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Knowing When Asian Flush Might Be Telling You Something February 18 2015

One of the most significant parts of drinking responsibly is listening to your body. Some people, when they have even less than a drink, will start experiencing Asian flushing to a degree that’s noticeable to everyone around them and, certainly, noticeable to them. A fast beating heart, the feeling that the room is getting hotter and hotter and the characteristic red glow in the face and neck can make what should be a fun night miserable.

Asian flush doesn’t come in equal degrees in every different person. Knowing your body is important to deciding what’s a responsible amount of drinking for you. If you’re not the only person in the room with a red face but you are the one who has had the least to drink, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t had enough.

What’s Going on in Your Body

Asian flush is a result of the way some people’s genetics – people of Asian descent constitute the vast majority of those affected – causes their body to break down alcohol. Without getting too far into the technical details, the body breaks down the alcohol part of the way, but a chemical called acetaldehyde builds up in the body far past the levels that it would in a person who didn’t have this particular genetic variation.

That chemical causes the flushing in the cheek, the increased heartbeat, the feeling of getting hot and all of the other, oftentimes very unpleasant, symptoms of Asian flushing. It doesn’t happen at the same rate in all people. Some people may find that they can handle two or three drinks just fine and they barely ever have any symptoms of flushing. Other people may have Asian flush that’s quite noticeable after just one drink, or even less.

Know Your Body

Asian flush has been tied to a greatly increased risk of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is very difficult to detect before it is advanced and is one of the most deadly cancers of all. There are other health risks associated with Asian flush, as well.

If you feel like you have a hard limit as to how much you can drink before flushing sets in, don’t try to use over-the-counter remedies to suppress it and don’t ignore it. Be aware that your limit for responsible drinking might be lower than other people’s, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a drink once in a while to unwind, as long as you’re aware of when to stop.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Politely Turning Down a Drink February 12 2015

If you drink responsibly or don’t drink at all, you might find yourself in situations where people are really pushing you to have a drink with them. In the best case scenario, this is merely annoying, but easy enough to deal with. In some scenarios, however, it can be more complicated than that.

Depending on where people come from, they may consider having a drink together to be a rather ritual part of concluding a business meeting. Of course, you can always lie about why you don’t want to have a drink – come up with a cultural or other major reason, or whatever else comes to mind – but nobody likes to be a liar and nobody should have to be about making a health decision.

If the person you’re with is drinking too much and wants you to keep going with them, or if they want to have a drink and you don’t drink or don’t want to drink on that particular day, you can turn down a drink without offending someone. Even if it is something they expect based on your prior interactions – closing a big deal – you can be completely honest and still go out and socialize, but skip the alcohol, at least on that occasion.

Tell Them About Health Issues

Asian flushing can be pretty embarrassing when you or you and a few other people in a room are the only ones with nearly fluorescent red faces, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Just tell the person why you’re not drinking if a health reason like Asian flushing happens to be behind it.

If they really can’t get it through their heads, just tell them it makes you sick. It’s not a lie, though maybe a bit oversimplified.

Drink Slowly

Another good option is just to slow down your intake of alcohol. If you do want to have a drink, but just one or two, drink them slowly. If the person you’re with puts down more than that, that’s their business. But, when asked if you want a refill, you just point out that you still have plenty left. If they pressure you, just tell them that you don’t drink that much.

There are plenty of other ways that you can get around situations where you may feel pressured to have a drink. The thing to remember is that most people will probably be completely accommodating and that it’s totally normal to drink responsibly and take that effort seriously or, for some people, not to drink at all these days.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


What, Exactly, Is Moderate Drinking and How Is it Connected to Flushing? February 03 2015

Flushing, which mostly affects people of Japanese, Chinese and Korean heritage, is far more than an inconvenience or a slight embarrassment after you’ve had a couple of drinks. It could indicate that you’re at a significantly higher risk for esophageal cancer.

The flushing itself is caused by a genetic trait that prevents alcohol from being metabolized. The result is that the body doesn’t transform the chemical acetaldehyde into acetate, which is harmless. With this buildup of the carcinogenic acetaldehyde, there is a greater risk of developing serious health conditions and, as anyone who suffers from flushing knows, there are immediate consequences, as well.

Moderate drinking is the usual go-to way to deal with flushing. Let’s take a look at what moderate drinking means.

Science or Feel?

If you want to go the scientific route to determine what moderate drinking is, you can look to the National Institutes of Health for guidance. That organization defines moderate drinking as one drink for a woman per day and two drinks for a man per day. For most people, that’s certainly moderate and leaves one or two drinks per day for an after-work relaxation session or for enjoying the evening with some friends.

The things to watch out for are heavy drinking and binge drinking. The NIH defines the former as having five or more drinks at the same occasion on five days out of the last 30 days. If you went to five raging parties, in other words, and had too much within the last month, you’re a heavy drinker.

Binge drinking is defined as a pattern. The pattern involves having around four drinks if you’re a woman or five if you’re a man in about two hours’ time. It doesn’t take much to cross the line here, as five drinks in one day at the same occasion in the last 30 days is defined as binge drinking.

While it’s not scientific, one can also go by feel, as well. Listening to your own body is always good and, if you feel like you’re spending too much time drinking, you probably are. Keep away from the trendy advice about the benefits of drinking, as well. The CDC does not recommend that anyone start drinking more because of perceived health benefits.

Moderate drinking allows you to enjoy yourself without undue risk. Know your body and know the science and you can make a mature decision about how much risk you’re taking.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Dealing with it When the Flush Sets In January 21 2015

If you flush after drinking alcohol, you might have to occasionally deal with the discomfort of it at the worst possible time. When people meet up at a club, show up for a party or otherwise initiate their festivities, the excitement of all being together and having a few drinks tends to make people loud and boisterous.

Meanwhile, a percentage of those people will be feeling overheated, have a heart rate that makes them feel like they just finished a work out and have a face that is sometimes embarrassingly red. Of course, the vast majority of the people who will be in the situation are Asian, though people of other races do suffer from this condition in much smaller numbers.

Though it’s called Asian flush, it has got to do with how your body breaks down – or doesn’t break down, actually – alcohol and there are some things you can do to alleviate it a bit.

First, Back Off

If you start flushing, you do have a decision to make if you want to be a responsible drinker. You can decide whether or not this means you’ve hit your limit for the evening already – no matter how soon it came – or that it will pass and you’re going to have another drink or two, which might be expected on some occasions.

Backing off, however, is generally the better move once you start flushing. It’s a sign that your body is already failing to break down the alcohol that you’ve consumed, so adding more isn’t going to help matters.

Go Somewhere Cool

If you can step outside, underneath an air conditioner or relocate somewhere else that’s a bit cooler than wherever you’re sitting at the time, it might help to alleviate the sense of being hot. This at least makes it more comfortable to deal with the reaction.

Head off Anxiety

Between the way your heart might be pounding already and the fact that your face is probably very noticeably red, it’s natural to get anxious about Asian flush. It’s not something to worry about and, in fact, some writers have even found humor in it.

Because alcohol is very popular in social occasions, it’s likely that most people who suffer from Asian flush are going to have to put up with it sometimes. Weddings, reunions, dates and other occasions may involve a few drinks. If you happen to get flushed after a drink or two, knowing how to deal with it can make those occasions a lot more fun.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


How Many People Are Affected by Asian Flushing January 07 2015

A good number of Asian people have a genetic makeup that causes them to have pronounced physiological reactions to alcohol. This is called Asian flushing, sometimes Asian glow and, when people are being a bit more comical, sometimes the Asian experience.

According to recent studies, this condition affects anywhere between 30% and 50% of Asian people. The genetic mutation they carry causes them to process alcohol in a way that leaves too much acetaldehyde in the system. The presence of this particular substance is what causes the reaction.

Who Is Affected?

Most people who have Asian flushing are of East Asian descent. It is not nearly as common in people of other heritages, though it is seen. It’s estimated that only approximately 7% of people of European heritage, for example, have the particular genetic mutation that causes flushing. Where the symptoms are seen in people from other races, the cause may be different.

Asian glow can affect people of any age and it will affect different people much differently. People who have severe reactions will generally drink far less than people who only react occasionally and, in fact, some people may only react when they have a great deal of alcohol.

Whenever the reaction occurs, however, it should be taken seriously. There are some increased risks – esophageal cancer and, to some degree, heart issues – that people who have this condition have to deal with.

How Do People Deal with It?

Asian flushing does mean that, as an adult, you have to weigh the potential health impacts of consuming alcohol differently than people who don’t suffer from this particular genetic mutation. However, people are able to drink responsibly and, of course, they do have to deal with the occasional very red face, but are able to enjoy themselves in moderation.

There actually are some potential hidden benefits to this. For one thing, anybody who has Asian flushing, or just flushing, if they don’t happen to be Asian, has a good indicator of when they’ve had too much to drink are when they are drinking too frequently. The effects of flushing quite often encourage people to drink a bit less, and that can be a good thing.

Doctors will recommend that people with this condition do cut down on the amount that they drink. If you do suffer from flushing – even if you’re not Asian – you should talk to your physician about it and make sure that you drink responsibly when you do decide to enjoy an alcoholic beverage.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Low Alcohol Drinks that Are Actually Good December 18 2014

If you have Asian flushing and you still want to enjoy a drink once in a while, you might have more options than you think.

Whenever people are talking about responsible drinking, eventually, the term “drinks” comes up. There actually is a standard drink, to which such information refers. It’s approximately 0.6 ounces of alcohol.

Most of the time, this information is given in actual drinks, such as a shot of alcohol, a mug of beer or a glass of wine. This gives people an easy way to make responsible decisions about how much they want to have to drink. Of course, it also helps them to avoid inadvertently going over the line for intoxicated driving and getting themselves into trouble by endangering others.

Low alcohol drinks can be surprisingly good and they provide a nice option if you want to hang around for a while, enjoy sipping on drinks with friends but don’t want to end up having a flushed, red face and taking on all the health risks that go with that.

Bitters and Soda

Bitters are kind of an old-school drink, containing substances in the liquor like quinine and others that tend to make your lips pucker a bit when you drink. You can mix bitter liquor with soda water to get a nice, surprisingly thirst-quenching drink that doesn’t have a particularly high alcohol content.

Low Alcohol Beer

There are many different brands of low alcohol beer out there that taste good and won’t get your blood alcohol content up that quickly. In fact, there are enough of them that you can experiment a bit and you’re certain to find something that hits good. Some people swear that it will never taste good as the leaded stuff, but you might disagree and you might be able to avoid having a bright red face because of that.

Get Fancy

If you’re at a bar or club, be sure to ask the bartender what they can do as far as coming up with a good, low alcohol drink for you. This is becoming increasingly popular for people, even people who aren’t trying to avoid something like Asian flushing and just don’t want a full strength cocktail.

One of the things about responsibly drinking is that you really do have a lot of options. There are many different liquors out there and some of them have much lower alcohol content relative to others, so you may want to check them out for options if you’re trying to control flushing.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Myths About Asian Flushing Might Harm You December 09 2014

For many people who are Korean, Chinese or Japanese, Asian Flushing is a major issue. Unfortunately, some of the people affected may not think of it this way.

Asian flushing, directly, can be somewhat amusing. At any party where there are many Asian people, there are likely to be quite a few people with red faces, as well. It affects a significant percentage of people of the aforementioned heritages.

However, it is a bit more than it seems on the surface. People who have it likely suspect this, as the red face is an external symptom. Internal symptoms include an elevated heartbeat, elevated body temperature and a generally sick feeling. There’s a reason for that and, here are the some of the things you might think you know, that aren’t actually true.

Allergy Meds Reduce Harm

Antihistamines, because of the way that they interact with the body, may reduce the appearance of Asian flushing. This is a pretty popular method of keeping the red face under control for some people.

The thing to keep in mind is the fact that those antihistamines also have effects when mingled with alcohol. Principally, they slow down how fast your body processes alcohol and, because of that, you may end up feeling far more intoxicated than you expect off of a few drinks. The other thing to keep in mind is that all of the other effects on your body that go along with Asian flushing are still taking place, even if your face isn’t red. Reducing the red face might actually encourage you to drink way more than you should.

Sugary Drinks Might Help

You may have heard that sugary drinks can reduce the appearance of Asian flushing. This might be true for some people, and you might want to try it as a strategy. Remember, however, that you are still taking in the alcohol and no one claims that more sugary drinks are cures for Asian flushing, they may merely reduce the symptoms a bit.

It’s Not That Bad

Asian flushing is associated with an increased incidence of esophageal cancer. The science on this is very solid and it’s something to be concerned about if you’re very prone to the reddening face and other parts of the reaction. Some Asian people do not have the genetics that cause this, but if you do, research more about Asian flushing and learn how to drink responsibly.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Tips for Drinking Safely November 10 2014

Whether you’re just turning 21 or you’re much older, drinking responsibly can be something of a challenge sometimes. Understanding the effects of alcohol and how to prepare yourself for them are part and parcel of drinking like an adult.

The main thing to keep in mind is the word “moderation”. Keep the amount of alcohol that you actually drink down to a level that seems sensible for you. Of course, your body weight, individual alcohol tolerance and whether or not you have any reactions to alcohol, such as Asian flushing, will play a part in being smart when you use alcohol.

Know What it Does

Alcohol impairs your judgment. If you’re going to go out and have a few drinks, anticipate this. You don’t have to be afraid and you don’t have to get out of control, just realize that your judgment will probably not be quite as sound as it was before you sat down and had a few drinks.

The way to make sure you are handling this responsibly is to arrange for the things you know you will need in advance. Transportation is the big one. Make sure you have some way of getting home that doesn’t involve you getting behind the wheel. If you can take this responsibility off your back, you’ll have a lot more fun at the watering hole.

Also, make sure you have something to eat before you go out so the alcohol hits you more slowly. Make sure you also take a little bit of extra money in case you do need to call a cab to get home.

Above all other things, if you think you may have had too much to drink to drive safely, you most certainly have had too much to drink to drive safely.

Know Your Limits

You should know your body well enough to know how you handle alcohol and where your limits are. If you do happen to have a very visible indicator of when you’ve hit your limit, such as the aforementioned Asian flushing or some other reaction to alcohol, consider that a good thing. It lets you know when you need to stop drinking, if you don’t make that decision beforehand.

Space out your drinks. If possible, plan out how long you plan to be out and budget your money accordingly. If you start running out of money before the night is over, you’re drinking too fast.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Should I Try to Reduce Asian Flushing? October 11 2014

Trying to reduce the appearance of Asian flushing is one of your options if you happen to be affected by this. If you’re Asian, there’s a good chance that you are. Even if you’re European or of another race, however, there is a chance that you might experience flushing after drinking, as well.

The symptoms that people will be most concerned about will be the reddening of the face, the feeling of heat, occasional headaches and a racing heart. In some cases, all of these different symptoms will also make the person feel very anxious.

There are some over-the-counter remedies that people use to deal with Asian flushing. Some people claim to have good luck using antihistamines to keep the symptoms of Asian flushing at bay. There are also plenty of products out there that are specifically marketed toward Asian people who suffer from this condition.

There’s a very important consideration to keep in mind with using these products. They may have good and bad aspects to them, but it’s imperative that you do talk to your physician about flushing and whether or not you should be taking it more seriously than you are. It may not be a significant health risk for you, but you should find out before you just try to paper over it.

The Risk of Hiding It

Asian flushing is caused when there is too much acetaldehyde built up in the blood. Acetaldehyde is a carcinogen and it is very strongly associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is deadly.

If you know your body and you’re reasonably certain that you’re making a responsible decision about how much you drink, using whatever remedy seems to work for you to cover up Asian flushing may not be a particularly negative choice.

However, it could, as some very scientifically literate writers have pointed out, allow you to not address what might be an indication of a more serious problem. Covering up the symptoms, in other words, is not a treatment for any sort of a health issue.

Making responsible decisions about drinking starts with knowing your body. If you’re having trouble with turning red and the other symptoms of flushing after drinking, make sure you investigate them to make sure there are no reasons that you may want to skip drinking altogether and, if there aren’t, make a smart decision based on your body. Just don’t cover something up without investigating it first.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Do You Suffer From Alcohol Flush? October 01 2014

If you have a reaction to alcohol, it might be Alcohol Flushing (aka Asian Glow). Even if you’re not Asian, though the chances are greatly reduced, you could have a genetic mutation that makes your body process alcohol differently than most people.

There are actually tests that you can use to check yourself for this genetic mutation and, if you have it, it’s well understood what’s going on with your body.

Is it an Allergy? 

The symptoms of Alcohol Flush are close enough to an allergy that some people have them confused. It doesn’t help that the condition is sometimes referred to as Asian alcohol allergy. 

Some people do have genuine alcohol allergies. In other people, drinking alcohol will make other allergies they have worse, which may make it appear as if they are actually allergic to alcohol, even though it is something else.

Alcohol Flush is a different thing than an allergy. Another reason for confusion might be that some antihistamine drugs are, at least colloquially, said to reduce the symptoms of Alcohol Flush, specifically the flushing itself. However, none of these drugs are actually indicated for the treatment of Alcohol Flush.

Is it Flushing?

If you’re Asian, there’s a very good chance that you have Alcohol Flush. Most Asian people are affected by this. Your body, essentially, doesn’t metabolize alcohol the same way most people’s body’s do, resulting in a build up of a carcinogenic chemical. People with flushing may also have a higher risk of hypertension, particularly if they are heavy drinkers.

Alcohol Flushing is not an allergic reaction, but you may notice very similar symptoms. You may feel congested, a bit nauseated, some people get headaches and feel hot throughout their face and head. Some people also get dizzy.

If you suffer from these symptoms, try moderating your alcohol intake a bit more and see if they alleviate. You should also talk to your physician about it if it’s an issue for you, but Alcohol Flushing is a very common condition. As long as you understand it, understand your body, and are sensible about how you drink, it can be manageable, but it’s always best to talk to a doctor about your particular case.

If you have an alcohol allergy, or believe you do, it’s also something you should discuss with your physician. Knowing exactly what you are actually allergic to could help you to avoid any reactions.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Alcohol Flushing Reliable As An Indicator of Risk of Esophageal Cancer September 21 2014

According to a report from the NIH, physicians who have patients who report flushing from alcohol consumption need to be aware of the associated risk of esophageal cancer.

The link between Alcohol Flushing—a visible and very perceptible part of the affected person’s reaction to alcohol—and esophageal cancer is, at this point, firmly established. In some cases, researchers found that people who have specific genetic make-ups might have from 6 to 10 times higher likelihood of developing esophageal cancer from drinking.

Physicians, in the study, are advised to tell their patients about moderating their alcohol consumption. If you do like to drink, you’re probably very familiar with the symptoms of Alcohol lushing, but it’s important to know exactly what they are. 

How You Can Tell

Alcohol Flushing can start after any number of drinks. For some people it might start at less than a full drink.

The most telltale sign is a visible reddening of the face. Some people get this to a greater extreme than others do and some people may actually turn purplish.

The person affected will generally feel their heart racing, and they might feel like they are having an allergic reaction. Head congestion is common and some people have headaches. They may also feel like their body is very hot. The reaction is so similar to an allergic reaction that some people mistake Alcohol Flushing for an allergy to alcohol.

These symptoms can be rather severe in some people, and that’s a good sign that you need to keep a close eye on your alcohol consumption if you do suffer extreme reactions. 

Moderation Can Mean Better

If you do drink from time to time, drinking in moderation can bring down your bill at the bar quite a bit. If you’re sensible and responsible, you can easily enjoy higher quality drinks.

In some cases, you might want to consider actually asking for drinks with lower alcohol content in them. This is a good way to keep the social aspects of the bar as a part of your life but to reduce drinking at the same time.

There are a lot of ways you can moderate your alcohol consumption and, if you do suffer from Alcohol Flushing, it’s something you should consider. Talk to your physician about other ways you can still enjoy a drink now and then, but be sure you’re considering your health.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Choosing Alcohol Levels in Drinks September 14 2014

There are alcoholic beverages that have lowered amounts of alcohol available if you’re trying to cut down on your alcohol intake. There are also alcohol free drinks that are reasonable facsimiles of drinks that usually contain alcohol.

There are some particularities with choosing these drinks that you should know about if you want to use these drinks as a strategy for avoiding Asian flushing. It can actually work quite well if you understand how the different types of reduced alcohol drinks are categorized. 

Lite Beer

Lite beer typically has a lower alcohol by volume percentage than full strength beer. Some of these beers are actually very popular choices, even among people who aren’t trying to lower their amount of alcohol per drink.

In the United States, a light beer typically has around 4.2% alcohol by volume. A regular beer, by comparison, has 5% alcohol by volume.

Three-Two Beer

Three-two beer, or 3.2 beer, will have even lower alcohol content that a light beer, with approximately 4.2% alcohol by volume. The 3.2 figure is actually a different measure, alcohol by weight.

Non-Alcoholic Beer

Nonalcoholic beer is actually popular right now, and you should be able to pick up a bottle at any bar you visit. There are brands that are almost as visible as the regular beer brands on the market. 

Wines

Wine is usually around 12% to 15% alcohol by volume. Where wine and beverages based on wine – wine coolers, for instance – are concerned, you can just check the alcohol content and choose one with a lower percentage. There are some vintages out there that have relatively low percentages, particularly when you get into white wine.

Liquor

Where liquor is concerned, you can look at the label to determine how much alcohol it has by volume. With liquor, the answer to that question is generally going to be “a lot”, but most liquors are added to other drinks, so the amount of alcohol you take in per drink is roughly equivalent to drinking a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.

Remember that whiskey, vodka, liqueur and other beverages are likely to be very high in alcohol content, so these are the drinks you want to avoid if you’re trying to cut down on your intake. Drinking 3.2 beer all night and then having a shot of whiskey is likely to get your alcohol content up to a level you are trying to avoid.

Some low alcohol beverages are very good, and well worth trying. You might find that you like them aside from the fact that they have a lowered alcohol content.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Are Low Alcohol Drinks Good for Alcohol Flushing? September 09 2014

It may be stating the obvious, but if you try to moderate your drinking it invariably means that you’re trying to drink less. What you’re trying to drink less of isn’t grape juice or hops or barley: it’s alcohol. It’s really the only thing that matters in that equation. 

You have different strategies for drinking less. You can simply swap out alcohol at social functions for something else – coffee, soda, whatever – or you can reduce the amount that you’re drinking. These are the most common options that people are likely to take.

Low alcohol drinks are another option and they may help you to keep your flushing under control a bit, particularly if you don’t tend to start flushing very quickly after drinking.

How it Works

Flushing is specifically caused by a genetic trait that makes it difficult for your body to break alcohol down through the various stages involved in metabolizing it fully. The alcohol never gets any further than being broken down into acetaldehyde and, because of that, you get a buildup of that chemical in your blood. That’s what causes the Alcohol Flushing, and that’s not all it causes. It can cause an increased heart rate, it can make you feel very hot and, of course, all of that comes with some potential social effects, as well. You might notice people trying very hard not to point out the fact that your face is roughly the color of a stop sign. 

You might also have people asking you if something’s wrong, which can get annoying.

Some people react like this almost immediately. They may have a quarter of a drink or a half a drink and will start flushing noticeably. Other people don’t flush so quickly. If you’re one of the latter, drinking low alcohol drinks might help you keep down the amount of alcohol in your body while still enjoying the social ritual of having a drink with friends.

Be Careful

Remember that lowered alcohol drinks still have alcohol in them. If you drink enough of them, you will get just as intoxicated as you would off of fewer full strength drinks. There’s really no recommended amount that people drink during a day and, in fact, health experts don’t recommend drinking for health reasons under any circumstances. However, if you know that the alcohol is a problem for your body, it makes sense to simply reduce the amount that you take in if having a drink with your friends or business associates is important to you.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


Am I Allergic to Alcohol? August 28 2014

Some people might have a reaction to alcohol that makes them suspect that they are allergic. In some rare cases, this may actually be true.

Other culprits can cause people to react to alcohol in a way that is similar to an allergic reaction. Some people, for instance, may experience this reaction when they drink red wine, which is known to give some people headaches. The feeling of disorientation, heat and a pounding head might feel quite a bit like an allergic reaction, but it isn’t necessarily the case.

Other people might get this reaction from any liquor, and in some cases, they may only get any sort of reaction from a particular alcoholic beverage, beer for instance. Whether or not you actually have an allergy to alcohol is one thing, but there are other ingredients in some drinks that you might be allergic to.

Allergens

One possibility, though it’s usually accompanied by severe reactions, for people who suspect they’re allergic to alcohol is actually an allergy to vinegar. During the process of metabolizing alcohol, the body converts alcohol into vinegar. People who have an allergy to vinegar might experience allergic symptoms.

Other ingredients might be causing you to have a reaction to certain drinks, as well. The aforementioned red wine has histamines in it and, in some cases, it might have sulfites, as well. These are common culprits when people have reactions to that beverage.

In beer, hops and barley, yeast and other ingredients might actually be causing the reaction.

Some people have good luck changing their brand of beer, or in some cases, they might deliberately seek out wine that doesn’t have sulfites in it. Keep in mind that allergic reactions to alcohol are real things, but they are very rare. There is another culprit that might be behind your reaction to alcohol.

Alcohol Flush (aka Asian Glow)

Alcohol Flush is, as the nickname indicates, mostly associated with Asian people. If you are of Chinese, Japanese or Korean heritage, there’s a good chance that you suffer from this condition. You might suffer from the condition if you are of any race, however, the likelihood is far less.

If you suffer from Alcohol flushing, you might want to consider moderating your intake of alcohol. It is associated with some significant health risks. Cutting down on alcohol might be the best move if Alcohol Flush is likely behind your reactions.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).