Alcohol Allergies Can Cause Sneezing, Flushing, Headache

Posted on: June 15th, 2023 by Cathy Caldwell No Comments

Depending on the allergy severity, a person may treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications, such as oral antihistamines, if the reaction is mild. If a person thinks they have an alcohol allergy, they should eliminate alcohol from their diet and consult with a healthcare professional. The amounts of histamine vary between wines, but generally, there is more histamine in red than white wine.

If you find that certain foods make you sneeze, such as strawberries or shellfish, try avoiding them before you drink. This will help to reduce the number of histamines in your system and make it less likely that they’ll trigger a sneeze. If you find that certain drinks trigger your sneezing, try switching to a different type of alcohol.

How common is alcohol intolerance?

On top of those reasons, the individual may have an alcohol intolerance. An alcohol intolerance is commonly mistaken for an alcohol allergy and is often misdiagnosed. If your body is unable to remove acetaldehyde from the body, symptoms like congestion, flushing, headaches, and more can persist. Although gin is not a cure for asthma and allergies, it will not make them worse. Furthermore, compared to beer, wine, and dark liquors, gin can keep your intolerance symptoms such as flushing, stuffy nose, and alcohol rash to a minimum.

Many people with nasal polyps and asthma who react negatively to aspirin may also experience an allergy-like response to drinking alcohol. Alcohol intolerance is more common than a genuine alcohol allergy. In fact, a 2012 study with 948 participants found that 7.2 percent of the individuals reported having symptoms that resemble allergies after drinking wine. One of the most common symptoms of alcohol intolerance is diarrhea. Although this may also occur in people who are not alcohol intolerant, it comes on more severe and much quicker for those who suffer from the disorder. Diarrhea happens as a result of alcohol consumption because it inhibits the absorption of water in the large intestine, leading to quicker stool passage.

Alcohol Allergy vs. Intolerance

If you’re allergic to alcohol, you may experience hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. If you experience these symptoms after drinking alcohol, you must see a doctor as you may need to be treated for an allergy. You don’t need to be allergic to alcohol to feel ill after a night of drinking. Pour your glass a little too generously, and you may experience nausea, vomiting, memory loss, and more. Even drinking in moderate amounts can wreak havoc on your health over time, putting you at increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease. It seems there’s no shortage of ways that alcohol can cause you harm.

People with alcohol sensitivity experience an unpleasant symptom called the alcohol flush reaction. An alcohol flush reaction is when the face turns red and may also affect your chest and your back. It happens as the blood vessels in the face dilate because of the body’s inability to manage all the toxins in an alcoholic beverage. Wine contains many organic compounds including proteins from grapes (of course), bacteria, yeast, sulfites (some wines) and biogenic amines (histamine). These products may contribute to symptoms of an allergic reaction. If you have any severe or painful symptoms after drinking alcohol, don’t just brush it off as alcohol intolerance.

What Is Celiac Disease?

Your body creates antibodies to fight the allergen the way it would a pathogen. You may also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, heart flutters, and a stuffy or runny nose. As with histamines, this issue comes down to a depletion of enzymes — in this case, enzymes that are required to metabolize alcohol in the liver. One too many glasses of rosé might not be the only thing to blame for those horrible hangovers — you could also be allergic to alcohol.

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