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Author Topic: Why do I react differently to alcohol?  (Read 1008 times)

Offline thedoc

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Why do I react differently to alcohol?
« on: 22/01/2016 14:50:02 »
Sanna asked the Naked Scientists:
   Thank you for the alcoholic part in the Christmas edition. This might be too far from the original issue, but if I may ask one more think about it. So far I haven't found a real reason for my "alcohol intolerance". Even my doctor was "good thing you cannot drink any more" but it is a annoying limitation. So, about in age of 23 I lost my ability to drink any alcohol. First alcohol becomes very hard to drink after few normal sips. Then I get really tired. In couple hours I get bad headache, I feel like vomiting and get really bad nausea. Over all I feel like I've been poisoned with really bad stuff. I don't get tipsy at nor properly drunk. Just tired and sick. I've tried many sorts of alcohols and none seems to suite and now ten years later I get sick even from 0,05% cider. And to make it more interesting, my sister seems to have same issue. (My liver is really healthy so that's not problem) What makes my reaction so different?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 22/01/2016 14:50:02 by _system »


 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Why do I react differently to alcohol?
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2016 15:15:20 »
This sounds like a problem metabolizing acetaldehyde. Do you also find your skin turning bright red and/or feeling hot to the touch?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Why do I react differently to alcohol?
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2016 17:26:24 »
Alcohol tolerance is not universal among the great apes or even homo sapiens. There is a genetic component that allowed caucasians to evolve an exceptional tolerance and thus sustain a high population density in Europe thanks to the availability of moderately sterile potable fluids such as beer and wine: without the brewing industry it is likely that cholera and other waterborne diseases would have prevented the growth of industrial cities, and carrying rum and strong beer allowed European ships to travel long distances when plain water would have spoiled.

However not all caucasians have the "tolerance gene", and whilst most of us can habituate to alcohol consumption, some just can't. It seems that Sanna has actually acquired an intolerance, just like any other allergy. The good news is that "nominated drivers" are always welcome at social gatherings and anyone who is physiologically bound to teetotal can get cheap insurance cover. It is a rare privilege to turn an allergy into a profession.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Why do I react differently to alcohol?
« Reply #3 on: 25/01/2016 21:56:00 »
Quote from: Sanna
I've tried many sorts of alcohols and none seems to suit
You don't have to believe everything  the advertising industry throws at you...
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Why do I react differently to alcohol?
« Reply #4 on: 25/01/2016 22:41:04 »
Quote from: Sanna
Then I get really tired. In couple hours I get bad headache, I feel like vomiting and get really bad nausea.
Perhaps you should be fitted with a Holter monitor, and then drink a small amount of alcohol, under controlled conditions?

Some people have a heart arrhythmia triggered by alcohol consumption (and for some people, it doesn't take very much). It is important to know if you have a condition like this.

It probably requires a cardiologist to recommend this. Alternatively, some home medical devices can monitor heart rate, blood pressure and detect some arrhythmias.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiday_heart_syndrome
« Last Edit: 26/01/2016 06:45:24 by evan_au »
 

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Re: Why do I react differently to alcohol?
« Reply #4 on: 25/01/2016 22:41:04 »

 

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