Daniel emailed me to ask for my thoughts on the question “Can you have an alcohol allergy?” He recalled that I had mentioned I was allergic to alcohol in a talk I gave to a group of alumni of the Sunshine Coast Health Centre.
I was a functioning alcoholic when I was younger. But in my mid thirties I began having unexplained physical illness symptoms that eventually got me to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.
During the prior year I had been hospitalized for a duodenal ulcer and later for a gall bladder attack, neither of which actually existed. I periodically got a sharp pain that ran from my left chest over my shoulder and down my left arm, so they checked me for heart problems. My heart was and is strong. I had periodic severe lower abdominal pain suggesting a hernia; I may have had a phantom hernia, but not a real one. My morning weight varied as much as 7 lbs with no change in activity, diet or alcohol consumption.