What is Asian Glow?
Asian Glow, which is also known as ‘Asian Flush,’ is a condition that manifests itself in the form of the red face that some people will often get after alcohol consumption. Generally speaking, Asian Flush is the result of people not processing alcohol effectively. This condition is known as Asian Flush because it appears to disproportionately affect people of East Asian descent, including people of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese descent.
The red flushing effect itself is caused by dilating blood vessels, and these in turn relate to an accumulation of acetaldehyde. When the body breaks down alcohol in anyone, acetaldehyde is one of the by-products. Unfortunately, it is also a toxic by-product. People who suffer from this problem are more likely to get cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and peptic ulcers, in addition to other health problems.
Is it the same as facial blushing or Erythrophobia?
With both conditions the sufferers will feel the uncomfortable sensation of their face turning red. Social situations are effected for both people but Erythrophobia sufferers don’t have an excuse for their blushing and Asian Flush sufferers can just say ‘This happens when I drink.’
Other than these similarities they don’t really have anything in common.
Treatments and causes are completely different both mentally and physically.
Why do some people suffer from Asian Flush?
Asian Glow appears to be primarily genetic, which is why it is able to disproportionately affect some members of an ethnic group in the first place. It is estimated that up to seventy percent of people of Asian descent are going to experience these sorts of symptoms if they decide to drink. Fifteen percent of drinkers in general will get Asian Glow. People need the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase in order to metabolize alcohol, and the people prone to Asian Glow just don’t produce that enzyme effectively.
What effect does it have on the person’s psychical and mental health?
Drinking is a popular form of socialization among adults, and many people enter adulthood with the expectation that they’re going to be able to drink during their free time. The people who aren’t able to do so are going to feel tremendously out of place at many different social events, and some people might decide to back out of those social events altogether due to feelings of embarrassment. Having to limit one’s social activities so severely is going to have a negative effect on anyone’s mental health.
Some ways to help lessen the effects of Asian Glow
Some people can get around Asian Glow by simply consuming less alcohol during an average night of drinking. Some people won’t get it after only one drink that doesn’t contain that much alcohol. Consuming less alcohol is going to automatically lessen the effects. However, there are far too many individuals who will experience all of the symptoms of Asian Glow after even one beer, and these individuals will more or less have to abstain from alcohol altogether in order to ward off the symptoms of Asian Glow.
Some people take antacids prior to drinking if they are prone to the symptoms of Asian Flush. Other people try to make sure that they eat a lot, which can lessen some of the effects of alcohol in general. People will need to take the antacids at least forty-five minutes in advance if they’re going to work. While these methods aren’t going to work for everyone, and they won’t necessarily ward off all of the long-term effects of Asian Glow, many people can still vouch for their efficacy.
The possibility of a cure for Asian Glow is somewhat controversial. Since this is a genetic condition, medical science would be in need of advanced gene therapy before the condition could be treated at a genetic level. As such, the people who were suffering from the condition would technically always have it. However, the possibility of treating the symptoms of Asian Glow is far more real.
A treatment for Asian Glow would have to involve neutralizing the acetaldehyde that builds up and causes Asian Glow. Some people are working on treatments that are full of antioxidants, some of which may manage to influence the rate at which alcohol is metabolized in patients. These kinds of treatments are still largely in development, however. It is possible that someone will be able to manufacture a cure for the condition at some point, although the nature of the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme makes this prospect challenging. However, there would certainly be a lot of money in curing Asian Glow, so it seems likely that there is going to be a very real treatment in the future.