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Could My Terrible Beer Hangovers Indicate A Wheat/gluten Allergy?
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Dear Forum Users.

Up until the last few months it never occured to me that I could be allergic to anything, never mind beer, my favourite drink!

However, I have been so incredibly crippled with hangovers these last few months, and I have started looking into the symptoms of wheat/gluten allergy here on the internet and have been very confused. I always thought that maybe when I got these bad hangovers that maybe it was just because I drank too much, and so I started being more carefull, drinking slowly, drinking plenty of water, etc, with little success (except when I drank wine, in which case I could wake up feeling amazing... well, if i had drank alot of wine, or succumbed to my other drunken vice.. smoking... then I would feel tired, maybe a bit headachey, etc, but nothing like the worst of my 'hangovers' that I got with beer). Things came to head last weekend, I have been avoiding drinking at all recently, because my hangovers have been so sporadically bad, but on friday i met up with some friends for some quiet drinks. I drank exactly four beers, belgian beers made of wheat and barley, quite strong and full of wheatey residue from the brewing process. But still, it was only four small bottles of beer and I didnt feel drunk, just a little tipsey... I wasnt worried about a hangover and drank plenty of water to be safe. The next day I was in bed all day. I couldnt drink a glass of water without wretching it up five minutes later. I couldnt eat without throwing up. eventually my boyfriend gave me some 7up to drink, at about 7 in the evening, which i managed to hold down. I spent the day drifting in and out of sleep, taking small sips of water only to throw it up as acrid bright yellow bile soon after.

this has happened to me plenty of times in the last few months... almost every time i drink, but never so pronouncedly after such a small amount of beer.

I am a 23 year old girl, and when I was younger I could drink anyone under the table without that bad hangovers. Now I have grown up a bit I drink alot less, so I dont understand why I'm like this. My only explanation was that about a year ago, i was in a relationship with someone who loved the pub, and every single weekend at least one night I would drink a huge amount of guinness or strong belgian wheat beer.... For about a year. I would get bad hangovers then, but since i thorougly deserved them it didnt bother me, and the fact that my then boyfriend didnt get these hangovers didnt surprise me as i reasoned that being a man he would have a higher tolerance.

anyway, to get to the point, i drink less now, alot less, yet I get the most terrible terrible hangovers after drinking beer. mainly my problem is that my stomach will not accept anything, at all from about an hour or so after i wake in the morning, till late at night (there is, stragely, a window after i first wake up, that i CAN drink water... it is only after the first time i throw up that nothing will stay down at all).

looking over other symptoms of celiac disease, I have had anaemia.... my doctor said I had the worst aneamia she had ever seen two years ago, but i havent felt it has been so bad this last year. I am tired alot, and often quite faint.

I am going to cut out beer for the next few months and see how it goes, however, I am afraid that this is just an acute symptom of an ongoing problem, as if it indicates celiacs disease, perhaps I could be denying myself a much better quality of life or even putting myself in danger of doing long term harm.

everyone who I have described my problem to, or who has witnessed my total overbearing sickness after drinking beer, can't understand it at all... it even happened last christmas after a few pints with my parents, a very civilised event, and they were shocked at my sickness the next day that they thought I had either sneaked out and drank more after they had gone to bed, or that I had come down with something!

I have been afraid of saying this to people incase I get laughed at... 'quit moaning and stop drinking'. But I am really hoping that maybe someone on this forum might have had the same experience and could give me advice.

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I can identify. I used to wonder why I got horrible hangovers from nonalcoholic beer. It might not be a bad idea to visit the doctor and ask them to do a complete celiac panel. Do it before you go off gluten.

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I drank exactly four beers, belgian beers made of wheat and barley, quite strong and full of wheatey residue from the brewing process.

You do realize that I hate you right now, don't you? :)

Just joking but man that sounded good. Try switching to a non-gluten beer (Red Bridge in USA made from sorghum). Doesn't have the wonderful aftertaste and can't hold a candle to a Belgian ale but it might tell you something. Hope you get some closure here - it's possible that you are 'allergic' to beer or have alcohol intolerance.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol-allergy/AN00818

http://www.bestallergyinfo.com/allergies/a...ergy-to-alcohol

I would take your concerns to a doctor.

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You do realize that I hate you right now, don't you? :)

Just joking but man that sounded good. Try switching to a non-gluten beer (Red Bridge in USA made from sorghum). Doesn't have the wonderful aftertaste and can't hold a candle to a Belgian ale but it might tell you something.

Have you seen Green's? I found it in Wegmans here in the states and that might satisfy your craving.

http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk/greens/index1.html

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YES! I would get a hangover from a single beer. I would have a thudding headache and would feel wretched. I could never figure out why I would feel so horrid after a single beer. Now I know.

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Have you seen Green's? I found it in Wegmans here in the states and that might satisfy your craving.

http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk/greens/index1.html

That beer sounds great! I'll keep an eye out in some of our 'boutique' type liquor stores - no Wegman's here in Long Beach, CA. I've enjoyed your posts, Raven, and your responses to mine ... I may not be around much longer so just wanted to say thanks. (Or should I say cheers?)

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First of all, I LOVE Green's! It is fabulous, and actually tastes like beer, rather than water that someone refilled their pint glass with. ;) Sbj--if you get a chance, try it! I think you'd love it.

I'm also in the group of Beer Hangovers from Hell. I can put it away, I have a huge tolerance, but drinking ONE beer would give me a hangover, and I would simply feel AWFUL every time I had beer. I could drink wine with no problems, and most liquor too. Beer just didn't agree with me. And duh, I noticed that wheat beers caused ESPECIALLY horrendous hangovers. (And who doesn't love a great wheat microbrew with a big orange slice in it?)

At first I thought it was a yeast issue, but I soon came to realize it was gluten.

POINT OF CURIOSITY--I've also had the experience of feeling incredibly drunk off a measly amount of gluten-filled alcohol, I mean, feeling ridiculously intoxicated after 1 or 2 drinks. Has this happened to any of you?

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POINT OF CURIOSITY--I've also had the experience of feeling incredibly drunk off a measly amount of gluten-filled alcohol, I mean, feeling ridiculously intoxicated after 1 or 2 drinks. Has this happened to any of you?

Count me in there also. Gluten grain vodka is the worst for me. Just one of those and I don't remember anything that happens all night, although I have been told no one noticed and I didn't act overly intoxicated. I would also want to die the next day I would be so sick. I can have 3 or 4 potato vodka mixed drinks and not only feel just fine the next day but also remember the evening.

If you are someone who reacts to gluten grain distilled alcohols (not all of us do) use care with gluten grain vinegars also.

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Do see your doctor before assuming it's a gluten problem, and/or going gluten free, as you should check out any other possiblities too, such as liver disease.

Good luck.

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Raven--yes, I'm one who reacts to grain-distilled alcohols! UGH! I even react to vodka made from corn, but that makes sense, since I can't eat corn anyway. Thank goodness for potato vodka. :)

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I can identify. I used to wonder why I got horrible hangovers from nonalcoholic beer. It might not be a bad idea to visit the doctor and ask them to do a complete celiac panel. Do it before you go off gluten.

Thanks for all the advice everyone!

Hearing that this happens to other people is so relieving so I'm gonna get myself checked out and see if wheat could be the problem.

I am interested in the advice not to give up gluten/wheat right now.... before reading this i had just given up for the last couple of days, I suppose to give my system a rest and in the hope it might be healthy anyway and wouldn't do any harm at least. (I have heard that while gluten doesn't cause allergic reaction in everyone, it is generally hard to digest anyway so a 'holiday' from it would be beneficial anyway... is this true?) I am planning on visiting my doctor soon to get tested, but was your advice not to give up in the meantime just to save myself possible unnecessary hassle or because it could be bad for me or affect test results or something?

I will definitely give beer a break either way and just drink wine or spirits when I am out with friends, for now anyway, cos those hangovers are really not worth it, no matter how yummy the beer! i suppose i have hopefully just developed an intolerance of some chemical by-product of the brewing process or something, but im gonna get checked all the same.

anyway its not all bad, I have been re-kindling my love of Ryvita instead of bread and currys and rice instead of pasta dishes. :D

thanks again everyone. :)

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Thanks for all the advice everyone!

Hearing that this happens to other people is so relieving so I'm gonna get myself checked out and see if wheat could be the problem.

I am interested in the advice not to give up gluten/wheat right now.... before reading this i had just given up for the last couple of days, I suppose to give my system a rest and in the hope it might be healthy anyway and wouldn't do any harm at least. (I have heard that while gluten doesn't cause allergic reaction in everyone, it is generally hard to digest anyway so a 'holiday' from it would be beneficial anyway... is this true?) I am planning on visiting my doctor soon to get tested, but was your advice not to give up in the meantime just to save myself possible unnecessary hassle or because it could be bad for me or affect test results or something?

thanks again everyone. :)

If you give up gluten before you get tested for celiac you run the risk of a false negative. This is a possiblilty even if you are on a full gluten diet so you need to be sure you are consuming a full gluten diet before testing. If your blood panels show up positive, even a low positive, and you are going to agree to an intestinal biopsy then you need to continue on the full gluten diet until the biopsies are completed. Because of the risk of a false negative even on a full gluten diet it is appropriate to give the diet a strict try after you have done all the testing you choose to do. Sometimes our bodies can give us the answer that the testing can not.

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Good news! on saturday night i stayed with friends and while my boyfriend drank beer, I drank vodka and fruit juice all night and felt AMAZING the next day. I woke up at 12 thinking 'oh god, here we go again' hoping at best that i would be well enough to at least get the bus home without worrying about throwing up, but i was still expecting to be tired and sick and headachey at least. Instead I was wierdly unhungover! not even a headache. Theres no chance that would have happened if i drank beer. i really felt amazing.... full of energy!

after the day long sweating puking hell which i have become accustomed to after drinking beer it was like being given the gift of a day... I was so happy! I cant believe I left it this long to try cutting out beer... I thought I would miss it terribly, but while i was sipping on yummy juices and vodka I was thinking 'at what point did i turn into a grown-up and decide that BEER was so tasty?!'. I will miss the beer but I'm so happy that now I won't be dreading being invited to partys, knowing that going, and drinking with everyone else, will be setting myself up for a day sick in bed.

I wish I had done this months ago... I keep remembering days I missed out on stuff cos I was sick.

I have decided not to cut out anything but beer for now until i get tested, on Ravenwoodglass's advice. Thanks for everyone's advice, and I'll drop by again when I have been tested and let you know if it IS allergies giving me my hangovers from hell!

:D

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Sudden bad reactions of to alcohol can also be signs of other things. See a doctor.

richard

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I have exactly the same symptoms as the original poster. In fact I couldn't believe it as I read it - it could have been me. If I have 2-3 pints of real ale I end up exactly like she described - terrible hangover, headache, shakes, sweating, unable to hold down water until after 5pm (this is the worst of it and is the part I have never heard anyone else having before!). I get this reaction to real ale as well as wheaty white bears like hoegarden or belgian beers. However, most lagers I am fine with. I read Budweiser / Budwar is brewed with rice so I try to stick to that but really more or less any lager is OK. I get a reaction to Staropramen though - this happened last night and prompted me to search again what might be in Staropramen that isn't in Budwar, heineken etc.

I am absolutely fine with wine or other alcohol.

Anyway - most of the earlier replies, while helpful were focussed on alternative drinks. I don't need that so much - I'm more interested in trying to find out what the underlying intolerance might be. I have some reaction to bread (particularly white bread in the UK) - that I get mild diarrhea if I eat it. But I think it cannot be gluten because there are some counter examples - I was in Italy for a week for work and ate pizza every night at the restaurant below the hotel... my digestion was great all week - also when I am in France I eat a lot of baguette and also have good digestion.

So I am pretty sure it is not gluten - but should be something that is high in real ale, wheat bears, staropramen, UK bread but low in french bread (in france), pizza in italy etc. I have thought yeast or hops of some kind but I am not sure. I guess this might be slightly off topic for this forum but if anyone has any pointers or ideas it would be great.

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So I am pretty sure it is not gluten - but should be something that is high in real ale, wheat bears, staropramen, UK bread but low in french bread (in france), pizza in italy etc. I have thought yeast or hops of some kind but I am not sure. I guess this might be slightly off topic for this forum but if anyone has any pointers or ideas it would be great.

What if it is a gluten problem? Reactions can be very confusing - I don't think it safe to dismiss getting tested because you don't react as strongly to certain foods. There are people with Celiac Disease that have little or no noticeable reaction to gluten, but the intestinal damage is happening. After it is removed they often become highly intolerant of gluten with severe reaction - your body is used to consuming/dealing with gluten - that could change if you completely remove it.

With the drastic difference between consuming beer and other types of alcohol I think it wise to be tested for both Celiac Disease AND Food Allergies. It is possible to have celiac OR allergies OR both. Getting the Full Celiac Blood Panel is important before removing gluten as it gives the best chance to be accurate, because Celiac Disease is an autoimmune reaction, not an allergy. If you remove the gluten, there is no reason for your body to produced the antibodies being tested in the blood tests.

Good Luck to you :)

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Reading this post caused me to register for this website. I'm 24 years old , and like smileen, I get the absolute worst hangovers from beer. If I drink wine, I'm fine. Very occasionally, I'll get a slight headache from wine, but if I drink beer, it's a whole other story.

 

Unfortunately, I've always enjoyed full bodied IPAs and other heavier beers, but within the last year or two, if I drink even three or four of these beers over the course of an entire evening (starting with dinner, and drinking water throughout the night), I pay for it the next day. Oftentimes, I won't even feel drunk at all (maybe slightly tipsy), but the next day I cannot get out of bed. I will vomit 3-4 times, and I won't be able to keep anything down until 7 or 8pm that evening. All after 3-4 beers. None of my friends / boyfriend can understand it. I literally have to lay in bed almost comatose with a cold wash cloth over my head until the evening. I am weak, shaky, and vomiting all day. It is miserable. It took me a while to recognize this connection between beer and this reaction (I always thought I just got really, really bad hangovers) because it was fairly common for me to mix alcohol types. It's realy only been in the last few months that I have started to realize that it is drinking beer in particular that is making me feel so awful the next day.

 

I've never been tested for gluten intolerance / celiac disease. However, I have been blood tested for a gluten allergy, and I tested negative.

 

Anyway, thanks for giving some potential explanation for my insanely bad hangovers. I've never met anyone who has as bad of hangovers as me, but your description of your day after drinking could have been written by me.

 

Thanks.

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You could have written my story!  My 3-day hangovers from drinking 4 beers and almost trips to the ER from it finally got me into the dr and I got tested for food allergies.  Fast forward 2 years later and here I am in a Celiac forum.  You may not have Celiac but you could have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity or maybe it's the hops in the beer.  But, something is definitely wonky!  What I have learned is just because you are asymptomatic, doesn't mean you aren't damaging your intestines.  If you are covered, get it checked out.  Glad to hear you can drink something, I gave it all up over a year ago (I don't trust gluten-free products or alcohol).  I'm the permanent DD...

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I too am in the search for redemption...or finding out why my hangovers are so bad. 

However, I have a the same reaction as I have to drinking beer with wheat in to eating a bowl of wheatos. Also, deep pan pizza makes me exhausted. 

I'm not celiac. I can eat pasta, most normal bread, drink non-wheat beer and lager. But, it does seem to be beer and 'fluffy/light' wheat based products. 

Ive been told it may be a protein in certain wheats that my body doesn't like....I'd love to know exactly what as though. Any help appreciated as running the risk of the next day death needs to be avoided at all costs. 

Im wondering if anything is added to wheat or wheat flour that may cause this...??

Edited by The_vicar
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