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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » What's the deal with alcohol?

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Author Topic: What's the deal with alcohol?
Curiouser
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First, let me just say that I don't drink very often. Maybe one drink every couple of months, if that.

Problem is, no matter what I drink or how much, I get a hangover that lasts for days. This has gone on for years.

Hubby and I both thought maybe there was a problem with my liver, but current tests show nothing abnormal.

I should probably avoid alcohol completely. Understood.

So what brings this topic up? New Year's Eve. We were at a friend's house and I had a glass of champagne for the toast. Bad move.

I was sick as a dog yesterday. Still not great today. My entire body aches and I feel like I've been run over by a steamroller. Even my hair hurts.

So, what's the deal with alcohol and Lyme? Really.

Does anyone have references to research done on this? Is there any?

Does alcohol cause a flare of Lyme symptoms?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! [Smile]

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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beachcomber
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Alcohol seems to knock me flat as well. In my youth (over 18) I could keep up with the best drinkers. Now, one glass of wine flattens me for a couple of days. This was one of my first noticeable symptoms.

Up for more responses.

Bc

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map1131
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The problem with alcohol is it has an effect on the liver. This illness is toxic to the liver really bad. Add a alcohol drink and the liver really gets mad.

I made the mistake of thinking I could drink some nice wine on Christmas. I paid for it for 3 days. You wouldn't believe the detox things I had to do to get the toxins out of my body.

These days I can drink one drink and it's doesn't bother me. That's one beer, or one glass of wine, or one White Russian once a month maybe.

Christmas I had more than one glass. I've learned another lesson the hard way. I will drink water when others are doing damage to their liver. lol

Pam

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disturbedme
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I don't know why alcohol and lyme are a bad combination except for the yeast and whatnot, but I also cannot drink much.

Years ago, before I was sick, I couldn't drink more than a glass of wine without getting very tipsy. At one point, I had a glass of Zinfandel at a restaurant with my now husband and friend and only just one glass and I was very tipsy, everything went blurred and I couldn't speak straight. Very strange for just ONE glass of wine!

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Curiouser
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Thanks for your replies!

Guess its reassuring that I'm not the only one going through this.

I've really been concerned about my liver for awhile, in spite of the normal levels that come back.

If anything, my liver levels come back low normal, rather than elevated. That's a good thing, right?

Even had a CT scan w/contrast and there was nothing abnormal on it.

The problem with alcohol is only part of it. I also have recurrent and (recently) chronic abdominal pain under my ribcage.

Drs say gallbladder is fine.

I also have Terry's nails (frosted glass looking nails with red lines near the tips and no moons).

Showed it to the docs and they say its just a sign I'm getting older. Phooey!

So tired of hearing that line when they simply don't want to pursue anything further.

Hoping once I finally get my dx, they'll start taking me a little more seriously.

A girl can hope, can't she? [Smile]

Something ain't right! Then again, it could just be me. [Big Grin]

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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Peacesoul
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I too am not a big drinker, but was able to have a few beers and a shot or two once and a while.
But in the last 1-2 yrs, I noticed after one beer, I felt tipsy and just sick.
I was not metabolizing alcohol at all anymore. I knew it was related to my "Mystery illness" that I had for 13 yrs, but now that I know I have lyme, it all came together.
I'm not sure it has anything to do with the liver since my liver function is great and I'm a healthy eater and I take great care of my body. My take: lyme effects the metabolism and once you drink, you either burn off the alcohol or you don't. When you don't, it effects one much more vividly.
Just my take.

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Curiouser
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You're probably right. Its most likely metabolism rather than anything else.

I just re-read my last post and realized I sound like a loonie.

I am a loonie, but not necessarily in that dept. [Big Grin]

Guess I worry too much about the little things.

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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Peacesoul
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oh no, you don't sound like a loonie at all.
Lyme creates so much mystery, nothing is "strange" or "loonie" with lyme.

Lyme is really just a guessing game until there is valid research, until then, it's all "loonie"

;-)

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lymeHerx001
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SAME EXACT THING HAPPENS TO ME!!!


Im typing all caps because only us on this board seem to have this symptom. "Normal" people cant relate to this and sure as hell not ducks (reg docs)

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lymeHerx001
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SAME EXACT THING HAPPENS TO ME!!!


Im typing all caps because only us on this board seem to have this symptom. "Normal" people cant relate to this and sure as hell not ducks (reg docs)

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lymeHerx001
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SAME EXACT THING HAPPENS TO ME!!!


Im typing all caps because only us on this board seem to have this symptom. "Normal" people cant relate to this and sure as hell not ducks (reg docs)

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charlie
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....I've been on this board 10 years now and I can't remember anybody being able to tolerate alcohol during the acute phase.

Once you're on the mend your tolerance will return to normal.

In the meantime it isn't a good idea to use something with a diuretic effect like alcohol along with most abx anyway.

Charlie

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sixgoofykids
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I have this same problem. I would sporadically have it over the years .... sometimes I could drink, others a three day hangover from two glasses of wine.

Once I got sick (I've had Lyme for 35 years but haven't always been sick from it), I couldn't drink at all ....

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map1131
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I have been at this illness and recovery and severe illness, and now going up the hillside. Still determined to get to the top of the mountain.

When my liver, gall bladder or kidneys are over taxed/toxic, I have learned how my body feels.

When your entire body hurts and your skin and body is sore to the touch....it is connective tissue, which means my body is not detoxing toxic material today. Today would also include extreme fatigue.


It wasn't until I learned to detox myself and ill body that I learned I can control my entire body aching and some pain by not drinking alcohol, drinking enough water, detox baths, chlorrella, etc etc.

I took maybe 10 chlorrella tablets on Christmas day. It wasn't enough to help absorb the toxins in my liver by drinking too much wine. I should of done 30 chlorrella. No, I'm not allowed more than one glass of wine. It will be many months before I will try that again.

I went about 4 yrs without drinking wine, one beer or my favorites White Russian or margarita, period.

It's only been in the last year that I'm strong enough to handle one drink without paying for it for hours or a few days.

Pam

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"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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Vermont_Lymie
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Some people cannot tolerate alcohol at all. I do not know if that is caused by an enzyme deficiency in metabolizing alcohol, but I know someone who would be sick for 3 days also with only half a glass of wine.

Since I started abx treatment, I cannot drink any wine or beer due to the yeast issue. The champagne you had is fermented, and you might be feeling this way partly due to yeast. I had a belgian beer last year and I turned into a yeast bomb within hours. [Eek!]

And giving up alcohol makes one more sensitive to the effects, so that when I have tried having a small glass of wine recently, I felt the hangover the next day. I hope I can go back to red wine someday! Best to stay away from it entirely while under treatment or ill. Or do what I do -- a monthly shot of vodka, which does not seem to give me much trouble and keeps me from being an ascetic monk. [Big Grin]

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Keebler
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-

Doctors generally don't do all the tests they can to determine liver detox ability. It used to be called Great Smokies Diagnostic Labs in Asheville, NC, now a new name (Genovations?) - they do very specific tests.


tests for porphyria, too, would look at a specific pathway detox ability. The American Porphyria Foundation has a web site and there has been some reasearch on secondary porphyria with infections from www.immunesupport.com and www.cpnhelp.org


From what I've read lyme (or any infection) can cause fibrosis in the liver. That is not good and complicates a lot. I've read that fibrosis can be reversed with good treatment, though.

Also, it may be that many of us have excess porphryins and that the liver's detox pathway is hard-pressed to process any toxins requiring the Cytochrome P-450 pathway, creating more porphyrins which (in excess) can be very toxic.

Alcohol is a toxic substance.

Some folks can remove the toxins, others can't - especially folks who have had damage from infection or are already taking medicines that the liver must process (along with die-off toxins).

Just because someone appears to be able to handle it does not mean it is not harming their liver, intestines, heart or their brain.
On the other hand, I recently read about a woman over 100, still active. She has one glass of wine each evening.

But my doctor says that even the alcohol in herbal tinctures is toxic to ME.

It does seem like the Twilight Zone, though, when others' lifestyles and food choices seem to be fine for them but for us, it's a whole other world on so very many levels.

I have nearly come to terms with the fact that I was simply issued a different body model than most others. But I have failed to really grasp the damage lyme brings mostly because the medical field ignores that for the most part.

Although I have had less than a dozen drinks in my life (most in college over 30 years ago) I seem to have brain and liver damage from the lyme and coinfections. So, my healthful living gives me a chance at some sort of future - and that's a fine brew all by itself.

Advertising and images in the media make it seem like a human right to be able to drink. A few may be able to - very few and with very little alcohol. Mostly, it's a commercial gain all around for the spirits industry and then for the medical centers.

Google the "effects of alcohol" - check out PubMed. We are not being told everything we should know about this.

-

[ 02. January 2008, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Curiouser
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Thank you all!

You've given me a lot to think about... and look further into.

Thanks again! [Smile]

--------------------
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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DakotasMom01
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I agree with the beer /yeast connection.

Many of you mention feeling poorly after drinking wine. It might NOT be the alcohol. Perhaps since having Lyme and friends an allergy to suflites/sulfas may have developed?

You could be having an allergic reaction to the sulfites. Not every allergy produces rashes.

This might explain why some people react horribly to some of thier meds or joint supps.Using Neosporin on cuts is even a no-no for some.

Have you noticed feeling worse after eating shell fish or even something with raisins/ dried fruits in it?

I seldom drink any alcohol, but when I do, I don't have this reaction to Gin, Tonic and lots of lime juice.

So perhaps the tonic and lime juice counteract the gin?? I actually feel much better after having a few of these drinks. Wonder why?

Some one else on lymenet mentioned feeling better drinking tonic water. I'll have to find that post and read more.

Just another point of view. Take care, Dakotasmom

--------------------
Take Care,
DakotasMom01

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Curiouser
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Does shrimp count as shellfish? I honestly can't remember if it is or not. [bonk]

If so, then that might be part of the problem.

Both my family and hubby's family served shrimp over the holidays.

I felt sick both times, but attributed it to the very minor cheating with dairy I'd done.

Sometimes you just gotta try the dip. [lol]

I'm gluten, corn, and dairy intolerant. Recently dx'd through elimination diet.

Shouldn't eat refined sugar either, as it causes leg pain.

While the sugar in the champagne could explain the aches I had yesterday, it doesn't explain the severe gastric problems I'd had the day before.

It was also considerably worse than any previous reaction I'd had to sugar.

Sound like yeast to you?

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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treepatrol
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What's the deal with alcohol?


Guessing here theres never enough of it ?


[Big Grin] [bonk] [Big Grin]

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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

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DakotasMom01
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Hi,
Yes,shrimp are shellfish as are clams, crabs, oysters, lobster, and mussels.

Your last post says you had champagne too. Thats a wine, more sulfites.

Since you already have the other food allergies, this might be worth looking into.

Sorry, I really can't comment on yeast. I am new to alot of this and I honestly don't know much abt it.

The sulfite allergy is my experiance, after getting lyme & friends. Take care, Dakotasmom

--------------------
Take Care,
DakotasMom01

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RoadRunner
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Immune response to the Lyme spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi affected by ethanol
consumption.

Pavia CS, Bittker S, Cooper D.

Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla.

Rats fed excessive amounts of ethanol developed marked hematologic and
immunologic changes. These included a reversal of the normal lymphocyte to
granulocyte ratio in the peripheral blood, lower spleen and lymph node weights
and a greatly reduced capacity to express normal cell mediated immune
functions, based on poor lymphocyte reactivity in vivo, and in vitro to T and B
cell mitogens and borrelial antigens shortly after primary immunization with
the bacterial spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Further evidence for impaired
immune function caused by ethanol was based on little or no antibody response
against Borrelia in rats following in vivo sensitization with B. burgdorferi
incorporated in complete Freund's adjuvant. These findings provide substantial
direct evidence strengthening the notion that high levels of ethanol ingestion
adversely affect the host immune system and can interfere with the immune
response to microorganisms.

PMID: 1774157 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


RR

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treepatrol
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quote:
Originally posted by RoadRunner:
Immune response to the Lyme spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi affected by ethanol
consumption.

Pavia CS, Bittker S, Cooper D.

Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla.

Rats fed excessive amounts of ethanol developed marked hematologic and
immunologic changes. These included a reversal of the normal lymphocyte to
granulocyte ratio in the peripheral blood, lower spleen and lymph node weights
and a greatly reduced capacity to express normal cell mediated immune
functions, based on poor lymphocyte reactivity in vivo, and in vitro to T and B
cell mitogens and borrelial antigens shortly after primary immunization with
the bacterial spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Further evidence for impaired
immune function caused by ethanol was based on little or no antibody response
against Borrelia in rats following in vivo sensitization with B. burgdorferi
incorporated in complete Freund's adjuvant. These findings provide substantial
direct evidence strengthening the notion that high levels of ethanol ingestion
adversely affect the host immune system and can interfere with the immune
response to microorganisms.

PMID: 1774157 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


RR

Roadrunner is a party pooper hahaha [Big Grin]

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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

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Curiouser
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My fault!

I did ask for clinical studies in the original post. [Big Grin]

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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Curiouser
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Dakotasmom,
Thanks for the info on sulfites and the clarification on shrimp.

Never occurred to me.

I tend to eat very few processed foods and haven't tested for sulfites.

That kind of thing usually isn't part of my regular diet anyway. Will keep an eye out.

Guess hubby and I won't be using those Red Lobster gift cards any time in the near future. *sigh*

--------------------
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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Keebler
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-

If you have trouble with shellfish, be aware that
cholestryramine & /or Chitosan is a detox fiber found in the shells of shellfish. I just tried to find details, but can't right now.

Many lyme patients use those products to help get out toxins.

I'm not allergic to shellfish, but swordfish just about did me in once with wondering the next morning if I'd eaten poison. I read later that swordfish may contain higher levels of mercury than other fish. Or, I could have an allergy to that one.

But I do fine with many types of fish.

That said, please go ahead to Red Lobster and have a nice evening.

Many varieties of fish are wonderful for our brains - and such a treat to our senses.

If you have questions you can call the kitchen manager sometime in advance. Or maybe their website can explain the preparation of their meals regarding sulfites, etc. It's sometimes used to keep salads and fruit fresh as well as cold seafoods.

Some restaurants now are also offering gluten-free pasta options. You could take a small baggie of your own curlies or penne and they may be able to cook it there.

I miss the wonderful rich Italian sauces and was so glad when the brown rice pastas came out in forms other than spaghetti.

-

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Curiouser
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I've used chitosan in the past with no apparent problems once I got the vit C ratio worked out.

Then again, that was a couple of years ago, before the food intolerances were discovered. Things change, as I'm quickly finding out.

These days, I'm so afraid of cross-contamination I dread eating out anymore.

I don't eat much these days anyway because eating increases the abdominal pain.

Something for breakfast and then maybe one other meal. No wonder I've lost 15 pounds in the last month.

Even with digestive enzymes, its always there. And probiotics just go right through me in an hour.

Oddly enough, all that hasn't stopped the cravings. I WANT things, but also know that I wouldn't eat them if they were in front of me.

Probably just crave them because I can't have them anymore. [Big Grin]

Anyway, I'm whining now. Time to stop.

Thanks! [Smile]

--------------------
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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IMHisda
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Curious:

Alcohol turns into sugar and you know how bad sugar is for us Lymies. That may be one explanation also.

--------------------
RV

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