Alcohol can be a good drink or a bad drink based on how much you consume and your alcohol intolerance level. Too much sensitivity to alcohol can be a risky fair in the long run. To avoid the consequences of alcohol intolerance getting an alcohol intolerance test done is the best method.
What Is Alcohol Intolerance?
Alcohol intolerance is a situation wherein a person experiences an uncomfortable reaction following a drink. The most frequent signs and symptoms are skin flushing and a stuffy nose. It is a kind of inherited metabolic disorder. The body has a specific enzyme that breaks down the alcohol and with this condition, this enzyme doesn’t metabolize the alcohol leading to intolerance. A person can develop this situation in any part of life.
Alcohol intolerance is the result of a genetic condition in which the body cannot efficiently break down alcohol. The only best way to stop these uncomfortable reactions is by avoiding alcohol.
Though not a true allergic reaction, in a few cases, what looks to be alcohol intolerance could be your body’s reaction to some substance in an alcoholic drink — like grains, chemicals, or preservatives. A combination of alcohol with some medicines can even lead to reactions.
Symptoms Of Alcohol Intolerance
Symptoms of alcohol intolerance consist of;
- Itchy eyes, mouth, or nose
- Eczema, hives, or itchiness on the skin
- Swelling of the throat, face, and other body parts
- Nasal congestion, difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomit, or diarrhea
- Light-headedness, loss of consciousness, or dizziness
- Low blood pressure
Don’t neglect these symptoms as leaving them untreated can easily worsen. In rare instances, they can even be lethal.
Can Anyone Be Intolerant To Alcohol?
Anyone having an enzyme problem that digests alcohol will have this problem. Here the enzyme is alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). Usually, it is hereditary and the population of East Asian nations are more prone to have this inherited genetic mutation that leads to alcohol intolerance.
Alcohol intolerance with age can also happen, for instance, women are more prone than men. In the same way, aged people can see these symptoms quickly in comparison to young ones.
What Is An Alcohol Intolerance Test?
Many will have a doubt of how to test for alcohol intolerance. It is a test to know the presence and percentage of alcohol intolerance in a person.
The test conductor will enquire regarding the reactions and symptoms that occur after having alcohol.
There may also be a test known as an ethanol patch test to determine the condition. During this test, the technician will;
- Place a drop of ethanol on a gauze pad
- Tapes it to the arm
- Lets it be for nearly 7 minutes
- Removes it and checks for symptoms of redness, itches, or swells.
Preparation For An Alcohol Intolerance Test
Ensure you carry your full medical history documents if you have. Besides, say about all the medicines you are taking. It is better to go without eating anything or eating less. Don’t drink alcohol and go as this will make it difficult for the doctor to know what is triggering the reactions in you. Also, ensure to jot down your symptoms and the triggers that are causing them.
Alcohol Intolerance Test Procedure
First, it starts with knowing your medical history and knowing the tablets you are having. Followed by this each doctor may follow a specific test based on the need such as a skin test, blood test, or patch test.
Alcohol Intolerance Test Results
Based on these tests your results are deciphered by your doctor. The majority of the time it is easy for a doctor to know if you are alcohol intolerant and also know the causes that are triggering the same. Based on the results he/she will advise you what to do, what to drink, and what not to drink.
Unfortunately, there is no medicine and no science-backed treatment for this condition.
Tips To Treat Alcohol Intolerance
- Avoid drinking alcohol or at least minimize it.
- Completely stay away from such drinks that act as triggers in your case.
- Exposure to secondhand smoke and smoking can also trigger and elevate this condition.
- There will be some medicines that don’t go well with this condition ask your doctor for them.
- You may use antacid or antihistamine to lower symptoms.
Either way, if you are a regular drinker it is better to go for an alcohol intolerance test.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.