Common allergens in alcohol are:
- Histamine: This is present in many alcoholic drinks, particularly red wines, and can cause headache, flushing, nasal symptoms, gut symptoms or asthma.
- Yeasts: Yeasts are a possible cause of a true allergic reaction to alcoholic drinks.
- Sulfites/Sulfur Dioxide: Sulfur dioxide is particularly common in home brewed-beers and wines as sodium metabisulphite. Around 1 in 10 asthmatics are sensitive to sulfites and may have a wheezy reaction to alcoholic drinks.
- Additives: Additives e.g. tartrazine, sodium benzoatecan trigger urticaria and asthma.
- Plant-Derived Allergens: Grapes, apples, juniper berries, oranges, flavors, malt grain from which the alcohol drink is made can cause allergic reaction. Sometimes you might find fungal spores in the form of mold (which is rare).
Any one of the above substance may cause an allergic-like reaction, and may also be found in your favorite beer. Studies show that alcohol can interfere with the functioning of the immune system, potentially increasing an individual’s sensitivities to other allergens.