alcohol intolerance

Alcohol Intolerance

Alcohol is often in the headlines for alcoholism but for many the issue is about intolerance. What is alcohol intolerance and how does it affect people?

What is Alcohol Intolerance?

Are you concerned about alcohol intolerance? Do you experience negative reactions when you have a drink and are concerned that you may suffer from alcohol intolerance? Let work to answer all of your questions and calm your concerns regarding alcohol intolerance.

This health condition is actually quite a common ailment as many people experience a variety of reactions to alcoholic beverages and thus you need not feel alone in your battle.

Aldehyde Dehydrogenase

Alcohol intolerance is most commonly caused by a lack of aldehyde dehydrogenase which is a digestive enzyme needed to break down and absorb alcoholic beverages. However, sometimes individuals have adverse reactions to specific components or ingredients in these drinks.

Specifically, some people cannot tolerate the sulphites that are added to beer and wine so as to allow for a longer shelf life and greater flavour. Others cannot handle the yeasts involved in the brewing and fermentation of beers.

Histamines, found commonly in red wines are also digestively problematic for some individuals as is salicylates, a naturally occurring chemical present in fruits; ethanol can also trigger adverse physical reactions.


Common symptoms of this condition include headache, flushing or reddening of the skin, palpitations, faintness, and nausea.

It has been discovered that up to 50 percent of individuals of Korean, Chinese and Japanese decent experience negative reactions alcoholic beverages. Sometimes referred to as Oriental Flushing Syndrome, this condition causes skin flushing, reduced blood pressure and increased heart rate in individuals. It is believed that this condition results from a genetic lack of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase.

Symptoms range in severity however consultation with a physician is recommended if any of the above symptoms appear. Basic treatment involves the removal of all alcoholic beverages from the individuals dietary pattern. For further information consult your doctor.

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