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The Best Ways to Prevent Nasty Wine Headaches

Hangover headaches are NOT a condition we treat at Pasadena Pain Management. While our focus is to treat pain caused by dental and bite force imbalances, we do look at the “big picture” of head pain when our patients give us their health history. And, all too often, some of that pain, patients report, is caused by wine.

Morning-After Head Pain

So, why do some people get a headache the morning after drinking wine? Many people think that sulfites are the culprit behind wine headaches and migraine triggers, but other chemicals are likely to blame. Some studies suggest that a naturally occurring substance in wine called tyramine may cause headaches, possibly due to the way it affects blood pressure.

More: Why Even 1 Glass of Wine Gives You Headaches

Wine, especially red wine, can also contain histamines, which some people can’t metabolize.

How to Avoid a Wine Headache

Taking a non-drowsy antihistamine prior to drinking wine may help. Research has also shown that the tannins in wine may boost production of the brain chemical serotonin, and changes in serotonin levels can trigger headaches, especially in people prone to migraines.

You can also try switching to white wine, given that most of the tannins are found in the skin and seeds of the grape. (In white wine, the skin and seeds are removed during production.)

More: Tension or a Migraine – Here’s How to Tell

Or, if you really love red, see if you find relief by sipping a lighter-bodied variety, like pinot noir, which will have lower levels of tannins.

Other Variable to Look For

You should also consider other  variables.

Do you get headaches if you have a glass after a long workday but not while on vacation? Underlying stress could be the real issue.

Alcohol is also dehydrating, so you may be left with a pounding head if you’re not drinking enough water before and along with your glass.

More: Is it a Hangover or a True Migraine?

The best headache fix is, of course, not drinking. But, we get it – your human. Stick to one 5-ounce glass of wine per day, which is the recommended max for women.

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.