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Old 07-02-2007, 04:48 PM   #1
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Alcohol Allergy?

On June 8th I came home from work and drank half a Sam Adams Light beer and ended up in the emergency room. I've been drinking sam adams for years with no ill effects. I had gone into complete anaphylaxis. Swollen lips, eyes, hives. They gave my 7 prednisone tablets, a shot of benedryl, a shot of epinephrine and a steroid shot straight into my vein. I went home and was fine. The guy at the ER said it probably was the bactrim I had taken and not the alcohol or any of the ingredients in the beer.
So.. the next friday I opened a sam adams and took just a small sip. Just the amount that was in the neck of the bottle. Within seconds my throat began to itch as did my hands. It didnt get as bad as last time because I drank so little. The redness and itching went away in about 2 hours.
I made an appointment with an allergist and went last Thursday. The allergy stick test showed nothing so she did the injections on the back of my arm. Turns out I am allergic to all different types of mold. She took a blood test to test for hops and yeast but the results wont be back for a while. She said I could probably have a rum and coke since she thinks the allergy is hops. Well, last friday I made a VERY week rum and coke, took a small sip and here comes the itching and the red hands and this time the bottoms of my feet were itching too. I also noticed vinegar makes my throat itch. I called the allergist and told her this and she called in a prescription for an epi-pen just in case. This is all very scary. Whats up with me? I just turned 50 and I'm falling apart. If I cant drink any adult beverages its fine with me. I just want to know whats causing the itching and swelling. Everyone says an alcohol allergy is very rare. So what else do rum and beer and vinegar have in common? Has anyone else had an allergy like this? Sorry to be so long winded. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by suz0320; 07-03-2007 at 06:23 AM.

 
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Maybe severe yeast syndrome? My daughter had this problem. She could only drink distilled alcohol, nothing made with yeast. Beer has lots of yeast, some brands more than others. I didn't think rum had much but I could be wrong. Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

I can eat bread with no problem. Is there a difference between bakers yeast and brewers yeast?

 
Old 07-03-2007, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Actually an alcohol allergy is NOT very rare. Many people have them, just the affects are not as bad as yours have been, and people keep drinking. If you drink and become flushed in the face or red nose and cheeks, even after a little beer. You are allergic to the enzyme in alcohol; And canít digest it properly. However the allergies you are experiencing with full out allergies, that is more rare. People are not normally deathly allergic to alcohol. I would keep away from it for a while, work on your health, or maybe cleansing your body. Then try it slowly in 6 months to a year from now. That is probably the best thing you can do for this.

 
Old 07-04-2007, 03:28 PM   #5
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miyu View Post
Actually an alcohol allergy is NOT very rare. Many people have them, just the affects are not as bad as yours have been, and people keep drinking. If you drink and become flushed in the face or red nose and cheeks, even after a little beer. You are allergic to the enzyme in alcohol; And canít digest it properly. However the allergies you are experiencing with full out allergies, that is more rare. People are not normally deathly allergic to alcohol. I would keep away from it for a while, work on your health, or maybe cleansing your body. Then try it slowly in 6 months to a year from now. That is probably the best thing you can do for this.
Its just so odd to have been drinking beer for over 30 years and all of a sudden it does this to me. I have never been allergic to anything at all. This was my first experience with anaphalixis and I hope its my last. That scared me so badly that I will never drink anything with alcohol in it again. And I will miss my beer. I just loved a good rich dark beer on a friday night while visiting with friends. Oh well, its iced tea for me. Thanks for the response.

 
Old 07-04-2007, 04:54 PM   #6
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Have you tried an antihistamine beforehand - like benedryl or zyrtec? Just to see what happens?

 
Old 07-05-2007, 05:42 AM   #7
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
Have you tried an antihistamine beforehand - like benedryl or zyrtec? Just to see what happens?
I'm too scared to try alcohol at all anymore. I would love to know what would happen but too scared to try it. The allergist put me on an antihistamine called R-Tanna. It has a decongestant in it and I'm not congested nor have I been. My visit to check out my allergy results is July 31st. Its just amazing to me how this happened so quickly. One day I could drink beer and the next I couldnt. I just dont understand why.

 
Old 07-05-2007, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

ok, more test results are in. I am NOT allergic to brewers yeast, hops or barley. What now? Maybe its ethanol. My doctor is on vacation until the 24th. Must be nice. I'll have to wait and see what she suggests.

 
Old 07-05-2007, 06:03 PM   #9
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

I feel your pain. I absolutely love peanuts. Have eaten them in some form my whole life. One day I ate a couple of bites off of a Payday candy bar...and thought I was dying.

Full blown allergy testing showed I was NOT allergic to any kind of nut. Had both skin scratch and blood tests done. But like you.....I am terrified to ever put another nut in my mouth....or in your case....a sip of beer.

My allergist said he was totally confident I had no allergy to nuts and to eat them. He didn't have the episode I had! Easy for him to say eat them. LOL

Last edited by Vickie306; 07-05-2007 at 06:04 PM.

 
Old 07-06-2007, 05:50 AM   #10
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie306 View Post
I feel your pain. I absolutely love peanuts. Have eaten them in some form my whole life. One day I ate a couple of bites off of a Payday candy bar...and thought I was dying.

Full blown allergy testing showed I was NOT allergic to any kind of nut. Had both skin scratch and blood tests done. But like you.....I am terrified to ever put another nut in my mouth....or in your case....a sip of beer.

My allergist said he was totally confident I had no allergy to nuts and to eat them. He didn't have the episode I had! Easy for him to say eat them. LOL
Thats exactly how I feel. I think that there should be a new rule. Before you can become an allergist you have to go into a full anaphylaxtic shock. I dont think they know how scary those events are. I bet if they actually knew what they were like they wouldnt be so quick to say.."Oh go ahead.. Eat a few nuts, have a few beers, swell up like an elephant with thrombosis. You dont need to breath anymore.. you've breathed enough." lol lol. I agree 100% with you. They just do NOT understand.

 
Old 07-14-2007, 05:09 AM   #11
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

You may be allergic to sulphites that preserves alcohol

 
Old 07-15-2007, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rara1 View Post
You may be allergic to sulphites that preserves alcohol
are there sulfites in rum too?

 
Old 07-15-2007, 06:03 PM   #13
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

I believe sulfites are just in beer, ale and wine....

 
Old 07-15-2007, 07:24 PM   #14
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

You could be allergic to the type of alcohol it is. You could be allergic to Wheat, Potato, etc. Many different liqours are made from different types of barleys and hops. Some vodkas are wheat vodkas...and other are potatos. So.....I would try a food test to see if you are allergic to that or any gluten. Then maybe you can rule out some drinks to others. I am personally allergic to potatos and I cannot drink any vodkas, rum, beer that made from potato hops or whatever they use. I don't know too much about the process....I just ask the liqour store people if there is any of what I am allergic to in it.

Goodluck! I am so sorry you had such a horrible reaction. Allergies can be scary and very complicated. If you don't like this one allergist go see another one. My allergist is a ear, nose, and throat specialist...they specilize in allergies as well and they are great!!!!

 
Old 07-16-2007, 07:39 AM   #15
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Re: Alcohol Allergy?

I am allergic to yeast and can not drink any beer as a result.. also I lack sufficient levels on the enzyme necessary to process alcohol, so I can not drink the hard liquors either. On the upside. I am a very reliable designated driver and I find endless amusement watching the behavior of those that do get drunk in my presence.

In the case of sudden onset allergies. You should be able to call the company and get a detail listing of what was used in their beer creation in that lot.. maybe they changed something.. they won't tell you how they make it.. but they should be able to give you an elemental composition. Also there are various stages in your life you can be more susceptable to developing allergies. Puberty, 25, menopause, 50 for males, pregnancy for females.. Also if the thyroid becomes unbalanced or begins to fail you can have issues as well.

I would recommend you get a full blood chemistry panel run to rule out the thyroid and then get allergy testing done.

Respectfully,
MG
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