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Cooldoc, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22
Experience:  MD (Cum Laude), Numerous Awards and Publications at National & International level
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Why do my body/muscles ache when I drink alcohol?

Resolved Question:

Why does my body ache when I drink alcohol. I''m not much of a drinker... After about 1 or 2 drinks.. I get a bad pain in my shoulders.. neck, arms, chest, and legs.. My sister also has the same symptoms but my other sister does not.. I''m 25 and the other sister who gets the aches is 23.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Cooldoc replied 9 years ago.

I am sorry to hear about this problem.I was wondering if you are asian american or any other different race.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
well my dad is half japanesse and half hawaiian and my mother is sweedish and some other europian races
Expert:  Cooldoc replied 9 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

As you are from mixed decent- Japanese-Hawaiian. It has been found that 50% of the Pacific Rim Asian population (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) possess an atypical alcohol dehydrogenate (ADH) known as ADH2*2 that leads to rapid conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde. Since acetaldehyde is more toxic than alcohol, its increased accumulation causes flushing in the human body.

The first step toward metabolizing alcohol is to convert it to acetaldehyde. Approximately half of people of Asian descent are considered to be sensitive to alcohol due to this condition. Flushing, after consuming one or two alcoholic beverages, includes a range of symptoms: dizziness, nausea, headaches, an increased pulse, occasional extreme drowsiness, and occasional skin swelling and itchiness. These unpleasant side effects often prevent further drinking that may lead to further inebriation, but the symptoms can lead to misassumption that the people affected are more easily inebriated than others.

This causes a reaction where the body cannot break down ingested alcohol completely, due to a missense polymorphism that encodes the enzyme, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), normally responsible for breaking down acetaldehyde, a product of the metabolism of alcohol. Flushing, or blushing, is associated with the erythema (reddening caused by dilation of capillaries) of the face, neck, and shoulder, after consumption of alcohol.

. Much anecdotal evidence suggests that consumption of heartburn medicine containing ranitidine or famotidine (such as Zantac® or Pepcid AC®) may be able to reduce the symptoms if taken an hour before drinking.

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