Does beer make anyone else absolutely ill-feeling? In my case, I had one small beer after three weeks of eating Paleo, my husband (Paleo as well) had two and we both awoke the next morning to feeling as though we had gone on a Vegas-style bender, complete with vomiting (charming detail, I know). We each had different types of beer and Paleo meals, so it wasn't food poisoning and our non-Paleo friends felt just fine. Is beer forever off the menu?! Is my dream of it as a "cheat" dashed or was it just too soon after beginning the Paleo lifestyle? Give me some hope (or reality :)!
At first glance it sounds like a gluten issue to me, too. And almost all beer is made with gluten. If it doesn't explicitly say "gluten free" you know it's gluten-full.
But I also find that for some people, getting their system really clean dramatically reduces their alcohol tolerance. I'd have to look up the specific detox pathways and enzyme systems, but that might be a piece of what's going on here.
A third possibility: Alcohol is quick sugar for the body. If y'all have been strict about your Paleo diet, you've probably gone into ketosis. This is good. But with the alcohol, you just gave yourself a big dose of straight sugar at a time when your body is just getting used to a completely different fuel. This alone could make you feel sick — it's a sugar hangover. Think how nauseous people often feel after eating a big bunch of cookies or icky cake or cotton candy. Could that be part of what you experienced?
Add any of those things together and you might have a good explanation for what happened.
Will you ever be able to have beer again? Probably, in small amounts, but not for a while yet.
I think part of the issue here is that you're so newly into the process. When you first remove problematic foods that have long been dietary staples, your body starts turning its energy away from trying to soldier on while carrying an unreasonable burden (which is why you might not have felt overtly sick eating/drinking certain things before) to actually healing itself. When you suddenly reintroduce something problematic, you get to see how problematic that thing was to you in the first place.
Example: Someone hits you on the shoulder, on the same spot, repeatedly, for years. Eventually your body learns that it just has to put up with this assault, and it starts going kinda numb so you can just soldier on through it. But then one day the hitting stops. At first your body doesn't quite believe it's over, so the defenses stay in place. But then it starts to understand that the problem is over. It gets the nerves started up again, sends blood into the area to heal the damage. If you allow the entire healing process to occur, an occasional punch in the shoulder may hurt a little, but your body's natural resilience will compensate and it won't be too bad. Early in the healing process, your bruised and abused shoulder is just coming back to life. Hitting it then will feel absolutely awful, because your coping mechanisms (numbness, etc.) have just turned off but the damage hasn't been addressed. Maybe an example would be novocaine wearing off in the middle of getting a filling: you can't eat with that tooth yet because the healing's not done, and the pain will be worse than when you just had a cavity.
Bottom line: It's very common to have disproportionate reactions to food/drink triggers early in a detox process. That doesn't mean you're doing the wrong thing or have made yourself worse. What it means is these things were really very problematic for you all along and you're just starting to heal.
My husband has a wheat (NOT gluten) allergy and beer w/ wheat gives him a terrible hangover. If he drinks beer brewed w/ just barley malt, he's fine. He drinks a lot of Rogue since they list their ingredients on the bottle (most beers don't). So it could be gluten, or could be wheat, or could be sthg else altogether.
Congrats on probably having a legitimate and significant amount of gluten intolerance. (Had to spin it positive, because 'no beer for you? sucks for you!' isn't as nice sounding.)
But try again a few more times, N=1 means essentially nothing. If you go 3 out of 3, in terms of glutening, you probably should avoid it.
What kind of beer was it? Certain ones tend to make people with gluten sensitivity sick. It tends to mimic the ill affects if you've been Paleo. For instance, Budweiser makes both myself (Paleo) and my Non-Paleo friend with a Gluten allergy pretty dang sick.
I can no longer drink beer, wine or liquor. The hangovers from a small amount are terrible. The heartburn for days is worse. Including gluten-free beer. They both completely destroy my stomach in different ways. The histamines from red wine induce head-splitting pain. The only alcohol I can consume now is a small amount of dry hard cider. What you're experiencing is normal for a large group of people. I can't tolerate second hand smoke at all either. I get nauseous before I've even registered the smell.
I have the same problem. Due to my health problem, I started low carb diet similar to the paleo diet. I get very sick from one drink of any type of alcohol that can last up to a week. I think it has something to do with messing up the blood sugars after your body has adapted to a clean low glycemic diet.
** Alcohol is quick sugar for the body. If y'all have been strict about your Paleo diet, you've probably gone into ketosis. This is good. But with the alcohol, you just gave yourself a big dose of straight sugar at a time when your body is just getting used to a completely different fuel. This alone could make you feel sick — it's a sugar hangover. Think how nauseous people often feel after eating a big bunch of cookies or icky cake or cotton candy. Could that be part of what you experienced?**
Not true. Alcohol is not sugar, it is sugar that has been consumed by yeast and then excreted by the yeast as alcohol. Drinking alcohol actually lowers your blood sugar. That's what triggers hunger after a night of drinking. That's completely erroneous to say you get a sugar hangover from drinking beer. Beer does have carbohydrates in it, but very little sugar.