Many individuals who believe that they are allergic to alcohol have alcohol intolerance. This condition is genetic in nature and characterized by difficulty in breaking down alcohol.
The intolerance is brought about by a deficiency in an enzyme, specifically aldehyde dehydrogenase. This enzyme is required to metabolize alcohol into vinegar or acetic acid. Once intolerance occurs, the toxicity that arises in the body heightens where the resulting symptoms is how the body eliminates the toxins. The treatment is the same as with other remedies for food allergies.
For mild cases of alcohol intolerance, the doctor might recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine. The drug works by reducing the reactive symptoms brought about by the irritants in the alcohol.
An antihistamine can also aid in relieving the symptoms of itchiness or the formation of hives after consuming alcohol.
For moderate to severe cases of intolerance, a prescription for an injectable epinephrine is given. It is important to note that epinephrine is given as a shot in the form of an autoinjector.
The autoinjector is inserted into the thigh for rapid administration. The epinephrine must be carried by the individual always in case alcohol is consumed and a reaction arises.
Individuals with asthma who also have alcohol intolerance might have a variety of symptoms linked to difficulty breathing. Due to this, the individual is usually given an inhaler if not using one. In the same way, individuals with asthma must also bring an inhaler always.
Abstinence from alcohol
As a component of the treatment for alcohol intolerance, the doctor will usually advise the individual to abstain from ingesting alcohol since the symptoms tend to vary. This makes it difficult for the individual to seek medical care.