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how do you know if you are allergic to alcohol??

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Old 06-04-2003, 08:18 PM   #1
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mace1313 HB User
Smile how do you know if you are allergic to alcohol??

I was just wondering if there was anyone who is allergic to alcohol, and if so what were your symptoms, and how did you find out that you were actually allergic to it. Thanks.

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Old 06-07-2003, 01:23 PM   #2
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mikeralph HB User

I think it is a manifestation of a fungal/yeast problem.

Old 06-07-2003, 05:21 PM   #3
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Jessylove HB User

I have never met anyone alergic to alchohol. but i imagine it would be the same as most foods that you are illergic to.

Old 06-08-2003, 03:56 AM   #4
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Sarah68 HB User

Basically, if you are allergic to alcohol it is to do with the high yeast and probably wheat content in lager and beer and possibly egg white used in some white wines.

It is the typical reaction that would give you stomach problems, accommpanied by itching and hives.

Old 06-08-2003, 10:55 AM   #5
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Instruisto35 HB User

The allergy to alcohol is also known as alcoholism. When a person is allergic to alcohol, their liver cannot break down alcohol properly.

Old 06-09-2003, 05:11 AM   #6
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Sarah68 HB User

Not necessarily and I beg to differ.

I think this person is asking about having a few drinks and then having a bad reaction such as hives. A few drinks does not constitute alcoholism and instead typifies any kind of allergy reaction to any substance that includes stomach problems, itching and hives. This oversensitivty reaction is caused by the immune system with the overproduction of antibodies, being IgE and Eosinophils in allergy type reactions. The gut reaction is classically produced by IgG antibodies. This mechanism is the same as in involved with allergic type asthma and also hay fever. So it is no different.

I agree, that with alcohol, the liver can have a toxic overload and that is why the allergic reaction happens. When the liver becomes unable to cope with the onslaught of toxins, it does tend to chuck out skin reactions, however, you can find that alcoholics do not have allergy type reactions when they drink.

I do believe that alcoholism is a disease, as is any other kind of addiction and people should be enabled to get all the help they need to get over this, but I would not put it into the same category as having a classic allergy reaction to something that is in an alcoholic drink, be it the yeast or the wheat. Would you call someone who goes down to his local pub and has a couple of beers during the week and at weekends and then wakes up the next day to find that he has an upset stomach and has come out in hives an alcoholic? I certainly would not, because unfortunately, exactly the same thing has happened to me in the past and I am certainly not an alcoholic.

I think we are talking about two different things here and I believe that alcohol allergy and alcoholism are two completely different things.

I think it is perfectly possible to have a normal immunologically based allergic reaction to a component within an alcoholic drink itselft without being an alcoholic.

Alcoholism is a disease, as I said before, however it goes a lot deeper than an allergy and people who are alcoholics need a lot of help and support throughout their lives to beat it. It is correct to say that the liver cannot detox all the alcohol and becomes comprised with cirrhosis and then liver failure and jaundice occurring in the latter stages of the disease, however, this is the liver that has the problem with being overwhelmed with trying to detox the vast amounts of alcohol and not the immune system. It is the immune system initially rather than the liver that is responsible for allergic reactions. Big difference.

Hope this helps?

Old 06-21-2003, 08:34 AM   #7
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aeello HB User

how about a new twist on an "allergy" to alcohol...I have a friend whos very heavyset, but with one drink, the guy is drunk. Seriously. Two drinks--very drunk. Three drinks at 6 in the evening will keep him going until 3 in the morning. Some might say that this is just intolerance, but I think its a natural way of his body telling him he's "alergic" to alcohol b/c the liver can't process it correctly. But by all means, if you break out in hives after drinking beer, stay away from it. This can be a good thing tho...there are some liquors that are actually good for the body and I don't mean red wine. There have been studies on gin that the juniper berry (which makes it) is good for arthritis, and agave (in tequilla) is good for many another health ailment. As always, drink in moderation.....hope this helps.

Old 06-24-2003, 12:18 PM   #8
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ladybug _crazy HB Userladybug _crazy HB Userladybug _crazy HB Userladybug _crazy HB User
Red face

my sister had an allergic reaction to the drink REV. she's not allergic to alcohol...apparently just something in that specific drink. she got really sick and swelled up so bad they kept her in the hospital for a couple of days. the dr.'s said she's not the first one they've seen with those symptoms from that drink.

Old 06-25-2003, 02:11 AM   #9
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Andrew29 HB User

If you're Asian, it can be something different, in slang terms, "Asian Flush". It's not as serious as an allergy, but basically, your body lacks certain enzymes that break down the alcohol. So, the alcohol will be more toxic and chances are you won't be able to drink as much. Symptoms: low drunk tolerance, body/face flush, heart beats faster, and of course you'll have a greater chance of throwing up because the alcohol is more toxic. I'm sure there are more symptoms, but that's all i experience. I still haven't found a way to be able to drink at or close to normal level. If anyone knows any way, please share. I love to party, but hate not being able to drink.

Old 06-25-2003, 10:39 AM   #10
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franann HB User

About a month ago, I woke up in the middle of night throwing up. This continued even after my stomach was empty. The next day, I was weak, but the vomiting subsided. I thought that it was either something I ate, or a virus.

At 5:00am this morning, I partially woke up and then felt that my head was spinning when I was trying to relax to fall back asleep. I sat up and was very weak. I also felt a little nauseous. I could barely make it to the bathroom. I could feel sweat dripping down my body. I did not throw up. I went to lay down on the sofa with my head elevated on a large pillow. After a while, I felt better and sleepy, so I tried to go back to bed. The minute I put my head down, the dizziness began again. I immediately picked up the extra pillow to prop myself up with and took deep breaths until I felt better. I did doze again after that, I felt very sleepy. The phone rang later and I got up to answer it. When I went to lay down again, I picked up my head to notice the time and there was the dizziness again and this time I did need to vomit, although my stomach was empty. The sweating would come and go.

I have since eaten something this morning and I do feel better.

The only thing in common about the two episodes is the fact that I drank red wine that night before.

The first time, it was one glass before dinner(merlot), the second time it was 1 1/2 glasses(I msut say that I did feel the effects of it) after dinner (cabernet). I have had red wines in the past with no problems that I can remember. I have had other kinds of alcohol with no problems. Could I have developed an allergy to red wine? I really thought that I might have been having heart failure this morning.
After I thought about it a while, it did sound like something similar to a hangover - but I had not had that much to drink. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

Old 06-29-2003, 09:16 PM   #11
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KJdancer HB User

i know of people who are allergic/intolerant to sulfites, which are in wine.

you might want to look into this.

Old 08-05-2003, 11:39 PM   #12
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vega HB User

I have an allergic reaction to alcohol - and no it has nothing to be with alcoholism but a food allergy.

It used to be that after drinking, I would break out in hives (real bad case, too). That doesn't happen anymore but the skin on the underside of my fingers will dry up and peel off after about a week.

It's weird. I don't drink much at all but even a bottle of Bartles & Jaymes has the potential of drying up my skin. The more I do drink, the more skin will peel off (again, fingers only).

Yeah, sorry if that sounds gross.

Old 08-06-2003, 04:37 AM   #13
Hogan Grimm
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Hogan Grimm HB User

Hello all.
I have been suffering with chronic hives for a little more than 3 years now. I am an alcoholic. (Beer only)
Now I have been alcohol free for just about 1 year. Even though I have quit drinking, It didn't help me to stop breaking out into hives. The one thing I did notice though while I was still drinking and I told my doctor this, is that when I did drink my hives would go away. I mean as I was drinking I could literally watch them disappear. My doctor looked supprised and said I have never heard of that. Of coarse I do not recomend this to anyone, because even though while I was drinking my hives would go away and stay gone for about 2 to 3 days, they would always come back much much worse. Believe me it is nice to not be broke out into hives but I had to make a choice because the more I broke out the more I had to drink, and I was and am already an alcoholic. The way I stopped was not easy at all, I just realised that there is more to life than staying drunk all the time, and every time I wanted to have a beer, I would look at myself and see the hives and know that if I drank even though it would make them go away, they would come back much worse. That is just my experience with alcohol. To those of you with a drinking problem, if you can't quit drinking on your own, please seek help to do so. If you drink in excess for to long, it will kill you.
I truly believe drinking like I did for so so many years is the reason I probably have this problem with breaking out into hives now. I wish I would have stopped years ago, and mabe I wouldn't have this problem.
I hope I didn't offend anyone. Anyway I hope this helps.
Hogan Grimm

[This message has been edited by Hogan Grimm (edited 08-06-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Hogan Grimm (edited 08-06-2003).]
The answer has got to be here somewhere.

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