Alcohol Intolerance: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Though alcohol intolerance is untreatable, there may be ways to reduce the symptoms that Sober Home will inevitably occur when using alcohol. This will typically involve using medications to treat the symptoms that are particular to each individual. Alcohol intolerance is often confused with being allergic to alcohol. Alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body can’t break down alcohol efficiently. The only way to prevent these uncomfortable reactions is to avoid alcohol.

If the reactions return with specific drinks, then you know which ones cause problems for you. Most people who have a reaction to alcohol aren’t allergic to it. They don’t have one of the active enzymes needed to process alcohol — alcohol dehydrogenase or aldehyde dehydrogenase . No, alcohol intolerance is not the same as being intoxicated or drunk.

More health news + info

2 , an enzyme that helps break down alcohol, may be inactive or less active in people with alcohol intolerance. All of these tests will help your doctor rule out any other conditions that may be causing your adverse reaction to alcohol. It’s best to find a doctor who specializes in alcohol-related conditions alcohol intolerance causes to get an accurate diagnosis. In a small 2012 study, researchers found that about 7.2% of 4,000 participants were intolerant to wine and alcohol in general. They also found it to be more common amongst women than men. However, if you have a serious reaction or severe pain, see your doctor.

Allergy symptoms are often more painful and uncomfortable than alcohol intolerance symptoms. In rare cases, if untreated, an alcohol allergy can be life-threatening. If drinking alcohol—also known as ethanol—gives you food allergy symptomssuch as flushing, itching, and diarrhea, you may have an allergy or an intolerance to alcohol. Produced by yeast and bacteria during fermentation, histamine may be present in some alcoholic beverages. Histamine is a chemical released by mast cells during allergic reactions. Suppose you’ve had an alcoholic beverage and are experiencing mild intolerance symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, a reddened face, or hives. In that case, your doctor may conduct a physical exam and prescribe an antihistamine. If they suspect you have a true allergy to alcohol or another ingredient in alcoholic beverages, they will likely conduct allergy testing. The most common type of allergy testing is the skin prick test. During a skin prick test, your doctor will use a lancet to prick or scratch your skin.

What Causes Alcohol Intolerance?

If you experience this particular symptom, it’s important to seek medical advice before drinking alcohol again. People with sulfite allergies will likely need to avoid red wine. Similarly, those with a mold or yeast allergy may need to steer clear of fermented beverages made with brewer’s yeast, including beer and wine. If you experience headache, flushing, itching, or congestion after drinking red wine, it may be because you have histamine intolerance. Although red wine is especially high in histamines, all alcoholic beverages have high levels of histamine. If they don’t, you may experience a so-called “red wine headache” and other symptoms.

Eco Sober House