Alcohol Allergies

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beer allergiesMany people need a drink to get through the day, because they are addicted to the ingredients of an alcoholic drink. Therefore, it seems that alcoholism and food are closely related to addiction, if not identical.

Researchers at the Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, have recently conducted intensive research on alcoholism and its possible causes. There was evidence to justify the belief that alcoholism is, in fact, an allergy food. His research showed that alcoholics are twice as susceptible to allergies to foods that are non-drinkers. Alcoholics were found are addicted to different elements within the drink, rather than alcohol itself.

Alcoholic beverages are made by the fermentation of sugars derived of cereal starches and vegetables. For example, beer contains barley and hops, whiskey, barley malt, vodka, potatoes, barley or rye, wine, grapes, and so on. All alcoholic beverages contain yeast, another common allergen.

The presence of alcohol in the system acts as a catalyst for the absorption materials in the intestinal tract. As the alcohol is absorbed, it is required along with food particles from which the alcoholic beverage made in particular. Moreover, because the catalytic effect of alcohol, accelerated uptake of any drug or food eaten with alcohol, also occurs.

The ingredients that make an alcoholic drink can cause a form of addiction of food allergy, which, because of the influence of alcohol, is even more acute without alcohol food allergies. As a result, a person with this problem becomes a compulsive drinker, or grossly inaccurate use of that word – ‘alcoholic’.

The chemical effect of alcohol causes compulsive drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms that are even more intense than other food allergies. The drinker addicts, in despair, reaches another drink to seek relief and thus perpetuates an endless cycle of ingestion and withdrawal. Dr. Mandell writes about addiction alcohol as a food allergy.

“Alcoholics may feel they are taking to combat a state of anxiety or depression of mind due to some emotional problems – and no doubt a drink makes them feel better fast – but in reality, are suffering from addiction form of food allergy, and anxiety and depression nervous system are allergic reactions to food residues of raw materials, of the alcoholic beverage.

As in most related with food allergies, there is an addictive process that requires more frequent large doses to control withdrawal symptoms and briefly to regain a sense welfare. This is particularly true with the compulsive drinker, which is locked in a cycle of relief and withdrawal symptoms, followed by recurrent symptoms, which is only relieved with more alcohol. It is only when this endless cycle is permanently broken the victim could regain good health. After that, abstinence is usually the only answer, even if the allergy is to grains and the person who has been a beer drinker, then a change to a non-grain based on wine, as wine, can solve the problem. However, this should only occur after a period of total abstinence for at least six months to allow the immune system overloaded system to regain full function.

People who are dependent on alcohol often have a serious problem of childhood masked allergy. Along his childhood and teens in the afternoon, which were never well – suffering from various diseases recurring fatigue and terrible attacks of depression that go with insidious condition. Then, with his first sip of beer or spirits, they feel much better. Others may have an initial negative reaction, followed by a sensation beneficial. The result in both cases is that the individual forms a firm bond with the alcoholic beverage and subsequently incorporated into their daily lives. Start a spiral downward, which can last many years before the person reaches a stage where the alcohol is no longer relieve the symptoms no matter how much is consumed.

Most alcoholic beverages other than wine is cereal based, with wheat being an important ingredient. Therefore, a close relationship appears to exist between a person the taste for foods such as bread, cakes and cookies, and the need to drink beer in excessive quantities.

About the Author:
Daniel Struinburg is an volunteer counselor for a Alcoholics Anonymous in St. Louis, Missouri.

Alcoholics Anonymous – Historical Retrospective

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Milk Allergies

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What is the difference between organic milk, regular milk and soy milk?

My daughter is 1 year old and just had allergy testing done. The testing confirmed that she does have an allergy to milk.  I’ve been introducing her to soy formula with only 1 ounce each of her bottle and been a week now but she still seems to have allergic reactions. I just read that it is also possible to have an allergy to soy milk.  What can I do?

Best Answer:

Yes, an allergic child can have an allergy or become allergic to any milk and at any time. If a child is believed to have allergies, it is always advisable to track all foods and beverages in a journal for the first three years.

It is possible that she would also be allergic to soy since it also considered to be a possible food allergen. However, statistically, soy allergies are rarer than dairy milk allergies. My brother was born allergic to all dairy and my mom substituted rice products for years and he eventually grew out of it.  Rice Dream is one of the best and allergy reactions are very rare if any.

To answer you question about organic and non-organic milk; the distinction should always be made by whether or not the product contains the following ingredients if tested:

  • antibiotics
  • pesticides
  • growth hormones

The dairy cows that the milk is extracted from should also be free of any type of cloning programs to be considered organic. Do not confuse natural with organic as natural have totally different meanings such as no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Also, it is always better to look for certified organic seals on the packaging since the word organic itself does not always guarantee the product to be 100% organic.

Source: Yahoo Answers

Additional Information on Milk Allergies from the Editior-In-Chief

Please keep in mind that any soy product which has been processed in any way can lead to allergies in adults or children. It is therefore a good idea to shy away from all processed soy milk or cheese products for persons which have a tendency toward allergies. Also, consider alternative milk products such as almond milk which is rarely allergic to most individuals.  (Refer to the Related Posts below for more information about this important subject)

Related Posts: Dairy Allergies, Cheese Allergies and Food Allergies.

Eczema & Allergies : Symptoms of Milk Allergies

Sulfite Allergies

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sulfite-allerySulfite Allergies Are Serious

Add sulfites to the long list of substances a person with allergies or asthma may want to avoid. Sulfites are salts used for preserving processed foods.

Sulfite sensitivity occurs in about 5 percent of adult asthmatics or approxi­mately 500,000 people. The symptoms include hives, itching, flushing, tingling, nausea, and asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath. In rare cases, shock, heavy sweating, and loss of consciousness may occur. Sulfite sensitivity is more common in people who take steroids for their asthma symptoms.

When shopping for food, always read labels carefully. If you have a sulfite sensitivity, here are some categories to watch for:

  • Pickled products (canned vegetables, pickled vegetables including sauerkraut)
  • Dried fruit (dried fruit snacks, trail mixes, filled crackers)
  • Lemon juice and lime juice (non-frozen)
  • Certain alcoholic beverages (some beer, cocktail mixes, wine, wine coolers)
  • Soups and sauces (seafood based soups, dried soup mixes)
  • Condiments and relishes (horseradish, onion and pickle relishes, pickles, olives, salad dressing mixes, wine vinegar)
  • Certain drugs (cardiovascular drugs, antibiotics, tranquilizers, intravenous muscle relaxants, analgesics (painkillers), anesthetics, steroids and nebulized bronchodilator solutions (used for treatment  of asthma).
  • Fish and shellfish (canned clams; fresh, frozen, canned or dried shrimp, frozen lobster, scallops)
  • Processed meats (bacon, sausages, many pork products)

Related Post: Wine Allergies and Sulphur Allergy.

Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition (14,3:229)

To learn more about how to make your home a allergy-free haven, please sign up for our sponsor’s Free 10-Part Email Mini-Course on this page or click here to read more.

Sulphite story

Sulfite Allergy

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Sulfites are used as an preservative in just about every wine and heavily processed meat product throughout the world and can cause mild to serious allergic reactions. Sulfites are also used as sanitizing agents and food color preservatives. Sulfites are also suspected to be a carcinogen when heavy consumed but there is still much testing to be done.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 1 percent of people the United States have a sensitivity to sulfites and up to 5% of these people are considered to be “sulfite allergic.”

Many people who either know they have a sulfite allergy or just wish to avoid sulfite containing products because of their potential health consequences do not fully know how widely used it really is. Like many food related allergens, avoidance is the best strategy to preventing allergic reactions.

Here is a list of the top 15 products which can contain sulfites in addition to wine and processed meats:

  1. Canned fruits and vegetables
  2. Condiments
  3. Dressings
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Grapes (fresh) – safe in some countries
  6. Ketchup
  7. Lemon juice/concentrate
  8. Lime juice/concentrate
  9. Mushrooms (canned or frozen)
  10. Pickled foods
  11. Pickles
  12. Potatoes (dehydrated, frozen french fries, dehydrated, mashed, peeled, pre-cut)
  13. Raisins (dried or dedydrated)
  14. Soups
  15. Vinegar, wine vinegar

by Tony Coturri

Tony Coturri on Sulfites

Wine Allergy

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wine-allergyFor some people, a glass of red wine is an invitation to a roaring headache. After a few episodes of headache and queasiness, those who suffer them may banish wine from their tables for life. The symptoms are part of a syndrome known as Red Wine Headache, or RWH.

Red Wine Headache

“The red wine headache is a real if poorly understood phenomenon,” says an article in the June issue of the Harvard Health Letter. That is a masterpiece of understatement. There are many theories about what causes the syndrome, but few facts. Dr. Fred Freitag, associate director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, said no one really knows what leads a patient to develop this type of headache.

It may be caused by “compounds found in grape skins. They are either naturally occurring or produced through fermentation,” Dr. Freitag said. He would postulate no further. “It’s not as if there are hundreds of thousands of dollars for funding” studies to determine the cause, Dr. Freitag said. There is actually a stigma to studying the subject. “I’ve entertained the idea of looking for grants to study this and I’ve been told, ‘Don’t go there, it’s bad P.R.,’” Dr. Freitag said. Bad publicity comes to those who would study drinking? Carry Nation is with us yet.

A sulfite allergy used to take the blame for RWH. About 20 years ago the Food and Drug Administration determined that about 1 percent of the population is allergic to sulfites and required that wines containing certain levels of the compound be labeled “contains sulfites.” Many people have assumed, incorrectly, that the labeling is designed to warn people who get a red wine headache. [In fact, sulfite sensitivity is a true allergy. Sufferers experience an allergic reaction, but not a headache. RWH is something else.]

Scientists have pointed out, however, that many sweet white wines contain more sulfites than red wines — yet do not cause headaches in those who suffer from RWH Additionally, dried fruits usually contain sulfites but you never hear of dried fruit headaches. Sulfites can cause an allergic reaction [breathing problems], Dr. Freitag said, but they give headaches only to asthmatics.

Other experts think tannins are at the root of the headaches. Tannins are the flavonoids in wine that set one’s mouth to puckering. The Harvard Health Letter notes several well-controlled experiments showing that tannins cause the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. High levels of serotonin can cause headaches and that may happen in people who also suffer from migraine headaches. But that does not explain why people who do not get migraines get RWH. Dr. Marion Nestle, chairwoman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU, added that no one complains about tea, soy, or chocolate headaches — though all contain tannins.

A third school of thought blames histamines. Histamines are 20 – 200% higher in red wine than in white, and those who are allergic to them are deficient in a certain enzyme. Some experts believe that the combination of alcohol and that deficiency can cause the headaches. But a study of 16 people with an intolerance to wine, reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Feb 2001) found no difference in reactions to low- and high-histamine wines.

A fourth suggestion is that prostaglandins — substances that contribute to pain and swelling — may cause RWH. [More on this next month!] Yet for most people who suffer from RWH, the hypotheses are irrelevant. They want to know what to do about the problem. Some Web sites suggest prevention: for histamine sensitivity, pop a non-sedating antihistamine like Claritin or take an aspirin to stop production of prostaglandins.

In 1981 Herbert Kaufman, M.D., reported that the prophylactic ingestion of aspirin prevented the red wine headache syndrome, RWH, (Lancet 1981; 1: 1263). He also noted that once RWH begins, aspirin has little or no effect in altering the headache.

Related Posts: Sulphur Allergy and Beer Allergies

By Marian Burros of Beekmans Wines & Liquors of Glen Rock, NJ. Their web site is:

Allergies to Wine

Coffee Allergy

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coffee allergyCoffee is the most popular beverage in the world and many people could not make it through a day without it.  Coffee can be a healthy drink and is one of the best sources of antioxidants in a beverage. However, certain coffee beverages do contain naturally occurring and added chemicals which can cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals. Mild to moderate allergic reactions are reported that can last a few hours and may involve a skin rash, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, watery eyes and coughing. It is possible to have a severe allergic reaction to coffee which can result in anaphylactic shock but it is considered to be quite rare.

Caffeine Chemical

Caffeine is a chemical compound which is present in all coffees and even decaffeinated products may still contain it. Persons who consume too much caffeine have reported headaches, insomnia, irritability and even the jitters.  Allergy doctors have reported cases of allergic reactions to caffeine such as a skin rash, swelling of the face and difficulty breathing. Certain coffee products may contain higher concentrations of caffeine than others.  An enormous amount of caffeine can actually cause poisoning resulting in a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which affects body tissue and muscle fibers causing them to break down. This break down process releases toxic matter into the blood stream and can result in muscle weakness or cramping when it accumulates in the bloodstream.


Tannins are also naturally occurring in many beverages and foods such as red wine and chocolate.  An allergic condition referred to as a “red wine headache” is believed to be caused by the tannins present in the wine. Migraine headaches are often blamed on tannins. While most coffees do not contain as much tannin as red wine, coffee does contain enough of the chemical to cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive individuals. If you feel you may have an coffee allergy, then it is wise to maintain a food and beverage diary. Use the dairy to track the other foods  and beverages you consume which may also contain tannins which can give you a similar reaction as when you drink coffee.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Many coffee brands grown in certain parts of the world may contain concentrations of herbicides and pesticides.  Allergic and non-allergic people can have sensitivities to certain types of chemicals used in pesticides and herbicides. In addition, many pesticides and herbicides used on coffee beans are believed to be carcinogenic agents.

Organic Coffee is Best

More and more coffee producers are realizing that people are concerned about the quality of the beverages they consume. As a result, more manufacturers are converting to safer growing methods which do not require the use of pesticides. Organic coffee sales are growing by 24% yearly,  up from 16% in 2007.

About the author: Joe A. Venitilleo is a manufactures representative of a beverage company which markets organic tea and coffee products from around the world.

Leesha Harvey- Coffee and a Smile

Wine Allergies

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Some people suffer from wine allergies with symptoms that include headaches, irregular heartbeat, asthma, facial flushing, sinusitis and other reactions. For them, Monahan makes low-allergy wines (hypo-allergic). This means we avoid unnecessary additives where possible.

Let’s consider the chemicals and compounds found in wine and particularly the ones that affect people. They are, Preservative #220 also called Sulphur Dioxide or Sulphites, Preservative Potassium Sorbate (#202) or Sorbic Acid (#200), Wood tannins from oak, Tannins from skins/pips, Alcohol content and Salicylates, Amines.

Each of the above can have a role in causing allergies. However, it is generally the ‘combined total load’ of these chemicals that determine the severity of a reaction.

Many people are affected by the sulphites that are found in wines. Sulphites are a group of food chemicals numbered from 220 to 226.  The most common one used in Australia is Preservative 220 which is Sulphur Dioxide.  This additive is very reactive and binds with anything in its path. It’s an excellent chemical for destroying bacteria and ‘mopping up’ free oxygen.However, that same reactive ability is also the cause of allergy problems for some people.

Sulphites are measured in ‘parts per million’ or ppm. In most countries, a 750ml bottle of champagne can have up to 350ppm which is very high, considering the maximum daily intake is only 60ppm according to the World Health Organisation. Table wines can have up to 250ppm of sulphites added, and at that level a sensitive person can expect a nasty reaction after just one glass. Organic wines are half this level, and have a limit of only 125ppm in Australia.  Monahan ‘Low Preservative’ wines are even lower, and our whites are below 85ppm, and our reds are below 60ppm.

Oak Tannins
Some people avoid wines made with oak because it affects them poorly. This is interesting because oak barrels have been used in wine-making for centuries, and wine and oak are synonymous. However, oak is a problem for some people because it contains high levels of strong tannins that are the astringent component of timber designed to repel insects and grazing animals. These are quite complex phytonutrient molecules. Most people do not have a problem with oak, but some people will react adversely. The term tannin relates to their use in tanning animal hides to make leather, due to their astringent properties.

We do not use oak in our white wines because we believe the negatives outweigh the positives. Our red wines contain reduced levels of oak because we use aged French oak barrels. We do not use new barrels because the oak tannins and timber resins are highest in a brand new barrel. There are some naturally occurring allergens found in plants, like Salicylates that help protect them from diseases, and insects. And for a small percentage of people, these salicylates can cause health problems, and furthermore, there no lab tests to determine if a person is susceptible.This is because salicylate reactions only occur when the tolerance level of the person has been exceeded. As a general rule, those who can safely eat fresh fruits like apples, pears, grapes, cherries etc without ill affects, do not have a problem with salicylates.

Amines are another source of allergens. In wine, amines are formed by the breakdown of proteins in grapes during fermentation. These amines are normally broken down in the body with the help of enzymes which render them harmless, but someone with sluggish or blocked enzymes can be affected. The reality is that all foods are made up of hundreds of naturally occurring compounds that can have varying effects on us, depending on how much we eat and how sensitive we are. It is recommended that anyone affected by these types of natural plant compounds should select their wine carefully.

Total Load

Wine allergies affect people in different ways, but the more common symptoms are facial flushing, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, headaches and asthma.  The poor effects experienced by some wine drinkers is caused by the ‘total load’ of additives and alcohol. At Monahan we go to great lengths to produce low-allergy wines where the ‘total load’ is low.

Provided by Monahan Estate Wines, Australia

Related Post: Sulfite Allergies.

Sulfite story

Alcohol Allergy

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alcohol-allergyIf you are really allergic to alcohol, it suggests that more often than not, the other ingredients that cause allergic reaction such as yeast and sulfur dioxide are the culprits.

We do not know how people can suffer from allergies to alcohol products because many of the usual symptoms associated with alcohol consumption also associated with an allergic reaction. Reddening of the skin of the face and neck, itchy eyes and nose, hives, loss of motor functions, vomiting, and eczema are the typical reactions of the contents of wine and beer and also symptoms of allergic reactions to alcohol.

Some people in Asia experience descent unusual flushing reaction after ingestion of alcohol. This is believed to be caused by a genetic disorder. The body can not metabolize alcohol correctly. It has been suggested that anyone who experiences a flushing reaction after drinking alcohol may be at risk for esophageal cancer, disease liver, alcohol and related conditions.

Sulfur dioxide is added to wine since Roman times. It inhibits yeast growth, preventing the wine becomes wine vinegar thus giving a longer life. Sulfur dioxide also helps to give the old wine of its many different flavors. There is limits on the quantity of sulfur dioxide winemakers are permitted to add. Wines with more than 25 parts per million of sulfur dioxide should be included in the wine label.

Allergies to yeast found in wine and beer, although rare, can cause an allergic reaction and usually manifests as hives.

Red wine contains more histamine from white wines. Taking antihistamines before drinking wine can help reduce the allergic effects of histamines. Fruit wines contain low levels of histamine in wine grapes.

Always consult your physician before using this information.

About the Author: Dr Vincent Crump, of the Allergy Clinic Auckland, UK

Rose Wine Reaction