Alcohol Allergy and its Symptoms

Alcohol allergy

is more of intolerance than allergy. Those who take alcohol beyond the limits experience the unpleasant side effects of the drink. Many reactions occur due to unconstrained drinking of alcohol and it is no wonder that alcohol is called “Slow Poison.” Allergies are only a small part of the adverse reactions of alcohol. In this article we discuss the mechanism of alcohol allergies and the symptoms that manifest in the condition.


Mostly the term “alcohol intolerance” is referred for alcohol allergy. This is because the body cannot tolerate the reactions of alcohol. Both terms have the same meaning when it comes to the symptoms.

Alcohol is not tolerated well due to deficiency of the enzyme called Aldehyde Dehydrogenase also known as


This enzyme is needed to metabolize the alcohol into acetic acid or vinegar. If the alcohol is not broken down it acts as a toxin to the body. Immune system of the body is triggered upon acknowledging toxin in the body. The symptoms manifest following the trigger in order to get rid of the toxin.

Symptoms of alcohol allergy differs from person to person. Some are very sensitive. They cannot tolerate the irritation as it becomes an allergen after a certain limit. And for those who are used to alcohol and have a strong physique, the symptoms are mild. So it depends on the immunity of the person.

Here are a few symptoms of alcohol allergy:

  • Skin rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Stomach pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tachycardia or faster heart beat
  • Heartburn
  • Running nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Numbness in limbs
  • Headaches
  • Sensation of heat

It is seen that alcohol allergy symptoms first appear in the portion of the body more prone to allergies. In most of the cases the skin is affected first and the symptoms of the reaction show up as skin rashes and hives.

Alcohol allergy can be very dangerous in some situations. Some elements on the alcohol may cause

anaphylaxis reaction

in the victim. In an anaphylaxis reaction there is a sudden drop in the blood pressure level and the chances of losing consciousness are high. It may result in permanent damage of body organs.

The above symptoms of alcohol allergy are often confused with hangover. One needs to consult a doctor immediately upon seeing any of the allergic symptoms.

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