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Just thought I'd contribute my own experiences since, like everyone else, this is the ONLY source of information I can find on the subject. I'm 27 and have never had any food allergies of any kind in my life. Until the last year or so, I'd only vomited on the very few occasions that I had the stomach flu growing up or when I dramatically overindulged in alcohol in the early college years.

October 2010: I had a plate of fried shrimp, a bowl of she-crab soup and a few beers at dinner. About two hours later, I felt nauseous in a way that I don't ever feel nauseous - hard to describe beyond it being a very unique and terrible feeling. No vomiting, but ongoing diarrhea for a few hours.

January 2011: I had a bowl of shrimp and grits and a single beer for dinner. Two hours later, the weird nauseous feeling and the diarrhea hit again, but this time got progressively worse until I vomited. Only vomited once.

July 2011: Fried shrimp, she-crab soup and a beer from the same restaurant as the October 2010 incident. A few friends ate exactly the same thing and suffered no consequences. Two hours after dinner, I found myself with the usual symptoms but then went on to vomit for about three hours.

The third time was enough to convince me that my days of seafood consumption were over, especially considering that my reaction had become progressively worse each time. I hadn't considered the alcohol angle, and went to get allergy tested at my dermatologist. All results came back negative - no food allergies. This left me very confused. I considered that I could have just had incredibly bad luck and gotten food poisoning three times in a row, but that seemed pretty unlikely and doesn't compute with my relatively stable stomach history. So the pattern I came up with is the same as everybody else here: in each case I had some varying amount of alcohol along with my shellfish (never nearly enough to have made me remotely sick on its own). I haven't been brave enough to experiment with shellfish since incident #3, but I have a feeling I'd have no problem digesting it if I abstained from alcohol.

So what gives? Any more news from that doctor that one of the posters consulted? The one who actually admitted having heard of this issue? It's bizarre that something that is clearly a very real medical phenomenon to us is so undocumented outside of this forum. I want answers!
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My reactions to the mixture of alcohol and seafood has been somewhat different.  I never put the two together until reading this post.  My first reaction was to shrimp.  I was about 1/2 way through a drink and I was barely able to get a few bites of food when I started feeling incredibly full.   Started sweating and excused my self to go to the bathroom.   Sitting on the floor in the Red Lobster I see my life passing before my eyes.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  Shortly I vomited.  Felt better instantly.  On the way from the restaurant to the hotel I had to swing through Burger King for something to eat.  No other ill affects. 
 
My second reaction was after drinking wine and eating scallops.  Got a really full feeling.  After dinner walking up the stairs to get out of the restaurant and my legs felt extremely heavy.   I struggled to stay upright.  I sit in a snowbank with my head on someones bumper.......I'm fading in and out of consciousness.....until I throw up.  I feel better.   My friends drive me home....but must stop again for me to throw up.  After that I'm fine.

My third reaction I eat cod and have a vodka drink.  I have a few bites and have that full feeling again.  Try to eat but can't.  Suddenly feel claustrophobic like I need fresh air.  Get up and walk out of restaurant in mall of america.  Finding it very hard to walk and sit down against a pole in the hall way.  I start sweating profusely.  Feel my head dropping and next thing I know I'm regaining consciousness.  I've fallen over and thrown up, my face in a pile of vomit.  I'm scared and alone.  My party had no idea where I'd gone or why.  A very kind lady witnessed it and helped me clean myself up.  I'm completely shaken by this.   But after a few minutes I feel completely normal again.  

The entire reaction time in all of these instances is about 30 minutes.  Very little to drink and very little consumption of seafood.  Very extreme reaction.  I will be visiting the doctor.  But thanks for tying this together for me.
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Similar to other comments, I can eat shellfish without a reaction.  However, I get extremely nauseous and vomit if I combine shellfish with gin.  My reaction is specific to a gin martini and the shellfish, particularly crabs and oysters.  Shrimp and lobster don't seem to bother me, nor do I have a reaction with other alcoholic beverages.
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Toxicon. 2010 Aug 15;56(2):231-43. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Scombroid poisoning: a review.

Hungerford JM.

SourceATC, PRL-NW, USFDA, 22201 23rd Dr S.E. Bothell, WA 98021, United States. _[removed]_a.gov



"Histamine intolerance

Histamine Intolerance is a condition which describes high sensitivity to dietary histamine including histamine-rich foods and wines (Maintz and Novak, 2007) and may explain the variations between individuals in their susceptibility to dietary histamine in decomposed fish (Motil and Scrimshaw, 1979). Histamine intolerance is a well established condition (Maintz and Novak, 2007), is not a mechanism of scombroid poisoning per se, and does not invoke the presence of other toxic decomposition products or other components unique to fish. Victims may respond to histamine alone, and in one such study, oral administration of 75 mg of histamine (a dose the authors stated is found in normal meals) provoked symptoms in 50% of the test subjects, all of whom were healthy females who had no history of food intolerance (Wöhrl et al., 2004). It is believed that, in histamine intolerance, dietary histamine cannot be scavenged effectively by diamine oxidase (DAO) due to reduced activity of this enzyme in impacted individuals. Determination of DAO activity in patient serum (Mayer et al., 2005) has diagnostic value for histamine intolerance (Missbichle, 2004).



Histamine intolerance is a metabolic disorder, arising from disequilibrium of accumulated histamine and the capacity for histamine metabolism, mainly due to genetically reduced DAO as with known single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the gene coding for DAO in food allergies (Petersen et al., 2003) and other inflammatory and neoplastic gastrointestinal diseases (Petersen et al., 2002). Intestinal DAO may play a prominent role in the differences in degree of histamine intolerance (and thus susceptibility to scombroid poisoning) among the human population, since there is a subpopulation of individuals with a genetic predisposition to gastrointestinal diseases with SNPs of the gene coding for DAO in the gut (Schwelberger, 2004).



In studies of histamine intolerance and hypothesized mechanisms of scombroid poisoning, several variables should be considered in volunteer studies and outbreak studies. Lehane and Olley (2000) pointed out that complicating variables in studies of scombroid poisoning can include consumer misdiagnosis, innate individual variation, body weight, gender differences in metabolism, concomitant medication, and idiosyncratic intolerance, as well as the presence of true allergy.



Some studies may have given biased results due to gender. For example, the relatively high, 50% rate of response to histamine in the study by Wöhrl et al. (2004) may be explained in part by the fact that all 10 volunteers were female. Similarly, in the study by van Geldren et al. (1992) both of the two (of 8) volunteers responding to 70 mg histamine were females and both had plasma histamine levels no higher than the (males) not showing symptoms. Further complicating the gender variable, estrogen can influence histamine action (Kalogeromitros et al., 1995).



As Lehane and Olley (2000) have also pointed out, several variables in the composition of fish samples, fresh or decomposed, can also complicate studies of scombroid outbreaks volunteer trials, and when histamine is administered in volunteer studies in the absence of fish, this should also be done considering other possible interactions. For example, the use of grapefruit juice as a vehicle for administering histamine in studies of scombroid poisoning (Motil and Scrimshaw, 1979) may influence the results since furanocoumarins found in grapefruit juice are known to inhibit CYP3A, a widely occurring form of the CYP450 family of metabolic enzymes (Guo et al., 2000). Inhibition of these crucial enzymes could lead to metabolic alterations (Maintz and Novak, 2007)."
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Alcohol + Lobster = lesson learned.   -  There was no sickness , just stitches.
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Weird ! I went to a local suchi restaurant and ordered Miso soup and two mako rolls that had no shellfish content AND a Margerita.  About 4 in the morning I woke up nauseous, sped to the washroom and vomited the soup completely intact.  I know it was the soup because it was undigested and I recognized the contents.  Once over, I made sure I slept upright in a chair for the rest of the night so that if it happened again I wouldn't choke.  A friend mentioned this afternoon about the liquor/shellfish reaction he knew about.
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YES!!! If I drink hard liquors or any wine (esp. dark ones) within 24 hrs of eating shellfish, I get hives from the neck up, and my throat starts to "swell shut" type feeling & my whole head feels like it's burning up! I discovered this at a 5* restaurant... had my fave garlic shrimp appetizer & some of their famous homemade sangria & was my 1st reaction. Was terrified I developed a shrimp or seafood allergy, which is no good living in MD! After trial & error I discovered it was the combo. I can drink beer (but not microbrews or craft beers) & sometimes vodka based w/o a problem, and not all seafood is as bad as shrimp or oysters, etc. I think once salmon caused me issues as well. It took awhile to figure it out, as sometimes I would have a drink later in the night after eating shellfish for lunch... so glad someone understands!
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yes, i swell w/hives & cannot breathe as well. as i've been reading i realize that i have gotten nauseous & have vomited after eating steamed blue crabs & drinking beer like we do here in maryland. never occurred to me b/c i don't get the vomitting, etc. everyone has been describing so to speak, but i def. get the allergic type reactions & my face starts burning up
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Amazing that others are having this issue. This is a first for me.

Just this evening, I had a combo of soft shell crab with white wine. Usually, I order Halibut and a white wine, but i wanted to try something different. Here it is 1:45AM and the diarrhea has finally stopped. After waking up with severe stomach pains ans sweats, I knew something was up. I eat seafood once a week without alcohol, so it was unusual to feel terrible like this, especially given the restaurant's quality of food. It had to be this combo.
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kdavis04 wrote:

Quote:

I was also looking for a connection to the seafood/alcohol thing when my husband vomited all night.  I believe the answer is histamine containing foods.  In his case, we went to a dinner and he had brie on toast with a strawberry salsa, crab cake, wine, then two desserts one being cake.  So he was probably on histamine overload.

Certain foods (even food that is low in histamine) can stimulate the release of histamine from mast cells (a type of immune cell). These foods include champagne, wine, beer, ripened cheeses, sausage, canned fish, parmesan, bananas, tomatoes, strawberries, pineapple, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, spinach, egg white and chocolate.

He's been allergy tested for foods, and is not allergic to seafoods, but has had this reaction in the past when he's eaten mussels or scallops with wine, or meals with heavy tomato sauce.


Toxicon. 2010 Aug 15;56(2):231-43. Epub 2010 Feb 10.
Scombroid poisoning: a review.
Hungerford JM.
SourceATC, PRL-NW, USFDA, 22201 23rd Dr S.E. Bothell, WA 98021, United States. _[removed]_a.gov

"Histamine intolerance
Histamine Intolerance is a condition which describes high sensitivity to dietary histamine including histamine-rich foods and wines (Maintz and Novak, 2007) and may explain the variations between individuals in their susceptibility to dietary histamine in decomposed fish (Motil and Scrimshaw, 1979). Histamine intolerance is a well established condition (Maintz and Novak, 2007), is not a mechanism of scombroid poisoning per se, and does not invoke the presence of other toxic decomposition products or other components unique to fish. Victims may respond to histamine alone, and in one such study, oral administration of 75 mg of histamine (a dose the authors stated is found in normal meals) provoked symptoms in 50% of the test subjects, all of whom were healthy females who had no history of food intolerance (Wöhrl et al., 2004). It is believed that, in histamine intolerance, dietary histamine cannot be scavenged effectively by diamine oxidase (DAO) due to reduced activity of this enzyme in impacted individuals. Determination of DAO activity in patient serum (Mayer et al., 2005) has diagnostic value for histamine intolerance (Missbichle, 2004).

Histamine intolerance is a metabolic disorder, arising from disequilibrium of accumulated histamine and the capacity for histamine metabolism, mainly due to genetically reduced DAO as with known single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the gene coding for DAO in food allergies (Petersen et al., 2003) and other inflammatory and neoplastic gastrointestinal diseases (Petersen et al., 2002). Intestinal DAO may play a prominent role in the differences in degree of histamine intolerance (and thus susceptibility to scombroid poisoning) among the human population, since there is a subpopulation of individuals with a genetic predisposition to gastrointestinal diseases with SNPs of the gene coding for DAO in the gut (Schwelberger, 2004).

In studies of histamine intolerance and hypothesized mechanisms of scombroid poisoning, several variables should be considered in volunteer studies and outbreak studies. Lehane and Olley (2000) pointed out that complicating variables in studies of scombroid poisoning can include consumer misdiagnosis, innate individual variation, body weight, gender differences in metabolism, concomitant medication, and idiosyncratic intolerance, as well as the presence of true allergy.

Some studies may have given biased results due to gender. For example, the relatively high, 50% rate of response to histamine in the study by Wöhrl et al. (2004) may be explained in part by the fact that all 10 volunteers were female. Similarly, in the study by van Geldren et al. (1992) both of the two (of 8) volunteers responding to 70 mg histamine were females and both had plasma histamine levels no higher than the (males) not showing symptoms. Further complicating the gender variable, estrogen can influence histamine action (Kalogeromitros et al., 1995).

As Lehane and Olley (2000) have also pointed out, several variables in the composition of fish samples, fresh or decomposed, can also complicate studies of scombroid outbreaks volunteer trials, and when histamine is administered in volunteer studies in the absence of fish, this should also be done considering other possible interactions. For example, the use of grapefruit juice as a vehicle for administering histamine in studies of scombroid poisoning (Motil and Scrimshaw, 1979) may influence the results since furanocoumarins found in grapefruit juice are known to inhibit CYP3A, a widely occurring form of the CYP450 family of metabolic enzymes (Guo et al., 2000). Inhibition of these crucial enzymes could lead to metabolic alterations (Maintz and Novak, 2007)."


All humans are susceptible to histamine poisoning; however it does appear that some individuals may be more histamine-sensitive than others. Taking alcohol at the same meal can increase the chance of a reaction and the symptoms are likely to be more severe for the elderly and for those taking the following medications:


Augmentin (antibiotic)


Doxycyline (antibiotic)


Isoniazid (antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis)


Metoclopropramide (used to treat 'stomach upsets')


Verapamil (used to treat heart conditions)


Promethazine


Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (a type of antidepressant)


Certain herbal & Nutritional supplements

Source: http://www.allergyclinic.co.uk/histamine.htm
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I went to one of my favorite restaurants last night , never had problem with wine and seafood . This time I had a sweet martini and a shrimp sushi roll, lobster potstickrs and another sushi roll and started feeling dizzy, started getting out of breath and getting very shaky and shivery. Drank about 4-5 glasses water , still felt like passing out and very slight nausea, they almost called paramedics but sent me to back room and I relaxed and got better I. About 40 min, very scary
Yvonne
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Wow, this post is interesting!  Last night, I ate home-made shrimp bisque and two glasses of white wine.  This morning, I had terrible diarrhea!  I have never experienced symptoms like this before (at least not that I can remember) so it's good to know it might be a "thing."  I have no food allergies that I know of.  I figured I just reacted adversely to the heavy cream, or something.  I will definitely try to avoid alcohol and seafood in the future!!  Thanks all.

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Twice I have had 8 hr violent vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, chills, headache and overall weakness for the remainder of  24 hrs.  The combination for me was Pacific crab and red wine.  I thought it was the Pacific crab, as Chesapeake crab and White Wine have never bothered me, previously or since.  It's the red and crab that's the lethal combo.  It's so frightening and painful.  I hope this site helps others to prevent a wicked condition.

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im so glad i found this post. Last night i had 2 glasses of wine and ate some lobster bisque. Within an 2.5 hours i was blackout drunk. I don't remember anything and my best friend & boyfriend were very confused as to how this happen off of 2 glasses of wine spread out over over a couple hours. Im so glad to know that I don't have to stop drinking wine. Thank you so much.
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Seafood platter and 1 g&t. I want to claw the skin off my body and I've been sick 3 times. I ate 2 hours ago.
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