If you are wondering why the nose gets stuffy on drinking alcohol, you have reached the right place. Flushing of skin is common in case of alcohol intolerance and many times, even your nose gets stuffy. This often leads to sneezing as the body is unable to tolerate regular intake of alcohol. People who lack certain enzymes in their bodies often get troubled by these problems.

Causes of Stuffy Nose on Drinking Alcohol

You may get stuffy nose owing to the presence of some preservatives in alcohol. Many times, some allergic reactions can make you more sensitive towards alcohol intake.

Causes of Stuffy Nose on Drinking Alcohol

Normally, the food that you consume, gets broken down into the substances which are absorbed by the body for nutrition and the rest gets excreted. It is the enzymes and juices, that break food into digestible substances but when such enzymes are not present in the body, it becomes tough for heavy substances like alcohol to break down which can lead to many problems like allergies and inflammation.

Stuffy nose problem is also termed as sinus congestion which often occurs due to presence of preservatives like sulfur dioxide. To understand what causes stuffy nose on drinking alcohol, it is necessary to understand certain facts.

Alcohol & Its Breaking Down in the Body

While talking about the breaking down of alcohol in body, there is an enzyme called as aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). This enzyme is produced from a gene but when, this gene is absent in the body, there is a lack of enzymes which leads to breaking down of alcohol but in an incomplete way.

Incomplete absorption of alcohol by the body could be one reason why you get stuffy nose on drinking alcohol. This happens because body is not able to tolerate the alcohol which circulates in blood. Additionally, the preservatives used in alcohol too can be harsh on your stomach, increasing the chances of allergic reactions causing stuffy nose or sinus congestion.

Alcohol and Histamine

Presence of ALDH is necessary as it makes the histamine more prone to digestion. Also, some quantity of histamine is present in blood which protects the digestive tract. When any harmful substance enters in the body, it attacks the immune system and presence of histamine ensures that your immunity is not troubled by the same. But what happens when too much of histamine is there in your blood?

Well, excess of histamine eventually makes you more prone to falling ill. When ALDH is absent from your body, too much of histamine will circulate in blood which leads to problems like inflammation. Your nasal chambers can fall prey to inflammation and itching leading to and problems related with stuffy nose or sinus congestion.

Your descent may also have to do with that because those belonging to Asian countries face more of such problems leading to nasal inflammation on drinking alcohol.

Ways to Get Rid of Stuffy Nose on Drinking Alcohol

Now that you know the causes of stuffy nose on drinking alcohol, you need to be aware of the possible treatment options to get rid of the stuffy nose. Some allergies develop over time and when it comes to alcohol, few things are bound to occur. While talking about the consumption of alcohol, you need to watch out for the gradual development of the nasal infections. Initially, it may not bother much, but eventually the nasal mucus can get thicker, causing more problems.

Take appropriate measures to relieve nasal congestion or stuffy nose.

  • Fruit juices and water also help in thinning of mucus when drainage is promoted.
  • Warm fluids, soups too can help.
  • Steam inhalation and warm water gargles can help get rid of stuffy nose.

There are few symptoms which need not to be ignored, like, swelling of throat which simply does not allow you to breathe. When such a situation occurs, you need to seek immediate medical help to get healed in a due time. Watch out for other signs like fever, gastric upset or dizziness, in which case you need medical help. If stuffy nose is accompanied with bleeding form nose, consult your physician immediately.

Make sure you avoid alcohol intake with any other medications, as there can be interaction between the two. This too, can trigger allergic reactions causing stuffy nose when you drink alcohol. It can also cause more serious problems, requiring immediate medical help.

People suffering from other allergies, asthma, existing medical problems, Hodgkin's lymphoma or are under treatment for certain medical conditions, are at greater risk of allergy and inflammation due to intake of alcohol.

For many people, more than 2 ounces of alcohol can lead to triggering allergies which is also termed as alcohol allergy. This can again make your nose get stuffy when you drink alcohol with some complaints, which may need medical treatment.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 14, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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