If you’ve used Google to indicate you may have an alcohol intolerance, it’s likely that you’re not just experiencing bad nausea.
According to Sandra Parker, Alcohol Abuse Coach and Founder Just The Tonic Coaching, alcohol intolerance is an inherited metabolic disorder in which the body cannot break down alcohol properly. This can lead to an unpleasant reaction with symptoms ranging from redness and itching, nasal congestion and nausea.
“Although we have normalized alcohol in Western society, it is a harmful drug and there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink,” Parker said. “Alcohol creates a harmful effect on our bodies in many ways, especially the brain and liver.”
When alcohol enters our system, it impacts our motor skills, memory, and emotional responses. This is why even small amounts of alcohol affect our judgment and ability to drive, while moderate amounts can impair our ability to form memories. Alcohol also reduces inhibitions that make us emotional, and over time, regular drinking has been linked to increased anxiety, low mood and decreased attention span, according to a study published in the journal Science and Technology. published in the magazine Behavioral research and therapy.
“It also has a negative effect on the liver, which is responsible for filtering alcohol out of the blood,” Parker adds. “This can cause inflammation of the liver, making it less able to function properly. This can then lead to scar tissue (cirrhosis) and eventually to liver failure. Alcohol also increases the risk of breast cancer. ”
So how common is alcohol intolerance? Park says the data is limited, but a small 2012 study published in International DA found that about 7.2% of the 4,000 participants were intolerant to alcohol and alcohol. In this article, we will explain the difference between alcohol intolerance and allergies, as well as its causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Alcohol intolerance and allergies
If you have an alcohol intolerance, you will likely see an almost immediate reaction after drinking alcohol. Symptoms may include redness (flushing) of the chest, neck, and face, runny or stuffy nose, itchy skin, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.
“Alcohol intolerance is often an inherited condition because your body cannot break down alcohol efficiently,” explains Parker. “The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid alcohol.”
In contrast, alcohol allergies tend to be more severe and, if left untreated, can be life-threatening. Symptoms include rash, itchy skin, swelling, and stomach cramps.
“The main difference between an intolerance and an allergy related to alcohol is in the severity of the reaction,” says Parker. “If you have an intolerance, the symptoms will be unpleasant while if you have an allergy, drinking alcohol can be life-threatening. Of note, alcohol allergies are rare and should be managed in the same way as any other allergy, including avoiding alcohol altogether.”
What causes alcohol intolerance?
Alcohol intolerance occurs when the body does not have the proper enzymes to metabolize (break down) the toxins in alcoholic beverages. Parker says it’s caused by inherited or inherited traits commonly found in Asians.
In some cases, the manifestation of alcohol intolerance can actually be caused by an ingredient in the drink – a chemical, a preservative or a grain – and some medications can also cause a reaction. If there is any doubt or if you are concerned about the symptoms, seek advice from your doctor.
“Alcohol intolerance basically means you need to limit or avoid alcohol depending on the severity of your symptoms, as your body is less able to process it,” says Parker.
How can you tell if you have an alcohol intolerance?
So how can you tell if you have an alcohol intolerance? Your body will tell you.
“If you start to feel nauseous after drinking small amounts of alcohol, or notice your face, chest, and neck become flushed, this could be a sign of alcohol intolerance,” says Parker.
“You can get an intolerance test by your healthcare provider, called an ethanol patch test.”
Can you treat alcohol intolerance?
Although there is no cure for the condition, avoiding alcohol can help keep you symptom-free and avoid an unpleasant reaction.
“Since alcohol intolerance is an inherited metabolic disorder, it is something you are born with and have to learn to live with,” says Sandra.
“An intolerance test will determine if you have an intolerance to ethanol or from one of the ingredients in alcoholic beverages such as yeast, grapes or hop. If it’s the latter, you can avoid drinks with that ingredient, for example, you might be intolerant of beer but can’t tolerate alcohol. If it is a former condition and you experience strong symptoms while drinking, then you should avoid alcohol completely. “
It’s also important to note, she says, that alcohol is intrinsically a poison, and over time our bodies become less able to process alcohol and our tolerance drops, leading to hangovers are more severe and last longer as you get older and your feelings are more sensitive to alcohol. .
“In some cases, people can develop alcohol intolerance later on because the way the body responds to alcohol changes.”
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice.
GmbH, DR Ä. D. . (2012). Prevalence of alcohol intolerance (June 22, 2012). Deutsches Ärzteblatt. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.aerzteblatt.de/int/archive/article/127005
Sayette, MA (2017). Effects of alcohol on emotions in social drinkers. Behavioral research and therapy, 8876–89.
https://www.livescience.com/can-you-be-intolerant-to-alcohol Can you be intolerant to alcohol?