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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 2/9/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I was wondering (and this may be a stupid/obvious question) if alcohol makes your symptoms worse, like during a flare? Last night I went out and had probably 4 beers. That number is not really a lot in my view, and this morning I wake up with a swollen eye and swollen hands-- I couldn't get my rings off!! I haven't been dx'ed yet, but I am pretty familiar with Lupus being that my father has it. 
I've been in the worst moods lately and being in college none of my friends understand.  The weekend it is just assumed everyone will go out and have a few drinks, but most times I just don't want to; I just want to sleep. I feel like a hypochondriac all the time because it seems like all the time there is SOMETHING wrong, and it never matches just one kind of thing. The swollen fingers, ankles, eye, canker and mouth sores up the wazoo, complaining of the cold, and being just plain tired all of the time.
I'm sorry, I just wanted to write all of that out there...I'd rather complain online than to the people I live with tongue

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 2/9/2008 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Dana, beer does the same to me. It dosen't matter if I have 1 or 3. There is something in the beer that causes the reaction.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Hoping you the Best
Enjoy what you can today and leave the rest for another day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 2/9/2008 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dana,

This is a great topic and we discuss it every now and then. You are very brave to be so honest.

I don't have a really good medical answer to your questions . . . but 4 beers IS a lot for anyone. We've just become accustomed to people drinking, drinking, drinking.

Alcohol is processed by the liver and I think it also affects kidney function. Basically, your body has to clear or flush all that poison. If your body is already stressed with a chronic illness, even one drink is too many. Add meds and it can be really dangerous, depending on the meds.

The fact that you are swelling after drinking is a really good indication that your body is not processing the alcholol very well.

More than one beer will (in my State) put you over the legal limit to drive too. So, a person would need to wait over an hour after one drink. As you add drinks, that time has to be multiplied. If your body isn't processing the alcohol (as indicated by the swelling) you may be driving impaired w/o realizing it.

I know that you don't need a lecture, but we really try to be very honest with each other here. I'm SO sorry that you are so young and having to deal with all of this.

I hope this helps.


In His Grip

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UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 2/9/2008 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dana,
You got some great advice from the others already. I don't seem to have a bad reaction to alcohol. But I only drink one glass of wine with dinner, maybe once a week.  So I'm not consuming it all the time. I can't because of the medications I'm on.  But I've never had wine or a cocktail send me into a flare up at all.  I think it really depends on the person, and how much is being consumed.  This might be the experience you need, to know that beer is something to stay away from, if it makes you feel crappy.
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

33 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, monopril, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 2/9/2008 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
HI Dana,

For a college girl 4 beers is nothing but if its making you sicker could be something! This is a question I have asked all of my doctor's I have seen about my AI issue's since I became sick and last count that was about 26 doctor's ( in Canada we don't pay though). So here is the feedback I have received most say that alcohol is not good for you or even a healthy person in excess but the occasional drink should be fine. Now I am not on prednisone or any heavy medications that it might contradict with just plaquenil . By some peoples standards I  would drink alot of wine I likely have a glass with dinner a couple nights a week and maybe 3 or 4 glasses on a Saturday night with friends and have never had a reaction I get my labs done all the time and my kidneys and liver are fine. And obviously don't drive not that that was part of your topic and/or question.  That being said if I even look at beer or dark hard alcohol it will make me sicker then a dog yet wine and vodka are okay. Could be what you are drinking beer is very yeasty and maybe your body has a problem with that .  So I would say your body will be your best guide if you find yourself in a social setting where you might want a drink try wine or something other then beer.  I would suggest you talk to your doctor though about this and ensure your medication does not react with alcohol.
UCTD and sjogrens ( terrible dry mouth)  all biotene products and refresh liquigel eye drops and now LDN therapy which is a life saver

Post Edited (canuckgirl) : 2/9/2008 9:29:00 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 2/9/2008 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I have severe allergies with all my other issues and beer was on the list of no-nos even higher than wine which is allowed in small amounts occassionally and only if I avoid red wine which causes severe headaches. I dislike beer to begin with so no biggie avoiding it for me, but something about how they make it can aggrivate the immune system in people who are sensitive. I would suggets no more beer. It sounds kind of like an allergic type reaction to me that aggrivated your other problems.

College kids are capable of being real jerks if they want to do something and someone else isn't able to. Instead of saying what is wrong claim you need to study if it makes it easier to get out of doing stuff. Better they think you are worried about grades than that you are a hypocondriac if that causes you any worry or stress. I also suggest avoiding wine coolers since they have similarities to beer. If you want to go out and have a drink get something a little more refined as far as processing goes and only have one. Drink it VERY slowly. Heck you could even offer to be DD for everyone or even a single person and thus be able to dictate when you leave. As DD you would be able to avoid drinks completely but still be considered "cool" or whatever they use now- I am not old just out of circulation.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin,Prednisone, Imuran, Procardia

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 2/10/2008 2:10 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks so much guys! Personally, I have no real desire to drink, I guess I just do it because it loosens me up for social situations, but it doesn't happen very often. I think I'm just going to have to stay away from alcohol period, and that doesn't really bother me. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 2/10/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Dana, I hardly ever drink anymore, especially since I have gotten sick and it alcohol is not recommended with almost all of the meds I take, so at most, I have one or two glasses of wine a few times a year.  I can tell that my body doesn't like alcohol all that much and there's no way I could drink much at all.
I give you a lot of credit for posting this and for making the decision that alcohol probably isn't the best thing for your body right now.  I can't imagine what you must go through with being sick and trying to keep up with everything in college - it's hard enough when you aren't sick.  I'm guessing that a lot of your college friends don't know much about lupus - it has to be hard to be surrounded with others who don't understand.  Maybe you should leave a copy of the Spoon Theory laying around so people can see it.  If you haven't seen the Spoon theory yet, you can find it at
Just know that you are NO a hypochondriac.  I am learning that almost all of us go througha constant rollercoaster of symptoms.  Like you said, if it's not one symptom rearing its ugly head, it's another one.  Just know that you are among friends here who really do understand.  Hang in there.  You are doing an amazing job going to college while coping with lupus.
Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 2/11/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
same for me, with most of the news meds after the transplant, alot of them says not to consume alchol while taking them and i am on oxycontin so there is definately no alcohol with it. When i was in college and even before (sorry just being truthful) i really didnt have problems with alcohol, just if i drank to much and the lupus affects my kidneys. but now i dont drink because 1) i cant with the meds 2) i just never feel the urge, i was never a big drinker and i think i got it all out of my system by the time was older. (something about not getting in trouble if i got caught) but it does sound like alcohol is not agreeing with you and your med probs, if people try to get you to drink just tell them your the DD and most people wont push after that. good luck.
Hugs and prayers,                      If it was easy being a lupie, 
   ~Suzanne~                                      the whole world would be one     
diagnosed in May '95 with lupus nephritis, hypertension, hypothyroidism, avascular necrosis (knee) '98, kidney transplant April '06, pseudo-cerebral tumor '07, AVN ankles and hips '07
prednisone, cellcept, prograf, lopressor, allopurinol, synthroid, diamox, OsCal +D, lunesta, celexa, percocet for pain

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 2/11/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I have played DD for my co-workers alot....Not only that, as a DD you get free Cokes or Pepsi. You just tell the waiter
Enjoy what you can today and leave the rest for another day.

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