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Old 06-28-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
FreeLordBrewing's Avatar
Jul 2011
Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 124
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so about April 2012 I started getting extremely bad headaches that started in my right eye and kinda creep up into my head and kinda on the right side/rear portion of my head. They are so bad at times that I feel nauseousness, it can bring me to my knees. Unfortunately I have traced it back to drinking

I started playing "doctor" and attempting to try experiments. such as trying this kind of beer or this other kind of beer to see if anything changes but it doesn't.

almost like clock work 2/3 of the way through my first beer, or as late as starting my 2nd beer I get this creeping head ache that starts in my right eye and just intensifies. Tried IPA's, less hoppy beer, porters, Stouts, domestics, nothing changes still get these head aches. Attempted another experiment of seeing if it is just beer or maybe I can get away with booze.....nope same turn out. I want to see a doctor but being out of a job, and lacking insurance I will just play the waiting game.

couple of theories I have is that I am either allergic to certain types of yeast (I have no reactions to bread products what so ever at this time) or I may have some type of constriction in my head. I wanted to see if any one else on this forum has dealt with some thing similar?? I did a google search and found others in forums where plenty of people have chimed in with "me too" but no diagnosis or remedy or solution. I tried one night eating some food, 3 large glasses of water, and then 2 500mg aspirin. Allowed a few minutes for it to dissolve then started on my first beer but then the head ache started just like clock work. This is quite frustrating as I really do enjoy drinking!! not becasue I like to get smashed but, I seriously enjoy being a beer connoisseur, trying all kinds of beers, and now making all kinds of beers, these head aches make me not want to drink EVER!! so I am reaching out for help from any one as far as opinions or experience goes.

I have not had the chance to see if Home brew also has the same affect on me ( I fear it will ) and I know what the doctor is going to say when I eventually see him "well then just stop drinking!" at this point I have been avoiding it (other than trying the experiments). so until I get to try the home brew I will prob be sober. I don't just want the head aches to stop I want to understand "WHY?" this is happening.

the other thing I have noticed is that if I drink 1 to 2 beers, and start to/get the headache....stop drinking and ride out the pain until the head ache is just about/practically gone, and then start drinking again I can drink the rest of the time with out it coming back.....if I continue to drink while I have the head ache it will only become worse and debilitate me. I drink a ton of water every day so I know it is not from dehydration, and I have been eating healthier for the past year or so (I'm no super athlete or in tip top shape but Id say a pinch above average health).

On a drier note and not so funny....this could be the start of an even healthier me
"to Alcohol! the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems" ~ Homer J. Simpson

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
I'm no atheist scientist, but...
Oct 2009
Thiensville, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,370
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is that really the iron cross as your user pic?
The man who intoxicates himself on bad whisky is sometimes moved to kill his wife and set his house on fire, but the victim of applejack is capable of blowing up a whole town with dynamite and of reciting original poetry to every surviving inhabitant.

"A Wicked Beverage," New York Times, April 10, 1894

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
Jun 2012
Seattle, WA
Posts: 46

Very sorry to hear this. This does happen to me sometimes, but not nearly to the extent you have described.

I see at least to possibilities:

1. The beer/alcohol/something in the drinks is messing with you. Not good. You can try to isolate it, but this can be very, very challenging to do with certainty because there are so many variables.
2. You got headaches a few times when you were dehydrated and now your body subconsciously repeats that experience. Sort of like a bad negative feedback loop. Not sure how you would correct this. Maybe just try to be extremely hydrated and drink a beer. Then stop for the day. Then be extremely hydrated and do it again the next day. Increase to 1.5 beers if you have success.

I've found that gatorade is the absolute best hydrator for me. Water just doesn't do the same thing. Maybe try that for hydration? Lots of advil if the headaches come.

Sorry man.

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:12 PM   #4
dawgmatic's Avatar
Nov 2011
Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 517
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Well it sounds like you found a partial solution. Unfortunately its not a very good one,

Your symptoms don't resemble an alcohol allergy so I don't have any idea what the problem could be.

Id tell you to smoke some grass but that would be illegal.

Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
People's brains are interesting....and tasty too.

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:13 PM   #5
May 2010
Puyallup, WA
Posts: 25

I am not a doctor and do not pretend to be so take what I say with a grain of salt. You should always consult a doctor first. That being said it sounds like you suffer from cluster headaches. Much similar to migraines but treated differently. Both can be brought on by alcohol or smoking. From what I have read, the preferred treatment for cluster headaches is Verapamil, with a Prednisone starter for about a week. Like I said I am not a doctor and do not pretend to be one.

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:41 PM   #6
Mar 2012
Posts: 260
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I have a friend that had the same problem and the doctors finally narrowed it down to a gluten allergy. Sorry to hear about this I hope its something simple like dehydration (that can be bad too though). Good luck.

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Old 06-29-2012, 01:46 AM   #7
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Mar 2012
Palmer, MA
Posts: 9,968
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There are capsaicin nasal sprays that seem to help quite a bit with cluster headaches. They are sold over the counter. Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:49 AM   #8
CBXBob's Avatar
Mar 2012
Grants Pass/ Nuevo, Or. / Ca.
Posts: 486
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I am totally guessing here, but your headaches sound like sinus headaches. I had those when I lived at a house with a dirt driveway. They were migraine like, and get to the point of making me nauseous, and I would throw up, after which, I would feel better. You could be allergic to hops, gluten, beer yeast, even alcohol. You won't know until your tested. For me Allergy tablets helped where none of the aspirin, Excedrin, or acetaminophen did. And after I moved from that house, never had the headaches again. Now only get headaches if I drink way too much without eating. But they are nothing like the one's I had near that dirt driveway. Hope you get it figured out, keep us posted.

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Old 06-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
Feb 2012
Chester, Virginia
Posts: 3
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Originally Posted by neo68710 View Post
I am not a doctor and do not pretend to be so take what I say with a grain of salt. You should always consult a doctor first. That being said it sounds like you suffer from cluster headaches. Much similar to migraines but treated differently. Both can be brought on by alcohol or smoking. From what I have read, the preferred treatment for cluster headaches is Verapamil, with a Prednisone starter for about a week. Like I said I am not a doctor and do not pretend to be one.
I get cluster headaches and take Verapamil for them, I also used to get the same type of headaches the OP described after only a beer or two (still do occasionally). From what I understand, Verapamil is basically just a high blood pressure medicine that increases blood flow in the brain. Also, I quit smoking cigarettes a little over a year ago (been taking verapamil for 2+ years) and that also greatly reduced my headaches as well.

This could all just be coincidence however, so take my experience for what it is; I was getting headaches when not drinking and that was just an added bonus. Try to get to a Doc and best of luck with your headaches!

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Old 06-29-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
Apr 2012
Lafayette, IN
Posts: 142
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I would be curious to see if drinking a non alcoholic beer would have the same effect? Even though there is trace amounts of alcohol in it if I understand correctly.

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