When you have allergies, it can seem like everything is out to get you because everywhere you go, you encounter something that makes your eyes red and your nose runny. Everyone’s allergies and triggers are different, but common irritants include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold. What you may not realize, however, is that alcohol can be a major trigger for allergies and well-meaning your after-work tipple might be a not-so-happy hour after all.

Alcohol Allergy vs Allergy Intolerance

It’s common for people to use the words “intolerance” and “allergy” interchangeably, but they are two separate conditions.

Alcohol intolerance is a metabolic and genetic problem with the digestive system, preventing you from processing alcohol normally. Symptoms of alcohol intolerance are nausea and flushing of the skin on the face, neck, and chest.  

An alcohol allergy, like other types of allergies, is an immune system response. When you have an allergy, it’s due to your immune system viewing non-harmful substances as a danger. The symptoms you experience are how your body fights off the perceived threat. Symptoms of an alcohol allergy include nausea, rashes, itchiness, swelling, and abdominal pain.

An actual allergy to alcohol is rare. What you most likely have is a flare-up caused by exposure to specific substances in the alcohol.

How Alcohol Affects Symptoms

Depending on what is in your glass, you may be ingesting substances like histamines, gluten, sulfites, grains, and yeast. Any or all of these could cause a flare-up of allergies and allergy symptoms.

One of the biggest culprits is sulfites, a preservative found in many food and drinks including wine. Sulfites have been used for centuries in wine to help release the best parts of the grapes, prevent oxidation,  and protect the wine’s color, taste, and fermentation process. If you have a sensitivity to sulfites, you’ll start to notice symptoms within 10-15 minutes of having a drink.

In addition to sulfites, many alcoholic beverages contain histamines. Histamines are a substance naturally produced by your body but can be found in foods and drinks like cheese, wine, fish, and fermented foods.

Allergy symptoms that alcohol worsens include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Rashes or hives
  • Facial flushing
  • Coughing
  • Asthma
  • Headaches  

What Should You Drink Instead?

If you don’t want to give up having a drink, there are some beverages you should opt for to prevent a flare-up of any allergy symptoms. It isn’t possible to find drinks that are histamine free, but there are some with lower levels of histamines. Choose clear liquids as much as possible because beer, ciders, and dark liquids contain a lot of sulfites and histamines. Examples of clear liquids are unflavoured vodka, gin, and tequila. You should also opt for organic, natural, and sulfite-free wine.

Allergy Medications

Most allergy sufferers use allergy medications to help prevent and manage their symptoms. Depending on the type of reaction you have and how severe it is, you may use tablets, nasal sprays, or injectable medication. Whatever you take for your allergies, Pharmacy Planet has it available for purchase online with swift and safe delivery.

Visit our website today to buy allergy treatments like Epipen Auto-Injector and Rhinocort Nasal Spray online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet.