If you are truly allergic to alcohol then you suffer from Allergies Type 1, also called Contact Allergies. Doctor Vincent Crump of the Auckland Allergy Clinic suggests that it is more often than not, the other ingredients that cause the allergic reaction such as yeast and sulfur dioxide instead of the alcohol itself.
It is unknown how may people suffer from allergies to alcohol products because many of the normal symptoms associated with drinking alcohol are also associated with allergic reaction. Redding of the skin on the face and neck, itchy eyes and nose, hives, loss of motor functions, vomiting, and eczema are typical reactions to the contents of wine and beer and also symptoms of allergic alcohol reactions.
Some people of Asian descent experience an unusual flushing reaction after ingestion of alcohol. This is believed to be caused by a genetic disorder. The body is unable to break down alcohol properly. It has been suggested that anyone who experiences a flushing reaction after drinking alcohol could be at risk for cancer of the esophagus, liver disease, and other alcohol-related conditions.
Sulfur Dioxide has been added to wines since the Roman times. Is inhibits yeast growth, preventing the wine from turning into vinegar so giving wine a longer shelf life. Sulfur Dioxide also helps to give aged wine its many distinct flavors. There are limits to the amount additional sulphur dioxide winemakers are permitted to add. Wines containing more that 25 parts per million of sulfur dioxide are required to be listed on the wine label.
Allergies to yeast found in wine and beer, although rare, may cause allergic reaction and is usually characterized in the form of hives.
Red wine contains more histamine than White wines. Taking antihistamines prior to drinking wines may help reduce the allergic effects of histamines. Fruit wines contain lower levels of histamines than wines made of grapes.
Egg white is commonly used in the fining process. Finishing is the process where undesired organisms are removed by the addition of egg whites or bentonite. The solids fall out of suspension and are removed, so creating a clear wine. None of the egg white or bentonite is supposedly to remain in the wine after the fining process is completed so egg whites and bentonite are not listed on the label as part of the wine ingredients.
If you are unsure what is giving you problems you could try the Food Challenge Test. Avoid allergy causing foods and drinks for several weeks. The doctor will then give you a pill of each suspected agent one at a time under close supervision. If symptoms appear within two hours after the taking the pill then you are allergic to it and will need to avoid it.
Always consult your doctor before using this information.
This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.