Does wine trigger migraines? Thoughts on Triggers.

Is Wine A Headache / Migraine Trigger?

CHAMP ChatsMy primary job is as the executive director of CHAMP. I’m also the life partner of someone with chronic migraine disease. Both sides of our families are home winemakers, producing multiple barrels of wine each year. Wine is ever present as we share meals and enjoy outings with our families. But is wine the mortal enemy of headache and migraine? Is wine a trigger for everyone who is prone to experience migraine attacks?

Here are a few things I believe:

  1. It is important for each person with a headache disease to track and try to understand their personal triggers.
  2. People have different triggers, so no one should assume or blame people for behaviors that may be a trigger for them but aren’t for others.
  3. Triggers tend to work by stacking, so it is often important to assess the full range of cumulative trigger factors – not just one individual trigger.
  4. With diseases as difficult to understand and variable as headache and migraine, it is good to have ongoing critical assessment about what your personal triggers are and reevaluation over time. (Is weather really a trigger for you or is weather just as random as your attacks are?)
As someone who deeply appreciates wine, I’m saddened by the fact that it seems to be a common trigger for many with headache and migraine diseases, and thus must be avoided by these individuals. But wine (and all other triggers) aren’t necessarily triggers for all people with headache and migraine disease, so people need to explore what is and is not tolerable for them personally. We need to respect trigger variations across our disease community.
I’m curious to know, do you personally find that a stacking of triggers is what brings about your headache/migraine attacks – or is a single trigger all it takes? Visit this article on the CHAMP Facebook page to share your thoughts.

-Kevin

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