Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Why Does Alcohol Worsen Your Allergies?



Many of you may have heard the saying that drinking alcohol is not good for allergies. But do you know why?

Why does alcohol worsens allergies?

1. Beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages contain histamine, which is produced by yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process. Now as we all know, histamine is the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms.*achoo*achoo*achoo!

2. Wine and beer also contain a group of sulfur-containing compounds known as sulfite, which can trigger asthma and other allergy-like symptoms.

3. According to ACCAI"alcoholic beverages can cause the blood vessels in the nose to enlarge temporarily and produce significant nasal congestion."

4. The dehydrating effects of alcohol can heighten the effects of allergic rhinitis. How so? When the body is dehydrated, histamine is increased. So there we go again with the histamine.


There have been studies conducted that showed that alcohol worsens allergies. In a study done in Sweden in 2005, scientists found that people who suffer from hay fever are more prone to experience sneezing and runny nose after a drink as compared to the general population. Red wine and white wine were found to be the most frequent triggers and women are more likely to be affected than men. Yet another study of thousands of women in 2008 found that alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of developing perennial allergic rhinitis.

So if you are suffering from hay fever or allergic rhinitis, it is best to drink in moderation and cut down alcoholic drinking during the months when your seasonal allergies tend to worsen. More so if you are a woman.

I am not a regular drinker. I drink beer or wine once in a while usually during celebratory occasions. I think the fact that I don't drink regularly has probably save me from more sneezing, itching and blocked nose!