why do you get a headache after drinking alcohol

A hangover is an unpleasant consequence of heavy alcohol consumption and includes a headache and other symptoms. But even moderate amounts of alcohol can induce headaches even in the absence of a hangover in some people. A headache may begin within a few hours after drinking alcohol-containing beverages or can start up to 16 hours later. Several biological effects of alcohol are responsible for causing headaches in susceptible individuals. According to the National Headache Foundation, the ethanol component of alcoholic beverages may cause the body to lose fluid. Dehydration, a change in the balance of body water and essential nutrients, results. This affects the fluids surrounding the brain and decreases the blood pressure and blood flow to the brain. In addition, alcohol-containing drinks can decrease blood pressure in the brain by widening the blood vessels that supply the brain.


These changes can produce pain and sensitivity, resulting in a headache. A variety of chemicals can contribute to post-alcohol headaches. Studies have documented measurable changes in the immune system and in a number of different chemicals -- including cogeners, flavonoids, tryptamines and acetaldehydes -- that might have a connection with headaches. The exact mechanism of the headache-producing qualities of these chemicals is not fully understood. Not everyone is prone to alcohol-induced headaches. Typically, people who experience headaches after drinking wine, beer, spirits or mixed drinks tend to notice the unpleasant correlation and avoid them. A study published in the March 2012 "Journal of Headache Pain" noted that people who develop redness of the cheeks after drinking alcohol tend to have a higher incidence of alcohol headaches as well.


People who are prone to migraine headaches are also susceptible to headaches from drinking alcohol. Women are more likely than men to experience headaches after drinking alcoholic beverages. Red wine is often blamed for headaches, and there is possibly a stronger correlation between headaches and red wine than other types of alcohol. However, a preference or aversion to a specific drink is based on personal experiences and observations. While alcohol can cause headaches due to the biological responses to chemicals in the alcohol, there may also be a correlation with stress. A negative mood before drinking alcohol can predispose some people to migraine headaches independent of what they drink.
Headaches that come the day after consuming alcohol are called hangover headaches or alcohol-induced headaches.


Alcohol is also a. About a third of. Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol. Ethanol is clear, colorless with a sweet flavor and a smell that some people find pleasant. Ethanol is made by fermenting sugars. When a person drinks an alcoholic beverage, the ethanol is quickly absorbed in the stomach. The ethanol is distributed into the bloodstream and then into the brainвs nerve cells. The ethanol is distributed throughout the body, as it circulates 90 percent of the ethanol is processed by the liver. Ethanol is a drug that acts on the brain, liver, kidneys, heart, stomach, blood vessels, hormones and other bodily systems. Ethanol also serves as a depressant and suppresses certain brain functions.


Initially the ethanol in alcohol makes most people feel relaxed and happy. More alcohol causes more enthusiastic behavior, which is typically followed by blurred vision and reduced inhibitions. Chemicals in alcohol, such as tyramine and histamine are believed to interact with brain chemicals. These events can lead to headaches and in some people trigger. The headaches usually occur the next morning after drinking alcohol, when the alcohol level in the body falls. People who suffer from migraines are more likely than the average person to experience hangover headaches. One 2004 study of 1,122 people found that men are more likely to experience alcohol headaches than women. In some cases, death The International Headache Society lists two types of alcohol-induced headache: immediate and delayed. The pain is made worse by

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