Can beer trigger heart palpitations?

8 April 2016
Comments: 0
8 April 2016, Comments: 0

The heart palpitations that develop after ingesting beer might be an indication of a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis which affects the entire body. As a common alcoholic beverage, beer contains grains, sulfites and alcohol that can instigate an allergic reaction.

Once the heart rate of the individual becomes elevated after ingesting beer, a doctor should be consulted right away. If the individual experiences a severe allergic reaction, it is possible for life-threatening symptoms to manifest. The individual should avoid any type of beer until a doctor has been consulted.

What happens during anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis that develops after ingesting beer can be due to various conditions. This is considered as a rare condition triggered by an allergen that the body perceives as a threat.

Anaphylaxis is usually the result of a medication, insect bite or food. During a severe reaction, the tissues in the body release histamine and other chemicals that trigger inflammation. The soft tissues become swollen and tight which leads to further issues such as increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, faint pulse and drop in the blood pressure.

Heart palpitations

Once the heart rate of the individual becomes elevated after ingesting beer, a doctor should be consulted right away.

Alcohol intolerance

Even though alcohol intolerance is not an allergic reaction, it can increase the risk for anaphylaxis. Intolerance is the inability of the body to properly digest and absorb alcohol and causes the following symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Asthma
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Increased heart rate
  • Abdominal pain

The consumption of beer can instigate the symptoms that can lead to heart palpitations. The management involves the use of epinephrine which is synthetic adrenaline that restores the body to its normal function.

Grain allergy

Beer is produced from grains. Those who are allergic to rye, wheat or barley can end up with rapid heart rate and heart palpitations can be triggered by the grain proteins. Once beer is ingested, the immune system can accidentally identify the proteins in beverage as allergens and attack them using the IgE antibodies. Take note that this action causes the flood of chemicals which sends it into a state of shock.

Can sulfites cause heart palpitations?

Sulfites are commonly added to various types of beers and wines as a preservative to stop the discoloration of the beverages. The FDA placed restrictions on the use of sulfites on vegetables and fruits but they are still used on beverages.

An individual can end up with allergy or sensitivity to sulfites that can trigger the development of anaphylaxis. A reaction can cause the production the immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE) while a general sensitivity can only trigger digestive complications.

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