Food Allergies/Strong drink?


As I get older (I am in my 50's) I am noticing unpleasant reactions to alcoholic beveredges, based on the alcohol content.
I can have a light beer or two no problem, but a couple regulat strength one, I get a stuff nose and headache, and goosebumps. This happens also with hard liquor but not wine. Is this common? Thanks, have a nice summer.

This reaction is almost certainly not allergic in the usual sense. The fact that you can take wine rather shows it is not simply due to modest doses of alcohol. However some races (especially some Jewish groups) do get adverse reactions to alcohol at quite low doses. Some French workers think that reactions such as you describe can be related to liver disease. I have never seen that in the UK.

I would advise getting a general medical opinion before chasing potential allergic causes further. If I were to do that I'd be asking very specific questions about the very types and origins of particular drinks (I.e. If not traces of grapes, then what is the origin of the alcohol. The type of base grain used). A few people claim they can drink wheat beer, but not barley for example. It is theoretically possible, but I have never been able to confirm such claims.

Sorry to be of such little help.

Food Allergies

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David Pearson


Any in the field I believe. Only experience of questions that get asked will tell.


I am a retired medical academic from the UK. I have done major research on Food Allergy and have been a government adviser in the area. 30 years experience running an allergy clinic. And undergraduate and post-graduate teaching.

Well, apart from the FRCP, I'm no longer active in the area. I'm too busy writing books. And I no longer have the cash to go to international meetings. But was active in many.

Will 120 scientific papers help? Chapters in books. Patient advisory materials. Magazine articles. TV appearances. Live and recorded. National and international invited lectures, etc. It was my job for 40 years. Do you think I count!

MD, PhD, Postgraduate Diplomas etc. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. etc. But I don't want that put out on the net! Just to let you know!

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Too many to count, patients of course and a large number of all sorts of corporate consultancies and considerable work as an expert witness in the Courts. I'm volunteering because your Greek expert has been so helpful, I thought I'd offer something back.

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