Wine recommendations for migraine sufferers - Printable Version

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- roccjard - 05-04-1999 10:26 AM

As an avid wine drinker, primarily pinot noir and zinfandel, I was distressed to read that red wine may contain possible food triggers for migraine headaches. I began having migraine attackes three years ago and each time I drink wine, especially red, a migraine headache follows within a few hours. I found no posted messages addressing this topic specifically, so if anyone out there has any helpful hints or can share any migraine-related wine experiences, please let me know. roccjard

- Thomas - 05-04-1999 02:40 PM

Perhaps Bucko, our resident Dr., can weigh in on this one.

It seems to me you are in a fix. Migraines appear to be triggered by red wine, probably for the same reason some people get headaches from red wine -- I get them infrequently enough not to quit drinking the stuff; it happens to me during pollen season.

Red wine, by virtue of its long skin contact, plus possible elements picked up during oak aging, can create a build up of histamines in the body. The sinus is the place for histamine build up to show its mettle, and headaches are a by-product.

I have a friend who loves wine, all colors, but she cannot drink red wine because she suffers from migraines. She misses the wine, but says it truly is worth the absence of pain. Caffeine withdrawal seems also to give her migraines, as does chocolate.

- Bucko - 05-05-1999 11:17 PM

Dr. Foodie stole my thunder. You need to ask your family doc for some samples of Allegra or Claritin - he/she will know if they are okay for you to take. They are non-sedating anti-histamines. Taken about an hour before wine consumption, the allergic responses are blunted, as are a good majority of migraines. This would be a trial and error process for you. If you still get the headaches, then wine is out. Be sure to do this trial under the supervision of a physician - DO NOT use a friend's meds. Good luck,


- roccjard - 05-05-1999 11:31 PM

Thanks to both bucko and dr foodie for their advice. I'll ask my physician about preventing the effects of histamines in wine with antihistamines. I hope it works, since I'd rather give up other food [coffee, chocolate, nuts, etc] suspected of being possible triggers for migraines than wine!!!

- glenora - 05-06-1999 04:00 AM

"Dr Foodie"-----Hmmm!!!! alas the powers of the cyberspace--could it be Emperor Foodie next?

- Thomas - 05-06-1999 07:17 AM

Hey, Glenora, I'm no doctor, but I play one on the Internet!

Bucko has great insight. Think I'll change my handle.