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    Old 06-22-2008, 06:32 AM   #1
    chic43
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    Allergy to alcohol?

    I wondered if there was such a thing as an allergy to alcohol? I can't tell if what is going on with me has to do with the car accident I had a few years ago, where I hit my head and so certain physiological aspects have changed, or if this is a true allergy that seems to be getting worse over time. Or could it be hormonal? I'm a 43 year old female....

    I enjoy having a glass of wine or beer or single malt sctoch. I am not much of a mixed drink drinker as I really don't like sweet drinks. What I have noticed over the last couple of years is after just one drink now I don't have that warm cozy feeling, alcohol acts like caffeine in my system. When I go to lay down to sleep my heart races like crazy, and I have what seem similar to hot flashes and profuse sweating. And I feel completely wired. Last night we went out with friends for dinner and then headed to a club for dancing and music. I had had scotch before dinner, wine with dinner, and then a beer at the club. I had lots of water in between. I had no feelings of beind drunk whatsoever. When we got home and I went to bed I had what seemed almost similar to panic attack symptoms....my heart was racing like crazy, I was sweating, I couldn't settle down at all.

    Prior to my car accident a few years ago, I had your normal reaction to alcohol....feeling comfortable and it never affected my sleep whatsoever.

    So, if anyone could help me determine...is it because I hit my head in the accident and so now alcohol affects my brain differently? is it hormonal related? or is it an allergy??

     
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    Old 06-22-2008, 08:52 PM   #2
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    The only true alcohol allergy syndrome I'm aware of is genetic. However, it's certainly possible your body just doesn't like it any more, for one reason or another.

    Do you find that some beverages are ok? You might find that red wine is bad, but white is ok (that's sensitivity to sulfites) or that good quality distilled liquor is the only thing that's safe. Or, maybe you should avoid all alcohol.

     
    Old 06-23-2008, 08:31 AM   #3
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    I've definitely cut WAY back to almost nothing as far as drinking alcohol is concerned. First, I'm getting older and the fun factor isn't there anymore . But, considering the odd symptoms I seem to be getting these days, I just really don't think it is worth the effort anymore.

    I haven't had white wine in ages as it seems all of a sudden one day I just didn't like the taste of it anymore. It was really weird....I went from really liking white wine to almsot overnight really disliking the taste of it. I switched to reds at that point.

    As far as if one type of alcohol over another produces these symtpoms....it doesn't seem to matter. It also doesn't matter whether I've had one drink or a few...like the other night. I only drink high quality alcohols and wines.

    It won't be a problem to not drink. But, it was nice to say have a glass of wine with dinner or with friends, you know? If I do have a glass, then I know what the consequences are....just thought all of this was really odd as it seems overnight I went from one end of the spectrum to the other.

     
    Old 06-23-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    Hi. It seems there are two threads about alcohol allergy going ....maybe we could get them combined?

    I have a problem with drinking alcohol now.. its only started in the past few years. Alcohol now gives me a rash / hives.

    Last edited by E.K; 06-24-2008 at 12:14 AM.

     
    Old 06-23-2008, 09:04 PM   #5
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    My alcohol allergy also seems to tie in with the occurrence of developing mild psoriasis 3 years ago. I have a patches on my inner left arm and the nape of my neck which will flare up when I drink alcohol.

     
    Old 06-23-2008, 10:32 PM   #6
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    I will ask the obvious- Are you taking any meds on a regular basis? If you are it could be that. Especially if you are taking an anti-depressant and alcohol is a depressant so may be the two of them combined negate each other. The only reason I ask about meds is because you mentioned you were in a car accident and experienced some changes afterward. That said I am a tad bit older than you and I don't tolerate alcohol like I did many years ago. I get really wired and forget about sleeping!! If I do drink I don't mix my drinks anymore. I pick one thing and stick to that.
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    Old 06-24-2008, 08:30 AM   #7
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    Nope...no meds...clean, mostly vegetarian, exercise regularly, very healthy. Funny thing you should mention anti-depressants.....Along with the oddities of drinking alcohol now, I seem to now have an issue with reacting in an opposite fashion to meds...if I take an anti-depressant, it makes me very depressed, if I take an anti-anxiety med, it makes me highly anxious, if I take a sleep med, I am awake.....seems to have some sort of connection, all of this, doesn't it? I just wish I could figure it out!

    Oh, and something else (isn't it always?) , I seem to have an intolerance to Benadryl as well...I get something similar to restless leg syndrome...my legs absolutely ache and throb very painfully. Last time I had it I ended up in the ER.

    Last edited by chic43; 06-24-2008 at 08:44 AM.

     
    Old 06-24-2008, 09:34 PM   #8
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    I have the exact same reaction to anti -depressants. My doctor has mentioned as we age our body chemistry can change and effect the way medications work or don't work for us. For example, many senior citizens can only tolerate very small doses of many meds because of drastic changes in metabolism. ( not that either one of us is a senior) So my thinking is that the changes probably start gradually in our middle years. Like for me I used to be a pretty good drinker-I could drink alot mix drinks do shots and all but now if I don't stick to one thing for the night-well not a good result. Plus it takes a lot less to feel the effects than it did 5 or 10 years ago. Oh well at least its cheaper. Last time I went out I started to feel my drink before I was halfway through it and in the old days I wouldn't notice any thing till my second or third drink. I have heard of people being intolerant to certain types of alcohol but able to drink others. For me a couple of sips of beer and I have a migraine. For a friend of mine Vodka not only made him sick but he would break out in a rash. So may be try sticking with one type of drink all night see what happens next time try another and see if anything is different. Good Luck in figuring it out and Take Care, Dee
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    Old 06-25-2008, 06:39 AM   #9
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    Well, last night I had one Mojito...just one. And I got the usual warm cozy feeling to start with....then I felt awful for the rest of the night and into this morning until I had my coffee. *Sigh*, guess I'll either have to give it all up or just have an understanding that I'm definitely going to feel horrible. Oh well.....no biggy.

     
    Old 06-25-2008, 07:14 AM   #10
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    You should go to a doctor and as to be tested for an allergy or intolerance to alcohol. There is often alcohol in medications such as benedryl and maybe that is why it makes you feel so awful. Good luck and keep us posted of what happens.

     
    Old 06-25-2008, 08:54 AM   #11
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    From what I have researched online, often times the allergy test for alcohol shows negative....I'm just going to go by my instinct/intuition and just know that I have bad reactions to the stuff.

     
    Old 06-25-2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    A lot of people who react to alcohol are actually having a reaction the the fermenting agent - yeasts. If you have mold allergies this is likely the cause. You're possibly allergic to the yeast (or byproducts thereof), not the grapes, grain, or potatoes. Some wines have sulfites added and alot of people react to that too.

    Tigg.

     
    Old 06-26-2008, 02:30 PM   #13
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    I don't think this exists.

     
    Old 07-07-2008, 12:30 PM   #14
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    Ethanol allergy is definitely possible. I know because I have it. I think my adult-onset allergies were triggered after a car accident, so you may not be too far off in your thinking.

    You could find a doctor who does sub dermal allergy testing and find out what your allergies are. After all, it may not be the ethanol, it could be the grapes, yeast, potatos, etc. used in production. Or you could just quit alcohol, although since food and chemical allergies are now treatable, you may not have to give up something you enjoy.

     
    Old 07-07-2008, 05:03 PM   #15
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    Re: Allergy to alcohol?

    There are two different possible scenarios for "alcohol allergy."

    Some people react only to certain beverages, and they are allergic to yeast or other ingredients. This allergy can start at any age.

    Sensitivity to alcohol itself (if you have always reacted to all alcoholic beverages, including good-quality liquors which have been distilled multiple times, then this could be you) is a genetic thing, mainly seen among people of East Asian descent. About 1% of that population metabolizes alcohol differently, resulting in a high concentration of dangerous by-products in the bloodstream. It's not really an allergy, although it can sometimes feel like one. Symptoms may include hives, headache, and rapid heartbeat. Severity varies, I know one person with this who can safely consume one drink per day, whereas his brother might feel ill even after eating food cooked with wine sauce.

     
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