Welcome to My Asian Flush Site
My name is Timothy (the handsome guy in the logo drawing up there), and I'm a lifetime sufferer of Asian Flush (or Asian blush, Asian glow, alcohol flush syndrome or any of the other names this very common condition can be called). What is Asian Flush exactly, I hear you ask? Well here's how wikipedia defines it:
[Asian Flush] is a condition in which an individual develops flushes or blotches associated with erythema on the face, neck, shoulders, and in some cases, the entire body after consuming alcoholic beverages. The reaction is the result of an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a metabolic byproduct of the catabolic metabolism of alcohol, and is caused by an acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.
This syndrome has been associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer in those who drink. It has also been associated with lower than average rates of alcoholism, possibly due to its association with adverse effects after drinking alcohol.
Approximately 36% of East Asians (Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese) show characteristic physiological responses to drinking alcohol that includes facial flushing, nausea, headaches and tachycardia.
This website will be where I add information on asian flush/asian glow/alcohol allergy and what you can do to remedy your unfortunate situation.
There are people out there that claim that asian flush cannot be cured, but I will show you how you can effectively treat your alcohol allergy syndrome, and finally be able to ingest alcohol with out fear of your face turning red.
It can be humiliating when that happens, so keep checking back for information on how you can prevent it.
What is Asian Flush?
When you drink alcohol and your face turns red, sometimes the whole body – you are experiencing the symptoms of a condition called Asian Flush!
Known to only effect those of East Asian decent, (this Asian Flush resource page claims "[the] response is typical for about a third of people with East Asian heritage, occurring predominantly in individuals of Japanese, Chinese or Korean descent... a demographic that makes up approximately 8% of the world’s population") Asian flush, or Asian Glow/Alcohol Flush, is caused from a build up of acetaldehyde, a production of the metabolism of alcohol. These are often times Asian flush symptoms.
There are two reasons for the build up of acetaldehyde;
- The lack of an enzyme called ALDH2 in the body, or;
- A polymorphism in the gene encoding the ADH1B enzyme, which causes increased production through faster metabolism of alcohol.
The enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) metabolizes acetaldehyde, making it less efficient than normal. Acetaldehyde causes blood vessels to dilate resulting in the characteristic flush, and also raises the heart rate. This is why Asian flush symptoms are rather simple to detect, your face and/or body blushes/turns red from alcohol consumption or you might also experience increased heart rate, shortness of breath, a painful headache, blurred vision and/or overall confusion.
Is There A Known Cure For Asian Flush?
There are many people successfully using heartburn medicine (antihistamines) to alleviate the symptoms, such as Zantac or Pepcid AC, taken an hour or so before drinking. Looking at the big picture this is not recommended as a cure for Asian Flush, rather as a symptom reliever. Because they do not cure the syndrome, they simply remove the symptoms temporarily.
The are negatives to the use of these drugs to alleviate asian flush symptoms, such as increased level of blood alcohol content. So one should be very careful when using these drugs. What asian flush sufferers want to do is tackle the root cause of the problem, and subsequently prevent these rather embarrassing “blushes” from happening.
Asian Glow And Cancer Risks
Asian flush and cancer risks are quite real unfortunately. People who suffer from asian flush and a general alcohol allergy, are much more likely to develop esophageal cancer.
It has been shown that people who suffer from facial blushing & redness from alcohol consumption are deficient in the ALDH2 enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde, which is produced when your body metabolizes alcohol.
For example, a person that is deficient in the enzyme ALDH2 and consumes two beers every day, has up to ten times the risk of developing cancer, specifically esophageal cancer.
The prognosis of this particular cancer is quite poor, because when the first symptoms appear, the cancer has usually progressed aggressively. The 5 year survival rate for esopageal cancer is around 15%, which is quite poor, with most people diagnosed with this type of cancer dying within the first year, if not earlier.
If you happen to suffer from Asian flush/Asian glow you should consider the risks involved when you consume alcohol. Hopefully this helps clear up why I am so serious about finding a cure for this condition, Asian flush is not just a socially akward condition, but one that comes with serious risks of cancer - we have to put a stop to this and make more people aware of the risks in the meantime
Recommended Further Reading:
- Alcohol Flush Reaction on Wikipedia
- My own page on Alcohol Flush Reaction
- Asian Flush symptoms on GB Healthwatch
- Asian Blush Forums
- Several Asian flush cure products tested thoroughly