Can you really be allergic to alcohol?

Alcohol allergies are rare, but people can experience allergy-like symptoms when drinking. Symptoms including wheezing, headaches, and skin flushing mimic causesbut are actually alcohol exacerbating underlying conditions like asthma, hives, and rhinitis. The term “alcohol intolerance” is used to define the body’s lack of necessary enzymes to digest and eliminate alcohol, resulting in unusual symptoms. The chemical composition of alcohol can also play a role in bodily responses. Histamine, sulfur dioxide, yeast, and additives in alcoholic drinks are potential instigators of allergic reactions. Keeping records of drink type, consumables, and activities during the episode is key to identifying triggers. Awareness of alcohol components is necessary for those with sensitivities.

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