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Is My Alcohol Induced Red Face An Allergy Or Alcohol Flush Reaction?
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If when you drink alcohol your face turns red, you might not be having an allergic reaction. Actually, chances are that you have alcohol flush reaction, something that is very different from an alcohol allergy.

Alcohol allergies are very rare. That's not to say that it's not out of the question, but it's most likely something else. One way to test if it is allergy or alcohol flush reaction is to see how long it takes for the reaction to happen. If it is allergic, it will be quite quick, right after the alcohol touches any part of your mouth or just after you drink. If it is alcohol flush reaction your face will turn red only after a few minutes, perhaps after you start to feel the effects of the alcohol.

Even then, if your red face is from al allergic reaction, it's still probably not an alcohol allergy. Many times, it's an allergy to something in the alcohol, like barley, hops, grapes, or sulphites. Got to a doctor and get tested or try some other types of alcohol and see what happens.

It's important to know that all red faced reactions are not the same! The reasons they happen and the way to treat them are very different. Allergic reactions are the bodies misinterpretation of harmless substances as harmful ones. Peanuts, cat fur, and pollen are all common things that people are allergic to but these things are not dangerous! The body overreacts to their presence, sending an overload of histamines to battle the so-called 'intruders'. It's this overload of histamines that cause hives, a red face, rashes, increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and maybe even blackouts or anaphylactic shock. It's serious stuff.

However, alcohol flush reaction, or more commonly known as Asian flush is due to a completely different reason. The the symptoms can be similar - a red face, dizziness, hives, and nausea, the reason is a lack of a naturally occurring enzyme in the body. This enzyme, ALDH2 is responsible for the breakdown of acetaldehyde, a poisonous byproduct of alcohol metabolism. Without this enzyme or if it exists in insufficient numbers the buildup of acetaldehyde can cause a red face and other symptoms typically associated with alcohol flush reaction.

These things are important to know so that you can treat them properly. If you stuck yourself with a shot of adrenaline for an alcohol flush reaction the results could be dangerous! The result of taking a few antacids (a common way to cure Asian flush) and consuming alcohol with an alcohol allergy could be equally disastrous.

If you believe you the red face you're experiencing is from alcohol flush reaction, common antacids like Pepcid AC and Zantac-75 are common (though not guaranteed) ways to cure Asian flush. There are other products on the market as well like the popular tonic called Cheerz or the e-book which teaches you techniques to cure Asian flush.


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