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I'm a bit worried about my alcohol tolerance. Is anyone else like this?

(31 Posts)
AbsolutelyCrushed Sat 09-Aug-14 11:54:39

I have absolutely no tolerance to alcohol. I've always been told that it'll build, the more I drink, but it hasn't changed in the last ten years.

A small glass of wine will have me drunk enough that my eyes can't see properly and I don't feel that I can walk well.

Yesterday I had a very small glass of rose with a client, because I couldn't really refuse without it looking rude. Negotiating the way home was tricky, because of the vision thing and I kept forgetting where I was going. Got home fine, and fell asleep at 8:30. I'm dehydrated this morning, and I woke up a few times in the night really needing a drink, but my eyes still have that strange disconnected feeling and I still have a drunk flush in my cheeks.

This happens every time I drink. I don't get hungover, touch wood, but it seems to last a very long time and regardless of what or how much I drink, I can never just be tipsy/stay sober.

Is this normal, in any way?

donkir Sat 09-Aug-14 11:57:05

You could have an intolerance to alcohol. I saw it on a programme a few months back. Ok it was Neighbours but I'm sure they wouldn't make it up.

It sounds like you might be intolerant to either alcohol or an ingredient added to it. It's not a normal reaction IME (bar staff). If you need to drink small amounts like in your OP you could get a very weak spritzer instead?

nikki1978 Sat 09-Aug-14 11:58:06

Yes it is probably an intolerance or allergy. Best not to drink really.

Deftones Sat 09-Aug-14 12:00:07

You're a cheap date wink I'm the opposite, I can drink for a long time and a lot.

It sounds like you have a very sensitive intolerance, not abnormal, many folk can't tolerate more than a glass or two

LoveBeingInTheSun Sat 09-Aug-14 12:00:57

Think you need to accept you can't drink, if there is a next time have a much softer drink, if it has to be wine a small glass made into a long drink with soda/lemonade.

Mrsjayy Sat 09-Aug-14 12:02:21

Maybe the sulphate in the wine a few mumneters told me about I react quite badly to it 2 small glasses and im floored change your drink see if that helps I know you said it would be rude to refuse but I think you can say no thanks I dont drink especially if you are out and it affects you.

Shonajay Sat 09-Aug-14 12:03:56

Wine does this to me every time. I can drink vodka with lots of mixer but never wine or prosecco.

Branleuse Sat 09-Aug-14 12:04:53

you might have a mild allergy/ intolerance.
Youre probably better off not drinking at all.

AbsolutelyCrushed Sat 09-Aug-14 12:09:33

I thought as much. Thanks everyone.

I may start carrying a little bottle of pink lemonade...that might pass for rose?!

Mrsjayy Sat 09-Aug-14 12:13:17

Im sure bars sell lemonade grin

Abra1d Sat 09-Aug-14 12:14:01

My husband is like this.

I think it's a good thing. tbh.smile

Drinking too much is a health risk. Many people drink too much (if what they post is accurate) and are in denial as to the long-term impact on blood pressure, etc.

IScreamForIceCream Sat 09-Aug-14 12:14:13

You possibly lack an enzyme that is vital for breaking down alcohol.
This is actually really common in people of Asian descent, c.50% of east Asians lack this enzyme and thus can't drink much.

Why do you need to pretend to drink, why can't you just ask for a soft drink / say you don't drink ?

MaidOfStars Sat 09-Aug-14 12:14:52

Are you ethnically Chinese or Japanese? There's a high frequency of a mutation in the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene in these populations, meaning that alcohol can't be metabolised and people get dizzy/sick/flushed/drowsy with very small amounts.

Even if you aren't ethnically Chinese/Japanese, it seems like you have some problem breaking this stuff down! I don't see it as rude to refuse alcohol - just say that you don't drink!

FrontierPsychiatrist Sat 09-Aug-14 12:15:06

This sounds like aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency, which affects how your body metabolizes alcohol. It's genetic, meaning it won't change over time (which is true of most people's tolerance).

You have to accept that you can't drink alcohol (you're not really missing out).

You might want to plan an explanation for moments when drinking is 'required' - social or business situations, as you mentioned above. Practise saying it so that you're comfortable with the level of disclosure, and confident with saying it.

It's really rare, but more common in certain populations. And has no other effects, other than far, far, far, fewer incidents of alcohol related problems!

InSummer Sat 09-Aug-14 12:22:41

Both my Mum and Nan can't drink alcohol.

My Mum has one glass at Christmas and she's pissing herself laughing at everything then falling asleep at the table. To see her you would think she'd been spiked.

Nan could get drunk from sniffing the bottle.

AbsolutelyCrushed Sat 09-Aug-14 12:25:52

Socially is fine - I just explain that I'm on soft drinks, and nobody questions it (although we get the odd pregnancy jab from some people!)

Business is a bit more difficult. It's a culture where drinking is very much expected. I had kidney difficulties a while back (all solved now) and even then it was frowned upon. I'll grow a backbone about this, though!

No Asian family, as far as I know, but I'm orphaned so anything is possible.

FrontierPsychiatrist Sat 09-Aug-14 12:43:20

Wow, we all posted the same thing at the same time! Funny!

Coumarin Sat 09-Aug-14 12:45:03

One glass of wine will make me as drunk as someone else who has had 4-5. After a couple of years of trying (and failing) to keep up with my friends as a teenager, I realised I just can't drink so I stopped. It's fine as I don't even like the taste, it gave me anxiety and horrendous two day long hangovers, even if it was just a couple. So not worth it.

TheBuggerlugs Sat 09-Aug-14 12:51:07

My cousins have Gilbert's syndrome and cannot take alcohol at all. You could ask your gp to be tested.

onedogatoddlerandababy Sat 09-Aug-14 13:19:57

Well everyone else has said it, an allergy/intolerance to alcohol, so I also say best to knock it on the head.

Am intrigued as to what you do career wise to say that you not drinking in the midst of kidney problems was frowned upon hmm shock. If it's that much of a problem, think about getting to the gp and getting a proper diagnosis and then you have a name for it to drop into conversation with your colleagues. Not that you should have to, but if it makes it easier for you and stops any ridiculous 'party pooper' rubbish then it may be worth considering

expatinscotland Sat 09-Aug-14 13:22:57

Just tell people you are allergic to it.

I used to be able to drink a lot, but can now only tolerate a couple of glasses of wine or bottles of beer.

Saves a lot of money.

Sandiacre Sat 09-Aug-14 13:45:06

I am Chinese and cannot tolerate alcohol. Wine is especially bad and I just don't drink it. I went to a wedding last year and due to reading on MN about how delicious prosecco is I had two small glasses. I was as sick as a dog.

I can manage a very small glass of lager but become really very tipsy, bloody tea drinking ancestors. Apparently whilst all the Celts and Anglo Saxons were brewing beer to avoid dirty water my lot were having a brew up. Not sure if this is true but I was told this. When young I did foolishly drink in an attempt to fit in and would black out, daft really.

MrsJohnDeere Sat 09-Aug-14 13:50:29

Say you're allergic.

I've developed an intolerance in the last couple of years. I'm ok with a small amount of white wine but even a tiny amount of sparkling wine or red wine makes me feel horrible

OHforDUCKScake Sat 09-Aug-14 13:53:42

Theres no way the OP is 'allergic' to alcohol. hmm

Unless she had hives, itching, swelling, anaphylaxis?

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