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Can You Have a Beer Allergy?

Can You Have a Beer Allergy? | Just Believe Detox

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If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Detox Center at (877) 497-6180. Our specialists can assess your individual needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

A beer allergy, or beer intolerance, is definitely possible and may be caused by several factors. Beer itself contains a multitude of ingredients to which an individual may be allergic. Beer is mostly water, but it may also contain the following other ingredients:

  • Alcohol
  • Artificial flavors
  • Histamine
  • Hops
  • Malted barley
  • Other chemicals
  • Sorghum
  • Sulfites
  • Wheat
  • Yeast

An individual may also possess a sensitivity to one or more of these ingredients rather than a full-blown allergy.

Alcohol Intolerance

If other alcoholic beverages, such as liquor, wine, or hard seltzers, cause you to feel sick, alcohol intolerance is probably the culprit. Alcohol intolerance causes an immediate reaction when the individual consumes an alcoholic beverage. Unlike a true allergy, alcohol intolerance is caused by the digestive system, not the immune system.

Most commonly, the individual will develop flushed skin, and their nose and sinuses will become stuffy. However, symptoms can become more severe for some people.

The cause of alcohol intolerance appears to be inherited through genetics. The body of an individual with alcohol intolerance can’t metabolize alcohol as efficiently as it should because it lacks the proper enzymes. Avoiding alcohol is generally the only way to prevent uncomfortable symptoms from cropping up.

Food Intolerance

If you experience a reaction after drinking beer but not after drinking liquor or wine, then you’re probably allergic to an ingredient other than alcohol. Like alcohol intolerance, food intolerance is usually genetically acquired.

Symptoms of Beer Allergy or Intolerance

A beer allergy or beer intolerance can cause symptoms similar to other allergic reactions or intolerances, such as the following:

  • Bloating
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Flushed skin and face
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Stomach aches
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Worsened asthma

It should be noted that drinking alcohol can worsen the symptoms of other allergies, such as pet dander or pollen.

Serious Complications of Beer Allergy

Can You Have a Beer Allergy? | Just Believe Detox

A true allergy to alcohol or other beer ingredients is a significant health concern that needs to be addressed and managed by a physician. Indeed, some allergic reactions can be debilitating or life-threatening.

Rare but severe complications associated with beer allergy may include migraines and anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a dangerous reaction that causes the body to go into shock and narrowing of the airway. Anaphylaxis can occur in just seconds or within minutes.

Signs of anaphylaxis include:

  • Constricted airway
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Labored breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe low blood pressure
  • Skin redness
  • Swollen tongue and throat
  • Weak and rapid heart rate
  • Wheezing

In case of anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. Anaphylaxis can be reversed with a shot of epinephrine, usually in the form of an EpiPen®, which all first responders carry.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol intolerance or allergies can manifest later in life. This can cause issues because they may begin to take hold after someone is already addicted to alcohol. In instances such as these, professional treatment should be sought to limit the consequences of any potential allergic reaction or to salvage an individual’s quality of life.

Moreover, if you feel sick after drinking, it may be a direct result of alcohol abuse rather than an intolerance or allergy. Alcohol abuse causes a litany of unpleasant short- and long-term effects, some of which can mimic intolerance or allergy.

Short-term effects of alcohol abuse include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Distorted perception
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dulled senses
  • Flushed skin
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor judgment
  • Poor concentration
  • Slurred speech
  • Stomach aches
  • Unsteady gait

Long-term effects of alcohol abuse include:

  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Brain damage
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chronic high blood pressure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Increased cancer risk
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Learning disability
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Poor attention span
  • Poor memory formation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stroke
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Worsened mental health

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

If you think you have a beer allergy and find that you cannot quit drinking despite previous attempts, you likely have an alcohol use disorder. To overcome this, you are urged to enter into medical detox to stop drinking as soon as possible.

Attempting to detox at home is ill-advised. Doing so not only increases the likelihood of relapse dramatically but places one at risk of developing severe, possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or delirium tremens.

At Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery, we offer individuals comprehensive, customized treatment programs. Clinically-proven, beneficial services we offer include psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, relapse prevention, art and music therapy, mindfulness meditation, aftercare planning, and more.

Our professional staff provides those we treat with the compassion and care needed to conquer addiction once and for all.

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.
If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Detox Center at (877) 497-6180. Our specialists can assess your individual needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

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