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Alcohol related chest pain - is this an allergy?

Recently i've discovered certain alcoholic beverages trigger severe heart pain. It feels like extreme fatigue in the heart and arm muscles.  Most alcohols don't bother me. The only drinks i know of that do are smirnoff fruit twists, or seagrams fruit coolers. However not all fruit drinks react in this way. The amount i drink doesnt seem to be a factor. This has happened to me three times and the least severe were the two times i had downed about two bottles. The worst of it began after i had taken only a sip. It was so bad I thought I was having a heart attack.

  I know the best solution would be to stop drinking. And seeing as I know that is my cure, i'm more curious than concerned. Is this even an allergy?
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Avatar universal
I can honestly say I think it has something to do with acid reflux or something in that matter.  I have no issues with any alcohol until I drank a margarita from Texas road house. My chest became tight and the extreme pain in my chest came not even 5.mims after taking a big swig of the drink.  It lasted for 20 or 30 mins.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  I'm a healthy 26 year old black female with no major health issues besides minor asthma. I was told I had acid reflux about 2 years ago.  This has happened to me twice with the same drink.  I don't like the feeling and I wanna get checked out for it.  
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I have the exact same thing happen to me. I'm a 21 year old female, and I have been drinking since I was about 15 or 16. I almost always drink mixed sugary drinks (I also don't always stick with the same drink throughout the night so I haven't been able to pin point exactly which drink causes it). However, I did drink a jack Daniels strawberry flavored drink tonight and it caused the chest pain. It starts in my chest and it moves to my shoulders. It's a very heavy feeling (like it's weighing me down). Almost like my chest will explode. The only thing I find that helps is time, however I haven't tried antiacids or milk. I see that sugar seems to be the common denominator here, but I don't understand how I can eat sugary foods all the time and have no chest pain. The only thing I could think of if it does have something to do with sugar, is that it has to been the combination with alcohol. I wish there were answers on here, but it is comforting knowing others have the same problems, and that I'm not suffering alone.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Wow, this happened to me yesterday. I drank just 1 root beer flavored beer. the pain was in the middle of my chest and spread to shoulders. Briefly had a strange sensation in my jaw. I told my son to keep an eye on me, it hurt so bad. The pain lasted a good 15 minutes. I was nearly convinced I was having a heart attack. I'm 46, and I had these same pains years earlier drinking very sweet wine coolers. It might have been seagrams brand because it didn't happen with all wine coolers. I've had GERD for many years. I saw a heart dr a year a ago and my heart is just fine. The strange thing is that I've drank the root beer flavored beers before without issue.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, Im 24 years old and only drink on weekends, when I drink its only 2 or 3 drinks anyway, so I know the amount is not the problem. Ever since I was 18 I got this horrible chest pain whenever I drank certain drinks. Ive done a little experiment and found that alcohol mixed with diet drinks is fine but as soon as I mix it with sugary drinks the pain gets really bad even if I had only 2 sips. Yesterday was a public holiday and I forgot to get something diet to mix with my vodka. I used fruit juice instead and was in so much pain after one drink I had to lie down. But on top of this pain it felt like something was pressing very hard on my chest and lying down made it even worse.
I immediately stopped drinking and the pain lasted for about 20min. This doesn’t seem like heart burn because while there was so much pressure on my chest with the horrible pain I ended up vomiting and it wasn`t acidic at all.
Can someone please tell me what this is, and if its something serious that I need to get checked straight away.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the exact same problem
Happen for the first time at 18 so bad I thought I was dieing literally.
I fell to my knees.
And had to go lay Down on the couch.
I couldn't do anything but hold my chest.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have experienced similar situations, only with hard alcohol with a fruity flavored drink and only when and if I drink it too fast, I have severe chest pain, muscle pain in the back and chest area and it last approx 20 mins! Its extremely paiinful and unconfortable and does not happen at all with beer, just fruity mixed drinks, I originall thought it was a type of alcohol, but now I dont think that the alcohol has anything to do with it. I really believeit has to do with the fruity drink I mix with the alcohol.  I do get heartburn from fruit drinks but not nearly this bad!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the same problem with the fruity drinks! It started when I drank mikes hard lemonade, but I had been drinking them for a couple of months before it started happening. Just now it happened again with fruit juice and vodka. It's strange and so uncomfortable right in the middle of my chest, like right under my breast bone, but then goes away after 20 minutes and I feel so much better that it almost feels good. This also happens to my brother but no one else in my family or friends that I know of.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the same problem. Except i get horrible chest n collar bone pains if i drink alcohol mixed with juice or sodas. I will get the chest pains even if i drink the juice or soda minutes before the alcohol. So now i only drink straight alcohol. My boyfriend tried to tell me it was all mental but i know its not. The pains last about 15-20 minutes here too. Anyone get a diagnosis from a dr yet? Email me: ***@****
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Found my wife on the floor after drinking mikes hard lemonade feeling as though she was having a heart attack. One drink of milk instantly reversed it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, I was just wondering if you ever found out what this reaction was caused by? I know it was years ago but I read your comment and instantly it reminded me of what I go through when I drink certain types of alcohol. I also get the tight chest feeling, like something is pressing down on my chest really hard. It doesn't really effect my breathing but I also notice that my heart beats really fast as the pain is there. Unlike you though, it goes away ONLY when I decide to try lying down. That seems to be the only thing that makes it go away. But the fact that the pain is the same and lasts for about the same time you mentioned, 20 minutes or so, I'm really curious as to what it could be as well. Since it's been a few years, I'm hoping you might have found a cause to this since you posted the comment. If you happen to get this, please reply :)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I get the exact same thing. It's awful and is really ruining my nights out. And being the only sober one in a group of friends is really boring :/ I definitely find it worse the more sugary/sweet or fruity the drink is. I can't even entertain alcopops or a fruity cider type drink. It used to only happen to me after overindulging on alcohol but I now can get it on the first drink. It also causes my face to burn occasionally. I have to sit in the bathroom and wait for it to pass, usually takes around 20-40 minutes. I find drinking water helps it pass quicker if I have had too much, if it's only after a couple I just have to wait for it to go. I always feel a little nauseous with it too but am rarely actually sick. I'm not a massive fan of the taste of alcohol so don't really branch out much, sticking to cider or vodka but am going to see if a "smoother" non fruity drink helps next time I'm out. I don't think its anything major healthwise as I have suffered with it in varying degrees since I was 15, I'm now 28. If it was dangerous I'm sure it would have caused a problem by now, it's just really affecting my social life!!! I do have a social life outside of drinking, but it is nice to go out and have a few now and then
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the same problem - extreme pain in my chest and arms and severe shortness of breath when I drink vodka (I can drink rum), or anything sugary with alcohol or right before drinking alcohol. If I drink regular soda with alcohol instead of diet - it happens. I can't do anything with the pain but lie down. I thought it was a heart attack the first few times. It's definately not GERD at all. Those commenters do not understand the pain we are describing.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the same exact pain, I just had a few ounces of a Mikes Harder Black Cherry Lemonade and started getting chest pains and my heart started racing. I took antacids, and there was absolutely no effect.

I can drink straight alcohol, mixed drinks with pop and alcohol, wine, beer, and nothing happens. It's just certain premixed sugary alcoholic beverages. It's similar to the pains I get from drinking Mountain Dew on an empty stomach. I can handle the HyVee and Walmart store brands, just not Mountain Dew itself. Maybe there's a preservative, coloring, something like that that's giving us these pains?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
YES it is an allergy! It is NOT GERD. I can drink bourbon and beer just fine, but a sip of a wine cooler causes intense chest pain. The last time I tried a "honey" sweetened bourbon I thought I was literally going to die. Heart raci
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
YES it is an allergy, and NO it is not GERD. Beer and bourbon go down smooth but a sip of a margarita and I feel like I'm going to die. Heart racing, chest pain (like someone is squeezing your heart in their fist), shortness of breath. Thank you for everyone who has posted before for confirming I'm not alone. I'm going to talk to my doctor but I think I've traced it to an allergy to an artificial sweetener or preservative, perhaps POTASSIUM SORBATE. Stay natural everyone!  http://www.diet.com/g/artificial-preservatives
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
(Sorry about double post, having problems with mobile site. Have been trying to post for an hour! Had to keep trying in hopes of helping someone else.)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Had same problem but think alcohol has nothing to do with it.  Stopped by macdonalds today and had a lemonade smoothie with a lot of ice and very sweet.  No extra sugar , just regular.  Drink it very fast cause was thirsty.  Felt this incredible pain in my chest.  Had to get out f the car and walk around cause was scared to continue to sit in my car without doing something.  When first got out there was no change in the pain.  So was really getting scared. Then the pain started to become less as continued to walk around.  Think it was because the ice started to melt in my chest and get warmer.  Then started to look to see if anyne else had the problem.  this sounds exactly like the pain.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
It is NOT GERD or hiatal hernia, or acids in fruit juice. I have suffered from this ailment for over 20 yrs and last year I had a hiatal hernia repair with a fundoplication, so I can't have reflux. I can't even vomit anymore.
My symptoms are chest pain and shoulder "heaviness". Sometimes I have had to lie down, take off my bra and raise my arms up over my head till it passes. I have found that hard liquors mixed with any fruity OR sugary mix will cause this. Sugar free mixers will not cause it. The mixers alone will not cause it, the symptoms only when they are mixed with liquor. Wine and beer do not cause it. A wine cooler will cause it if I drink it too fast.
I asked my doctor and he had no idea. I think this is something that hasn't been studied by the medical community. I am an RN and I have asked many colleagues.
Incidentally this reaction doesn't happen if I drink super slowly.
Helpful - 0
6359077 tn?1441486304
I used to get this as well when I would drink Bombay Gin straight no mix, maybe a little water or tonic.  I always thought it was an allergy to one of the botanical.  I no longer drink.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for what you said about the milk... I drank some Almond Milk and what I was feeling went away... Thank you...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My twin and I have the exact same symptoms described.  Stay away from sugar beverages such as mixed drinks or malts.  Beer and "diet" soda type mixed drinks should be fine.  Malt beverages, wine coolers, rum & coke, cran vodka, etc. are a no go.  I have reason to believe this is linked to a PFO or other heart issue.  Not GERD, Not hodgkins.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had only a few sips of red wine and I got terrible chest pain. Thought I was having a heart attack! Fatigue, feeling like I couldn't get up & I felt like I was going to throw up but I didn't. My left arm hurt as well. Fell asleep on the couch after about an hour. We almost went to the ER. Perhaps an allergy to red wine???
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am interested to know what the outcome was.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have this same issue. I was told this was heartburn caused by the excessive sugar in cheap alcoholic drinks although im sure its not limited to just that. I feel the pain with just a few sips of a wine cooler or like right now i had a coconut flavored rum mixed with coke. I do not have this problem when drinking plain alcohol. Furthermore an antacid quickly alleviates the pain
Helpful - 0
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