What is Fibromyalgia and How Does it Affect Alcohol Tolerance?
The origins of fibromyalgia syndrome, often associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or rheumatoid arthritis, are not fully understood because the exact causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. Those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia typically suffer from chronic pain, joint pain, poor balance, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and many other symptoms. As fibromyalgia is a syndrome, it is defined as “a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause,” according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. People who suffer from fibromyalgia are reporting in forums that they are unable to handle drinking as much alcohol as they formerly could. Alcohol contains toxins, and is known for its inflammatory, depressant and sleep disruptive effects; consuming alcoholic beverages can exacerbate the symptoms of FM.
Even if someone hasn't had any alcohol at all, it has been proven that numerous health conditions and chronic illnesses can affect the outcome of breathalyzers by registering false positives. Some studies suggest that alcohol consumption induces hypoglycemia in diabetics. Sometimes diabetics suffering from hypoglycemia actually mimic the physical responses of a drunken driver. Even worse, when someone suffering from hypoglycemia is in a state of ketoacidosis, he or she will produce levels of acetone in the mouth that can be read by breathalyzer machines as a compound in the methyl group, which will trigger a positive reading for alcohol. Thus, the breath alcohol test may register high amounts of alcohol, even if the subject has not been drinking. This phenomenon of false positives for alcohol by the Alcosensor and the hand portable testing device Breathalyzer machine has not been studied for those who have fibromyalgia, but results could be similar. For sufferers of fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) is common.