Can You Be Intolerant To Alcohol?
An ethanol or alcohol allergy is extremely rare and is due to an enzyme deficiency. Instead, you may have an intolerance, where uncomfortable but non-life-threatening symptoms are presented because you are reacting to one of the ingredients in the alcoholic drink.
In fact, there can be many reasons why people are intolerant to alcoholic drinks, and most don’t have anything to do with the ethanol itself.
Symptoms of Alcohol Sensitivity
The symptoms of alcohol sensitivity can vary from person to person, but they often include:
- Facial Flushing: This is one of the most common symptoms, causing redness and warmth in the face and neck area after consuming alcohol.
- Nasal Congestion: This symptom might be experienced as stuffiness or a runny nose.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Alcohol sensitivity can cause discomfort in the stomach, leading to nausea and in some cases, vomiting.
- Rapid Heartbeat: Some people may experience an unusually rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) after consuming alcohol.
- Headaches: A headache or migraine may occur during or after alcohol consumption.
- Low Blood Pressure: In some instances, alcohol can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.
- Breathing Difficulties: Some people might experience shortness of breath or other respiratory problems.
- Skin Reactions: Alcohol can trigger various skin reactions, such as hives or rashes.
If you notice these symptoms after consuming alcohol, you may have an alcohol sensitivity or allergy. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it’s important to seek a medical diagnosis and take an alcohol sensitivity test to be sure.