How To Stop Red Face When Drinking
“The word ‘alcohol’ means “”aloe,”” which is an Arabic name for wine, but it also has its origins in ancient Egyptian culture where people were known to have been blushing when drinking. In fact, the Egyptians had their own version of beer called natron made from dates that was often used as a purgative and diuretic during religious ceremonies. This practice may be why so many cultures around the world drink to excess.
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it slows your body’s ability to respond to stimuli. It interferes with your brain’s neurotransmitters, specifically GABA, dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are responsible for regulating moods, sleep cycles and appetite control. Alcohol affects each one differently.
Serotonin controls our feelings of happiness and well-being by helping us feel energized. Dopamine is involved in reward and pleasure pathways. And gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays an important role in reducing stress and anxiety. So while these three chemicals can help you feel good on occasion, they’re not normally working at optimum levels if you consistently overindulge in alcoholic beverages.
When we drink, our bodies release hormones like cortisol into our bloodstream. Cortisol is produced by our adrenal glands inside our chest and plays a major part in controlling our fight-or-flight response. Its primary function is to raise our energy level and sustain alertness. But too much cortisol causes high blood pressure, insomnia and weight gain.
Our liver produces more than 70 enzymes that break down ethanol, the active ingredient found in all types of liquor. However, some people are genetically deficient in certain enzymes required for proper metabolism. If that’s the case, then the production of those particular enzymes will be impaired when drinking. For example, people who lack the enzyme required to metabolize vitamin B6 will experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting and weakness after consuming alcohol.
Those without the gene for pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy shouldn’t consume alcohol because it could trigger seizures. Pyridoxine is another substance that converts glucose into glycogen, which stores the sugar for later use. People who don’t produce enough of this essential nutrient suffer from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
There are other genetic deficiencies that cause flushing reactions like pellagra, a disease caused by a defect in an enzyme that breaks down amino acids, or fumaryl acetate hydrolase. This condition leads to severe facial flushing when exposed to sunlight, spicy foods or even cold weather. A similar reaction occurs when someone consumes large amounts of tyrosinemia type I, which results from a mutation in the FAH gene.
Some people seem to get flushed before they’ve taken their first sip of anything containing alcohol. They call it “”the blush.”” This happens when our bodies detect an increase in heart rate and blood pressure through the carotid artery near our neck. The increased blood flow triggers the appearance of red blotchy patches on our face due to dilated capillaries. This is actually a protective mechanism designed to keep oxygen rich blood flowing throughout our entire body. Unfortunately, when we drink excessively, it also causes our faces to become flushed. We know it sounds counterintuitive, but it doesn’t mean we should stop drinking altogether. Just cut back.
If we do decide to continue drinking despite having had a few drinks already, there are several things to watch out for. First, we need to make sure we stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids between meals to reduce the amount of sodium we absorb. Avoid salty snacks and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Keep yourself properly fueled with lots of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Drinking alcohol dehydrates us just like any other form of dehydration. Our body loses electrolytes, minerals and fluid when we guzzle booze. This leaves us feeling tired and sluggish. Most experts recommend maintaining a healthy diet and getting adequate exercise to ensure we’re drinking responsibly.
Finally, it’s imperative to make smart decisions about when and how much we drink. Stick to moderation, especially when drinking socially. Remember that alcohol is a depressant. This means that it makes you less sensitive to pain, making risky situations worse. Also, when drinking, never drive and avoid operating machinery. Studies show that excessive consumption of alcohol increases the chances of a motor vehicle accident by five times compared to non-drinkers.
In addition to the health risks associated with heavy drinking, alcohol abuse can damage relationships and affect career goals. It becomes a negative cycle that perpetuates itself further. Ultimately, it’s best to take stock of whether drinking is really worth it, and if so, then how much. You might find that cutting back is all you need to achieve sobriety.”