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Bye-bye, beloved beer..

Or, “triggers creeping out of the woodwork”

I love beer. I don’t tend to over-indulge, but boy oh boy do I enjoy sitting on my screened-in porch on a warm day and slowly slugging back a cold one. I relish the thought of being at my family reunions, a fancy keg of microbrewed beer only paces away from where we sit in the gazebo–I walk over and have just half a pint more before bed. (Now as I write I feel I must acknowledge that this past summer I didn’t let myself have much of this beer, even on nights when we drank more than one. I’d have a little bit of the hoppy microbrew and then switch to something less fancy and lighter, like Yeungling or, god forbid, Bud Light. I felt not-so-well if I had more than one heavy beer, and my sister, who’d once been a Migraineur herself, felt the same way. Hmm…)

But something’s been happening in the last couple of months, something new and utterly unwelcome: beer has become a harsh Migraine trigger. At first I only noticed this if I imbibed a couple too many on a weekend night and woke up the next morning with a Migraine. I told myself that I deserved this, knowing all the while that know one ever deserves Migraine headache pain. But then it started to happen when I only had a couple and was far from getting that hazy beer buzz.

Earlier this week I ventured out of my self-imposed Beer Hiatus and tried to see if maybe this beer trigger was a fabrication, that maybe there were other triggers in the environment I had been unaware of at the time of those Migraine episodes. I had a couple light beers at my friends’ house while staying there overnight on Tuesday. Everything was fine. Whew.

Had one–just one–on Wednesday while at another couple’s house for dinner. A Corona with a lime this time. Not my favorite, but I figured it was safe. Still all clear. Thank goodness.

Last night I had three free beers at an opening downtown and was sick with Migraine by midnight. (I had paced myself ever-so-slowly, having one at 6:30-ish, one at 7, and one at 8:30.) Was it the fact that this beer was stronger in flavor and ingredients? (It was a locally-made pale ale, not a light beer as I had had earlier that week.)

Is it possible that certain types of beers are okay?

I read online once that a well-respected neurologist believes that most Migraine triggers can be traced back to food and drink intake. When people name alcohol as a trigger, he doesn’t think all alcohol needs to be cut. Apparently some clear alcohols such as vodka are safe for some.

I don’t know if I want to experiment much more, at least for the time being, but if anyone has any feedback he or she’d be interested in posting, I’m all ears.

Thankful to be feeling up to par again, hours later,
me…

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • murphy52
    2 years ago

    I have two safe beers I can enjoy without issue, Guiness and Magic Hat #9. I would love to know what two such different beers have in common that others do not. At this point I am too afraid to experiment because invariably any other beers will put me down for hours.

  • kanzz
    5 years ago

    Many types of alcohol will give me a migraine within minutes of ingestion of even an ounce. I’ve found that Coors in a bottle does not. That’s great, because it’s my favorite anyway. I do really like some of the micro and ales, but they don’t like me, so I’ve learned to leave them alone. It’s just not worth the risk.

  • Deannaj27
    5 years ago

    I’m glad I read this. I have daily headaches and migraines that have started coming more frequently. Every month. I’m a beer lover. I live in the hometown of the yuengling brewery and drink it every now and then. I had a premium once and instantly a headache came. But my beer of choice is coors light. I always thought that they gave me headaches bc they were dehydrating me. Now I know it’s most likely not the case. After one beer I sometimes feel a headache coming. It doesn’t happen every time I drink though. Usually after a couple more I feel better. But not always. I stay away from wine. I can never drink it without getting a headache. I’m not sure how vodka or other types affect me because I pretty much never drink it without having a beer somewhere in between. After reading this I’m definitely going to experiment with different beers and look for gluten free. I definitely think yeast really affects me. I work at a pizza restaurant and I’m around it almost every day. I eat pizza a lot, but recently have been cutting back. I heard that fresh baked breads and yeast are a headache trigger. Just being at work makes my nose drip and gives me sinus pressure. Next time I go out I will put more thought into which beer I choose. Thank you for this article and the people who commented! I hope we all find a way to enjoy our beers without consequence!

  • amandablack
    5 years ago

    Thank you for posting about this! I thought it was just me. Some of my migraine-suffering friends are able to drink red wine, I can’t touch any wine. Vodka, yes, white Bacardi, or a light tasting beer, but just one. Any more than that and I’m doomed later in the evening or the next morning with a migraine. I’ve tried cider with no ill effects, and champagne is iffy – sometimes causing a migraine, sometimes not. But these drinks can only be consumed on a “clear” day with no hint of migraine.

  • Mat
    5 years ago

    I was diagnosed as having migranes after finding I was no longer able to drink alcohol. I used to be able to drink a fairly large quantity of every type of alcohol and really enjoyed beer. By the time I was diagnosed with an intolerance to alcohol and migranes I was unable to even smell beer and one sip would start a mild headache and groggy dull feeling within a minute. Through trial and error I discovered that if I drank premium beers such as Heinekin, Becks, Corona, Guinness I was fine. I could drink quite a number with a perfectly clear head and no headaches. I also found I could drink Bacardi white rum without trouble and could also drink Jaegermeister and Sambucca. I cannot touch an American or Canadian Beer and can no longer drink whiskey, vodka, brandy etc. People think I am a beer snob now because I am very fussy. For me it has been fairly easy to test what is good or bad for me because, I know almost instantly. One sip of the wrong alcohol starts making me feel bad. If I stop there, the bad feeling lasts only 15 or 20 min and I recover fairly quickly. Now that I have a decent number of drinks I can handle I rarely try anything new unless it is also an imported beer. There must be something in the brewing process in North America that I am intolerant to, rather than the alcohol itself. This may help others who have found they cannot drink the alcohol they did for many years. Try a Becks or Heinie and expand slowly from there.

  • Nero
    4 years ago

    Mat, your post is kind of misleading and while I understand you are only posting your findings and trying to be helpful you are giving some bad information in the process. As a beer brewer and fellow migraine sufferer, the problem you are having with beer is most likely due to the variety of hops or grains that is used in the making of the particular beer which is the underlying trigger to you and many others. The list of premium beers you mentioned are not at all considered premium in the beer world. Corona especially. You are on the right track with things being done in the brewing process but its the ingredients or style of beer that is the underlying cause and not the brand or beer in general. For instance 3/4 you listed are pale ales with a varying degree of hops and other ingredients while one is a stout with much less of the hop aroma and additives. Trying various styles of beer outside of a particular brand may help lead you to better results and therefore a much wider selection of beers your able to drink. Stouts and Porters tend to be much less “hoppy” while IPA’s, Double IPA’s, Ambers, and some Belgian Wheat beers can have significant hops and at least for me cause migranes sometimes just by taking in a deep breath of them.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Mat! In recent months I have experimented with just one beer at a time and have felt okay. Lagers tend to work well for me, but I don’t ever risk having more than one (and I avoid them when other triggers such as shifts in barometric pressure, extreme stress, or my period are present). I’m sorry you have suffered but am grateful you have become such a sleuth in figuring out which beers do and do not trigger your migraine!

    Take care, and cheers,
    Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • Lorrie Wigand
    5 years ago

    I drank beer, and a lot of it from 18 until 25. Never had a hangover or headache. Then the “hangovers” started. Or so I thought. I started cutting back drastically on my intake. But then I realized that it couldn’t be a hangover if I started within 15 minutes of opening one beer. Fine, no more beer. Tried switching to other alcohol. Nothing was consistent in whether it would trigger a migraine or not. Now I sit home alone on Saturday nights. It’s just not worth it to make plans and break them. Or to drink and suffer. Unfortunely, I am cursed with non-drinking hangovers. Yes, they are migraines. But wake up on Sunday morning, not having any alcohol and feel like I drank a case. Ain’t life grand??

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Girl, I feel your frustration! Thanks for the response.

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • Jamo3030
    5 years ago

    Beer (and some alcohol) is certainly a trigger for me. It’s actually my main trigger and the only one that I know for sure. There are others but none that I’ve nailed down. What’s interesting is that most of the people that have commented have said they do better with light beers. I can drink a 12 pack of microbrew, home brew, local craft beer, etc. 2 or 3 Bud Lights and I will without question have a headache. I have to avoid all the big, American/Canadian breweries. No Bud, Coors, Miller, Pabst, etc for me. This seems to apply to liquor as well. I generally am OK with the top shelf (though not always). I have a feeling it’s not actually the alcohol but a preservative or stabilizer added to the cheap stuff that is giving me my headaches.

  • Marlyn
    5 years ago

    I was recently diagnosed with chronic migraines, For 2 years I thought these headaches were something I just had to deal with. I thought my hangovers were too much alcohol for my body (3 beers) I thought vomiting was a defense mechanism my body had build due to the pain I was feeling in my head. I also LOVE beer!!! & it makes me so sad that something I enjoy so much has to be removed from my life. I am so happy I found this site! I am still very ignorant to what triggers my migraines, what they are all about, but in 15min of reading these blogs, I’ve learned so much!

  • swamp yankee
    5 years ago

    For me, it’s wine. Especially red. Just looking at a bottle of wine gives me a sick feeling in my head and gut. I used to love it, drank it every day despite the lurking threat of a throbbing 7-day migraine. Then, abruptly, I lost my taste for it. The only alcohol I drink now is beer, no more than one or two in an evening, and it’s been very kind to my poor head.

  • D.T.MaC
    5 years ago

    I too have the same issue with certain beers (or alcohol in general) sparking a migraine. I have the added (mis?)fortune of being a buyer of beer and wine for a grocery store.

    I often get to taste great beers and wines from all over the world, and then promptly spit it back out to keep my intake to a minimum. If I do have an alcoholic beverage I will usually only drink half of it and wait about 15 minutes. That’s usually when I can tell if it will cause a migraine or not.

    I cannot drink more than 2 or 3 a night and not more than twice a week, mostly because alcohol and medications don’t mix. I’ve also found that switching brands, not just types, will sometimes cause it. If I have a Guinness, I’m fine. If I have a Murphy’s, I’m fine. If I have a Guinness and then a Murphy’s, I’m toast. There are even brands that I’m fine with one year, can’t drink the next year, and then fine again with the third year.

    About the only thing I consistently cannot drink is Merlot (or Merlot heavy blends), particularly Merlot from Washington state (they are some of the worst migraines I have).

    Unfortunately there are hundreds of compounds in alcohol to which one can be sensitive to. Sulphites are the common scapegoat; however, histamines (as mentioned by Danielle E) cause more problems. Tyramine, Acids, Phenols, Sugars, Yeasts, Minerals, Gasses, V.O.C.s, … the list goes on and on, are all present in alcohol. Any one (or more) of them can be a trigger.

  • Lodalyn
    5 years ago

    I can’t drink more than two beers without having a migraine. So far cider and Mikes hard lemonade seem to have the same result. I don’t dare experiment with hard alcohol and risk the headache, I just stop at two and switch to water. I may still get a migraine but I don’t want to add any additional triggers to it .

  • Clarisa
    5 years ago

    Last year I made a sincere decision to lose weight. Went to a doctor and got on a high protein, lots of veggies type of diet. Carbs were off limits for quite awhile. I got off the couch and exercised like crazy. I did it not only to loose pounds but my body had a bad reaction when I had a hysterectomy. I was always in a fog and was having headaches everyday.
    Months later as the pounds started to come off and I was feeling great I decided to “cheat” and have a beer with my husband. He is into microbrews as well. One beer and I was down for hours. This got me thinking. First I hadn’t had a bad migraine for months and second why did I get one with one beer. The answer was wheat.
    Because I had clean out my system of carbs/wheat I reacted worse to the glass of beer. Or should I say the glass of wheat. I did some research and there have been some studies that connect wheat to migraine attacks. I know now that wheat is my trigger. Many alcohol drinks have wheat. Rum, vodka. Etc.
    There are some beers that are being made gluten free. That’s the key word. Coronas are gluten free.
    It’s not the same and personally I prefer to eat my carbs now lol.
    Everyone is different. I hope this gives you a hint as to why you are having issues with those delicious tasting microbrews.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing your story–enlightening for sure. I bet the healthier diet has improved your life dramatically. Have you ever tried any wheat- and/or gluten-free beers?

    -Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • Brian in TN
    5 years ago

    I find I can rarely get away with one beer, I would rather abstain than drink anything lite or pale, but that’s it. I can delay the onset by keeping my BAC around .01% by drinking in moderation but I will pay for every beer eventually. I’ve dropped from a case a week in the Navy to 4 or 5 a year now. I have found I can enjoy white rum if I mix it with cranberry juice, when I imbibe I like coconut rum with cranberry / pomegranate juice, I can get a light buzz with no migraine / hangover.

  • deanna b
    5 years ago

    I have suprisingly found that two beers are my limit before the tell tale neck stiffness begins. Its so stressing the idea of a migraine coming that I have completely severed all ties with beer. I have found that I can drink black velvet and jack daniels in unlimited amounts without having the slightest headache or hangover the next day. Tequila is also a trigger for me so bye bye margaritaville. 🙁

  • Danielle E.
    6 years ago

    Ugh, I’m so glad it’s just not me! Beer has definitely become a trigger for me, and like you it really just seems to be chance when it triggers a migraine. Sometimes I can drink way too many and be just fine the next morning. Then there are other times when I have just one or two and instantly feel the migraine coming on. A couple of years ago, my migraines were so bad that just a tiny sip of beer would send my migraine spiraling out of control, and I had to give up beer completely. Like you, I love beer! But it triggers migraines. I’ve tried switching to vodka, but vodka just doesn’t really do it for me, and honestly, I don’t really like any other liquors. I just want a beer! Beer can be such a trigger that I even thought about giving it up for the New Year. I’m torn as to what to do. It seems awfully stupid to drink something that I know can trigger a migraine at anytime, but then again, I wish I could be like everyone else and enjoy a beer or two on a Friday night.

    As far as the difference in beers and triggering a migraine or why beer triggers a migraine in general, well that I’m not sure. Most people blame it on the hops or the tyramine, but for most people, it’s actually the amount of histamines in the beer. Ever had a runny nose after a heavy night of drinking? That would be why! Take an anti-histamine and that beer cold will go right away. In fact, anti-histamines are even used as a migraine preventative. And I’m sure you know someone who can’t drink red wine because it give them a headache. That’s why! Red wine has the highest histamine levels of all the alcohols whereas vodka is the lowest.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Danielle E. (and sorry for the delayed response). You might find this article by Migraine.com contributor Kerrie Smyres rather fascinating: http://migraine.com/blog/the-migraine-food-trigger-youve-probably-never-heard-of/

    Take care,
    Janet G.
    “The Migraine Girl”

  • briwrighty
    6 years ago

    I also am a San Diegan surrounded by incredible microbrews. I recently have been getting 6-8 migraines a month and have had to take a close look at my diet, sleeping habits, and other potential triggers. It’s hard to say if beer is really a trigger, because sometimes I can have one and be just fine (by the way, dark, high ABV beers are my preference), and other days I can drink half a glass and feel impacted enough that I start to worry about a migraine the next morning. It seems to be more related to how hydrated I am and how much sleep I’ve gotten the night before. But I have not noticed a relationship between lighter beers and the ability to drink at all as a migraineur.

  • hillaryDVM
    6 years ago

    Oh my god. MY PEOPLE!!

    I had your typical bilateral, crushing pain, vomity migraines all through adolescence. They went away shortly after puberty for the most part (I get like one every 2 years now), but in vet school I began getting frequent, very focal headaches just above my right eyebrow. They’d happen a few times a week and then not again for a few months. Most times I could deal. I figured it was a sinus issue since my dad has terrible sinus problems.
    Long story short, a CT scan of my sinuses was completely normal and I started getting the very occasional ocular aura (never followed by a headache, oddly).

    I realized that I was consistently getting these headaches after drinking beer. I live in San Diego now, which is the mecca of hoppy microbrews. I went on a beer hiatus and bam. No more right-sided headache. I, being the scientist I am, did a reintroduction challenge and it turned out that MOST beers gave me the headache, but I could drink ciders and sour beers (a new, delicious trend) just fine. I can also drink wine and spirits and eat gluten no problem. Like another poster, baked goods containing beer don’t affect me.

    In trying to figure out what hoppy beers have that wine, bread, vodka and non-hoppy beers don’t have, the obvious answer was, well, hops. Everyone looks at me like I’ve lost my marbles but obviously I’m not alone!

    I recently tried two “soured” IPAs that did give me a headache and one beer that wasn’t a sour that didn’t. So it appears that I either have a threshold for the level of IBUs (the measurement of bitterness provided by hops) or a specific type of hops. I’m keeping a database of beers, IBUs and hop variety to see if I can narrow it down.

    For those of you who like wine and cider, consider trying sour beer. They take some getting used to, as they are SOUR, like vinegar, but I find them super drinkable and refreshing. And pain free!

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    5 years ago

    I’ve never heard of sour beer. Hmmm….

  • Dawn
    6 years ago

    This explains a lot to me. I’ve never really been a beer drinker until around May of 2012. Of course I started out with the lite beers so nothing bothered me. But I started experimenting with others. I’ve recently started drinking hard ciders…apple, berry, pear…and no headaches. But yesterday I had Shock Top. Now I can usually drink anywhere from 5-6 beers and still feel fine and never get a headache. But yesterday was a different story. I had 3 Shock Top’s and came home with a raging migraine! This article and the posts are all starting to make things a bit clearer now! I guess I’ll have to add certain types of beer to my migraine triggers!

  • coachcampbell
    6 years ago

    I’ve had migraines since I was a child. Now at 40, they are chronic. I have also, just recently, like within the last month, discovered that my beloved Oberon (an unfiltered wheat beer) has become a trigger for me. I now like many others stick to vodka and maybe Miller High Life. But, the massive pain is just not worth it. I just can’t understand why these triggers come out of no where after suffering from migraines for the majority of my life. Just one more thing this disease has taken from me.

  • cara grimshaw
    6 years ago

    Sadly, the tyramine in most beers is a problem for me and my migraines.

  • Cece Yuhas
    6 years ago

    Have had Migraines since age 4, (am now 49) when I was a teen use to drink beer and you name it, often having Migraines. had allergy shots, because was allergic to Hops, when I would drink, friends would ask if I had a cold (“No I’m allergic to Hops.”) To this day I can’t drink anything, get severe Migraines, Drank 2 bottled Strawberry Daiquiris, ended up with major Migraine, sick to stomach and all. No wonder I gave up drinking at 22 years. Some of my triggers all Processed meats, hotdogs, Chocolate, skipping meals, not enough sleep, Aged Cheeses, some patterns such as small pinstripes and polka dot.

  • joanie78
    6 years ago

    So, I had the very same thing happen, But was diagnosed with celiacs, and stopped having beer..then came gluten free beer…and hard cider which is cheaper. So I picked up some hard cider..and OMG a beer (kinda) same effects but no headache! WTH It was the gluten in the beer that was giving ME the headache. Not saying it’s the cause of your guy’s headaches, but it sure stopped mine! Good luck out there ladies and gentlemen!

  • Rene'
    6 years ago

    I grew up with beer, my Dad worked in a brewery for 35 years. It’s now poison to me and my Dad; me with migraine and only a few sips will set me off, and my Dad who has recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so it is now verboten for him. He has switched to an occasional glass of wine, unfortunately I can’t do any alcohol. Sad day indeed, as alcohol was something I enjoyed. But migraine takes it all away for the most part doesn’t it. That’s ok migraine because I don’t HAVE to have alcohol, I can live without it.

  • Jeremy Morris
    6 years ago

    I am a beer drinker and a migraine sufferer. My beer of choice is Miller Highlife. A safe beer. When I drink others like the micro brews or any of the new ones out there I get migraines even after only drinking one. I have learned that if I am to enjoy a nice cold brew I have to stick to what I know. Trying something new causes to much pain, migraines are a bit** . It’s these new brews that cause the problems. Not the standard american varieties like miller, bud etc..

  • LT
    6 years ago

    Just goes to show how different all of us migraine sufferers are. I haven’t had a drink in 7 years due to my chronic migraines – it’s just not worth it.

  • Anne
    6 years ago

    I used to be able to drink a few drinks without a migraine, now it’s all alcohol that triggers one. I have also cut out gluten – along with a bunch of other known inflammatory food substances in an attempt to make my migraines less severe. I don’t think gluten causes migraines for me, but I do think it makes them hurt more (if that makes sense).

    I will still try to have the one drink, but it usually results in a migraine no matter how many other precautions I take – like drinking a ton of water with it, etc. Migraines suck!!!

  • Michael Riley
    6 years ago

    I hope to God that hop rich beer is not a trigger. It doesn’t seem to be as that is pretty much all I drink. And I drink several at a time on occasion. I think for me it is food, (no more bleu cheese)and stress, but we know that every sufferer is different.

    PS, love the posts. Keep it up

  • Val Milo
    6 years ago

    I used to drink beer, then noticed it was becoming a trigger after my second child was born. That was 12 years ago and many more triggers have popped up, I believe this to be entirely hormone related.

  • Val Milo
    6 years ago

    My doctor agrees with me!

  • Gary Olsen
    6 years ago

    Just had my first beer in a long time. That night, middle of the night, it felt like my eyes were stuck, puffy and did not want to move. I have not been eating gluten for 2.5 years. My friend tells me, there is gluten in beer. Also he said there are gluten free beers being brewed now. Have you heard of that? Tried it?

  • jackieshakoor
    6 years ago

    None are safe I wouldn’t advise drinking at all with being diagnosed with migraines. I have them daily, just dont put urself thru the unwanted (unnecessary) agony

  • caradrouin
    6 years ago

    One sip of beer and I’m toast in 20 minutes. Migraine. ew
    Beef stroganof, “This won’t give you a migraine, the alcohol is cooked off.” Wrong.
    Beer battered onion rings….no thanks, can’t.
    Some people are more sensitive than others.

  • Devilicia Noseratata
    6 years ago

    What you may be experiencing is a sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites occur naturally in many kinds of alcohols, including wine and beers (especially whites and certain kinds of beer), but the real problem can occur when sulfties are added on top of the naturally occuring ones as a preservative, which unfortunately, most bulk manufactured wines and beers do. I discovered this the hard way, as a bottle of Chandon had me up 8 hours later, breaking out into hives, itching palms and soles of feet and yup, an almighty migraine. After a lot of false leads, I finally made the connection between the slight to moderate anaphylactic responses I was having and sulfites. There is no medical test for sulfite sensitivity, but the easiest test is to eat something with a known high level of sulfites (most grocery store dried apricots are very high in them), have a rescue dose of Benadryl on hand and eat about 4 o 5. If you don’t have a reaction within a day (foods with sulfites tend to hit me faster than ones in alcohol, in which it may take up to 8 hours to get a reaction). Sometimes I start sneezing within a 30 mins of eating something with sulfites. I didn’t develop this sensitivity in any noticable way until I hit my late 30’s/40s, but beers and wines always had a tendency to hit me harder than most hard alcohols and I never knew why, so it may be related.

    This may explain why some beers set you off and others don’t (and also why vodka tends to not bother as much. Some darker hard liquors have a high content ratio as well). Sulfites are often added to foods as a preservative, the top culprits being dried fruits, juices from concentrate (especially lemon and lime), commercial guacamole, pickled food and even some spices. High Fructose Corn Syrup also contains a small level of sulfites, but seeing as how HFCS is in EVERYTHING, I avoid that as well.
    If you don’t end up having a sulfite sensitivity, you also may look into a potential hops allergy or nitrate sensitivity. All I know is that the frequency of my migraines (along with some other chronic conditions I have) reduced dramatically and if I’m in a “danger” period for migraines (hormonal peaks), I am particular careful about what I eat.
    Hope that helps!

  • Devilicia Noseratata
    6 years ago

    I should also mention that most commercial cocktail mixers, like sour mix, margarita mix, et all, also tend to have sulfites, so if you are sulfite senstive, only trust the more artisianal sorts made from fresh ingredients (don’t even go near a chain restaurant Margarita!). Likewise, many flavored alcohols, like all those sweetly flavored vodkas, may contain them (and for some reason, they aren’t required to list ingredients ). If beer ends up being a no-go, try some of the organic meads that have started becoming available, like Moonlight Meadery, which doesn’t add sulfites in the fermentation process.

  • tucker
    7 years ago

    Oh, the living in fear of a migraine was bypassing me so nicely this past Thanksgiving until I had that 1 beer with friends. I usually don’t drink beer but since the last time I had my FAVORITE wine (white at that – LOL, and I am the proud owner of 24 bottles of it thanks to traveling inlaws and an online order from a small winery since it’s only made in NY) I got a major migraine within 30 minutes. I too had a light beer just since I prefer those and I’m usually ok with that during “pizza and beer” time after softball in the summer. My turkey was turning upside down while I talked with their “grandpa” and his words became fuzzy as my brain started clanging.

    It’s truly a shame. It’s not like I need the alcohol to socialize but it’s like my diet coke. I enjoy the flavor of the wine a couple times a month. And sure, if the kids are brats, the work day has been really stressful or we have friends over, it does taste that much better. But really, sometimes, it’s nice to just change from water or iced tea without knowing there will be brain pain within the hour……

  • cattfink
    7 years ago

    I’ve been suffering with chronic migraines for about 15 years, since I was 12 or so. I’ve been able to pinpoint a few of my triggers, but it seems like I have more as the years pass. I can enjoy a glass- maybe two glasses- of red wine with no problem. Unless I drink a ridiculous amount, vodka and other clear liquors have been my friends… but I have never been able to drink EVEN ONE beer without resulting in a headache. They occur relatively quickly after beer consumption too… while most of my other food/drink induced migraines seem to have a slower come on. I’ve tried several varying kinds of beer over the years, but each seems to lead me down the headache trail. I typically have nausea with my migraines, but more so with beer-graines. I don’t know what it is about beer specifically that makes me sick, I just know that that it does. I’ve abandoned any further efforts to narrow down a cause or to identify a brew that I can enjoy… I’ve grown tired of spending money on ice cold glasses of foamy torture.

    I’ve openly discussed my beer issues and the response I get is always pretty similar. I’m told that while it’s not something they’ve never heard of before, it’s still weird… and my not knowing why beer makes me sick is the weirdest part.

    Interestingly enough, I have NEVER had a migraine following the consumption of a slice (or a freaking loaf if nobody stops me) of beer bread. I make it pretty frequently and have used many different types of beer with no painful beer-grainey results.
    I don’t know if somehow the process and heat from baking does something magical to the beer… but it seems to suck out all of it’s venom and leaves me with a pan of tasty non-migraine-inducing bread.

    To sum up:
    *Every variety of beer that I have tried, even in small amounts, quickly results in a migraine with severe nausea.

    *Other alcohols do no seem to have this extreme consequence

    *When mixed with all purpose self-rising flour and baked, beer seems to lose all of it’s evil, poisonous super powers and becomes a delicious treat for me.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Sorry to hear about your conundrum! I don’t drink it, but can commiserate with you. It must be something in the beer that when baked, loses its “evil” powers so you are able to eat it without triggering a migraine.

    Baked-beer?

  • patriciacole
    7 years ago

    This just illustrates how we are all so different!
    When my migraines were at their all-time WORST…I could NOT drink any story of VODKA drink…at all. IMMEDIATE and severe trigger!
    Same with Red Wine (tanins? so they say)

    As many times as I thought…”oh, this time I can try and see if anything will happen”…it invariably WOULD…with horrific results!!

    I never had this problem before, then all of a sudden, anytime I would have a cocktail (which was pretty rare anyway), or red wine…BAM!!! Severe migraine.
    I never got drunk or had hangovers…just migraines.

    So, I finally….after far too many excruciating “trial and errors” that ALL came out “errors” (haha!)….I just gave up.

    I occasionally would try a beer and I don’t seem to have a problem getting migraines with beer.
    Isn’t that strange how we are all so different (even opposite) with our triggers.

    It was also TOO daunting to try to figure what foods that may be triggers for my migraines — I just wanted to give up — it could be anything and everything.
    But the vodka and red wine — SO OBVIOUS — as I would get SO SICK with a migraine even after just one or two cocktails or glasses….ugh! 🙁

    Just the thought of a vodka drink now makes me ill.

    I hope one day to be able to enjoy cocktails and red wine as I used to, but until then, I pretty much just abstain.
    But I will have a few beers (and I NEVER drank beer before at all — haha) once in a great while, with no ill effects.

  • Andrea Kayy
    7 years ago

    I have switched to all vodka since everything else is a trigger for me. At certain stores, they even sell organic vodkas now which I hear are even more filtered and pure. The better the vodka is the less chance I have of getting a migraine. (and of course not more than two drinks every so often) I have had fun with it. There are yummy flavors now like fruit punch, mandarin orange, lemon lime (tastes like a margarita) cherry (mixed with lemon lime soda like a dirty shirley) all kinds of flavors. With a seltzer not only can you cut calories, but keep headaches in check and still can have fun. Go to your local BevMo or a similar major liquor store and have fun with it! I used to enjoy beer, red wine, white wine, mixed drinks, margaritas etc. Now one glass of wine, a beer or margarita will make me sick the next day with a migraine. When I know I can prevent it and slip and “have just one” I beat myself up the next day. It’s just not worth it when there are so many fun recipies out there to try with vodka. Cheers!

  • Joey Simon
    7 years ago

    lately I have been having migraines like everyday, when I get them I can smell smells in the house that I normally do not smell. I have been drinking beer lately, normally I drink vodka but I thought if I drank beer I would not get as drunk. I am going to try and stop the beer and see if that helps.

  • Sarah Lerner
    7 years ago

    I love beer too, and was a microbrew snob. Unfortunately, I can’t drink even one now because of migraines. I have found that I can have a class of vodka and not get a headache most of the time. I have found that I can drink a Corona (no lime- lime causes headache) and be alright.

  • Laura Kathleen Balke
    7 years ago

    I found this article searching “dark beer migraine trigger.” Two nights ago I had three dark ales on tap from a local brewing company. By midnight I knew a migraine was on it’s way, and by this morning I’d vowed never to drink dark beer again. This wasn’t the first time it seemed to have been a trigger, but it was definitely the most direct.

    I have a friend who won’t even have one drink of anything because of his migraines, and I’m hoping I can play it safe with my drink choices to avoid such a fate. I’ll be sticking to light beer from now on.

  • William Dubose
    8 years ago

    I have the same exact problem. All it takes is a couple of beers, and I’m in pain for for hours. It’s at the point to where now everytime I drink beer it is a guarantee to have a migraine. I’m done with beer also sadly.

  • Jamie Kinley Arnette
    8 years ago

    Btw, don’t think you have to give up good flavorful beer, just stick the clearer, lighter beers. Stella is awesome and I’ve experienced no headaches with it. IPA’s = bad news. Good luck!

  • Jamie Kinley Arnette
    8 years ago

    Dark beers do the same thing to me. If I stick to a light beer, and not many of them, I seem to be okay.

  • Christopher A. Reilly
    8 years ago

    I had a similar issue where only certain beers bothered me. First slowly, all beers affected me. I have tried “whoever” light, wheat, dark, porter, pale ale…you name it; doesn’t matter. My girlfriend suggested I could have a gluten problem. To date, food hasn’t bothered me. I did, however, try Redbridge ( a gluten free beer). It has so far not bothered me. I did not like at at all at first. The more I drink it, the more I can make myself think it takes similar to a Sam Adams. It is free of wheat and barley. You may want to give that a try. Also, I am on migraine blockers and regular beer can bust right thru them. Hope this helps.

  • Jason Cuadra
    8 years ago

    Wheat beer is a recently developed strong trigger for me. And then even more recently, if I have a lot of bread, with even a light beer.

  • Veda Renfrow
    8 years ago

    yeeeup.

  • Alicia Wagner
    8 years ago

    I had 3 budlights last night with some friends and I have a horrid migrane this morning. Ive noticed that bud light does that to me. I’m sure as hell staying away from that from now on.

  • Sara Batchelder
    8 years ago

    I’m not sure if this helps anyone, but the big beer companies add what they call “adjunct” to their beers, usually corn or rice, to make it cheaper. So you can’t trust at all that you know what you are drinking unless they actually put it on the label or you talk to the brewer. Of course, the German Purity Law is barley malt, hops, yeast and water, but so many brewers are experimenting (not a bad thing) that you never know what you get. I would love to start a campaign requiring ingredients on beer, but I’m sure Budweiser’s lobbyists would squash that! Good luck all – I don’t think I could ever give up beer, but I sure have had to cut back a lot.

  • Chris Jen Marrano
    8 years ago

    Blue Moon Belgian White just gave me my very first beer triggered migranie. The headache was exactly like “Red Wine” headaches I have expirienced in the past. For me they come out of nowhere and nothing but sleep makes them go away. One theory that I read blames the brewers yeast and the unique byproducts they create.

  • Jane
    8 years ago

    I wonder if there is a connection with dehydration. If I have more than one beer (actually a rare occasion the last few years) I will feel dehydrated either later or when I wake up the next day. I have read that being dehydrated can be a possible trigger.

  • Susan Demander
    8 years ago

    Hi. I’ve found that when I drink draft beer, vs bottled beer, that I tend to get a migraine, regardless of how many I drink. But I know I can have no more than three bottled beers or I’ll get one. This is a relatively recent development, past four years or so. I never had a migraine before that. And it IS a bummer because I DO like my beer.

  • Jennifer Long
    8 years ago

    David Tibbitts You should try sudephedrin (spelling) ..I have found it helps more than excedrin.

  • David Tibbitts
    8 years ago

    Susan, I’ve been drinking beer all my life. I love to come home and suck down a few every night. Just is something I’ve done for years and years. My 92 year old Uncle has had two beers every night forever.. but a few nights ago after 4 Bud Lights I started to get a headache so I went to bed about 9 and woke up about an hour later with a giant migraine. So bad I thought my head was going to explode!! It came on so quick. So the next night I had the same amount of beer and the same thing again. PAIN and no sleep. I went to the DR because I thought something was going on medically with me. I didn’t mention the beer because.. why? It just couldn’t have been that because it happen in one night from all the years of drinking. So the night before lastI didn’t drink. It killed me too.. but no migraine. So I thought Id give it a try again. Three beers. Crap!! Super Migraine again. Four excedrine didn’t even touch it.. today I’m going to try some N/A beer. This is going to suck big time.. but better than the migraines.

  • Deborah Dennis
    8 years ago

    Anytime I drink more than one anything I get a migraine. I dont like beer so I wont be getting a beer migraine. Take b12 daily and it helps…or it least it does me!

  • Matt Sieradzki
    8 years ago

    Last night I drank a Becks Beer(supposedly all natural) and got a migraine a few minutes later(First migraine I’ve had in 3 years). Most beer companies do not list what exactly there is in the beer even if it is trace amounts so I don’t see how one can really figure out what beer is alright unless they do it through trial and error.

  • Lynn Marie Mendez
    8 years ago

    As I get older it seems that most alcohol seems to trigger migraine in me. Red wine is horrible. White wine is ok sometimes. I use to drink vodka though not the cheap stuff which seemed to be worse of a trigger. I’m now on a gluten free diet which rules out vodka but I had pretty much given up most of my drinking anyway because after any kind of indulging I would pretty much have to take an imitrex before bed or wake up to blinding migraine pain. So not worth it.

  • Susan Teller
    8 years ago

    Alcohol has no effect on my migraines whatsoever…and I hate beer…yuck…

  • Andrea Legg
    8 years ago

    I’ve noticed that I’m more prone to migraines if I drink darker, more flavorful brews of beer. If I stick to a domestic light (I know, I know) and don’t overindulge, I’m usually okay. Usually. Most liquors seem okay (again, careful not to overdo it), but wine seems to be my biggest, most fickle enemy.

  • Beth Bursley
    8 years ago

    Every time I drink I get a headache. I just don’t drink anymore cause it’s not worth it to feel bad the next day.

  • Jenni Nash Dorsey
    8 years ago

    Whether a certain beer is a trigger or not may have something to do with the type of barrel it’s aged in.

  • Dubbleyew T. Eff
    8 years ago

    interesting theory

  • Jenni Nash Dorsey
    8 years ago

    Just passing along what I know about how and when certain white wines trigger my allergies and headaches.

  • Dubbleyew T. Eff
    8 years ago

    since when do you drink beer?

  • Louise Connelly Price
    8 years ago

    I very rarely drink for this reason. Silver tequila seems to be safe for me but even the occassional vodka coctail can cause havoc.

  • Steve Price
    8 years ago

    Is a dromedary one hump or two?
    I forget

  • Carl Rubino
    8 years ago

    15 y.o. scotch is the trick . none of that Canadian , Kentucky, Tennessee stuff either. Real stuff from Scotland… i suggest PINCH in the dimple bottle. Good stuff for the mind & body.

  • Terri Grodeska Marhan
    8 years ago

    Go right ahead u deserve it. Have a great time today!!

  • Kristen Melendez Dalton
    8 years ago

    My entire family cannot drink any Budwieser product without getting a headache, but can drink Miller without issue. It seems that there are differences between beers as far as triggers go.

  • Migraine.com
    8 years ago

    Lizbeth-Check out the comment/suggestion posted by “stormlaughter” by clicking on the “Comment on Migraine.com” tab above!

  • Lizbeth Johns Wiggins
    8 years ago

    Thank you I guess I’m not the only one, I usually have one or two Heineken and one now really is a trigger. Maybe the light or Corona can be tried. I love a beer with certain food, already gave up red wine, need my cool relief at end of day. If you find a beer that doesn’t bother you please write.

  • Stormlaughter
    9 years ago

    I am so sorry, honey.

    I started looking for plant-based comfort remedies to go along with the prescriptions that my neurologist has me taking.

    I found that hops are a contradiction: they can both relieve pain or, in a few people, actually cause it. Supposedly taking a deep breath of the fragrance of the fresh hops and then noticing your response may give a clue as to which effect the hops will have for you.

    Pale ales are notoriously (or gloriously) known for being quite “hoppy”. I’ve never brewed a pale ale for that reason, pure fear of hops! I brew English Session ales and am experimenting now with a Nut Brown ale. Neither will have nearly the hops quantity of a pale ale.

    I make a syrup of hops infusion with plain sugar that works well for me as long as I don’t use much. One tablespoon (or maybe two tablespoons if the cup of infusion or tisane is large) seems to enhance some of the features I’m looking for without affecting my head. Still, I count it as a “stackable” trigger either way to stay on the conservative side.

    Maybe consider looking into craft beers to find one that’s less “hoppy”? Might not have to give up the marvelous beverage after all. Of course, you could become a brewster and make your own with ingredients you control yourself. It’s a wonderful hobby.

  • Di
    9 years ago

    Hi – I just discovered your blog while researching "beer migraines." I've recently discovered that beer (even one, of any sort) triggers a major migraine attack – stabbing pain, nausea and auras.

    Ugh. And I love beer. Boo.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    i've had migraines since i was a kid, but i recently developed an aspirin sensitivity which seems component to the beer/wine trigger for me. Beer and wine are very high in salicylate (aspirin)

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Same with me I had 2 mirror pond pale ale results bad headache, top of head throbbing vomitting about 4 hours after I drank them.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I had 2 pale ale micro brews at 2:00 pm. By 8:00 PM severe head pain top of head, nausea, vomitting cycle for 5 hours.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    LOVE this post! I think everyone just has to find their own triggers unfortunately… it's all trial and error. Recently I can't even touch beer within a 20ft radius without being under migraine lock down for 24 plus hours. Light or Dark beer, it's all bad news. Good bye my beloved Newcastle… But then again I can drink red wine, so go figure! My Doctor prescribed me 'Frova' and it's my saving grace, and has been for many years…

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Hello, for me, if I have 1-4 beers I feel the pain coming on- which will lead to a migraine. Usually after 4 the pressure comes off and then I am fine and my head goes back to normal. In the first couple beers I feel my eyes start to get effected, and then my scalp gets sensitive. The funny thing is…. if I stop here than it will 100% turn into a full out migraine- and I will be nonfunctional- but if I have lets say 2 more, I am fine the rest of the night.

  • Hold the Bud Light!
    9 years ago

    Thanks for this blog and glad to know I am not alone. I'm a 42 year old female who has suffered from migraines most of my adult life. One of the biggest triggers I've found is Bud Light! It's deadly to me. I like beer too, but lately I've been having more and more brands trigger migraines as well as most white wines. I don't seem to have a problem with Blue Moon (wheat beer), but recently had 1/2 a pint of a local brew pale ale and it was murder. Tequila is also another big trigger for me too. So I guess if I want to enjoy myself it's gonna have to be something with Vodka in it(I've never had a problem with this).

    Other triggers I've found for me are lack of sleep, skipping meals, hormonal and bright sunlight. I know there can be multiple triggers for most migraineurs and some are often found in combination. My mother used to get migraines and her trigger was MSG (Monosodium Glutemate). Oddly enough this was never a trigger for me. And yes, they certainly are herditary and tend to affect more females than males.

  • themigrainegirl
    9 years ago

    Funny how wheat beers are a major trigger for some and the beer lover's only respite for others! I've been drinking beer a bit more lately (1-2 a week, max) with few side effects; still haven't figured out for sure which types of beers affect me negatively.

  • uffa
    9 years ago

    I've recently had issues with beer and migraine as I'm getting older (30). I feel that wheat beer may work alright… Such as Blue Moon or Franziskaner. One beer that seems to be fine for me, but is hard to find is Schneider Organic Edel-Weise (has a green label). Otherwise i try to stick to tequila or sake. I'm not sure what the the ingredients are that cause the trigger in beer, but I look for the hefeweizen

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    This is a great blog, and it is nice to know I am not the only one with this issue. I learned a while ago that wheat beer and anything unfiltered gives me awful migraines. I love Boulevard Wheat out of Kansas City but can no longer drink it. I tried Sam Adams Summer Ale the other night and was very sick the next morning. I find that sticking to Bud Light helps, even though it is not nearly as delicious. Vodka seems to be ok as well. Red wine and I do not get along.

  • CJonthehill
    9 years ago

    What a great blog! I was doing a search this morning after last night's beer-migraine episode. I had one…only one….oatmeal porter beer. It was yummy but I sure paid the price! This hasn't happened before with my usual fare..Corona with lime. Guess there'll be no more dark beer for me…boo! Also, this migraine was very hard to relieve. Normally an imitrex/motrin or frova/motrin and I get some relief. Last night, nothing worked well. Thanks for this blog, at least I know I'm not alone!
    CJ

  • Dani
    9 years ago

    I feel your pain. I've been getting migraines since I was 16. They were sporadic at the time, but after a back injury (could be coincidence)I get them all the time. I stay away from cheese, chocolate,and red wine per recommendations. However, as I have begun to notice, any beer, wine, rum, vodka(the worst) in any increment of more than one glass is trouble for sure. I live on a strict regimen of medications, attack pills (frova works best for me) dr appointments, mri's, and physical therapy. So far there is no end in sight. I definitely feel for you as I am too the point that if I miss or get too much sleep, don't eat fast enough, drink, or work too long without a day off I am down for sure. I end up with a week stretch cycle of migraine pre, peak, and post that my dr has to end by knocking me out. Its hard because coworkers think its an excuse and I'm faking it. The alcohol trigger was gradual, but my advice (passed down from my aunt-hereditary these are)stay away from all alcohol cause it only gets worse.

  • Rud6
    9 years ago

    I have been experiencing much of the same thing with beer. I just graduated college and while I was in college I drank my fair share. I have had migraines since 3rd grade but have never been able to put a figure on a trigger. Once I got settled in with my job I started to have 2 or so migraines and week. I thought maybe I was stressed out but I know that wasn’t it, I was way more stressed in college. I then started to notice that if I drank wheat beer, like clock work I would have a migraine the next day. I stopped drinking wheat beer about 2 months ago but now the trigger has progressed to all beer. I just went on a trip last weekend to stay with so college friends and couldn’t escape a migraine and last night was the last straw. I had one Bud light at 10pm and had a migraine by 11pm. I have never had a migraine that late in the night in my life. I don’t have a problem with liquor that I know of but I’m going to do some research on that.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I am starting to think it is the enzymes they put in Light beer that cause migraines.

    Seriously

  • Kathleen
    10 years ago

    Hey thanks for the blog. I've been a Migraineur (sp?) since the age of 16 (I'm 26 now) I had two beers a Corona and NocheBuena (I live in Mexico) last night, and by midnight the migraine had started. I woke up this morning with awful pain. I guess I just have to accept the fact I cannot drink. sigh.

  • Leah
    10 years ago

    Thank you for posting this! I am a beer-lover as well. In University, I consumed it in mass amounts, then after graduation in more moderate amounts with the typical hangover consequences. The last two times I have drank beer I have had no more than three beers each time and the following day I develop a severe migraine about 5:00pm. Awful! As others have said in the comments, it's nice to know that I am not alone.
    I already miss beer, though.

  • keef66
    10 years ago

    Just had a eureka moment as I think I have identified a link between at least two attacks. Both during business trips to Germany and on each occasion the previous evening I'd drunk a couple of wheat beers, and had a shot of grappa after the meal. Fatal combination!

  • manuraj
    10 years ago

    i think .. smoking can also be a reason , a regular cigarette smoked in the sun may be one of the reasons … marijuana for sure will be ..and any aciditic food can trigger a migrane attack.. by the way almost everything one likes to eat .. from grains to meat ….is aciditic , vegatables is the alkaline solution …well .. were i come from …we just cant live on vegetables itself ..so .. u see …even i am still looking for a solution

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    the migraines could be triggered by the yeast in the beer. sinus blockage is my problem and beer, wine and cheese seem to trigger the migraines. Check out http://www.sinusinfectiondiscovery.com before the 22 september as there is a promo on. Ive ordered the treatment and will let you know how it goes.

  • Wichi Woman
    10 years ago

    I just found your website. I am glad you posted this, makes me feel not so alone! I went out last night and had 3 beers over the course of 2+ hours. Then about 3 hours later, bam, migraine!! For a while there if I kept my intake less than 3 beers I was ok, but lately I am not sure that is true. I dislike dark ales so I don't know about those for me, but I have tried, Mic Ultra, Corona, Sam Adams and now Abita all give me a migraine. This sucks!

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I have similar comments. Lighter beer good, darker beer bad (for migraines)

    Drink 2-3 Corona's or similar, next day I'm fine. Drink one or two Ale's, eyeball headache lasting sometimes DAYS.

    Here's my "research"
    Modelo Negra is ok.
    Corona is ok.
    Brand "x" light is ok
    Fat Tire = eyeball headache
    Sierra Nevada Pale= eyeball
    Mack & Jack = eyeball headache, but ALMOST worth it. (just found this beer in Seattle)

    Hate to say it, but I wish my tax dollars would do a study on this!

    Now, who can tell me best way to get rid of a migrane? Advil,Tylenol concoction + several hot showers is my only salvation.

  • Sandra
    10 years ago

    Growing up I never had to deal with headaches, let alone a full blown migraine. Since May however, I've been slammed by several. I've been to the doctors/hospital several times with all of it. I attend college in a small town known for their fabulous microbrewery beers. I can drink several Michelob Ultra and be plenty fine the next day- but two or even one of the lightest microbrew they can offer just about kills me. At first I blamed myself for being so much of a lush to get to the point of a hangover, but it honestly doesn't not take much. I'll drink the crappy light beer if it means I can function for the two days that follow… but I'm in agreement that is sucks all the same.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I've been experiencing this for several years now and thought I was crazy. I new red wine would trigger this in me but why oh why beer? I tend to like the dark stuff, i.e. Guiness and it just about kills me within an hour or two. Interestingly I had developed an affinity for vodka and hvae noticed that it doesn't have the same migraine inducing effect. Oh well… at least I'm not alone!

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Interesting comments. I’ve observed the beer-migraine connection for about the last two years. Sometimes these headaches are severe…sometimes just nagging. I’m not overly particular about one beer versus another when ordering, but I wish, over the years that I had been. So here’s what I drank last night for the first time. A Saranac Black Forest…a Bavarian Style Beer. Got my butt kicked! I only drank about 2/3 of it. But about 3 hours later, I woke with a Migraine…gone by morning after a couple of Tylenol, so I can really feel for you peeps who have them lasting a day or two! 🙁
    Also, I had a couple of Coronas a couple of weeks back and I can’t attribute NEAR the same reaction to it. So I’m wondering if some of the more beer adepts out there can perhaps connect some dots out there and tell me why I can skip thru Mexico but get crushed in the Black Forest of Bavaria (still love BMW, tho). Perhaps this blog can begin to correlate what brews bring out the biggest bang for our bucks…maybe there’s a common element or two in all this that can help us successfully navigate our way thru the “maize”?

  • Lauren
    10 years ago

    I, too, have found that my beloved alcohol is my worst trigger. Red wine is out forever. Most whites are out, Riesling has been my savior although very sweet. Vodka is OK, all other liquors have been blacklisted. I have just heard that wheat-free beer might be a solution. I will experiment and get back to you.
    http://www.wheat-free.org/wheat-gluten-free-beer.html

  • HeadacheGal
    11 years ago

    Helpful blog! I’m 31 and still suffer with migraines. I’ve learned that certian foods/drinks that contained nitrates such as hot dogs, ham, pepperoni, balogna, bacon and red wine all triggered mine. Also, anything with caffeine like sodas or candy (dark chocolate especially) triggered them as well. Now I drink decaffinated sodas and vodka with sprite. I sure miss the beer though!!

  • Anonymous
    11 years ago

    Hi, I am yet another person who has beer for a trigger for migraine. I have had migraines since I was a little girl and am now 25. On new years eve I had about 3 beers before I felt sick. I woke up to a headache which turned into a migraine lasting over 48 hours. I thought this was a freak thing. However, I went out for drinks last night and had 2 beers and this morning I am well on my way to a horrible migraine. I’ve already taken extra strength tylenol and imitrex. Neither has taken away the sharp, stabbing, throbbing pain. This happened on NYE as well. The headache lasted for over 48hours because nothing would take it away.

  • Anonymous
    11 years ago

    I am so upset to find that my favorite beverage(Beer) is now the trigger to the worst pain. I did not have this trigger for a long time. I also stay clear of red wine, it has always given me trouble. My triggers also include lack of sleep and missing meals. It seems the older I get the more often this triggers effect me. After just one or two beers I will start feeling the headache. It doesn’t always turn into a migraine, but it is still a headache. I will change over to drinking Cape Cods.

  • linktoevj
    11 years ago

    great blog… just found it. anyway, i’ve been having lots of trouble with alcohol and migraines. it seems that red wine was first to trigger them, then dark booze (bourbon, etc), dark beer, then white whine, then light beer, and now all i can drink is vodka. (i’ll skip details of the experimental process which led to this conclusion) i had one newcastle last night and have been sick with a throbbing eyeball headache all day (though i guess i don’t know for sure that it was the beer). well, thought i would share. every bit of info helps.

  • Erin
    11 years ago

    I have been suffering from migraines since I was 18. I am now 28. 10 years, many different prescriptions, hospital visits, work missed, flaking out on plans, days in the dark, sunglasses at my desk b/c of the flouresent lights, etc. Anyway, I haven’t found my triggers b/c no matter how much I diary, nothing is similar from one migraine to the next. The only thing I have found, like you, is that just recently beer seems to give me a headache. Just one beer, way before the buzz, I get a migraine. I’ve tried different kinds – microbrews, cheap light beers, local beers, etc – and have found that they all hurt. I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker so I don’t know what to turn to. I’ve tried red wine and that kind of hurts too, so I’m on to white wine now. I was surfing the web trying to find out why I get these migraines from beer and was hoping to find a solution, but instead I found people who share my pain. I guess it’s good to know I’m know alone, but I’m going to continue searching to see if anyone has any answers.

  • Anonymous
    11 years ago

    Its true…beer will trigger migraines. Lite Beers would do it to me all the time, it could be the harps in the brew that trigger the migraines, my neurologist suggest drinking Ales which do not contains harps. You just need to be selective, Bass Ale, Sam Adams, etc…these are the precription beers

  • Anonymous
    11 years ago

    it happens to me too, i used to drink every once in a while a huge jar of beer with lime and salt, but now with just a bottle i start feeling ill with a headache before i get the buzz. It also happened with chocolate, i love chocolate, but lately, i eat half a package of m&m;’s(those are the worse) and i get the headache, and let’s not talk about taking readbull or coca-cola, the next day im nauseus and my head feels like a boulder.

  • Anonymous
    12 years ago

    I also get bad migrene from beer. I don’t get migrene from Stella Altois, Corona specially imports.

  • themigrainegirl
    12 years ago

    I haven’t had a bee sting in recent years, at least that I can recall. I was stung at least two or three times a summer as a child and never had any out-of-the-ordinary reactions. Hmm… Thanks for bringing that up, though–that’s an interesting thing to think about.

  • Music
    12 years ago

    I’m going through the same thing right now. Either drink crappy light beer (and only 3 max of those) or suffer a headache. There is no rhyme or reason to the types of beers.

    I’ve thought of switching to Vodka for a drink but I LOVE beer.

    Curious, do you have bee allergies? Just found out last year that I was and was wondering if it was a histamine thing and related to beer.

  • The Migraineur
    12 years ago

    Oh, that sucks for you. Someone told me, “When you find your trigger, it will almost certainly be the thing you enjoy most.”

    I take issue with the notion that all triggers are food or drink related, though. Mine are almost certainly losing sleep and skipping meals.

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