Asian Flush Research Survey 2019 - Finally some answers about Asian Flush
- What is Asian Flush?
- What did we learn about Asian Flush?
- Who experiences Asian Flush?
- What are the major Asian Flush symptoms?
- What drinks are worse for Asian Flush?
- Does Asian Flush run in the family?
- Does alcohol flushing impact makeup routines?
- What Asian Flush solutions have people tried?
- How does alcohol flushing impact your life?
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So little is known about Asian Flush, even though millions of people experience it around the world.
We wanted to learn more.
That's why we created one of the first ever Asian Flush research surveys. We asked real people from around the world what it's like to experience Asian Flush. We believe that their answers can help shine a light on this condition and what Asian Flush sufferers go through.
In short: We found that Asian Flush affects individuals in a similar way: making them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed and impacts on the way we socialize. This condition can make social anxiety worse, especially in environments with alcohol. Sufferers are looking for a way to stop their symptoms and enjoy life like everyone else.
Supplements like Asian flush pills are effective at treating such bothersome symptoms. Before we explain how to treat it, let's discuss what exactly is Asian Flush.
What is Asian Flush?
For those who have never experienced this condition, it can be a bit confusing.
Asian Flush, or alcohol flush reaction, is a condition that means the individual cannot metabolise alcohol properly. Because this process is ineffective, the individual experiences various uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms when they consume alcohol.
In a typical system, the body begins breaking down alcohol. First it turns into acetaldehyde. Because this chemical is highly toxic, the body works hard to break it down further into a harmless chemical. Eventually, the alcohol and its toxic byproducts are fully eliminated from the body.
Individuals without Asian Flush can still experience hangovers if they aren't careful. However, they don't experience serious negative symptoms when drinking alcohol like those with Asian Flush.
For those with Asian Flush, this process is interrupted. Alcohol is converted into acetaldehyde like normal, but the body lacks an effective liver enzyme to fully break it down further (also referred to as an ALDH2 deficiency). This means that acetaldehyde begins to build up in the system rather than being broken down. When this toxic chemical floods the body, the individual drinking can become overwhelmed with negative symptoms. These include red facial flushing, dizziness and headaches.
Still unsure what Asian Flush is really like? We asked those with Asian Flush: how would you describe alcohol flushing to a friend in one sentence?
- Major discomfort
- Face gets extremely hot
- Getting red, hot and sweaty
- Looking bright red in photos
- Turning red after just one sip of alcohol
- Everyone asking what's wrong with you
- Nausea, heartburn, headaches and face flushing after one or two drinks
While many people don't even know this condition exists, it's clear it's a burden on those who experience it.
What did we learn about Asian Flush?
While more information is coming forward about Asian Flush, there's a lot we still don't know about this condition. More importantly, many people don't fully grasp how Asian Flush impacts people's daily lives, social interactions and relationships. How can you navigate the social scene when a few sips of alcohol can cause your face to go bright red? How does dizziness and headaches from Asian Flush impact a persons actions at a party? How do people react to alcohol at a work function, or first date?
We asked over 9,000 people about their life with Asian Flush - so what did we learn?
Who experiences Asian Flush?
We know that Asian Flush, or alcohol flush reaction, impacts about 500 million people worldwide. Responders of our survey came from places like Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and South Africa, among many others. But does the age of the individual impact the reaction?
39% of those that responded to the survey are over the age of 31. This is the largest segment of those who responded to the survey. 25% are between 26-30 years old and finally, 37% of people are between the ages of 18-25. Overall, all age segments were relatively similar.
Does this negative condition happen consistently, every time the individual drinks? Or does Asian Flush occur more randomly? 82% of responders experience Asian Flush every time they drink alcohol. They say that it doesn't matter what type of alcohol they drink, they will still experience Asian Flush. As one can imagine, it would be incredibly frustrating that you're unable to enjoy any type of alcoholic drink without suffering an embarrassing and uncomfortable reaction.
Only 18% of people experience Asian Flush sometimes, depending on what type of alcohol they consume.
Although many people experience this condition, only 11% of responders say they have visited their doctor regarding alcohol flushing. So while it's a serious condition with some really uncomfortable symptoms, many people do not seek help from their doctor.
What are the major Asian Flush symptoms?
Of those that responded to the survey, 98% experience flushing when dealing with Asian Flush. This symptom is by far the most prominent and common symptom when dealing with this condition. Unfortunately, red flushing is almost the most visible symptom, making this condition extremely embarrassing.
The next most common symptom was headaches, at 50%. Restricted breathing and nausea were next, at 38% and 32% respectively.
Finally, itchy skin, sweating and dizziness were comparable, all around 30%.
Overall, flushing and headaches are the most commonly felt symptoms when drinking alcohol. For those who don't have Asian Flush, you can only imagine how that must make the individual feel when out with friends at a bar.
Often these symptoms can be felt as soon as the individual drinks alcohol. In some cases, the symptoms surface after their first drink. In more extreme cases, it may only take a few sips of alcohol to make these symptoms visible. It can be extremely hard to enjoy your night out if just a few sips of wine causes your face to turn bright red and your head begins pounding.
Obviously these symptoms can be uncomfortable, awkward and downright painful. But are there enough to stop alcohol consumption? Do those with Asian Flush reduce how much they're drinking, or try to ignore the symptoms completely?
Because of Asian Flush symptoms, 62% say they limit the amount of alcohol they drink. Another 26% say they have completely stopped drinking because of this condition. It's clear that these symptoms and the physical effects of Asian Flush are enough to make people change their habits completely.
Only 12% of people continue to drink as normal. However, these individual may experience less severe Asian Flush symptoms, making the whole experience a bit more bearable. Or, they may be committed enough to push through their flushing symptoms.
While alcohol is not required to have fun, or to be consumed at every social gathering, we can't pretend it's not a large part of society. When growing up, alcohol can play a key role in social environments and is often used when making friends or dating. However, this makes things very difficult for those with Asian Flush. They either need to make up an excuse as to why they are drinking less, avoid alcohol entirely, or power through painful Asian Flush symptoms so they can drink normally.
It's never as simple as others who drink alcohol without a second thought.
What drinks are worse for Asian Flush?
Which drink is the worst for flushing? Is there a correlation between the type of alcohol and the intensity of the flush reaction?
We found that 32% of responders flush the worst with red wine, with beer in second place at 22%. Whiskey and vodka come next, with 15% each. Gin, white wine and other drinks are at the bottom of the list.
Of course, this can be impacted by various factors, such as age, weight, gender, any medical conditions, how quickly the alcohol was drank, if the individual ate or not, etc. The results may also be influenced if red wine and beer are the most common drinks to order.
Even still, it's interesting to see red wine is the main culprit for flushing symptoms.
Does Asian Flush run in the family?
72% of responders have a family member that also deals with alcohol flushing. Most commonly, these are fathers (55%), mothers (46%) or a sibling (45%). Less commonly were aunts/uncles who experience Asian Flush at 25% and grandparents at 14%.
It seems that those closest in the family are more likely to also have Asian Flush, including parents and siblings. However, it may be that responders are unaware that an aunt or uncle experience Asian Flush.
We also know that an ALDH2 deficiency (the ineffective liver enzyme to metabolise alcohol) is often passed down through generations. This is shown through these results that parents and siblings who have Asian Flush most likely share this element with their close family.
Does alcohol flushing impact makeup routines?
With red facial flushing the most common symptom of Asian Flush, we wondered if this impacted makeup routines. Do those who suffer from Asian Flush turn to heavy foundations or colour-correcting concealers to help reduce red facial flushing?
Only 18% of responders specifically choose different makeup products if they know they'll be experiencing Asian Flush.
This figure could be low because not all responders wear makeup. However, this could be an avenue to help minimise red facial flushing, the most commonly felt symptom of Asian Flush.
Those who do use makeup to minimise red facial flushing commented that they tend to use either heavy products, or green-tinted products. This makes sense because of colour theory. Green is the perfect colour to minimise red, which works well in makeup products used to reduce red flushing. It may be that less people know about this trick.
What Asian Flush solutions have people tried?
People are actively looking for Asian Flush cures and solutions to this incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassing condition. We found that 77% of responders have tried different ways to stop Asian Flush.
For such a wide-spread and common condition, it's amazing that so few effective products are on the market. Asian Flush isn't regarded like other conditions like asthma, allergies or various other medical situations. Alcohol flushing is often forgotten about or remains unknown for many people.
For the purpose of the study, we looked at the most common antihistamines and supplement for reduced Asian Flush symptoms. We wanted to know what people are trying, and more importantly, what kind of results are they seeing.
So what are people using against Asian Flush?
Asian Flush Cure 1 - Zyrtec
What was the worst remedy for Asian Flush? We found that Zyrtec provided little, if any, positive results against Asian Flush. 62% of individuals who have tried Zyrtec for Asian Flush found that it did not improve their symptoms at all. Only 38% found that their symptoms improved slightly, with 0% stating Zyrtec noticeably reduced their symptoms.
This isn't too surprising because Zyrtec is a different type of antihistamine and much less effective against Asian Flush. Cetirizine, commonly sold under the brand Zyrtec, works by blocking histamine H1 receptor. In order to see real results, the antihistamine used needs to block the H2 receptor.
Typically, this medication is used for hay fever or hives, but definitely not Asian Flush.
Some users have found that Zyrtec has reduced their nasal congestion from alcohol, but very few. Others report that their redness was reduced, but not that much. Many have reported that it just doesn't work at all.
Asian Flush Cure 2 - Zantac
The next Asian Flush remedy with the next lowest results was Zantac.
This medication does have better results because it is a H2 histamine receptor, which is much more beneficial against Asian Flush symptoms. However Ranitidine, commonly sold as Zantac, wasn't created with Asian Flush symptoms in mind. This antihistamine is typically used for heartburn relief.
Those who have tried Zantac have reported that sometimes it reduces dizziness and redness from alcohol, but rarely and fairly inconsistently. It may also reduce some symptoms temporarily, but it doesn't last very long. Other say it hasn't helped their symptoms at all, or only very little.
Asian Flush Cure 3 - Pepcid AC
Next we looked at the most well-known remedy for Asian Flush: Pepcid AC. 63% of users found that Pepcid AC did reduce their Asian Flush symptoms somewhat, with another 20% reporting that it greatly reduced their symptoms. 17% of Asian Flush sufferers found that they didn't experience any relief when using Pepcid AC.
Like Zantac, Pepcid AC is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist, making it more effective against Asian Flush.
Pepcid AC (or Famotidine) is used for stomach acid production and acid reflux. While it's not created for Asian Flush, many who suffer from this condition turn to Pepcid for some relief.
The main issue with using off-label antihistamines like Pepcid, Zyrtec and Zantac is that they do not eliminate the main culprit of Asian Flush: acetaldehyde. Rather than work to remove this toxic chemical from your system, these antihistamines merely mask the uncomfortable symptoms, such as facial flushing. This leads the individual to believe they're fine to continue drinking and make the night a bit more comfortable. But the toxic and harmful acetaldehyde will continue to accumulate in their body.
Your body experiences negative symptoms for a reason, and it can be dangerous to ignore these or simply mask the uncomfortable symptoms without actually solving the problem.
We also know that those who have this condition and continue to drink alcohol have a higher risk of certain cancers. Taking an H2 blocker helps the individual forget the problem but still exposes themselves to this cancer-causing chemical.
Even still, many people turn to Pepcid AC for relief from Asian Flush.
One of the many repeated comments about Pepcid AC is that positive results are not guaranteed, nor are they consistent. Some users say their flushing is decreased with Pepcid, but then it does nothing for them the next time they use it. Others agree and say Pepcid AC is usually "a hit or a miss" while others say it only worked for them the first time. Some may also find that they develop a tolerance to this antihistamine and have to take more and more doses to see any results.
However, because Pepcid AC is so-well known and does show some positive results, it's typically the most popular method.
Asian Flush Cure 4 - Sunset Alcohol Flush Reduction
Finally, we wanted to see what Asian Flush sufferers thought of Sunset Alcohol Flush Reduction, a supplement specifically designed for Asian Flush. 50% of individuals found that Sunset somewhat reduces their symptoms, whether it's red facial flushing, headaches, dizziness, hives or even congestion. Another 38% of users found that Sunset greatly improved their Asian Flush symptoms. Only 12% didn't see any improvement.
What sets Sunset apart is that it actively works to support the liver to breakdown acetaldehyde faster, so the toxic chemical isn't left in your system to cause problems. While it may be tempting to mask alcohol flushing symptoms with antihistamines, it's important to remember about acetaldehyde and its impact on the body.
Many users reported that their flushing symptoms are decreased and they actually feel much better the next day. Because of Sunset's ingredients, it can also reduce hangover symptoms so you can get back to normal life a lot quicker.
Of course, not everyone experiences perfect results and some report that while their migraines from alcohol have stopped with Sunset, they still experience some level of facial flushing.
How does alcohol flushing impact your life?
The biggest thing with Asian Flush is its impact on your daily life. Even if you want to avoid alcohol, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to do so. Alcohol has become such a central piece in life, from socialising, dating and networking, that it can be hard to ignore.
We really wanted to know how alcohol flushing directly impacts on your life. While the results are anonymous, and the responders answered the questions separately and privately, many of the answers were the same. It was incredible to see that while this condition isn't talked about often, many of those who suffer from Asian Flush feel the same way.
Some of the key reasons alcohol flushing impacts their life included things like:
- It's incredibly embarrassing and makes the individual self conscious and insecure
- Social anxiety gets worse and some individuals completely avoid social interactions when they know there will be alcohol
- Getting a bright red face is awkward, especially when you're around people you don't know (or who don't know what Asian Flush is)
- Many individuals with Asian Flush stop drinking entirely, or only drink around close friends to save themselves the embarrassment
- There's a lot of anxiety around situations where there may be alcohol such as first dates, making friends and work dinners. The visual symptoms of Asian Flush puts forward a bad first impression (like you've become far more drunk than you really are)
- Many reported that they feel left out from social gatherings because they don't want to drink. The symptoms of Asian Flush leave them feeling horrible and they can't fully enjoy themselves like others can
We can see that Asian Flush creates a very real negative impact on people's lives, and yet there is still so little publicity around this condition.
What's next for Asian Flush?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Asian Flush. But perhaps by spreading awareness of this condition, we can make more progress on accessible and effective solutions. When more medicines or supplements specifically designed for Asian Flush are on the market, we will all benefit. Until a specific cure is found, Asian Flush sufferers will need to either find what works best for them, or reduce their alcohol consumption.
We also cannot forget the potential cancer risks and increased health concerns that accompany Asian Flush and alcohol consumption.
Those suffering from this condition are tired of feeling left out from socialising like others, and just want the same experiences as everyone else.
Even though this condition can sometimes be isolating (especially if your friends don't flush) it's encouraging to see that many with Asian Flush feel the same way about the condition. You're not dealing with this condition alone.
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