• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To register, simply click the Register button at the top right.

What is meant by "Alcohol intolerance"?

M Paine

Senior Member
Messages
341
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
I've heard that mentioned, but I would like to clarify what exactly does alcohol intolerance mean?

I find I get drunk very quickly, and get very tired, is this what is meant?
 

daisybell

Senior Member
Messages
1,613
Location
New Zealand
I find that I can only drink one (or on a good day) two units, otherwise I feel extremely unwell... Not the same as getting drunk, but feeling poisoned.. I just don't enjoy it anymore, which is disappointing!
 

drob31

Senior Member
Messages
1,487
I wonder if this is an issue with glutathione. Interestingly, some people who wish to avoid a hangover take NAC before drinking and don't get hung over, because it enhances the liver's ability to detox by increasing glutathione.
 

alkt

Senior Member
Messages
339
Location
uk
i had to give up drinking bitter because of pain and bloating in the stomach .so you could say my stomache was intolerant of beers . ruins the rare evening that i managed to go to my local pub.
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,280
Location
Southern California
I used to be like @daisybell - one glass of wine would leave me feeling sick or poisoned for an entire day, and 2 glasses would affect me badly for 2 or 3 days. And then together with my chiropractor who does muscle testing, we discovered my liver was overloaded with toxins, so it could not process the alcohol. A good part of it most likely had to do with a job I had had at age 19 where I had heavy exposure to chemical solvents. I did a liver detox under the chiro's supervision using Standard Process products (Parotid PMG and Cholacol II), took them for a month, it was rather rough, I got very tired and felt like crap, but at the end of the month my liver was much better. I started taking milk thistle and also HCL for digestion and alcohol (in moderation!) no longer makes me sick, and my digestion is much improved.
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,280
Location
Southern California
I've heard that mentioned, but I would like to clarify what exactly does alcohol intolerance mean?

I find I get drunk very quickly, and get very tired, is this what is meant?

Alcohol used to hit me pretty hard, pretty quickly, sort of like you (though it didn't before I developed CFS/ME). Last November I started taking l-glutamine in a branched chain amino acid combo (the BCAAs to help with post-exertional malaise), and noticed shortly thereafter that I was no longer very sensitive to alcohol, that I could drink a couple of glasses of wine and be fine. I was taking the glutamine for my immune system and overall health, and then discovered its effect with alcohol. Here is an article which talks about glutamine and alcohol: http://www.livestrong.com/article/540555-l-glutamine-alcohol/

Before I got sick with CFS/ME, alcohol neither made me sick, nor was I very sensitive to it. Somehow it's all connected. I currently take 1000 mg. l-glutamine a day.
 

M Paine

Senior Member
Messages
341
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Thank you for your comments. I guess I am inclined to feel as though I don't suffer from liver or gastrointestinal symptoms like some others, and that perhaps this aspect of the disease I'm thankfully not afflicted with.

While I get drunk a little quickly, I can tolerate a large volume of alcohol on occasion. As for the significance of this as it relates to the other issues I face, I don't know. I know that Dr Rosamud Vallings has mentioned that some evidence suggests that Alcahol intolerance is almost a hallmark of ME/CFS, and that one should look at alternative diagnosis in the absence of Alcahol intolerance.

I'm not sure if low tolerance counts, or where that evidence is coming from exactly, but I will be visiting her soon as I just visited my doctor today for a referral, so I will ask her and report back.
 

M Paine

Senior Member
Messages
341
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
I visited Dr Vallings today, and the topic did not come up. I've stopped drinking at all for the moment, so it seemed like a side topic or distraction from the other useful information I was getting.