9 Signs of Alcohol Intolerance You Might Be Unaware Of

After a couple of drinks, some people start feeling symptoms similar to an attack of vegetovascular dystonia, an allergic reaction, or other ailments. They often don't even realize that these unpleasant side effects are caused by alcohol.

Bright Side has collected a list of signs of ethanol intolerance, which can easily be confused with the symptoms of other diseases.

There are 2 types of alcohol intolerance:

  • Congenital is a genetically determined feature in which the body is unable to process ethanol and its metabolites.
  • Acquired alcohol intolerance arises from the use of medications, illnesses, or injuries.

How do alcohol-intolerant people differ from others?

Normally, after alcohol gets into the blood, ethanol is slowly broken down into acetaldehyde, which is later processed by enzymes for quite a long time. People with alcohol intolerance have a distortion of enzymatic activity in their body. Which means that alcohol dissolves too quickly and acetaldehyde concentrates in the blood and provokes the emergence of numerous unpleasant symptoms.

1. Fluctuations in blood pressure

People with high arterial pressure often suffer from throbbing pain in the temples, tinnitus, and dizziness. If the pressure, on the contrary, decreases, then the symptoms can be a loss of vision, lethargy, and dizziness.

2. Runny nose

We're used to accepting symptoms such as sneezing, a blocked nose, and being short of breath as those of a common cold. However, the source of the symptoms may actually come from alcohol intolerance. There is a huge number of capillaries in the nasal mucosa. When exposed to ethanol, edema develops on them, making it difficult to breathe and causing a sense of nasal congestion.

3. Limbs edema

When alcohol enters the body, the ethanol provokes intoxication which causes a person to become dehydrated, leading to the failure of the excretory system. As a result, excess fluid accumulates in the tissues and that's why swelling occurs.

4. Migraine

Migraines are unpleasant enough as they are, but it's something that is almost bound to happen if you drink too much. If you know that you haven't been overdrinking but you're still experiencing a migraine, it could be a sign of alcohol intolerance. In this case, the migraine would be caused by the release of histamines.

5. Nausea

Nausea and vomiting won't come as a surprise if you overdo it with the cocktails and shots, but for those with alcohol intolerance, these symptoms may appear even after a small amount of alcohol.

6. Diarrhea

Diarrhea can strike at the most inopportune moment. And most people write it off as being caused by a low-quality snack. However, this isn't always the case. If you notice that this happens to you after you drink even a little bit of alcohol, it may be possible that you have an intolerance to it.

7. Redness of the skin

Reddening of the skin on one's face and body is the most common sign of alcohol intolerance. Some people even have small blisters that look like hives which is why it is often confused with an allergic reaction. First, the spots appear on the face and then they can be found on the body. This happens unevenly: they are located chaotically and resemble a rash. For this reason, alcohol intolerance is often called the Alcohol Flush Reaction.

8. Cardiopalmus

Alcohol always affects the heart, changing its rhythm and causing rapid spikes in heartbeat. But if the tachycardia occurs after the first glass, then this is one of the key signs of ethanol intolerance. And in severe cases, tachycardia is accompanied by attacks of suffocation.

9. Increased body temperature

This symptom is most often attributed to colds or cases of poisoning, but the body temperature can also rise due to alcohol intolerance.

Risk factors:

  • Ethnicity – some people are more likely to develop symptoms of alcohol intolerance than others.
  • Allergy to some components of alcoholic beverages: preservatives, and flavors.
  • Being on some antibiotics and antifungal drugs.
  • Bronchial asthma or hay fever.
  • Allergies to cereals and other products.

These are the 9 major symptoms that can help you determine if you or someone you know has an alcohol intolerance.

Preview photo credit depositphotos
Share This Article