Unwinding after a long week at work with a drink or two is one of our favourite activities, but we always seem to have a few friends who flushes red easily after a few glasses of alcohol.
Ever wondered the reason behind it? No, it’s not because your body has strong qi or the blood circulation is good. Actually, this is caused by a condition known as “alcohol flush reaction” or “Asian flush syndrome” and it means that your body is not metabolising the alcohol well.
This phenomenon commonly occurs in Asians, especially of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent.
Experts say this actually means that you are poisoning your body whenever you consume alcohol.
Alcohol metabolises in our body and produces acetaldehyde, which is toxic and a known carcinogen. But our bodies quickly breaks it down into the harmless acetate and all is fine and dandy.
But due to this condition, some people’s bodies metabolises alcohol into acetaldehyde much faster than the body can change acetaldehyde into harmless compunds. Sometimes, this also means the person can feel little or no alcohol buzz as the alcohol is metabolise super fast.
This build-up of acetaldehyde is what causes your blood vessels to dilate and turns your face into a perpetual blusher. It isn’t fun either to have this condition which is believed to affect over 80% of the Asian population.
Doctors say that acetaldehyde can cause your upper gastrointestinal tract to be inflamed, increase the risk of oesophageal and stomach cancers, as well as peptic ulcers.
Watch out for symptoms of “alcohol flush reaction”, which includes nausea, flushed skin, headaches and rapid heartbeats.
There is no cure for this condition, as it is genetic. Yes, you can blame your ancestors for it! The only way to stop this from happening is to stop drinking alcohol entirely. Can you do it?
But doctors say if you really must drink, then drink moderately. Men should stick to two standard alcoholic drinks a day while women should limit themselves to one drink per day. And one standard alcoholic drink means one can of 355ml beer or one glass of 150ml wine.
Now, you know why you turn into a “tomato” every time you drink alcohol!