WINE 101: Cures for RWH

If you suffer from Red Wine Headache, take heart because it’s a real illness with researchers looking into the causes. At this time, there is no officially-accepted cause of RWH, but there are some things you can do to help minimize it. {Read about some theoretical causes of RWH. HINT: It’s not sulfites.} red wine headache cures

First and foremost, make sure you’re hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to alternate a glass of water and a glass of wine throughout your evening. Oftentimes, a headache is the first symptom of dehydration, so follow this simple step to make sure this isn’t what’s causing you to suffer.

Second, try an antihistamine. If you suspect that histamines, which are a product of fermentation, are your issue, taking an antihistamine before you have a glass of wine can help stave off the inflammatory headache you might get. Histamines can also cause sinus pressure and congestion, so give this one a shot if your wine also causes you to sound nasally. Also note that histamine intolerance is a real illness, and that other seemingly benign foods like bananas, nuts, tea, and pears contain high levels of histamine.

Finally, take an anti-inflammatory drug. There are a myriad of substances in wine that are suspected to cause headache, from yeasts to tannins. Any one of these could be causing inflammation and triggering your headache. A couple of aspirin could be enough to counteract the inflammatory effect of wine and prevent your headache. As a reminder, liver damage can result from combining drugs and alcohol, so use both sparingly.

Anecdotally, I’ve found that taking a couple of strong probiotic capsules before bed keeps me feeling great even after a few glasses of wine. My favorite contains the strain S. Boulardii, which is known to help balance gut flora and keep yeast in check. Before trying this, I’d wake up feeling sluggish and run-down after even one glass, so I consider this my miracle cure!

One last piece of advice: if you find a red that doesn’t cause RWH for you, stick with it and stock up! For me, that’s Water 2 Wine’s South African Pinotage, and I always take a bottle with me when I know wine will be on the menu.

Your Turn: Any tips we’ve missed? Any headache cures you swear by?

*We are not doctors, and none of this information constitutes professional health advice.

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