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Strange Symptoms: Allergic to Beer?

I am a 24 year old male, and I've always loved to have an occasional beer with dinner. About 8 or 10 months ago, though, I started getting ridiculous hangovers (extended vomiting, headaches, etc.), after having only 3 or 4 beer. (These symptoms would never occur, however, until around 9am the next day.) So, I switched to rum and whisky, and the sickness stopped happening. Over the past couple of weeks, I've been testing my luck again, trying one beer on occasion, and nothing happened. So, two nights ago, I shared about 3 or 4 glasses of draught with some friends, and at about noon yesterday I quickly broke out in a strange skin rash -- 100's of small red spots (like small blood blisters) from my shoulders to my knees. They are still there today, although it's not getting much worse now (I've been taking an antihistamine, and I'm awaiting the results of a blood test).

Are these normal occurences? I suspect I might be allergic to something in the beer as it digests... But, I have noticed that these weird things have only occurred when I'm drinking domestic (Canadian) beer, while imported European beers have never yet affected me like that... Any thoughts on this would be appreciated! Are there different ingredients that might be doing this? I really hope I there something I can do...
132 Responses
97615 tn?1212682189
wow I have heard of alcohol allergies but yours sound pretty severe.  although i enjoy imports myself i am not sure if they differ from domestic ingredients.  well, besides maybe more hops and grains in the imports???  are you allergic to wheat??  I hope you find out, sorry i dont have any answers.  I just wanted to reply.
127512 tn?1193745816
My friend had the exact same problem. She drank Budwiser for years and started to have hives. She eliminated everything she could think of and changed all products she uses. 3 months ago she got off the bud and switched to yuengling beer. No more hives. There is a difference in beer ingredients. Don't know if bud recently change theirs that made her sick.
Avatar universal
I also am wondering if I developed an allergy to ingredients in beer....My symptoms: Seems like a virus...about 9 am I get a terrible headache, get sick...yellow bile...and alternate between sweats to chills. I get sick about every 20 minutes, and basically hang out in the shower, bath and bed for about 12 hours and then am just fine. This happened when I drank way to many Budweiser beers on the river, so thought it was from over indulgence about a month ago. Friends came over last night and I drank 3 cheap beers, from Wisconsin and the exact symptoms within the same time frame. I have no food or medicine allergies. It is so severe~~worse than any hang over I have ever experienced...even in college!! Comments?
Avatar universal
have you ever thought about the yeast?
Avatar universal
maybe you have a yeast allergy??
Avatar universal
It sounds as if you may have celiacs disease, which is actually an allergy to gluten. The symptoms that you describe sound very much like the symptoms of celiacs. Your doctor can test you for it and if you do have it, then you can control it with dietary changes and save yourself a lot of pain and medical costs down the line. Also, you'll be happy to know that there are a lot of wonderful gluten-free products on the market now. They are not always easy to find, but they're out there - even gluten-free beer!
Avatar universal
FGQB I have the EXACT same symptoms!!! Am doing research as well. Have heard a rumor that the beer companies are starting to use GM (Genetically Modified) grain which could lead to more of us becoming gluten intolerant. This would also explain why in the past we were ok and suddenly now we get sooo sick. If you find any additional information please pass it along and I will do the same.
Avatar universal
Hi, i am a 38 yr old caucasian female who has been drinking beer since 16.
I started getting an allergic reaction about ten years ago. I drank mostly  Miller Light.  My chin started getting red and flaky under the corners of my mouth.  I couldn't figure out what it was for a really long time.  Then i went to London and drank European beers with no problems to my face at all.   I decided to switch to Coors Light.....no red chin but gives me diarrhea.  I started drinking Bud Light.....red chin was back, the more i drink the night before the worse my chin is.  So im completely confused about why this is happening.  I wish someone would do a comparison study to different beers ingredients and how much so i'd know what to drink now.  Anyone else have this problem??
Avatar universal
Hi, i am a 38 yr old caucasian female who has been drinking beer since 16.
I started getting an allergic reaction about ten years ago. I drank mostly  Miller Light.  My chin started getting red and flaky under the corners of my mouth.  I couldn't figure out what it was for a really long time.  Then i went to London and drank European beers with no problems to my face at all.   I decided to switch to Coors Light.....no red chin but gives me diarrhea.  I started drinking Bud Light.....red chin was back, the more i drink the night before the worse my chin is.  So im completely confused about why this is happening.  I wish someone would do a comparison study to different beers ingredients and how much so i'd know what to drink now.  Anyone else have this problem??
Avatar universal
hi i am 23 years old, i have noticed that when i drink beer like redhorse, the next day, the palms of my hands would turn into red and its sooo itchy.
But when i drink wine or tequila, i dont experience this.
Any informations regarding this matter?
Avatar universal
The beer would contain gluten whereas the wine and tequila are most likely gluten free.  As mentioned above Celiacs disease could be the cause of all of your troubles; the other common allergy would be wheat.  If you have been tested for food allergies and found no allergies, it doesn't mean you don't have celiacs; in allergy testing (skin ***** test or blood test) they do not look for Celiacs.

Another option which was previously mentioned is yeast; not an allergy to yeast, but an overgrowth of candida (just google candida and have a look for yourself).  The candida love the yeast/sugars, like that found in beer and would allow them to thrive in your stomach.  Can cause a variety of problems.
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm a 28 year old bloke and I've been drinking since I was 17 or 18. Two years ago I started sneezing. Initially I blamed the cat but after a while I noticed it coincided with when I drink beer or wine or even spirits. So I had to lay of the booze but every now and again I'd be tempted back to it.
Then I read that most allergies, or more accurately for me, intolerances, are the bodies way of saying enough. I thought well if i'm not drinking very often why when I have one drink do I start sneezing again. So I tried to cut out yeast through not eating bread, which I now realise I ate loads of. Breakfast lunch and sometimes dinner.

The best thing is now I can drink all alcohol without sneezing and I can still eat soda bread which tastes just as good as normal bread. So if you're suffering from beer sneezing try ditching yeasty bread for a bit and see what happens. Good luck, Dave
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