Hi, I am a 24 year old female from the UK.
I drank once or twice a week socially up until about 3 months ago.
I went out one night, had around 5 vodka and cokes. Went home and couldn't sleep.
Around 3 hours after my last drink, I was wide awake with stomach pains, diarrhoea, nausea and my whole body was shaking uncontrollalbly. Right before it happens my hands and feet and then my whole body go extremely cold.
My mother called the paramedics who took me to hospital, my blood pressure was 160/100 which I know is high and my heart rate was increased. I was discharged around 4 hours later and was told I had food poisoning. I didn't drink alcohol and was very careful about what I ate for 2 weeks afterwards.
I then went out again and had 3 vodka and cokes, the same thing happened again but less severe as I consumed less alcohol. So someone suggested I switch drinks, I tried 1 beer and was fine. I had 3 beers 2 weeks ago and the same shaking, nausea etc happened again! I don't drink often but I do want to drink socially and find it frustrating that my friends, family and partner can enjoy a drink and I can't all of a sudden.
Does anyone have any idea what this could be please? And how to solve it? I am frustrated when I go out with friends and I have to be sober.
The type of reaction you describe is mostly associated with increased levels of the substance Acetaldehyde in the blood. The most common cause of that is the ingestion of a compound called Disulfuram (Antabuse) taken to discourage drinking. However, other prescription drugs including oral diabetic meds when taken with alcohol can produce similar reactions. Some individuals, primarily those of Asian descent are genetically predisposed to this phenomenon; when that is the case, ingestion of alcohol can cause a series of bodily reactions, called The Asian Flush.
You should discuss this with a more knowledgeable person, ideally with a Clinical Toxicologist (often based in Public Health Depts. Or large City Hospitals) or a physician experienced in the treatment of alcoholism.
What you describe is probably not food poisoning and may be limited to certain types of alcoholic beverages.
The reactions you described would appropriately be considered to be Severe Reactions, bordering on life-threatening. The best advice I can give is that you abstain entirely from drinking alcoholic beverages, until this issue is accurately diagnosed.
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