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Alcohol induced Headache


For the past 10 years or so I have gotten episodic cluster headaches, about one cluster per year (I'm 38 years old).
Each cluster lasting ~1 month, headaches occurring 1-2x daily on average. My last cluster was about 4 months ago. Also it always occurs over and around my left eye. During this time i try to drink less alcohol, as it does make it worse/more frequent.

A few weeks ago after having 2-3 drinks one night, a couple hours later I got a bad cluster-like headache on my right side. Never before that I can recall did I have this on the right side. It lasted unusually long, 3+ hours. The next night, same thing happened again (after 2 drinks).

I decided no to drink for a week - and I had no headaches. So i figured it was not a new cluster, as they would be more frequent if that was the case.

A week later I drank again (2 drinks), and boom it came again, also lasting many hours. I abstained again a week (no headache), and now yesterday I tried alcohol again (only 1 small drink). Yet again, I got a migraine like headache on my right side 2 hours after that 1 drink. It gave me stops and starts and a constant dull pain and didn't fully go away until about 15 hours after starting.

So my question for everyone - any thoughts? It's almost like i've become "allergic" to alcohol over the past 3+ weeks, and everytime I have even a single drink it's triggering cluster like migraines, which last anywhere from 3-12+ hours with moderate intensity.
I've been a moderate drinker (1-2 daily) for about 15 years and never had this kind of consistent trigger before, only had anything remotely similar when I knew I was in a known cluster headache period, which I definitely am not in now.

  1. since this is something new that you are experiencing with your headache cycle it would be a good idea to contact your doctor and get their insights on this. With migraine disease triggers can change and morph sometimes so it's always a good idea to note and track what you are experiencing and cover it with your doctor. Warmly, Cheryl team

    1. Is it all kinds of alcohol? Sulfites can be a common trigger, and as Cheryl noted, your personal triggers can change over time. :\ I'm curious to hear what kind of feedback you get from your doctor as well. Take good care of yourself! -Melissa, team

      1. I've had the same reaction past few weeks with different beers and vodka. Have not had wine recently.

        1. That's interesting. It could be just alcohol, or it could be all foods containing sulfites. I grabbed a list for you so that you can consider sulfite ingredients while you shop. Exploring the possibility of a sensitivity is probably a good idea. You might also be interested in knowing that there are some low-sulfite wines on the market now. 😀

          Hope that's useful! -Melissa, team

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