Alcohol is one of the most popular intoxicating drinks. Since centuries people consume it for some reason or other. The main ingredient of alcohol is ethanol. There are several forms of alcoholic beverages available and the main ingredient in all of them is ethanol.
Hangover is one of the most common side effects of drinking alcohol. Headache is the most prominent symptom of hangover, besides other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, burning pain in abdomen, uneasiness, blackouts etc.
Some people may suffer from headache after drinking alcohol within few minutes. It may even take 12 hours before someone develops headache after drinking.Headache after alcohol consumption has wide variety of reasons. Let us know how alcohol can cause headache.
What Causes Headache After Drinking Alcohol?
Not everyone drinking alcohol may suffer from discomforting headache, but there are some people who are prone to develop headache and other symptoms of hangover after drinking alcohol. The other prominent symptoms of hangover are anorexia, tremors, dizziness, fatigue, sweating, decreased attention, anxiety irritability etc.
Those who have family history of headache are more prone to develop headache after drinking alcohol. Here are few important reasons:
- Drinking alcohol in large amount may lead to dehydration. The chemical ethanol present in alcoholic beverages induces fluid loss. This may be due to increased urination, increased perspiration. Dehydration can affect the balance of fluid in the body. Loss of fluid leads to low blood pressure. The blood flow to brain may be affected. It may result in headache. Alcohol also causes dilatation of the blood vessels. As a result there is congestion of blood in brain. It is in the same way that you see flushing and redness on the face. Congestion causes heaviness in head.
- Alcoholic beverages contains vide variety of chemicals. These are also known as cogeners. Especially dark colored alcoholic drinks contain them. Cogeners impart color, aroma, and flavor to the alcoholic beverage. The other chemical called acetaldehyde may also have connection in producing headache.
- As mentioned earlier, not all people who drink alcohol may suffer from headache. There are few people who are more susceptible than others. For example people who experience hot flushing and redness on their cheeks after drinking alcohol are more prone to get headache after alcohol consumption. People who suffer from migraine headache are also at greater risk of suffering from migraine headache after intake of alcohol. Women as compared to men may experience headache after consuming alcohol beverage.
- Many people suffer from headache after drinking red wine. No one knows with certainty the reason. But there are several factors that may be the probable causes. The sulfites, tannins and histamine present in this fermented beverage are suspected to the culprit in causing headache.
How To Prevent Headache After Drinking Alcohol?
- Drink enough water before, during and after drinking alcohol. This will prevent dehydration which is believed to be a cause for headache and other hangover symptoms.
- Drink water mixed with one teaspoon of lemon juice and two teaspoon of honey. Lemon juice contains vitamin C which has beneficial qualities in soothing the stomach. Honey contains natural sugar as well as natural anti inflammatory property. Both will help to relieve headache that is caused after drinking alcohol.
- Drink some sports drink as alcohol can cause dehydration and loss of electrolytes. Sports drink contain electrolyte. It helps to replenish the lost salts and minerals.
- Try to sleep calmly in dark and calm room as this will help to relieve headache.