Boozing. It gives us headaches, encourages us to make twats of ourselves, and rinses our wallets. It’s a wonder we do it at all, really.
Next to a list of downsides that horrendous, turning slightly red or blotchy after a few jars might seem like a relatively minor issue, but it turns out that may actually be much more sinister than it appears.
A night on the beer can case a bit of a flush in the face the morning after the night before when you start getting fragmented flashbacks of all the embarrassing stunts you pulled, but for a select few, it can also cause redness while drinking.
Those unlucky people who suffer from the alcohol flush reaction can also suffer side effects such as nausea, headaches, and a rapid heartbeat.
It’s all due to a build-up of a substance called acetaldehyde. Which is toxic, as well as being a carcinogen.
In most people, when having a boozy night, the liver converts the compounds into acetate, which is much safer.
However, in people who have a flush reaction, the body works much more slowly, meaning that the harmful acetaldehyde is able to stick around for much longer, increasing the potential of it causing harm.
Unfortunately, this means that if you’re one of those people, drinking alcohol poses a much greater risk to your health, both immediately and later on in life.
Previous studies, such as on carried out in South Korea, have also found that people who are prone to flushing also have a greater risk of high blood pressure.
“Facial flushing after drinking is always considered as a symptom of high alcohol sensitivity or even intolerance to alcohol, unless a patient is taking special medicine,” lead researcher, Dr Jong Sung Kim, told the Daily Mail.
“The facial flushing response to drinking usually occurs in a person who cannot genetically break down acetaldehyde.
“To my knowledge, there has been no detailed research that has analysed the relationship between drinking and hypertension while considering individual responses to alcohol.
“Our results indicate that hypertension associated with drinking has a lower threshold value and higher risk in flushers than in non-flushers.
“After adjusting for age, body mass index, exercise status, and smoking status, the risk of hypertension was significantly increased when flushers consumed more than four drinks per week.
“In contrast, in non-flushers, the risk increased with consuming more than eight drinks per week.
“Facial flushing after alcohol drinking differs across gender, age, and ethnic groups,” added Kyung Hwan Cho, president of the Korean Academy of Family Medicine.
“In general, it is more common in women, the elderly, and East Asians versus Westerners.”
Sadly, there is no cure for the condition, so if you’re prone to going red after a few beers, your safest course of action is to cut down.