0

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Hack my beer headaches

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 20, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Since I've been on Paleo, every time I drink a beer (draft or bottled--doesn't matter) I get no buzz at all yet within 15-20 minutes I come down with a wicked headache that settles in around my temples and no amount of ibuprofen can quash it.

(Red) Wine doesn't bother me. Hard liquor doesn't bother me. Sake doesn't bother me. Just beer.

I always drink with food in my stomach, drink water along with my alcohol, yet I still get a headache. Now I completely avoid it. Which totally sucks, because I enjoy the darker beers like Newcastle, Guinness and Sam Adams.

Anyone have an idea why? I only occasionally cheat with a gluten food (had my first bagel in nearly a year) and they don't give me this kind of reaction. A bit of bloating, but that's to be expected with grain-based foods.

UPDATE: I haven't touched beer since I last made this post. Red wine, hard cider, and liquor do not cause a headache at all. I know it's not the gluten since I ingest it frequently enough (I'm 80/20), it's got to be the hops :(

07243c7700483a67386049f7b67d90a4

on November 22, 2012
at 09:26 PM

I get headaches from the preservatives that don't have to be listed on the label. I can drink until I fall over with a home or micro brewed beer just fine :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Cheers! No harm done :)

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on July 21, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Didn't read the question thoroughly, I apologize! Answer deleted. My bets guess is the hops. Before I went paleo, IPA's and darker beers gave me a lot more problems than stuff like Mich Ultra. Take careful note of how you feel after drinking really light beers and see if it makes a difference. Sorry again for being hasty with my response!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I love self-experimentation :) of course, depending on the level of reaction you're dealing with, it's a great way to pinpoint a problem. What's interesting with Nemesis is that he drinks mass-marketed brew which kind of tightens up what the problem could be. I'm in the process of brewing a *good* gluten-free beer.. such a bummer that what's available for the most part tastes like arse. Hope the list works for you!!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:34 PM

Then why don't other alcohols give me a headache? Why doesn't bread? I'm pretty sure it's not the gluten that's an issue here. Tequila isn't Paleo either, yet gives me no adverse reaction

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Then why don't other alcohols give me a headache? Why doesn't bread? I'm pretty sure not the gluten that's an issue here. Tequila isn't Paleo either, yet gives me no adverse reaction.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Beer contains gluten and alcohol both which are linked to inflammation which can lead to headaches. I just figured the answer would be pretty easy to come by if every single time he drinks beer, he gets a headache.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 11:22 AM

+1 Kent! @NUtritionator: I don't think fermented fruit is really going to cut it for me. OMG just think of the sugar! lol

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 21, 2011
at 04:02 AM

Aren't we beyond this now? Not every single damn thing we ingest must absolutely unequivocally be 100% paleo!

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 21, 2011
at 03:59 AM

I've been afraid to try beer again for a few months due to a different undesirable reaction - the list above looks like a great way for me to see if I can find something that doesn't give me a reaction.

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:32 AM

most micros do, the big boys do not because they often dont know what strain it is, as they are only after the alpha acids anyway, and not interested in the minute nuances of different strains

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 02:25 AM

It's pretty interesting what you're going through - will you please update after your self-experimentation? Am curious..

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:17 AM

And I rarely drink beer now, even before I noticed the headaches. Never was much of a drinker :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:23 PM

Wow, I feel for ya! I guess I can count myself lucky that I'm not quite so sensitive to additives :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:21 PM

I'll pick up some GF beer at Total Wine & More and see if it gives me the same reaction. Thanks!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Hmmm, that would certainly help to pinpoint the allergen that's causing the headaches. Do most commercial breweries list the kinds of hops they use? Or is it a secret recipe?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Yes! Luckily vodka, rum, bourbon and tequila are safe for me! Lol

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11 Answers

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4
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 20, 2011
at 10:20 PM

There are a few things but if I were you take a few weeks off beer and then try one that is gluten-free and see if you get the same result. Could be an allergy to hops, yeast or grains. Also, look at the labels on the beers that you reacted to and see if any additional sulphates are added. If you listed some microbrews then I would say it definitely could be yeast as yeast sediment is pretty common in the bottom of the bottles. If it was always draft then dirty lines are also a factor. Sensitivities to brew can suddenly pop up, I'm sorry to say.

I don't know where you live but if you have a good beer store or a Whole Foods go in and look for these gluten free brews: Estrella Daura, New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale or Sprecher Shakparo. Go for the Estrella first if you can.. you will probably like it better based on the beers you listed in your post. They're the tastiest of the bunch as most gluten-frees are uh.. not so good. I'm a brewer and feel for you.. good luck!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:21 PM

I'll pick up some GF beer at Total Wine & More and see if it gives me the same reaction. Thanks!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 02:25 AM

It's pretty interesting what you're going through - will you please update after your self-experimentation? Am curious..

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 21, 2011
at 03:59 AM

I've been afraid to try beer again for a few months due to a different undesirable reaction - the list above looks like a great way for me to see if I can find something that doesn't give me a reaction.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:17 AM

And I rarely drink beer now, even before I noticed the headaches. Never was much of a drinker :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I love self-experimentation :) of course, depending on the level of reaction you're dealing with, it's a great way to pinpoint a problem. What's interesting with Nemesis is that he drinks mass-marketed brew which kind of tightens up what the problem could be. I'm in the process of brewing a *good* gluten-free beer.. such a bummer that what's available for the most part tastes like arse. Hope the list works for you!!

2
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 20, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I agree with all that has been said so far. Just to make it even tougher, it may be an allergy to a specific strain of hops. I used to own a brewery and that happened to us. One of my partners was allergic to Centennial hops only. We had to completely change our IPA recipe because of that.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Hmmm, that would certainly help to pinpoint the allergen that's causing the headaches. Do most commercial breweries list the kinds of hops they use? Or is it a secret recipe?

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:32 AM

most micros do, the big boys do not because they often dont know what strain it is, as they are only after the alpha acids anyway, and not interested in the minute nuances of different strains

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 21, 2012
at 01:09 AM

My opinion is that it isn't the gluten. There isn't much gluten in barley (the primary grain/malt ingredient in beer), and I suspect that a lot of it gets lost in the fermentation process.

I personally process beer ok, though I definitely don't process gluten ok, but know many people who can't. Beer has histamines and many chemical compounds that are unique to grains.

I have a friend who reluctant gave up beer and switched to red wine and has no problems with it. He got to the point that he just couldn't digest the beer.

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on July 20, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Dark/craft beers make me sick now too (headache, nausea, scratchy/sore throat). Sucks but if it makes you sick, I don't think you should drink it. Some beers are full of particulate matter and all sorts of nasty toxins. Most well-filtered beers give me no problem at all, tho I never have more than one. Like you, wine and liquor is just fine for me. Experiment!

1
F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

on July 20, 2011
at 11:15 PM

I am allergic to grain..I get the headache before half the beer is finished. Same kind of headache..horrible. Nothing makes it go away.

I am allergic to sulfites too, so out goes the wine... I get headache, a face ache and a very drippy runny nose. I feel like I have a cold for three days. Nothing helps. I wake up in the middle of the night and sneeze non stop at least 50 times.... That also happen if I eat chicken or turkey with sulfites, or if I eat lettuce soaked in the chenical to keep from turning brown...Never listed on a salad bar...

Nitrates in bacon make the back of my head get covered with hives.My hair is long, when that happens I feel like I want to scratch all the hair out of the back of my head. I have found no remedy for any of it except to stay away from it all.

MSG gives me a headache in the back of my neck..I want to die it gets so bad. I have to wait until it gets out of my system before the headache goes away.

It would be easier to list what I am not allergic to...And eat whole paleo foods. What a relief..grass fed beef, venison, wild caught fish...organic gardens.

Sorry you can't drink beer. When you drink a beer, Your body probably thinks you ate a loaf of bread.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:23 PM

Wow, I feel for ya! I guess I can count myself lucky that I'm not quite so sensitive to additives :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Yes! Luckily vodka, rum, bourbon and tequila are safe for me! Lol

1
F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on July 20, 2011
at 10:06 PM

There is a lot of info on the web about this: For example- http://www.allergy-details.com/beer-allergy/beer-allergy/

My friend gets a headache from beer and she knows she is allergic to hops.

0
D705de99e39cb839dc3812922580ce3b

on November 27, 2012
at 06:52 AM

Joey, Allergies can appear at any time of your life without warning. Unfortunately you never know when it will happen. I'm allergic to pet dander but it never showed up until I spent an evening in a friend's apartment while I was in school. He had two cats and I got an asthma attack that was so bad I ended up at the university health center. I grew up with two cats in the house and it rarely bothered me until that night. I now have two dogs at home and the only effects I have are red and itchy eyes if I play with the dogs and then touch my eyes without washing my hands.

0
2c9c0fa91f6be6917e2e32018435d022

on November 22, 2012
at 01:17 PM

I have been struggling to go Paleo for about a year (Read: haven't built up the self discipline until now). I am just finishing a 21-day challenge, had a beer to celebrate my cousins new girl, headache that night. Last night had a beer, headache that is lasting until this morning. Just like you red wine has no effect. And just 2 months ago, I could drink two or three beers with dinner each night of the week and feel no noticeable difference.
So my point is, can an allergy just pop up like that? I also always drink darker beers, reds are my favorite! Is it just that my body is not used to it? But again, I am more 80/20 then very strict.

Sorry about piggy backing your question, but mine is basically the same. Hope you have found a beer headache cure!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:05 AM

Beer is not paleo. And Jimmy Moore doesn't drink it. That is all you need to know, bro.

0
4cded3456477edc122b96028427f5568

on July 31, 2012
at 06:19 AM

I would always get headaches with any beer until I tried home brew, no headache. Its probably some sort of preservative, possibly the sulfites? See: http://www.readingtarget.com/nosulfites and http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/220-228-sulphite-preservatives

-1
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on July 21, 2011
at 03:19 AM

Pretty sure beer isn't paleo...

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:34 PM

Then why don't other alcohols give me a headache? Why doesn't bread? I'm pretty sure it's not the gluten that's an issue here. Tequila isn't Paleo either, yet gives me no adverse reaction

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 21, 2011
at 04:02 AM

Aren't we beyond this now? Not every single damn thing we ingest must absolutely unequivocally be 100% paleo!

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Beer contains gluten and alcohol both which are linked to inflammation which can lead to headaches. I just figured the answer would be pretty easy to come by if every single time he drinks beer, he gets a headache.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 11:22 AM

+1 Kent! @NUtritionator: I don't think fermented fruit is really going to cut it for me. OMG just think of the sugar! lol

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 21, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Then why don't other alcohols give me a headache? Why doesn't bread? I'm pretty sure not the gluten that's an issue here. Tequila isn't Paleo either, yet gives me no adverse reaction.

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