Beer Allergy

A Beer Allergy Causes Headaches, Congestion & Intolerance. Alcohol Allergy Symptoms Are Treatable.

Now before we go any further, let me explain there is hope for all beer drinkers, including myself. 

beer allergy, how is beer made, common food allergies, allergy foods

Good gluten free beer is available and many of them are pretty good, but more on that later. Beer has been around for centuries. It's a process of brewing certain hops, yeast, wheat, and sugars to produce alcohol. Unfortunately some people will experience an allergic reaction after drinking beer and alcohol. These symptoms vary from person to person.

Some research indicates that allergies to beer might be particular proteins and other ingredients found in beer that the person is allergic to. Discuss with your doctor if you think you may have an allergic reaction to beer or an allergy to alcohol. A true allergy to beer or an allergy to alcohol involves production of IgE which causes the allergic reaction.

An allergy is your body's sensitivity to the ingredients in beer such as yeast, hops, or barley.

Ingredients That May Cause Beer Allergy

Some ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction to beer or alcohol intolerance include: 

  • Additives
  • Barley 
  • Grain 
  • Histamine (As in red wine. It's the result of the fermentation process.)
  • Hops 
  • Malted (Malt is cereal grains that has been germinated and dried)
  • Molds
  • Sulphites or Sulphur Dioxide (home-brewed beers)
  • Tannins
  • Water 
  • Wheat and gluten
  • Yeast 


Beer Allergy Symptoms Can Include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Hives
  • Itchy red skin 
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Skin itches
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing 

If you do drink alcohol, stay with those that you know won't cause an allergic reaction or those with less ingredients. You can also:

  • Try liquors like rum and tequila
  • Not drink flavored liquors and flavored liqueurs such as coffee, cream, and fruit.
  • Not drink carbonated beverages such as wine coolers, alcoholic punches and alcohol mixed with soda, carbonated water, or tonics.

Can I Drink Beer If I Have Wheat Or Gluten Intolerance?

My personal answer is no. I have a gluten intolerance and cannot handle regular beer. 

beer allergy, how is beer made, common food allergies, allergy foods

On occasion I will get a quality gluten free beer. Malt contains gluten so drinking a malted beverage or beer might trigger an allergic reaction. For me, it's feeling tired and sleepy, similar to when I eat corn. Yep, another allergy to corn as well as gluten. No corn chips for me.

It's best to completely eliminate regular beer and any alcoholic beverages that causes you an allergic reaction. The risks far outweigh the benefits of downing a cold one. You can try these: 

  • Digestive enzymes and probiotics 
  • Drink more water to flush your system
  • Eat live cultured foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, Microalgae (spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae)
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods
  • Kombucha Tea 
  • Occasional high colonics to flush out your intestines
  • Tempeh (great substitute for meat)

If you have a beer allergy you may have a wheat allergy, gluten allergy or intolerance. Talk with your doctor or allergist about getting tested. In the meanwhile you may want to avoid these foods:

  • Beer battered foods
  • Catsup
  • Cereals
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Ice cream and other dairy products
  • Modified food starch
  • Natural flavorings
  • Processed meat
  • Wine sauces
  • Wheat bread

If you have a severe beer allergy or alcohol intolerance you can wear a medical bracelet or necklace. These can be worn and read to alert others of your allergy in case you're not able to communicate.

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