had a recurrence for over a week now.  Hey ... that's GOOD!  
   Thanks a lot for your input TECHEZEE,
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i was wondering if there was some sort of common link medically, purhaps an event. i for instance have had knee surgery, and multiple teeth pulled, i was placed on vioxx for a period which was later removed from the market. etc,
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   Still interesting to see everyone else's thoughts.  Personally I'm off to see my consultant this morning after an MRI scan on my neck and surrounding areas.  He's confident that this will show cause both for other  problems in that area and the (apparently) alcohol-induced headaches.  It's early days still, but, having tried some of their suggested 'relief' exercises, there still seems some optimism for the drinks company moguls to continue to expect some income from me for some time to come!  Will let you all know the outcome - fingers crossed.
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Hi,
How are you? How was your appointment with the consultant? It is goo that an MRI was done. This will indeed  determine the possible cause and rule out anatomical issues. Take care and do keep us posted.
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... and it turns out to be three age-related (!) 'prolapsed discs' in my neck/top spine which I guess are interfering with nerves.  Ongoing saga - but will definitely keep everyone in touch with it if the word 'alcohol' is even whispered!
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Wow, I guess I'm not the only one who can not even have one drink anymore.  I suffer from migraines and tension headaches.  My doc thinks that my neck may be causing my headaches.  They have done everything to try and figure out what is causing my pain.  I currently take Rx Propranolol and Muscle relaxers.  I have Imitrex on hand just in case.  I used to be able to go out and have a few drinks in a social setting.  Now I can not even have one drink or I will end up in the emergency room, throwing up and suffering from severe migraines.  My doc thinks I may have developed an allergy to alcohol, who knows.  It really ***** that I can't even enjoy one little drink, but I know what will happen if I do.  It's just not worth the pain.  If you come up with anything let me know, I would love to find help of any kind.
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Jeez i have nearly the same thing.

2 bottles of beer and i get this massive headache, that is unlike other headaches i've had.
Always on the Left side and it stays for like 2 or 3 days and eventually it slowly wears away.
3rd day it seems to move, toward the right side and down toward the neck.
I'm afraid to have another drink tbh.

40 years old and rather fit (cyclist).
However i've also suffered headaches from cycling on my road bike (i suppose because of the posture - having to hold my head up?)
Crippling headaches that last 2 or more days and no medication seems to affect it. But it's a different pain than this alcohol induced one.

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dehydration  and blood p..and contrition of brain vessels and brain waves..im a medical advocate
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I'm 50 yrs old and I'm so glad to see I'm not alone. Sorry people. All of your stories are so familiar.  If  I want to drink a little, I know I have to have the Imitrex handy. Drinking is just no fun anymore. And there are so many wonderful beverages to consume out there. Especially now that I'm old enough to enjoy them all! Weather, lights, to many people, holidays, hormones, lots of things give me migraines. My neurologist says I have a sensitive brain. The nerve endings are easily agitated which starts the inflamation in the brain and it just builds and builds until it's excruciating. It makes me feel like my neck needs to crack, but it doesn't really. My doc is sending me for pain mngmnt. but I haven't been yet. I'm ready to cut my head OFF!!  I've had 35 yrs of this. I'm ready to call it quits.  
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Hi,
How are you? If the diagnosis is prolapsed discs in your neck, this can indeed interfere with your nerves and cause symptoms. It is important that you discuss with your doctor the management for these prolapsed discs which depends on the extent. Can you elaborate on this? Take care and hope to hear from you soon. Take care.
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Hi Rowena ...
   Thanks for the interest.
   The orthopaedic consultant here just showed me the MRI scans showing the 'characteristic' bulges and intrusions onto nerves etc., etc.  He has now referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon to determine where we go from here.  I THINK he said that we would 'probably' be looking at some kind of surgery or injections, but that this new referral would decide that next Friday.
   Looking at all these other posts, I'm none-too-sure that my own headaches are linked but they certainly seem to have taken on slightly different characteristics now everyone's fiddling with my neck.
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After a little searching I see this problem is much more common then I realized. I'm a 44 yrs male and have never had a migraine in my life until about a year ago.
The symptoms are basically they same as everyone else. Left side of my head, to the jaw.  
I've always enjoyed my beer, and now I can not even finish one. I've been to the DRs. - had the CT scans, MRIs-  and been prescribed several different meds. Nothing has worked.
For now I guess I will just avoid the alcohol and hope that this is only a temporary thing that eventually will go away as quickly as it came on.
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my mum has the same problem and found out she's alergic to brewer yeast. Which was helpful to know as brewers yeast is not just used in alcohole.
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I find that the only alcohol that doesn't give me a headache is cider. Anyone else the same? I'm 25 used to be able to handle drinking just fine but not anymore. The next day is just unbearable, as I usually have a migraine behind my right eye all day.
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Hi everyone.  Same symptoms as everyone else, recent onset.
Symptoms: headache in back left head, spreads to temple and eye, rarely on the right side.  I do sometimes feel like my face is flushed or something, but not often.
Cause:  one beer will do this to me.  Two beers will have me in bed and puking for two days with a severe headache.  I've tried different OTC pain relief and the most effective for me is Excedrine Migraine.  It dulls the pain some where others won't, but it by no means removes the pain entirely.

This beer intolerance began earlier this year.  It's hard to say if it would have started last year because I was pregnant last year so abstained, and once I had the baby was breastfeeding so still abstained.  Then finally when I did drink it was only small amounts because with a baby and a toddler, I cannot afford a hangover.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I drank two Coronas one night.  The next two days were filled with massive headache and throwing up.  A few days later I drank one beer and got a headache about an hour later, and had a hard time sleeping because of the pain.  All along, a nagging nausea persisted.  I took a pregnancy test just in case, and it was negative.  I'm 45, been drinking since high school, don't smoke.  Used to drink quite heavily, and in the last three years I've cut way back due to being a mother.  Occasionally I would tie one on, meaning 4 or 5 beers.  Would get a nice buzz and a slight hangover, nothing out of the ordinary.

Went on vacation the last 2 weeks, tried Michelob Ultra (because someone with similar problems said they could tolerate that).  I drank one beer, and still got a headache although it was much lesser of a headache than the Corona gave me.  Gonna try Asian beers next to see if I can find one I can tolerate.  I love beer, I really enjoy having one on the deck in the summer evenings.  JUST ONE!!  But no, no longer.  At least until I find something that works.

I bought some Zyrtec (sp?) to try next time I drink to see if it helps.  Not sure what's changed in the past year with beer.  I joked with my husband that we're being poisoned now with the beer.  Only thing is, he isn't experiencing the problem so obviously that isn't true.  Good luck everyone.
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I'm glad to have found this forum.  I thought it was really strange when I started having insane headaches a few hours after drinking.  My hangovers had started getting worse over the years (I never even had them from I was in college) and now I am 31 and have intense migraines an hour or two after drinking.  After my recent birthday it took me almost a week to recover.  I have always had hormonal migraines and TMJ also.  Also, I am asian but have never before had the red face flush that my asian friends have.

I'll let you know if I find anything that works, but for now I am going to just avoid having more than one drink.
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I was 66 in June. I have been having these alcohol-related migraines for 16 years. I have never been a heavy drinker but I love a glass or two of wine in the evening or a shot of Wild Turkey on the rocks. Sometimes I can go for 2 or 3 weeks without a headache. Other times one tiny sip equals one migraine. It starts in my right brow bone and is always accompanied by a stiff neck. By now I have tried just about everything mentioned in these posts. I went to a chiropractor for years, exercized, have cut out different foods, tried Gatorade, glasses of water before and after drinking, took antihistamines and on and on. My Doctor has suggested I try acupunture and see if that helps. I have cut a deal with myself-when it's important to me to drink socially, I have the Imitrex ready to go. Otherwise I can't drink at all. Imitrex will usually clear the headache AND the stiff neck. Those headaches, before Imitrex would last 3 days. I try hard to not overdo the Imitrex for fear that it will stop being effective! I came looking on the Web for a fix! I don't think I see one yet. The information about the glands was new. I know how frustrated and sad you all are. Those headaches are a big price to pay. Hope we can find a solution so that we can drink a little alcohol with our friends.
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First time poster long time sufferer.

Male, 44 yrs no underlying health conditions that I am aware of. I am a smoker. Mild to moderate alcohol consumption and consuming less and less as this problem worsens over the years.

Around my early to mid 30's I started experiencing the problem that is described in these posts. All alcohol seems to give me headaches. As some have mentioned it seems to be random as sometimes I get a bad reaction from just 1 or 2 drinks, and sometimes I can drink much more and no reaction at all? The headaches generally start within 30 mins to one hour after my first drink, continue through the night and are most intense the following day.

I have asked a few different doctors  about this and always get the same reaction. Stop drinking. This is not the point however. I want to know why all of a sudden this started happening. In my earlier years I had no such problems and then it's as if someone threw a switch and I could no longer tolerate alcohol.

I know the simple solution is to stop drinking, but I don't consume nearly as much alcohol as it might seem.  I drink 1-4 beers once a week that's it. Lately of course I drink less and less and at times go for a month without anything at all.

One thing that has not been mentioned which i was wondering about is this: Does anyone notice a different feeling from the alcohol since this started happening? What i mean is, in my case, along with the headaches, there has also been a dramatic lessening of the alcohol effect.  I get less intoxicated, and the intoxication is far less pleasant.  I always wondered if the two were connected.

Also, most have indicated very specific areas where the pain starts and where it goes but for me it is my entire head. Very intense at the base of my skull, but spreading out equally around my entire head.

Anyways, no real solutions that I can offer. I've tried everything mentioned and nothing works. The closest I can come to "relief" is advil liquid gels one before one during and one after. I've only been trying this for a few months but it seems to work at least for now. I just wanted to post here to add to the list of experiences everyone is having and hopefully check back in a while to see if anyone has come up with a solution.

I wish everyone the best of luck with this debilitating condition. Cheers lol
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  I'm the guy with the prolapsed discs!  Have had one or two sessions of deep tissue massage in the shoulder and neck area and, although the other pains have been eased, I still get the headaches after alcohol.  Damn!  However, my masseuse also believes they could well be linked to neck and/or posture problems mentioned by others here as she says she's seen them before.
   Oh well, not quite back to the drawing board, but the jury's still out on the neck connection!
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I also experience all these same problems!  I believe my has something to do with sinus issues but I really don't know.  After doing lots of research the only things that really kicks my headache when it sets in is exercise.  After about 5 mins of exercise my headache will end... Thankfully.. I also have been trying drinking apple cider vinegar, which thins mucus.  I had this same problem 5 years ago, the doctors could not find anything wrong with me from c.a.t scans to Hiv test and nothing was found the problem finally went away.  I moved to Hawaii the last 4 years had no problems what so ever.  The 3rd day I moved back to the mainland I was drinking with some friends and got a really bad headache and now I've been getting them everyday to every other day that wake me up from about 3 to 5 in the morning and anytime I drink... The only thing that stops them fast is exercise, I feel real silly waking up and doing jumping jacks or running in place but it works!!!  I feel like its got to be some kind of allergy since I was fine in Hawaii, but I don't know, I'll I want to do is go out and have some fun with my friends it's killing my social life... Wondering if I should move back?  Last time it lasted 3 months it's been about 2 months now same time of summer as my first reaction.  Anyone have any other answers?  
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Thank you all for your posts.  I have read all of them multiple times and conducted plenty of other research.   The posts are most insightful.  I am in the same club as most everyone else.  If nothing else, it is very encouraging to know I am not alone, and there is a vast array of great ideas and suggestions being shared by those similarly situated.  I would urge everyone to keep the ideas rolling in.  Fifty minds are certainly better than one.

Like everyone else, after one to two drinks, I experience an excruciating headache.  Mine always occurs on the right side of my head.  It will often “move” from the back of my right eye, to the side of my head, to the back of my head, and back and forth, all on the rights side.    It does not matter what type of alcohol, a mixed drink with vodka, beer, wine or even Irish Cream in coffee.  I am 44 years of age and exercise regularly.  I have endured this with regularity now for almost two years.

The pain is so severe that I cannot sleep.  On some occasions, I literally have to walk it off.  It usually lasts two hours or longer, but eventually subsides.  I never wake with a hangover or suffer a lingering headache the next day.  It is always more prevalent of an evening.  Of late, I often suffer mild headaches now when I don’t drink at all of an evening, but drinking definitely exacerbates them in a major way.  My symptoms seem to me synonymous with “cluster headaches”.  I enjoy a drink or cocktail after work, and I do not want to quit drinking or limit myself to just one drink.

Water helps as does aspirin, before, during and after.  But this seems to offer no cure.  I quit smoking for three weeks thinking this might help, but it did not.  Alcohol brought on the same attacks.

I dread going to a doctor but finally broke down and did so.  He has done everything right based on the symptoms presented, but with only limited benefit so far.  An MRI came back fine as did blood tests.  At first, the doctor prescribed Topimarate, also used for seizures.  This just made me groggy.  He then prescribed Propranolol daily, a beta-blocker, along with Imitrex (Sumatriptan) to be taken with the onset of an attack.  The Propranolol has had to no effect after three weeks or so.

I have only taken the Imitrex three times now, with some success.  The first time I took one with the onset of a headache, it seemed to work miraculously!   In fact, I just kept right on drinking my cranberry and vodka well into the evening with no problems.  The last two times I tried it, it seems to have reduced the duration of the headache by approximately half, but was by no means a fix.  The jury is still out, but I am somewhat encouraged with Imitrex.

I am still experimenting as it appears everyone else is.  I have made a couple of observations that might prove helpful to some.  It seems there is a “threshold” headache period I must break through, after which I seem to be OK to drink with no side effects.  My threshold period is invariably of an evening.

I have noticed if my adrenaline level is really high, or I am excited when I begin drinking, such as meeting up with close friends I have not seen in a very, very long time, I seem to more readily get through the threshold period.   I can then drink right on into the evening.  Also, if I am active when I have the first drink or two, such as standing, walking, talking, moving (as opposed to just sitting still), I can get through the threshold period just fine.  If I drink the first drink or two very slowly over a period of time, particularly while remaining active, I can get through the threshold.  Drinking earlier in the day seems to help (although it is not frequently that one wishes to drink early in the day).  On one occasion with the onset of a fierce headache, I forced myself to drink so much water to the point of vomiting.  Oddly enough, twenty minutes later I could drink without any side effects.  

Finally, and probably of most benefit, eating light high carbohydrate foods, such as a couple of hotdogs or bread with peanut butter 30 minutes before I start drinking really seems to help.  Once I get through the “threshold period”, I seem to be fine and I can just keep right on drinking, even moving on to stronger mixed drinks later into the evening.

This is what I have found works for me, but I am still actively testing the waters to get a grip on this thing.  Like others, this has been a very frustrating dilemma, and I will continue to experiment and learn.  Any additional thoughts or suggestions would be very greatly appreciated.
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Ok, so I guess I am an unfortunate member of this club. Just turned 50 last week. Currently being treated for TMJ.  Never really drank any alcohol to speak of until 2 years ago. Started drinking some wine about 2 years ago. Only recently have I noted that I will have a terrible headache after alcohol consumption. I was a little confused because I didn't believe I had drank enough to have a hangover. Also have no other hangover symptoms. Usually after 2-3 glasses of wine will have the terrible headache that is only on left side of neck, running up back of head and ending above eyebrow. I have a bad headache today, and I also have the pain just above left buttock as I have read others have. I am experimenting right now. I am thinking that beer does not give me a headache, nor tequila as in a margarita. I have tried taking some activated charcoal tablets before retiring after drinking alcohol, and have noticed that I will not have a headache the next morning. Activated charcoal absorbs the alcohol.
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   I don't know if all these postings have made any inroads into this (fairly recent?) problem at all.  'jimgreg's posting  >>dehydration  and blood p..and contrition of brain vessels and brain waves..im a medical advocate << ... doesn't actually suggest any treatment / action whilst Rowena Santos MD suggests, I think, that skeletal/posture problems can, indeed, cause these symptoms.
   Personally, the ONLY thing that helps me during these headaches is a concentrated straightening of the back and posture and finger pressure on the top of the shoulder where it joins the neck.  Also, if I happen to be in a bath or hot tub or similar whereby I can slide down so that the hard rim of the tub creates pressure on that area, again it goes away - sometimes only temporarily, but it does go away.
   The question is whether we're all suffering from the same thing or there are variations on this theme.  It would seem that a large percentage of those posting here do seem to be suffering identical symptoms and, therefore, it would not be unreasonable to expect that similar treatments would be on benefit.
   The only nagging questions are why this appears to be a comparatively recent arrival on the medical scene and how exactly alcohol exacerbates the problem - if it is skeletal in origin?
   Either way, we just gotta keep going folks!
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Guess Ill chime in....
age 37
white male
no known health issues
Used to drink like a fish, normal hangovers

Stopped drinking for many years but started again (recreational) with no problems.  Then all of a sudden about 6 years ago couldn't drink more than one drink.  Two would cause massive throbbing (migraine like) symptoms in the right frontal just above my eye brow.  To the point where I have had to go to the emergency room twice now.  My mother is a nurse and the first time it happened we thought it was a migraine (I had never had one my entire life so I didn't know what one felt like but I definitely knew this was not a hangover.  She gave me a large red capsule prescription med that she had for headaches and cramps during her period. (cant remember the name) They worked within 10 minutes and I thought I found the miracle pill. (you would too if you found something that got rid of a migraine in 10 minutes)  So next time I went out I popped another pill and all was good.  Thinking I was a rock star once again next time I went out did the same but it didn't work this time (had to go to the er where they gave me a shot of something and it helped but didn't cure)  I told them about the problem and they ran blood work but nothing was abnormal.

So being man of science, I decided to be a gini pig and start to test some of the theories knowing one thing for sure if I drank two drink I would get the pain.

Variables I tested were as follows:

Hydration, made sure to hydrate during the day, making sure that urine was clear before I had the two drinks (drinks were vodka Belva up and dirty)    Results severe pain   something that seamed to help was to get on my knees and put my forehead on the floor with my arms above my head and rock forward and back.  Sounds funny but you will do anything to make the pain stop.  Trust me!

Full stomach (good healthy foods, no grease or fast food)  two drinks (corona)  same pain as before.  Rocking helped.

Empty stomach  - two corona  - same pain
Dehydrated - Two drinks (black label)  - same pain ended up in  hospital  could hardly open my right eye and was sensitive to light.

So it didn't seem to matter hydrated or not, or stomach contents, but brown liquor seemed to trigger much greater pain.  (I'm not native American, I understand some of them have issues with brown liquor as well)

Next test meds....
Ice pack to the head  - helped slightly
stick on icy hot  - helped slightly
antihistamine  no help
aspirin  swallowed no help
aspirin sucked on - slight help
BC powder - slight help
Tylenol extra strength (dont know why someone would take anything but extra strength but thats for another topic)  no help
Mydol - slight help
V8  seemed to help so I thought it was electrolyte issues and found salty pretzels help and after eating a couple saw a jar of nuts on the shelf and took a hand full of  hazelnuts and macadamian nuts, almost instantly they eased the pain.  

Tried this again and the pain this time did easy up but didn't have the same effect as last time.

Knowing these nuts have high fat content may have something to do with it.  But they definitely did ease the pain slightly.

As for the Aspartame (just knowing how they make that stuff, common sense would tell you its toxic) if this were the case chewing gum would trigger it, since almost all gum has it (evil evil evil, same as the fluoride in the water = accumulative poison just look at the back of your tooth paste tube and then switch to NON Fluoride paste)
So I don't think its either of those but by looking at the age of everyone it would seem to be something that has accumulated over time to a point then all of a sudden it starts (this my be something since all other variables seem to be across the board) weight, hydration, other health issues, etc.  the common thread is everyone could drink normally until one day around mid to late 20's to mid 30's seems to be a hot area.

So now after subjecting myself to 15 or so of these episodes I have to take a break.  They don't seem to get worse but are about consistent after two drinks.  With increased symptoms if the liquor is brown.
The pain is debilitating and puts me out of commission for the next day, that's for sure.  So its someone elses  turn to pick up the testing.  I need a break.

Hope this was helpful.
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Just a thought:-  I'm wondering if the 'common thread' you mention isn't, in fact, the age at onset (i.e. mid-20s to late 30's or whatever), but the number of years ago that everyone started noticing these headaches?  In my case, as in yours it would appear, six years ago would be about right.  Anyone else want to scotch that one?
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"You gotta' eat --- if you're going to drink!"

Before he died, I remember Tim Russert credited this frequent family quote to his father, "Big Russ" in an interview promoting his book, "Wisdom of Our Fathers."  I have not read the book, but I believe Tim grew up in an Irish Catholic family that engaged in heavy drinking on occasion, particularly at family gatherings.  Apparently, this was one of Big Russ' favorite sayings.  After the book was released, Big Russ apparently corrected Tim by telling him this saying actually should have been credited to a Dr. Matty Burke, whom he acquired it from AND it applied specifically to drinking.

Regardless, since my last post, I am finding eating food prior to drinking more than anything else, seems to be the best cure for my headaches.   I am finding the only way to avoid a headache is to eat something 30 minutes or so before I drink.  If I choose to drink anything before eating, I have to limit myself to no more than one (light) drink beforehand.  I combine this with a couple of Ibuprofin at the same time, or just before I eat.  It need not be a full meal, but it needs to be more substantive than a few peanuts or pretzels. An apple or a couple of bananas won't work.  As I said before, it seems a couple of hot dogs or peanut butter on two slices of bread seems to work.  A couple of spareribs and some pasta salad has also worked.   I have not been brave enough to try just the food without the Ibuprofen, but this is likely what I'll experiment with next.  

I especially appreciate Dallasgoldbug's post, as I can almost fully relate to his experience.    I have approached this scientifically, as well, but I really appreciate the posts on everything he has tried that has NOT seemed to help.  My experiences are so similar, but I did not lay them out nearly as well as he did.

For others who have experienced these problems, there is a very similar post running at:   http://www.*****************/neurology/forums/backup/topic-6387.html.   However, it is not as well developed as this forum, and is much less informative.   It's another area to continue tracking for potential answers.

Age does seem to be a factor, as mentioned by Mark46.  However, I don't believe it's any "new" additive in our foods.  We have all known friends or relatives that at some point in their lives, gave up drinking almost entirely.  Back in December, Bow4446 posted that his father seemed to all but give up drinking, and perhaps this is why.  I have to believe our bodies simply change as we grow older, including our abilities to process and digest alcohol.

Regardless, I would encourage people to try the "high carb" food and pain reliever combination prior to drinking.  I would like to hear if this is working for others besides myself.  Perhaps, Dr. Burke was on to something.
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I love how no one takes us seriously...as soon as the words "...after I had a few drinks..." come out of your mouth it's like you're a lush that forgot you downed two bottles of wine.  I take Maxalt (as does one of the other posters here) and it's the only thing that works for me.  I can have two drinks and actually be over the toilet a few hours later from the amount of pain I'm dealing with.  They've grown steadily worse with time and it takes less drinks now to set them in motion.  Maxalt works as a vaso-constrictor (not a pain killer) so as long as you can keep it down it should work.  It's an "abortive" meaning that you take it as the headache sets in.  It also comes in a melt-on-your-tongue form to get it into your system faster.  I'm wary of taking it with alcohol, but haven't had a problem yet...not that I put down more than one drink after I've had it.  It usually makes you feel kind of drowsy.  If you have a good relationship with your doctor, bring it up as something to try, it certainly works for me.  I thought it was interesting to see that topicals like Head-On actually worked for people, I'll have to give that a try next time I'm waiting for my Maxalt to kick in.  Falling asleep with your neck on an ice pack isn't what I would call a good time!!!  Best of luck to everyone!
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I too have this infliction! and stopped drinking alcohol, mainly beer, about 15 years ago and the pumping headaches went. i had eye tests but my eyes are good enough not to need glasses. i am fit and run weekly with a club. I then started to drink again (we all gotta now and again right) and the headaches have returned like mad. i noticed that Bud, is an instant trigger so i stay well clear, and any drink that kinda tastes "hoppy" or warm beer which is a killer for some reason. JD, fine but you look like an alchy and the new Cider drinks are pretty good so far.
I had 4 pints this friday, Carling cold from a pump, and still have the headache sunday night, and have necked 8 500mg paracetemol tablets and its still slightly there. But i did have a "top" so it contained lemonade which has got to contain some sweetners right!
Maybe ill stick with the "easy rider" (cider)
Maybe its the sweetner
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Me too! 33, used to be able to drink a reasonable amount without any problems, but my tolerance dropped off rapidly 5/6 years ago, and now with 1 drink I WILL get the whole headache, nausea thing that can easily last a couple of days.

The only things I would like to add are that painkillers (any otc) after drinking, but before the pain starts work well, but if I wait ("you never know, maybe I'll be ok this time, I did only have 1....") until my head starts to hurt then painkillers don't have any effect.

Also, I get the same problem from spending time in dusty environments, so the "just don't drink" argument that my doctor has also used doesn't help.

Anyway, I am pleased to have found this thread. Keep up the good work!
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I'm seriously shocked.  I'm 29 and every since New Years of 2008 I've been having these blasted headaches, typically within 30 minutes of consuming any alcoholic beverage.  I get a clean bill of health from the Dr's, I'm not on medications.  I can have wine coolers but I think the only reason is the alcohol content is so low.  My headaches stay in on spot and don't move.  They sit on the right side from the temple to mid cranium about an inch in either direction  I, too, thought I was the only one with this condition, and it make me feel a little better knowing that there are others, but that scares me as well.  ibuprofen helps me as long as I take it within 30-60 prior to alcohol consumption but once it's on, the only thing that'll make it go away is sleep.  I was a soldier in the US Army for 5 years and did some heavy drinking, so I figure that I had fun while I could and now I'm making up for it.  Who knows.  Good luck to us all  
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After reading another forum regarding this topic, one poster suggested Mycelium.  She mentioned she took it for a week and her headaches disappeared.  There wasn't a follow up so I don't know if there was a continued affect.  Perhaps someone wants to give this a go and report back on it's effectiveness.  I really don't know what form she took it in, though, I've researched a bit and it looks like you can purchase organic coffee with mycelium as well as some nutritional supplements.  Anyway, I just thought I'd mention this.  
If you're wondering why I haven't tried it, it's because I don't suffer from this; my husband does.  I was just reading up on it today to see if anything might help him and thought I'd share what I found.  He's not real open to trying things, but a lot of you seem to be.  Maybe I can get him to try it and get back to you.
Good luck, everyone.  You'd think a pharmaceutical company would see all this info. and really get on it.  ...looks like there would be a big market for a solution.
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One more thing:  My husband swears that his alcohol/headache issues began very shortly after receiving the series of Hepatitis B shots.  Can anyone else trace their problems back to that?  ...an interesting possibility - both are linked to the liver.
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to all my alcoholic headache sufferers...I too have the same problem and similar if not same story. In my early twenties I would be able to drink the night away and have very little hangover the next day but since the start of my mid twenties the headaches began. I would say around 25-ish. I'm now 29 and still suffer from these headaches. I've tried everything but the headaches persist. I say forget alcohol and we should all meet up and have a alcohol-free party........what am I saying...can someone please figure this out. I've realized the medical world don't care for us nor do they care to help us. We are definitely on our own...Keep up the good fight everyone and hopefully by the grace of god one of us can stumble upon a permanent solution. CHEERS to all of our drinking memories of the past.

Allen C  
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I'm glad I found this forum because I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!  How can I drink just one single beer and get the worst excruciating, debilitating headaches?  Why?
This all started about 5 years ago and I have come to the realization that I really can't drink socially anymore.  It takes me 2-3 days to recover with bouts of nausea and vomiting.  Really?  From just one beer I drank 16 hours ago?
Anyway, the reason I wanted to post was because in my quest to find some relief to this problem I would take the typical dosage of Aprin, tylenol, motrin or aleve when the headaches would start.  Now I have developed an allergy to all over the counter pain medication.  I break out severly in hives and my hands and feet swell.  Now I can't take anything for the pain and my doctor thinks I'm a wack job and prescribed me a medication that pretty much knocks me out anyway.
PLEASE, someone find out what causes this.
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Question for everyone:
I'm noticing 2 things that have been mentioned by many.
1.  Military service.
     Mine was Air Force

2.  The time frame of when problems started about 7 years back I believe.  So I was about 30 years old.

Does any one know of any shot or drug that came out during that time?  or any particular event maybe environmental or something where there could have been some contamination of food during that time that could have carried some biological "bug" in to us.

Location:  I grew up on East Coast Philadelphia but moved around quite a bit.  My problems started while I was in living in Texas Dallas to be exact.  Anyone out there have similar experiences?

Feel free to send to "****** **** *** ** **** *** ***"
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Thanks for the compliment.  But as to your "bodies just change" theory, this cant be responsible, or we would have heard about the same problems from the generations that are older than us,  My grandfather said he never heard about anything like it, neither could he recall anyone older than he, mentioning suffering from this problem.

Its as if something our generation experienced that over time or some event triggered this thing.  As in my case I mentioned I didn't know what a migraine was, until that first time.  Up until then I always thought migraines were just bad headache, never thought for a second one could put me down and out for a day (as no hangover had been able to do because of my Rock Star super powers ;-)  

So its as if a switch was thrown or a build up of something toxic reached a max and made its presence known.  Only thing I can think of that is known to build up in the body is Fluoride.  

Now let me ask a strange question that may make many of you look at the statement with a bewildered look on your face.   Fluoride is known to build up in the Pineal gland, and calcify the fluid inside it.  If you are not aware of the function of the pineal gland, well get in line because most main stream Dr are too.  Not too much research has been done on it  (or at least released to the general public) but what we do know is it has massive amounts of blood flow routed to it, it produces DMT and documented drug with effects that are just now being scientifically tested.  It plays a part in our dreaming and the levels of calcification have been scientific shown to correlate with the persons physical appearance/age.  People with larger area of calcification show to have aged (or cell deterioration) far more than those who have not.

The Pineal glad like i mentioned plays a role during our dream state, and the release of DMT is what causes you to loose your memory of dreams just shortly after you get up.  Many time I have had a dream where I had a great idea, and out of simple laziness and thinking Ill remember it, chose to not write it down immediately after I woke up, just to faintly remember that I had such a dream but the particulars of the dream are gone, wiped away.

With that being said I used to dream very vividly growing up as to the point where I could solve problems that I set my mind to before going to sleep and wake up with the ability (after writing them down on a notepad I slept next to)  to solve the task.

After I started having these migraines (for lack of better word) the dreaming as I was used to became rare in occurrence.  I remember not being able to dream (or recall having a dream) for many years after the onset.  I have within the past year switched to non fluoridated tooth paste "Tom's" brand which is available in walmart and cut out all tap water drinking along with as much GMO foods as possible, and my dreaming has slowly started to return. (even got a patent on one of my ideas I thought of while dreaming, an electrode for a water electrolysis  fuel cell to run motors on H2O)  so I know for a fact that I am getting back my old ability.

Im wondering more and more if this blood flow situation and the Fluoride build up over time has something to do with it?

Any thoughts?
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Hi everyone
                   I am so glad i have found others with this problem , im 55 and 2 yrs ago the same thing started happening to me, after 2 drinks i had to go home to bed .Massive head aches which made me feel sick.
When ever i told anyone about this no one had heard of it . i do have back and neck problems and im seeing a chiropractor , but nothing helps me get past 2-3 alcoholic drinks . It is of some comfort to know im not alone.
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I get the same exact headaches. They start in my ear/throut cavity. I get extremely painful headaches and have had to stop drinking all together. I used to drink a lot back in the day. I also have severe back pain, but never thought they could be related. I need some help with a remedy.
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Been dealing with this also since late 20s. Thought I was allergic to red wine and cutting that out for years helped some but for the past 10 years (I'm 49) ALL alcohol has this effect on me.

In solving a problem it's important to use the process of ellimination when you can. So, I think we can delete the posture (back, spine, neck, bone) stuff. You have the same posture when you aren't drinking and no headaches there. So this is truly an alcohol related issue.

Another ellimination is that it's something new in the booze. The manufacturers would be on this so quick and get it stopped as look at all the dollars they are losing by the significant number of people who can't drink anymore.

I disagree that military service has any connection - I've only counted 2 people in this thread that point to a military background.

One mentioned a noticeable change in the amount of "buzz" he gets from drinking compared to younger years and I agree with this. Less buzz. But we may be the only two.

One thing we know for sure: This is a change in our system and it isn't gradual. It is abrupt and increases with age. Mine also was like flipping a switch.

We are all chasing remedies, and we should be, but there still seems to be no answer as to WHY? If our lifestyles were unchanged (eating, exercise, environment, etc..) at the time of this change - then WHY?

Thanks to all of you for posting these comments. Misery does love company. I understand the comment about these being called "suicide headaches" - they are the only thing that has ever made me think of such a thing, even if only for a second. Sad but death looks damn good when you are into your 5th hour of one of these things. (And I've been through natural child birth twice!!!)

I'll share my fix for what it's worth: Excedrin (I chew them or grind them and dissolve in water for quicker action) for daytime use - if I cannot afford the luxury of going home to bed. AND... double dose of Nyquil Nighttime if I can afford to go home to bed - this knocks me out for several hours and I wake up when it's all over. These two things have NEVER failed me and I've been using them for 20 years now.

I pray some group of doctors or scientists somewhere read this thread and care enough to get involved. Until then, I just can't take it anymore. I will stop drinking ANY alcohol. I'm still in my pjs at 11 a.m. and reading the Web for help on a morning following an evening where I tried to be NORMAL and drink a little wine (1.5 glasses, white) with food and friends. NOT WORTH IT!!!
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Please watch the documentary "What in the world are they spraying"  You will learn the effects of breathing in a heavy metal like Aluminum and your bodies inability to remove it.  So over time the breathing in of these particulates in the air are building up in your sinus area and then oxidizing and causing the problems that we are all facing.  This is why it takes a long period to have it build up and no cases really were reported until about 10 or so years back which is when they began the Geoengineering program.

Go get tested and see if the sinus tissue doesn't test positive for aluminum and barium.  This spraying must stop and it must

DallasGoldBug
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Easy fix; Eat more complexe carbohydrates. As I aged, I also found that headaches were more & more frequent and could be triggered by just one drink. It didn't matter wine, beer, liquor, etc... So that rules out everything but the alcohol. Since I have added 2 to 3 slices of whole wheat bread to my daily diet, I have been able to return to social drinking with NO HEADACHES! I also try and drink on a full stomach. Please post your results!
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http://www.*****************.com/20090204058.pdf

Notice it talks about the build up in the sinus and the restriction of blood flow.

DallasGoldBug
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  Interesting to read the post from DallasGoldBug - and also (eventually) find the .pdf referred to ... but how does it relate materially to the sufferers on the website?  I think most of us would agree that it's worth trying more or less anything, but how do we go about this 'remedy'?
   Personally, I am now at the stage where it's obvious alcohol is the trigger but, in my own case at least, it's definitely worsened by bad posture - i.e. 'slumping' into a chair afterwards.  Standing up is never quite so bad.
   Again, personally, there's also little doubt that the temporary 'cure' is straightening up my spine so that it's as rigid as I can consciously make it and then pushing my chin in (a la military 'stand to attention' pose).  Have also tried gel pads like the 'Kool 'n' Sooth' for Migraine ones we get here in the UK (or even plain picnic ice packs) with some success.
   Long-term, the jury's still out I think?
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I have been suffering from this over the last year presently 42 but was the lack of training I now dont do. You know kids work etc.....  All the training helps flushes toxins from your body excessive sweat etc...
For me it was only certain types of beer that triggered it like San Miguel yuck !!! but my old man (big time professional alcholic sad but true) he said to me flush your liver little boy! (yes at 42 im still a boy) any way now after a few weeks of this wisdom I seem fine. So try its its cheap fix. When I get in from drinking I have 1 pint of water and 2-4 teaspoons of Andrews, Enos or salts (or similiar in USA)depending on how heavy I drink. Give it a week or so but make sure the bathroom is clear esle it could get messy :-) Make sure you drink plenty fluid next day.  I flush my system say once a month as I can't train.

Sounds profound but works for me. I really hope this helps you cause it was really annoying me. My guess was the headaches was the liver/kidneys telling my brian you are screwing me stop it or fix it. I must admit i dont drink as much as used to now anyway.  

My mum was nurse I have heard the stories of liver failure. She said "oh they last about 20 minutes max when they come in with that!" then what happens. "They die silly"
I will also go back to the sauna see if that helps even more  too i will post back with results of my theory. I stayed away from pills as i thought it would screw my liver more especially mixed with alcohol.
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crap! sorry it deleted out the url  just go to google patent search and put in that patent number.

My intent wasn't that we need to try this thing out.  It was to shed light on the root cause for the pain.  Aluminum is only thought to enter the body through deodorant and possibly from beverage containers.  The thought of aluminum in your sinus area is only made possible through inhalation.  And I dont know about you but inhaling heavy metals is not something I do on purpose.  The arousal spraying called GeoEngineering by the government /and Chemtrails by those of us who call it like we see it, has several patents for spraying aluminum particulates in the sky to block the harmful rays from the sun (this is the theory so they say)  it also created a green house effect the increases the overall temp (this is so they can attempt to justify the global warming scam and place carbon taxes on everyone.)  They (meaning the scientific community that met at the climate 2010 conference in San Fran outlined the use of millions of tons of aluminum , barium ,and other material to be introduced by way of arousal spray from aircraft.  The only catch is they also are quick to point out they have done no research as to the harmful effects it causes living organisms.  Again not my idea, and I hope you would look it up before screaming conspiracy theorists.

Anyway, the inhalation of these heavy metals is consistent with what this recent patent discusses.  It also outlines the effects such as reduced blood flow to the frontal area just above the eyes.  So when we drink the reaction of the alcohol cause the inflammation. Here is an excerpt from the Patent:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In Alzheimer's Disease (AD), the cleavage of beta amyloid protein precursor from the intracellular membrane often produces a protein AB-42 which is incompletely removed by normal clearance processes. Over time, this protein is deposited as a beta amyloid protein Aβ plaque within brain tissue, leading to the local destruction of neurons. The Aβ plaque deposition is also believed to provoke an inflammatory response by microglia and macrophages. These cells are believed to respond to the plaque deposition by releasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although the inflammatory response may be provoked in an effort to clear the brain tissue of the detrimental plaque, it is now believed that this inflammation also injures local neuronal tissue, thereby exacerbating AD.

High levels of aluminum, copper, iron, and zinc have been found in the brains of AD patients. For example, Finefrock, J. Am. Geriatr. Soc., 51, 1143-1148, (2003)

It has been hypothesized by Finefrock, supra, that age-related dyshomeostasis and environmental accumulation are responsible for these high metal levels.

Furthermore, it is believed that these heavy metals play a critical role in the precipitation of BAP. It is known that BAP binds to these heavy metals and even has highly specific binding sites for copper. Accordingly, high levels of these heavy metals have been found in BAP plaques. Huang, J. Nutrition, 2000, May 130(5S Supp.) 1488S-92S).

Moreover, since both copper and iron are redox active, these metal-laden deposits act as catalysts for cell-free redox reactions that generate hydrogen peroxide and consequently highly toxic hydroxyl radical.

Accordingly, it is believed that higher-than-normal levels of heavy metals in the brain are deleterious because they not only promote the deposition of BAP plaques, a portion of them promote oxidative stress when deposited.

Aluminum is of particular concern. It has long been hypothesized that aluminum plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of AD, although this point has remained controversial. Nonetheless, according to Gupta, Cell Mol. Life Sci., 2005 Jan. 62(2) 143-58, the neurotoxic effects of aluminum are beyond any doubt. Moreover, it has further been reported that, once it has entered the brain, aluminum is fairly persistent. Yokel, Toxicol. Sciences, 64, 77-82 (2001) has hypothesized an aluminum half-life in the rat brain of about 150 days, and in the human brain of about 12 years. According to Yokel, supra, repeated aluminum exposure paired with aluminum persistence produces aluminum accumulation. Therefore, the neurotoxicity and the long-half life of aluminum have made it a potential therapeutic target for AD.
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... which means ... ??? (!!!)
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I too suffer along with all of you. However try an herbal remedy called  FEVERFEW. It's available in a tablet. I take two 125mg tablets a day. To prevent both the onset of typical migraines and alcohol induced migraines. It works for me.
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I've been getting alcohol headaches for years and whenever I talk to a doctor about it, I get nothing ... but one doctor said to take aspirin 45 minutes before you start to drink and it will help.  It does ... it doesn't completely eliminate the headache but it opens the blood vessels so that I can nurse a drink in a social situation.  I also drink copious amounts of water ... it's also a good excuse to order pasta, eat bread etc ... something to absorb the alcohol.  I'd love to have a nice glass of Pinot once in a while without suffering the headache, but it's not worth the pain and recovery period ... at least I'll never have a drinking problem so maybe it's a good thing too.   Excederin for Migrains is my drug of choice for most everything ... take one tablet with a Starbucks Frappacino and in 20 minutes I'm high on life. The combination of the extra caffine and blended ice with the Excederin works wonders.  Ice packs also work ... sometimes I fall asleep with an ice pack on the back of my neck.    I get lots of headaches, not just from alcohol, and these are my favorite remedies.  
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Which means the inhalation of the Heavy metal and the gradual accumulation over a period of time causes the area that is sensitive to inflammation typical to that of a hang over to be greatly sensitive.  The toxic nature of this metal once oxidized is something that should cause concern. Examining the similar stories we see similar location of pain, similar cause of, no specific age, but similar backgrounds, it would cause me to seriously look at the geoengineering spraying that is taking place DAILY over our heads.  The samples of snow on remote mountain tops tests 60 times the amount of aluminum that is normally found.  These samples are not in any way subjected to industrial pollution or contamination since they are untouched.  

Please watch "what in the world are they spraying" you can find it on youtube to learn the specifics of what Im talking about.

I am willing to subject myself to testing if any DR's are interested in doing the work.  I would think testing tissue in from the sinus area for aluminum, chromium, and sulphur compounds (which is in the geoengineering arial spray patents as the material of choice) might give us some hard data.

At the very least just the fact that there is a device that can remove aluminum from the brain, and possibly eliminate AH is something we should all look into just for that reason alone.
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Thanks Mark for starting this.  Now I feel "normal"...
I'm 49.  It started about a year ago.  Last week I asked my wife to buy me the most expensive non-alcoholic beer at the store.  She brought me a pack of Beck's.  I'm serious...  I think the headache was worse.  I didn't want to believe it.  I drank another one the following day.  Sick like a dog the next morning.  
There is less than 0.5% of alcohol in this beer.
Pathetic...
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I have been suffering from tthe same types f headaches too. Mine occur on the right side. They have been occuring more frequently with one or more drinks. Sometimes they appear to come out of nowhere but I have also noticed that they come around on occasion when I have tomato sauce. Other times I can drink all night and have no issues. My doctors dont pay much mind to it. I have found that Aleve Cold & Sinus has worked wonders for me.
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Just found this thread and thought I would add my 2 cents. Ive beening getting cluster headaches for 5+ yrs now. Im 36. Always seasonal, alway left side from my neck to ear, to behind my eye. Alway induced with even a sip of alcohol, For instance, working on my snowmobile last night two beers at 9-10pm. When to bed at 11:00. 1am crushing CLUSTER. I get up, Two advil 1 vicodine broke in half. Lay back down suffer for 15-20 min. So thats how I deal with it. My cycles last usually 2 weeks this time of year and sometimes in the spring. Sometimes I get the shadow headache which means a cluster his comming. B-line for 2 advil and a vicodine and I can usually beat the full on cluster.


Another solution is to drink past it. I bowl in a league every other saturday and since I am in my cycle I will start out with a shot or two then drink many beers, end with a shot. Yes I have a designated driver.
This works too. But If you have to get loaded and drink past the cluster window.
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I have had just the same problems for 15 years now. I have a PhD in Pharmacology and so have tried various drug combinations and anything other than a triptan will not work for me.
I find a combination of naratriptan (similar to sumitriptan) for migraines (prescription only), ibuprofen and codeine (nurofen plus in the UK) totally relieve the headache in around 20 mins, providing they are taken with food. Although I have this "cure" which has been totally life-changing for me, I would prefer to stop the headache happening in the first place.
I do find that some beers and other alcohol are fine and yet some will trigger the migraine within an hour or so. Always around my right temple around behind the eye and down into the shoulder which sounds incredibly similar to others - I am excited to find out it is not just me!
Beers that are fine for me include Corona, Sol, Brahma, Becks Vier - mainly pale lagers, but San Miguel and Peroni trigger a headache very quickly which I have also found baffling. In terms of wine I find non-oaked white wines are generally alright and rum (light or dark) rarely affects me.
I recently met someone who suggested that this might be related to Sulfites which are used as preservatives in some foods, beers and wines and there is a lot of discussion on the web about this link betweeen Sulfites and Migraines.e.g
http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/dr_blaylock/sulfite_danger_in_food/2010/05/13/315267.html
Common "culprits" for high sulfites include beer, wine, ketchup (which someone else mentioned above), dried fruits, corn starch/syrup. I have seen some indications that vitamin B12 is good at protecting agianst the allergy and so am going to give that a go too.
Has anyone else looked into this as I am yet to test the theory out? And has anyone else made lists of drinks that do or do not trigger the headaches to share with others?
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Same, same, same. Won't repeat it all, but all been mentioned here. Ditto what lorelco said - Excedrin Migraine taken the night of drinking always kills it, but worried it might be killing my liver too since it has Acetominophen. Also take Maxalt the migraine med. which most always does the trick, but more effective for actual migraines than the alcohol headaches. Someone mentioned Hep B shots, which I also got before the headaches began, so may be a connection. But like I said, I also suffer from migraines, so not sure. Interesting though. Haven't tried mycellium or upping carbos, or liver flush, but again, could work. One Dr. calls these "soon-after headaches" and talks about them on abcnews.go.com. He says they are genetic and it's the non-alcoholic elements of what's in the drink that is causing the headaches, not the alcohol itself.
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   Hear what you say - BUT ... unless these 'non-alcoholic elements' come together in any other product, then it's a case of 'not-the-case-in-my-case'.  Personally, I only ever get these headaches with alcohol.  And there doesn't appear to be any genetic link for me either.  'Nil desperandum' everyone - we WILL crack this ... and then we can all meet up for a drink ... or two!!!
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Try a spoonful of sugar in a glass of water and consume quickly. The headache should disappear within minutes.

I've had these in the past, and had them go away for years and recently came back. It seems to be a sugar withdrawlal of some sort doing something to the tension of the muscles and possibly the scalp.....it hurts like hell on the left side of my temple, and often all the way to my neck.

I found this cure many years ago when I studied heroin withdrawal symptoms.
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   That's an interesting one.  I'm putting two and two together here and possibly coming up with a million but I have just been diagnosed as on the cusp of Type 2 Diabetes (apparently along with most of the UK's sedentary and obese-ish population) and, in layman's thoughts, am wondering if there's a 'sugar' connection here?  I suppose that is one thing that would interact/change the effects of alcohol but would have thought it would be an excess of sugar that triggered it rather than a deficiency.  Interesting or not?
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Add me to the list. I thought I was unique in this problem. One or two drinks and I am struck with a violent pulsating migraine. I have tried everything to prevent this, but nothing works. I have paced myself, drank water, switched alcohol...I can't seem to get around it. This started around 8 years ago. I'm 33 now. It's a bummer and it baffles me. I also usually get extremely tired when I drink. I've had thorough blood tests...I am a migraine sufferer.
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Well, Alcohol is broken down into sugars by our body. It was interesting to me that before I found this small relief with the sugar water that even if  I stopped drinking for a month I would still suffer one of these headaches from time to time. This is something that works for me much faster than advil or tylenol. I feel relief within minites of drinking the sugar water.
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I send out some love to all of you in regards to your suffering.  Mind numbing and exhausting to say the least..right.?  I will do a back flip if "sugar water" stops THE PAIN. 37yr old male 13+ yrs suffering.  2-6 BC Powders helped in the middle years.  All matter of pill combos from Asprin to Oxycotin none considered to be a cure...not in the least against THE PAIN.  Seasonal loading up on "old" Sudafed ingrediant Pseudoephedrine helped move things arouund with less throbbing at times. Left side neck, temple, eye, cheek.  Holding those areas with pressure can give some releif early on. I have had sinus surgery (botched and hit left side frontal lobe while cleaning that pocket out above left eye..spent a week in ICU), (2) root canals done on both top molars in attempts to drive out THE PAIN.  After spending who knows what on meds and doctors as I sit here tonight THE PAIN has finally reached a point at which I can no longer justify having a drink.  I love my drinks, but THE PAIN is too much.  I am worried about the cumulative affect of aluminum/heavy metal spraying in the atmosphere that The White House has admitted to, and it is very troubling that many municipal water supplies are fluoridated and the fluoride accumulates in the Pineal Gland and the bones.  I am interested in the gland infection theory from TECHEZEE.  I am going to do a few tests when I have the courage to drink again and will report back.  I thank everyone who keeps this stream running.  Take care.
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Just started suffering these headaches as well.  I am only a social drinker but finding it is no longer fun.  Even one small drink of any type (vodka, wine, beer, tequila, whiskey etc) will cause a 12-15 hour extreme headache.  Asked the guys at the liquor store and one asked if I was lactose intolerant. I found this interesting because I became lactose intolerant about 6 months ago.  He said it was likely an enzyme issue and he had heard of this before. Unfortunately, there is no Lactaid type pill for this problem. My father is a physician at the Mayo Clinic and has not heard of any of this.  I was at his house this evening and had half of a vodka soda and now i have a headache coming on.  My sister gave me a Maxalt (prescription migraine medication) the other day and it helped but I don't want to take that every time I have a drink.  Hope to find some sort of answer.  
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   I'm sure we'll eventually get there if we can keep this going until we do.  
   The possible sugar involvement in these days of increasing Diabetes is definitely worth a thought in my mind - although I still can't get my head round sugar/water being a possible aid.  In my limited knowledge, the only time you would give sugar to a diabetic is surely when the pancreas is not producing enough insulin (?).  
   Either way, many interesting theories coming in now - but, possibly, the most interesting one is the lack of interest/knowledge from the medics themselves.  Would this suggest either a completely new issue which is genuinely hitherto-unknown or (conspiracy theory coming up!), the powers-that-be DO know what's causing it but don't want to alarm the populace? (!!!).  
   Overall, I've never backed away from a battle in my life ... apart from that, I like an evening drink too much.
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this has been coming and going with me since i was 25.  completely agonizing.
in my case having an alcoholic girlfriend doesn't help at all, but i've noticed something lately -
had a beer, then the subsequent agonizing headache, once that went away i ended up drinking again a little later in the evening, running up a 65 dollar tab with little to no migranal effect whatsoever.  after a bit of experimentation i found out this is recurrent, for me at least.
perhaps it is similar to the ideas people have posted about "drinking through it" but without wasting your money on booze while your brain is in such a state.  i'm curious as to knowing if this happens with anyone else, but do not condone trying this as the initial headache still very much DOES occur.  if this is indeed prominent among other people who suffer the same syndrome, could really rule out a lot.
it's no long term solution to be sure, but hey i suppose it's something if you can control WHEN it happens.  certainly an interesting result of self-experimentation.
best of luck to everyone here.
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this has been coming and going with me since i was 25.  completely agonizing.
in my case having an alcoholic girlfriend doesn't help at all, but i've noticed something lately -
had a beer, then the subsequent agonizing headache, once that went away i ended up drinking again a little later in the evening, running up a 65 dollar tab with little to no migranal effect whatsoever.  after a bit of experimentation i found out this is recurrent, for me at least.
perhaps it is similar to the ideas people have posted about "drinking through it" but without wasting your money on booze while your brain is in such a state.  i'm curious as to knowing if this happens with anyone else, but do not condone trying this as the initial headache still very much DOES occur.  if this is indeed prominent among other people who suffer the same syndrome, could really rule out a lot.
it's no long term solution to be sure, but hey i suppose it's something if you can control WHEN it happens.  certainly an interesting result of self-experimentation.
best of luck to everyone here.
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just to let you know from experience, ,   drinking alcohol is a known trigger for migraines, it could be that you have latent migraines that are being triggered by drinking. I had to stop drinking because of my migraines. it was just not worth the pain to enjoy the drink. just my two cents worth here.
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I wonder if any of you have the active fungus tinea versicolor on their skin? We all have the fungus in our system but only some people show it as a skin ailment. White, red or brownish flaky or slightly raised patches, usually on the upper trunk, arms and back - sometimes behind the knees.

I've had this all my life and have always had a very low tolerance to alcohol but only recently (I'm near 50) has it gotten so bad that I can't even have a 1/2 glass of wine without a nearly immediate headache. And if I have 2 or 3 drinks the headache can last for 3 days or more! I used to be able to drink at least a couple of glasses of wine.

I must admit I don't eat as much as I used to - as I've gotten older I have to really watch it or I'll gain weight. I'm moderately active but not an athlete by any means.

I wonder if it could be related to an overgrowth of fungus in the system that makes people sensitive to the yeast and/or tyramine in the alcohol? Or maybe the liver is working too hard because of the fungal overgrowth?

I've been taking Milk Thistle to try and help cleanse my liver (just in case other toxins have built up) and I do use Excedrine Migraine with some success. I also get monthly migraines that seem to be related to too much estrogen in relation to progesterone. I take high doses of Magnesium, Lysine and Milk Thistle as well as use Progesterone cream to help offset this but the alcohol seems to be a MAJOR trigger, whereas I seem to be okay with sauerkraut or soy, etc.
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I get a headache (all around the head) lasting 12 to 36 hours beginning the next morning after with as little as 12 oz. of beer or even just 4 oz. of any wine.  Often the headache will begin shortly after the first beer.  Over the past 5 years roughly it gradually took less and less alcohol to trigger the headache. OTC pain meds have no effect about 90% of the time.  Today I can get away with about 10 oz. of beer with no preservatives.  I won't risk drinking the whole bottle.  I don't have migraines, eat healthy, not overweight, 42, never abused alcohol, and exercise regularly.  So far I find the liver issue theory the most interesting.  
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I am with you all. In the past year or two, ironically- since I have taken such a love to hoppy beer that I started making my own, I get random but frequent headaches that can last for up to 24 or more hours. The weirder thing is that they can happen after 2 beers and sometimes after ONE SIP. Literally! One sip and within a few minutes a totally agressive and debilitating headache over my left or both eyes. WHAT THE HECK??? Other weird thing is, sometimes I can drink two beers and get no headache....just two beers in a bottle of about 6 % alcohol. I will wake up in the early morning hours to pee and still no headache. But by 10am or so a crushing headache over my eye/s has set in. This particular headache combo has happened frequently. I dont get it! I either get an INSTANT headache or a totally delayed one. And the delayed one couldn't possibly be from dehydration cause I drink TONS of water and know what a dehydration-from-alcohol headache feels like, and it doesn't feel like this. This is a low, throbbing right above my brows ALMOST to the point of my eyeball aching. To add to my confusion, I have had a history of 15 plus years of an occasional migraine-with-aura....The kind where you lose your vision first. I finally realized that these occured when I ate specific kinds of cheese and drank red wine AND concurrently had drinken a diet soda that day. So I gave up diet soda and those kinds of cheeses (I didn't give up an occasional glass of red wine and so far it's faring better than my beloved beer is.....) Those headaches were tyramine induced migraines but this kind of headache is TOTALLY different. It doesn't cause a loss of vision and it's more over the one eye, almost in my EYE.......Anyways, after reading this whole thread I don't think the pain we are feeling has ANYTHING to do with: a) tyramine , or b) alcohol. I think it's a combination of something so different.......but what? Yeast allergies? Sulfates? Electromagnetic waves (which they are now attributing migraines with aura to as well)

THere is one common thread I have been considering........ some kind of electro magnetic waves from being on a computer affect us for a longer range than we might imagine coupled with......some kind of allergy? Geez....I guess I really have no clue.  Oh....hmm.....how many of you have cats? You read about that cat thing that gets in your brain? Do you all have cats? Let's figure this thing out!
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I am 67 and have been experiencing for the previous 2 years similar headaches (left neck radiating up to left side of head)  after taking 2 or 3 alcoholic drinks.  Pain starts about 2 hours after consuming the alcohol,  peaks at about 6 hours, and is mostly gone after 12 hours.  The severity depends on the drink; can be very bad after some beers especially "yeasty" ones; less severe after gin or rum; also bad after high sulfite wines.
I suspect that the blood vessel dilation explanation is the root cause of  it for the following reasons.
1) I got a very severe similar headache when nitro glycerine was applied to my chest to diagnose possible heart problems (a false alarm).  Nitro glycerine is a strong dilator of the blood vessels.  
2) I get the same headaches from eating food with MSG, even Pringles!  
3) Same headaches from Transatlantic flights or on a visit to Yellowstone due to the reduced air pressure.
Does anything help?  Pain killers are not much good.  What I find really works for me is strong hot black tea, slightly sweetened and taken about 2 hours after the first alcohol.  I've tried caffeine tablets instead of the tea but they are only partially effective.  But the tea is usually completely effective.
Hope this helps someone, as I have been greatly reassured by reading all these posts.
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The high levels of aluminum inhaled once inside the sinus area start to oxidize.  FREEPATENTSONLINE[dot]com/20090204058[dot]pdf

Its this oxidation that is centralized in the area just behind the right eye and above.  It talk about how this damage will make that area very sensitive.  It is triggered by the alcohol and (it doesn't say alcohol directly)  but when you read it you will understand and it will make sense.

Johnson and Johnson bought the patent for the device and is sitting on it, go figure.

Furthermore, it is believed that these heavy metals play a critical role in the precipitation of BAP. It is known that BAP binds to these heavy metals and even has highly specific binding sites for copper. Accordingly, high levels of these heavy metals have been found in BAP plaques. Huang, J. Nutrition, 2000, May 130(5S Supp.) 1488S-92S).

Moreover, since both copper and iron are redox active, these metal-laden deposits act as catalysts for cell-free redox reactions that generate hydrogen peroxide and consequently highly toxic hydroxyl radical.

Accordingly, it is believed that higher-than-normal levels of heavy metals in the brain are deleterious because they not only promote the deposition of BAP plaques, a portion of them promote oxidative stress when deposited.
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to all fellow alcohol-sensitive headache pain sufferers:
i have suffered from alcohol related headaches for 20 years or more.  i have investigated every aspect of the possible causes.  here is my feedback after years of trial and error.  the pain suffered 2 to 8 hours after ingesting alcohol is not related to the type of alcohol or the brand.  it is not related to allergy or spinal problems.  it is not related to dehydration.  it is related to inherited genetic causes.  it is related to hormonal causes particularly in females.  short term help can be gained by taking caffeinated aspirin before or during your drinking.  i suggest Excedrin which contains low amounts of aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and caffeine.  this will work for the occasional drinker.  however, if you drink every night it will cease to work effectively and there can be a rebound effect.  for long term help you can get a prescription for an older anti-depressant called Elavil (amitriptyline).  a small does like 10 or 20mg per day will drastically reduce your headaches and make them manageable.  you should be able to drink socially.  i have access to physicians who specialize in this type of problem.  there are no concrete answers at this time that will cure this problem.  all things in moderation.
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   Well - at last an report by someone connected to a physician that there appears to be 'no concrete answer' to what ails us all!  At least we shouldn't expect one in the short term.  
   In the meantime, I've found some amitryptyline ... have chopped one x 10mg tablet in half and will try that before I have a couple of drinks tonight.  Have also ordered some Excedrin (from AmazonUK for us Limeys) to try that as well based on this last thread.
   Of course, popping pills is not the answer we all need and, given that this appears to be a comparatively recent ailment, I'm not sure it sits easily with a genetic background?
   Either way, off I go to try these suggestions. Jury's out until then - but I promise I'll report back.
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Hello everyone, I'm 21 and I get the dreaded alcohol headache.  I am a Massage Therapist and the best treatment I have found is to do some trigger point work in my neck and particularly right at the base of my skull.  Alcohol in any amount definitely makes trigger points worse. Many people who have chronic headaches or migraines also have some pretty nasty trigger points in the back of the neck.  The explanation of how to treat a headache trigger is basically this: poke around the neck until you find a painful area, then push your finger or thumb into where it hurts the most until it's about a 6 or 7 on the 1 to 10 pain scale.  It should hurt as much as it can while still being able to take deep relaxing breathes.  Then breath deep and relax.  Hold for about 7 seconds, let up, then press in again.  Do this 2 or 3 times and the pain should be reduced, if not significantly.  Also if this is difficult to do on yourself  have a friend or loved one give you a hand.
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Mark,
How did the amitryptyline work?  I found this thread after having yet another migraine following consumption of a small amount of alcohol.  Same as everyone else, this is a new issue for me.  I have never been a heavy drinker, age 37, but now get these splitting headaches after one beer.  I tried extra strength Tylenol last time, and two pills had no effect.  Then I remembered that I had some vicodin left over after having a tooth pulled.  That dulled the pain, but this time I needed two to even be able to function.  I am surprised, but comforted, that there are others in this with me.

I will try the sugar water next.  Unless the amitryptyline worked for you Mark.  I don't like popping pills, but I want to at least be able to enjoy a drink every now and then.
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   Have only just come round after the amitryptyline!  In all seriousness, I genuinely didn't get a headache that evening - and I really pushed the limits, having three large glasses of wine.  But, like yourself, although that was comparative heaven, I also don't want to rely on pill-popping, especially with pills as 'heavy' as amitryptyline.  There's no doubt in my mind that we can zap this pain into (semi) oblivion with medication like this and/or ibuprofen - but it's no way to live, is it? The jury's still out on my Excedrin, but the reasoning's the same.
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   Amitryptyline Update # 2:-
   Couldn't resist another trial of the above tonight!  So ... half of one x 10mg tablet followed by five small(ish) glasses of white wine = a slight, but manageable, ache.  That's it with the amitryptyline experimentation now though.  I don't really want to swop one for the other - apart from that, I'm now getting a 'normal' hangover each morning.  Interesting to hear from others re. this though ... ?
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damn.
21, migraine sufferer my whole life, wears glasses, no pets, headaches after drinking JUST began a few months ago. I can't believe all of you have similar problems. its definitely a neck, eye, temple (my pain is generally on the right side) kind of migraine.

i, similarly, will try out some of the suggestions above and get back to you soon. i would like to keep drinking for a bit longer without the instant headache. sometimes i get one just a sip in, last night i got one after a glass of cider. i haven't really been tracking if this varies by alcohol.

i guess i'll have to start keeping a diary.
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   I will need alcohol counselling at this rate, I think.  
   Tried again yesterday after my Excedrine Migraine arrived and took just one tablet after two or three drinks with lunch.  Not even a suspicion of a headache for me for the rest of the day (took them at lunchtime).  Still a long way to go but this suggestion is the best one yet in my case.  Still not the answer because taking pills is obviously not good long-term, but a start.
   For those in the UK and elsewhere, my Excedrine cost me £17 per-100 tablets to ship over - but they arrived within five days.  Worth it so far!
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After 10 years of trying most things mentioned here, the aluminum thing is very intriguing. I have noticed over the past few years my memory is getting worse (and so are my migraines).

I'm 37. My migraines started after moving from the east coast (US) to San Francisco.

The regional aspect:
I traveled around the US for 2 years, spending a few months on the west coast, about a week in each town. I didnt have migraines back then. Moved back to the east coast after that for 2 years - no migraines. Moved to San Francisco, they started about a year after moving here, but not that often. After 10 years here, I now can hardly go a week without one.  If I go on vacation somewhere I may or may not get one. Real vacation (as opposed to traveling for work) = less stress. On real vacation I can sometimes have a drink or maybe even two without getting one.  But that said, I've also been on vacation in other places and had migraines too.  10 days in Hawaii though - no migraines even w/ alcohol.  8 days in Costa Rica - I do remember having drinks one night and not getting a migraine, but I did get one another night.  When I travel for work around the US I almost always get a migraine with alcohol no matter where I am.

The alcohol/pain killer factor:
I started getting migraines as a withdrawal symptom of taking pain killers. I was taking them almost regularly for about a year before I moved from the east coast to San Francisco. After moving to SF I started getting the migraines for the first time as a withdrawal symptom, about a year after I moved here (so two years into regularly taking pain killers). I stopped getting normal headaches. I have never had a regular headache since the migraines started. Only migraines for 10 years.

Alcohol is a trigger 99% of the time. It used to be a few drinks, now it's a sip. But I also get them occasionally without alcohol. I had one for 12 days about a year ago. I rarely drink anymore because of this (holidays & dinner parties). But I'll still get them without alcohol. Very very rarely I'll have a drink or even a few (not on vacation) and not get a migraine.  I cant figure out why.

The chiro factor:
I've been going to see a chiropractor for almost a year. No difference in headaches.  My neck does hurt often though.

The computer/posture factor:
I also sit at a computer all day, which I started doing about 2 years before moving to San Francisco & still do regularly. I had my eyes checked and they are not the factor.  I have terrible posture - no ergonomics whatsoever.

The exercise factor:
I think twice I've gone to the gym when I thought I might be getting a headache, worked out vigorously, and it actually went away. I've tried this many more times when this hasn't worked.

The stress factor:
Other than alcohol, stress is the only other thing I think that might be a trigger.

The drug factor:
Only prescription meds work. Imitrex used to work, but it doesnt anymore. I now take Maxalt. Sometimes they're so bad even the Maxalt doesnt work. Ceasing pain killers didnt make any difference - there was no correlation other than sometimes getting a migraine a day after taking them. But ceasing them altogether did not make a difference in the migraines.
Lately I've been taking something called MigRelief (by Quantum). It is all natural, and a few weeks after starting them I *think* I did notice less frequent migraines.  I've been taking them for about 2-3 months and have slacked (you have to take them twice a day) so I'm going to try to keep up with it and see if it works. It's magnesium, feverfew and riboflavin (11,000% of your daily value).

Other variables:
- I eat fairly healthily, usually cooking my own food. I went through a period of about 3 months eating almost entirely packaged/frozen foods (some organic, some "diet"), and I havent noticed any difference (there havent necessarily been more).

- I exercise a couple of times a week, but used to be a professional athlete before the computer job.

- I had a back injury about 17 years ago and have a numb area in my lower left back. I get massage regularly and have been for many years. Neither relaxing massage nor chiropractic massage help migraines. One time acupuncture made an oncoming migraine go away but every time I've tried it since then it hasnt worked.


But the aluminum factor is extremely compelling, especially since I'm 37 and I cant remember anything. I often have to write things down to comprehend them, I completely forget places we've been, movies we've seen, and like I mentioned - everyday words are often a challenge. Since aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's - I'm going to look into this more and see if there's any way I can test this and report back.  Thanks so much dallasgoldbug!

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I forgot to mention, when I had an MRI about 8 years ago b/c of the migraines, they did find I have some sinus issues. I have had post nasal drip occasionally since I've been out here in San Francisco and take Flonase for it. Never had that before either - they seem to coincide. This is the other thing from this forum that was of interest to me. I did get a migraine the last two days (no alcohol yesterday, 1/2 glass of chardonnay tonight) and my allergies are awful right now.

Lastly, the best way to diagnose is to keep a journal or open up an Excel spreadsheet and keep track of everything you do and eat (including vitamins, water, exercise etc) every day and look for trends. I started this once but havent been able to do it for several months in order to find trends. Thinking maybe I'll try again, but I also encourage others to do this and share here!
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I just want to add myself to this growing list.

I have been a heavy drinker most of my life although I have calmed down a lot in the last few years. Tomorrow is my 40th birthday.

3 days ago I started drinking a light beer and got an awful tension headache which I found bizarre. I put the can down after only a few sips and thought maybe the beer was bad or there had been some weird reaction with the food I ate. I woke up the next day feeling okay.

Last night I decided to have a Gin and Tonic. Halfway through I got the tension headache again. So I stopped. The headache started to get a bit better after about an hour or so and I decided to finish the drink (I was watching a movie). It didn't seem to return but I then felt incredibly tired.

Today I have that tension headache which has been coming on all day, my vision is blurry and I feel like crap.

What is going on?!

It seems like I have suddenly developed some sort of nasty allergy.

Note: On reading above - Amitryptyline - be very wary of using this anti-depressent it monkeys with your seratonin and dopamine levels.
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I'm 22 and after 5 years of heavy headache and migraine in the last few months have started getting headaches after only a few sips! I'm in my last year of university (very healthy and sporty), and surrounded by heavy drinkers and every social involves alcohol! So I'm wondering whether this is a temporary intolerance or whether this is it for the rest of my life?
Tryed drinking 'through' the headache last night which worked temporeraly, although now at 8pm I still have a throbbing left side neck and temple headache! So funny to see so many people experience headaches in the same spot!
Its so hard to not seem like a bore by not drinking, how do u all deal with this in your social lives? I'm quite sad at the thought of not being able to drink now, it's unfortunately such a big social tool in society these days! damn it!
Love from Cornwall,x
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Several years of trying to figure out whats wrong with me - especially increasing migraines and dallasgoldbug I think you have put your finger on it.

I do believe that there are probably several different reasons for people's migraines on this discussion thread, and they may not all be heavy metal toxicity (from aluminum and barium spraying (chemtrails)) that have been going on in the past 10-ish years (possibly more) primarily in NATO countries (as the "What in the World Are They Spraying" video suggests), but maybe many of us are feeling the effects of this in growing migraines.

Here is a site that lists the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity.  I have 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. (out of 10 listed - one of which is migraines):
jigsawhealth[dot]com/resources/heavy-metal-toxicity-symptoms

And part two of What In The World are they spraying showed research 2 hours from me that showed snow samples off the side of the mountain tested aluminum at 61,000 parts per billion, where 1,000 parts per billion is cause for govt. action (although they dont say what govt action means). But either way, it's highly toxic, and it's here where I live.

I ordered a home heavy metal toxicity kit and emailed a local doctor who does testing as well (as home kits may not always be accurate).  I will report back with findings.

I also need to understand more about how aluminum and/or heavy metal toxicity affects the brain in the way that a sip of alcohol would bring on the headaches - or if that is even the case. I've found some really scientific-speak stuff that does say it alters brain function, but nothing I can translate to how alcohol might affect it (since I'm certainly no med student or scientist).   The closest thing I can potentially put together aluminum w/ alcohol is a few parts of this medscape article that says "The central nervous system appears to be extremely sensitive to metal-induced oxidative stress. High aluminum concentrations have been found in postmortem brain specimens of patients with Parkinson's disease and on animals models where administration of aluminum caused a strong decrease in dopamine content of the striatum." Affecting dopamine levels (dopamine = chemical in your body that makes you feel good) and the central nervous system (of whoch the brain is obviously a major part) does seem to hint that there might be a connection.

Again, I dont believe this is everyone's dilemma, but it may be some.  If anyone else has seen a doc about their heavy metal toxicity levels or done any testing and found them high - I would be more than glad to compare notes.

I also plan to do much further digging into this with doctors and testing, and of course will report back here.
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mark,  amyltirptyline is not a strong drug.  it is a very weak drug.  10mg per day is virtually nothing.  one of the other people commented "it messes with your serotonin".  of course it does.  serotonin is a compound that occurs naturally in healthy people.  when your serotonin is low you become depressed.  it also works to subdue pain siganals which in turn creates more pain.  think of it as a necessary addition to your diet like insulin for a diabetic.  taking a small dose of amyltriptyline  helps your brain acheave normality.  i can't believe the crap i read on this posting about the causes of alcohol related headaches.  why don't they blame it on UFO's  alcohol is a poison.  the human brain doesn't want it and reacts badly.  you get headaches because your body is telling to avoid this poison.  yet, we want to drink socially.  it is a trade off.  good luck. ewagner44
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   Whether it's right or wrong, I think it's good that we've stimulated conversation and/or debate about this subject.  I also think (correct me if I'm wrong) no-one disputes that, if they didn't consume alcohol, they wouldn't have a problem.  But it seems to be the 'fact' that, after long periods of peoples' lives whereby they didn't have any problems, they now suffer these headaches within the last few years?
   Personally, I'm really grateful to you ew44 for at least giving me some respite with current drug availability.  I'm one of those people who thoroughly enjoy a drink and I'll be darned if I want to let a headache stop me.  I drank a LOT more when I was younger - as I suspect we all did - without more than the expected hangovers at times.  But these are really debilitating and, like everything else that ails us as we get older, we need to get to the bottom of it.
   In the comparative absence of any medically-qualified opinion within this thread since I started it (2008?), I suppose debate is the only way we may eventually do that - outlandish though some of the opinions may sometimes seem?
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Mark, I really appreciate your dedication to reading these posts and finding common threads in hopes of finding some answers.

I too suffer from these headaches- same story- 2 drinks and I am miserable with a headache that lasts for days. No solution to the headache except my "remedy" which seems to help them ease a little. I take lorazepam for anxiety and am hypothyroid (treated) and my remedy for these alcohol-triggered headaches is espresso (for the caffeine), my rx dose of lorazepam, ibuprophen, lots of water (1-2L) and sometimes vitamin B helps. I also put tiger balm on the back of my neck and that whole combination of drugs seems to knock the headaches out (slowly).
all that said, I have been perplexed by this happening all of a sudden. I am 32 and used to drink a lot in my twenties without ever even getting a hangover. Now I hardly touch alcohol. When I do drink, I will have a microbrew beer (brewed locally with no odd ingredients) and can escape headaches with these, but not when I try to drink my other favorite- vodka tonic. Those are sure to give me days of headache pain, even after only one or two. Last summer I was suffering from seasonal allergies quite bad and took a couple benadryls before drinking one evening. I never got a headache that time. I have tried it since and it works occasionally, but not every time. The biggest key is avoiding vodka tonic and only drinking local microbrew. If I do get one of my headaches, then I have to use my 'remedy' and wait it out patiently.

All that said, I hope this info can help someone out. The headaches are debilitating and mean, but I am stubborn and determined to find out what is the cause,  and why alcohol triggers them. Please keep us posted if you or anyone else finds any answers! thanks!

K
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Hello there I am feeling too sick and headachey to write in detail, but I suffer also. Two days after two glasses of wine and some champagne feeling rubbish and still taking paracetamol.
Have had the pain that starts up under right base of skull up through temples and back of eyes, part way through one drink, for some time now. I could drink plenty when I was younger and get a 'normal ' hangover.
I looked at this page 5 days after New Year when I still had a headache having drunk one can of lager and a mulled wine (the shame). I hadn't drunk since then. Please can someone give a quick synopsis of drinks that may create a less painful reaction, was it gin? I suppose it is sensible to try anything organic. Most wines are off, and champagne..sob..as I have to celebrate several 50th birthdays this year, including my own. Drinking pints of lemonade as I did yesterday is very dull.
Somewhere above someone had mentioned neck problems. I have a whiplash injury of 19 years that produces the exact same pain, starting at base of skull. This usually occurs after after activities where posture is bad or stress/tiredness. I do not sleep with a pillow when flat. I can almost remember the first severe reaction to alcohol, theory at the time was that I had relaxed too much and slept badly on my neck, but now pain starts after a few sips. Had allsorts of treatments on neck (given up now) and remember asking the NHS physio if a neck problem could create a problem with alcohol, which sounded completely bizarre at the time, as it does also now.
I haven't heard of some of the drugs mentioned, paracetamol has always been more effective than ibuprofen for me. Hadn't considered I was having migraines, thought it was muscle spasm. Sounds like there are several causes to do with the alcohol, would be interested to hear more about the neck angle.
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Wow. I am so relieved to find others with the same problem. I have the same headaches after I have more than 2 drinks. Just one sip past my 2 drink "threshold" puts me out for 1-2 days. I'm 26 and started getting this problem 3-4 years ago. What's weird is that my dad started getting the EXACT same problem around the same time when we flew back from Germany after binging on the all the fine brews they have there. I thought we were the only people in the world with this problem until now. It is so frustrating to have people give you the "well, just stop drinking" comments or tell you to "just drink more water". I'm in college and its frustrating to tell friends I can't drink because of "headaches." It started out to where I would only get them after 5-6 drinks. But then it progressed to after 4-5, then 3, and now after a solid 2 drinks. I drink 2 beers pretty much every day, and am pretty steadfast about sticking to my "limit." I haven't pinned down the exact causes yet, but it seems as though most everyone in this forum has at least a few things in common. Most drank heavily in their younger years, most admit to having bad posture, most are in their late 20's and early 30's, most started getting this problem within the last 3-4 years, and many have a history of migraines. There must be SOME connection to at least some of these! Some have also mentioned an allergy to MSG and aspartame. Both of these I suffer from, but aspartame (found in pretty much anything labeled as diet) is what gives me a horrible headaches similar to alcohol. My girlfriend on the other hand can drink aspartame all day long. Having others mention this confirms my suspicions that the cheap additive, aspartame might be to blame. Over the past few years, food companies have been slipping this nasty stuff in anywhere they can find- mostly because it's a cheap alternative to sugar. If you don't believe me, try finding a pack of gum without aspartame or one of its derivatives. I also have bad posture as I'm always hunched over studying anywhere from 2-10 hours a day. Likewise, I drank very heavily in my younger years (much from being in the Army). I do know that some drinks make it way worse, but I have not yet exactly pinned it down (dark beers for sure though). Something odd, however, is that every great now and then I don't get these headaches after throwing back even 5 or 6 drinks. I feel, as somebody else mentioned earlier, that it has a lot to do with your level of activity while your drinking and if your excited during the time when you drink (like when I'm hanging out with friends I haven't seen in a while). Eating some food prior to drinking also can help, but I have still sometimes gotten them even after eating a heavy meal. I know my mom is very much allergic to the sulfites in alcohol, and I have yet to rule this theory out by downing a bottle of her special NSA (no sulfites added) wine but would like to try it for the sake of getting to the bottom of this. I am just glad others have the same symptoms as me. Whatever it is, we really need to get to the bottom of this somehow.
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Wow. I am so relieved to find others with the same problem. I have the same headaches after I have more than 2 drinks. Just one sip past my 2 drink "threshold" puts me out for 1-2 days. I'm 26 and started getting this problem 3-4 years ago. What's weird is that my dad started getting the EXACT same problem around the same time when we flew back from Germany after binging on the all the fine brews they have there. I thought we were the only people in the world with this problem until now. It is so frustrating to have people give you the "well, just stop drinking" comments or tell you to "just drink more water". I'm in college and its frustrating to tell friends I can't drink because of "headaches." It started out to where I would only get them after 5-6 drinks. But then it progressed to after 4-5, then 3, and now after a solid 2 drinks. I drink 2 beers pretty much every day, and am pretty steadfast about sticking to my "limit." I haven't pinned down the exact causes yet, but it seems as though most everyone in this forum has at least a few things in common. Most drank heavily in their younger years, most admit to having bad posture, most are in their late 20's and early 30's, most started getting this problem within the last 3-4 years, and many have a history of migraines. There must be SOME connection to at least some of these! Some have also mentioned an allergy to MSG and aspartame. Both of these I suffer from, but aspartame (found in pretty much anything labeled as diet) is what gives me a horrible headaches similar to alcohol. My girlfriend on the other hand can drink aspartame all day long. Having others mention this confirms my suspicions that the cheap additive, aspartame might be to blame. Over the past few years, food companies have been slipping this nasty stuff in anywhere they can find- mostly because it's a cheap alternative to sugar. If you don't believe me, try finding a pack of gum without aspartame or one of its derivatives. I also have bad posture as I'm always hunched over studying anywhere from 2-10 hours a day. Likewise, I drank very heavily in my younger years (much from being in the Army). I do know that some drinks make it way worse, but I have not yet exactly pinned it down (dark beers for sure though). Something odd, however, is that every great now and then I don't get these headaches after throwing back even 5 or 6 drinks. I feel, as somebody else mentioned earlier, that it has a lot to do with your level of activity while your drinking and if your excited during the time when you drink (like when I'm hanging out with friends I haven't seen in a while). Eating some food prior to drinking also can help, but I have still sometimes gotten them even after eating a heavy meal. I know my mom is very much allergic to the sulfites in alcohol, and I have yet to rule this theory out by downing a bottle of her special NSA (no sulfites added) wine but would like to try it for the sake of getting to the bottom of this. I am just glad others have the same symptoms as me. Whatever it is, we really need to get to the bottom of this somehow.
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   I think (as has been mentioned previously) that we're going to have to be our own doctors here, due to the fact that the medical community is DEFINITELY keeping away from this one!
   Hawk 23:-  my opinion is that some of the points you've raised have a very definite relevance ... alcohol (!) of ANY kind;  comparative recency (three to four years) of the onset of symptoms;  previous moderate to heavy consumption of alcohol;  possible posture-related exacerbation of symptoms and, finally, body areas affected (neck, across top of head to above eyebrow).
   Other 'possibles' mentioned include sweeteners such as apartame (NOT good I gather) for treatment of diabetes, cancers and (doubtless) other such pleasant diseases.
   As I've said before, we seem to be some way away from getting to the overall cause(s) of these headaches, but positive treatments - in my case at least - are 'ew44''s suggestion of amitriptyline (used for the treatment of migraine but - it seems - NOT good long-term in terms of side-effects;  Excedrin (or any caffeine/aspirin combination);  topical analgesics such as 'Head-On', in the USA or '4-Head' in the UK;  moving around instead of sitting slumped anywhere and, finally, posture adjustment to a military-style 'head and neck back, chin in and trying to line up your neck with your spine' position.
   None of these is guaranteed but, in mixing and matching, seem to give most relief.
   More feedback needed .........
  
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Was on this sight in Oct last year and cant believe the number of people suffering with this problem . I still cant drink without getting these headaches . I have tried a chiropractor and acupuncture but hasn't helped . I find it interesting what was said about posture as i work on a computer and that can set off the head ache too as my neck gets tight . I found the more i move about the better i am .I got some neck exercises to do and it does help.i also payed forty pounds for a pediatric pillow and most nights im more comfortable but not always.  But i cant understand the connection with drink as the headaches feel the same .At  least i know im not alone .
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I'm 27 and take adderall and have been an active drinker since I was 21, out of no where for the last 3 days anytime I drink anything beer wine whatever I get horrible migraines!! My eyes throb and the only thing that helps is my gf rubbing my head for about an hour!! This sux!! I don't really want to have to quit drinking it jells me relax at the end of the day. Help!!
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   Your post is almost identical to most of the others - and I simply cannot believe that the medical community as a whole seems to have no idea how to identify and/or treat it.  We seem to have all learned how to alleviate a lot of the symptoms without help from anyone else, but we need to be far further ahead in finding out what causes it in the first place.
   I think we all recognise that cancer, heart and other major killers need to be given priority, but there must be some medically-qualified people out there who can devote time to trying to identify the causes of afflictions like this - and, before anyone says it, it really cannot be as simplistic as just avoiding alcohol!
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Question four all of you, is there anyone with these symptoms that lives in a non NATO country?  The question might sound strange but understand they are only spraying in NATO countries?
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I live in the US. But like I said, me and my dad BOTH started getting these headaches around the time we went to Germany. Hmm... makes one wonder.
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I am in the same boat as the rest of you. Strangely I am also in the airline industry, maybe all of the years at altitude effect the sinuses or blood vessels?
The best treatment I have found is prevention.  Any product that constricts the blood vessels seems to be the most effective.  That would include, analgesics, caffeine, sudafed, etc.  In my opinion that is why excedrin helps a bit, it has aspirin and caffeine.  The most effective I have found are the triptans which are for migraines.  These include Maxalt, Imitrix, Amerge, Zomig, etc.  Even though it seems that any of the migraine medications help.  For me, the key is taking something about one hour before drinking any alcohol.  Like anything else though, it is not good to be taking any of these medications for a long period of time.  There are meds ment to be taken full time to prevent migraines, like Topamax, but I personally have never tried them.
As for what is actually causing the problem, the thing that seems to be most likely to me at least is possibly histamine intolerance.
See:  http://foodallergies.about.com/od/commonfoodallergies/p/histamineintol.htm
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