Drinking alcohol can trigger migraines in some people, possibly as a result of histamines contained in some alcoholic beverages. Your immune system also releases histamines during an allergic reaction. The second reason why alcohol can cause sneezing and congestion is that wine, beer, and spirits contain histamine, a compound that elicits an allergic response. Of all alcoholic beverages, red wines usually have the highest histamine content. Some people may experience uncomfortable symptoms when drinking alcohol because they are intolerant to an ingredient in certain alcoholic beverages.
Avoiding foods and drinks high in phenols can help reduce symptoms and prevent further issues from developing. Many allergy sufferers who drink alcohol notice an increase in their symptoms. Alcohol can cause congestion, dryness of the mouth and throat, and itching or burning sensations in the nose or throat. These are all common symptoms of allergies and can make existing allergic reactions worse. Additionally, drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration, which further exasperates allergy symptoms. In more severe cases, an epinephrine injection may be necessary.
Surprising Side Effects of Alcohol
In more severe cases, individuals may experience difficulty breathing and even full-body anaphylaxis. Those who are allergic or sensitive to alcohol should avoid all forms of it, including beer, wine and liquors. Alcohol intolerance is a relatively rare condition that causes a person to experience abnormal side effects after drinking alcohol. A person can be born with alcohol intolerance, but it can also be caused by certain medications or medical conditions.
- Although red wine is especially high in histamines, all alcoholic beverages have high levels of histamine.
- Other items to be aware of include medications that contain alcohol, such as asthma inhalers and some over-the-counter cold medications.
- Of course, no supplement is 100% effective against negative symptoms from alcohol, but at least some supplements can help you drink a bit more comfortably.
- Even so, the American Dietetic Association considers these distilled spirits safe for people with celiac disease.
- The lactic acid-making bacteria can produce loads of histamines in wine, especially if there’s a decrease in nutritional conditions, according to the Journal of Applied Bacteriology.
You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. If a person is allergic to a particular ingredient found in some drinks, they could switch to drinks signs of alcohol allergies that do not contain it. However, some people with Hodgkin lymphoma experience pain in their lymph nodes after consuming alcohol. Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that can affect a person’s lymphatic system.
What Causes Alcohol Intolerance?
Alcohol intolerance will normally cause people to avoid alcohol, as the unpleasant symptoms are quite undesirable. For individuals carrying gene variations that impair alcohol metabolism, the best way to prevent alcohol flush reaction is to avoid drinking or to limit alcohol intake. In fact, hindering alcohol flushing elevates the risk of cancer by enabling higher levels of alcohol consumption and thus higher acetaldehyde production. People who take certain medications that alter alcohol metabolism can also experience the alcohol flush reaction. Such medications include those used to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and infections. In addition, disulfiram, a medication used to treat alcohol use disorder, alters alcohol metabolism so that acetaldehyde builds up when a person drinks alcohol.
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. We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a call today from a treatment provider. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today.
Pay attention to a headache or migraine 1-2 hours after drinking.
The Recovery Village offers resources for people to learn more about alcohol abuse andalcohol use disorders,as well as comprehensivealcohol rehabtreatment programs. A discussion with a healthcare professional may also help determine the reasons for a skin reaction along with treatment and prevention options. While cirrhosis scars from excessive drinking are irreversible, quitting alcohol and leading a healthier lifestyle can help your liver heal from alcohol-related liver disease. Alcohol detox isn’t easy and not everyone can do it on their own.
How can you tell if you’re allergic to alcohol?
Symptoms of an alcohol allergy include rashes, itchiness, swelling and severe stomach cramps. Allergy symptoms are often more painful and uncomfortable than alcohol intolerance symptoms. In rare cases, if untreated, an alcohol allergy can be life-threatening.
There are several ways to reduce the effects of tannin sensitivity and enjoy high-tannin wines. One way is to decant the wine before drinking it; this exposes the wine to more air, making the tannins more mellow and less noticeable. Rich, fatty foods can help soften the tannins in a glass of red wine and make them more palatable. When this blood-brain barrier isn’t protected as it should be, the brain is more susceptible to headache-inducing triggers. In this article I address each spirit individually, starting with wine and beer, two common drinks people enjoy, and then moving on to liquors. But what if alcohol is making your allergy or asthma symptoms worse and you still can’t stop drinking?
What Are the Symptoms Of An Alcohol Allergy?
Unless you’ve had genetic testing done, it’s hard to know if you have the gene variant. Instead of having expensive tests run, pay attention to the symptoms you experience after consuming alcohol. While supplements like Sunset are designed for Asian Flush or alcohol flush reaction, their main basic function is to break down alcohol as quickly as possible.