Ridiculous over reaction to alcohol - Pernicious Anaemi...

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Ridiculous over reaction to alcohol


Happy New Year to all!

I have read that other b12 deficient folks have issues with alcohol so i thought i might post requesting info.

I have never been able to drink large amounts of alcohol but at this point it seems my over reaction to alcohol is ridiculous.

About 6 weeks ago i had 3 cranberry vodka drinks over the course of 4 hours. I felt tipsy and stopped drinking for the evening and went home. Appox 90 minutes, after i had stopped drinking i started throwing up. I had a similar over reaction back in July, the last time i had had 3 drinks. Again, it had been over several hours and i had eaten prior to both experiences because i know i "feel drunk" with just a single drink without eating.

Yesterday i had 2 drinks from 5 to 9pm, so 4 hours. I had eaten a slice of pizza, and 3/4 of a hamburger and tater tots at the bar prior to having 1/4 of my first drink. I felt drunk on my drive home! It is so frustrating.

I dont drink often but i would like to be a social drinker again someday so i was researching this weird side effect yesterday and found these articles.




2 are Quite technical, i know, but im wondering about aldehyde dehydrogenase.

Is a production of aldehyde dehydrogenase after drinking alcohol, without the correct "stuff/nutrients/glutathione" what makes me vomit and/or feel so hung over. Is there any way to correct this over reaction to alcohol /under detoxification?

I already take a very good multivitamin with all the b vitamins.

I would just like to have a understanding of what is going on inside my body.

Does anyone have a less technical, better comprehensible link?

22 Replies

i recently learned that alcohol intolerance and low iron were symptoms amongst many for lyme disease. otherwise never heard or thought about it before.

Hi there, like you I have alcohol intolerance. I haven't had a drink for over 5 years as I'm too scared. Half a glass of wine and the next day I feel like I'm going to die! I have chest pains, palpitations, feel sick, have a headache and just feel terrible. It takes me several days to get over it.

I've mentioned it to doctors but they just shrug their shoulders.

My history/conditions - I'm female, 52, slim and active. I have very mild kidney disease and am gluten, diary and soya intolerant. I have trouble retaining B12 and iron and need to supplement to feel well but haven't been diagnosed with anything other than a large hiatus hernia. My thyroid function isn't optimal but it's well within NHS limits. I'd love to get to the bottom of my intolerances and falling vitamin/mineral levels but doctors really don't seem bothered and I can't find anything to help really, other than to steer clear of things that upset me.

I would have loved a G&T yesterday for New Years Eve but have just had to accept that I can't :-(

Good luck on your quest!

KimberinUS in reply to Julesboz

Thank you for sharing. It is just so weird. And with so many of us being alcohol adverse im surprised it isnt listed on the symptom list of a b12 def.

Hopefully someone else will respond with some helpful links.

Julesboz in reply to KimberinUS

I did find this, which does seem to be a less technical version of the link you found, it mentions both the genes:


KimberinUS in reply to Julesboz

Fantastic! That certainly helps. I will re read it again tomorrow as i had two drinks yesterday and am a bit foggy.

It talks about stomach issues and i just finished loads of antibiotics to kill h pylori 2 weeks ago and it talks about yeasts. I am currently taking herbal candida cleanse and probiotics as i have a white coating on my tongue since taking antibiotics.

CH52 in reply to Julesboz

Hi! I am very intolerant of alcohol also. I am 65 year old active female with a diagnosis of PA. If I even have 2 small sips of wine or beer let alone a G&T, I get all symptoms you posted in your comment. I do not drink at all anymore as it's just not worth it. When I go out socially to a friends home, I stick to having one 1/2 tonic water and 1/2 seltzer with lime twist as a "cocktail treat" but stick mostly to ice water. Plus at this stage of my life, I really don't care what others think. It's about me feeling good and staying with my B12 injections & iron infusions. I also am intolerant of eggs and dairy. I had to ask myself if ingesting a non nutritional drink was worth my health and the answer for me was a big NO. Small price to pay for your health.

Julesboz in reply to CH52

Hi CH52, I completely agree, although I'd like a drink now and again, it's really not worth my health which is why I haven't had any for over 5 years now. I haven't had a PA diagnosis, but my B12 has been low for years and I've only started supplementing in the last 6 months, but it does sound like we're quite similar with the intolerances too.

I can’t even enjoy one drink. I get buzzed and then have the worst hangover. I do get Vit B injections about once a month, I had low B12 but I don’t have PA. I also take iron, vit D & Deplin for folic acid. Plus drinking makes my depression worse & antidepressants don’t work for me & I’ve tried many. Being 22, it’s just no fun :/

KimberinUS in reply to Crzygirl

Thanks for sharing.

Please see the link above shared by Julesboz

One drink for me and i get a four day hang over. Not worth it.

Although alcohol doesn’t react with B12 directly, it destroys all the other B vitamins that B12 needs to work properly.

Check for gall bladder issues. The fat in the food may be causing the vomiting. Alcohol may be a contributor or a red herring

fbirder in reply to pvanderaa

Although alcohol doesn’t react with B12 directly, it destroys all the other B vitamins that B12 needs to work properly.

No it doesn't.

The first link contains some interesting bits about the genetics of ethanol metabolism. I'm goi g to have to check myself, although I'm certain I am not alcohol intolerant.

The second link isn't really relevant. It just has alcohol dehydrogenase and B12 in the same lecture because they are both metallocatalysts.

KimberinUS in reply to fbirder

Please do have a look. I really appreciate your reseach abilities. I am wondering/hoping that once my stomach is completely healed from h pylori acid reduction/damage, i will be able to have a couple of drinks without throwing up.

Ive never been a regular drinker but could still go have 4-6 drinks over 4-6 hours with friends every weekend or every other weekend without throwing up. Cranberry vodka has been my go to drink for 20 years.

Yes i would be hung over the next day but not throwing up after 3 drinks ever until last 2 or 3 years.

That sounds pretty normal if you don't drink regularly and therefore have not built up any tolerance to alcohol. Too many variables here that might not be tied to B12 deficiency. Suddenly drinking lots of hard alcohol after months of no drinking; body composition, fat and muscle mass and body size; do you have food intolerances; is a bunch of greasy bar food your normal diet, etc.

Hard alcohol can be very hard on anyone's body and three drinks of hard alcohol is a lot, especially if you are not used to drinking alcohol. 3 cranberry vodka drinks is a lot. That is one of my friend's drink of choice. She drinks 1-2 times per week and would never drink 3. Especially if she wants to feel well and function the next day. She does not have a B12 problem or any other health issues, either. She just makes her choices wisely and doesn't drink more than she should.

Tolerance to alcohol is built up by frequency of drinks over time. In other words, if a person is drinking regularly (weekly or every few days), they will be able to drink a lot more alcohol and tolerate alcohol much better than someone who rarely only drinks but every month or so. Additionally, if someone doesn't drink very often (every month or two like you do) and then suddenly drinks 3 drinks of hard alcohol (which is a lot of hard alcohol for someone who doesn't drink regularly), many would also get sick, too. So, if you are not drinking regularly and building up tolerance, it makes sense that you had not built up tolerance to drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Body mass and body fat come into play here, too. A smaller and leaner person will most likely not be able to metabolize those 3 hard alcohol drinks the same as a larger person with higher body fat would.

Then there's what you ate. If I ate pizza, a hamburger and tater tots (all that grease, soy, gluten, etc), I'd probably feel ill too. Mix in a few hard alcohol drinks, and I'd probably want to barf, too. Eating bar food alone is enough to make many people not feel well. Now, if this is your normal diet and you're used to eating this way regularly, then that's a bit different.

Another possibility is a bad reaction a reaction to wheat, rye or barley, which is what most vodka is made of these days (not potatoes like it used to be). The alcohol plus sugar in drinks can make some people sick too.

When is comes to red wine, some people react to sulfites and histamines. I know that I do and I now know to drink sulfite free wine if I'm going to have a glass. Night and day difference between how I feel if I drink sulfite free instead of sulfite containing wine.

The alcohol in vodka isn't going to be contaminated by anything in its original source. It is very highly purified. I've seen the activated charcoal filters they use, and I don't think anything will get through them.

Of course, you never know what they're going to stick in it afterwards.

I have P.A. and I enjoy a glass of wine most nights with no problem at all. If I don't have one, I don't feel any different the next day, better or worse. But, two glasses is my limit, any more and I fall asleep - I'm a cheap date, was before the P.A., still am ;)

I have friends who have no B12 issues, (to their knowledge) who can't tolerate alcohol and have a similar reaction of feeling ill after a small amount. I'm not convinced that its anything to do with b12 deficiency, but just the way some peeps are.

I sadly have hollow legs. Have pa and hashies and I think I’m a bit of an enigma. No fun as I don’t get Merry at all . Drink less now than I ever did 🤔


Interesting - but don't think the genetics are connected to B12 - my brother mentioned something similar - not sure if it was variants of these gene or not - as a possible explanation for the fact that he just doesn't seem to get hangovers.

I find that alcohol can wipe me out but that doesn't seem to be connected to this - doesn't make me throw up or give me a headache - the sort of things i would associate with intolerance - just leaves me feeling very tired and a bit cranky.

I read this thread with keen interest as what with advancing age and wear related infirmities there are fewer of life's pleasures to enjoy every year. There is however one which I do really treasure - whisky - especially the remarkable single cask single malt unique examples my loving son gives me as birthday and Christmas presents. Blends like Ballantines and Grouse are fine for everyday treats but the very special pleasures come from such as 7.119 Lubbly Jubbly 11 years aged in a 1st fill ex Bourbon barrel and 60.9%, or 35.194 A composition in wood 16 years aged in a 1st fill ex Oloroso Butt on Speyside and 59.8% which is the current example (7 is Longmorn distillery and 35 is Glen Moray). These are sipping liquors whose delights unfold slowly in the mouth and linger for an age. You don't need to have much for an evening of pleasure.

The day cannot possibly come when the ravages of B12D prevent my appreciation of a delight in the outakes of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Edinburgh. Even when my tongue was sore with glossitis I managed to enjoy the wee and not so wee drams we sample in The Vaults at Leith to make our choices.

Im simlar, 1 beer and im half drunk (more and im a mess) EITHER WAY im up with chest pain , heat palps, and about a 3 day hangover,,,, i find its just not worth the chest issues (well basicaly i find all my symptoms that occur when b12 is due just come back with any booze... besides vomiting really... which seems odd

Never used to be this way until b12 symptoms got much worse about 2 years back

Your vomiting may be issues with your vagus nerve. It goes straight from the brain to the stomach.

It’s two branches run along the front and the back of the esophagus.

One of my “good” symptoms, that occurs about 4-8 hours after I get my B12 injection, is that I get ravenously hungry. If I don’t recognize and ignore it, I find that I am trying to eat everything in sight.

For me, any vomiting was always associated with eating fatty food, esp fish and chips, or anything barbecued (where typically alcohol was also consumed). The vomiting stopped after my gall bladder surgery which was diagnosed shortly after by B12 deficiency was diagnosed.

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