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Old 01-15-2005, 08:05 PM   #1
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I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Hi all, new here, new to the allergy as well.
Here goes............I am 33 yo f from NY. I have four kids and work as a waitress. I have never been a heavy drinker, I would say perhaps 4 -6 times a year! ( at least during child birth years ). Before that I drank as much as any other single party girl. This past summer I was at a bar and drank a diet coke then ordered a corona. I took a few sips and then it happened. My throat closed and I panicked! I was rushed to the ER were I was finally treated. I had giraffe like size hives, it was incredible! Once I calmed down, the doc said it may have had a reaction to something in the bar. Perhaps the something gross from the soda gun lines. Anyway, the next night, I was curious, I drank a small amount of vodka. It happened again, this time it wasnít as bad. I did not have to go to the ER. about a month later while at work my customers insisted that I do a shot of So Co with them. Instinctively, I did it forgetting about the prior events. This was the worst yet. Every single organ in my body was affected. I mean I honestly thought I was going to die. Embarrassed by this ( I know that is dumb) I did not call for an ambulance, I quickly took a benadrine and found a quiet corner to calm myself down. Soon after that I went to an allergist. On my second visit, I brought in all the things that had given me this reaction. I was tested (skin *****) with everything I had brought as well as the other standard things. Everything except tree nuts came back negative. This doc was truly a jerk though. I felt he did not believe me and had the nerve to say that my shock was spontaneous! He also stated as well as many other docs that no one can be allergic to alcohol because the molecule is too small. Ok so they all say this but it doesnít change the fact that when I drink alcohol I almost die!
A few nights later, while I couldnít sleep, I decided to take some NYQIL! bad news............ although I realized after that this contains alcohol, I had forgotten because I periodically drink NYQUIL
Thankfully the reaction was minor.

Weeks passed and my frustration grew. One night I decided to see if wine ( made by grapes not grains ) would do the same thing! and...........

YUP! It does. SO this time, the reaction was bad and as my husband grabs for my epipen and tries to figure out how to use it, he *****s his own finger. So we both go the ER! YIKES.
I visited yet another allergist. This informed me of the molecule fact but seemed interested in me and my case. He tested me for al the standards as well as certain grains found in alcohol. Everything came back negative! He hasnít given up on me yet, I am due back to see him next week.

So.......heres the thing. This did happen before. Once when I was about 12, I ate a chocolate bar that contain brazil nuts ( tree nuts were confirmed though). Once again when I was about 24 I drank a chocolate shake in a fancy gourmet shop. Both times, it was not too bad. I have always drank in moderation. Recently, ( in the past two years or so) the only things that have changed n my life are a huge weight gain and then a huge weigh loss, about 65 lbs. I did this by using the low carb method. This past summer, I sunbathed alot. Besides that, nothing is different about me except my age of course. I have been researching this via internet and although, it is confirmed that scientifically, no one can be allergic to alcohol there have been case.... very rare. And, it may not necessarily be the alcohol but the preservatives and/or sulfites that will give reactions. My last resort will be to make my own alcohol and test in the doc care, that is, if he is willing to do that.

My reactions are extreme! I canít express the process, all I can say is that it feels deadly and I have read that indeed it is life threatening! So here I am, I am putting this out there hoping that someone, somewhere, knows someone that this has happened to or perhaps someone that can help me.


Any information is appreciated!

thanks
Renee

 
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:48 PM   #2
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Hi Renee, did you bring the alcoholic drinks that caused your anaphylaxis to the first allergist you saw? I'm sorry to hear that he wasn't of much help to you.

Do you know that alcohol causes mast cell degranulation? When mast cells degranulate, histamines and other chemicals are being released into your body. If the amount of histamine being release is small, there won't be any problems or many just a little rash. E.g. some people will get a rash on their necks or chest when they drink which will disappear after a few hours.

However, if there is a huge histamine dump... this is big trouble! The large amount of histamine in your body will cause you to hive, have difficultyl in breathing, throat closing, swelling... and all those symptoms of anaphylaxis. Maybe it is the huge histamine dump that you get whenever you have alcoholic drinks. Does the drink that you take have any fruits(decorations) in it?

I'm not sure if you have done this- take all those drinks that you reacted to, to your next doc appt. Make sure it's the same drink and not a substitute of what you took. The brand, flavour and etc must be the same. Then have an 'allergy testing' with those drinks in your doctor's office. Make sure he has medications, equipments to treat you immediately near by in case you have an attack! All the best to you and let me know how everything goes.

 
Old 01-16-2005, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Beer.......
I have thanks I have rad about everything there is to read about alcohol allergy because there is not much about it!

Cheer, I did bring exactly thr three things I had the reawction to, to the doc. I was able to because I work in a restuarant and had acces to it all. I have drank all these things in the past with out problems. I brought these things to the first doc, not the second. He tested me for the grains and such that ar in these drinks. None of these drinks had fruit, except the corona which was garnished with alime. Which I have had ( and had since then ) and I was tested for as well.

I am telling you, this is a big mystery. I am just curious if I take benedril before I drink, I wonder what would happen. Unfortunately, one is NOT suppose to do that. However, I am curious.

This is s toughy. One one hand, I really want to know what it is and be able to drink occasionally. On the other hand, now that this has happened, I dont think I want to risk it nor, do I think I will ever be comfortable drinking!

anyway, cheer, I am not medically knowledgable although, I hear what your saying about mast degradulation, I just really don;t understand it.lol Is there an article or something I may be able to read more about that?

Thanks all.........keep em coming, I am desperate at this point any info that may give me a lead would be great!


thanks
renee

 
Old 01-17-2005, 07:35 AM   #4
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Arrow Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Hi renee, just want to check with ya whether you drank the drinks that you brought to the doctor or he performed a skin test with what you brought? Btw, was it negative or positive? You also might want to request for a RAST test; it's a blood test for allergy stuffs. Just to let you know, food allergies are much more harder to diagnosed (even with tests) than other allergies for example, dustmites, pollen, dander... Since food allergy testings can have false results eventhough you might be allergic to it.

I'm sorry renee, I should have explained more... 'degranulate' also means 'release'. It's just another word that is often used to describe the mast cells being released into the body. Another way to say is... "mast cells release chemicals (histamines, prostaglandin D2[PGD2]...etc) and this process of releasing their loads(chemicals) is called degranulation". Mast cells are an important part of the immune system and they are a specialized form of white blood cells which contain several different chemicals that are needed to fight
infections and aid in healing. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. You can also search on 'mast cells' and I'm sure there are lots to read about.

If you have taken antihistamines prior to ingesting what you are allergic to, the chances of a bad reaction or any reaction is low/mild since the receptors(areas where histamines will attach themselves to, when they are released into the body) are blocked by the antihistamines already and the histamines have no place to attach to. However this might not always be true if someone has a severe food allergy. And yes, you are not suppose to do that 'testing' especially without medical supervision. It can be done in a doctor's office.

Another thing to think about is whether you had eaten any other food before you had the alcohol drinks? Even a few hours before the drink? There's this thing called cross food allergy reaction where when 2 foods taken together will cause an allergic reaction. If the food is taken alone without the other offending food, there will not be any reaction. This might be another issue for you and your doctor to look into.


I hope this info helps... good luck!!!

 
Old 01-17-2005, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Thanks again for the response. I did take in exactly what I drank on all occaisions to the doc. where he proformed skin tests on me. they were all negative.
I can;t remember (NOW) specifically what I ate but at the time I remember telling him ( the doc ) none of which was the same but he said even if it were there was no such thing as some sort of combonation allergy. But then again he was an idiot! lol. he is the one who pretty much blew me off saying what happened the me was spontanous anaphylactic shock! NOT! hes history got a new guy that seems interested in this all............ if he cant figure it out, not sure what I will do!

thanks again

renee

 
Old 01-18-2005, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Renee, to add to what the others have posted... Since your reactions are life-threatening, I advise you to keep working with the doctors to try to understand what exactly it is you are reacting to. If it really is the alcohol, then you know what you need to do to stay safe. But if it is sulfites or other trace additives, you need to know because these things can be found in other foods/drinks.

I hope you find a good doctor, one who will listen to you. Best of luck.

Kristi

 
Old 01-18-2005, 06:17 PM   #7
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Thanks kristi, I know, I have been told that there are these types of preservatives are in dried foods such as flaked mash pototoes, dried friuts etc. I am definietly gonna look into this more.
thanks again
renee

 
Old 01-08-2006, 03:49 PM   #8
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

maybe you have become allergic to gluten which is in almost every alcoholic drink. under a doctors supervision maybe you should try something like potatoe vodka which has no gluten or don't eat anything for a day and see if u get the same effect after a drink.

 
Old 05-23-2008, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

Don't give up just letting you know there are people out there besides you experience anaphylaxis to alcohol, I saw you message an felt sorry for but at the same time I happy to know I am not alone. I also experience the reaction when I get isopropyl and ethanol alcohol on my skin, so I have not tried drinking it for fear of a worse reaction. Do you get this bad from getting it on you like I do. Anyway do not be discouraged this is not in your head there a few of us out there who know what your going through.

 
Old 05-25-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: I have a serious allergy to ALCOHOL (anaphylactic shock!!!) Help!

I think I am allergic to alcohol too. I had some wine tonight and my skin turned pink in some places. My face and chest always turn bright red and warm like I have gotten a sunburn. I feel like my skin in on fire in some places just underneath. I think it may be the sulfates in it. It's just not worth it to me to have a drink. I hate feeling this way.

 
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