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Snooth User: kalikavalkade

any wines suitable for migraine sufferers?

Posted by kalikavalkade, Jan 25, 2011.

at one time i was able to drink wine of all types. a few years ago, single sips of any kind i tried began triggering epic migraines.

has any one experienced, or known someone to experience this phenomenon?

also - would very much like to give wine another whirl.

can anyone suggest a "gentle" wine that is suitable for someone of questionable constitution, or a method of easing my way back into the beverage? thanks!

kali

 

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 28, 2011.

Have you had any discussions with a doctor or allergy specialist (or clinical immunologist) about this? Can you give us any more details about when you had what kind of wine, and what the results were?

There have been a number of forum threads in the past that have dealt with headaches from red wine, sulphite allergies and the like, but perhaps we can start fresh with your answers here.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 28, 2011.

I have had this in the past with red wines.  I used to stick to reds.  I guess I grew out of it over time. 

I think you need to find out what in wine triggers your migraines.  Tyramines are the most common, and highly present in red wines.. also aged cheese, cured meats. 

Is it red  or white for you.. or both?  Are the migraines triggered after only one glass or several?  What is the price point of your wine (cheap wine has byproducts that can induce headache and hangover beyond the effects of alcohol.)  I, personally, avoid "grocery store wine".  Not an exact science, but has some merit.

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Reply by kalikavalkade, Jan 28, 2011.

thank you for your responses!

i have discussed this with my neurologist, who has told me that as a migraine sufferer i should steer clear of alcohol. this is something i will not accept.

the last time i consumed wine was in 2003. the first headache came from a single glass of merlot at an italian restaurant.  i don't recall any further details, save the crippling headache that followed. the next week, i consumed a half carafe of pinot noir and subsuquently spilled my innards into a bush. 

i gave each type, the merlot and the pinot noir, one final go before throwing in the cork, as it were. my mother claims to have a wine allergy (this is a fact to which she has steadfastly adhered for the past fifty years), so i assumed genetic mutation and gave up.

i should also mention that i am a vegan. my migraines improved significantly after i made this dietary change, so perhaps there is something to this tyramine business.

i can only have so many restrictions in my life. meat and dairy are quite enough.

so, where do i begin?

kali

 

 

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Reply by Renate1966, Jan 28, 2011.

have migraines as well, and understand where you are coming from. Have found one wine that does not induce migraines. It is called ' DUNAVAR " and comes from Hungary. Not all liquor stores carry it. If you are into making your own wine, try a Grand Cru kit: Pinot Gri or Pinot Grigio. For some reason this one type of wine will give me no migraines.  Good luck and keep me posted.

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Reply by kalikavalkade, Jan 28, 2011.

thank you! you have given me hope.

i will see about obtaining this dunavar wine and report back.

would definitely love to make my own wine -- what does that entail? is it like making your own hummus? sauce from scratch? modeling clay? those are things i know how to do rather well. ; )  

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 28, 2011.

I cannot advise you on making wine at home, but I am curious if you have tried white wine?  Does it also cause your migraines?   I miswrote in the first response that I stuck only to "reds"... I meant to say "whites".  I would try a mid price range white... maybe a Sauv Blanc in the $20-30 range to see if that causes them (if you want to chance it).  I have also heard that vodka (in moderation, of course), has the least amount of congeners that can cause all types of headache.

BTW- alcohol allergy is not common, but it does exist.  Here is an interesting article I found on the subject:

http://allergies.about.com/od/faq/f/alcoholallergy.htm

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Reply by Renate1966, Jan 28, 2011.

making wine from kits is very easy. Prices range from 30- 150 dollars per kit. Yields approx. 23 liters in 4 weeks. All you do is follow instructions: Mix with water, add yeast. Let sit. Add some powders to stop fermentation and clear the wine, Then bottle and enjoy. 

You appear to be very creative.....who knows, maybe this is just up your alley!

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Reply by kalikavalkade, Jan 31, 2011.

hi napagirl -  white wine has been known to rapidly constrict and contract my blood vessels as well. i do not believe that i have a certified alcohol allergy. it is more of an acute sensitivity. strangely, one of the few beverages that does not antagonize me (too much) is kahlua. the same is true for both frangelico and anisette. thus i enjoy drinking my fair share of these substances in various combinations, but do not understand why the negative impact on my brain is so minimal. any insight into this one?   

&thank you for the high compliment, renate. concocting my own elixir might just be the solution to this quandary! will keep you posted.

kali

 

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 31, 2011.

Have you tried any dessert wines like sauternes or late harvest riesling (auslese, beerenausle, trocken beerenauslese from Germany, even Icewine from Canada), or tokay from Hungary? Less alcohol here. Or perhaps fortified versions with more alcohol like Port or Madeira or Marsala, or even Bandol? Wonder if sugar content may have anything to do with your reaction, rather than alcohol per se....

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 31, 2011.

Kali,

The fact that white wine is also a trigger for you implies to me that tyramine, phenol, and histamine are not what is triggering your migraines after wine consumption.  Although these elements are present in white wine, it is to a much, much lesser degree than red, which is why white wine is often not listed on the "avoid" list for migraneurs.  What whites DO have in common with reds (as a matter of fact, they often have a higher concentration) is sulfites.  Now, a true sulfite allergy (hives, stuffy nose, problems breathing) is actually rare.  People with sulfite allergy also cannot take sulfa antibiotics and will react to things preserved with sulfites, such as lunchmeat.  HOWEVER, sulfites are a recognized TRIGGER for migraine.  This doesn't mean that one is allergic to them, just that they can be a trigger for migraines.

I did a quick search to see if Kahlua has sulfites.  I couldn't find a definitive answer, but it looks like no.  I also think you could rule out a sensitivity to ethanol itself, since Kahlua is ~28% alcohol, while most wines are ~13-14% alcohol.

If you find that sulfites might be a trigger, and you are determined to drink wine, you need to look for a wine that says "sulfite free" on the label.  "Organic" does not automatically mean sulfite free. 

Good luck!

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Reply by ChipDWood, Feb 1, 2011.

Lots of good stuff to chew on in this thread.  The definition of organic seems to be as fluid as the rivers that ran through Demeter's wood ;).

I would love to see an article that discusses "headaches from wine", the effects that sulfites might have, whether or not "Organic" is worth the paper that the labels are printed on concerning it, etc.

My two cents: Everyone has different chemistry so naturally wine affects us all differently.  I've gotten headaches from some wines before, but I've always found them to be worst if I haven't consumed enough water or food- or if I simply drink too much of the stuff.

I have an assosciate who is very sensitive to headaches, particularly those of the "day after" sort from as little as two glasses of the good stuff.  No matter the level of the wine, he has at least convinced himself that sulfites are the cause (and he's no dummy I might add- a pharmacist)- and that wines made from organic grapes may be affecting him less.

I'm intrigued by the whole conversation, and speak daily with all sorts of folks who are looking for a way around these headaches so they can more enjoy wine.  While I think there is a lot of "hocus pocus" to achieving the label of "biodynamic"- I also believe that as the years go by, on the whole, better and more "sustainable" (oh God, that word.  It means "Holy" in today's lexicon I'm affraid) wine making methods concerning the earth that the vineyards work with, and within are moving us forward.

It's progress, but it's also like progress while driving down the Vegas Strip: Lots of eye candy for people to rubberneck at that's simply superfluous to the root of the issue: the more important green light in front of you amidst the neon surrounding.

K.  Off the pedastal.

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Reply by shawkes, Feb 1, 2011.

I used to work in a wine store and I heard of this problem all the time.  We were informed that red wine contains histamines and red wines contain higher levels than whites.  It was suggested that to avoid the headache that came with drinking wine, you should take an antihistamine, like Benadryl.  Many customers that this was suggested to had good results with not getting the red wine headaches.  People that suffer from allergies are also prone to be sensitive to the histamines. Google histamines in red wine.  You will get a lot of info.

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Reply by zibbyz, Feb 1, 2011.

Hi,

Tim Ferriss (4 hour work week & 4 hour body) blog suggests the following - neither he nor I have any $ connection to the company.  The page says it is available at Walgreens.


http://www.doublechaser.com/

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Reply by WineFueled, Feb 1, 2011.

I'm a Traditional Chinese Medicine student (acupuncture) and we learn that tannins are very drying/draining.  I will extrapolate this to the tannins in reds and suggest that you either avoid highly tannic reds or, better yet, make your wine and water intake equal, to counteract the drying properties of tannins + alcohol.

I hope you find some solutions from all these responses.  Apparently, none of us want you to be left out.

btw, it's hard to say that sulfites are the real problem b/c they are a naturally occurring preservative and are found in so many common things, even OJ.  (Although, I hear some wineries do add more)

 

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Reply by spikedc, Feb 2, 2011.

I agree with winefueled. I suffer now and then with migraines, one thing I make sure I do is drink lots of water when drinking red wine, usually one water to every red, this does seem to help.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 2, 2011.

Ah but those tannins in pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon or whatever other grape-turned-to-wine are so yummy, especially when they have helped an aged wine evolve to perfection. Just hydrate. Better than drinking fruity sodapop-like wines without those tannins.

I seem to detect in some (obviously not all, and not the OP, for example) a potential lack of distinction between hangovers and something separate. No headaches from beer or whisky or vodka or...? Drink enough and anything will give you (or at least me) one. What that threshold is for each of us may be different (definitely more than two drinks for me), but I've crossed it way too many times.

Hydrating helps, as does taking an aspirin or two before bed when I have the sense to do so after overindulging.

And Chip, you're getting all literary on us. ;-) I prefer her name Gaia, myself, though there's debate about how much overlap there is between the two. And I definitely like the story of Demeter's daughter Persephone and the pomegranate seeds. Eleusinian mysteries, indeed....

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Reply by ChipDWood, Feb 2, 2011.

Yea well, Demeter's in full-fledged business mode now, conquering the world by the tactful use of "oversight" and beuracracy/taxation for the sake of being "GR__N".

Or "sustainable", otherwise known as "holy", in the Church of the Modern Day Tree Hugger.

I completely agree with the hydrating point, and would even throw on top of that proper 'nutirtion', or balance of foods with wine, and/or any other type of alcoholic beve.  Not for nothing, but I've noticiced that fats don't hurt.  At least when it comes to protecting the cranium.

The ancient art of eh, drinking water, saves the day again.  Some have this happen to them more often than others, and though I would love to paint it all with a simple solution I still would love to see an article chronicalling things.

Sulfites, ALWAYS, get the bad rap.  And true or not, let us not allow the facts get in the way of a great way to sell something.

"Organic"...

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Reply by ChipDWood, Feb 2, 2011.

"Nutrition" that being, as opposed to "nutirtion", which is actually a new and experimental type of space-age adhesive made from Nutri-Grain Cereal.  Or something.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 2, 2011.

Yeah, on hangover days I find my body calling out for fatty foods. Usually an old fashioned big American (or British) breakfast of something like bacon/sausage/eggs/hashbrowns, together with plenty of citrus juice and caffeine (either coffee or tea, with milk for me) seems to set me right.

Then there's the old technique I learned in France in my youth about eating a ball of butter with the first glass of the evening, to keep one from getting too drunk through the night. Coat the stomach with that good animal fat... ;-)

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 2, 2011.

Meant to add after the first paragraph that cold pizza and flat cola absolutely don't work for me. ;-)

Maybe we should start a thread on hangover cures...

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