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Do I have an allergy to alcohol?

ANSWER

Allergies to alcohol are rare. Instead, the problem could be with another ingredient or chemical in your drink. This is often called alcohol intolerance. If you have it, you may get:

In a few cases, alcohol intolerance can be a sign of a more serious problem. If you think you have it, talk with your doctor and find out what’s causing it.

  • A red, flushed face
  • Diarrhea
  • Hot feeling
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • A fast heartbeat or palpitations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Stuffy nose
  • Stomach pain, which may include nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • If you have asthma, your symptoms get worse

From: Do I Have an Allergy to Alcohol? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Allergy UK: “Alcohol Allergy.”

University of Notre Dame, Student Well-Being: “Alcohol Allergies: Do They Exist?”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Definition.”

ASCIA: “Alcohol allergy.”

New Health Guide: “Alcohol Intolerance.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Symptoms.”

Food Reactions: “Alcohol Intolerance.”

Robert Eitches, MD, FAAAAI, Los Angeles.

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Causes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Risk factors.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Definition.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 22, 2019

SOURCES:

Allergy UK: “Alcohol Allergy.”

University of Notre Dame, Student Well-Being: “Alcohol Allergies: Do They Exist?”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Definition.”

ASCIA: “Alcohol allergy.”

New Health Guide: “Alcohol Intolerance.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Symptoms.”

Food Reactions: “Alcohol Intolerance.”

Robert Eitches, MD, FAAAAI, Los Angeles.

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Causes.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Risk factors.”

Mayo Clinic: “Alcohol intolerance: Definition.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 22, 2019

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What are common allergens in alcoholic beverages?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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