Why people with Lyme cannot drink alcohol


Sadly the only cocktails we should be doing are probably Myer’s Cocktails. Here’s a couple reason why lyme and alcohol don’t mix. 

1. Our Livers are Already Overtaxed

“The toxins from lyme and the chemicals from drugs and alcohol can destroy vital liver function.

Most patients with lyme ALREADY have liver damage and dysfunction, most specifically with the Cytochrome P-450 liver detoxification pathway. That makes is very hard to process out many toxins and toxic byproducts. It is this same pathway that is required to metabolize alcohol.

2. Alcohol Causes Dangerous Levels of Porphyrins

Many Lyme patients develop Porphyria.  To consume alcohol can cause a very dangerous increase in the level of porphyrins in the body. In excess, porphyrins cause symptoms identical to a herx. In extreme cases, excess porphryin loads can be fatal but, in lesser levels, they kill cells all though the body but mostly in the liver and the nervous system (including brain cells).”

Read more about Porphyria here.

3. Alcohol is Histamine Producing

Many Lyme patients have histamine intolerance. Most alcoholic beverages are fremented and are histamine producing. This will cause hives, flushing and a general sick feeling along with exaggerated hangovers.
Learn more about histamine intolerance here.
List of Food and Drinks that are Histamine Producing

4. Dr Murakami from Canada Explains:

I know all this is hard to understand so I asked Dr M in Canada why we can’t drink and this is how he summed it up: Most alcoholic drinks have sugar and wheat and ingredients that spirochetes eat. So they all come out and go into an eating frenzy. When they are active like this they put out toxins. Well these toxins make us feel “drunk” quickly. Then when the alcohol hits your blood stream, it kills the spirochetes. Thus giving off the toxins from the dying chetes. So we have a herx reaction. The reason it is so bad, our bodies are working double time trying to break down the alochol and detox the dead bacteria. This is extra bad because  alcohol crosses the blood brain barrier and our bodies are not equipped to detox the toxins in our brain.  So it pretty much explains why we get drunk so fast then have such a bad hangover the next day.

5. Because of the Meds we are on

Many Lyme patients are taking flagyl. Flagyl (Metronidazole)

Flagyl is reported to interact dangerously with another common drug: alcohol.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol (ethanol) while taking Flagyl can make a person very sick. Flagyl and alcohol together cause severe nausea and vomiting, flushing, fast heartbeat (tachycardia), and shortness of breath. The reaction has been described as being similar to the effects of Antabuse, a drug that treats alcoholism by causing patients to become very sick when they drink.

Obviously, beverages containing alcohol should not be consumed during treatment with Flagyl, but small amounts of alcohol can be found in hidden sources as well. Some kinds of mouthwash and cold medicine contain alcohol. Small amounts may also be served at religious services. Patients should avoid all of these alcohol sources while taking Flagyl and for 48 hours following the end of treatment.

What Causes the Bad Reaction?
Because the Flagyl-alcohol reaction is said to resemble the Antabuse-alcohol reaction, researchers originally assumed that they work the same way. Ordinarily, the liver breaks down ethanol in two steps: first into acetaldehyde, then into acetic acid. Antabuse inhibits the second step, causing levels of acetaldehyde in the blood to rise. The increased blood acetaldehyde causes the acute symptoms of vomiting, flushing, etc.

More recent research has shown that Flagyl does not inhibit the breakdown of acetaldehyde, and that blood acetaldehyde does not increase when Flagyl and alcohol are combined. Therefore, some other mechanism must be at work. One set of researchers (Karamanakos et al. 2007) suggested it may be related to increased serotonin because they were able to show that Flagyl increases brain serotonin in rats. Another set of researchers (Visapää et al. 2002) noted that there are only 10 human case reports of a bad Flagyl-alcohol reaction and suggested that the problem may not be as common as previously thought. They did, however, note that it is possible that this “reaction can occur in some subgroups,” so it is still wise to avoid mixing Flagyl and alcohol.

Read more about Flagyl and Drug interactions here.

Articles and Research Regarding Alcohol and Lyme

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