Alcohol intolerance can cause immediate, unpleasant reactions after you drink alcohol. The most common signs and symptoms of alcohol intolerance are stuffy nose and skin flushing. Alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body is unable to break down alcohol efficiently.
When we consume food, with the exception of a few, is first broken down by enzymes produced by our body to become fully absorbed. Otherwise, our body may react. Alcohol, once consumed is able to enter our blood straight away; however, an enzyme produced by the liver, called Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) breaks it down into vinegar (acetic acid). Some people do not produce enough ALDH or do not produce enough.
Despite the widespread assumption that drinking alcohol is an integral part of growing up, a 2012 report into why young people abstain showed that choosing not to drink is commonplace, Figures show that around half of 16 to 24 year olds in England said they'd drank nothing the week before they were asked about their drinking habits. Globally, almost half of the adult population, 48% of people have never consumed alcohol.