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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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Hi - I recently went on a very heavy drinking binge (very

Resolved Question:

Hi -

I recently went on a very heavy drinking binge (very bad and never plan to do again and I mean like 2 bottles of vodka over 4 days)...but after the fact I feel as tho the slightest bit of red wine makes me flush and hot and I am not sure if it allergies and the intense summer heat or something else. I am freaking out, did I do something to my liver? I was reading out the ALDH enzyme etc, what happens to that if you drink too much? Did I destroy something in my liver? I do not understand the concept of enzymes and all that. I know its a gene responsible for it, but is it that I could have destroyed the enzyme? Depleted the enzyme? or neither and after 4 days I havent really dont much damage and its prob something else...
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Have you ever had an issue with red wine in the past?

Are you having any abdominal pain?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I never really drank much red wine, so I am not too sure, I had some white wine last night and seemed ok if I remember properly.
I am not having any abdominal pain.

I guess I should have told you that I am an active, 30 year old male of Euro decent, non smoker and no drugs...

I guess I am wondering if I could have caused some permanent damage or something? I am a hypocondriac of sorts. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the information....

When binge drinking, there can be a temporary development of fatty liver hours after ingestion of alcohol. This is a reversible condition as long as you abstain from alcohol.
With fatty liver, an elevation of liver enzymes (called the AST and ALT) may be seen. These should return to normal as well with abstinence.

Your concern about causing permanent depletion of the aldh enzyme is not something to worry about. This is a genetic defect, as you have read.

The flushing you have experienced may be a result of the red wine itself, which contains substances (i.e. tyramine) that cause dilation of the blood vessels leading to flushing.

As long as you abstain from alcohol for a while and then resume in moderation (the current recommendation for men is no more than two alcoholic drinks per day in healthy non-alcoholic males) you should be fine.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions,

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One last thing, it has been a week since I stopped the binge drinking but I have been having a glass of wine a day...is that too long of a time to have elapsed? should it be back to normal already?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
If you happened to develop fatty liver after the binge, it can take 2-4 weeks for it to return to normal.

Most people who have developed a fatty liver do not have symptoms. If they do, they symptoms may be mild, vague upper right abdominal pain.

There really is no way to know if you have developed any underlying fatty liver...
The safest thing to do is to abstain for a month and then resume at a safe level.

The flushing would not have anything to do with a fatty liver.

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thank you very much, have a good night
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX

Take good care.

Dr Abby
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