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Alcohol Allergy Symptoms

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Alcohol Allergy Symptoms, Causes of Alcohol Allergy, Treatment of Alcohol Allergy, What Exactly is Alcohol Intolerance? Anaphylaxis Treatment

Alcohol Allergy Symptoms

The condition which many people believe to be alcohol allergy symptoms is known as alcohol intolerance. People who are truly allergic to alcohol should avoid alcohol entirely.

Possible allergens in alcohol include the following:

  • Wheat,
  • Barley,
  • Rye,
  • Grapes,
  • Yeast.

Alcohol intolerance is mostly confused with alcohol allergy. Although quite severe, the latter condition is very rare.

Causes of Alcohol Allergy

  1. Histamine intolerance – This is when your body does not produce enough histamine. This causes your body to react to beverages containing histamine. Histamine levels are higher in red wine.
  2. Sulphites intolerance – Sulphite is used in beer for preservation. You are most likely to experience an allergic reaction if you are sulphite-intolerant.
  3. Hodgkin’s lymphoma – This is cancer of the lymphatic system. This may cause lymph nodes to become painful after alcohol consumption.Symptoms of Alcohol Allergy

Alcohol allergy symptoms may include the following:

  • Nasal congestion,
  • Difficulty in breathing,
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Loss of conscious,
  • Skin itchiness,
  • Body swelling.

It is important to differentiate between alcohol intolerance and alcohol allergy.

Symptoms of alcohol intolerance include:

  • Increased heartbeat,
  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting.

In the event you take alcohol and you develop an allergic reaction, see a doctor immediately. You should not ignore alcohol allergy symptoms since they could be a sign of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Diagnosis of Alcohol Allergy Symptoms

Make a trip to an allergist if you develop alcohol allergy symptoms after alcohol consumption.

Diagnosis of alcohol allergy symptoms will begin by the allergist asking you the following:

  • What alcoholic beverages trigger your alcohol allergy?
  • What are the symptoms you get after alcohol intake?
  • When was the onset of these alcohol allergy symptoms?
  • Does it run in your family?

A further test will be conducted if an allergist suspects that you are truly allergic to alcohol. This test is known as a skin prick test.

What Exactly is Alcohol Intolerance?

It is important to know the difference between alcohol allergy symptoms and alcohol intolerance. Alcohol intolerance is when your body is unable to metabolize alcohol.

Ingredients that cause alcohol intolerance include:

  • Sulphites,
  • Grains,
  • Histamine.Risk Factors

Some people are more susceptible to an alcoholic intolerance than others.

These risk factors include:

  • Being asthmatic,
  • Asian origin,
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
  • Being allergic to grains.

Treatment of Alcohol Allergy

  1. Abstinence – Unfortunately if you are truly allergic to alcohol, the only treatment is to avoid alcohol. Over-the-counter prescriptions are only advised if the allergic attacks are not severe.
  2. You should always take note of the ingredients of foods and beverages that you consume. Avoid foods and drinks containing alcohol.
  3. If your allergy is triggered by ingredients of a certain alcoholic drink, switch to another alcoholic beverage.
  4. Epinephrine – You should always carry your medication as prescribed by your doctor. This medication is in the form of an injector known as Epinephrine.
  5. Inhaler – Since asthma is a risk factor causing alcohol allergy symptoms, an inhaler will be prescribed.Anaphylaxis

This is a severe allergic reaction which is mostly fatal. Consumption of alcohol can trigger anaphylaxis.
Insect bites, ingredients found in some foods and beverages can trigger anaphylaxis as well.
A little alcohol intake is enough to trigger anaphylaxis if you are allergic to alcohol.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Low blood pressure,
  • Tongue and throat swelling,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • An itchy rash.

The onset of anaphylaxis can be instant or gradual. Its attack is often life-threatening.

In case of an anaphylaxis shock, do the following immediately:

  • Administer epinephrine injection into a muscle immediately,
  • Call for emergency care immediately, e.g. an ambulance,
  • If the patient is not breathing properly, administer CPR,
  • Ensure that you stay with the patient for at least one day. This is to monitor their condition in case of another attack.

Anaphylaxis Treatment

Treatment is done through intra-muscular injection using epinephrine. Steroids and anti-histamines are also recommended.


It is important to know the difference between alcohol intolerance and alcohol allergy symptoms.
Alcohol intolerance is when your body cannot metabolize alcohol.
Alcohol allergy symptoms are what you experience when your body reacts after consuming alcohol.
Causes of alcohol allergy symptoms include histamine intolerance, Sulphite intolerance, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Risk factors associated with alcohol intolerance include being of Asian origin, asthma and being allergic to certain grains.

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