Alcohol Intolerance

1 What is Alcohol Intolerance?

Alcohol intolerance refers to the adverse reactions produced by the body after the intake of alcohol.

This response is produced due to the inability of the body to digest the contents of alcohol. It results in symptoms like headache and nausea almost immediately after consuming alcohol.

The intolerance of the body occurs towards some of the specific content in the alcohol. It could be grains, preservatives, or some chemicals present in the drink.

In some cases, certain underlying medical conditions may result in alcohol intolerance.

This condition may also result from an interaction between certain medications being mixed with alcohol.

2 Symptoms

Nasal congestion and skin flushing are the two most common symptoms of .

Alcohol intolerance may also result in:

Serious reactions to alcohol require medical attention.

This is particularly important if the condition is associated with an allergy or certain medications.

3 Causes

The lack of enzymes that break down the components of alcohol is the main cause of alcohol intolerance.

The intolerance is inherited and is more prevalent among Asians.

Intolerance most commonly stems from the components in alcohol such as preservatives, chemicals, grains, or histamine.

Allergies, ailments, inheritance, and certain prescription medications increase the risk of alcohol intolerance. An allergy to grains or other components of alcohol may also result in alcohol intolerance.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of lymph cancer is additionally known to increase the chance of this intolerance.

Disulfiram, a medication recommended for alcohol abuse, can cause an immediate reaction when taken with alcohol.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Signs and symptoms are useful in the diagnosis of alcohol intolerance.

Evaluation of family history and physical examinations are also helpful in diagnosing the intolerance.

The allergic response is assessed with a skin prick test, by injecting small amounts of the substance into the skin.

An allergy to the substance may result in a skin reaction.

Levels of immunoglobulins in the blood reveal the immune response to a substance.

5 Treatment

Minor symptoms of Alcohol intolerance like itching and hives are treated with histamines. Severe symptoms of intolerance may need medical attention.

Elimination diet

With an elimination diet, alcohol is completely avoided in order to see whether or not alcohol is the culprit in causing the response.

If alcohol is the cause of the reaction, reintroducing alcohol after a few weeks of elimination may elicit the intolerance response.

Other treatment methods

Avoiding alcoholic beverages is the best way to treat the reaction.

With severe forms of intolerance, emergency epinephrine is recommended. This helps to reduce the severity of the reaction and avoid a life-threatening situation.

6 Prevention

Avoiding alcohol is the ideal way to prevent alcohol intolerance.

If any of the additives are causing the reaction, it is important to avoid all food materials that contain the allergic ingredient.

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Antim Crud, Arg-Nit, Chel, Gels, Nat-Mur, Glon, and Apis are recommended homeopathy remedies to control different symptoms of Alcohol intolerance.

Vitamin C and Quercetin are often suggested to control the symptoms due to its antihistamine effect.

Butterbur and Mangosteen supplements are also used to alleviate the symptoms of intolerance.

Rashes on the skin are healed with a cold compress.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Eliminating alcohol in the diet is the best lifestyle change possible to prevent alcohol intolerance.

It is equally important to avoid all foods that contain the allergic ingredient.

9 Risks and Complications

The most dreaded complication of alcohol intolerance is a severe allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening.

Alcohol intolerance may cause migraines in some people.