Drinking problem: Ageing or alcohol

After 20 or so years of regular drinking at the pub, I find now that I am intolerant of bitter. Do I need to worry about what beer might have done to my insides over the years, or is this just a sign of ageing?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Intestinal symptoms wind and diarrhoea are fairly common complaints after drinking alcohol of all kinds. Some people find they can tolerate white wine but not red, others beer but not lager. You're not alone, and I don't think you've seriously damaged your intestines. It is simply your body telling you that it can no longer cope with the quantity of bitter you are asking it to process. You don't say how old you are, or how many pints you drink. But if you are asking your intestine to handle five pints a night, seven days a week, I'm not surprised it's protesting.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.