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Am I Allergic To Alcohol? Am I An Alcoholic?

Updated on October 20, 2015

Learning About Allergies To Alcohol

Once you find out you have an allergy to alcohol you need to take steps to avoid consumption. Most people can not do it on their own and there is plenty of help out there if one wants help.
Once you find out you have an allergy to alcohol you need to take steps to avoid consumption. Most people can not do it on their own and there is plenty of help out there if one wants help. | Source

Alcohol Allergic Reactions

Most people can eat peanuts and shell fish. Most people do not have a horrible reaction when stung by a bee. Others however have a horrible reaction to these foods and situations and when ingested, they experience a horrible allergic reaction which can lead to Anaphylactic Shock or Anaphylaxis and if untreated, can lead to death. This is the body's response to the allergen.

Alcohol is very similar. When ingested, many people have no allergic reaction. They drink and experience the "normal" results of consumption (relaxed, "tipsiness", things are funny, etc.) but they do not have the allergy. They know when to say, "No" and stop drinking before it becomes a problem with driving or consequences. They can stop, have a limit, and they don't over drink.

Think of 2 different people in the same scenario:

  1. Uncle Bob: "The Drunk"
  2. Your friend Joe: Rarely drinks alcohol and is usually the "Designated Driver".

*For the record, your "Designated Driver" in number 2 may be in recovery so not all two scenarios are the same. But for our intent and purposes of this article, let's assume that #2 "Joe" is Not an Alcoholic nor in Recovery; they are just the average person that is close to you in your life. In this scenario, "Joe" is neither an alcoholic nor do they suffer from alcohol allergy.

Uncle Bob is suffering. Even the people around him are suffering as well. He is a raging alcoholic. He swears a lot, smells funny and almost always makes a fool of himself at holiday celebrations. For some, he may even be kind of creepy! The only reason that he is even invited to the celebrations is because he is the only remaining sibling of the person throwing the Holiday get the point!

Now that we have our characters let's create the scenario:

Uncle Bob comes to the celebration and he already smells like booze.

Your friend Joe shows up a little later because he had a few other places to visit before he came over.

Uncle Bob just came from the bar down the street. They didn't care for him either. He kept flirting with some guy's wife right in front of everyone. The only one here who is not embarrassed is Uncle Bob! Everyone else around can't wait until he leaves...

Joe was visiting his aunt who has been living out of town for a few years. When he visited her they had a glass of wine and talked about old times and how we are all getting older.

Fast forward to your party. You are here, Uncle Bob is here and your dear friend Joe has just showed up. Now it's time to start passing out the appetizers. And wine. The party is starting to pick up and people are enjoying the ambiance and the wine is helping them loosen up and get social. People are meeting each other. People are drinking. Dinner is almost ready...

Conclusion: Uncle Bob is an alcoholic who has an allergy to alcohol. He is almost always searching for a drink. His drinking effects his speech, his smell, his relationships and perhaps even his job. People generally don't want to be near him and the pure site (or smell) of him turns most people off!

This is a very generic example of an alcoholic with an allergy to alcohol. There are as many different scenarios as there are people. The point is this: those who do not have control of themselves while drinking alcohol or if they can't stop drinking once they begin, have an allergy to alcohol.

It doesn't matter if you are 15 years old or 100. This allergy and disease effects and affects almost every person on earth in one way or another. Some people hang on the street corner begging for change to get their fix. Others drive expensive cars and spend loads of money at fancy bars. The results are the same; people who are allergic to alcohol will always be allergic and they will always experience major issues and problems while using. No matter what your race or financial situation, you can always find a drink. Alcohol is the cheapest drug and the most readily available. If you can't find it, you can make it from basic ingredients found in just about any environment. The only way to prevent the allergy is to stay away from the allergen. The only way for an addict to stop, is to stop. It's that easy and it's that hard. Period.

I know and understand this from my own personal experience. I am an alcoholic with an allergy to alcoholic spirits. I know that I am Not Alone! That is why I choose to be a voice. Whether it be Wine, Beer, Shots, Alcohol, Moonshine, Spirits or even Hooch, I have no self control when it comes to drinking. I have known this since I was bout 20 years old and I live and deal with this reality every day. You can too...if you choose to.

Drinking Alcohol: Are You Allergic?

Some people are allergic to alcohol and some are not. Although doctors do not know why alcohol allergies occur in some people while not in others, there are certain signs that alert users if they have an allergy to alcohol.
Some people are allergic to alcohol and some are not. Although doctors do not know why alcohol allergies occur in some people while not in others, there are certain signs that alert users if they have an allergy to alcohol. | Source

Learning About Alcohol Allergy and the Effects of Drinking

How do you know if you have an allergy to alcohol? Many people have the allergic reaction to alcohol but are not aware of it. Many others have a clue but ignore the signs. Most of us alcoholics are in denial no matter what we think about ourselves or what our loved ones say about or drinking habits. If you are not sure if you have a problem with alcohol, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I drink every day?
  • If I don't drink every day, do I binge drink when I consume alcohol?
  • Does drinking alcohol affect my day to day living?
  • Does my drinking affect relationships with others around me? What do others say about my drinking?
  • Does my drinking habit affect my job? Am I often late for work or do I call out for the weirdest reasons? (One can only have so many flat tires or cars that wont start during one job!)
  • Have my friends and family told me that I have a drinking problem?
  • Once I start drinking do I have a hard time stopping?
  • Do I deny that I have a problem with alcohol even though everyone around me tells me that I do have a problem? Do I get pissed off when they tell me that I have a problem?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you most likely have an allergy to alcohol. If nothing less, you most definitely have a drinking problem! (Yea, I know it sucks. Been there, done that!)

Recognizing that we have a problem with alcohol is the hardest thing we will ever have to do. Asking for help can be even harder for many people.

Eventually, we realize that we are not alone and many other people are going through what we are going through (many times much worse!)

When we Admit that we have a problem and surrender ourselves to a resolution, only then can we begin to heal!

Useful Resources and Help for Alcoholics and Family Members Affected By Alcohol Addiction

Contact Info
The Samaritans
" reduce the incidence of services...that alleviate despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings..."
1 (877) 870-4673
Samariteens (for Teens and Young Adults)
1 (800) 252-8336
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
"Alcoholics Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism."
(212) 870-3400
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA))
"...NIAAA supports and conducts research on the impact of alcohol use on human health and well-being. It is the largest funder of alcohol research in the world."
Al-Anon/ Alateen
"Al-Anon is a mutual support group of peers who share their experience in applying the Al-Anon principles to problems related to the effects of a problem drinker in their lives...."
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
"SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities."
Here are some reliable resources for people struggling with the addiction of alcohol. Also included in this list are resources for family members who are affected by alcohol abuse by a loved one.

What About You? Do YOU Have A Drinking Problem? Be Honest With Yourself! (Anonymous Poll) Vote Now!

Do You Think You Have An Allergy To Alcoholic Consumption?

See results

How To Assess Your Drinking Habits

When determining if you think you have an allergy or problem with alcohol, there are some important areas of our life that we need to take a good look at and we have a lot of questions that we have to answer to ourselves honestly.

The key to stop drinking is the Desire to stop. Only you know if you have a problem (whether you admit it to yourself or not) and only you can change you behavior. Quitting drinking alcohol is one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life. It is also one of the most rewarding. You will gain self respect, your health will get better, and those around you will want to be with you instead of turning their backs on you.

It will take time and it wont be easy. But you are still alive so you can do it. The best way to stop is to make a decision to stop, seek out professional help, and believe in yourself. You will feel a lot better as time passes.

Remember that you are never alone and there are people you can turn to. It doesn't matter if they are family or strangers. We are all friends here; some of them we have met, some we have forgotten and many of them we want to forget. Either way, we are never alone. We all walk a different path on this earth. It is when paths collide that we bring war and when the right paths meet that we find peace. What is your path? Where do YOU want to end up?

Need A Reason To Quit Drinking? Here Are 30 Real and True Reasons To Quit Drinking Today!

There Are Many Reasons To Quit Drinking Alcohol Today!

Whether you want to quit drinking or Need to quit, there are a variety of reasons that can motivate an alcoholic to quit drinking immediately and abstain from it for life. This video represents 30 of the most common reasons for quitting drinking today.

Here are some reasons for quitting drinking for someone who is sick and tired of living a blurry and often dangerous lifestyle:

  • You are Sick of waking up sick. Hangovers are no longer normal; or they are SO normal, that they really suck! It would be nice to wake up and feel good and remember what happened the day before!
  • Your Family is starting to (or has for a while now) stopped associating with you. They have labeled and accepted you as "The Drunk".
  • Your Peers label you as a drunk and they don't take you seriously anymore.
  • Your Doctor has told you that if you don't stop drinking soon, you will surely die from your disease. This is no joke!

Whatever the reason, making the choice to stop drinking is a scary decision. You are not alone. Reach out to others who have overcome this disease. With alcohol there is no hope; with abstinence there is a promise of healing and a better future.

Don't go it alone. Get support today!

Choosing To Quit Drinking When You Recognize That You Have a Problem Is The First Step To Recovery!

Only you can stop drinking. We can not change others but we can change ourselves and our habits.
Only you can stop drinking. We can not change others but we can change ourselves and our habits. | Source

© 2014 JS Matthew

What Are Your Feelings On Alcoholic Allergy? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello b. Malin. I too think that wine is burning. Although I don't drink anymore, wine was never my favorite. It is however my wife's choice of alcoholic beverage. She doesn't have an allergy or problem to alcohol like I do. I first learned about this so called allergy when I started reading AA literature. Although most people have not heard of this, it is very common and has been known for a very long time. Alcoholism is a very sad and devastating disease and it ruins many homes and relationships. Thank you for stopping by!


    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      4 years ago

      At first I thought this Hub was about being Allergic to drinking say Wine, or Beer. I know Wine can give "Heartburn" because I have experience that. And I will add I am NOT a drinker... But occasionally we will have a glass of wine with a meal. Actually Lover man finds most wines burning.

      However learning that Allergy to drinking is what it's term for those with a Problem is sad, especially for those who are involved, and their families.

    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello Faith Reaper and Happy New Year to you and yours! Allergy to alcohol is well known but not often talked about. If you break down the scientific definition of an "allergy" into real terms, it just means that someone is having an "adverse reaction" to a stimulant.

      In the case of alcohol, people can be allergic without having a rash or needing immediate medication. Simply put, anyone who has an undesired reaction to drinking alcohol, on more than one occasion, is most likely allergic. For me, I get paranoid and I don't know when to say when; I have trouble stopping. If I keep drinking I can get verbally abusive and if the situation is just right (or wrong), I could possibly get physical. It really is scary.

      Kudos to your son who found and fixed his problem at an early age. I wish I had done that. Instead I found and lead a destructive past that effected me and the people around me that I loved. I made some bad decisions.

      The best part of life is that we are only allowed to live one day at a time. We need to break and start over on a somewhat regular basis. That in itself, is a gift. We can always change and make better decisions. As for me, I go to meetings every week and I am learning more about life and myself than I ever have before in the past.

      Thank you for being a loyal follower and for commenting once again. Keep your head up for an upcoming series on addiction, allergy and recovery that I am planning on producing.

      God bless you Faith!


    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome hub here to bring awareness to alcohol allergies. I have never heard of being allergic to alcohol but do know alcoholism is a disease of addiction. This disease of addiction runs in my family. My son has it but got the help he needed at the early age of 18 and has been sober going on seven years now, prior to any of his three children being born. He is a sponsor and gives talks all around the state, as well as chairs AA meetings. He has helped thousands at his young age. Up and more and sharing. God bless, Faith Reaper


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