I am an asthmatic. I think I'm allergic to alcohol. Every time I have drank in excess of one or two beers (or the equivalent in vodka or rum), I have broken out in hives the next day. However, my hives are not spread all over my body, but are isolated to my palms and finger tips. There have been a few occasions where, in addition to the hives, I have experienced symptoms like wheezing or sneezing after having consumed a large amount of alcohol the night before, but it is the hives that occur the most consistently and cause me the most trouble.
I have experimented with sticking to different kinds of beers or liquors to see if it was isolated to a specific type of alcohol, but I have had the same results regardless. I have also tried only holding my beer with one hand for that night to see if it was the bottle, but it still caused the symptoms on both hands the next day.
Usually, in order to mollify my symptoms to some extent, I take a 24hr Claritin before drinking, and one afterwards. Depending on how bad my hives are after that, I might take a third Claritin tablet 12 hours after the second. I know this overdosing is probably bad for me, but it makes it easier for me to bare the symptoms.
Does anybody have any information about this allergy? Is there any way to overcome this allergy? Is there any way to determine if it is actually alcohol, or another ingredient common in most alcohols, that is causing these reactions?
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