Chronic Headache Tips for Oktoberfest Fun

(c) Can Stock Photo

October 8, 2013

Not planning to be in Bavaria any time soon – no worries since you can still celebrate Oktoberfest in Detroit, Philadelphia or Houston. Migraines or chronic headaches don’t even need to keep you away from the fun and festivities associated with this most traditional of German holidays, which has spread in recent decades beyond its home city of Munich to cities across the United States and beyond.

While plenty of research and anecdotal evidence points to alcoholic beverages as migraine triggers, this fact hasn’t been conclusively proven through scientific research.  Until then, tracking your headache and migraine triggers is the best preventative strategy to avoid turning a day of celebration into pain and nausea filled misery. 

The Oktoberfest originates in Bavaria’s most famous city Munich, begins in September and ends 16 days later in October.  The festival is characterized by drinking a traditional high alcohol and sugar containing beer, along with foods like cured meats such as Weisswurst (sausage containing pork and veal) and Wuerstl (red sausage); Brezeln (large fresh soft pretzels); Knoedel (savory potato dumplings) and Schweinebraten (roast pork). 

Believe it or not, all of these delectables are widely available in American cities such as Miami, Detroit and Houston.  Migraine sufferers, you may want to consider picking and choosing more carefully when it comes to partaking in the festival foods and drink.  If you suspect that your chronic headaches or migraines are triggered by cured meats or alcohol, by all means consider joining in with alcohol free beer (which almost tastes like the real deal!) and passing up the sausages in favor of the pork roast and delicious potato dumplings. 

Oh, there is one more possible migraine or chronic headache trigger to plan ahead for when it comes to attending your local Oktoberfest: the raucous music! Traditional Om-pah band music and bier-garden songs, while great fun can certainly put a swift end to pain-free celebrating. 

Check the festivity schedule ahead of time for your local Oktoberfest event.  In Munich, certain rules exist to limit the volume and type of music playing earlier in the day to ensure that older people and families can comfortably participate in the traditional holiday. San Francisco, Detroit or Houston migraineurs may find that American versions of the Oktoberfest are not quite the headache triggering over-the-top experiences they can be in Bavaria.


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