It’s not a party without binging. Do you feel hot flashes, nausea or itching from binge drinking? It could be due to an alcohol allergy. Shocked? You might be shocked to learn that alcohol allergy can be defined as a toxic reaction to alcohol or ethanol. It’s just like any other allergy. Sometimes it is called alcohol sensitivity, or alcohol intolerance. It can be caused by alcohol toxicity, but not always. But what if you have an intolerance to alcohol? To be certain, you should look out for signs of alcohol intolerance.

Let’s learn all there is to know about alcohol intolerance.

What is alcohol intolerance?

Intolerant to alcohol means your body doesn’t have the enzymes necessary to properly break down alcohol. This can lead to the formation of more acetaldehyde, which causes side effects.

Health Shots interviewed Vidhi Chawla, a dietitian at Fisico Diet Clinic to learn more about alcohol intolerance symptoms.

What are the signs of intolerance to alcoholism?

It is a genetic disorder that can run in families. The exact cause is unknown. However, it can be determined by looking at the symptoms. If you’re alcohol intolerant, even a small amount of alcohol can cause alcohol intolerance symptoms.

symptoms of alcohol intolerance

Don’t take dizziness lightly, but don’t panic either. 

These are the 5 main symptoms of alcohol intolerance

1. Facial redness

Your face may turn red if you consume alcohol. This is known as an alcohol flush reaction. In extreme cases, it can lead to hives and low blood pressure. Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2, which is an enzyme that breaks down alcohol, forms more acetaldehyde and causes facial redness, is Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2. It is not harmful but it could be a sign of other problems such as higher blood pressure or increased risk.

2. Congestion in the nasal

You might wonder why so few people have a high alcohol tolerance. We need to realize that alcohol intolerance can be a metabolic disorder. A common sign of alcohol intolerance is nasal congestion. It can lead to a lot anxiety. Wine and beer are particularly high in histamine, which can cause a stuffy nose. This can be avoided by reducing alcohol intake or avoiding it completely.

3. Nausea and vomiting

You might feel nauseated if you drink small amounts of alcohol. In extreme cases, this symptom can last from a few hours up to 48 hours.

symptoms of alcohol intolerance

Feeling nausea may be one of the symptoms of alcohol intolerance. 

4. Diarrhea

Your digestive tract may already be sensitive if you have alcohol intolerance. Drinking alcohol can cause irritation. It increases acid production, which in turn causes diarrhea. It can last anywhere from one to three days. You should drink enough water to replenish electrolytes.

5. Asthma worsening

Asthma sufferers are sensitive to histamines, which can trigger by alcohol. Histamine can trigger asthma and cause severe breathing problems if you are suffering from alcohol intolerance.

symptoms of alcohol intolerance

If you have asthma then you need to be doubly careful.

These symptoms can be noticed immediately or after you have been drinking alcohol.

Treatments for alcohol intolerance

It is usually inherited and there is no cure. It is possible to either reduce your alcohol intake or avoid it completely.

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