Can you be intolerant to alcohol?
Yes, you can be intolerant to alcohol. Although we’re a country built on our love of trips to the pub and work drinks on a Friday night, unfortunately for some, a small sip of beer or wine may come with severe consequences – and we’re not just talking about a bad hangover.
That flushed face you have isn’t necessarily because you’ve had a few drinks, however, it could mean you have an alcohol intolerance. This is when uncomfortable but non-life-threatening symptoms are presented as the body cannot breakdown a component within the alcohol, such as ethanol.
There can be many reasons why people are intolerant to alcohol. Factors that appear to increase the likelihood of an alcohol sensitivity include being asthmatic, having a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma or a damaged liver, or being of Asian descent. Other causes may include enzyme deficiency, an intolerance to histamine, or sensitivity to sulphites.