Allergic to alcohol: symptoms, signs and treatment

The cause of allergies – disruption of the immune system when a harmless substance is recognized by the body as harmful. To combat the supposed enemy of the human immune system starts to produce antibodies, which, coming into contact with a foreign substance, release of powerful chemical compounds. Their abundance and cause allergic symptoms.

The sad consequences of alcoholic beverage at least once in life have experienced, perhaps, everyone.

Red swollen face, upset stomach, flatulence, drowsiness and indifference or, on the contrary, wanton arousal and anxiety, and the next morning hangover – all signs of alcohol poisoning. Or allergies?

As there is an Allergy to alcohol

Allergic to alcohol in its pure form is very rare, and its causes have not been identified so far. The human body itself continuously produces a small amount of alcohol (average blood normally contains from 0.01 to 0.03 mg), so the Allergy on alcohol look especially odd. Just 1 ml of pure alcohol (equivalent to 10 ml of wine or SIP of beer) can cause people with alcoholic allergic allergic reactions until deadly. The situation may be complicated by the fact that many people have allergic alcohol tests give a negative response but a positive to breakdown products of ethanol – acetaldehyde and acetic acid.

But more often allergic reactions cause included in the alcoholic drinks components, be it raw material from which the prepared drink, or later additives – flavorings, clarifiers, thickeners, preservatives. All these products can contribute to the development of allergies even insensitive to the alcohol people. Acquired an Allergy to alcohol or its constituent ingredients can occur at any time of life.

What are the symptoms of allergies to alcohol

With true alcohol Allergy or Allergy to members of the beverage substance, even a small quantity of alcohol can trigger symptoms up to anaphylactic shock, which is a threat to human life.

Allergy symptoms for alcohol may include:

  • red spots on the face, itching of the skin of the face, lips, nose
  • allergic conjunctivitis, itching, increased lacrimation
  • a stuffy nose, a coughing, shortness of breath
  • swelling of the face, throat or other parts of the body
  • severe skin rash, eczema
  • stomach pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • dizziness, loss of consciousness

Sometimes alcohol leads to a worsening of symptoms in people with hives. Fortunately, a rash caused by physical contact with an irritant, very rare. People suffering from bronchial asthma, alcohol can cause complications, cough, shortness of breath up to bronchial obstruction. Alcohol can also aggravate the symptoms of other food allergies and even lead to anaphylactic shock.

Alcoholic beverages may provoke allergic reactions to foods that previously a person could eat without consequences. This is because alcohol increases the ability of the digestive system to absorb the consumed nutrients. One example is the common Allergy to poultry meat, which people eat alcoholic beverages.

If the person watches themselves above symptoms after the consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is recommended to consult a doctor. If you ignore the symptoms of allergic and not treated, allergic reaction to an irritant can become more and more severe up to fatal outcome.

Allergic or intolerant to alcohol

Sometimes it happens that the discomfort caused by the consumption of alcoholic beverages – red spots on the skin, stomach cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate – not caused by allergies and individual intolerance.

The difference is that with allergies, the immune system of a person reacts to alcohol or the substance is included in an alcoholic beverage. And intolerance to ethyl alcohol digestive system cannot cope with the intake of alcohol. This happens when the body can not produce a special enzyme that helps to break down and digest certain nutrients. For example, people originally from Asian countries is the gene responsible for the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde and then into acetic acid. As a result, the body can accumulate a large amount of acetaldehyde, which causes the above symptoms.

Intolerance to histamine

Histamine – a chemical that produces the human body. It can also be found in many foods and beverages, especially fermented. Particularly high concentration in Mature cheese, smoked meat, sauerkraut, wine and beer.

Usually for the breakdown of histamine the human body produces an enzyme called diaminoxydazu. However, if the body is unable to produce the right amount, histamine begins to accumulate, which leads to the development of similar allergic symptoms – redness, itching, laid nose, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Intolerance to sulfites

Some people have individual intolerance or special sensitivity to sulfites. These compounds are often added to wine and beer, to limit fermentation or as a preservative. Usually in the food industry use potassium Hydrosulphite (Е228) or potassium metabisulfite (Е224). Often reactions, similar to allergies, may cause and related substance sulfites – sulfur dioxide (E220).

Hodgkin’s disease

In some (fortunately rare) cases, pain when drinking alcohol can be caused by cancer – Hodgkin’s or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This type of cancer affects the lymphatic system. As a rule, enlarged lymph nodes with Hodgkin’s disease do not get sick, but yet unexplained reasons, in rare cases, after drinking a person may experience pain in them.

The diagnosis of Allergy to alcoholic beverages

If after taking alcoholic drinks you notice yourself above symptoms, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Depending on their General practitioner may refer you to an allergist to identify the causes of allergies.

Most likely, the doctor will ask the following questions:

  • What alcoholic beverages cause the symptoms?
  • What is the symptoms?
  • When you began to experience something like that?
  • Do you have relatives suffering from allergies?
  • Do you have any other disease, and if so, what?

Most likely, if you suspect an allergic to alcohol or are involved in the alcoholic beverages substance, the patient will be recommended to be tested for allergies. The most common type of test is a skin test in which the pricked or scratched by a special medical tool skin will suffer a small amount of possible allergen. You can also use the blood test on the subject contained therein of antigens and antibodies.

In case of impossibility of definition of the stimulus thus, in some cases, your doctor may suggest to drink a small amount of allegedly causing the allergic substance. He will carefully monitor the reaction of the patient.

Allergy tests are always carried out in a clinical environment is sometimes they are themselves may lead to a serious allergic reaction.

Allergic to wine

Most often causes allergic red wine. An allergic reaction can be triggered by one of the ingredients included in the drink, or the raw material used (e.g., grapes of a particular variety). It is also considered that the fault may be other metanolovyj components of wine (e.g., byproducts of fermentation that turns grape juice into wine), and additives that are required to make the wine have texture, taste and aroma. Allergic to alcohol can be caused by even a mold, which is formed on the cork of a wine bottle.

Raw materials. The grapes from which the wine was made, may also cause allergic reactions. In addition to the contained substances allergies can also cause processing of the grapes to gather, for example, with sulfur dioxide fungal diseases of plants.

By-products of fermentation of grape juice, for example, histamine. Its content in wine varies depending on the class and type of beverage (e.g., red wines more than whites, and more in Shiraz than Cabernet).

Preservatives. About a third of people with asthma complain that after taking small doses of alcohol, I feel bad. The reason – picosulfate sodium (E223), which was used as a preservative since Roman times. After drinking beverages containing many sufferers from asthma people experience seizures. As a rule, picosulfate sodium more in white wine than in red, and in bottles smaller than in the wine cask. Also appeared in the sale of wines with reduced content of sodium pyrosulfite, although people with high sensitivity to sulfur compounds is unlikely to be able to use even their. To increase the shelf life of wine is often added to other sulphur compounds, which are able to trigger asthma attack, and in extremely sensitive people even lead to anaphylactic shock. Sodium benzoate (E211) can also cause hives and difficult breathing in asthma.

Food colorings. Tartrazine (E102) is used to give the wine a Golden hue. This substance vysokohirne and can cause skin rashes and asthma attacks.

Sweeteners. They are often added cheap champagne to disguise the shortcomings of the wine.

Proteins. To change the transparency of the drink often use egg whites or seafood. Although by themselves these products are quite capable to cause an Allergy, it remains unclear if they can provoke an allergic reaction after use as a clarifier because of the extremely low content in the finished product.

Allergic to beer

Frequency distribution of allergies beer ranks second after the fault. Seemingly, the main ingredient of beer is water, from there to take Allergy? However, the drink contains many substances which can be allergic to beer.

Malt (barley, wheat, rye, corn) or corn, rice, potatoes, used for the fermentation of cheap Beers with the help of enzymes. Most often, allergies cause the contained protein compounds. Latest fashion trend – gluten-free beer based on sorghum – can also provoke an allergic reaction in individual sensitivity to this grass.

Hops hazardous in case of individual intolerance.

Brewer’s yeast. Although their content in the finished product is low, they can cause allergic reactions.

Histamine. It in beer generally less than in red wine, but the amount available is quite capable to provoke an allergic reaction or intolerance.

Flavors and flavorings (coriander, orange peel, extracts of fruits and berries). As a rule, is almost completely recycled in the manufacture of the beverage, but residual traces of them can also cause allergies.

Preservatives, including sulphites, benzoates, potassium and calcium (Е212, Е213). In comparison with bottled beer in cask preservatives more.

Clarifiers (tannic acid and other tannins food). Dangerous if individual sensitivity to the tannins.

Allergic to vodka

It is considered that vodka among alcoholic beverages causes the least allergic reactions. Its main ingredient is ethyl alcohol, diluted with water. If the vodka is high quality, practically no additional ingredients. Possible allergens present in raw materials are removed already at the stage of purification of the product. Another thing, if the vodka is flavored or budget – then use it the person can develop allergies to substances-fragrances, brighteners, fusel oil and other impurities. The highest quality components, of course, in expensive vodka of “Premium” and “Super-premium”.

Allergic to cognac

Cognac is a strong alcoholic beverage produced from grapes. The main reason of allergies at the use of brandy – sulfur compounds used as preservatives, and which arose during the fermentation of grape raw material histamine. Although tannins in the composition of the cognac reduce the permeability of the intestinal walls, thereby reducing the caused by alcohol the effect is, they themselves can cause allergies. When drinking low-quality alcohol allergies can occur for many impurities – the flavors, colors, fusel oil and so on.

Allergic to alcohol

It is considered that in its pure form Allergy to ethyl alcohol can not occur. However, drinking pure 96% alcohol is impossible – when it is eaten it causes burns of the mucous membranes. So drinking alcohol is diluted, and these additives can cause allergies. The situation is complicated by the fact that ethyl alcohol is a great solvent; the substance may be unnoticed to the naked eye, but still able to cause allergies.

How to get rid of allergies to alcohol

Sorry, finally and completely get rid of allergies not. But you can ease her symptoms and to prevent life-threatening and health of the allergic reactions. If allergic to alcohol as such, the only way to avoid the emergence and accumulation of symptoms, complete abstinence. Even a small amount can cause a severe allergic reaction.

People with a “true” alcoholic Allergy, it is worth remembering that alcohol is part of many finished products. These include fizzy drinks, ready-made sauces, marinades, even tomato puree. Overripe fruit can start to ferment, and the alcohol is enough to start an allergic reaction. Some medicines like cough syrup also contain alcohol, which is added to preserve the drug liquid consistency. Ready meals in the restaurants and cafes can be prepared with the addition of alcohol.

However, most often the picture is not as bleak. If allergies cause only some species or varieties of the drink or the combination of them with a certain type of food, you can either use another variety, or switch to another beverage (e.g. beer, wine). In this case it is recommended to consult your doctor.

At low reaction to alcohol for the treatment of enough antihistamines, taken orally and without a prescription to relieve the symptoms (for example, healing and boletales ointments pruritus, nasal rinse decoction of chamomile or saline, and so on). In severe cases need to wear a medical alert bracelet just in case to have a minimum of one autoinjector with adrenaline. After using epinephrine, you should immediately consult a doctor.

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