Science has shown that alcohol and sneezing, beer and liquor contain histamine, which is what provokes common allergy symptoms. Allergic reactions to beer range from hives and swelling to severe anaphylaxis. Typically the reactions are after ingestion as opposed to just skin contact. If you drink a beverage that causes a mild reaction, over-the-counter antihistamines might help relieve symptoms. However, for a severe skin reaction, weak pulse, vomiting or trouble breathing, seek emergency help right away, as you could be having an anaphylactic reaction. This effect can also make you feel hot when you drink alcohol, but it can also lead to short-term nasal congestion.
Does all beer have histamine?
All alcoholic beverages can be problematic for people with histamine intolerance because alcohol can make DAO, one of the enzymes your body uses to process histamine, less effective. Beer and other fermented products also contain histamine with beer having between 21-305 micrograms/ltr.
There are two physiological reasons why this can happen. According to the FDA, about 1% of people are sensitive to sulfites — a group of compounds found in wine and beer. If the reaction was mild and triggered by red wine, try switching to a white wine.
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People can also have an oral allergy syndrome — a reaction to fresh fruit and vegetables that may be used as a garnish or a mixer in a cocktail, according to Bassett. Hazelnut or almond in liquor can also be a problem for those with an allergy to nuts. “You can get wheezing and asthma symptoms or hives,” said Bassett.
In some people, drinking alcohol may also trigger an allergic reaction, which can cause sneezing and other symptoms. At this time, there have been no reported cases of allergic reactions to beer triggered by hops. However, in some hop-picking farmers, they can develop occupational allergies, hives or asthma; but not from drinking beer.
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I’ve often noticed my nose feeling slightly irritable after a couple of bottles of German beer but not after drinking English beer. Never thought it was a known reaction, just assumed it was the alcohol dilating the blood vessels or something like that. Key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes. Stress can sometimes worsen allergic reactions or sensitivities.