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While drinking alcohol, mixed with soda face goes red and blotchy. Cause?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
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Sometimes when i drink alcohol, particulary spirits mixed with a soda, my face goes really red and blotchy and is warm to touch. It would die down within 30 minutes if i stopped drinking but its really annoying, any idea what might cause this and how i can fix it? I exercise a lot and eat healthy
Posted Sun, 6 Oct 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Alcohol flush reaction.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thank you for using Healthcare Magic.
This is the alcohol flush reaction. There is no cure for it other than avoiding alcohol. Some people have been able to reduce the symptoms by taking an H2 antagonist such as ranitidine but this does not work in every case.
Hope this helps you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Dr K A Pottinger,
MBChB FRCA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: While drinking alcohol, mixed with soda face goes red and blotchy. Cause? 1 hour later
It seems to be worse with spirits , does this make any sense or is it just because theres more alcohol consumed when drinking spirits ?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Probably yes.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thank you for your further question.
Yes, that will most likely be the reason. You could try diluting you spirits with mixers to see if it helps.
Regards,
Dr K A Pottinger
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: While drinking alcohol, mixed with soda face goes red and blotchy. Cause? 12 hours later
Ok thanks. Is this something your born with or can it develop ? Because its only happened recently to me and only when i seem to be drinking coloured/flavoured spirits, never clear vodka or beer.. If it is what you think it is then this doesnt make much sense to me as they all contain alcohol
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Here are some suggestions.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Not everything is known about alcohol flush syndrome but your pattern of flushing associated with warmth does bear similarities to this condition. The other possibilities I considered were rosacea. This is a chronic condition which produces a reddened face that is present much of the time but can be made worse by alcohol. The other condition I considered was carcinoid syndrome. This is a selection of symptoms associated with a carcinoid tumor. Flushing is present but there are many other problems such as heart and gut problems. People are generally quite unwell with this condition.
This is how I came to my suggestion. Unfortunately, as the condition is genetic there is no cure for it. However, certain "remedies" have been tried. These include natural remedies containing mixtures of herbs, vitamins and minerals. Also, avoiding caffeine and spicy foods can reduce the reaction. Lining your stomach with starchy foods an hour before consuming alcohol has been reported to reduce the reaction. I mentioned H2 antagonists, famotidine has shown some beneficial effects. This is marketed under the name Pepcidine or Pepcid. There is no solid evidence with these measures but some people have reported success.
I would suggest you could try some of these measures and see if they help you.
I hope you have found these helpful. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Regards,
Dr K A Pottinger
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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