Dear Doctor: Whenever I take little amounts of a specific brand of beer, I develop diarrhoea. However, I do not have any problem with other brands, wine and hard liquor. Should I give up up beer? Dr Angello Okumu
Dear Dr Angello: Taking a lot of alcohol can lead to diarrhoea, which is a kind of safety mechanism the body uses to prevent alcohol toxicity.
You say you get diarrhoea even after taking small amounts of a specific type of beer, which probably rules out toxicity as the cause of your condition. I do not know whether you have tried other types of beer or only the one you refer to, which causes diarrhoea.
Beer is an alcoholic drink made from water and fermented sugars in a cereal, especially barley and wheat. The cereal is made to germinate and produce sugars, which is then fermented using yeast. Hops are used for flavouring and preservation.
Ingredients such as barley, wheat, hops and yeast may cause allergic reactions, leading to bloating, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting immediately after a person has taken beer.
Among some people, the allergy may spread to cause skin rash, facial swelling, nasal congestion and asthma. It is unlikely that you have intolerance to the sugars in the alcohol because taking little amounts of alcohol would not cause serious symptoms.
Since you say drinking just one bottle of beer causes you trouble, it is likely that it is an allergy, rather than failure to digest the sugars which is the problem.
Beer types are determined by colour, flavour, strength, ingredients, production method, recipe, history, or origin. These brands can cause different allergies to people, leading to diarrhoea.
If you are allergic to only one beer brand, it is better to change to another. If all beers cause you problems, give up alcohol completely. However, if you must drink, give up beer for other alcoholic drinks.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor