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UnfoldingSky

Kombucha--Not Safe in Withdrawal

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UnfoldingSky

Hi folks,

 

I thought I'd best post about this as I don't think this is covered here...Last night on TV where I live they ran a news story detailing that kombucha contains alcohol and it can contain more alcohol than the public is being led to believe (store bought kombucha, homemade kombucha I believe often has more than what was being said was supposed to be the amount in mass produced kombucha.) Memory is not great but I think they said if left in heat, store bought kombucha can have as much as 7% alcohol.  There is now a push to have it labeled as an alcoholic beverage (was supposed to have less than I think 0.5% to not be labeled where I live, however, for those of us who had very severe reactions to psychiatric drugs and/or very severe withdrawal syndromes, even that much may not sit well with us.)  So please be careful with kombucha people!

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sunnysideup69

This is very interesting....I also stopped making water kefir because I was concerned about the same thing. Still drink milk kefir, homemade, occasionally. 

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UnfoldingSky

Oh dear, I didn't know that about water kefir...so many things to watch out for!

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sunnysideup69
15 hours ago, UnfoldingSky said:

Oh dear, I didn't know that about water kefir...so many things to watch out for!

I'm not entirely sure what the alcohol content is, but if you do a double ferment with fruit, it definitely increases the alcohol.Might not be by huge amounts, but I'm erring on the side of caution.

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brassmonkey

It appears that homemade kombucha can easily have an alcohol content of 7%. This is on the high end of commercially made American beer and pretty average for internationally made beers and craft beer.  It is enough alcohol to cause problems for a person in ADWD.  Using methods similar to the ones described on line I have made country wines with alcohol contents in the 18 to 20 percent range and know it is possible to get even higher. So someone making kombucha at home could possibly end up with a very potent drink with out realizing it.

 

American laws state that a beverage with less than 3.2% alcohol in nonintoxicating, a point I have disproved on many occasions, and there for is not classified as an alcoholic beverage, but still needs to be labeled for their contents. Many common products, mouth wash, toothpaste and the like contain small amounts of alcohol and are considered nonintoxicating and there for do not need to be labeled as such.  Some of them contain ingredients that are designed to upset the stomach if swallowed to discourage their use as a recreational drug.

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sunnysideup69

That's it, then....no kombucha for me. Just given away my water kefir grains, too....really don't wanna risk anything right now.

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Onmyway

This past summer when I was in more intense WD I started drinking store bought fresh squeezed orange juice (no preservatives) and started getting dizzy and having a drunk  feeling. Turned out that I was sensititve to the 0.05% (or more) alcohol. I was drinking a lot of the juice so that was probably one reason but it was both funny and sad. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out. Have been drinking now without much problems. No experience with kombucha but I think it's the same principle of fermentation. 

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UnfoldingSky

Okay so I had some milk kefir lately without even considering alcohol content and nothing drastic happened to me.  I'm years past having had akathisia which was my primary concern (didn't want that again).  It says online it can have a bit of alcohol too. So people who are in acute withdrawal or have very severe symptoms at present or whom just got  a window but aren't far out from having had severe issues, you may wish to avoid milk kefir too.  But I'm taking this as a positive sign for people like me for whom the worst is over with that maybe we can tolerate tiny bits of alcohol without the sky falling in on us.

 

This said, I'm not advocating anyone run out and get drunk to celebrate recovery!  Nor am I cracking open even one beer. I've had enough of being in an altered state of mind thanks to pills...

 

Also thank you brassmonkey for mentioning some toothpastes contain alcohol. I didn't realize that either. I see in researching this sorbitol is a kind of alcohol...In acute withdrawal I was using baking soda but when recovery became sustained I started using regular toothpastes again.  I don't know if I tried sorbitol in doing that as they keep changing up the kinds of available where I am...I never like buying it now either as it always just seems like buying some kind of chemical stew.  

 

 

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bottlehalffull

Anyone with histamine issues should watch out with kombucha and kefir. Alcohol's not the only potentially triggering yeasty/bacterial byproduct. And histamine reactions can be very activating.

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sunnysideup69

Hi @bottlehalffull, how do you know if you are having a histamine reaction?

 

Also, haven't eaten it in a while, but I was making my own sauerkraut ie fermented cabbage. I'm guessing anything fermented is pretty much off the menu through WD, or at least at first...... 

Maybe stick to probiotics in pill form, if at all. 

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bottlehalffull

My reaction to kefir (including water kefir) was an energy/anxiety burst, sometimes dysphoria, bloating and gut pain, sometimes headache, hot flush, but people's reactions (to everything.....) can be pretty different.

 

Supposedly with sauerkraut and fermented veggies, once it gets to a certain age the histamine concentration starts going back down again, but I don't know the details. I don't react very much to sauerkraut or kimchi though. Maybe it's a different blend of bacteria/yeast that my body likes better.

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sunnysideup69
7 hours ago, bottlehalffull said:

My reaction to kefir (including water kefir) was an energy/anxiety burst, sometimes dysphoria, bloating and gut pain, sometimes headache, hot flush, but people's reactions (to everything.....) can be pretty different.

 

Supposedly with sauerkraut and fermented veggies, once it gets to a certain age the histamine concentration starts going back down again, but I don't know the details. I don't react very much to sauerkraut or kimchi though. Maybe it's a different blend of bacteria/yeast that my body likes better.

OK thanks.... and histamine reactions can be activating in WD? Interesting... When I first went into WD, I was having quite a lot of fermented food and beverages, built up over time. Might stick to the prebiotic veggies rather than probiotics. 

I didn't even hazard Christmas pud owing to alcohol content. I'm sure people think I'm just being fussy, but if they experienced WD reactions, they'd sure get it! 

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bottlehalffull

Well I had histamine reactions like that before this recent round of going on and dropping ADs, but since a lot of psych meds act as mild antihistamines (part of why they're sedating) it's probably worse in WD if you're sensitive to histamine.

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sunnysideup69
4 hours ago, bottlehalffull said:

Well I had histamine reactions like that before this recent round of going on and dropping ADs, but since a lot of psych meds act as mild antihistamines (part of why they're sedating) it's probably worse in WD if you're sensitive to histamine.

Didn't realise that psych meds act as mild histamines. Fascinating. Citalopram does, am gonna guess, because one of the side effects of start up and dose dropping was uncontrollable yawning, feeling drowsy. I've not had that with Venlafaxine, now I come to think of it..... 

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bottlehalffull

No, they can be mild ANTI histamines. In general, they're supposed to act on a specific receptor (for example SSRI's are *supposed* to be working on serotonin transporters), but they also tend to affect other non-target receptors. It's part of why different SSRI's have different side effects. If you're curious, wikipedia has a nice chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin–norepinephrine_reuptake_inhibitors#Activity_profiles
but it's kind of overwhelming. (If you look at the H1 receptor chart, you can see that yep, venlafaxine has less affinity to histamine receptor. Low numbers = sticks more tightly to the receptor.)

My allergies are actually less bad since I've started SSRI's! And a lot of antihistamines, even the newer ones that aren't supposed to have any brain effects, can have mood side effects (usually bad in my experience).

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