Do I Have an Allergy to Alcohol?
You have a beer after work. Maybe a glass of wine with dinner or a shot of bourbon when the mood hits. Suddenly, you break out in hives. Maybe you feel nauseous or start wheezing.
Something is going on, but it’s not necessarily an allergy to alcohol.
Allergies to alcohol are rare. Instead, the problem could be that you do not have the enzyme needed to process alcohol. This is often called alcohol intolerance.
If you have it, you may get:
- A red, flushed face
- Hot feeling
- A fast heartbeat or palpitations
- Low blood pressure
- Stuffy nose
- Stomach pain, which may include nausea or vomiting
- Trouble breathing
- If you have asthma, your symptoms get worse
In a few cases, alcohol intolerance can be a sign of a more serious problem. If you think you have it, talk with your doctor and find out what’s causing it.
What’s in My Drink?
Alcoholic beverages are made from complex mixtures of grains, chemicals, and preservatives that your body needs to break down.
If your body can’t do this well enough, you will have a reaction.
Common allergens in alcoholic beverages include:
Barley, Egg protein (usually in wine), Gluten, Grapes, Histamines, Hops, Rye
Seafood proteins, Sodium met bisulphite, Sulphites, Wheat, Yeast, Dairy, Nuts
Red wine is more likely to cause a reaction than any other alcoholic drink. Beer and whiskey also can cause reactions because both are made from four common allergens: yeast, hops, barley, and wheat.
There is, of course, the remote possibility that you are allergic to alcohol. Symptoms of that include:
Rashes, Trouble breathing, Stomach cramps, Collapse, Anaphylaxis, which is a severe reaction that can include a rapid, weak pulse, nausea, and vomiting. If you have this, swelling or trouble breathing, Call 999.
If you have an alcohol allergy, it doesn’t take much to trigger reactions. Two teaspoons of wine or a mouthful of beer may be enough.
List of drinks that may contain allergens:
- Aperol Spritz: Sulphites
- Bakewell Fizz: Sulphites
- French 75: Sulphites
- Ki’s Hurricane:
- Limoncello Gin Fizz: Sulphites
- Mai Tai
- Peach Bellini: Sulphites
- Pina Colada: Gluten, Dairy, may contain traces of Nuts
- Porn star Martini: Sulphites
- Raspberry Bellini: Sulphites
- Raspberry Long Island Iced Tea: Sulphites
- Reggae Rum Punch:
- Rose Ecco: Sulphites
- Rum Punch
- Sexy Colada: Gluten, Dairy, may contain traces of Nuts
- Sexy Strawberry
- Singapore Sling
- Strawberry Bellini: Sulphites
- Strawberry Daiquiri: Sulphites
- Tequila Sunrise
- White Lady