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Are you allergic to alcohol?

Why you could be mistaking an allergic reaction for a hangover

woman clutching stomach drinking
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Alcohol is known to make people feel a little fuzzy, but if you experience other sensations, it could be more than just tipsiness taking over. If discomfort is common every time you drink alcohol, you could actually be suffering an allergic reaction and your body can't handle what you're pouring into it. Whether you discover you've inherited the trait, or it's simply developed over time, here are some key symptoms which indicate you're allergic to booze, as listed by dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra who appears on American TV show The Doctors.

Histamines are chemicals in the immune system which work to fight off anything disrupting the body, in this case, allergens. Although the histamines kick start the defence process, the way they try to protect you and flush out the nasties isn't pleasurable for us.

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1.Difficulty breathing

The rise in histamines could lead to a blocked nose, and if you suffer from asthma already things could become even more difficult when it comes to inhaling an exhaling. "A histamine intolerance can lead to inflammation in soft tissues, like lungs and nasal passages, which can swell and lead to stuffy nose and sinus pressure," Dr. Batra told PopSugar. "Cold-like symptoms - itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and sneezing - are also side effects of a histamine intolerance. Asthma can be exacerbated by these histamines, because of the increased inflammation of airways."

woman clutching stomach drinking

2.Flared, hot skin

 Alcohol often leads to flushed skin due to opening up the blood vessels and it can also increase body heat, but if you end up feeling really hot and getting the sweats, this could be more than just a side effect to being drunk. Dr. Batra warns that when the body can't neutralise the alcohol, the blood capillaries in your skin go wild with the histamine release. More worryingly with this redness your blood vessels are constricted, which increases blood pressure.

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3.Sickness and diarrhoea

 Sharp tummy pains and nausea after gulping down booze shouldn't be assumed to be a hangover or the result of fast food at 1am. "Alcohol can increase stomach acid, irritating the digestive tract," Dr. Batra explained, which means the digestive system can be disrupted. Diarrhoea occurs because drinking can affect the amount of water in your large intestine, and if there is a lot of fluid, stool will pass quicker. One way to curb diarrhoea is to avoid drinking caffeine with alcohol and to eat easily digestible, plain foods — not the greasy fries you are probably craving."

Of course, if you do happen to suffer these symptoms, get tested by a doctor rather than diagnosing yourself and most importantly, quit alcohol.

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