Normally people have aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) enzyme that breaks the allergen into acetic acid in the liver. People with alcohol allergy are usually allergic to vinegar as well. They have a condition called polymorphism that makes the ALDH2 enzyme inactive. The enzyme loses its power to break the alcohol into acetic acid, and it keeps accumulating in the body.
The reactions of alcohol allergy include stuffy nose and difficulty in breathing and itchiness in the eyes. The intoxicated state in which first-time drinkers are in might make it difficult for them to understand the symptoms, and thus the situation can escalate and even cause death and other serious health complications.
It is always advised to have the first drink in a controlled environment and to be open to uneasiness after consumption of alcohol. If the problems persist, one must immediately consult a doctor.
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