Keep them in mind next time you're smack dab in the middle of happy hour. While these symptoms can also be signs of an intolerance, a true allergy will demonstrate more than one symptom at a more severe rate. If you choose to drink alcohol, it’s important to be aware of these symptoms and their intensity, in order to better monitor your potential allergen. Sulfites are preservatives, and most countries permit their addition to alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine. However, some people may experience allergy-like reactions after consumption. Symptoms are more likely to be a reaction to the ingredients in a drink, or the alcohol causing other types of allergies to worsen.

how do you know if you re allergic to alcohol

One study of 948 individuals found that 7.2% self-reported wine intolerance. It is unclear if that number reflects the general population. An inherited metabolic disorder means you got this condition from your parents — they each passed down a mutated gene that resulted in this disorder. Even if your parents don’t have the condition, they can pass it to you.

Why Am I Developing Alcohol Sensitivity?

Alcohol intolerance, however, is more difficult to test for. Physicians often diagnose alcohol intolerance based exclusively on the symptoms experienced and the fact that the symptoms develop immediately after drinking alcohol. Doctors also tend to rule out alcohol allergy before diagnosing alcohol intolerance. Genetic signs of alcohol allergies tests can also be done to evaluate if there are problems with the genes that make alcohol dehydrogenase. However, this is not always the cause of alcohol intolerance. Alcohol intolerance, also known as alcohol sensitivity, is typically caused by a change that affects an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase.

There is no treatment for alcohol intolerance at this time, other than avoiding alcohol. You are at higher risk for alcohol intolerance if you are of East Asian descent. As a genetic condition, therefore, it is likely that your family members are at risk.

What Is An Alcohol Allergy?

If a person thinks they have an alcohol allergy, they should eliminate alcohol from their diet and consult with a healthcare professional. Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that can affect a person’s lymphatic system. People with this condition usually experience swelling in the lymph nodes in areas including the neck, armpits, or groin. Alcohol allergy symptoms can range from mild, such as an itchy mouth or eyes, to severe, including vomiting or anaphylaxis.

Can you be slightly allergic to alcohol?

Overview. Alcohol intolerance can cause immediate, uncomfortable reactions after you drink alcohol. The most common signs and symptoms are stuffy nose and skin flushing. Alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body can't break down alcohol efficiently.

Beyond that, an individual must avoid drinking completely to prevent suffering the symptoms of an allergic reaction and possible death. If they suspect you have a true allergy to alcohol or another ingredient in alcoholic beverages, they will likely conduct allergy testing. The most common type of allergy testing is the skin prick test. During a skin prick test, your doctor will use a lancet to prick or scratch your skin. They will apply a drop of allergen extract to the pricked or scratched area. Your skin’s reaction can help them learn if you have an allergy. Alcohol allergies are relatively rare cases because the body naturally processes and breaks down small amounts of alcohol most of the time.

Skin prick test

Destiny Bezrutczyk is a Digital Content Writer from west Iowa. She earned a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from Texas Tech University.

Treating alcohol intolerance depends entirely on its cause. If alcohol intolerance is due to a disease or the use of a medication, successfully treating that disease or stopping the medication will typically help resolve alcohol intolerance. If alcohol intolerance is due to genetic causes, then there is no treatment that will make it go away. Stopping alcohol use will be the only way to avoid alcohol intolerance symptoms. Genetic alcohol intolerance is inherited from one’s parents, and it is caused by a mutation in the gene that the body uses to create alcohol dehydrogenase. This condition is most common in those of Asian descent but can affect anyone, regardless of their ethnic background.