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Occasional alcohol intake and pain

  I drink only on very rare occasions...maybe 6 times a year, never more than 2 drinks at a time, usually only 1.  No beer or wine, but an occasional mixed drink, either with gin or rum.  I have never had any problems with it in the past, I am very careful about drinking because I saw alcoholism ruin my uncle's life.  However, over the Christmas/New Years holiday I drank on two occasions....one a small glass of rum and coke and the other occasion a small glass of eggnog with a little rum mixed in.  On both occasions I became very much in pain....like a severe heartburn kind of pain....indeed it was excruciating for a short time.  I have never felt such intense pain...it kind of scared me.  The pain lasted only a short period of time each occasion.
  Now, I don't mind not drinking...if alcohol is going to cause me pain I certainly don't drink enough to even miss it.  I am more concerned as to whether this sudden change could indicate some medical problem that I should follow up on.  I do have asthma and a mild form of connective tissue disease not yet specified...I take the following meds for various problems mostly connected with these two conditions: (and also some GI problems related to NSAID use...can no longer take NSAIDS and GI problems have been cleared up for a while now...)  prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, flonase, flovent, ventolin, atrovent, soma, allegra, singulair, and prilosec.  It is difficult for me to understand how such a tiny amount of alcohol could have caused me to have such intense pain...  the first time it happened I just chalked it up to coincidence, but couldn't ignore the connection when it occured again.  Thanks.
Dear Ellen,
A change such as the one you have so clearly described could certainly indicate a medical problem (such as gastritis, esophagitis, or gastric ulcer disease)  that you should follow up on.  It isn't normal to experience such symptoms when drinking alcohol in moderation.  It would be a very good idea for you to consult your personal physician about this new symptom, and to avoid drinking alcohol altogether until it is clear what is going on and you have been advised that it is safe for you to resume moderate drinking.
You might also post your question on the Gastroenterology Forum.  
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.
Your body is telling you something, and it is important for you to listen to it!
All the best,
Steve Adelman, M.D. (a.k.a. DrSteve)
Ask  DrSteve:  The Real Story About Smoking, Drinking & Getting High

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