Candida and Alcohol: Intolerance, acetaldehyde, flush reaction, hangovers

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Kaufmann 4 years, 3 months ago.

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    Last weekend, I went on a skiing trip to the mountains with my friends. I had then been on the candida diet for about 9 days. I decided that I was going to drink alcohol, and I came up with a drink that I thought wouldn’t make my symptoms worse: Vodka, carbonated water, lemon and stevia sweetener. Since the drink virtually has no sugar/carbs, I figured that it wouldn’t be a problem and that I could finally enjoy drinking with my friends again. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

    It didn’t take more than one sip of the drink before I felt drunk. Seconds later I also got a light headache, felt my heart beating more rapidly and my sinuses painfully swelling up. It also started hurting on the sides of my neck. Continuing drinking gave me a temporary relief, and I wound up drinking more than I should have. As I am writing this, I am on the fourth day of my hangover, still dealing with the light depression and brain fog that comes with it.

    After some googling, I found out that my reaction to alcohol resembles that of alcohol intolerance, altso called “alcohol flush reaction”.

    Here’s how the intolerance works: One of the 79 toxins that the candida yeast produces in the gut is acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a potent neurotoxin, and many believe it to be the cause of the brain fog and fatigue that comes with candida overgrowth. Interestingly enough, acetaldehyde is also a by-product of alcohol. When a normal, healthy person consumes alcohol, the body uses certain enzymes (alcohol dehydrogenase, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase) in the gut to convert the alcohol to a harmless substance similar to vinegar. If the person however consumes a lot of alcohol, the gut will run out of the necessary enzymes to break down the toxins, and the result of this is a hangover.

    For people with alcohol flush reaction, this process is different. They don’t have the enzymes necessary to process the alcohol, and the result of this is symptoms that vary from nasal congestion to headache, nausea and flushing skin. You also get drunk really fast, and have long-lasting hangovers.

    But alcohol intolerance, or “flush reaction” allegedly isn’t something you can just get. Online sources claim it to be a genetic condition most commonly found among people in East Asia (China, Japan), and is very rarely found among other races.

    However, some claim that people with candida overgrowth also can get alcohol intolerant because the yeast inhibits/deactivates the previously mentioned enzymes needed to break down alcohol and its toxins, and this is what I believe has happened to me.

    So my questions to you guys are:

    – Is my explenation behind alcohol intolerance and candida resonable or did I miss anything?

    – Have any of you experienced reacions to alcohol like mine?

    – Is there anything one can do to make the hangover go away faster?

    And most importantly: Will I be able to enjoy alcohol like a healthy person again?

    I am really interested in hearing about you guys’ experiences with alcohol and will read and appreciate all tips and answers!


    J. Kaufmann, 20, Norway.



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    I also think it likely relates to liver health.  If your liver is in bad shape then you will have a hangover whereas someone who has healthy liver does not get hangover.  It’s likely already overburdened with the toxins from candida and the diet so anything extra likely isn’t good.  In general its not recommended to drink alcohol on diet and it doesn’t improve your health.



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    The enzymes mentioned in the original post are located in the liver, so yes, this obviously relates to liver health. I just hope my acetaldehyde dehydrogenase-enzymes aren’t lost forever. Needless to say, I’m taking a long break from alcohol!

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