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alcohol induced shoulder pain
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alcohol induced shoulder pain

There has got to be something to this and I'm thinking it would be a great thesis paper for a graduating medical student!  
I'm 30 and have experienced these symptoms throughout my 'drinking life' every time I consume the slightest amount of alcohol.  I don't drink beer as I can't take the taste but prefer wine coolers or grain alcohol drinks.  I drink rarely, about every other month or two, but when I do it doesn't take long for crippling shoulder pain, yawning, and fatigue to result.  Typically, it only takes about half a glass or bottle for the reaction to begin which is probably around 15-20 minutes from starting to drink.  The symptoms last for 30-45 minutes and then subside and everything is back to normal.  
I'm fine with not consuming alcohol but it would be nice to understand what is happening.  I've questioned a few doctors over the years and no one has any explanations other than some chemical reaction is happening incorrectly or not at all within my body.  
You never know if something so rare, as these symptoms seem to be around the world, you could find the answer to alcohol intolerance, addiction, dependence or death... wish I had the ability to find out.  Maybe someone out there does?!?!?  
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this happen as well, it started about a year ago out of the blue.  It affected my right arm, at times all the way down to the wrist, and now affects my left as well.  It happens within a minute of one swallow of any type of alcohol (although beer is less painful).  It starts, peaks, then fades.  It lasts from 5-10 minutes, and when it's gone I feel fine.  When it happens I also feel like I have a really bad body ache flu, but that feeling goes away with pain.  I had one pathologist say it was a sign of Hodgkin's Disease, and I had one say that maybe it could be from gerd, but my Gastroenterologist has never heard of this from any of his patients.  Google alcohol induced pain, most of it is regarding Hodgkin's Disease.
Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
bro i got the same thing i think. whenever i drink i get a crazy pain in my shoulder and it hurts so bad that i dont drink anymore.  i had shoulder problems when i was younger but not for awhile.  it is only on my right shoulder in the back.  people thought i was crazy so thank you for writing this and please if you find out why let the world know.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem, that only started after I entered remission from Hodgkin's Disease, and I did not have alcohol related pain before I was diagnosed.  It radiates from a point in my left shoulder blade, also at the back, throbbing down my left arm.  It used to affect my left leg at the hip too, but now it is just my arm.  I also get flu like aches, and the pain is so bad I literally have to go to bed within an hour of consuming alcohol.

My doctor sent me for blood tests (B12 and folic acid) but they were normal.  My cancer hospital says it could be nerve damage from the chemo, but have never heard of this otherwise, and my extensive blood tests there are normal too.

It's driving me mad, I'm not a frequent drinker but having the choice taken away is very annoying!  I am also concerned that my disease is coming back and would really like to rule that out.  Any responses to this welcome!
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681148_tn?1285160820
I have the same thing, only the symptoms last a lot longer.  I never could stand beer either.  Interestingly, I knew that alcohol would evaporate when cooking with it.  I was introduced to cooking with wine.  I really liked the taste, but shortly after trying to cook with the stuff, I still got sick.  So, then, I knew it wasn't just the alcohol I was allergic to.  I learned that I was allergic to sulfites.  Grapes always did bother my GERD, but they also contain natural sulfites.  I don't eat grapes anymore.  I also can't eat garlic or onions anymore, because they make me sick, too.  They also contain high amounts of natural sulfites.

If you suspect you're allergic to alcohol, you probably are.  It's better to just steer clear of the stuff.  You might be allergic to some of the other things commonly in alcoholic beverages, like the sulfites, but also gluten.  Remember, beer is a grain alcohol made primarily of wheat and/or barley along with the hops and other things.  Wheat and barley contain the most gluten of all the gluten containing grains.  It isn't just the alcohol that makes beer drinkers gain weight.  Grains with gluten are also fattening.  Gluten in moderation is fine, if you're not allergic to it.  I have a friend who is so allergic to gluten that the tiniest amount, like the tablespoon or so of flour used to thicken a gravy, will make her sick.

Instead of asking for more trouble and more severe allergies, it's better to just avoid the alcohol altogether.  

I can understand the annoyance that jokelly119 feels about having to abstain from alcohol because the body is allergic to it.  I've always had some reaction to alcohol and used to drink about half a bottle of a single serving of wine cooler or less and notice that I still had trouble with the stuff.  I had to give up on it.

On the positive side, we have less chance than most people of becoming alcoholics, since the slightest amount of the stuff makes us sick.
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Avatar_n_tn
after several months suffering from this alcohol induced pain, it has now been found that again I do have hodgkin's lymphoma, and it has spread into my hip, other bones and lung, as well as in my lymph nodes.  get yourself checked if you are worried about this!  alcohol induced pain is one of the first symptoms of this cancer, and i went with it for months!
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have this...mostly my right shoulder at first. then it spread to my left and now down both arms every time I consume alcohol...within 1 minute and lasting for about 5...it's very intense pain...i also have some bowel problems...i have had inflammation in my small intestine as well as gastritis...but diagnosed with ibs??lol...i dont know...does anyone have any information?i dont think i have cancer...seeing as how i have had alot of blood work done and it all came back clear.
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681148_tn?1285160820
Has your doctor done the biopsy for Celiac?  What you're describing with the small intestine makes me wonder if you have inflammation due to Celiac disease, which is found with the villi in the small intestine.  Try asking this kind of question on the Celiac forum.  Someone there will know more than I do.
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Avatar_m_tn
i am by no means an expert, but i am currently a medical student and i also experience a brief shoulder ache when i consume a small amount of alcohol which lasts 15-30 minutes. this is only my best guess, but it makes sense to me:

referred visceral pain occurs when sensory nerves innervating internal organs enter the spinal cord, but instead of the brain interpreting the pain from the internal organ, it attributes the pain to peripheral nerves that also synapse at the same spot in the spinal cord, because cutaneous pain is much more common than visceral pain. (for example, heart attacks may cause referred pain the in the left arm because the nerves in the arm synapse at the same level as the heart in the spinal cord). so in the same manner, your phrenic nerve, which innervates your diaphragm, synapses in the spinal cord at the same level as your shoulder (C3, C4, C5). your liver is right next to your diaphragm, and also causes referred pain to your shoulder when irritating the diaphragm in other pathologies (best example i can think of is actually an inflamed gallbladder, cholecystitis, which is also right next to your diaphragm causes shoulder/scapula pain).

so in short, your liver is either gearing up to start working on the alcohol you just consumed, maybe even enlarging a bit, and irritating your diaphragm, which causes referred pain in your shoulder via the phrenic nerve.

i could be wrong, and i have no idea is this is normal...
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Avatar_m_tn
I noticed that most people who experience alcohol induced shoulder pain are either diagnosed with, or in remission of lymphoma... found literature referring to this phenomenon and was written about extensively around 1950-1960. Seems to be idiopathic, although there was at least one case of an healthy individual with alcohol induced pain diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma upon subsequent examination. Here's one of the articles if anyone's interested.

William E. Braun; Bruce I. Shnider
ALCOHOL-INDUCED PAIN IN HODGKIN'S DISEASE
J Am Med Assoc, Dec 1958; 168: 1882 - 1885.
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Avatar_f_tn
What neelin wrote is exactly what i have too.  I don't drink alot, but I have a few drinks a week.  I started drinking when I was a teenager, and remember then having an ache in my shoulder within minutes of my first sips, no matter what alcohol I am drinking (mixed drinks, coolers, beer...  I don't think I have this reaction to wine, though...  I'll have to pay special attention next time, but usually I forget that I have this "problem" so don't think about it when I have a drink until a few minutes later when that achy feeling comes).  Nowadays, in my 30s, I feel that same heaviness, but more in my legs (thigh area, sometimes calves) than in my shoulder, though sometimes it does occur in my arms too.  Within 15-30 minutes, though, the aches subside and I can continue my evening.  It does not get when I continue to drink.  

Today is the first time that I have hit the internet in search of an answer.  I found some posts suggesting some relationships with birth control drugs, but since I had this happen before I started on the pill, I don't think it has anything to do with that.  I don't think it's a grain allergy because I eat bread and all other kinds of grainy products without any issues.  I certainly hope it's not cancer!!! but like I said I have been experiencing the exact same thing for 15 years or so.... I'm not really worried, but I just wonder what the heck is going on in my body when this happens, and sometimes i wonder if i SHOULD be worried, since it is so unusual - my friends think i'm nuts when i tell them about it!  i like the liver answer from Supertam3.  thanks for the post...
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Avatar_f_tn
hi,
i have had the same problem for years. the funniest occasions are when i drink juice that has been in the fridge for too long and has already fermented and the feeling gets into my shoulders! then i know it is the time to throw the juice away...i really feel strange at those moments, like i were a freak of some kind and never tell anyone!

but seriously, i am also incredibly happy to see some other people have the same problem. i wonder if we ever learn if there is a common reason behind the cases. i have also had this happening for so many years that i cannot think of it as cancer. i also have to say that not all alcoholic beverages cause this and especially bad are home-made wines and stuff.
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Avatar_f_tn
For all whom have the pain, beware. In my case I had this same pain for over a year. After much research and some new symptoms(pain when not drinking, night sweats, weight loss, being tired all the time) I thought that I might of had lymphoma, I told my doctor after 2 previous visits(one in march and one in augest of 2010) and 4 x rays that came up negative, that I thought I might have lymphoma. We ran some blood tests and a ct scan immediatly. My total 22,000 very high and come to find out, I have a tumor the size of an orange resting on my aorta, which is diagnosed as hodgkins lymphoma, I will be staring chemo very shortly I will try to come back and update from time to time. Be safe all, get it checked out and good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I have severe nerve pain across my shoulders occasionally when I drink. It seems to be related to the amount of stress I'm under. I tend to be very tense and it feels like when I drink and I start to relax that the relaxation is what causes the severe pain. And it doesn't happen every time I drink so it always surprises me.  if I don't stop immediately some times the pain gets so intense that the only thing that helps is soaking in a hot bath. The first time this happened I was in the tub all night. Every time I thought I was better and would get out the pain would immediately come back just as severe as before. I would love a diagnosis if anyone else has had this. I always wondered if it was fibromyalgia. I have had whip lash 6 + years prior. But I feel tension and stress are somehow related. Right now I have the same pain. I took 1/2 a pain pill for back pain and now my back is great but my kneed, shoulders all the way down to my hands is killing me to the point I think I need a hot bath to relieve it. Please share any words of wisdom you may have. Thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
Is it the kind of *muscle* pain that you might have after going to gym? Often (but *not* always) I have shoulder/back pain right after drinking stronger alcohols.. And it feels like I've been hit in my back with heavy stick several times..
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have most of the symptoms most of you have posted. I've never had any back or shoulder problems in the past or anything relative that would pertain to back or shoulder pain. I only used to drink once a month now I can barely at all. I notice most of the times when I consume malt beverages, wine coolers, some types of homemade wine will cause the most frustrating and aggravating pain in my shoulders and somewhat my left arm. After having about one serving I have to set down to ease the pain caused by this. The feeling is almost indescribable. I'd say it feels like a cross combination between someone standing on my shoulders, cutting off the circulation of my shoulders, almost like being short of breath, every time I take a breath the pain gets sharper. Almost feels like nerve being pulled gently but continuously. After about a half hour to 45 min im back to good. I thought I was wierd for having this kind of reaction.  Good to know I'm not alone lol  
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had similar symptoms, and for over 15 years. Since the Zima days(that is what I was drinking when I first noticed it).  It only happens with malt beverages, and some wines.  I am pretty sure it is an allergic reaction to the sulfates, I don't think I would have survived this long with un-diagnosed cancer.
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Avatar_n_tn
I came on and googled shoulder pain allergic reaction and found you guys. I just had 2 margaritas and it happens every time the pain is intense and its hard to explain to people because they just have no frame of reference for this weird reaction. I assumed it was a fruit juice preservative that was causing it. It started originally when frutopia the fruit drink came out in 1994ish that I first experienced intense collar bone, chest area, shoulder pain. It lasts about 30 minutes. If I chug water it seems to rinse it out more quickly. Then I next experienced it when having peach sangria, and now margaritas. It is terrible feeling and I wish I knew what it was. Just to have a clue what the reaction is actually being caused by so I could stear clear. I love peach sangria and margaritas on special occasions but they are not worth 30 minutes of feeling like train hit me. :(
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the shoulder pain when drinking anything but beer. It can be wine, rum, coolers, or vodka (my favorite). Its an intense pain that feels like a burning, cramping feeling. Almost like a leg cramp but one that doesnt let up unless i lay on a flat, soft surface and take deep breaths. After about five minutes it lets up. It makes me feel like i am going to get sick the pain is so intense. So I try to steer clear from anything but beer because everytime i think well maybe it wont happen this time i end up in bed.
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Avatar_f_tn
Im only 15 and I get this pain In my shoulder iya so painful it starts about 10 minutes after I start drinkin and lasts for about 30 mins.last weekend it was so painful I could barely Stick it and everyone thinks I'm just drunk but it really is painful and I can usually handle pain but this Is just so sore.I can't tell my parents or get it checked out because I'm underage please tell me should I be worried?
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Avatar_m_tn
Look up referred pain.  i am pretty sure this is the cause of most of the folks problems who have posted here.  Likely from the gallbladder or the liver.  Very common in people with hypothyroidism...which is SUPER common and most people don't even know they have it.  I've have always had the shoulder pain and just found out 4 years ago I have hypothyroidism.  i just wish I had a way to make it stop or keep it from happening!
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Avatar_m_tn
As others have said, this symptom has a unique link to Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Anyone with this symptom must get serious about seeking medical attention and getting a diagnosis.

I had this alcohol pain in 2006 and couldn't find an answer for 9 months. Eventually I was diagnosed with stage II cancer. I am healthy today but always trying to help others to avoid waiting so long to figure it out.

Pain in the neck, back, or chest that starts after drinking a small amount of alcohol and then subsides within a half hour--- is a very rare but very specific symptom of Hodgkin's. The good news it that its usually a very early symptom if that's what it is. The other good news is that Hodgkin's, while very serious, has a very high cure rate.

Other symptoms (although you may not have them --I didn't) could be night sweats, fever, unexplained weight loss, or a hard swollen lymph node (clavicle area, groin, neck).

Here is a medical article explaining the symptom (be sure to click through to the 2nd page as well, where it described the symptom). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1010854/?page=1

Ask your doctor about running some tests.Typically blood work and ultra sounds are not enough. A chest x-ray would be a good place to start but a biopsy (surgical not needle) is the only way to get a definite diagnosis.
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Avatar_f_tn
When I consume most of my first drink (usually mixed juice and rum), I get this really bad pain in both of my shoulders near my clavicle. It is an awful pain, but feels more like a joint/bone pain. I only experience it while drinking, and I would say 8/10 times it will happen. It lasts for up to 30 minutes, usually no longer. I can continue drinking, but usually my mood is shattered and I do not want to drink until the pain resides.
Another system I encure is stomach pain. I associate this with the mixed drinks containing a lot of sugar. Logically, a stomach ache seems to make sense, but the shoulder pain doesn't. It almost feels as though the alcohol is curculating through my blood in turn causing pain and discomfort. Sounds crazy, I know, and everyone I tell seems to think I'm a little crazy.
I started researching online, and it makes me feel better that other people experience these symptoms, but I would like some answers!
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Avatar_f_tn
My gallbladder is out. My liver is normal. No thyroid problems. Have had this problem for years. Night sweats and recently lost 12 lbs without diet or exercise. The doctors cant ever find anything wrong with me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow, I have had this problem too for many years, and I'm in great health otherwise.  I happened to mention this today to my family, who has no idea what I'm talking about, nor do they experience it.  It is very uncomfortable when it happens, but it doesn't happen every time I drink alcohol.  I need to pay closer attention to WHAT kind of alcohol I'm drinking when it happens again.  So glad I decided to look this up today and find that I am not alone.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes I to have had this problem for at least 25 years. Pain starts at the stomach and works it way up to both shoulders and can be very intense. I have been to two different doctors, had blood tests etc etc and they seem to look at me like I am imagining it. I found that its not the alcohol, but suger loaded drinks that do it. It just happens that many people associate it with alcohol as they usually only consume large amounts of suger loaded drinks with alcohol. After experimenting over a number of years I discovered that if I drink a similar amount of suger loaded drinks without the alcohol I get the same thing happening. The worst things I find are pineapple juice and soft drinks. I also have had the problem if I drink one of these drinks first thing in the morning without food. So I have learnt to manage it by not drinking suger loaded drinks, I find diet drinks fine but they have the side effects of all the chemicals we don't know enough about. So I find whiskey and soda water my best option or alternate between an alcohol drink and an equal amount of water. Maybe my experience will help others. I have a feeling that alcohol does help bring it on faster but is not actually the cause in my case. So we are not all mad!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 67 never much of a drinker, once in a while just to check if i'm still affected after more than 30 years.  Yes that long so it can be for some of the reasons mentioned above.  I have asked my Dr about it but just get a blank luck as if i'm talking to a brick wall. I feel guilty as if I'm taking up his time over something trivial. The reason I ask is not so much that I suddenly want to go out partying but I just want to know what's the underlying reason.  It seems to me that there are a lot of us out there so it may be a good idea for some research.  Who knows what might be found.  I've heard that there is a well known actor allergic to wine but that may be a different thing. I've been thinking of trying non alc wine to see if that's ok.
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Avatar_f_tn
I get the same pain, but it doesn't necesssarily have to involve alcohol.  I first experienced it when I was 18 at a girlfriend's house.  Her parents had ordered pizza and coca cola for dinner.  I think or rather have thought it was some combination of the soda's carbonation and the acid in the tomato sauce.  I have had the same reaction with soda and spaghetti with some tomato based sauce.

I am 40 now, and just had another bout with it.  This time it was the orange mango and peach mango drinks I had with my Mickey Dee's bacon, egg, and cheese bagels breakfast.

Every time the pain starts centrally like near my abdomen and then radiates upward branching out to each shoulder/collar bone.  My forehead always feels like it breaks out into little beads of
sweat.  I haven't looked in the mirror, but i am guessing by other people's reactions that the blood must drain from my head.  My friends and family can always tell there is something wrong.

Usually, sitting on the toilet and trying to have a bowel movement helps.  If not, just laying down on the bed for about a half hour helps.

I am off to wikipedia to read up on Hodgkins lymphoma.
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Avatar_m_tn
i get pain in my right shoulder after drinking then imediantky my anxiety kicks in i keep thinking am dien,ive had pain in ma shoulder and my elbow and wrist/hand since childbrith but da pain in shoulder comes when i drink,ive not gone doctors yet but will asap i dnt have any health problems except i am like over weight but not alot i am 15 stone now after being 17 and a half stone dis year january.but if any1 has any info on why i get dis pain please let me know and right now has i type its gone to ma left shoulder and i have had a drink now,whats goin on am scared like am having some sort of silent heart attack
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Avatar_n_tn
FYI I have Oral Allergy Syndrome and alcohol was on this list. May not be severe. Get yourself tested!
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had the same thing happen to me for the past 17 years. I think what is happening is referred pain, as another poster stated. I think what we are experiencing is a gall bladder attack. I myself only have this happen when I've eaten corn or a corn by-product with alcohol. Since I have stayed away from corn and all corn by-products I've not had it happen for over a year. This is why it is happening to you with sugary drinks, of course they use corn syrup for sweetener. If you make a home-made drink with real cane sugar, which I do when I make my own mojitos, you will find you can enjoy an alcoholic drink with sugar.

The key is to stay away from anything pre-mixed. Start from scratch as if you are making home-made food and you can enjoy your alcohol without the pain. No wine coolers, no cheap wine (some add sweetener), no Mexican food with your drinks (a lot of corn in Mexican food). If you are very sensitive you will need to stay away from MSG while drinking, MSG is also a corn by-product.

You can read this article for further info. http://www.livestrong.com/article/499942-why-does-corn-trigger-gallbladder-attacks/

I hope this helps someone because this pain we've all had can ruin a good time real fast!

Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had the same thing happen to me for the past 17 years. I think what is happening is referred pain, as another poster stated. I think what we are experiencing is a gall bladder attack. I myself only have this happen when I've eaten corn or a corn by-product with alcohol. Since I have stayed away from corn and all corn by-products I've not had it happen for over a year. This is why it is happening to you with sugary drinks, of course they use corn syrup for sweetener. If you make a home-made drink with real cane sugar, which I do when I make my own mojitos, you will find you can enjoy an alcoholic drink with sugar.

The key is to stay away from anything pre-mixed. Start from scratch as if you are making home-made food and you can enjoy your alcohol without the pain. No wine coolers, no cheap wine (some add sweetener), no Mexican food with your drinks (a lot of corn in Mexican food). If you are very sensitive you will need to stay away from MSG while drinking, MSG is also a corn by-product.

You can read this article for further info. http://www.livestrong.com/article/499942-why-does-corn-trigger-gallbladder-attacks/

I hope this helps someone because this pain we've all had can ruin a good time real fast!

Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
To anyone who experiences this, don't be frightened by the people who say that it's cancer.  I'm sure in some cases, if it has come on suddenly, it may be related, but I am 100% sure I don't have cancer and I have the same thing.  It does not happen all the time when I drink alcohol, and I haven't been able to figure out exactly what kinds of alcohol trigger it and which doesn't, although it often happens when I drink wine, and if I drink it quickly.  If I sip very, very slowly, it usually doesn't happen.  It is a very achy, heavy feeling, kind of like having the flu as one person described it above, and it seems to spread like a wave from my shoulders and neck, down to my arms.  Usually it only lasts a couple minutes.  I've never had it last more than 10.  I also experienced for the first time last night after drinking champagne, the same feeling in my stomach.  It was actually fairly intense pain and lasted about 10 mins.  My mother gets this exact same thing, and she has experienced the stomach cramps as well, but last night is the first time I got them.  My sister also experiences these symptoms, but to a much lesser extent than my mother or I.  I don't know what it is, but it is certainly some sort of reaction to alcohol, and it's some trait that is obviously heritable.  I've never gone looking for an answer or asked a doctor about it, but after my mom and I experiencing this for our entire lives, I thought I'd google around and see if other people have it too.
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Avatar_m_tn
So thrilled to read your post....thank you for doing so....I have the same exact reaction to Margaritas...every time...for many years now, so, hopefully, upon reading these posts it is not  Hodgkins disease or i would prob be 6ft under by now. If anyone else has these symptons or knows what causes this ....PLEASE let us know! Much thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok! Now I'm scared! I had this reaction with alcohol all my life! It happens right after I drink the first glass and lasts something like 10 to 15 minutes. Then it's gone. I do check ups all the time and everything seems to be fine. Are there any special tests to detect HODGKIN'S DISEASE, or a complete checkup including blood tests should detect it?
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree at first these comments scared but I think the point made by other is that.....I too have had this reaction to wine coolers and rum for at least 25 years.  I'm sure cancer would have killed me by now if that was the cause.  I wouldn't panic. My sister who is 7 years younger also has the same reaction to wine coolers and rum...I remember years ago when we discovered we both had the same reaction how strange it was.  Nice to know that at least there are others out there with the same thing.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree that the alcohol induced pain could be something else but I say better safe than sorry.  There are lots of people who are diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in their 50s.  It can be slow growing and dependent upon a lot of factors.  As cancers go this one has the highest rate of remission...maybe this would also factor into why people can go for so long undiagnosed.

I also noticed shoulder pain as a teen if I drank frutopia so for years I assumed it was a juice issue; however, as an adult I noticed every now and then it would happen when I drank alcohol.  In my late twenties I started having bad shoulder pain.  I was diagnosed then with severe arthritis from a car wreck.  I figured this was the reason for my sore shoulders.  Last year I felt a lymph node in my arm pit that hurt and scared me.  I went to the doctor and they said it was "nothing"  - just a cyst.  Now I'm wondering.  

I'm 35 and not much of a drinker.  However the last couple of times I've drank my shoulders have hurt to the point where it felt like my bones ached.  I don't even have to drink that much for it to start and it almost takes 30 minutes for it to stop.  I am also extremely tired but that would be my only symptoms.  After looking into this again i am going to get checked.  Alot of people just get the blood tests but I don't think that is enough.  I want a chest xray and ct scan just to be sure.  I will definately post my results.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree, with supertam...I'm no medical student or doctor but I used to try to explain away to my friends that it was phantom pain from my poor liver preparing for the onslaught..lol  I found when I consumed less alcohol (I don't drink beer or have wheat allergies or GERD) and took my time drinking the pain was excruciating in my right shoulder. As a solution I drank the first glass or shot (or two) relatively quick and that seem to subdue the pain. I played sports and my trainer implied it might reaction to my shoulder which was injury prone . That may be a stretch. It really may just be intolerance that with time may dissipate. I know it was worst when I first started drinking in my young twenties but now in my late twenties is not as frequent.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree, with supertam...I'm no medical student or doctor but I used to try to explain away to my friends that it was phantom pain from my poor liver preparing for the onslaught..lol  I found when I consumed less alcohol (I don't drink beer or have wheat allergies or GERD) and took my time drinking the pain was excruciating in my right shoulder. As a solution I drank the first glass or shot (or two) relatively quick and that seem to subdue the pain. I played sports and my trainer implied it might reaction to my shoulder which was injury prone . That may be a stretch. It really may just be intolerance that with time may dissipate. I know it was worst when I first started drinking in my young twenties but now in my late twenties is not as frequent.
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I agree, with supertam...I'm no medical student or doctor but I used to try to explain away to my friends that it was phantom pain from my poor liver preparing for the onslaught..lol  I found when I consumed less alcohol (I don't drink beer or have wheat allergies or GERD) and took my time drinking the pain was excruciating in my right shoulder. As a solution I drank the first glass or shot (or two) relatively quick and that seem to subdue the pain. I played sports and my trainer implied it might reaction to my shoulder which was injury prone . That may be a stretch. It really may just be intolerance that with time may dissipate. I know it was worst when I first started drinking in my young twenties but now in my late twenties is not as frequent.
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I have had this problem since 2006. I notice it occurs when I drink Sangria, wine coolers, Alize liquor, certain Moscatos, wines, and even La Fin Du Monde Beer. Sometimes in certain mixed drinks. I find the only time this doesn't occur is when I drink beers like corona, coors light, etc. I don't think is the sugar in the drinks since I've had wines without too much sugar and it still has happened.

My mom has the same problem when she drinks sweet wines. Is a needle like pain in shoulder and radiates all the way down my right arm. It starts five to min after i have the drink and sometimes it lasts for hours, causing me not to sleep because of the pain. It helps when someone rubs or hits my harm slightly to help ease the horrible pain. Feels like my chest was about to burst open, had a hard time breathing.

Yesterday I had it for the first time with a wine cooler and that's what prompt me to search for a cause and came upon this forum. Yesterday's attack was so bad I was planning to go to the ER and on my way there it actually subsided a bit, so I decided not to go. It was on and off for a while, less intense as time progressed.

The next day, I still felt the pain slightly in the afternoon and later that night, but very lightly. I noticed as time goes by the episodes are worst. Now I just drink beers that I know wont cause me the sharp pain.

I don't suffer from back pains, shoulder pains, night sweats. I had a physical done and the doctor said everything is normal.

I'm not sure what is the true cause of this problem, but it would be nice to know the cause. I have never told any doctor about this problem, but definitely plan to do so.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes! The first time I remember this happening to me was when I would drink a Zima! Late 80's, wasn't it? I would get half-way through a Zima and both my legs would start tingling! I was in my early 20's and thought it was funny/interesting!
Last night after 2 or 3 sips of a red wine, my shoulder started aching. The pain went away after about 10 minutes, then I finished the glass and had no other pains. I like the thought that this is an allergy to sulfates better than lymphoma!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you all for sharing...thought it was just some freaky thing I've had for 16 years!  So difficult to explain the pain. Starts in right shoulder, radiates down to right wrist and right side of body only (best way to describe is like having a brain freeze in those areas I mentioned). It started with sugary rum based drinks, but has moved on to sugary margaritas, sangrias, and mojitos. Yes, I have had the occasional coke when it has happened, but usually just those alcohol drinks. Never been a problem with beer or wine. I always order water, which seems to dilute the effect. It starts right away with first sip (if I nip it with water right away, it is usually not so bad) I have almost passed out from the pain when it catches me off guard, but I know it will go away in about 20 minutes.  Glad to see some ideas on here for how to get around, don't drink much, but certainly enjoy a margarita now and then, sometimes just don't want to order beer! And again, so glad I am not the only person out there with this, and now I can give it a name! I think we would all appreciate knowing what the actual cause is, why do our bodies respond the way they do...hopefully, someone will come up with the reason.
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Wow! I thought I've been going crazy the past years! I too have experience these crazy pain from drinking alcohol in my shoulder, arm and upper back, as well as my sister. We haven't found what it is related too but I can say that both my sister and I have celiac disease and fibromyalgia.

The pain starts in my right or left shoulder (sometimes both) and gets so bad in a matter of 10 minutes that I have to stop drinking. After I stop drinking it usually subsides after an hour. Also, whenever I drink and this pain occurs I also get insanely sick the next morning (puking so 20-30 times, sometimes more) and puke up bile. So over the years I've experimented and drinking and cooler, vodka, or beer makes me feel the pain in my shoulders and arms (especially coolers) and makes me deadly sick the next morning. I discovered drinking Disarono is the only drink I can have that doesn't make me sick or in pain (but is expensive if your going to a bar).  

As for myself, there is a very exhausted list of symptoms I have and other condition thats are directly related to fibromyalgia and celiac disease. I'm not sure if anyone else out there has these but I am b12 deficient, i have peripheral neuropathy, alway fatigue and I have a lot of nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain and inflammation just about every wheres. I've only been recently diagnosed with Celiac disease but after cutting out gluten (found in dairy, meat, cereal, wheat) and sticking to soy milk or almond milk and gluten free meats and breads and so on I have seen a dramatic decline in symptoms.

Shaya  
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Great, now I have something else to be paranoid about. :-O

I posted a couple of weeks ago to a pain message board that I awoke with a deep, throbbing bone pain from my fingers all the way up my arms and shoulders, with slightly lesser pain in my collar bone and jaw.  I woke up again this morning at 1:30 a.m. with the same sudden pain and it was absolutely agonizing for hours.  I tried taking Tylenol and Benadryl (Benadryl seemed to make it stop last time, so I thought maybe it was an allergy), but neither did anything to help.  I couldn't sleep at all for the remainder of the night.  And I just realized that last night and two weeks ago, the night before this happened the first time, I drank a couple of glasses of red wine.

This is maddening.  I've got the weirdest nonsensical symptoms that just come and go; two and three years ago, respectively, I was put on an epic, expensive journey from doctor to neurologist to neuro-ophtalmologist to rheumatologist and the doctors suggested that I may have anything from HIV to Lyme to MS (all tests indicated none of those), and I got no answer except that I should probably learn to relax and maybe see a psychiatrist to manage anxiety.  I used to post on the MS message boards a lot just to speak with people who'd been put through the medical ringer as I was.

This new symptom is horribly painful and scary now that I'm reading it may be associated with lymphoma, but I am *so* hesitant to go back to another doctor after my experiences.  I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on MRIs and EMGs and EEGs and EKGs and eye tests and blood labs and evoked potentials, and I felt practically as if I was being accused by doctors of making up all the weird neuro issues I was having--and now this.  What gives?

Sorry, I am just venting, but now I'm trying to decide if I really need to get this checked out or just wait it out and hope it improves on its own.

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I just had an attack again and had to go to the internet to see if I was all alone in this. I see I am not. I get a severe pain in my right arm when I drink sugary alcoholic drinks such as mai tai, margaritas, and today Sangria. I thought i was having a heart attack.  Now I am worried about this Hodgkin's idea. But that seems far fetched.  Maybe I should have the gall bladder checked out.
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I to have right sholder pain , back pain and chest/stomach  pain when I drink alcohol and also when I take cold meds. I would very much like to know the cause. And I didn't always have this problem but it is all the time now.
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Hi Guys!
I read all of your posts because I have the same shoulder pain after drinking Alcohol! I did not have it and it started recently!!!
Ok what I understood is it can be:
- Hodgkin cancer sign
- Hypothyroidism
- Allergy to Sulfate
- High load of sugar
- Gallbladder inflammation

The tests to figure it out start with:
- Blood Test
- Chest X-Ray
- CT Scan and Sonogram
- Biopsy

Like others I am scared and curious too. I think the best choice is to do the tests and make sure That it is not Hodgkin, hypothyroidism or Gall-bladder inflammation. Allergy or problem with high load of sugar can be managed easily.  I will post my findings after the tests.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences!
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I was on here looking for answers as well. I noticed mine occurs when I drink anything fruity or even mixed drinks. Not sure if it is a combo of the sweet and alcohol. It can get very annoying and scary when it occurs. Same mine last about 30 mins or so amd ruins my mood. Good to know I am not the only one. Wish there was an answer and a solution to this issue.
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This is a really old post but very helpful wondering if any of you have found anything else out about this.  I have been very worried about the alcohal (alcohol) induced shoulder pain.  Looks like I should probably get checked out.
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This is a really old post but very helpful wondering if any of you have found anything else out about this.  I have been very worried about the alcohal (alcohol) induced shoulder pain.  Looks like I should probably get checked out.
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This is one of the old posts that are still alive, so I am writing here. I used to get this pain even with a sip of wine many years ago and then it stopped. I just thought I got used to alcohol. But for the past couple of weeks the pain has started again and remains for a long time. I have no other symptoms. Is there any test that can reveal Hodgkins without a biopsy or anything since I don't have swollen nodes. Yet. I'm a total pessimist and have already diagnosed myself for sure. I just want to know what test I need to take to confirm
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My mother and I both have the shoulder symptoms where we ache like the flu from grapes, apples and certain liquors. I get it from Coke and dark colored regular sodas too.My mom also gets it from grape juice and apple juice. However I don't ache at all from just vodka and orange juice. It's always stayed in the shoulders and neck but the other day I ate watermelon and oh my god I was in tears to the point of almost calling an ambulance! Usually it goes away after 30-40 minutes or after eating some bread product but this time it was brutal. No matter what I did it just got worse, it lasted for hours...The pain ached from my shoulders down my whole body and it felt like I had been punched in the chest. No one ever knows what I mean when I described it and its been 20 years now! It's sad to know others are going through this too but good to know we're not the only ones! if anyone finds out what it definitely is, please post.  I can never get a solid answer from doctors, they claim it's some strange anomaly with just me. lol I'm going to look into Hodgkins disease but I have been tested in the past and they said ruled that out.
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I have had this same problem for over 30 years, so I'm pretty sure its not cancer related, at least in my case. Once when I was very hot and thirsty I drank two bottles of Mountain Dew really fast and had the same reaction. Look at our similarities: certain fruit drinks, fruit mixers, and wine coolers. I've been trying to find the answer for years and I've narrowed it down to a few suspects. 1) Sulfites (NOT sulfates). They are added as a preservative in wine and fruit juices used to make wine coolers, mixers, sodas, etc, but are not always declared in the ingredients list. 2) Brominated vegetable oil. This is used to hold citrus flavors in suspension in many types of fruit drinks, including Mountain Dew, margaritas, and wine coolers. 3) Sodium benzoate in combination with some unidentified ingredient. This 2nd ingredient could possibly be vitamin C (found in citrus juices), which would combine to form Benzene. Please respond back here and let us know if you find a connection with these ingredients and your pain.
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Well here I am also....  I felt the same as everyone else. Sometimes when I drink (not all)  I get a pain in my shoulders arms back... I also drink wine mixed with soda....  So this time I wa on the computer and googled it and here I am... This is strange and it would be great to have a answer to.  It has to do with wine and sugar.. after reading all the comments...  I wonder if our bodies intake a lot of sugar at once and it has a harder time going through some sort of process......  Like many it mine goes away after 10 minutes.  Very interesting....
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have this. After one sip of hard liqour or vodka, or about mid way through a beer, I feel a tense pain in my shoulder muscles. It only lasts about 5-10 minutes, & isnt unbearable, but is very noticeable. I drink about 1 day/week & it happens almost I cant recall if Ive always had this, but I know its been going on for atleast the past few years.
I dont usually drink vodka, more of a red liqour person, but this past weekend, I had about 4 vodka mixed with lemonade or orange juice drinks & the pain came and went as usual. However, it has been 2 days since i drank, & my elobow, knees, joints and shoulders have ached constantly since.Even a little soreness throughout my chest.
I am kind of a hypocondriac, so Im terrified that it could be Hodgkins. I dont have any other symptoms exceot extreme tiredness, but i brush that off as being because Ive gained alot of weight recently & am just sluggish from it.
I have had a chest exray in the past 6 months, due to having to got to the hospital after a night of drinking, I felt like I was going to faint the next day, & had an intense panic attack. After blood work & xrays, the doctor determined I was dehydrated & said my exrays etc. were fine.
Anyone ever been diagnosed by a doctor & it not be Hodgkins. Im really worried.
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I know this is an old post, but it seems to still be going strong. I posted about a week ago, about my shoulder pain after drinking. My drink of choice is whiskey and coke, but I sometimes drink vodka and juice or beer. All which cause both of my shoulders to ache after only a sip or 2. Well here are my new findings.
Tonight I decided to take a drink of whiskey, & instead of the usual coke, I used water as a chaser. NO PAIN!!! It's surprising because I Always feel the pain when chasing with coke or juice. Water isn't a pleasant chaser, but it seemed to keep the pain away. Just thought I'd share this because I am amazed & truly believe now that it must have something to do with the soda & juice mixed with alcohol & may not be lymphoma after all. Hope this helps! Please post if anyone has any new info or has been diagnosed by a dr.
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Yes! I am also relieved to hear others are experiencing some of the same symptoms as I am! With my experiences, I feel that I have a severe middle-upper stomach ache and a shoulder pain when I have the really sugary beverages. I used to call it the "juice-ache" because I had it really bad one time after drinking some store bought pineapple-banana-orange juice first thing in the morning. I also have experienced it with sprite when I drink it before having anything else in my stomach. Not so much with beer or wine, but if I have a Mike's hard lemonade or sugary drink like that, maybe with sweet and sour mix or cranberry juice, I always get that feeling! Usually lasting 15 or so minutes..I haven't mentioned it to a doctor yet but probably will in the future!
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I started getting this pain when I was about 21. I'm now 31 I only got it when drinking carbonated alcohol, like mikes hard lemonade or Smirnoff. After the start of drinking one about 10 mins I would get a aching sometimes sharp pain in my right shoulder and sometimes towards my chest. It was really uncomfortable. I usually sat there and rubbed my shoulder waiting for the pain to go away. It does after about 30 mins sometimes less. But I would be fine the rest of the night. Just the first drink or two. But since it's been happening for over 10 yrs I can't imagine it to be Hodgkin's. I don't know what it is.
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Same for me, I get a sharp sometimes intolerable amount of pain in my right shoulder with Mike's Hard products, clear alcohol and some wines, but not with beer or whisky. I just dealt with it for years until, early last year. I ate a great big roast beef sandwich and had a couple of beers after a 5 mile hike when all of a sudden the right arm pain came on really strong and my upper stomach started to hurt so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. I'm 32 and in good shape, this really scared me. I laid down and took big breaths until it subsided enough to drive. My doctor ran a ton of tests and found after an ultrasound that it was probably a gall bladder attack and that I had been suffering from them for years when I drank and ate fatty foods. I produce too much stomach acid and bile. I'm on meds for the reflux and the bile thing and only have episodes when I'm really drinking hard. Go ask your doc about it.
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Avatar_m_tn
This is all very interesting but confusing. Anytime, I drink tequila or sweet alcohol drinks, I get the shoulder pain,and feel so sick. Tonight, I drank 1/4 of a skinny margarita, I felt so bad, I couldn't stand being in the restaurant, I had to leave. I for so hot, and sick feeling. After, 20-30 min. I felt normal.

What is this? I'll ask my Dr. about Hodgkin's but, this has happened for years.  
So frustrating.
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Avatar_m_tn
This is all very interesting but confusing. Anytime, I drink tequila or sweet alcohol drinks, I get the shoulder pain,and feel so sick. Tonight, I drank 1/4 of a skinny margarita, I felt so bad, I couldn't stand being in the restaurant, I had to leave. I for so hot, and sick feeling. After, 20-30 min. I felt normal.

What is this? I'll ask my Dr. about Hodgkin's but, this has happened for years.  
So frustrating.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I had this symptom since December of last year. I would start drinking and 10-15 minutes after my first sip, I would have a lot of pain in my upper-back region, like someone was stabbing me and then after 15-20 minutes it would stop. I saw a doctor about this in March and he told me I had an alcohol intolerence.

Lymph node started to get bumpy in September and I learned I had Hodgkin's disease type 4 December 20th. Starting chemo thursday.

Before the lymph node in my neck, this was the only symptom of the cancer. Don't **** around with that. It's a rare symptom in only 2%-3% of the people with Hodgkin's.
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