7 Signs Your Body Can't Tolerate Beer

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As someone with celiac disease, my body does not tolerate beer. The barley used to create it is a form of gluten and drinking it causes my immune system to attack my small intestine, a flare up of celiac. I'm not a fan of beer so I'm not upset about the loss. But, for the many who enjoy it, knowing your body is not able to tolerate beer can be rough.

One way to know your body can't tolerate beer is if you immediately bloat and feel like you have to open your pants after drinking it because it feels like they're ripping into your stomach, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner tells Bustle. If that sounds like you, then it may be time to investigate if you should give up beer and try something else at the next happy hour.

Sure, you may be able to eat the ingredients found in beer and be OK, but once it's in alcohol form everything changes. Unfortunately, alcohol makes it easier for food allergens to absorb into your stomach, meaning that, while an ingredient in beer might not regularly bother you, in alcohol form your body no longer tolerates it.  

If you think you may be experiencing this, it's important to find out and make the necessary changes. Here are the signs your body can't tolerate beer and what to do about it.

1Brain Fog

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Obviously, if you've been downing drinks of any kind your brain is bound to feel a bit fuzzy. However, if you notice a fog over your brain after some light beer drinking, it may be your body's way of telling you that it does not get along with it.

2Fatigue

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If I accidentally have gluten, my body crashes and I become exhausted. Functional Medicine Practitioner Dr. Will Cole tells Bustle that fatigue after drinking beer as a sign your body can't tolerate it. Of course, if it's late at night and you start to feel fatigued you might actually just be tired, so it's important to be aware of your circumstances when fatigue comes.

3Inflammation

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Drinking beer can lead to inflammation in the gut and, after consistent drinking, can increase your risk of liver disease. As beer passes through your body very quickly, this can lead to increased irritation in your intestines.

4Anxiety

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While anxiety after drinking can come for many reasons, Dr. Cole says he has found his patients reporting anxiety as a symptom of their intolerance to beer. If you find yourself feeling consistently anxious after only having one or two beers, it may be a sign of your body rejecting it.

5Bloating

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There are few things more uncomfortable than being really, truly bloated. Not being able to digest ingredients in beer such as barley can lead to excessive bloating.

6Diarrhea

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Because alcohol helps your body absorb food allergens easier, if something in beer normally irritates you only a little, having it with alcohol can force a run to the bathroom.  

7Puffy Eyes

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Puffy eyes could be a sign that your body isn't tolerating that beer in your hand, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner says. If you think your body isn't tolerating beer, try to get a look in the mirror and see if your eyes are reacting to it.

If you're unsure if beer is giving you these reactions, try going off it for a few weeks and switching to a gluten-free cider. After some time, if you notice the symptoms still persist, consult your doctor to see what more you can do. You may like beer, but if your body doesn't, that means it's time to say goodbye.