My intolerance to even tincture amounts of alcohol started in my early 30's after getting a very bad infection on the surface of my liver and some of the other organs. The best guess as to how this came about was the my uterus was trying to eject a copper Dalkon shield IUD. Before I had it removed, it must have perforated the uterus, allowing normal uterine bacteria to get inside the body cavity, where these set up sites of infection. I had acute pain which arose overnight. Had to be carried out of the house to the Intensive Care Unit. They would have taken out my gall bladder immediately, finding extreme tenderness there, but there was extreme tenderness elsewhere too, so they figured it was an acute infection and treated this with massive antibiotics. I got mostly better but my liver was never up to any drinking again, though before, I had been able to have two drinks comfortably.
I am almost completely intolerant to alcohol now. I can manage about half a lager but it's roulette with me - sometimes I am fine (but tired) and other times I am sick. I used to be a moderate drinker (regularity rather than binging) and was part of my social circle, but I won't chance it now.
I am able to tolerate drinking to varying degrees. I have a couple of interesting reactions to alcohol though.
First, my "buzz" so to speak, is all over the place. Some times I'm pretty drunk after the first glass, and other times a whole bottle of wine will not seem to have much effect at all. I make that a rare occurrence but it is not an uncommon one when I do drink. It's as if I am not metabolizing it at all.
Second, when I am having an MCS episode where something is causing a reaction, booze can mitigate it. I had a bio-chemist give me his theory on this phenomenon once and it seems plausible at the time but I could not cogently repeat it. I am not entirely clear if this is a placebo effect or really a mitigation. It sure seems like the later though. This came in very handy when I had to fly last year. Few things are as stressful as playing Axe/Channel roulette in a sealed metal tube for 2 hours. <beertender? hit me again sir!>
Finally I find that I've been in a state over the last few years where boozing will leave me depressed for days. Not unheard of of course being a depressant, but it did not effect me this way previous. Now, I know that if I drink, I need to be prepared to fight nasty gremlins for a few days and trust that they will pass shortly. since I'm fairly frazzled on a daily basis any way, this has reduced my libation down to almost nil.
I will also say that to some extent a few years ago drinking moderately actually seemed to help things, but any regular drinking has lead to pretty clear crashes and backsliding.
booze has been about socializing and taking a load off for me in the past, but it has kinda moved into the self-medicating category too over the years, which is less healthy. I feel so damn bad and so under siege that I desperately need a break now and again.
Like everything else I guess drinking is now a tangled mess.
I'd like to add that it appears to change over time (my 12 years) - originally no tolerance whatsoever for years then in small quantities only and now still small quantities as the effects of alcohol are as potent on a small glass as were in the days of very much more.
My alcohol intolerance is so bad that even a non-alcoholic beer -- which still contains tiny amounts of alcohol (0.5%) -- caused me to crash badly. My doctor says its due to Candida overgrowth, which I tend to believe. My Candida antibody levels are through the roof, and alcohol feeds Candida just as much as processed sugar.
I felt a strong alcohol aversion for years and could not tolerate any as even tiny amounts would trigger weird reactions. However, recently I noticed craving red wine and I seem to be able to tolerate the odd half glass...
This will sound crazy but for years I actually used alcohol medicinally as part of POTS/CFS. To reduce post exercise crashes by relaxing muscles, for insomnia, to sooth IBS and to calm jitteriness. Only time it doesnt work is when im very POTSIES as it brings on dizziness then.
I've been alcohol intolerant my whole life but since I have ME it's a lot worse. I tried a few sips of champagne for my birthday a few years ago and was unable to leave my bed for six weeks! My condition deteriorated very rapidly. A few weeks ago I tried again and it just made my head turn right away.
Has anyone asked their doctor why this alcohol intolerance might be present?
It has something to do with lack of vitamine B6 and gluconeogenesis.
"The two major forms of vitamin B6 are pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. In
the liver they are converted to pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) which is
a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism. PLP also is
necessary for the enzymatic reaction governing the release of glucose
I get the tachycardia too. When I was at my worst with ME I couldn't touch a drop of alcohol without feeling immediately hungover and getting awful palpitations, and actually I used to find the thought of alocohol nauseating too, Now, I am okay with a small amount sometimes - but I still have to watch out for a sudden bad reaction.
Alcohol intolerance was one of the 1st symptoms I noticed. I was 16 at the time. Before that I actually never had a hangover. I actually thought hangovers were not real, just something people said to be 'cool' or something.
Then I got CFS and immediately I hated alcohol. Previously it made me feel relaxed and carefree, after CFS it made me tense and uncomfortable in my own skin. Also drinking alcohol would give me a 'poisoned' feeling.
When describing CFS to people I actually describe it as, among other things, like a permanent hangover.
yes cort my OI specialist explined it cleary to me that it is because aclohol causes peripheral vasodilation; hence more bolld to the estremities, even less blood available for the heart and brain.
makes a lot of sense to me
on the reverse caffeine is a vasoconstictor which may be why chocolate makes sw veel better - preipheral vasoconstirction - more blood available to brain.
he seems to have lots of the symptoms of OI worked out
and a lot of them seem to relat to ME
Prior to Viral onset, I had no problems with alcohol. I wasn't a big drinker pre-illness, the occasional margarita night with the girls a couple of times a year. (big grins) Red wine if I was making something Mediterranean but only on a weekend. Baily's and coffee in the winter and holidays.
Post illness, no problems per say but odd reaction which is full body flush and really bright brain activity. Completely cures mental fog for around 20 minutes or so, like a type of blood or sugar rush. Then a gradual dimming and then very tired but no PENE, PEM or crash type symptoms. Just very, very tired and want to take a nap.Now I have a margarita once every 3 or 4 months and wine about that often. Unfortunately I can't afford the Baily's any more. If anyone would like to send me a bottle to run an experiment with and see if my reaction is the same just PM me. I'll be glad to send you my address. (big grins)