Am I allergic to alcoholic beverages?

Alcoholic beverages have been enjoyed throughout the years and many have also experienced undesirable side effects of these beverages.  It is sad to note that some individuals suffer from undesirable reactions if alcohol is ingested. There are various reasons for these reactions aside from allergies.

Allergic reaction to alcohol beverages

It is likely for some individuals to suffer allergic reactions after consuming alcoholic beverages. The alcohol is not usually the reason for these reactions though. Another component such as various grains in beer, grapes in wine or even yeast might be the culprit for the reactions. The symptoms of these reactions are strikingly similar with any other food allergies.

Hives and swelling

Some highly sensitive individuals particular those with long-standing urticaria and angioedema might end up with intensified symptoms if alcoholic beverages are consumed. Among these individuals, the allergic reaction is not responsible but alcohol simply aggravates the underlying disease process.


Alcoholic beverages

is responsible for triggering symptoms of hives, itching, wheezing and sneezing episodes.

There are some alcohol beverages that contain histamine that is generated by bacteria and yeast in the fermentation process. Always bear in mind that histamine is the same chemical generated by the mast cells in the body during an allergic reaction. This chemical is responsible for triggering symptoms of hives, itching, wheezing and sneezing episodes.

In case a particular alcoholic beverage includes a substantial amount of histamine, an individual is expected to experience symptoms after ingestion.


Sulfites are basically preservatives that are added to a variety of foods to prevent spoilage from taking place. It is important to note that sulfites are capable of aggravating the symptoms of asthma and can even result to hives and anaphylaxis among highly sensitive individuals.


An enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase is responsible for breaking down alcohol after it has been ingested. If there is a deficiency of this enzyme, it can lead to flushing reactions if an individual consumed an alcoholic beverage.

A flushing reaction can also include a rapid heart rate and nausea. In such reactions, they can be confused for an allergic reaction but actually more often due to this enzyme deficiency that is quite common among individuals who have Asian descent.

Non-allergic rhinitis

In some individuals, they suffer from symptoms of runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing episodes if they consumed alcoholic beverages. This is due to the dilation of the blood vessels in the nose that increases the production of mucus and other nasal symptoms. In such instances, this is categorized as a form of non-allergic rhinitis.


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