I'm intolerant now - can't even take a teaspoon of herbal tincture, steeped in hot water until it cools, without my head reeling.
Hi, answering this is not simple for me. I have problems with any alcohol now, but for many years (with mild CFS) I seemed to be able to drink everyone else under the table. I felt stuffed either way and didn't notice the problem, especially since I determined, many years later, that my primary problems with alcohol are delayed just like in exercise. In fact, I am still suffering from alcohol weeks after drinking it - a very PEM experience. I also did not reply that it was worse after getting ME/CFS on the survey because I was only age 7 and had no clue about my alcohol problems.
Alcohol intolerance hits me in three ways. First, I don't get as drunk as fast as others. Second, the next day I go into full PEM (post exertional malaise for anyone new to the forum). I used to think this was just a hangover, but it lasted days not hours. Third, some days later, I go into what I should probably cause "reverse" PEM, or perhaps the "other" PEM. This is when I get tired but wired (as opposed to serious sleep and aches) and severe chest pains, along with other neurological symptoms such as serious uncontrollable toetapping. Oh, and I also get severe skin peeling at about this point too.
There is one other thing that gives me exactly this set of symptoms: consumption of a large dose of omega-6 fats. First I go PEM, then the other PEM some days later.
Many years ago I found out that alcohol poisoning primarily kills through a massive release of arachidonic acid, which in turn triggers massive inflammatory hormone production. We know this because blocking this pathway with drugs substantially reduces the death rate from alcohol poisoning. Arachidonic acid is an active ingredient on the omega-6 fats pathway. Our body uses too much of it, it isn't properly regulated like it should be. It is also an essential nutrient, so we can't always avoid it and survive.
Hi, answering this is not simple for me. I have problems with any alcohol now, but for many years (with mild CFS) I seemed to be able to drink everyone else under the table. I felt stuffed either way and didn't notice the problem, especially since I determined, many years later, that my primary problems with alcohol are delayed just like in exercise. In fact, I am still suffering from alcohol weeks after drinking it - a very PEM experience.
One sip of alcool usually makes me disy. On good days I can tolerate a small glass of wine with a meal. But if I drink more than a glass I will feel more sleepy than usual the next day. The strangest thing is that eating sugar gives me a terrible hangover, but 6 days after ingestion. Go figure! I really wish someone could explain this to me. I've never heard of anybody else having this problem. Want to do a poll on sugar Cort?
Alcohol, the by-product of fermentation, is much more than just ethanol, though that is the main component. There are a whole galaxy of other compounds in there produced by the yeast during fermentation, including acetone, ethyl acetate, methanol, propanols, dozens of esters, and much more. These only occur in small quantities, often just a few parts-per-million, but they can have very disproportionate effects on flavour and on the damage it does to you the next day.
Some of the esters in particular are desirable in flavoured spirits, such as whiskey, rum and brandy, as they are important in giving those spirits their flavours. While some of the other components are just bloody awful for you, such as acetone, ethyl acetate, methanol, and propanols. It is these (especially ethyl acetate) that are the main culprit for hangovers. (Although if you drink enough plain ethanol - aka vodka - it will still hurt you!)
(This is not including anything that is later added, like sulphur based preservatives in wines, which are a whole problem on their own.)
For our purposes beverage alcohols can be divided into two groups, distilled and non-distilled.
Non distilled drinks contain all the above compounds, in various proportions, depending on the stock feed for the fermentation, the yeast strain used, and a bunch of other factors, like fermentation temperature, etc.
Distilled alcohol is quite different. The whole point of distilling is the ability to select which of those components you want, potentially to a very high level of concentration and purity. For a start the acetone, ethyl acetate, methanol, and propanols, etc, can be and usually are more-or-less entirely removed during distillation and discarded (or sold to industry as solvents, etc), and the esters are profiled to suit the spirit (if it is a flavoured one).
It is a bit more complicated than that, but there is no need to get into deeper explanations here. The important point is that if you wish to drink then good quality vodka is the least damaging drink on offer (for the equivalent amount of ethanol, of course). The worst drink is probably apple based non distilled stuff like cider and applejack, etc, they have a well earned reputation for vicious hangovers.
I generally find any good quality spirit in the mid-upper quality range, is way easier on me than beer or wine. I don't drink wine at all, and very rarely beer. I do drink spirits regularly & moderately. However, I still don't drink a lot, certainly less than the average Australian, though that is not necessarily saying much!
I do realise that spirits are not to everybody's taste, but them's the basic chemical facts about booze and you.