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Are You Allergic to Alcohol?

alcohol allergy doctor palm beach county

As a highly addictive and toxic substance, alcohol brings many effects that impact your body's health. Experts in Palm Springs urgent care warn that the consumption of too much alcohol may cause damage to the organs or raise your risk for diseases like cancer and gastrointestinal problems. In some people, drinking alcohol may also lead to an allergic reaction and while this is rare, it could still have a fatal outcome.

 

Alcohol Allergy or Alcohol Intolerance

Sometimes, the symptoms of alcohol intolerance may seem like an allergic reaction. You could feel your face becoming red or flushed or you develop hives and feel your nose getting stuffy. Your blood pressure may also drop and your heart may palpitate. You may also develop a headache after a binge and some stomach discomforts.

These symptoms are reactions to the components or ingredients of the alcohol but these are not the results of an alcohol allergy. A genuine alcohol allergy occurs when your immune system has been compromised. Thus, you may feel the following:

 

  • Rashes, hives or urticaria
  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tightness around throat and mouth or throat constriction 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness

All of these are symptoms of anaphylaxis due to the presence of ethanol in alcohol. If you have an alcohol allergy, even just a small amount can cause anaphylaxis. If you have alcohol intolerance, experiencing digestive discomforts and symptoms are pretty common. Visit our walk in clinic in Palm Springs if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Our doctors will identify the cause and suggest the most effective treatment options. 

 

Alcohol Ingredients That Trigger Allergies

Beverages containing alcohol are mixed with different ingredients, preservatives, and chemicals that your body might be having a hard time breaking down.

  • Red wine has high histamine and yeast content.
  • Beer, vodka, gin, bourbon or whiskey have barley, hops, rye, wheat and nut extracts. 
  • Wine, champagne, cognac and martinis have grape proteins.

Some alcohol has fining agents like egg, milk or fish protein, as well as sulfite additives or preservatives that can trigger reactions in 10 percent of people with asthma, according to a study published in  Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench.

Your risk for alcohol allergy increases if you have other food allergies, asthma, or a disease called Hodgkin's lymphoma.

 

Prevention and Treatment for Alcohol Allergy

The only way to prevent an alcohol allergy is abstinence from drinking. Consequently, you also need to be careful when eating food cooked with alcohol as one or two spoonfuls may be enough to cause a fatal reaction.

The presence of alcohol in other substances may not always be obvious. For instance, fermented fruits may naturally have alcohol. Some medications, especially cough syrups, may also contain alcohol.

If necessary, treat an alcohol allergy like you would any type of allergies. This means that you might have to carry an epinephrine auto injector in case of alcohol exposure or wear a medical identification bracelet for emergency situations. 

 

Learn more about alcohol allergy from Palm Springs Urgent Care doctors

If you think you have an alcohol allergy, consult with a doctor at Urgent Care Forest Hill to get the necessary tests, such as a blood test or a prick test. The latter will be a quicker process to determine your body's reaction to an ingredient in an alcoholic drink as tiny bumps on your skin will usually appear.  Schedule an appointment now or Contact Us for more information.

 

Screenshot-2019-10-28-at-18.01.23-1024x680 Are You Allergic to Alcohol?

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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