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Hello. I am a 44 yr old Canadian female of Estonian/Ukranian decent. I have had asian flush for several years, that appears after one drink of alcohol. Last summer, at the age of 43, I suddenly became very sick the next day, after consuming some beers. I was sicker than I had ever felt: not like a hangover, but MUCH worse. Figured it was the flu or something equally debilitating.

The next time I drank, I was sicker faster on less alcohol. Things progressed rapidly from there. Less booze, sicker immediately.

Now if I have only an ounce of alcohol, I am immediately flushed, nauseated, very hot, dizzy and horribly out of sorts and upset, so obviously, I do not drink at all.

My question is: WHY am I suddenly no longer able to tolerate alcohol? I was able to drink with the best of them, but suddenly, I cannot break down the enzyme or have developed some serious aversion physically.

I am seeking medical advice and further testing but want to know why my body just stopped allowing alcohol.

Thanks!

Tootsie

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This has just happened to me, too, and I am rather worried! I have no answers for you, unfortunately, but wonder if you have found any information on why this happens. Are you still experiencing this problem? Thanks
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I too am experiencing this same situation. I only drink about every other week and then it is usually no more than 2 drinks. About 4 months ago for a friends birthday we went to a wine bar. I had a couple of glasses of wine. I felt just slightly tipsy that evening. But at 4am I found myself violently ill, throwing up. It felt as if I was poisoned and lasted until 5pm. After that I avoided alcohol for months. Then on my own birthday I had a couple of drinks and experienced the same affects the next day. Again I didn't drink for months. Then I was at a dinner party and decided to give just 1 glass of wine a try and within 2 hours found myself already experiencing the symptoms of a severe hangover without any feelings of being inebriated. At this point I am not drinking at all. I have read severe posts now on this site with similar situations but no follow-up posts of causes or remedies. So is everyone just not drinking anymore? At this point that is what I imagine is going to be my situation. I just don't want this to be an indication of a bigger health issue that is going untreated.
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Thank goodness for that! I thought it was just me! Christmas Day yesterday and I had a couple of glasses of wine and I feel like I've been poisoned ! It's gone on for about 4 or 5 years now and each time it gets worse and takes less alcohol. I feel like death today and know I will for at least another 48 hours.

Has anyone any ideas on how to alleviate the symptoms? I drink loads of water to rehydrate etc. but to no avail. I haven't sought medical advice yet but have often wondered if it was tied in with my IBS which was diagnosed around about the time the symptoms started.

I don't have to drink much to get a reaction. One glass of wine can do it so I tend to avoid alcohol 99% of the time. People who don't get the reaction don't realise how ill you feel with it. It goes beyond a normal hangover don't you think?

Any suggestions?

Linda
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I have the same problem. I always had bad hangovers in my 20`s, but they would go away after 1 day and I good nights sleep. I am a 35 year old woman. The last 4 years I have had horrible, horrible reactions to alcohol. If I drink one glass of wine or a dark beer, I will feel dehydrated, tired and hungover the next day. Off of 1 drink! If I have a lite beer or a weak mixed drink, I can have one with no problem. BUT, if I go a litte crazy and have several drinks, I am sick for almost a week. I drank about 7 beers Sunday night, and still feel horrible today (Thursday). I have tried herbal supplements to help liver function, but those have not worked at all. I just need to learn not to drink. I don't drink most of the time, but every once in awhile it is fun to kick back and have fun. It is NOT worth it though! Anyway, I don't have any solutions, just wanted to let others know you are not alone!
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I drink about once every 6 months due to the fact that I get feel like absolute c**p and get severely depressed for a few days after. This happens even off of 1 or 2 beers. This does not seem to me at all normal in any case.
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I am in the same boat and I am really worried. I used to drink a lot in my early 20's. I would always get hangovers but they would be gone after 24 hours. I am now 35 (woman) and I can't drink at all! This has been going on for about 4 years. I noticed it after the birth of my 3 son. I didn't drink for almost 2 years due to being pg and bf my son. If I would have 1 drink I would be fine, but if I had 2 I would feel crappy for 2-3 days. Now it has gotton worse. If I go nuts and have a wild night and drink alot, I can hardly function for 2 days, then will feel crappy and sluggish for about 5-6 days! Now if I even have one drink (light beer or wine cooler included) I feel bad for 4-5 days. I had a wine cooler on Saturday and still feel bad today on Wednesday. I am going to ask my Dr. about it when I go for my yearly check next month. I know the cure, just don't drink........ But I am worried it is something else. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I don't have a problem with alcohol but do love to have a drink now and then. Vacations are hard too. It is hard not to resist having a drink while I am relaxing on a beach~ but when I do, it ruins the rest of my trip.
I have tried herbal supplements, drinking tons of water, gatorade, etc..... Nothing works. Has anyone found an medical answer??? I did read on another post to have adrenals checked. I will have to mention this to my Dr.
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I've had this progressively throughout my 20's and in my case, it was almost certainly stress. Other associated illnesses included insomnia, constipation, mood swings, depression and bad breath! I would drink one or two pints and my stomach would swell up like a balloon. I would feel very sick, get rashes up the glands on my neck and on my torso, I'd over salivate and had all sorts of weird stuff going on like cramps and spasms in muscles that I didn't even know existed. Three or four pints, led to hang overs that meant taking a day or two off work, when only five or six years earlier I was necking drink every night, getting four hours sleep and thought nothing of it. The answer is a lifestyle change. The more you stress your body and mind when you're young, the sooner you have to do it: Less stressful work, more daily exercise of brain and body, better diet, more water, counseling, breathing exercises, yoga, fishing etc. To get back into booze, you need to trick your mind and body that what you've consumed will be fine. Sweet is normally good - try a medium cider or an alcohol! You can become and alcoholic again, but it requires dedication
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I believe that this is an intolerance/sensitivity/allergy type situation. Many times it appears with other autoimmune illnesses. One poster mentioned IBS, insomnia, and a few other symptoms that go along with autoimmune.
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I am 24 years old and up until about two years ago was an off and on again party goer. I could drink myself silly, puke once and then thankfully pass out. About two years ago though I had one glass of draft beer drove home and began to vomit insanely. It seems to get a little worse the more time that goes by. At first I could switch and go from beer to liquor and most recently wine. The wine seemed to be not as harsh and as long as it was in moderation I was fine. Last night at my parents home for Easter I had one glass of wine around 10 pm and went to bed around 1 am. I woke up promptly at 2 am and began to vomit every ten minutes for the next 8 hours. When I mentioned this before to my doctor he seemed to think it was normal for ppl to grow intolerable to alcohol but personally nothing about this seems normal. One glass of very weak wine shouldn't have me feeling worse than a stomach flu. Has anyone actually gotten any sound medical advice? I don't want to get wasted every night but I wouldn't mind seeping a nice glass of wine in the tub after a long day.
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About 2 months ago I had two glasses of beer with a good meal....and water. This was at 7.30pm. 12pm I went to bed with a nagging headache for which I took a pain killer. I didn't sleep easily as the headache grew worse. 3am I woke and began vomiting. The headache was unbelievably painful. I didn't stop vomiting until 11am when my daughter called and rang an ambulance as I could no longer stand. Also I hadn't realised that my vomit contained blood. I was kept in the hospital for two night on a drip which also administered pain relief as the headache would not leave; numerous tests revealed nothing.

Three weeks later I returned back home to the Dom Rep where I had a drink, once again with a meal. This time it was white rum. The same sequence of events; vomiting blood, violent headache leading to dehydration. Once again I was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Numerous tests were carried out and this time a camera was put down into my stomach. Nothing! I was told never to drink again. The specialist's verdict was that I had an allergic reaction to the alcohol. there wasn't any underlining causes found and the tests were extensive.

When I look back I see that my body was leaking up to this point slowly. Every time I drank I would be left feeling very tired for two or three days and nursing a headache that was hard to shift.

Always one to "prove " a point, I had a drink of pale beer last week with a meal. At home I drank copious amounts of water as I could feel the dreaded headache coming on. I took the double dosage of pain killers and fortunately avoided a repeat performance of the past.

I don't need to know anything else about this strange way in which my body reacts to alcohol; I'm never going to drink again!

Judith xx
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I am frustrated that no one seems to have found a cause for this. My case is very similar to the original post and to several others, but not all.....I am a 28 year old female. I drank a lot in college and was a party girl. I never really stopped drinking. I just didn't drink as heavily or as often after I graduated. But would have a drink or two after work at least once a week. Then one weekend, went to a party, had a few beers...spent the entire night puking, with diarrhea and insane chills and indeed like several others said...felt like I'd been poisoned. After that I never drank more than one, but could have 1 drink here or there, and be okay as long as I didnt overdo it, but the intolerance slowly got worse. THen it would happen if I drank two glasses of wine and I couldn't drink beer at all. Last weekend, I ate some cheesecake with strawberries that had been dipped in some alcohol. I woke up that night at 1am and puked. Over some strawberries???!!!! This is definitely not normal. Especially since one week I was fine and could drink, and the next week I wasn't. It feels like being poisoned. It's the most miserable feeling I've ever experience. Laying there waiting to puke again over and over...please post again if anyone found out anything about their situation ?
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I have had a similar situation also. I drank lightly in my early 20's with a very low tolerance but was able to moderate my drinking. In my early 30's I gradually built up a tolerance and could enjoy a couple of martinis and a couple of glasses of wine with a dinner no problem. Then I began to drink heavily - alcoholically really for about a year and developed an intolerance for alcohol. One glass of wine now and I black out and pass out. I can't even think about hard liquor. I am battling the want to drink (social situations, etc.) as well as wondering why the sudden onset of the intolerance. Truth be told, not drinking at all has helped my relationships, work, etc. so not a bad thing at all to happen, it just leaves me wondering why that happened. One thing that I am not sure if it might be connected - I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr when this all began with the intolerance. At any rate, it doesn't change my situation but it is good to know that I am not the only one out there with a similar situation.
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I am in a similar situation. About 5 years ago, I suddenly became intolerant of alcohol, in any form. I am fine and dandy until I try to go to sleep, and then it is like my nervous system goes completely haywire. I have adrenaline rushes in waves about every 20 seconds and find that I seem to have no regular automatic breathing reflex. I find myself gasping for air. Just a small problem. I have a little sleep apnea normally, but am fine on oxygen...but not if I have any, and I am talking a teaspoon, of alcohol. It is very unpleasant, and if I have actually had the audacity to have a real drink, as opposed to getting alcohol in some food dish, cooked or otherwise, it usually does this for three nights. Doctors do not seem amused when I tell them that I have a drinking problem, and that it is that I can't drink. I would really like to enjoy a glass of wine or a margarita. Avoiding alcohol entirely is very difficult, especially in restaurants. Has anyone found a fix to this problem?
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All of you should google Flushed+Alcohol. My son is experiencing this problem and it has to do with an inability to break down a certain enzyme that I can't recall at the moment. There can be seriously adverse side-effects to drinking for some, depending upon how much/often you drink. If the drinking is truly a social "every-so-often" situation, over the counter heartburn medication can aliviate the problem. If, however, you're a regular drinker, then this condition can lead to an extremely increased chance of developing certain cancers. It's scary.

My son is in his 20's, and after some trauma he drank quite heavily for about two years. He had no real physical reactions at that time, but now - a few years later - if he drinks he turns red and becomes very hot to the touch. At first we thought it might be food, or perhaps a reaction to the ingredients in beer, etc... Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we bought wine, beer, and spirits. He had one beer tonight and immediately turned red with very hot skin. A few weeks ago we had family intown and had cocktails before dinner - same thing. We can no longer say it's a reaction to anything other than alcohol. He has decided to stop drinking entirely, simply because he has such extreme reactions that he doesn't trust taking OTC meds will 1) work, and 2) protect his long-tern health, but again if you Google flushed+alcohol, it'll provide many links that can help you decide your course of action.

On the upside - you're not alone. From what I've read, a lot of people experience this. It's just a matter of what and how you decide to approach handling the situation.
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