After you drink two glasses of alcohol, your face flushes and technically this condition is called ‘alcohol flush reaction. Flushing occurs because the alcohol does not completely digest in your body. ALDH2 [aldehyde dehydrogenase] enzyme breaks a substance called acetaldehyde in the alcohol. A high level of acetaldehyde can cause a red face along with other symptoms.
People susceptible to alcoholic red face are the ones struggling with a lack of ALDH2. Korean, Japanese, and Chinese people have high chances of suffering from alcohol flush rush. 70% of Asians experience facial flushing, so the phenomenon is also called ‘Asian Glow’ or ‘Asian Flush’. You can read more about how ALDH2 mutation occurs on the Detox to Rehab community news and review blog.
The deficiency of ALDH2 causes an increase in acetaldehyde and alcohol intolerance. Besides flushing, the other symptoms that can occur include nausea, headache, vomiting, and increased heartbeat.
Flushing is not harmful but is a warning sign of health risks like high blood pressure development, which can increase the possibility of stroke and heart disease. Studies have even reported that facial flushing due to alcohol is connected to a high chance of esophageal cancer.
Facial flushing can be avoided if you don’t drink at all but limiting your consumption can lessen the occurrence of redness. Alcoholism is liable for 5% of deaths across the world. Excessive alcohol drinking increases the risk of medical condition development like –
- Stroke or heart disease
- Liver damage
- High blood pressure
- Memory loss
- Digestion inefficiency
Drink moderately and it means to drink a single glass in a day! Facial flushing is a warning sign to stop drinking. Treatments can hide redness and cover the symptoms of flushing, but quitting alcohol can make the condition disappear.
Alcohol intolerance can make you drink more, which can be risky if you have ALDH2 deficiency. Talk to your doctor to confirm if you have altered gene or ALDH2 deficiency.