Can You Be Allergic to Alcohol?

The study of allergies is becoming more and more popular as studies and tests are easily administered and the medical industry is realizing more people have allergies than they realized. Many of us have known for a long time what we should avoid by simple trial and error, but alcohol is one of those things that you don’t encounter until later in life. Also, alcohol inherently creates its own “symptoms and reactions”, so it is more difficult to know whether your reaction is from over-consumption or from an allergy. If you are curious about whether or not you are allergic to alcohol, or other foods, contact the best allergy doctor in New YorkDr. Shukla and his staff will be able to shed some light on your inquiries.

Alcohol Allergy or Alcohol Intolerance

Many people use the term allergy and intolerance synonymously, but that is a common misconception. It is important to first understand the difference between an allergic reaction and intolerance so that you know what symptoms to look for. The biggest difference is that intolerance has to do with the digestive system, while an allergy directly involves your immune system. More people suffer from intolerance than allergies, but with many of the symptoms being the same, what should you look out for to know the difference?

Symptoms to Look Out For

Here are a few signs that you may have more than just intolerance to alcohol:

  • Your face, neck, and chest will get red and become warm because your body has a harder time metabolizing alcohol than most. This symptom is more commonly referred to as alcohol flush reaction, and occurs because you lack the enzyme to properly break down alcohol into a harmless substance that your body flushes out. With this reaction can include dizziness, heart rate increase, and an overall feeling of discomfort.
  • Hives are another universal symptom that signals an allergic reaction. Many of the allergic reactions can be linked to sulfites, and this symptom is not exclusive to just alcohol allergies.
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing are another major symptom of alcohol intolerance. If you feel your nose or mouth begin to swell, stop drinking immediately as not to make it worse.
  • Stomach cramps and nausea are signs that the beverage you are enjoying may not be enjoying you.

Many of these symptoms are also signs of intolerance, but to a lesser degree. If you experience some of these symptoms, but no pain is involved, then you most likely just have intolerance; it is once you start experiencing extreme symptoms or pain that you are moving into allergy territory. If you have any questions regarding allergies, be sure to contact Dr. Shukla today to schedule an appointment at the best allergy doctor in New York.

Treating Alcohol Allergies

There is no way to counteract your allergic reactions other than avoiding the ingredient that triggers the reaction. In the case of alcohol, as long as your symptoms are not life threatening, you can do trial and error to see if all alcohol gives you symptoms, or only certain types of alcoholic beverages. This way, you will know what to avoid, and you can make educated decisions on how you would like to responsibly enjoy an alcoholic drink. Even small amounts of things that you are allergic to can trigger a reaction, so it is very important to know specifically what you need to avoid.

In short, yes, you can very easily be allergic to alcohol and many people are. Although you may think you have your allergies figured out, it is always important to get a professional opinion from the best allergy doctor in New York. Click here to contact Dr. Shukla today and schedule a consultation.

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