2

votes

Does Paleo change how your body responds to Alcohol and medication?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Hello Everyone.

I started eating a Paleo diet four weeks ago after reading about it online and becoming curious to try.

I am actually very proud of myself for removing refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, gluten, food additives and preservatives from my diet. I am also proud of myself for quitting smoking as of about eight weeks ago. I am a 29yo male, have smoked on and off for most of my twenties.

These are some of the simplest, easiest and most beneficial changes I have ever made, and because I already feel so much better every single day, I can't actually see myself going back to a non-Paleo diet. Ever.

I still drink alcohol. Since starting the Paleo diet I've only drunk vodka, whisky, white and red wine. No beer.

My next goal is to cut down how much alcohol I consume. It should be pointed out that I've struggled with addiction for many years and also suffered from depression and anxiety. I do not take any medication for depression nor do I ever intend to. I take St. John's Wort and fish oil supplements daily. But alcohol has been a crutch for - and cause of - my depression.

I have two questions:

1- Do other people notice a difference in how alcohol affects them, after changing to Paleo? I have noticed that I am more sensitive to alcohol, basically I feel the effects sooner and with more intensity and don't need to drink as much. Conversely, I don't get bad hangovers any more, although I wonder how much that is a byproduct of only drinking vodka, whisky and wine.

2- Do other people notice a difference in how medication affects them? I've had problems with chronic migraines and jaw pain (I grind my teeth in my sleep - a symptom of anxiety). I used to take a lot of codeine to deal with migraines and jaw pain, but haven't found the need for it since I switched to Paleo. But today I had a migraine and took some codeine. As with alcohol, it seemed to hit me with greater intensity this time. It even made me so drowsy I had to take a nap.

I hope that wasn't too long-winded, but I thought some background information would be relevant.

Thanks for reading.

7a449287ec455b7ef268d01d8fcb2c54

(10)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:58 AM

That's interesting. I've noticed I don't seem to get hangovers as bad. The one time I've had quite a bit to drink since I went paleo four weeks ago, I was very surprised by how good I felt the next morning. Although that was from drinking just vodka and soda, which is probably the best thing for avoiding a hangover. My (very simplistic, uneducated) theory is that when your body is no longer flooded all the crap that is added to processed food; it will become more sensitive to toxins like alcohol, yet at the same time more efficiently process and remove them.

7a449287ec455b7ef268d01d8fcb2c54

(10)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:54 AM

Great! That's what I was wondering, if this is common. I have to say I quite like it. It means when I do drink I won't have to spend as much $! I also can't see myself ever going back to beer, as much as I have always loved it (a bit of a beer buff, I enjoy real ales, microbrewery type stuff - my old man and my best buddy both used to brew a lot of excellent beer.)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 24, 2013
at 06:25 PM

Basicaly two things occur. First, food -- any food -- slows the rate at which alcohol enters your intestines (one of the places it is absorbed into the blood stream). Second, Carb -- bread in particular -- appears to slow the rate of absorption through the stomach lining. So in the end you get the alcohol, but at a slower rate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 24, 2013
at 04:17 PM

Not that I think coffee's bad...unless it's bad coffee...the stuff I had this morning tasted like the waitress swizzled her Chapstick in it...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 24, 2013
at 04:03 PM

I think it's the carbs in the nuts, but it's more experiential. A few roasted hazelnuts with a glass of red wine works for me. Better than coffee.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on February 24, 2013
at 02:16 PM

Thanks for the useful into about starch. Upvoted tthq and CD. Why do nuts buffer the effects of alcohol?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 24, 2013
at 01:43 PM

Starchy food dampens the brain fog from alcohol...one semipaleo buffer food is a few nuts.

7a449287ec455b7ef268d01d8fcb2c54

(10)

on February 24, 2013
at 04:55 AM

Great, thank you!

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3 Answers

3
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 23, 2013
at 12:35 PM

  1. Yes, mostly because I am lower carb than I used to be. Starchy carbs slow the absorption of alcohol.

  2. Not or me other than I am no longer taking daily medication to treat the symptoms.

7a449287ec455b7ef268d01d8fcb2c54

(10)

on February 24, 2013
at 04:55 AM

Great, thank you!

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on February 24, 2013
at 02:16 PM

Thanks for the useful into about starch. Upvoted tthq and CD. Why do nuts buffer the effects of alcohol?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 24, 2013
at 04:03 PM

I think it's the carbs in the nuts, but it's more experiential. A few roasted hazelnuts with a glass of red wine works for me. Better than coffee.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 24, 2013
at 04:17 PM

Not that I think coffee's bad...unless it's bad coffee...the stuff I had this morning tasted like the waitress swizzled her Chapstick in it...

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 24, 2013
at 06:25 PM

Basicaly two things occur. First, food -- any food -- slows the rate at which alcohol enters your intestines (one of the places it is absorbed into the blood stream). Second, Carb -- bread in particular -- appears to slow the rate of absorption through the stomach lining. So in the end you get the alcohol, but at a slower rate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 24, 2013
at 01:43 PM

Starchy food dampens the brain fog from alcohol...one semipaleo buffer food is a few nuts.

1
92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

on February 24, 2013
at 02:14 PM

Same here. My tolerance has gone down. It's sad. I think it has more to do with not consuming alcohol as frequently as I did before in my pre-Paleo days. It may also have something to do with aging...

I have become more sensitive to wine as well. I never had problems with wine before. Now I get a massive headache and hangover after drinking wine (even after 2-3 glasses)...

7a449287ec455b7ef268d01d8fcb2c54

(10)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:58 AM

That's interesting. I've noticed I don't seem to get hangovers as bad. The one time I've had quite a bit to drink since I went paleo four weeks ago, I was very surprised by how good I felt the next morning. Although that was from drinking just vodka and soda, which is probably the best thing for avoiding a hangover. My (very simplistic, uneducated) theory is that when your body is no longer flooded all the crap that is added to processed food; it will become more sensitive to toxins like alcohol, yet at the same time more efficiently process and remove them.

1
68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on February 24, 2013
at 01:12 PM

I can barely tolerate alcohol! I do get drunk more easily, because I don't eat much starch and hardly drink any more, but the main problem is that it makes me break out in bad eczema :( Still get hangovers if I imbibe a lot, but that's only a few times a year.

Nearly everyone sees reduced alcohol tolerance on paleo.

7a449287ec455b7ef268d01d8fcb2c54

(10)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:54 AM

Great! That's what I was wondering, if this is common. I have to say I quite like it. It means when I do drink I won't have to spend as much $! I also can't see myself ever going back to beer, as much as I have always loved it (a bit of a beer buff, I enjoy real ales, microbrewery type stuff - my old man and my best buddy both used to brew a lot of excellent beer.)

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