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Beer Therapy

  • By ShaggyLittle

    I have found a strange treatment for my migraines, which is kind of embarrassing. I haven’t even told my doctor that I’m doing this.

    Several years ago I was with friends at a bar in NYC. I was nowhere near my medications, or even a quiet dark place to take refuge. So I decided to proceed as if nothing was happening, even though I assumed the evening was about to turn very ugly for me. I was upset because I couldn’t treat the migraine, so I had a few beers rather quickly to settle my nerves. To my surprise, as a slight beer buzz kicked in, the migraine symptoms dissipated and were completely gone in about an hour.

    I have used this treatment many times since, and it has worked 99% of the time. I realize that alcohol is a migraine trigger for some people, so that makes this all the more puzzling to me. I have not tried this method with wine or liquor.

    I have not found anyone else who has had this experience but I’d love to hear if anyone has.

    I realize it’s not always practical to chug a few beers, but in my case it beats the hell out of the alternative, which would be lying in bed for 12-24 hours.

  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    ShaggyLittle – Have you seen a headache specialist yet for your headaches? I ask because this sounds suspiciously like you might actually be suffering tension type headache which is relieved when the alcohol relaxes your muscles. This is completely a guess. As you assumed, drinking beer is not something we hear about too often, lol. It’s definitely something to talk to your doctor about however.

  • By linda

    I knew a professor that cured his long time migraines by starting to drink whiskey. He also had cluster headaches and was going to a neurologist. I doubt if it would work for many people as I believe it is more of a trigger than an abortive. Interesting.
    g though.

  • By Wackeymackey

    It’s interesting. But in my opinion it’s better to consult an ophthalmologist and get the necessary treatment as it is all about vision.

  • By Figurrea

    As headaches can stem from a variety of causes, I think you should seek treatment. Although there are several home remedies seeking professional help will be far better.

  • By T.James

    I’m glad to see someone else has had this experience. I was a heavy drinker for many years, but decided to change my lifestyle when I was 35. I stopped drinking and promptly began getting regular migraines. I’d only had one previously, at age 17 (I’m now 58). The symptoms are always the same – aura (visual deficits, zig-zag lines in my field of vision, numbness in my extremities, and difficulty speaking coherently), followed by a dull headache for a couple of days. a few years ago, I was prescribed topiramate, along with Maxalt to use for symptom relief. I’d always wondered why these headaches never occurred between age 17 and 35 (especially as my older sister has been plagued with them all her life), and oddly enough, it appears my borderline alcoholic lifestyle is what kept me from getting migraines during that timespan. I have since discovered that when a migraine begins and I start getting aura symptoms, drinking just one beer (specifically Heineken, if that matters) is just as effective as a triptan at relieving the symptoms, and may even work more quickly.