What Causes Migraines? New Study Says Red Wine, Weather May Trigger Headaches
Have a migraine? It may have been triggered by drinking red wine or even the weather. But then again, the excruciating headache might have been caused by something else.
New research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society in Los Angeles, showed that migraines can be triggered be red wine. This doesn’t occur for all people, however, and some wines seem to be worse for headaches than others.
A small study was recently conducted in Brazil with 33 adult wine drinkers who believe that the beverage has caused a migraine in the past. The 33 wine drinkers were given a bottle of Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and told to drink them at least four days apart.
Nearly all participants experienced a migraine within 12 hours of drinking one of the bottles of wine, and according to Dr. Abouch Krymchantowski, the lead author of the study, migraines were more common after the Tannat and Malbec bottles.
“I concluded that the wines with the highest content of tannins — Tannat and Malbec — are those which triggered migraines more frequently.”
Brian Grosberg, an assistant professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said:
“It’s a small study, but it confirms what we hear from patients: Wine can trigger migraines, but not necessarily all the time.”
Krymchantowski is now hoping to conduct similar tests but with more wine varietals from more locations around the world.
A second report on migraines was presented to the American Headache Society in Los Angeles. This study looked at the correlation between headaches and weather.
Sixty-six migraine patients were told to keep a headache journal for a year. Researchers found that temperature change was linked to mild headaches 21% of the time.
Dr. Shuu-Jiun Wang, deputy head of the Neurological Institute at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, said:
“The study provides pioneering evidence that headaches are associated more with temperature among those with subjective temperature sensitivity than those without. If patients report temperature sensitivity, physicians should pay more attention and may adjust preventive agents in certain seasons … for these patients.”
Grosberg, who was not involved in either study, said that the studies showed that weather and wine can trigger migraines, but said that there are several other factors that can cause headaches.
“Sometimes it’s one strong trigger, but usually it’s a combination of two or more triggers that will precipitate an attack.”
Health Day notes that research presented at medical meetings is preliminary. The research will be scrutinized by colleagues before it appears in peer-reviewed journals.
Do you get headaches after drinking red wine?