I'm 46 and have been drinking moderately since the age of about twenty.
However within the past year or so, I've noticed that my tolerance for alcohol has decreased significantly. Sometimes just one drink an I'm very inebriated.
I always assumed my tolerance for drink would increase over the years, not decrease.
Has anyone else had this happen? Is it a symptom of something else?
See a doctor. There are a lot of things it could be. (Anemia, diabetes, hepatitis, dehydration, weight loss, cirrhosis, change in medications, etc. etc. )
No one is going to be able to tell you anything useful with just that one symptom. At best they will be able to tell you what it happened to be in their own or a friend's case.
R1 is right, see a doctor. But I would ask just one question, Have you recently been on a low carbohydrate diet? I am not sure why, but whenever I go low carb for a period of time, one drink is like I have had 4 in the same time period. After one vodka martini, I could barely walk, could barely speak and had to be driven home. I almost thought I was having a stroke, except I felt so damned Happy, that I ruled that out.
A couple of hours later I was fine, but felt slightly hungover.
It happened again drinking Champagne at NYE. One glass and I was blotto. So word to the wise, if you are going low carb, watch your alcohol intake as it seems to exaggerate its effect
It's probably a tumor.
R2, that happened to me as well. I went on vacation, and wanted to stick to my low carb diet so that I looked hot on the beach. I had three drinks (wine) and vomited. So embarrassing. I was sick the next day as well.
See doc. brain tumor
Get to a doctor. I've known a few people who have had that happen, and it was indicative of failing health.
What is the deal with intolerance and tumors?
Your host body is finally rejecting your blotchy, drunk ass.
Do what Kenny Rogers did and find a new host body.
I lost my tolerance too, but on purpose. I take Wellbutrin and Lamictal for mood issues, my MD said don't drink alcohol. She didn't say it would kill me, but I guess it's just a best practice when dealing with a patient on medication. Anyway, I used to drink about 5-8 drinks a week, now I drink none or, if I go out for dinner with friends, one drink. I get very buzzed and feel like crap the next day and can't sleep. The medication probably potentiates any alcohol I drink anyway, it's not a good mix for me. I don't miss drinking, I used to drink too much because I was socially awkward.
I drank a few times a week in my late 30s, maybe 3 beers or so. I just turned 50 and I have a drink 3 maybe times a year. My recovery rate is lousy. Even after one beer, I don't feel quite right for 2-3 days afterward. A very low grade hangover - I'm not in shape for drinking anymore. Don't miss it much.
R2, did you ever experience intense cravings for alcohol while on a low carb diet? I don't really drink but when I go on a low carb diet I massively crave beer
I've heard alcoholics say that at some point in their drinking careers, their tolerance "broke" and they couldn't drink more than one after being able in the past to put away a case. But you don't drink that much so I don't know.
I'm a drug and alcohol counselor.
OP, are you drinking on an empty stomach or a somewhat empty stomach?
That will make you drunk quickly.
Drink only after you have eaten a full meal.
I was just thinking that I can't drink anymore!
Can't tolerate it.
Time for medical marijuana!
Happened to me as well after I was nearly killed with a hammer to the head. Dang I miss it.
I have never been much of a drinker, other than a bit in college. After that maybe a glass of wine here and there, rarely beer. Probably the most alcohol I have consumed has been in food as I cook with wine a lot.
For me to have 2 drinks in a month would have been about average.
So this past fall, I had a beer on Friday and then a margarita on Saturday at a party. I hadn't had a drink for weeks before that, and I didn't even finish the beer because I don't really like it. After drinking about half of the margarita I started getting terrible pain, similar to a gall bladder attack, but worse. Nothing I did helped, and I finally had to go the ED. I was moaning and groaning and contemplating hitting my head on the wall to knock myself out due to the pain. They ran some tests and the doc comes back and tells me I have pancreatitis, which is common in alcoholics. Of course, he starts to question me, doesn't believe me, and my partner is getting pissed.
They gave me good drugs, and ended up sending me home, the next day. I felt bad for a few days, lost my appetite, lost a bunch of weight (silver lining I guess). At my follow up visit my regular doctor told me no more alcohol. My liver and pancreas are messed up, I guess, but not sure why. But now I can't drink, take tylenol or other meds that are damaging to the liver, and even though I am normal weight, they want to me to lose 10 more pounds as I had fatty deposits on my liver.
Still no idea of why. My regular dr knows I am not a drinker, and his best guess is "bad luck" or genetics.
Anyway, I don't really miss having alcohol except for a bit of wine here and there.
I was at a Whole Foods wine tasting with some friends, and went ahead and 3 tiny tastes of wine. You know, those little tiny cups, like what they used at Church Communion when I was a kid? Well, I kid you not, those 3 little swallows of wine, had me loopy after going nearly 6 months without any.
I am low carbing it too as high carbs are hard on the liver/pancreas, I have been told, so not sure if it is just because it had been so long, or because of the low carb thing.
Moral of the story, Alcohol affects everyone differently. Never in a million years would I have thought that it was doing anything to my liver. And it probably wasn't but now that I have issues with my liver for other reasons, even one full drink could add to the damage.
R17 you are now a cheap date.
As you get middle-aged you need to work harder at keeping yourself together anyway. Drinking less is all part of the program. If you continue to drink as much when you're past 35 as you did in your 20's, you are probably an alcoholic, and shouldn't be drinking at all. Aging well is keeping what you've got, because once you lose it you'll probably never get it back again.
R17 Do you take a lot of Tylenol? Because that can really fuck up your liver. I am surprised your doc did not mention that.
Get yourself to an AA meeting, OP.
Funny, I've had the opposite experience. In my late 40s I found that alcohol was rarely giving me a buzz (unless, of course, I drank a lot - which I rarely ever did and wasn't going to start doing more), so much so that I rarely drink anymore because I've never been particularly interested in the taste and I sure don't need the calories.