4

votes

Anxiety from beer/alcohol

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I have pinned down some of my food problems. After having chronic anxiety for a couple of years I've reduced it significantly through my new diet. As I've said before, sleeping like a baby!

So... I've given up all grains, corn, sugar, most dairy with some occassional cheese, smoking and BEER. Eating VLC, maybe some berries or melon once in awhile alongside some fat/protein. Taking several supplements and planning to for at least six months. The other night I had two beers and then the anxiety started in again. The entire next day I was suffering from anxiety from morning until bedtime. This happens pretty much anytime I drink alcohol.

In my experience, I'm pretty sure I could eat a turkey sandwich (gluten) or something and not have this effect. I'm considering it may be the high dose of just carbs? Any idea what might be the direct cause? BTW, I'm fine with having alcohol almost never..but there are those days...

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:25 AM

No problem! :).

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Thanks for the tip. I barely drink anymore, but if I decide to it would be good to have something less irritating. Thanks for the links.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 16, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Totally! It's interesting to me b/c a small amount can really cause me symptoms.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Also, for me, when I want to have alcohol I just do vodka and soda - seems to be the least offensive thing I've found but I still react to it. (Drat!)

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:10 AM

histamine-sensitive people aren't also sensitive to all dairy, because it contains yeast. Just a guess.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:09 AM

the irritability can get out of hand with me, too. I imagine that this is why beer drinkers (and alcoholics in general) can be some of the angriest people when pushed - they're overloaded with histamine and their irritability is through the roof. A couple links I've found in the past: http://www.ajcn.org/content/85/5/1185.full http://www.allergyuk.org/fs_histamine.aspx http://www.urticaria.thunderworksinc.com/pages/lowhistamine.htm (the last being in particular for people with urticaria from histamine sensitivity, which may not apply). I take issue with some of the lists as I wonder if histami

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:04 AM

Glad to be of service! Isa, yes I know what you mean. I feel like a broken record about food intolerance issues even though I'm still attempting to understand these things fully myself. Yes - it's bizarre that we can eat neurotransmitters in our food, methinks. And chocolate definitely has a lot of biogenic amines, and I'm sure I'm sensitive to those as well. But, I'm addicted, I confess. Heather - happy to be helpful and I understand the frustration greatly, especially since I can't stop poisoning myself to some degree. Headache, depression and anxiety are definitely possible symptoms. (con't

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:39 PM

Thanks for this info. I will try this. I'm kind of disappointed b/c I was doing great and now a 3 day headache again. It would be nice to find the real source of headache and depression symptoms. I'm also wondering about caffeine intake and some other things. Whatever it is disrupts my mood a lot and I hate being irritable with the family. Do either of you have any good links?

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:24 PM

I wonder what is the real cause of this permanant intolerance. Thanks for sharing. I usually get a headache now from the beginning.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Makes sense. So acute for me.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:18 PM

Yeah, I agree with that. I do have some anxiety about alcohol now that I didn't used to have. I guess I would say it doesn't help. Still have to think there's some cortosol thing or something going on independently? Or a B vitamin thing? +1 for bringing up Timothy Leary (ha!) and I'll check out that link here in a bit. And Stephen, yeah, I feel something is "off" in general.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 15, 2012
at 10:01 AM

It's the histamine. Especially Champagne! No other alcohol contains more histamine than Champagne.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 15, 2012
at 09:58 AM

Thank you Shannon for this comment. I'm a little bit tired of being the histamine awareness person. But you showed up! I would have written the same: histamine is a neurotransmitter !!! By the way, chocolate contains biogene amines other than histamine.

2afe070b43de645b908b3cb1f4723811

(144)

on January 15, 2012
at 09:18 AM

Cerement, there's truth to what you say, but still, the chronic anxiety problems I suffered from were post drinking heavily for a couple of years. Excess caffeine also played a big role.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 15, 2012
at 09:02 AM

One thing we often forget is a rule Timothy Leary layed out: When dealing with any mind-altering drug, the trip is dependent on 1) the drug itself, 2) the environment it's taken in, and (most importantly) 3) the mood of the person taking it -- and that third item means it's also possible to generate a nasty feedback loop, you feel anxious about alcohol, the alcohol makes you anxious, you feel anxious about being anxious, ad infinitum ... http://www.anxietyguru.net/why-alcohol-causes-anxiety/

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:00 PM

Thanks! That brain fog stinks.

Dad8c595d1909de93685a15b0e68ae1f

(45)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:52 PM

It was hard at first to stop, after a month of going cold turkey, my sleep improved and my annoying in bed heart pounding has stopped.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:50 PM

This is really interesting... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019162155.htm I'd like to find more info regarding low dopamine receptors. I have always felt my internal reward chemicals were a little screwy. Also I have had strange reactions to different pharamaceuticals for depression.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

I think wine bugs me? Tequila sounds awesome. I do plan to check it out (test). For sure not having anything for at least a few weeks. I'm doing too much better overall to deal with that reaction for a day or two.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:14 PM

That's what I'm thinking. I have had it less and less often and farther and farther apart since I've sort of been in this negative feedback loop with it.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:12 PM

If I decide to have a drink out with friends in the future I'll sub something else as a test.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Yes, Cutbert, considered, but I think those things generally apply more to why I would want the alcohol in the first place rather than the after effects. My personal experiences have almost always proven that if I attribute the consequences of food caused problems to psychological issues I will suffer greatly. For example, I have tried to fix my depression with a positive attitude...this does NOT work for me.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:05 PM

Yes, this is where I'm headed with it, but also trying to figure out the reason b/c I may be able to use the info. As to why..well I also enjoy chocolate cake.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Hmmm, thanks I'll look into the dopamine thing. Yes, I do think it's not working anymore. Small amounts seem to bother me, where they didn't in the past. Thanks for the answer, looking for the exact cause if I can figure it out and apply it elsewhere.

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on January 14, 2012
at 03:55 PM

Ever consider some of the experiences you may have had in your past with alcohol? Not to go all psych on you, but maybe there is an underlying subconscious memory that happened in your past and alcohol is the trigger.

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10 Answers

3
7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

on January 15, 2012
at 08:33 AM

Alcohol (and beer in particular) is very high in histamine, a compound that acts as a neurotransmitter that is involved in wakefulness and anxiety because it stimulates neurons. This is a byproduct of fermentation by yeast and bacteria, so any fermented food is a possible culprit for anxiety. I would suggest avoiding cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, vinegar, molasses, etc. You could be particularly sensitive to histamine, yeast, mold, and so forth, hence causing your strong reactions. Chocolate, unfortunately, also contains histamine and I ate some today - which is probably why my mood is disturbed and I'm experiencing insomnia at 1:30 am (also the theobromine of course, and the fact that I'm sensitive to compounds in chocolate anyway).

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:10 AM

histamine-sensitive people aren't also sensitive to all dairy, because it contains yeast. Just a guess.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:04 AM

Glad to be of service! Isa, yes I know what you mean. I feel like a broken record about food intolerance issues even though I'm still attempting to understand these things fully myself. Yes - it's bizarre that we can eat neurotransmitters in our food, methinks. And chocolate definitely has a lot of biogenic amines, and I'm sure I'm sensitive to those as well. But, I'm addicted, I confess. Heather - happy to be helpful and I understand the frustration greatly, especially since I can't stop poisoning myself to some degree. Headache, depression and anxiety are definitely possible symptoms. (con't

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 15, 2012
at 09:58 AM

Thank you Shannon for this comment. I'm a little bit tired of being the histamine awareness person. But you showed up! I would have written the same: histamine is a neurotransmitter !!! By the way, chocolate contains biogene amines other than histamine.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Also, for me, when I want to have alcohol I just do vodka and soda - seems to be the least offensive thing I've found but I still react to it. (Drat!)

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:39 PM

Thanks for this info. I will try this. I'm kind of disappointed b/c I was doing great and now a 3 day headache again. It would be nice to find the real source of headache and depression symptoms. I'm also wondering about caffeine intake and some other things. Whatever it is disrupts my mood a lot and I hate being irritable with the family. Do either of you have any good links?

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 16, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Thanks for the tip. I barely drink anymore, but if I decide to it would be good to have something less irritating. Thanks for the links.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 16, 2012
at 06:09 AM

the irritability can get out of hand with me, too. I imagine that this is why beer drinkers (and alcoholics in general) can be some of the angriest people when pushed - they're overloaded with histamine and their irritability is through the roof. A couple links I've found in the past: http://www.ajcn.org/content/85/5/1185.full http://www.allergyuk.org/fs_histamine.aspx http://www.urticaria.thunderworksinc.com/pages/lowhistamine.htm (the last being in particular for people with urticaria from histamine sensitivity, which may not apply). I take issue with some of the lists as I wonder if histami

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on January 17, 2012
at 12:25 AM

No problem! :).

3
775bc83a7c54975e77a8500e065a24c3

on January 15, 2012
at 12:51 AM

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and it has sedative properties. When your body is detoxing, the seretonin and dopamine receptor sites along with a host of other neurotransmitters can experience a rebound effect which can result in a temporary increase in anxiety. Best Wishes.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Makes sense. So acute for me.

3
Dad8c595d1909de93685a15b0e68ae1f

(45)

on January 14, 2012
at 05:59 PM

I decided to completely stop drinking since it gives me major anxiety and insomnia. Some things just aren't worth ingesting once you realize the toll they take on your system.

Dad8c595d1909de93685a15b0e68ae1f

(45)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:52 PM

It was hard at first to stop, after a month of going cold turkey, my sleep improved and my annoying in bed heart pounding has stopped.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:14 PM

That's what I'm thinking. I have had it less and less often and farther and farther apart since I've sort of been in this negative feedback loop with it.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 16, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Totally! It's interesting to me b/c a small amount can really cause me symptoms.

2
Medium avatar

on January 14, 2012
at 06:27 PM

It seems beer is problematic for you, so if you want to explore keeping alcohol per we in your life, suggest trying other forms of alcohol (wine, spirits) and seeing what happens. It could be a beer thing (gluten, hops) yet maybe you'd be OK with tequila or merlot.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

I think wine bugs me? Tequila sounds awesome. I do plan to check it out (test). For sure not having anything for at least a few weeks. I'm doing too much better overall to deal with that reaction for a day or two.

2
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:05 PM

you could try this experiment with gluten free beer. Anxiety is a fairly common gluten intolerance symptom. Alcohol just amplifies the effect of an intolerance. Of course, it could be the alcohol itself; I am just proposing separating 2 variables.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:12 PM

If I decide to have a drink out with friends in the future I'll sub something else as a test.

2
E42367abfb8229d2f7126f4825380e2e

on January 14, 2012
at 05:28 PM

why drink? if it causes a problem then why do it?

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:05 PM

Yes, this is where I'm headed with it, but also trying to figure out the reason b/c I may be able to use the info. As to why..well I also enjoy chocolate cake.

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on January 14, 2012
at 05:00 PM

You might just now be in a position to notice how alcohol changes dopamine levels. Maybe on "those days" you can experiment with other methods to change your mood. Sounds like this one isn't working for you anymore.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:50 PM

This is really interesting... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019162155.htm I'd like to find more info regarding low dopamine receptors. I have always felt my internal reward chemicals were a little screwy. Also I have had strange reactions to different pharamaceuticals for depression.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Hmmm, thanks I'll look into the dopamine thing. Yes, I do think it's not working anymore. Small amounts seem to bother me, where they didn't in the past. Thanks for the answer, looking for the exact cause if I can figure it out and apply it elsewhere.

1
D8795130729e173cfe9f3e2f6353becd

(446)

on January 15, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Oh, tell me about this ... you have my sympathy.

Before paleo, I drank a lot -- practically every night, and in large volume. Started paleo, and for six months, I couldn't even drink two glasses of wine without being violently sick.

That passed after a while, but now? Oh, my goodness. If I drink more than two beers, or more than three glasses of wine, more than a couple of whiskys, I get the "terrors" -- a feeling of spiders in my stomach, really sharp anxiety that turns into a kind of neurosis and paranoia. It is truly horrible and can last for two to three days. I have even had an "experience" where I woke up in the middle of the night and felt as though I as having some sort of psychotic episode, completely with minor hallucinations.

I do not drink at all now, but my suspicion is that it has something to do with my gut flora (it's the spiders feeling that makes me wonder). I think I had a massive "bad" flora "die-off" when I first went paleo, and the flora I now have reacts violently to alcohol, not only making me physically sick but also sending floods of anxiety signals to my brain as an alarm to say they are/I am being poisoned.

Of course, I may be barking up the wrong tree here.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 15, 2012
at 11:24 PM

I wonder what is the real cause of this permanant intolerance. Thanks for sharing. I usually get a headache now from the beginning.

1
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on January 14, 2012
at 07:18 PM

fwiw, i have this issue with beer, champagne, hard apple cider, and some red wine. i don't know what it is, but i chalk it up to a "yeast intolerance". i also get the dreaded "brain-fog" and some physical reactions too, sometimes. anyway, i now avoid those things, as well as other non-alcoholic yeasty/fermenty things.

congrats on yr progress so far -- it's not easy, but so worth it!

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:00 PM

Thanks! That brain fog stinks.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 15, 2012
at 10:01 AM

It's the histamine. Especially Champagne! No other alcohol contains more histamine than Champagne.

0
Daca28c360e500410f0667f013d21f95

on November 28, 2012
at 09:38 PM

Firstly there is NOTHING psychologically wrong with someone who suffers from anxiety and depression. There may be some cases of endogenous depression but they are very rare. Anxiety and depression is caused BY something. I call myself a spiritual sensitive but it means I'm also sensitive in lots of other ways especially chemically. Coconut oil and all coconut products can give you anxiety if you are sensitive and it seems to be accumulative so the longer you use it, the worse it gets.

Don't take vitamins or minerals as sometimes there are things in them that can give you anxiety. Don’t ever smoke anything. Cigarettes contain hundreds of neurotoxins and weed is responsible for most psychiatric admissions. You should also not touch anything with caffeine in it (or guarna which is pure caffeine)I cannot use ANY type of moisturiser or conditioner even for sensitive skin as they put HORRIBLE poisons into them like formaldahyde, lauryl sulphate, lauryth sulphate, parabens, alcohol etc. ALL anxiety producing agents. Caffeine by the way causes anxiety, depression and thought and sleep disorders but it's like smoking years ago, no one is going to tell you because our whole society is built on it and it's a multi trillion dollar business. Don't ever take anti depressants they'll send you straight to hell. If you are sensitive to coconut oil it probably means you are 'a sensitive (not asensitive which is exactly the opposite) and you will have to watch EVERYTHING you eat, drink and put on your body. I do well on a very simple diet of fish, chicken and fresh vegetables and a little fruit. Don't take any medication unless you've got a raging brain infection or something and don't even taken over the counter meds. Antibiotics can cause horrible panic attacks sometimes eg Flagyl is a classic for this.

Also essential oils are potent and toxic if used on the skin I had a horrible reaction. Don't use them in hot water to soak your feet or anything as it goes straight into your body. Use a castelle soap for babies to wash your body and hair (made from olive oil) and a little olive oil for moisturiser. Dairy products can also cause anxiety. Don't drink alcohol - very bad for anxiety. There is a way to live and the key word are simple and clean. Oh be careful with ALL household cleaning products as well, wear rubber gloves while you're using them and don't breathe them in.
Anyway so many people are senstive to chemicals and don't know it. Oh also, don't use toothpaste or mouthwash it's pure poison (fluroride) and use only filtered water if you can (not bottled water).

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