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Avatar universal

sudden onset alcohol intolerance

I don't know if I am submitting this in the correct forum, but I didn't see another one to try just yet. I am 47 and have been a social drinker since I became of age. Within the last year I suddenly cannot drink any alcohol. I get as sick as if I had been on a binge - trembling sick with nausea when I go to bed. I have to throw up everything in my stomach and then take phenergan. I am violently ill. Two years ago I lost 20+ lbs by cutting carbs. Could this have caused any chemical changes? I don't drink a drop any more. I can live without alcohol but am very puzzled about this sudden change. What could cause it? Thank you.
111 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello, I have all the same symptoms as mentioned above.  I have been sooo worried something serious is going to happen at anytime. Heart attack etc. I have very high triglycerides (800) diagnosed with hiatal hernia in 2007. Heartburn is terrible. Been on prilosec since 2007 and doesnt seem to work anymore. My sinus' are impossible lately especially since i never really had any sinus issues now i find i'm popping otc drugs all the time to relieve the pressure/headeaches. I've had hypothyroidism since 1995 but never had any of these symptoms as a result. Also panic/anxiety since 2004. Recently i've been diagnosed with Pancreatitis....seems the symptoms are all similiar to above comments....noone has mentioned this just wondering...maybe i could be misdiagnosed maybe not.  Going to look up SIBO....never heard of it but would love to know if there could be an end to this. I too enjoy to have drinks with friends or sometimes to just have a drink to relax. Thanks....
Avatar universal
First, I love your sense of humor that comes through in your writing. I just wanted to add that I had almost exactly the same experience. I used to be able to easily share a bottle of wine over dinner or have a few cocktails. Recently I dropped 40 pounds, mostly by cutting out carbs. Now a few glasses of wine makes me ill.
Avatar universal
At the age of 48, I suddenly became very alcohol intolerant.  I would make sure to eat prior to drinking, but would still feel very intoxicated when drinking.  I went to a company function and with a full dinner, I had 3 drinks between 5 and midnight.  I had to have someone drive me home.  Soon afterward, I was diagnosed with a large benign, brain tumor.  The only other symptom was hearing loss in one ear.  Not trying to scare anyone, but don't ignore this!!
Avatar universal
Have any of you people considered (alcoholic) pancreatitis? I've nursed a lot of recurring patients with this who just can't tolerate alcohol any more (and it's a different amount of alcohol that's too much for different ppl on different days).

When a patient comes in with this (we can tell by checking their lipase count in a blood test) we fast them (no food or liquid) and give them IV fluids so that their pancreas (produces digestive enzymes) can rest and recover.

I hope this helps.

Hi Nina. My name is Wesley. Great post I have considered fasting as a way of helping my body heal. Trust me I've been trying everything. What is have found online after searching relentlessly is that I have an enzyme deficiency in my liver aldh2 is used to break down alcohol and it says that if I'm not producing it my body will see alcohol as a poison. Is there anyway for my liver to regenerate this enzyme. Please help if you have any info. I'm 28 and have had this intolerance for 6 months and it's causes a bit of depression . My email is ***@****
Avatar universal
Hi Gilly

I have to say your comment has really resonated with me and I wanted to see if my symptoms sound familiar to you?  

For almost a year I have been suffering from bouts of illness - suddenly feeling ill from nowhere, with intense nausea (although never actually being sick), weak, constant loose bowel movements, severe tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell (achy etc) for up to a week at a time. I have been to the doctors tens of times and they are keen to link my symptoms to stress (marriage break-up, stressful job etc).  However, I have always believed this is not the case.  Recently I realised that these bouts of illness seemed to follow an evening where I might have had a drink or two (I am not a big drinker) and since I have cut out any alcohol (four weeks ago) I have not had a relapse.

However, out of nowhere three weeks ago I woke feeling unbelievably dizzy (to the point where I couldn't get out of bed).  I ended up in the out-of-hours doctor who diagnosed labyrinthitis, but again I was very sceptical.  Since then I have occasional ear ache (but really deeply within my ear) and occasional dizziness (although not to the extent of that first morning thank goodness).

I really believe my sudden intolerance of alcohol (and subsequent symptoms) and the recent ear / balance / dizziness are connected and you are the only person who has vaguely described a symptoms.  Does my description sound familiar to you?  Should I push for a scan?

I am a single mother of a beautiful two year old girl and I am desperate to be well for her.  

Thank you in advance for your help.

Avatar universal
Hello, all.  I'm glad I'm not alone (sudden alcohol intolerance); I'm sorry there aren't more solid, medical answers for us, though. I'm grateful I can still enjoy chocolate, icecream and other treats!  And I'll try to consider this new intolerance as a mixed blessing.  :)  Good health to you all.  
Avatar universal
wow I am glad I found this thread. Here is my story. I am a 53yr old female and noticed alcohol intolerance shortly after having a hysterectomy at around age 50. My symptoms are: One sip of alcohol makes me feel buzzed but in a bad way, sort of shakey and sweaty irritable in a physical way. I only have to drink one sip of something to get this reaction. I do not have nausea or vomiting but maybe if I drank enough I would. Symptoms resolve quickly if it is just one sip but if I have more it takes longer for them to resolve. Generally I just do not drink. I have also had milder reactions like this to things that are higher in carbs like chips or bread. It does not happen all the time and I have been able to control the food reactions by eating whole grains and taking fiber supplements, plus I try to limit my carbs in general and never drink sugar.

I think that the problem in my case is reactive hypoglycemia. I think my body can not handle sugar and when I eat it I get a spike and then it drops too quickly causing the symptoms. For me it is immediate and not something that happens hours later. I have checked my block sugar and it does not seem to go too low but it does seem to go up a normal amount and then fall to a lower amount than my normal fasting blood glucose level.

I have asked several doctors and they just look at me like I am from another planet. I am not sure why doctors act as though if they dont know what your problem is that you must be nuts but I have had that look enough times to just mention that I have alcohol intolerance in passing as part of a health history.

Its a shame that I can never enjoy a drink like I used to. Sometimes I think if I could drink it would be helpful on occasion to relieve stress but that is not an option for me.

I am going to watch this thread and will check back if I ever learn anything else.
Avatar universal
I am 35 and have gone to low-carb 6 days a week (with day 7 being my no-holds-barred cheat day).  I have lost 40 pounds over the course of a year and a half and have found that my alcohol tolerance all of a sudden has changed dramatically.  I was drinking rum drinks one Sunday afternoon and eating chocolate ice cream when after an hour, I started to get a headache.  Usually, Havana Club would make me sleepy if I had too much in a short time, and I wake up after a nap feeling fine.  This time, however, laying down only made my headache worse.  After throwing up, my head felt like it was going to split in two, and I literally had stuff coming "out both ends".  After vomiting several more times, the muscles in my hands and arms started locking up and I could not unclench them.  I have never been so sick, so suddenly and completely, in my life.  My husband started to bring me gatorade and sugar cubes until I could slowly keep them down and my breathing stopped racing, too.   The strange part is, after this three hours of hell, I went to bed and woke up feeling ok.

Since then, when I go out and drink with dinner or at a baseball game (which is maybe once a month), I can drink several drinks and not feel a buzz AT ALL until hours later.  Then I feel like I just had several drinks 10 minutes ago instead of hours before.  Has anyone heard of a delayed alcohol intolerance?  What on earth could cause it?
Avatar universal
I am 27 female and have 2 kids. After my first son I could drink without any stomach issues. Now after my second I have maybe a beer, half hour later I feel sick almost to vomiting. It doesn't matter if it's beer, liquor or wine. Any reason to why this is?
Avatar universal
I am 27 female and have 2 kids. After my first son I could drink without any stomach issues. Now after my second I have maybe a beer, half hour later I feel sick almost to vomiting. It doesn't matter if it's beer, liquor or wine. Any reason to why this is?
Avatar universal
I'm a 48 yr. old male who drank almost daily for thirty yrs.  Mostly socially, with a preference for good beer, but also probably a bit more robustly two or three times a month.  About three months ago I woke up in the middle of the night trapped in what felt like a full-blown panic attack in reverse.  My extremeties were growing cold, my heart rate was slowing to a crawl, I was on the verge of losing consciousness.  Thinking it was a heart attack I called 911.  As I spoke to the operator, I felt an easy of the situation and we decided not to have an ambulance sent out.  Exhausted, I returned to bed.  I awoke an hour later, the same set of conditions having returned.  Another call.  Same result.  The next morning I threw out everything in my fridge and cabinets that I'd eaten the day before, thinking it was some sort of poisoning I'd experienced.  Over the next few weeks, I continued my normal regimen of a beer or two every evening with similar events-plus constant arrhythmias-coming about every other night or so.  I saw a doctor who suspected panic issues after the blood tests and echocardiogram came back normal.  By that time I was convinced this all had to do with the onset of diabetes or hypoglycemia and I adjusted my diet accordingly.  I'm thin and active but have had some glucose issues since college (haven't eaten lots of sweets or drank sodas since) Gastritus is something I've suffered from since I was a kid, an episode coming along about once every two months or so.  In any case, only recently have I made the connections between these things and alcohol.  I've been dry about three weeks now and the night episodes have ceased, as have the arrhythmias.  The gastritus will take longer to take a reading on.

Just very curious if anyone else has had a similar collection of ailments and how they've connected them with alcohol.  I've never vomited, but the intense lethargy that would accompany these episodes felt a lot like nausea.

god help us and our boring new social lives!
Avatar universal
At 60 I developed a sudden intolerance to alcohol... It started with blackouts after several drinks and now has become a severe intolerance to even 1 or 2 drinks.  I recently have had frightening headaches with visual disturbances several hours after one or two drinks that behave like migraines (which I have never had but do occur in my family).  Thanks for your story... I'm going see my doctor.  
Avatar universal
I have a theory that the kinds of alcohol intolerance being discussed here are due to changes in gut flora. We have so many species of bacteria in our guts, and each of them feeds on what we eat and poops out food which other bacteria eat, and we absorb the end product into bodies. Bloating and stool problems are signs of fermentation from having too much of some kind of bacteria, and usually not enough of another kinds. Maybe some kind of bacteria that some people have likes alcohol a lot and poops out something harmful to the body.

I have gone through several phases of gut bacteria modification through diet and supplements and noticed changes in alcohol tolerance. It's really tricky, and can be risky if you try to change your microbes too fast.
I am 57 and started developing an alcohol intolerance approximately 5-6 years ago which now I can't even drink 1 drink without the next morning having extreme nausea, vomiting of bile every 10-15 minutes for 5-6 hours, sweats and chills. Im going to go and have a physical but a friend of mine told me to be tested for H Pylori. Her son in law was having the same issue and he tested positive, was put on antibiotics for a month, and it resolved his issue. 2 out of 3 people have H Pylori but very few are affected by it. Will post again if I find this is indeed what I have going on and if the treatment works!
Avatar universal
I',m 47 and I had 4 drinks last night and I've been up sick all night.  This isn't the first time this has happened.  If I have one or two, I get a headache if I have 3 or 4 I get sick.  I drink Rum, I've been drinking rum practically every weekend since I turned 18.  I guess the Alcohol companies don't want you to know that there's a 30 year (or so) shelf life on your bodies tolerance to booze!!  When one person says it ... when two people say it...  when all of these people are saying it - it becomes obvious.

I'm going to listen to my body and stop drinking...Sorry about your bottom line booze companies, but common sense is common sense.
1962649 tn?1332448451
I am over 50 and drinking wine causes me to feel awful now. blech.
mudslinger49  posted in Apr of 2012 that she's a 49 year old female who cannot tolerate alcohol anymore.    

She says she did her fair share of drinking over the years, but the last 3 years her body is retaliating against any "poison".  She thinks the sensitivities we are all feeling is our bodies cannot take anymore abuse.  I agree. I am now off all processed foods. We cannot tolerate these poisons anymore.  I became a vegan about 2 years ago. I feel so much better not drinking.
Avatar universal
Not being able to drink alcohol can have many reasons. It could be as easy as genetics and your bodies ability to break down alcohol in your system. It could also be that you can not process the yeast or (even worse) the gluten in certain drinks (derived from grains). You can try it out by eating white bread (chunks of it) and see how your body reacts to that. The symptoms reach from nausea to feeling very bloated and gasy to having blood in your stool... In my opinion, if your body tells you that it struggles with alcohol this much, then you should really listen to it and leave it :) it also really does help to research and understand what it is that makes alcohol so desirable to us. Once you know the truth you might not even want it anymore ;) if you however feel that it is important to you, try avoiding bubbles and grainy yeasty drinks. Good luck
Avatar universal
Nice thread. I'm 44 and drink like 4 glasses of wine (or beer sometimes) a day.
For 20 years I know that if I drink more than 5, six hours later I will feel like vomiting in the middle of the night (and if I drink like 7 I will certainly vomit and feel ill the next day till late in the afternoon).
But now I notice that those 5 maximum "units" are becoming 4 or even 3 units maximum ...
It's now 11 a.m. and I still feel a bit sick (not like vomiting, but like you have mis-eaten something) from the 2 glasses of wine I had last night and the 2 glasses at noon yesterday ...
In other words, it's getting gradually worse.
PS: I had my liver and blood tested and that was all fine.
I most certainly have "candida-attacks" for like 30 years (I then get red little dots left and right in my groin and they go away with anti-candida creme (Canestene Gyn in my case), but unfortinately after 2 or 3 months they always come back).
I hear a lot of SIBO stories and never heard of it, but it might be something I should have tested too.
The day I did, I will keep you posted.
Would love to hear if others 'fixed' there problem and can drink again.

Avatar universal
I am right there with you. I have spent the last 20 years as a very social drinker and suddenly after just one glass of wine I wake with a headache, heavy head and nausea that can last for 2 days.   I see this post was a couple of years ago, have you learned anything new? Thanks!
Avatar universal
Greetings! I have a very similar situation and had wondered about candida as well. Have you learned anything new since your post? Was candida the culprit? Thanks!
Avatar universal
Sounds very similar to a number of women I know in the similar age range - booze, wine usually of what ever quality or grape, just ain't the fun it used to be. Headaches, vomiting, sorry looks from knowing and disapproving kids! Clear spirits - ie decent vodka and tonic seem about the only thing not to aggravate - that or herbal tea which just isn't the same really. Just the body doing what it does.
Avatar universal
I am a 54 year old female and have just become alcohol intolerant after drinking socially with absolutely no issues since I was 19.  My symptoms are migraine type headaches, nausea, vomiting, and usually a 24+hour recovery period after even one glass of wine. I am physically fit, exercise regularly, normal blood panel results, and nothing else has changed in years (weight, health, etc). I was glad to see that I'm not alone but I
Still don't know why this happened all of a sudden?
Avatar universal
Have you checked for parasites? I used to drink socially no problem, then suddenly became violently ill (vomiting, etc) if I drank just a little bit (one or two glasses of wine). This went on for three years and I had every test imaginable done, all with normal results. Then someone suggested I test for parasites. Since that was the only thing I hadn't had a test for, I figured, why not? And come to find out, that's what I had. As soon as the treatment was over I went back to drinking alcohol like nothing ever happened.
Avatar universal
I have just started to have this problem all it takes is one drink and it doesn't matter which alcohol it's all the same I've had a headache now for 2 days and I feel terrible none of my friends have this problem so it looks like I'm off all alcohol sad to say and I never drank much anyway, this last headache was from one beer.
Avatar universal
Hi!  I'm 25 and have been having the same issues.  I went to an allergist and found that I have an allergy to yeast and mold.  Unfortunately, they couldn't really narrow it down from there for me.  I have figured out that brewer's yeast is a definite issue.  If you have a yeast allergy, or if you think you might, make sure that the vitamin B tablets say "yeast free" on them.  Most B vitamins have high amounts of yeast in them, I've found and can actually make what you're feeling worse.  The other things I've found is to avoid cane sugar, processed sugar, and artificial sweeteners.  I've noticed that I don't react to agave though, so I can still have that.  And, I've also noticed that I can have tequila and mezcal based drinks as long as they don't have sugar or simple syrup in them.  Also be careful that your bartender doesn't mix the tequila with other bitters or alcohols.  This has been my experience anyway.
Avatar universal
Im 37 now and have been drinking moderately to heavily for over a decade until around two years back when I developed this intolerance alcohol - beer/wiskey/vodka/wine etc etc . Even if I have a drink or two I get really really sick. This sickness last around 2-3 hours and then slowly fades away. My eyes become red, my pulse races and have some very uncomfortable feeling. What on the earth happened to me????

Avatar universal
I am 29/W/M, and have drank at different speeds in my 20's and am very familiar with my tolerance.

This year I have blacked out twice: once after a wine tasting, and once after 2 and 1/2 beers at dinner. Both times I went from 100% fine to weak/faint, stayed weak for 30 minutes and then suddenly blacked out with maybe 2 seconds notice. Then I would take it easy that day. No headaches, no vomiting/pain.
Avatar universal
I am 29/W/M, and have drank at different speeds in my 20's and am very familiar with my tolerance.

This year I have blacked out twice: once after a wine tasting, and once after 2 and 1/2 beers at dinner. Both times I went from 100% fine to weak/faint, stayed weak for 30 minutes and then suddenly blacked out with maybe 2 seconds notice. Then I would take it easy that day. No headaches, no vomiting/pain.
Avatar universal
I have the same intolerance, and have been watching this thread. Some information about "fermenting gut syndrome" which you might find helpful: particularly the section on the liver P450 detoxification system:

Avatar universal
I seem to have a growing intolerance, that's ok. I used to drink like a fish. I can only have one or two now since I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 19 after suffering since I was a kid.

Reading some of your comments though I'd like some of you to consider:

1 in 26 people will suffer epilepsy in their life.
I have most of my seizures in my sleep, so I don't remember them. Just feel rubbish.
If I am awake, I will have them when my blood alcohol reaches close to zero again so the next afternoon after drinking.
Seizures include everything from full convulsion, to buzzing noises, sore guts, weak legs, auras, sweats, a "funny" feeling.
The after effects and throbbing headache can last for daaaaaaays.

Just another thought.

Good luck to you all!

Avatar universal
This same thing happened to me.  All of a sudden I found myself feeling more intoxicated from a drink or two of wine and then sick the following few hours and next day.  

I thought I had developed an allergy that I had developed to Red Wine, sulfites, etc.  But as it turns out in hindsight it started showing up about 3 - 5 months after I was bite by a tick and at the time I had not been aware that I had babesiosis (Lyme disease) from the tick bite.  I have confirmed the Lyme disease with Western Blot testing for an official diagnosis. (This gets complicated as there were other symptoms I started to exhibit which led me to the proper diagnosis)

From what I have come to understand with Lyme disease spirochetes your GI tract can become over run with Candida (yeast/fungus) and it devours the sugars in the alcohol, creating even more alcohol than you drank from the sugars and interactions of the candida adding to and rendering more alcohol than the individual consumed.

I would recommend ruling out the possibility of a tick bite (vector borne illness) such as Lyme (i.e. Babesiosis, spirochete and co-infections)
Avatar universal
These are my thoughts exactly - that as we rise in vibration, we are less able to handle anything which is not working towards our highest good. It's as if our Higher Self is guiding us to not drink alcohol due to the fact it lowers our vibration.

I have been intolerant to alcohol for nearly three years but old habits die hard. I cannot stand the migraines and the three day hangover. During those torturous three days, I experience a complete lack of joy and horrific negative thoughts. If we accept the premise that our thoughts create our emotions and in turn, our emotions (the catalyst for our actions) create our reality, then drinking alcohol could be classed as masochism at best, and self-inflicted disablement at worst.

So, it's: thoughts create our emotions, our emotions impact our actions, our actions create our reality. The key is to master our thoughts, therefore to master our emotions. Easier said than done. However, the Emotional Freedom Technique has some very positive feedback, as does Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Meditation, good diet (removing caffeine for example), dismissing the need to feel "informed" about disasterous current events (ego driven) and daily exercise has become very important to the 'sensitives' amongst us; adequate and consistent self-care has become paramount to an enjoyable and harmonious quality of life, and even sanity.

I haven't bought a newspaper or had a TV for years and I've ensured that all Negative Nancy's and Paranoid Percy's in my Facebook newsfeed have been unfollowed, so rarely I'm rarely affected by imagery or information which causes me to feel sad, helpless, hopeless or useless. It's all very well sharing the horror happening on Planet Earth but the reality is, it serves only to lower our vibration, causing the thoughts and feelings as outlined above.

There is nothing we can do about most horrific planetary situations, not unless we're able and willing to board a plane and fly out to the affected countries, or willing to put ourselves in the line of danger to protest the next outrageous actions or revealed potential agenda of our psyhcopathic governments. I cannot express how much my happiness and inner peace has increased since I decidednot to focus on things outwith my control.

But I digress. No more alcohol for me. This is pretty hard to accept because I'm a natural introvert and it was a great tool for taking the edge off mild social anxiety. I'm not sure what to use in its place, but I'm pretty convinced that certain herbs can stand in for the social lubricant provided by alcohol.

My biggest concern is that it is hard to find people who want to participate in sober activities. I live in Glasgow, Scotland, so drinking is deeply ingrained here as part of the culture. It's difficult to enjoy the company of friends when one is sober and they are drunk: repeating themselves, slurring their words and sometimes becoming irrational and argumentative. However, I intend to widen my circle of friends to include those who don't rely on alcohol in order to have a good time.

Good luck to everyone living a new life without alcohol.... I guess it's not even "new", it is simply "different". <3
Avatar universal
High levels of vitamin C in the body increase antioxidant levels and act as an antihistamine, however there is a DECREASED ability to detoxify alcohol. Since I have 'loaded up' on vit. C I cannot tolerate 1 beer or small glass of wine without headaches within 1 hour of consumption. Also all brewers yeast has been genetically manipulated to cause damage in humans. There are delayed triggers in the yeast.
Avatar universal
I have suddenly developed, at the age of 63, what seems to be a sensitivity to alcohol. I really only drink vodka martinis. And usually only on the weekends, and then maybe 2 a night. I've had several occasions lately where after normal drinks I woke up in the morning with the room spinning, and spent the day trying to walk upright instead of tilted, as I felt so off balance I might fall. I've tried to cut back which seems to help, but since I'm not a big drinker anyway I'm kind of bummed that I may have to stop? Have just gone to an ear specialist as I wanted to rule out any ear/balance related issues before trying to figure out why this has suddenly started happening. Anyone have any similar issues?
Avatar universal
hi there,
I guess you got a histamine intolerance. Basicly all the food or drinks which ripens has histamine and if people with a intolerance start to eat histamine rich food the body reacts with an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction can be different from person to person. I got it as well and I can't eat cheese. But a couple weeks ago I found this dietary supplement called Daosin. It makes it possible for histamine intolerance people to eat whatever they want. Everything I have to do is taking one cap right before I eat and thats it.

To make sure you are intolerance or not, you should go and see an allergist who can make a test with you.

best wishes
11502764 tn?1418804072
Hi there as well,
it could be really possible that you are histamine intolerance and you did'nt know it yet. It has not be from the beginning of your life so it can happen everytime. Pls check it up with an allergist
1064552 tn?1322583358
I haven't seen a description that closely matches my experience.  I'd be interested to know if anyone else is like this or know what causes it... I am not a big drinker.  I learned early on that I can randomly be affected by even a mouthful of any kind of alcohol.  First I feel hot, which gets worse and makes me sweaty and flushed.  Then my stomach starts to burn, like it had battery acid poured in it.  (I have GERD, this is not what I experience with GERD).  And my spine .. Mid back like just behind and extending lower than where the sternum is on the chest... It hurts bad.  It feels really inflamed.  And sometimes there is nausea.  Usually I lay on my back or apply pressure to my back or try to cool off while I wait for it to pass.  Small amounts of alcohol pass in around 20 minutes.  Larger amounts take ... Longer.....
Avatar universal
Amazing, how so many have similar symptoms.  I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but the number of people experiencing sudden onset of adverse reactions to small amounts of alcohol posted here is striking.  

I have a few thoughts, one common thread regardless of  the type of alcohol (beer, wine, spirits), alcohol is produced through a fermentation process which employs yeast and some form of sugar.  There are only a few companies that manufacture yeast used in the production of alcohol in the world, only about 16 in the United States.  I can only wonder if genetically modified organisms are at work here.  You may already know this, but most of the food we eat today has been modified in some way in the laboratory.  One example is Corn, which is virtually impossible to obtain without being genetically modified in some way.  Could it be that mans tinkering with "Mother Nature" is causing these adverse effects described here?  I don't have an answer, but I believe that it is worthy of further investigation.  

Another possibility that comes to mind is that the chemicals we consume in our water are interacting with alcohol, chemicals which were not present just a few years ago.  Analysis of water today shows a soup of chemicals many of which are man made including a full spectrum of pharmaceuticals that were not even invented a few years ago.  Every time you drink water your body is being bombarded with a multitude of chemicals that change the way your body works, including your brain.

Yet one more potential suspect I believe having effects on human health is the over use of antibiotics and steroids which have resulted in "super bugs", and flesh eating bacteria.  Young children are now experiencing puberty earlier then ever before.  Could there also be subtle effects of antibiotics/steroids activated when alcohol is introduced into the body?

We live in "Brave New World".

I believe in time we will come to learn more and more how we have dramatically changed the overall functioning of the human body, and it is not to late to reverse our folly.
Avatar universal
I am 58, thin, basically fit and healthy but have long had some oversensitivity to sweet foods, which I mostly avoid.  More recently my blood sugar has gone up so I am just under the "prediabetic" level.

Now I seem to have developed a significant intolerance to any alcohol.  Symptoms - feel like I have a terrible hangover for a whole day after even a small glass of wine or beer.I also can feel weak and/or have heart arrhythmia only after alcohol.

First theory was that I was dehydrated so I tried drinking water while I had a beer.  I think that is a good idea but it didn't resolve the issue.  Then I thought that possible tannins in red wine or dark beer were affecting me so I stopped those drinks.  Now even one small drink of "clean" beer or white wine sets it off.  

At this point I have resolved not to even have any small amount of alcohol which is really annoying.  Interesting ideas from some posters here about bacterial infections or candida (yeast).  They may be a factor but it would surprise me if they are the only factors involved.  I wonder if there are actual allergies to the alcohol itself. I don't believe the problem is the bacteria/candida in itself but maybe an inhibition of digestive/ eliminatory capacity so that the alcohol in the bloodstream is creating some kind of immune response.  If it were only candida for example we would be seeing equally devastating responses to sugar ingestion as to alcohol and we don't seem to be seeing that.
14256804 tn?1433626145
I would like to know more about the water points you make here.  I have been a birth worker for many years and I am noticing varying symptoms in women and children that were not as common 25 years ago; autism being of of them.  I am on this thread because I had two glasses of wine at a winery in Temecula, CA (where the twinning rates are abnormally high, possibly because of pesticides) and I am very sick today.  Weird.
Avatar universal
I'm a 21yo Male, thin- about 140lbs. I have always been able to drink substantially. About a year ago there was one party where I drank a ton of Kalua. My stomach has never been the same since. I threw up that night violently about an hour after drinking the Kalua. I can't drink anything heavy like that anymore (ex. Bailey's) without having to throw up 30min to 2 hours later. I stopped drinking mostly for several months and my stomach improved a lot. Now I can drink more, but every once in a while after drinking I wake up in the middle of the night feeling terrible. I throw up and immediately feel all better. Last night I threw up at 4:30am and there was my completely undigested dinner from 7pm the night before. I had been drunk for a whole night and it wasn't until almost 10 hours later that my stomach realized it needed to eject? I really wish anyone had definitive answers to this kind of thing, but it looks like no one does :(.
Avatar universal
Interesting to read all these posts and to know we are not alone.  

I’m a 49 year old male and have grown very intolerant to alcohol over the last 10 to 15 years.  I drank a lot when I was in my 20s and 30s, just for fun, but my friends and I used to push the limits a lot.  I was a champion binge and party drinker, as well as being an average social drinker.

In my thirties my hangovers just stared getting worse and worse.  I mostly put it down to the fact that I was getting older.  I lived in denial that there was a real problem for years and kept drinking, albeit gradually less and less.

My sensitivity to alcohol has developed nowadays that I rarely drink at all – it’s just not worth it.  Even having one beer can give me a headache, but the worst symptoms for me are when I try to go to sleep.  Basically I feel ‘wired’ all night and cannot sleep at all, so of course I end up feeling like crap in the morning.  

My intuition has always told me that I simply drank too much when I was younger, and it’s as though I have reached saturation point for the rest of my life – which means every drop of alcohol now is like poison to my system.  That’s the best way to describe my situation.  It sounds like there are all sorts of reasons why people have an intolerance to alcohol, however for me I may have found the cause (but not necessarily the solution) ...

By chance I discovered that a friend of a friend had a similar issue with alcohol to me, which she had been “nursing” for at least 20 years.  She was diagnosed by a doctor with “General Adaptation Syndrome”, which basically is your body’s way of reacting to years of prolonged stress, which in our case is from drinking alcohol.  

Maybe we had a slight genetic intolerance to alcohol right from the beginning, but it was so mild as to be unrecognisable, and it was easy to just ignore it and push on.  But after years of pushing and stressing your bodies various systems, your body eventually and finally reacts as though it is being poisoned.  

There appears to be very little on the internet about this syndrome, and most of what you read will seem way ‘off the mark’ – the closest matches I have found which relates this syndrome (actually Stage 5) to a slowly progressive adverse reaction to alcohol are here:  




So where to from here?  That’s about as much as I know at this stage but I will keep researching.  There are definitely good and bad sides to this whole affair.  I am super healthy and keep fit, and not drinking only adds to my daily wellbeing.  And I will no doubt save thousands of dollars over the coming years that I would have otherwise pissed down the drain.  

The down side is that it is still a challenge socially.  It’s amazing how ubiquitous drinking is in our society, so it’s not uncommon having to face the same old challenge of avoiding drinking and avoiding trying to explain why (most of the time I just couldn’t be bothered).

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has come across a similar diagnosis, particularly by a medical professional.  I suspect most doctors are completely unfamiliar with General Adaptation Syndrome as it applies to the slow development of alcohol hypersensitivity.

Good luck, and enjoy life.  Being a non-drinker (or at least a very restricted social drinker) is not such a bad thing ...!
Avatar universal
In my opinion it could be a histamine intolerance.
Alcohol contains a lot of histamine and your body can react with sneezing watered eyes, burning throat etc.
That's what I noticed. But it's possible to make a diagnosis via blood test.
I got my expierence having a histamine intolerance but since 4 month I'm using a dietary supplement (Daosin). It controls my histamine level in my body and avoids basicly the allergic reaction.

take care
Avatar universal
Thanks masterblogger

In my case I'm almost certain it's not a histamine intolerance. I don't suffer from any such symptoms when I drink alcohol.  

It seems strange, but the best way to describe my reaction is as though I've taken amphetamines and subsequently I feel 'wired' all night - I simply can't sleep, my mind races at a million miles an hour, my heart rate goes up, etc.  

I understand this could be partly stress related, however alcohol is the trigger or catalyst if you like.  Even if I'm a bit stressed (usually from work), I'll sleep fine unless I've had even a small amount of alcohol.

This reaction may not be common but I have heard of others with the same condition.

Avatar universal
One of the smartest post on here.
Avatar universal
I have similar story to many. Regular drinker, then could drink less and less. Now even a single sip will cause a hangover. Just a few minutes after the sip, I will get a dull pain in lower back of head/upper neck. Then next day (and into the following) I will have typical hangover symptoms - not sick to stomach but horrible headache. Happens with all types of alcohol. Only unique thing I did while this was beginning to happen was I took Diphenhydramine/antihistamine (ZZZZQuil) every night to help me sleep.

Various doctors but nothing yet. One thought it might be mold in alcohol. I do have deviated septum and regular sinus infections.
Get tested for SIBO.  I've done so much internet research because I have the same problem & SIBO seems to be the only thing that is related.  I got tested and yup, I have it!
Avatar universal
You're an idiot who doesn't know how to read. We are talking about just two drinks ya moron. You're captain obvious with your comment. Do us all a favor and stay offline.  Idiot.  
Avatar universal
I have the same!  25 years of normal social drinking, no issues at all.  Now 6 months of nausea, diarrhoea, insomnia, palpitations with one single sip.  It's making me so sad!  I think there is sense in the probiotics idea.  I have just ordered a 12 week course for £160!  I will try anything.  Please tell me it's not a teetotal rest of my lifetime!  Good to know I'm not alone.  I will report back.  
Get tested for SIBO.  I've done so much internet research because I have the same problem & SIBO seems to be the only thing that is related.  I got tested and yup, I have it!
Avatar universal
@richardspain and other head-only sufferers: I am exactly like you. I've always been able to drink whatever I like until the past three weeks. Now, if I drink anything, when I go to sleep, I end up having a headache so bad that twice I've dreamed I was actually shot in the head. I wake screaming and have to immediately deal with it. The first time, I actually turned on the light and looked to see if I had been shot. And this comes from a person who has had migraines since the age of 5. So I am used to headaches so bad that they can make me pass out or go into shock from the pain level. Yet these headaches after drinking are far worse. I have a terribly stressful work life (80 hours is a cakewalk for me -- most weeks are longer). So, I admit, I've used alcohol (between 1.5 to 3 ounces a night) to go to sleep quickly. I've never gone over 3 ounces and mostly do less. I only do shots (because I'm not looking to gain lots of weight and I do a low carb diet). So, it's always been tequila, whiskey or rum. I've never had an issue until the last three weeks. Like you I don't have nausea. I just have headaches that scare me so bad that I think I will have to stop drinking altogether. I really don't get it. Liver is fine. Kidneys are fine. I did have a life threatening illness situation where I lost 50 pounds in 2 months. After a couple of long hospital stays and nearly dying twice I learned I was an undiagnosed celiac. I had only ever had one symptom of the disease and that was thinning hair (since diagnosis, it's growing in thick - yay). But, since being diagnosed I haven't touched gluten (I even look for it in alcohol and won't drink any brand or type of alcohol that has it). So, it isn't gluten causing my issue. In fact, I've drank since going gluten free for about 9 months with no issues. I've changed nothing at all in these last nine months yet suddenly, in the last 3 weeks, I'd rather give up drinking than ever feel that painful headache again. Just no idea why. Hope someone has a potential answer or I may never get sleep (and, yeah, I am trying to cut back on work but it's a process - not an overnight thing).
Avatar universal
For those still suffering, I highly recommend getting tested for SIBO.  I, too, had a sudden alcohol intolerance -- and it gradually got worse, to the point of a few sips making me ill.  The symptoms were very much like food poisoning.  I suspected SIBO, based on what some had said on this board (even though I didn&#39;t necessarily have a lot of SIBO symptoms).  I got every test under the sun -- multiple rounds of blood work, allergy testing, colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc. And in the end, it was SIBO.  A few things to note.  There is a high rate of false negative -- in fact, I took the test and got a false negative (and was devastated b/c I had pinned my hopes that it was SIBO, so I could actually have something I could treat).  Then, I took another test and it was positive.  To reduce the false negative, I recommend the following: 1) make sure you are taking the 3 hour test (not 2 hrs), 2) take the test using the lactulose solution (not glucose), 3) google for the diet you are supposed to follow the 24 hours before the test and follow it (even if your practitioner says you don&#39;t have to), 4) make sure the test is for both hydrogen AND methane (not methane alone).  Commonwealth Labs has a test that you do at and mail in -- that is the one that came out positive for me, vs. the negative which was done at GI lab.  I&#39;ve just started a round of antibiotics and am hopeful that the intolerance issue goes away after antibiotics (and a diet change to support gut health).  Good luck to everyone!!
363281 tn?1518219421
Hello~Allergies can develope almost over night to things. I have heard that every 5 years, allergens can change, so, this could be the reason you are experiencing the reactions.
Amazingly, the probiotics are working.  I can hardly believe it.  After 6 months of acute sensitivity to a tiny sip of any alcohol with awful nausea and diarrhoea, the problem is actually going away now, 4 weeks into a course of Symprove.  This last 10 days I can have a glass of wine again!  I am so happy.  This summer I did a 5 day music festival and a 1wk beach holiday without a drop of alcohol.  I guess this shows my dependence but it made me so miserable.  Why bother getting tested for SIBO?  The tests are unreliable and require persuading a Dr to run them.  Try some probiotics, it's harmless (if expensive).  Good luck!
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