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Alcohol related chest pain - is this an allergy?
Recently i've discovered certain alcoholic beverages trigger severe heart pain. It feels like extreme fatigue in the heart and arm muscles.  Most alcohols don't bother me. The only drinks i know of that do are smirnoff fruit twists, or seagrams fruit coolers. However not all fruit drinks react in this way. The amount i drink doesnt seem to be a factor. This has happened to me three times and the least severe were the two times i had downed about two bottles. The worst of it began after i had taken only a sip. It was so bad I thought I was having a heart attack.

  I know the best solution would be to stop drinking. And seeing as I know that is my cure, i'm more curious than concerned. Is this even an allergy?
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According your information
I think it's a GERD(gastroesophageal reflux diseas)
You may go to google and search this keyword.
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I had this problem also. The acidic fruit component in the drink causes your stomach acid to become very acidic, therefore burning your esophagus,i.e. heartburn. This stomach acid is reaching your esophagus, most likely, as a result of acid reflux disease or a hiatal hernia or the like. Go to the doctor for diagnoses and meds if necessary. Alcohol will also cause heartburn, but mix it with an acid component and it really burns. Try a bloody mary and see what happens. I bet it hits you the same way. Good Luck
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I am interested to know what the outcome was.
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Hi, Im 24 years old and only drink on weekends, when I drink its only 2 or 3 drinks anyway, so I know the amount is not the problem. Ever since I was 18 I got this horrible chest pain whenever I drank certain drinks. Ive done a little experiment and found that alcohol mixed with diet drinks is fine but as soon as I mix it with sugary drinks the pain gets really bad even if I had only 2 sips. Yesterday was a public holiday and I forgot to get something diet to mix with my vodka. I used fruit juice instead and was in so much pain after one drink I had to lie down. But on top of this pain it felt like something was pressing very hard on my chest and lying down made it even worse.
I immediately stopped drinking and the pain lasted for about 20min. This doesn’t seem like heart burn because while there was so much pressure on my chest with the horrible pain I ended up vomiting and it wasn`t acidic at all.
Can someone please tell me what this is, and if its something serious that I need to get checked straight away.
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I have the exact same problem
Happen for the first time at 18 so bad I thought I was dieing literally.
I fell to my knees.
And had to go lay Down on the couch.
I couldn't do anything but hold my chest.
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I have experienced similar situations, only with hard alcohol with a fruity flavored drink and only when and if I drink it too fast, I have severe chest pain, muscle pain in the back and chest area and it last approx 20 mins! Its extremely paiinful and unconfortable and does not happen at all with beer, just fruity mixed drinks, I originall thought it was a type of alcohol, but now I dont think that the alcohol has anything to do with it. I really believeit has to do with the fruity drink I mix with the alcohol.  I do get heartburn from fruit drinks but not nearly this bad!
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I have the same problem with the fruity drinks! It started when I drank mikes hard lemonade, but I had been drinking them for a couple of months before it started happening. Just now it happened again with fruit juice and vodka. It's strange and so uncomfortable right in the middle of my chest, like right under my breast bone, but then goes away after 20 minutes and I feel so much better that it almost feels good. This also happens to my brother but no one else in my family or friends that I know of.
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I have the same problem. Except i get horrible chest n collar bone pains if i drink alcohol mixed with juice or sodas. I will get the chest pains even if i drink the juice or soda minutes before the alcohol. So now i only drink straight alcohol. My boyfriend tried to tell me it was all mental but i know its not. The pains last about 15-20 minutes here too. Anyone get a diagnosis from a dr yet? Email me: ***@****
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Found my wife on the floor after drinking mikes hard lemonade feeling as though she was having a heart attack. One drink of milk instantly reversed it.
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Hi, I was just wondering if you ever found out what this reaction was caused by? I know it was years ago but I read your comment and instantly it reminded me of what I go through when I drink certain types of alcohol. I also get the tight chest feeling, like something is pressing down on my chest really hard. It doesn't really effect my breathing but I also notice that my heart beats really fast as the pain is there. Unlike you though, it goes away ONLY when I decide to try lying down. That seems to be the only thing that makes it go away. But the fact that the pain is the same and lasts for about the same time you mentioned, 20 minutes or so, I'm really curious as to what it could be as well. Since it's been a few years, I'm hoping you might have found a cause to this since you posted the comment. If you happen to get this, please reply :)
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I get the exact same thing. It's awful and is really ruining my nights out. And being the only sober one in a group of friends is really boring :/ I definitely find it worse the more sugary/sweet or fruity the drink is. I can't even entertain alcopops or a fruity cider type drink. It used to only happen to me after overindulging on alcohol but I now can get it on the first drink. It also causes my face to burn occasionally. I have to sit in the bathroom and wait for it to pass, usually takes around 20-40 minutes. I find drinking water helps it pass quicker if I have had too much, if it's only after a couple I just have to wait for it to go. I always feel a little nauseous with it too but am rarely actually sick. I'm not a massive fan of the taste of alcohol so don't really branch out much, sticking to cider or vodka but am going to see if a "smoother" non fruity drink helps next time I'm out. I don't think its anything major healthwise as I have suffered with it in varying degrees since I was 15, I'm now 28. If it was dangerous I'm sure it would have caused a problem by now, it's just really affecting my social life!!! I do have a social life outside of drinking, but it is nice to go out and have a few now and then
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I have the same problem - extreme pain in my chest and arms and severe shortness of breath when I drink vodka (I can drink rum), or anything sugary with alcohol or right before drinking alcohol. If I drink regular soda with alcohol instead of diet - it happens. I can't do anything with the pain but lie down. I thought it was a heart attack the first few times. It's definately not GERD at all. Those commenters do not understand the pain we are describing.
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I have the same exact pain, I just had a few ounces of a Mikes Harder Black Cherry Lemonade and started getting chest pains and my heart started racing. I took antacids, and there was absolutely no effect.

I can drink straight alcohol, mixed drinks with pop and alcohol, wine, beer, and nothing happens. It's just certain premixed sugary alcoholic beverages. It's similar to the pains I get from drinking Mountain Dew on an empty stomach. I can handle the HyVee and Walmart store brands, just not Mountain Dew itself. Maybe there's a preservative, coloring, something like that that's giving us these pains?
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YES it is an allergy! It is NOT GERD. I can drink bourbon and beer just fine, but a sip of a wine cooler causes intense chest pain. The last time I tried a "honey" sweetened bourbon I thought I was literally going to die. Heart raci
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YES it is an allergy, and NO it is not GERD. Beer and bourbon go down smooth but a sip of a margarita and I feel like I'm going to die. Heart racing, chest pain (like someone is squeezing your heart in their fist), shortness of breath. Thank you for everyone who has posted before for confirming I'm not alone. I'm going to talk to my doctor but I think I've traced it to an allergy to an artificial sweetener or preservative, perhaps POTASSIUM SORBATE. Stay natural everyone!  http://www.diet.com/g/artificial-preservatives
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(Sorry about double post, having problems with mobile site. Have been trying to post for an hour! Had to keep trying in hopes of helping someone else.)
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Had same problem but think alcohol has nothing to do with it.  Stopped by macdonalds today and had a lemonade smoothie with a lot of ice and very sweet.  No extra sugar , just regular.  Drink it very fast cause was thirsty.  Felt this incredible pain in my chest.  Had to get out f the car and walk around cause was scared to continue to sit in my car without doing something.  When first got out there was no change in the pain.  So was really getting scared. Then the pain started to become less as continued to walk around.  Think it was because the ice started to melt in my chest and get warmer.  Then started to look to see if anyne else had the problem.  this sounds exactly like the pain.  
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It is NOT GERD or hiatal hernia, or acids in fruit juice. I have suffered from this ailment for over 20 yrs and last year I had a hiatal hernia repair with a fundoplication, so I can't have reflux. I can't even vomit anymore.
My symptoms are chest pain and shoulder "heaviness". Sometimes I have had to lie down, take off my bra and raise my arms up over my head till it passes. I have found that hard liquors mixed with any fruity OR sugary mix will cause this. Sugar free mixers will not cause it. The mixers alone will not cause it, the symptoms only when they are mixed with liquor. Wine and beer do not cause it. A wine cooler will cause it if I drink it too fast.
I asked my doctor and he had no idea. I think this is something that hasn't been studied by the medical community. I am an RN and I have asked many colleagues.
Incidentally this reaction doesn't happen if I drink super slowly.
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I used to get this as well when I would drink Bombay Gin straight no mix, maybe a little water or tonic.  I always thought it was an allergy to one of the botanical.  I no longer drink.
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Thank you for what you said about the milk... I drank some Almond Milk and what I was feeling went away... Thank you...
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My twin and I have the exact same symptoms described.  Stay away from sugar beverages such as mixed drinks or malts.  Beer and "diet" soda type mixed drinks should be fine.  Malt beverages, wine coolers, rum & coke, cran vodka, etc. are a no go.  I have reason to believe this is linked to a PFO or other heart issue.  Not GERD, Not hodgkins.
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I had only a few sips of red wine and I got terrible chest pain. Thought I was having a heart attack! Fatigue, feeling like I couldn't get up & I felt like I was going to throw up but I didn't. My left arm hurt as well. Fell asleep on the couch after about an hour. We almost went to the ER. Perhaps an allergy to red wine???
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Wow, this happened to me yesterday. I drank just 1 root beer flavored beer. the pain was in the middle of my chest and spread to shoulders. Briefly had a strange sensation in my jaw. I told my son to keep an eye on me, it hurt so bad. The pain lasted a good 15 minutes. I was nearly convinced I was having a heart attack. I'm 46, and I had these same pains years earlier drinking very sweet wine coolers. It might have been seagrams brand because it didn't happen with all wine coolers. I've had GERD for many years. I saw a heart dr a year a ago and my heart is just fine. The strange thing is that I've drank the root beer flavored beers before without issue.
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I have this same issue. I was told this was heartburn caused by the excessive sugar in cheap alcoholic drinks although im sure its not limited to just that. I feel the pain with just a few sips of a wine cooler or like right now i had a coconut flavored rum mixed with coke. I do not have this problem when drinking plain alcohol. Furthermore an antacid quickly alleviates the pain
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I am 46 and have had this for 20 years and thought it was just me. I had a lot of test's done about 10-15 years ago but they couldn't figure it out. I still don't know what it is.
I have never had heartburn so I don't think it's that because this pain is so bad that I have driven myself to the hospital 3 times (luckily the Rolaids or Tums kicked in before I got there), by the time I get there, I'm totally fine. I always keep antacids with me just in case and while I wait for them to kick in, I feel like I'm dying, am in fetal position on the ground rocking back and forth crying. It starts in my shoulders and then to my chest and it's so bad that it goes to my back. My brother and sister had it and went to the Dr. Actually my brother to the hospital. Both of them had their gall bladder taken out. I had mine tested and they said it was fine. I am baffled by this because we had the same symptoms. My brother ate chocolate ice cream though.
I can only drink things like, wine (not sweet dinner wines), beer, tequila shots, bloody mary's.
I cannot drink rum like captain Morgan spiced rum, fireball, margaritas, any mixed drink with something sweet. It happened with Jack Daniel's once but I was on an empty stomach so not sure about that one. I've since taken shots of Jack and it's fine. I can drink sugary stuff on it's own but when it's mixed with alcohol something must happen.
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I have discovered that I have these terrible symptoms when I drink white alcohol. I can drink brown alcohol all day. White kills me.
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I just turned 21 this month. I'm 5'4" and I weigh about 130lb. Female. I have the same symptoms a heavy pressure like pain on my chest almost as if a really heavy guy was standing on my sternum. That spreads to my shoulder shortly after it starts, difficulty breathing. Excruciating to the point of just laying on the floor crying sometimes.

I get it with ANY alcoholic drink OR even just normal Soda( with the exception of ginger ale, root beer, or sprite). I have found that spreading my shoulders and arching my back relieves some (but not all) of the pressure and helps to breath. The pressure is accompanied by nausia without vomiting and severe headaches. It usually last anywhere from 15 min - almost an hour.

I have been to the Dr. And they have checked may heart with both an EKG and an Echocardiacagram (? Not sure if I spelled that right, its pretty much an ultra sound of your heart) and they've also checked my lungs with a pulmonary function test and a chest Xray. They couldn't find anything wrong at all.

It really ***** cuz I couldn't even enjoy my 21st birthday with my first (legal) alcoholic beverage with my first visit to a bar and all that stuff your supposed to do on the big 21.

Anyways if anyone here figures out why these thing are happening I would really appreciate it if you would email me to fill me in. Thank you.

P.S.
My E-mail is uc.***@****. Thank you again.
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Drink any kind of milk. Goes away instantly. I drank coconut milk.  Another person has almond milk on here. Life saver
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Ive had this pain since I was 25, Im a female and i weigh 110. At first I was very confused and scared. My pain started from my head and spread to my chest and left arm and was very intense for about 15 mins.  It always went away very suddenly like it was never there.  I've since stopped drinking any kind of sweet drinks BUT I've noticed that even if I have vodka or beer and if I drink juice or anything sweet but non-alcoholic within the hour I STILL get the pain. So, no I can't help but maybe there is a common denominator in all of this and we can figure it out
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It is NOT GERD(gastroesophageal reflux disease).  
I had this happen to me after a sip of a wine cooler, mikes hard lemonade, Smirnoff of any kind.  But I can drink beer and be ok.  
I had to do my own research because the first thing the dr will say is, dont drink.  that is a simple fix.  But why can't you drink is what you want to know!
True alcohol allergies are rare but the reactions can be severe. What most people believe to be alcohol allergy is actually a reaction to an allergen in the alcohol. Common allergens in alcohol include:

barley
hops
yeast
rye
wheat
gluten
histamines (often found in red wine)
sulfites (often found in white wines)
People often call alcohol intolerance an alcohol allergy — and vice versa.

I find that I have a reaction to the histamines.  Which is found in mikes hard lemonade, Smirnoff, fruity drinks etc.

Here is a link that may help you.

https://allergies.knoji.com/how-you-can-be-allergic-to-alcohol/
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Yeah this really sharp heavy hard feeling sneaks up on me and hurts like hell anytime I drink some kind of white liquor or wine cooler...I swear it feels like I'm dying! idk what kind of attack it is and I've done researching but found NOTHING..i usually keep a bottle of peptobismol around and usually it goes away in like 5-10mins and once its relieved the feeling if phenomenal! I haven't tried milk yet but I will next time! thanks guys!
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the feeling is* phenomenal once relieved
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I just found a simple solution to this problem! I drank a bud light margarita mixer and immediately I was doubled over in pain. My heart felt like it was being squeezed, and my shoulders were radiating pain! All I did was take two cap sized shots of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR and my pain was gone in an instant. I read somewhere how vinegar is an awesome anti-acid, even better than tums, and other anti-acids. Now before I drink I take shots of the vinegar, and I have no problems drinking whatever alcoholic beverage it may be.
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I can honestly say I think it has something to do with acid reflux or something in that matter.  I have no issues with any alcohol until I drank a margarita from Texas road house. My chest became tight and the extreme pain in my chest came not even 5.mims after taking a big swig of the drink.  It lasted for 20 or 30 mins.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  I'm a healthy 26 year old black female with no major health issues besides minor asthma. I was told I had acid reflux about 2 years ago.  This has happened to me twice with the same drink.  I don't like the feeling and I wanna get checked out for it.  
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I have this issue. It feels as though I'm having a heart attack, after several expensive and unnecessary trips to the ER at the age of 18, I figured I'd do some experimenting lol! I found that wines and alcoholic beverages with moderate to high amount of sulfuric acid are what causes my chest back and arm tightness, something to do with acid reflux. I stay away from heavy sultanated drinks and no more tightness!.  
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Bye I'm now 25 and realized this at 23
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Look up hyperglycemia ... alcohol hits the body like megasugar, and when mixed with sugar ... well yeah.
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I have the exact same thing happen to me. I'm a 21 year old female, and I have been drinking since I was about 15 or 16. I almost always drink mixed sugary drinks (I also don't always stick with the same drink throughout the night so I haven't been able to pin point exactly which drink causes it). However, I did drink a jack Daniels strawberry flavored drink tonight and it caused the chest pain. It starts in my chest and it moves to my shoulders. It's a very heavy feeling (like it's weighing me down). Almost like my chest will explode. The only thing I find that helps is time, however I haven't tried antiacids or milk. I see that sugar seems to be the common denominator here, but I don't understand how I can eat sugary foods all the time and have no chest pain. The only thing I could think of if it does have something to do with sugar, is that it has to been the combination with alcohol. I wish there were answers on here, but it is comforting knowing others have the same problems, and that I'm not suffering alone.
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Lomrie

I honestly thought I was the only person on earth with this issue!  

Let me give you some background and my thoughts:

Stats:
I am 34 y/o Male.  I have body mass index that places me in the high over weight column.  I am 6' tall with a weight of 210. I am proportionally carried and I exercise occasionally.  No major health issues, diabetes runs on my fathers side of the family and my grandfather on my mothers side has heart disease.
I drink fairly heavily and know my body well regarding alcohol tolerance.  My regular alcohol consumption on the weekend can be as high as a 1/2 gallon of rum.
I do not care for beer, however, I have always enjoyed drinking (especially as a kid) smirnoff Ice, mikes hard lemonade, and other high sugar malt type drinks.

Experiences:
Like you, when i drink these high sugar malt beverages it often (not every time) cause a ferocious pain that begins in my chest directly IVO my heart.  The pain begins to radiate very rapidly and predictably up to my shoulder and down my right arm.  The pain will then spread down to my back and knees within about 5 minutes.  The onset from 0 or no pain to excruciating pain 100 is approx 10 minutes.  
During the peak of my pain, i begin to experience flashes of heat and sweating (resembling a heart attack).  If I attempt to move to a cooler place or in front of a fan/air conditioner I become extremely cold.  
My pain causes me to want to constantly change positions, typically when I feel the onset of this reaction, I MUST segregate myself from friends and allow the experience to pass.  I have had friends over the years who have DEMANDED they call an ambulance.  During these events I have to argue with them (which is the worst.) that this reaction is normal when I consume those types of beverages.
The experience is very predictable.  5-7 minutes to full pain, Full pain for apron 18-20 minutes, and around 5 minutes to come down.  Ordeal is typically 30 minutes.  

Thoughts:
This has plagued me for YEARS.  I brought it yup to various doctors over the year who look at me like i am crazy and say, "your solution is to not drink those drinks."  This has been frustrating none the less.. I agree I know how to contain the problem but I have always wanted to know if this is an underlying symptom of a larger problem.

Experiments:
I have tried to capture exactly what the issue is for me triggering this. I have purposely attempted to trigger on 100s of occasions to see if i can see what the magic formula is to avoid this reaction.. This is what I have found:

Findings:

This reaction is NOT always triggered by alcohol!  In fact, I have managed to trigger the reaction with multiple foods and times.
All of the foods in my findings are extremely high in sugar.  Pixy sticks and candy (lots of it), Macdonlds (and other fast foods), energy drinks,
What i found triggered my reaction to these items was when I had a very very busy day (strenuous work or exercise), and very low food intake.
During these times, if I consumed a high sugar meal (IE a large MacDonalds quarter pounder with cheese, large fries and soda).  The reaction would present itself.

Like wise, If I had a single mikes hard lemonade after the same amount of work and did not accompany it with food.  The reaction would also be triggered.

Now in other situations, where I would have the EXACT same type of day (work wise) and take a mikes hard lemonade and pour it over heaping ice. Sipping very slowly over 15 minutes.  The reaction did not present.

Closing:
I am not a doctor, I can only deduce based on what my experiences tell me (and in have had 1000's of these experiences).
I believe this reaction has something to do with the rapid absorption of concentrated sugar into your system.  The reactions begin relatively quickly on an empty stomach leading me to this conclusion.  The reaction is deeply magnified by alcohol (even just a little).  

Avoidance:
If you must have one of these malt drinks, do yourself a favor.  Eat something light about 30 minutes prior to drinking, also, pour your beverage into a glass to cut the concentration of sugar/alcohol to approx a 50% level (many of those are great on ice!).
Avoid downing your first drink.  Sip slow until your body has a chance to process the beverage.  These tips have managed to keep me from having this experience in years.  
However, yesterday I wanted to see if the problem still existed.  I grabbed a 6 pack of Jack Dan fruit punch and crushed it in about 10 seconds.
as fully expected I was dropped to the floor within 15 minutes rolling around like a puppy that got sprayed in the face with a skunk.

Would love to discuss this more with anyone that would care to chat.  This is actually the first med based conversation that I have ever read that accurately depicts what I go through.

Feel free to drop a line at ***@**** to discuss!

Good luck fellow fake heart attackers!  

Out!
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I have had these symptoms with one particular brand of alcoholic root beer. Heart racing, chest and arm pain, weakness in limbs, shaky, sweaty, light headed. I had my finger on the call button for 911, and luckily it passed in about 20 mins. I am having food allergy testing done today. I have asked the manufacturer for a list of their 'natural ingredients', hopefully this will help me find out if this is caused by a reaction to the ingredients, the sugar or by heartburn like others have suggested. I will let you all know what I find out!
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The brewing company sent a list of the 'natural ingredients' to me. Unfortunately, I was not able to be tested for all of them, but did find a significant allergy to nutmeg. I am also allergic to ginger, which could explain the reaction i had to the hard ginger ale made by the same brewery. The doctor said that if I am allergic to the ingredients in an alcoholic drink, my reaction would be more intense and rapid because the alcohol would dilate the blood vessels in my digestive system. So...nothing definitive, but there is definitely the chance that I am allergic to one/some of the ingredients which caused the serious reaction. Maybe try to keep note of the drinks that cause a reaction and see if there are common ingredients. My doctor mentioned corn syrup as a common allergen, although not in my case
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Omg... for the last week I've been having serious chest pain. I literally thought something was wrong with my heart. I went in and got tests and everything but I ended up being okay. I really had no idea what was wrong. Over the last week I was on vacation drinking mixed drinks. It's a little after my vacation and my chest has been feeling fine. I thought I would drink a lime a Rita because I had them on my trip and they are better then beer. Instant heart pain. It caused me to look it up and this! The sugary preservative drinks is what causes this chest pain. I'm currently experiencing it now. It feels like I'm having a heart attack, it's seriously bad. I'm so glad I came across this post
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Wow didn't know what this was...had it for years... Smirnoff vodka Bacardi  or fruity drink...I just had a drink called jolly ranchers... And it made my chest hurt in the middle of my chest .. Like I'm about to die...had to put the fan on....I became hot fatigue.... I started rubbing my chest then after about an half hour I'm good...like wtf!!!!
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When I was around 14 or so, I had my gallbladder removed. This was around the same time I began experimenting with alcohol. I thought at the time the pain I was experiencing when I would drink was a result of my having gallstones, but nearly twenty years later, I still can't drink alcohol. When I do, it feels as though I'm having a gallstone attack all over again and believe me, I've gone to doctors and the ER to make sure there aren't any stones hiding in the clamped off ducts as well as having my heart checked countless times.  I've been told it's GERD and esophageal spasms caused by the acidity in alcohol; nothing else I consume leads to such distress. Another crappy factor in not having a gallbladder is the susceptibility to pancreatic attacks when I consume large portions of fried or fatty foods which sometimes lands me in the hospital for pancreatitis which is just as painful as those phantom heart attack pains incurred by GERD and the esophageal spasms. I've found, oddly enough, that morphine sulphate actually not only helps the daily pain but gives me an appetite I wouldn't normally have. Though most see this as a controversial treatment method because of the dependence issue that comes along with opioids, in my opinion the reward outweighs any risk associated because in the end I am able to get out of bed, eat like a human being without vomiting bile or having diarrhea after every meal and exist peacefully with limited amounts of pain. I realized the correlation between the morphine sulphate and my stomach issues dwindling by chance, really; I was prescribed the medication because my knees are quite literally deteriorating from years of bmx racing and noticed how much my life improved all around from that medication. These days, you couldn't pay me to drink liquor because after about two sips, I'm rolling on the floor in extreme pain. I'm also not advocating morphine to everyone with this illness, just sharing what has been working for me and my own journey to living a life somewhat free of the agony associated with extreme gastrointestinal issues.
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