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Alcohol Induced Pain

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I know to take advice from forums with a pinch of salt, and that I should consult my family doctor. The thing is, I was there two days ago and can't afford to go again until next week! So here is my presenting complaint...

Tonight I was drinking pre-mix alcohol (vodka) drinks which I normally never drink. I normally drink beer or scotch on ice. After a short period of time, I felt an ache in my shoulders, which has happened to me numerous times before after consuming mixed drinks or rum. However, it normally goes away quickly, but after my 4th drink, the pain became so severe (7/10) and I was in a bit of distress. After about 20 minutes, the pain was gone.

I've never had reflux before so I'm not sure if that was it. The pain was in my shoulders and epigastric region.

I have haemochromatosis which I know can cause problems with the pancreas, and that alcohol can exacerbate pancreatitis. I don't think this is the most likely scenario, though I wonder if it is worth persuing with my doctor.

Could this be simple reflux and referred pain, or something else?

I appreciate any feedback.

Cheers,
Adrian.
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replied March 4th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Is that pain a severe epigastric pain that radiates to left upper part and back in lumbar part?
Do you suffer from heartburn frequently?
Have you been checked for your pancreatic and hepatic function recently?
Do you have problems like chronic gastritis (inflammation of stomach linning) or stomach ulcer?
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replied March 4th, 2008
Severe epigastric pain, radiation to lumbar region, not sure about other areas as I was in quite a bit of distress. I think there was general thoracic pain.
Never had reflux to my knowledge, have suffered two bouts of acute gastroenteritis - nothing chronic.

Have not been checked for pancreatic function, E/LFTs were normal from 2 months ago, have pathology request for LFTs again.

Thanks for replying!
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replied March 5th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Hi!
Epigastric pain that radiates to the back, very often is caused by pancreatitis.
Alcohol causes pain in epigastrum and /or right and/or left upper quadrant secondary to gastritis, peptic ulcer, acute pancreatitis and alcoholic hepatitis.
Pain usually occurs during or soon after heavy alcohol intake.
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replied August 25th, 2008
Hi, I have the exact same symptoms as above. Pain that starts from the shoulders or upper arms and transfers to the back and finally through to the chest after some spirits but never wine or alcohol. It also becomes quite severe and lasts for about 15 or 20 minutes each time. And is not related to heavy consumption of alcohol as i often get it before i finish my first glass. I have asked many doctors about this and noone seems to know, and i've spent much time on the internet also. Very strange that noone seems to have an answer for this. I have considered that given the fact i only get it with some drinks that it might not be the alcohol itself something else in the drink. Maybe a preservative or something?

If you find out any more info please let me know. Until then i guess we just don't drink spirits.
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replied August 25th, 2008
I get alcohol related back pain too!
Hi, I have the exact same symptoms as above. Pain that starts from the shoulders or upper arms and transfers to the back and finally through to the chest after some spirits but never wine or alcohol. It also becomes quite severe and lasts for about 15 or 20 minutes each time. And is not related to heavy consumption of alcohol as i often get it before i finish my first glass. I have asked many doctors about this and noone seems to know, and i've spent much time on the internet also. Very strange that noone seems to have an answer for this. I have considered that given the fact i only get it with some drinks that it might not be the alcohol itself something else in the drink. Maybe a preservative or something?

If you find out any more info please let me know. Until then i guess we just don't drink spirits.
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replied August 25th, 2008
Well, spirits are okay for me...as long as they're not pre-mixed drinks. Being a student, I drink quite a lot with friends and it's never a problem. I'm tempted to experiment one more time to make absolute certain.

I eat well, exercise daily and don't smoke (anymore), so I'm relatively healthy. It's just strange.

MandMs, I've no doubt there would be a minor amount of gastritis involved (there usually is with binge drinking). However, this wasn't that heavy considering normal beer intake would be 6-8 for me. This was after 4 pre-mixes.
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replied August 26th, 2008
It definately sounds like it's something in the mixed drink as apposed to the alcohol itself. I'm also fine with wine, beer and whisky but get it with mixed drinks. I always get it with Midori and i recall also getting it with another premixed drink... i think it might have been a vodka cruser? Not sure- it's been so long since i've gone anywhere near these mixed drinks for this reason. And i also think i might have got it with a tequila sunrise in which it might be the grenadine. I reckon we might be allergic to a colourant??

I'm tempted to test myself too for curiosity... we could compare results?

btw just sent you a private msg

Ha what a funny experiment.
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replied July 27th, 2009
I also experience this... I associate it with alcoholic drinks which have some degree of acidity...such as wine coolers but not wine itself, anything mixed with citrus juices such as margaritas (darn it!), and even a just barely alcoholic version (1% or so) of sparkling apple cider. The pain begins in the epigastric region, often before I've finished the drink, and radiates through to my back, is generally bad enough to make me sweat, and subsides in about 20 minutes. I have no other gastric, hepatic, or pancreatic issues, and have experienced this periodically since I was about 24.
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replied September 8th, 2009
I have also experienced this pain and am looking into figuring it out. I had a bout this weekend after having one drink of pear cider. The pain is quite extreme. I do however suffer from a lot of acid reflux and wonder if there is a correlation. Has anyone gotten medical support regarding this?
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replied October 12th, 2009
I suffer with epigastric pain while drinking certain types of drinks. Usually sweet or acidic drink, definately wine coolers and margaritas, rum drinks. I dont recall whether I get shoulder pain or back pain. It lasts about 20 minutes. I become diaphoretic and can find no relief. I just have to ride it out. I sometimes get the pain with food. I had breasts pepperjack wings and mountain dew yesterday. That set off an episode of pain. Any ideas?
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replied April 28th, 2012
My gf and her dad have the same issues pain up the shoulder down the back but never with normal alcohol only premixed drinks, what's everyone's findings?
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replied August 3rd, 2012
I had to go to the ER because of the pain you all are explaining. I had one mixed fruity drink and within 15 min I was on my knees sweating like crazy in the bathroom. ER did a CT and said my liver was enlarged.....after one drink? I never drink so I don't see how one drink could do all that. The pain was excrutiating. Any new ideas?
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replied August 3rd, 2012
I had to go to the ER because of the pain you all are explaining. I had one mixed fruity drink and within 15 min I was on my knees sweating like crazy in the bathroom. ER did a CT and said my liver was enlarged.....after one drink? I never drink so I don't see how one drink could do all that. The pain was excrutiating. Any new ideas?
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replied October 11th, 2012
stop drinking if u can or cut down, i sympathise with u must be awful
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replied December 19th, 2012
I have gotten this pain for several years when consuming alcoholic drinks that have sugar in them. I can tolerate most wines, but absolutely no wine coolers, margaritas, daquiris, red bull or anything with a sugary mix in it. I also get a particular taste in my mouth when it gets severe. I have found relief by chugging water as soon as I feel the pain starting. It usually takes about 3-4 full glasses of water until the pain subsides, the quicker you drink the water, the quicker the pain will subside. I've been looking for answers as to the cause of this, and have been unsuccessful. But, if sharing my remedy for it helps someone, then I'm successful in doing that. Best of luck to you all.
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replied December 29th, 2013
I know this post is quite old now, but I've been searching for an answer to this for well, 17 year. Ever since I first started drinking. The symptoms described above are exactly the same as mine. It happens when I drink rum, especially Malibu, so I haven't drank rum for years. But then it will happen out of the blue if I'm mixing drinks, sometimes if I'm not. And strangely enough, I get the pain when I eat apples. Not all the time but a lot of the time. It's so strange. Wish there was some medical reason for this but I agree, it must be something in the alcohol or the mixers.
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replied December 29th, 2013
I know this post is quite old now, but I've been searching for an answer to this for well, 17 year. Ever since I first started drinking. The symptoms described above are exactly the same as mine. It happens when I drink rum, especially Malibu, so I haven't drank rum for years. But then it will happen out of the blue if I'm mixing drinks, sometimes if I'm not. And strangely enough, I get the pain when I eat apples. Not all the time but a lot of the time. It's so strange. Wish there was some medical reason for this but I agree, it must be something in the alcohol or the mixers.
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