Red Wine Allergy – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

red wine allergyRed wine is relished by many people. However, some people can have an allergic reaction to red wine. Though red wine allergy is not common, it can be a serious issue for those with allergies. The allergy symptoms to the wine can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Red Wine Allergy:

  • Flushing
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Red and itchy skin
  • Hives/rashes

The allergy symptoms can be similar to that of hay fever.

Red Wine Allergy: Blame it on additives

Red wine allergy mostly is caused due to the additives present in the wine. Some of them are:

  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Pesticides
  • Molds
  • Yeast
  • Sulfites

Sulfites are naturally present in the grapes and are a part of red wine. However, to increase the shelf life, manufacturers add sulfites to the wine. The presence of added sulfites can cause allergies. In such cases, you can go for a red wine which has zero added sulfites.

Histamine present in red wine can also trigger allergy. Headache, flushing, itchy skin and shortness of breath are caused due to histamine allergy.

Allergy Tests:

Skin prick tests or blood tests (RAST) can be done to check if a person has red wine allergy. Your doctor would take a note of the ingredients present in the red wine before conducting an allergy test.

Preventing Red Wine Allergy:

  • Organic red wine is less likely to cause allergies as it contains less additives
  • You can also choose a red wine which is sulfite free and see if you are able to overcome the allergy symptoms
  • If your allergies are severe, complete avoidance of red wine is recommended

Red wine allergy, in most cases, is caused due to the additives. Pure ethanol allergy is rare. Consulting an allergist and getting an allergy test done can help in proper diagnosis and treatment of your allergy.

Treatment for Red Wine Allergy

Red wine allergy is treated in the same manner as all other allergies. Mild symptoms can be countered by antihistamines. Skin symptoms are dealt with by topical steroids. For severe reactions, adrenaline and epinephrine injections may need to be administered.

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