I think I’m allergic to alcohol. I’ve been drinking since college – and of course I never feel well after excessive imbibing – but lately I’m getting all sorts of reactions to even small amounts of it (I’m talking anything more than 1 glass of wine, or pretty much any amount of liquor.)
The thought first occurred to me at a wedding I attended back in December. I was nasally congested after the reception to the point that my friend asked if I was getting sick. I replied, “No, I just get stuffy when I drink.” She wondered aloud if I was allergic to booze, but I laughed it off. I didn’t drink that much, and I’m always a little stuffy…
As the months passed, I noticed that no matter how little I drank, I dealt with congestion, headaches, and almost on-the-dot stomach irritation. The next day always felt like a post-heavy-drinking kind of hangover, but I hardly ever have more than 2-3 drinks over a six hour period, and it’s usually more like 1-2… Not enough to create those kinds of symptoms.
Then this past weekend, I had a friend in town, so I “went wild” and had a glass of wine at dinner and a half a vodka tonic at the bar. At home, I was stuffy, achey, and my stomach twinged with discomfort. I Googled “alcohol allergy” and saw that nasal congestion is one of the primary symptoms of such allergies. Almost everything else I felt was on the list too. At least I don’t get the hives!
Anyway, it’s not the end of the world, because my truly fun drinking days are mostly over. But I don’t mind having a couple glasses of wine now and then, and maybe even getting a little tipsy. I guess I will just have to choose my battles!