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Addiction and Substance Abuse

One drink with stomach pain

04/09/2009

Question:

I have one margarita at the mexican restaurant and sometimes before I even finish it, I get this horrid pain in my stomach. Sometimes I feel like I could be sick to my stomach, as well. I always and up sweating and after about 20-40 minutes, it passes and I am fine. Nothing residual that day or the next. This has happened on a full stomach, empty stomach, and with different hard liquors. Not with wine. Don`t drink beer. Why does one lousy drink spoil it for me? It`s not like I really pour them down. I just want to enjoy one. Any ideas?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. It is not apparent to me that there is a physical explanation for your symptoms. Initially, I thought that you might have a problem metabolizing alcohol (an "antabuse" reaction) but this does not sound like it to me.

Perhaps there is something in the mix for the drink that you describe that causes an allergic-type reaction. What people often say about such things is "if lima beans made you sick like this you would quit eating them," so perhaps that is good advice for your situation.

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Response by:

Ted   Parran, MD Ted Parran, MD
Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University