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Allergic to Alcohol?
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Allergic to Alcohol?

I'm Asian (Japanese), male, 18 years old.

I have a very low tolerance to alcohol, sometimes have the urge to vomit after just one shot of (40%) vodka, and have allergy-like symptoms the day after I consume alcohol (usually hard alcohol). Of the symptoms, the most dominant is an itchy rash that develops all over my body.

Recently I believe I have developed atopic eczema, little clear bumps all over the palm of my hands and near the crease of my elbow.

I did a little research online and found that an actual allergy to alcohol is extremely rare and that Asians especially just have a naturally "lower body tolerance to alcohol" which is nothing to get alarmed by. Which would semi make sense since I have taken more than a couple of shots to get drunk/a buzz, and it has not lead to my throat swelling.

Am I allergic to alcohol? Should I be concerned? Is my condition just a natural "Asian" reaction to consuming alcohol? Is it something I should be worried about?

Any input would be helpful, thanks.

"Scott"

Note: I already posted this on another forum and I got no replies about the question. Instead, everyone just lectured me about how underage drinking is an unlawful crime. Well, to that, I say this: It is in America, but there are other countries in this world.
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2 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn

It certainly sounds like you could have an allergy to something in the vodka. Alcohol, itself, usually isn't the problem. More than likely, it is one of the additives used in the manufacturing process.
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Avatar_m_tn
Although not really an allergy, people of asian decent are likely to have an inability to break down the alcohol completely as described in the mayoclinic site below:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol-allergy/AN00818

And from another site:
"The commonest abnormal reaction to alcohol is seen in persons from an oriental background, who get flushing, increased heart rate, and symptoms of reduced blood pressure. This is sometimes referred to as 'oriental flushing syndrome'. Approximately 50% of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans are deficient in ALDH, and this has been reported to be protective against the development of alcoholism."

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