Symptoms Of Wine Allergy | Allergy Test

Symptoms Of Wine Allergy

When consumed in small quantities, wine can be great for your health. But some people can’t drink wine at all because it causes allergy symptoms. It could be disappointing for any wine lover to discover that they have an wine allergy or intolerance, and handling each of these requires a separate set of considerations.

Wine itself is an excellent drink that most people enjoy with friends and family when they get together, but if you start feeling bad after a few sips, you’re probably suffering from symptoms of wine allergy. Conversely, if you feel unwell (not just intoxicated) a short while after drinking wine, you may be suffering from a sensitivity or intolerance.

 

Causes of wine allergy

Many people are sensitive to wine in some regard, but some tend to suffer from a true wine allergy in rare cases. Symptoms of wine allergy can range from mild to severe. Even though some people get nasal congestion and headaches, others may need urgent care because their lives are at risk. Drinking wine may not always cause you to react. For example, you may have drunk wine for years, and once you start drinking this new type of wine, you start getting wine allergy symptoms. So, you’ll need to identify the type of wine that gives you allergy symptoms because it may not be the wine but rather the compounds that the manufacturers use to prepare the wine.

Just like any other food allergy, wine allergy happens when you consume wine and your body releases antibodies to fight compounds found in the wine as it assumes they are “dangerous” even though they aren’t. The release of these antibodies is what causes wine allergy symptoms. The symptoms of an allergy take a few minutes to a few hours to show after coming in contact with the wine. There are many compounds in wine that could cause one to develop wine allergy symptoms, and we’ll discuss those below.

 

Allergens in wine

Several potential allergens found in wine can cause wine allergy symptoms. These include:

  • Sulfites are used to make foods and drinks last longer. Sulfites can sometimes be produced naturally in wine or added to wine, depending on the manufacturer. Most wines and beers contain sulfites. Wine sulfites allergy isn’t rare, and if you are allergic to sulfites, you will also experience trouble when eating dried fruits, dijon mustard, and meat (burger meats and breakfast sausages).
  • Histamines are found in large quantities in red wines compared to white ones. Histamine is produced during the fermentation process of wine, and it’s the most common cause of wine intolerance. Other foods that contain histamines include fish, mature cheese, and meat. These contain at least ten times more histamines compared to wine. Some people with histamine allergy suffer because they have low levels of diamine oxidase enzyme in the small intestine. The purpose of this enzyme is to break down histamine.
  • Anthocyanins and tannin– Anthocyanins are responsible for the red wine color, body, and tannin. They are also found in other colorful fruits and vegetables. You will also find large quantities of these in beetroots, red cabbage, rhubarb, berries, and cherries. Tannins in wine come from the skin of red grapes, the seeds, and the oak barrels that wine ages in. If you’re allergic to tannins in wine, you will also not be able to drink coffee or black tea.
  • Ethanol is a type of alcohol specifically present in wine that can act as an allergen for some people.
  • Grapes contain proteins that can sometimes result in severe wine allergy symptoms{1}.
  • Yeast ferments sugars from grapes into ethanol, which some people are allergic to.
  • Fining agents are added during the production of wine, and they mainly consist of proteins derived from milk, fish, and eggs.

 

Wine allergy symptoms

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Wine allergy symptoms are similar to those of any other food or alcohol allergies. These include:

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • A burning or itching sensation on the lips, mouth, or throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, or throat
  • Rash or hives, which may be itchy
  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea

In severe cases, one may develop anaphylaxis after consuming wine which can be life-threatening {2}. The symptoms include:

  • A swollen tongue
  • Breathing problems
  • Collapse
  • Difficulties with speaking and swallowing
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling faint
  • Tightness in the chest

In case someone close to you experiences anaphylaxis, it is necessary to call an ambulance or rush to the emergency room immediately. If you have a history of anaphylaxis, you will need to carry an EpiPen at all times for emergencies.

 

Wine allergy diagnosis

If you experience the above symptoms every time you drink wine, you can take an Allergy Test to determine whether you truly have a wine allergy. Once you order the test kit, it will arrive within three days at your doorstep, and you can take a sample and send it back to the labs for testing. At the labs, the scientists will check for wine allergies and other common allergens that you might be exposed to in your food and environment.

Upon clarifying that you’re allergic to wine, you will need to keep away from wine and avoid any foods that contain the same. But if you’re allergic to sulfites, histamines, tannins, or other components found in wine, you’ll receive a list together with your test results outlining what you need to eliminate from your diet.

 

Wine allergy treatment

Treating wine allergies requires you to refrain from consuming the drink. If you’re intolerant to some other compounds present in wine, you will need to avoid foods that also contain the same chemicals. Once you refrain from wine, you won’t experience the same allergy symptoms as before, which will be good for your health and general well-being.

If you suffer from mild symptoms of wine allergy, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines that will make you feel better within no time. If you can’t acquire them from a pharmacy, you can get a prescription from your doctor. On the other hand, suffering from anaphylaxis due to wine consumption can be very scary, and you will need to carry an EpiPen with you to help give you first aid whenever you get an attack. After using an EpiPen, you should also visit a doctor for further observation.

The best way to stay safe is to always check out the ingredients in your drinks and ensure that you don’t consume any wine for the sake of your well-being. If you have a sulfite wine allergy, you will need to check wine labels when purchasing them to ensure they don’t contain sulfites. Otherwise, it is necessary to avoid wine and any other alcoholic beverages.

 

If I’m allergic to wine, can I drink beer?

Beer and wine share the same allergens as ethanol, sulfites, and yeast. If these allergens are causing you to have an allergic reaction, you won’t be able to drink beer either. Histamines are also found in red wine, white wine, and beer. So the probability of you being allergic to beer and wine are pretty high. You will need to further discuss with your doctor to see the best way to determine which alcoholic drinks you can have without allergy symptoms flaring up.

 

Final thoughts on wine allergy

While it may be frustrating and seem unfair to discover that you have a wine allergy, it’s imperative that you steer clear of wine and perhaps even many other types alcoholic beverages that may prove to be problematic for you.

If you’re yet to discover which types of alcohol you can consume, you can do this with your doctor, and they will help you take something that doesn’t affect your health. Alternatively, you can cut off any alcoholic beverages in general from your diet if you find it’s the alcohol itself that you’re allergic to. But if you’re suspicious of a potential allergen, the best course of action may be to order a quick home lab Allergy Test. This test will help you discover exactly what you’re allergic to, so you can take steps to adjust and improve your diet.

 

About the Author.

Kate Young joined Healthy Stuff in 2021 as our Laboratory Manager, following 7 years in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for the Oak Clinic Group in Japan. Coordinating a team of 6, her expertise in processing protocols and validations has allowed us to gain ISO 9001 accreditation status and work towards Good Lab Practice and further ISO. After completing her BSc Combined Science: Human and Environmental Biological Studies in 1995, she describes herself as having ’detailed research skills and a very innovative mindset’. See Kates profile here.

 

References

  1. Pastorello, E. A., Farioli, L., Pravettoni, V., Ortolani, C., Fortunato, D., Giuffrida, M. G., Perono Garoffo, L., Calamari, A. M., Brenna, O., & Conti, A. (2003). Identification of grape and wine allergens as an endochitinase 4, a lipid-transfer protein, and a thaumatin. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 111(2), 350–359. https://doi.org/10.1067/mai.2003.35
  2. Schad, S. G., Trcka, J., Vieths, S., Scheurer, S., Conti, A., Brocker, E. B., & Trautmann, A. (2005). Wine anaphylaxis in a German patient: IgE-mediated allergy against a lipid transfer protein of grapes. International archives of allergy and immunology, 136(2), 159–164. https://doi.org/10.1159/000083324.