How is alcohol intolerance diagnosed?

The clearest sign of alcohol intolerance is facial flushing after you drink small quantities of alcohol. The doctor will ask your experiences after drinking alcohol and any unpleasant reactions that occur after you drink.

An ethanol patch test may be performed to determine whether you have a sensitivity reaction. A drop of ethanol (alcohol) is placed on a pad of gauze and the gauze is taped to the skin, usually on the arm inside the elbow. After waiting about 7 minutes, the gauze is removed and the skin is visually inspected for signs of redness, itching or swelling.

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