What’s your poison? Is Alcohol intolerance the reason for your hangover?

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We’ve all been there. That fuzzy headed feeling when you’ve downed a few cheeky drinks the night before. Most of us have experienced the symptoms of a hangover, and know that they can range from nausea and headaches to skin breakouts and digestive problems. We’ve come to expect this as the punishment for our overindulgence and don’t give it a second thought as we reach for the paracetamol.

But there’s a difference between that killer hangover after too many 3am shots of sambuca and suffering the same symptoms after a more civilised glass of wine or two with dinner.

Could it be an Alcohol Intolerance?

Whilst ‘Alcohol Intolerance’ suggests a sensitivity to the ethanol, it’s actually more likely that you are reacting to one of the many ingredients found in the beverage.

These potential ‘trigger foods’ are often completely overlooked as we tend to assume that it’s simply a case of ‘drinking too much‘ which leads us to feel so terrible the next day.

So, what could be causing a potential alcohol intolerance?


The basis of the fermentation process necessary in beers and wines, yeast is a common trigger for Food Intolerance. Feeding off sugars in order to ferment, the bubbling result can be upsetting for the digestive system for those who have a yeast intolerance.

Whilst it can be hard to avoid yeast when it comes to alcohol, you can choose to partake in spirits and mixers such as vodka, gin or bourbon. Or instead, opt for filtered beers and wines.


Many artisanal beers, as well as ciders, are made using a range of fruits. This can be bad news if you have an intolerance to berries, apples, pears or other fruits such as citrus.

As a food we perceive to be healthy, even in alcohol we don’t tend to assume fruit would cause us any ill effects. But, if you’re experiencing IgG reactions to certain fruits, they could be contributing to those hangover-like symptoms.


A component of wheat-based beers and ales, gluten can be a common cause of many problems with digestion, skin and even the cause of migraine,

If you feel that the fuzzy head and poorly tummy you’re experiencing the next day simply doesn’t add up to the amount you actually drank, it could be the case that it’s the gluten causing you problems.

Getting to the bottom(s up) of it

If you suspect something in your tipple is the tipping point for your symptoms, we can help. Our simple finger prick home-to-lab test analyses reactions to 134 food and drink ingredients, providing you with clear results in just 3 days.

Find out more here

Could you have a food intolerance?

If you think that food intolerance may be responsible for your symptoms then we believe that our easy-to-complete tests could help you. Find all your food intolerances at once with a full Smartblood test.

Around 10% of our customers exhibit no IgG reactions to the 134 foods whatsoever – we provide non-reactive customers with a 100% REFUND so they can continue their investigations through other testing.

Find out today with Smartblood.

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