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 =).