Alcohol Allergies and Intolerance

In some cases, a healthcare provider may identify an allergy to a specific ingredient or compound in wine, like grapes. Many people with an alcohol allergy develop hives after drinking. These are red, itchy welts on the skin which appear soon after consuming alcohol.

Then you can start again, perhaps trying just one of your go-to drinks at a time. If the reactions return with specific drinks, then you know which ones cause problems for you. If your symptoms are very mild, you may have a food sensitivity rather than a true allergy.

Alcohol Allergies and Alcohol Intolerance

If you have a severe reaction and carry an EpiPen (epinephrine), use it and call 911. Occasionally, a doctor may ask a person to consume alcohol in a medical setting and observe any reactions or symptoms. There are several ways for a doctor to diagnose an alcohol allergy or intolerance, including the approaches below. The enzyme diamine oxidase breaks down histamine that people consume from foods and beverages.

signs you are allergic to alcohol

While alcohol is commonly known to raise blood pressure in many people, those with an alcohol allergy or intolerance may experience lowered blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic says. This may be another way to distinguish between symptoms of over-consumption and allergy. People with both asthma and an alcohol allergy may find that their respiratory symptoms worsen when they drink. “Up to a third of people with asthma complain that wine will worsen their asthma, and less often with beer or spirits,” explains the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

Skin prick test

If you ever have trouble breathing or an itchy rash with alcohol, you likely have an allergy. If you sometimes get symptoms with certain drinks but not with others, allergic reaction to alcohol then you are more likely to have an allergy. A sign that you may have an intolerance is that you have symptoms no matter what type of alcohol you drink.

  • If you’re allergic to a specific grain, beer won’t be your only problem.
  • A reaction to high-histamine foods could be a sign of histamine intolerance.
  • People with an alcohol allergy should exercise caution when eating or drinking anything that they have not prepared themselves.
  • If you develop symptoms after drinking alcohol, make an appointment with your doctor.
  • However, what often perplexes people are the symptoms that mimic allergies, such as wheezing, headaches and skin flushing.

Alcohol allergies are rare, but if you do have one, it doesn’t take much to trigger a reaction. “May contain” allergy info on labels, which generally means food is made in the same facility as products with that ingredient, is not required by law. If you don’t see it, call the company and ask what plant the food is processed in and what else is made on that production line, she advises. Dealing with her peanut allergy was what prompted Guthrie to return to school part-time to become a dietitian. She also started a blog called Foods With Grace for people with allergies.