Washington: Researchers have indicated that the role of alcoholic drinks that are considered to trigger migraine in patients is poorly understood.
While retrospective studies tend to include alcohol as a trigger for an attack, the authors describe that in a recent prospective study (in which information on the factors that could potentially trigger an attack were collected prior to the migraine attack), menstruation, stress, and fatigue were found most commonly to relate to a subsequent attack.
In the present paper, the authors reviewed the role and mechanism of the action of alcohol or other components of alcoholic drinks in relation to alcohol-induced headache. They conclude from their review that reports overestimate the role of alcohol, as well as other foods, in the triggering of migraine.
Although some individuals surely have the onset of a migraine or other type of headache after the consumption of wine or alcohol, the findings are not consistent (in this study, beer consumption on the previous day reduced the risk of a migraine attack). Forum members suggest that given that subjects reporting migraine headaches have been found to be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, it would not be appropriate to advise all such sufferers to avoid alcohol.
As suggested by the authors of this paper, it may be reasonable for migraine sufferers to drink small amounts of specific types of alcoholic beverages to see if each beverage is tolerated or not.
The paper as been taken form The Headache Center in Empoli, Italy by Panconesi A et al (Curr Pain Headache Rep (2011) ).