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Absinthe & Cluster Headaches

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#1 Frunobulax



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Posted 16 February 2008 - 11:02 PM

My experience:

I've been suffering from Cluster Headaches aka ''Hot Poker headache or Suicide Headaches" for a very long time. The headache is extreme and will cycle for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2-3 months, around the same time every day like clockwork. The headache is a neurological disorder. The headaches can get very violent sometime I'll find myself getting injection shots in the emergency room after trying to tare my head off.
I wouldn't wish this headache on anybody! People have committed suicide during C.H. hence the aka.
The headache only effects one side of my head, centered around/behind my right eye, nasal passage, ear, jaw hinge and a point in the back of my head. The headache will cause my face around my right eye to droop. There are other characteristics that are not important so I'll spare the details.
Alcohol is something I'll avoid at all cost when I'm in deep with the cycle. Alcohol can trigger or will make a relatively mild cluster worse.
I was on the very tail end of my latest cycle when I decided to have a drink of Absinthe. Two days earlier I had wine (which is the worst drink for a trigger other than rye) the next day I had 3 beers with no side effects, I thought I was in the clear, ..... The third day I had a glass and a half of Absinthe and........ HOLY HELL! :devil: It sent me into a extremely violent Cluster, that lasted 2 solid days (they never last this long!) I have NEVER had a more extreme cluster in my life!!!! Not one med I take, including Imitrex worked. It started off as a bolt of lightning with a nosebleed that didn't stop for 40 min. then began throwing up (which is rare for this type of headache as well as nose bleeds). The intensity of the headache stayed the coarse until I was so exhausted I eventually fell asleep. I wanted to go to the hospital for treatment but no one was around and I literally could not make a phone call.
It was pure unfiltered hell! :blowup:
I'm on the tail end of this cycle now (relatively short: 2 weeks) I managed to help shorten or ''bust" this cycle with Rivea Corymbosa seeds and regular meds on top of 14- 17 hour sleep-a-thons and gallons of water.
Hopefully I'll be in the clear soon and live life. I'll wait a couple weeks past a cycle before I touch Absinthe again. It's going to be a long wait but worth it!
I tried researching the effects of absinthe and headaches but only found hangover stories.
This was not a hangover!
I have included this web site for more information on Cluster Headaches if anyone is interested Cluster Headaches
Anyway thats my story..... later B)

#2 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 12:32 AM

I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience. I'm pretty sure I'd walk away from alcohol of any kind if it did that to me.

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#3 Julie Legate

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:57 AM

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.
I am aware that cluster headaches and migraine headaches are two very different neurological animals.
With that said, what you described sounds like a textbook migraine HA except for the duration.
Migraines usually only last three days from onset.
Are you working with a health care practitioner?
Do you know your specific triggers?
Isolating triggers is key.
Have you developed a management plan?
All these things are very important in living with headaches.

Good luck to you.
I am the wood nymph.

#4 metodd1


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Posted 17 February 2008 - 11:48 AM

Holy shit man, I just looked at the site and that sounds totally brutal. I really hope you can find some relief.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He to whom this feeling is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. -AE

#5 Pan Buh

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 12:53 PM

I am speechless. Your courage is greater than mine.

#6 Joe Legate

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 03:02 PM

If alcohol is a trigger, screw it. T'ain't nothing worth that pain.
Have a herbal tea instead of a glass of absinthe. You are still welcome to visit and post at WS. :cheers:

#7 Meatwaggon



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Posted 17 February 2008 - 04:06 PM

You're describing very typical symptoms of cluster headaches, with your ptosis (lid droop), massively severe unilateral pain, cyclic rhythm, and alcohol trigger. Sorry to break it to you, but the alcohol trigger for cluster headaches is very well documented, so if you want to drink, you take the risk of a recurrence every single time. It's like playing Russian roulette. Stop drinking, and you'll get less headaches in general, and no alcohol-induced headaches. If you simply can't do without that glass of Duplais or Jade, try drinking on a full stomach, or at least one that's coated with milk. Fats and other food particles delay the absorption of alcohol from your gut, so your blood won't get slammed by a massive and sudden increase in ethanol and acetaldehyde. I don't even know if this will actually prevent you from going into an attack, but it may be better than nothing.
"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Helfrich verte" - Anthony Hopkinns
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#8 Frunobulax



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Posted 12 July 2008 - 11:38 AM

O.K. I'm back.... I've been out of the Cluster ''zone'' for a few months, so I decided to dance with the Fairy. All's well, so far so good... I am enjoying a glass right now. I started drinking absinthe for a couple weeks with no signs of the clusters, I'm a happy cat right now. I really have to listen to my body and back off booze completely when I feel like the cycle is coming back. It sound like common sense, but its harder to read the creeping onset "feeling" to really know the cycle is about to start, once it starts there is no denying it, keeps me on my toes....

anyway I thought I'd update the thread... Cheers everyone! :cheers:

#9 chrisemt74



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Posted 12 July 2008 - 01:20 PM

Next time dial 911. Even if you can't talk, the address automatically comes up to a dispatcher and they can activate EMS. If your headache is that sever it is IMPERATIVE that you get medical attention. I suffer from typical headaches. God bless ya.

Edited by chrisemt74, 12 July 2008 - 01:30 PM.

I gotta fever, and the only perscription is...more cowbell.

#10 tayker


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Posted 15 July 2008 - 03:17 AM

Man, I can't take Imitrex because it makes my heart race. I know Ginko will cause serious headaches - my migraines nearly stopped after I stopped taking that stuff. Alcohol usually made them worse, especially beer on tap.
When a person who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, they will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest.

#11 Joe Legate

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 04:09 AM

I'm a happy cat right now...
anyway I thought I'd update the thread... Cheers everyone! :cheers:

Thanks for the update. :thumbup:
I hope you stay happy for a very long time!

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