Don't you feel good after a glass or two of alcohol? Then you may have an allergy to alcohol! In this case, symptoms go beyond hangovers and headaches the next day and can even become dangerous. Alcohol allergy is comparatively rare, but it can happen. However, the body often reacts with an intolerance to an ingredient in the alcoholic beverage (such as the yeast in beer). It is important to correctly interpret the warning signs!
You should pay attention to these symptoms
- Even small amounts are enough: A big alarm sign is when a glass or just a sip make your body react violently.
- Your face turns red: This may be a sign that an enzyme in the liver that is essential for the breakdown of alcohol (aldehyde dehydrogenase) is being inhibited. This makes it difficult for your body to process and eliminate alcohol. Whether this enzyme is inhibited or not is genetically determined.
- Red spots on the face: After a few glasses, a reddened complexion is normal. But if red spots appear on the décolleté and face after the first glass, this indicates an intolerance.
- Itching in the eyes or nose: This can be attributed to a reaction to histamines contained in certain types of alcohol, sulfites or certain components of beer (yeast, hops, wheat …).
- Migraines, racing heart, diarrhea: Each of these symptoms can be an overreaction to one or more of the 12 allergens that are very common in alcohol.
The symptoms are true – and now?
If you find yourself in this list: Don't panic, there are a number of measures to deal with these unpleasant problems. It's best to do a blood or skin test to find out if you're allergic (and if so, which allergens are allergic to). Depending on what comes out, you can then pay attention to the ingredients when buying alcohol and see whether critical allergens are included. The best thing to do, of course, is to discuss possible countermeasures with your doctor. If your body continues to react violently to alcohol, it is advisable to refrain from consuming it – your health should be worth it!