Alcohol Intolerance

What is Alcohol Intolerance?

Ethanol or alcohol allergy is extremely rare but if you have an intolerance (defined by YorkTest as a food-specific IgG reaction) to alcoholic drinks, your body may be producing an inflammatory response to proteins present in the fruit or other ingredients in the drink. This can be the grapes in wine or hops in beer. The yeast which ferments the alcohol can also be a cause of alcohol intolerance symptoms

In addition to the problems which could be caused by the ingredients, ethanol also opens up blood vessels which can exacerbate symptoms such as asthma, urticaria or rhinitis. Alcohol can also increase gut permeability which can increase the likelihood of an intolerance forming.

Where to look

It is generally fairly easy, if sometimes frustrating, to avoid alcohol if you suffer from alcohol intolerance. However, it is still important to be aware of the various ingredients in alcoholic drinks which could cause you to experience alcohol intolerance symptoms. These include:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Fruits in alcohol (grapes, apples, berries, coconuts or oranges)
  • Flavours (hops)
  • Grains (wheat or barley)

Advice for alternatives

It is widely known and understood that over consumption of alcohol is generally bad for your health. However, most of us enjoy a drink in moderation.

If you suffer from alcohol intolerance, it is important to understand which ingredient of the drink causes a problem for you (such as wheat, the gluten in the wheat, fruit or yeast). With this knowledge, you can choose alternatives to help you avoid the symptoms of alcohol intolerance

If you have found out that you are intolerant to alcohol, changing your diet need not be daunting. YorkTest Nutritional Therapists are here to help you understand how to optimise your food choices

Information provided above regarding Food Intolerance (defined by YorkTest as a food specific IgG reaction) is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. YorkTest recommend that you discuss any medical concerns you have with a GP before undertaking a YorkTest programme.