Alcohol Allergy Symptoms-You Should Know Detail

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Alcohol allergy is not so common as other food allergies. Alcohol allergies mainly come into two ways such as- direct alcohol and alcohol beverages. Alcohol allergy symptoms hardly become severe. In Asian countries the percentage of alcohol allergy is high. Again, the Asian people also react more to alcohol intolerance than those of other countries.  In mild symptoms of alcohol allergy, you may control it by avoiding alcohol or alcohol beverages. If you face severe alcohol allergy symptoms in any how, you must take urgent medical treatment.

Causes of alcohol allergy

Alcohol allergy is caused by a genetic system (ALDH) in our body. This gene restricts to split alcohol. This is because we face alcohol allergy. There are also 3 important causes of alcohol allergy as follows.

Allergens in alcohol

Alcohol contains some allergens such as barley, gluten, hops, wheat, rye, yeast, histamines in red wine and sulfites in white wines. These allergens create alcohol allergy symptoms.


The persons, who are allergic to vinegar, may be allergic to alcohol. An enzyme named aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) converts alcohol into acetic acid in the liver. It is the acetic acid that is vinegar.

Alcoholic beverage

There is also another reason. The persons, who consume alcoholic beverage, may have the risk of perennial allergic rhinitis. Someone call these allergies also seasonal allergies. These allergies are increased by 3 % in recent times. You should avoid taking alcoholic beverages if you react to alcohol allergy.

Who react most to alcohol allergy?

Most of the Asian people have the deficiency of aldehyde dehydrogenase. So, they face flushing alcohol allergy symptoms. These syndromes are so acute in Asian countries that these symptoms are often known as Asian flushing syndromes.

Risk factors of alcohol allergy

There are also some other risk factors that are liable to generate alcohol allergy symptoms. These risk factors are as follows.

  • The people of Asian descent have more possibility of having alcohol allergy.
  • You may allergic to alcohol if you have allergy to grains or other foods.
  • If you have Hodgkin lymphoma, you may face alcohol allergy symptoms.
  • Some particular antibiotic or anti-fungal medications may cause alcohol allergy.
  • Taking disulfiram (ant-abuse) for alcohol abuse may cause some symptoms like flushing, racing heartbeat, nausea and vomiting.

Alcohol intolerance

Someone become confused with alcohol allergy and alcohol intolerance. Alcohol intolerance is caused because an alteration in the ALDH gene known as polymorphism which makes aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme inactive. For this, it is difficult to convert alcohol into acetic acid. Alcohol intolerance is very common in the countries of Asia. After taking alcohol, you may face unpleasant reactions immediately. Nasal congestion and skin flushing are the most common symptoms of alcohol intolerance. We can prevent alcohol intolerance by stopping alcohol.

Sometimes you may face alcohol intolerance from alcoholic beverages such as- chemicals, grains or preservatives. You may also react to alcohol intolerance by the combination of alcohol and medications. Remember, the causes of alcohol allergy and intolerance are often same but the symptoms are different.

Alcohol allergy symptoms

The people, who react to true alcoholic allergy, may react to taking a small amount of alcohol. He may notice symptoms such as- stomach cramping, difficulty in breathing and collapse. Again the persons, who have the deficiency of aldehyde dehydrogenase, may notice flushing, nausea or rapid heartbeat. Actually alcohol allergy symptoms differ from the ingredients in alcohol beverages. The common alcohol allergy symptoms are as follows.

  • A person, who is allergic to sulfites, may react to hives or anaphylaxis.
  • A person, who is allergic to histamines, may face nasal swelling and congestion.
  • Sulfites high alcohol may increase asthmatic symptoms in those with asthma.
  • Alcohol may create allergies to foods.

There are also different symptoms base on different ingredients in alcoholic beverages. These different alcohol allergy symptoms are as follows.

Alcohol allergy symptoms
Alcohol allergy symptoms are usually mild but in few cases they may be serious.
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion like runny or stuffy nose
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Warm, red, itchy bumps on the skin or hives
  • Worsening of pre-existing asthma
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Facial redness or flushing
  • Low blood pressure

Rash is an another important symptom of alcohol allergy

If anyone has aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency, they may face flushing. Flushing may create the symptoms of red, warm, blotchy skin after drinking an alcoholic beverage. Sulphur dioxide, a common component in alcohol creates theses syndromes. Even the persons, who react to sulphur dioxide in alcohol, may react to some allergens like wheat or sulfites. Besides, wine contains histamines and the tannins that also cause the symptoms of rashes in some people.

Complex or severe symptoms of alcohol allergy

In some cases, some people may face painful or difficult symptoms.  These are migraines and severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Histamines in some alcoholic beverages and also released by immune system during an allergic reaction, may trigger migraines in some people. In very rare cases, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening known as anaphylaxis.

Hardly any person becomes allergic severely to alcohol if he takes right treatment in right time for alcohol allergy. Many think that true alcohol allergy is scarce.

Treatment of alcohol allergy

The best treatment for alcohol allergy is to avoid alcohol. If you allergic to any particular ingredient in alcohol, you may switch to another beverage. You may limit taking the amount of your alcohol or alcohol beverages that may cause alcohol allergy. The persons, who react to alcohol mildly, may use antihistamines and get good freedom from alcoholic allergy. If you see serous or severe symptoms of alcohol allergy, you should need emergent medical treatment.

The persons, who are allergic severely to certain foods, must put on a medical alert bracelet and ask their doctor if they should carry an emergency epinephrine (adrenaline) autoinjector (EpiPen) in case of a serious allergic reaction.

Prevention of alcohol allergy

Medical treatments or medications can hardly reduce the alcohol allergy symptoms. You would rather to avoid alcohol or alcoholic beverages. You should read alcohol beverages labels carefully so that you can identify the allergic ingredients in the beverages.

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