Are You Allergic To Alcohol? Learn How to Recognize it

How To Recognize If You Have Such Allergy

If you experience unpleasant symptoms nearly every time you drink liquor or alcoholic beverages, you might be wondering whether or not you are allergic to alcohol. Especially if these symptoms come on when you have had relatively little to drink relative to when anyone would start to experience unpleasant symptoms from drinking, then worrying about an alcohol allergy can be a very reasonable response.

Part of the immunological problem with trying to figure out whether or not you actually are allergic to alcohol is the fact that, by and large, people are actually not aware what it is exactly. It is much more specific than simply experiencing the negative consequences when you drink – after all, everyone experiences that!

Note: Such beverages can increase the likelihood of allergic reactions (even anaphylaxis) to other foods.

Here are some of the ins and outs of alcohol allergies and some things you can do.


Symptoms of this type of allergy can include nasal congestion, stomach cramps, flushing, nausea, rapid heartbeat, nasal swelling, congestion, asthma, rashes, hives (meaning, skin which is itchy, red and inflamed – and often, hot to the touch), accelerated/rapid heartbeat, aching head, vomiting or otherwise upset stomach, abdominal pain, and a stuffy or runny nose. If you have any of these symptoms after drinking a relatively small amount of such beverages, especially if you experience them consistently when drinking alcohol, then there is a very good chance that you do indeed have an allergic reaction.

How to Figure Out If You Have Alcohol Allergies Symptoms

Although you can do their own experiments to gain anecdotal knowledge about the ways that different types and amounts of beer, vodka, red wine, whisky, cider affect you individually, the only sure way to find out if you have such allergy is to visit a doctor and have him or her make a medical determination on that front.

There are several different types of tests that your doctor might perform in order to determine whether or not you have a medical allergy. One of these types of tests is called a “skin prick” test. In this test, the doctor pricks your skin with a small needle that contains a possible allergen – in this case, alcohol or its specific type. If the reaction is visible on your skin, then an allergy is conclusively determined.

There is also another type of test that is sometimes run which is a blood test. In this test, the clinical determination is the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies because these help to show your reaction to substances. However, this test is less accurate than the skin test.

There are also other determining factors which are not specific medical tests, such as your medical history and the physical examination that the doctor will perform on you.

How to Narrow Down This Allergy

The only way to determine which problematic types of wine, cider, vodka, tequila, beer or whisky for you, outside of a clinical setting, is to drink different types and make sure not to mix them. Spend an entire evening drinking only one kind of beverages (red wine, beer, vodka or whisky) and determine if you have any adverse effects.


Unfortunately, the only way to deal with an alcohol allergy – especially a severe one – in any kind of predictable way is to abstain completely from drinking. Alternatively, you can drink in small amounts to determine how much alcohol you can ingest before starting to experience symptoms.

Now that you are aware of the specific symptoms of alcohol allergies and what you can do about it, you are much better prepared to deal with the situation, whatever that specific situation might be. For additional information about this topic you can check website and our next article.


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