Do you get a red face after drinking alcohol? You’re not alone. This uncomfortable reaction is due to a liver enzyme deficiency. It’s a complicated process, but it results in negative symptoms like a bright red face after drinking alcohol. Currently there is no cure for this condition, but there are some ways to help reduce symptoms.
What is Alcohol Flush Reaction?
Alcohol flush reaction is when an individual experiences negative symptoms from drinking alcohol. These can include facial flushing, congestion, dizziness, headaches and rapid heartbeat. Everyone experiences this condition differently, but it impacts millions of people around the world.
You might have heard of “Asian Glow” or “Asian Flush” which is another way of saying alcohol flush reaction. Because so many people of East Asian descent have this condition, it’s commonly referred to as Asian Flush. However, many other ethnicities can have Asian Flush (including Caucasians) hence the more generalized name “alcohol flush reaction.”
Some people get worse symptoms when they have red wine, or maybe they experience more severe reactions from drinks like cider and beer. Either way, the symptoms are painful and can easily ruin your night out.
Another common question is whether people with Asian Flush can get drunk, or does this condition make that impossible? Because negative symptoms start so quickly, are those with this condition unable to get drunk like everyone else? Make sure to check out our article: Can people with Asian glow get drunk and wasted? for more details!
So why does my face go red after drinking alcohol?
Those who have alcohol flush reaction are unable to fully break down alcohol after drinking. After alcohol consumption, the body breaks it down into fairly toxic chemicals, one called acetaldehyde.
In a regular process, acetaldehyde will break down completely after a certain amount of time. At the end of the night, the individual drinking will have no symptoms. They may have a hangover the following day, but won’t experience Asian Flush symptoms.
But because those with alcohol flush reaction cannot break this chemical down, it’s the buildup of acetaldehyde that causes the uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms we experience: a bright red face, headaches, rapid heart rate and many others.
While everyone experiences alcohol flushing reaction symptoms slightly different, many experience facial flushing where the blood vessels expand and their face turns red. Many others also experience alcohol induced headaches which is typically the second-most common symptom. Those with Asian Flush also tend to have much more severe hangovers the next day. Overall, it’s a painful and upsetting experience when you’re just trying to have a drink with friends at the bar.
So how can I stop getting a red face from alcohol?
The obvious answer to stop getting a red face from alcohol is to stop drinking. However, not everyone wants to cut alcohol completely out of their diet. For those who still want to have a drink every once in awhile, what can you do?
Here at Asian Flush Cure have been testing out Asian Flush relief supplements, drinks, patches and other products. We hope to find the best alcohol flush reaction relief available and give our readers an in-depth look at each product on the market. We look at where you can buy them, how effective they are, costs, refunds, reviews and everything in between.
Some products we’ve tested so far are:
Have you found an Asian Flush product we haven’t reviewed yet? Make sure to leave a comment and let us know!
Thinking about using antihistamines and off-label medicine for Asian Flush? Before you do, make sure to check out our article: Is Zantac Safe for Asian Flush?
Are there side effects from being unable to break down acetaldehyde?
This reaction happens for a reason. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you have a buildup of acetaldehyde, which is a harmful and toxic chemical. If you continue to drink alcohol, the levels of acetaldehyde will only get worse (along with your symptoms).
Some studies have shown that those with alcohol flush reaction have a higher risk of esophageal cancer, along with some evidence of DNA damage caused by acetaldehyde.
If you’re unsure about your risks, make sure to speak with your doctor before drinking alcohol again.