However, people can also experience intolerance symptoms due to the ingredients in alcoholic beverages . Even though alcohol is a substance that is poisonous to the human body, most people do not experience allergies or other harmful or annoying reactions to it when they ingest it. However, there are many people who experience allergy-like symptoms whenever they drink alcohol. Continue reading below to find out whether you can be allergic to alcohol and the signs of a reaction to look out for. Produced by yeast and bacteria during fermentation, histamine may be present in some alcoholic beverages. Histamine is a chemical released by mast cells during allergic reactions.

Although the actual amounts vary between different wines, in general there is more histamine in red than white wines and more in Shiraz than Cabernet. Others substances in wine may also cause problems to some individuals, but these are not well defined. If you have asthma or hay fever and suspect alcohol intolerance, stay away from red wine, which contains high levels of histamine.

Myth: Alcohol is a cough suppressant

Cough suppressants, or antitussives, work by suppressing the urge to cough. The cough suppressant dextromethorphan OTC is common in brands like Delsym and Robitussin 12-Hour Cough Relief. Dextromethorphan can also be found in some combination prescription cough medications, such as promethazine/dextromethorphan cough syrup. And then there’s the matter of the over-the-counter meds you are taking to manage your symptoms. Flu or cold medicine combined with alcohol can actually have some very significant drug-drug interactions. Kevin Davis, Pharm.D., pharmacy supervisor at the University of Florida Health, Jacksonville, and that adds insult to injury. What’s more, alcohol can impair the immune system, which isn’t what you need when you’re trying to recover from an illness.

Alcohol may also act as a preservative for cough medicines, which helps extend these products’ shelf life. Small amounts of alcohol can cause vasodilation — a widening of blood vessels — which can worsen a runny nose or congestion. Medicines with pseudoephedrine will tighten blood vessels , which is why they can help relieve congestion. In other words, it works on the surface of your skin, but not as a disinfectant when you drink it. This means alcohol doesn’t help kill cold viruses or other germs inside your body.

Alcohol Intolerance and Allergic Reaction/s May Include:

The symptoms of a migraine include a pounding headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. This headache pain may not occur until 1-2 hours after drinking, and it can last for several hours. It’s common for people to get nauseous and even vomit after consuming too much alcohol. However, if you have an allergy or are intolerant to alcohol, you may get nauseous after just 1-2 drinks. Nausea and vomiting with alcohol intolerance may also be accompanied by stomach pain. The most common symptoms include facial redness, hives, nasal congestion or a runny nose, headache, nausea, vomiting, and the worsening of a pre-existing asthma condition.

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People with asthma and hay fever should be wary of consuming alcoholic beverages because they can trigger allergic reactions. Histamine is the primary culprit, as it is produced during fermentation and found in beer, wine, and liquor. In some cases, alcohol might not even be the direct cause of the symptoms; it could be an indirect factor that exacerbates existing symptoms. For example, alcohol can lead to dehydration, which makes it harder for the body to flush out allergens and toxins that might trigger an allergic reaction. This naturally occurring chemical in your body is found in beer, champagne, and wine, particularly red wine. It is also found in foods like smoked meats, aged cheese, salted fish, vinegar, and yogurt. When your body does not have enough diamine oxidase, an enzyme, to break down histamine, allergic reactions can result.

Does alcohol make allergies worse?

If you suspect an allergic to whiskey allergy or intolerance, it is important to take a break from alcohol consumption and see a doctor. Your doctor will inquire about your family history, ask about your symptoms, and complete a physical exam.

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