An actual beer allergy is considered rare. The variety of ingredients present in beer make an allergy to one of the specific components likely to occur. An individual might have sensitivity instead of an allergy. Intolerance is also another possibility.
What are the signs of beer allergy?
If an individual has beer allergy, he/she might have symptoms like other allergic reactions such as:
- Sneezing episodes
- Chest tightness
- Abdominal pain and bloating
It is important to note that an allergic reaction to food typically arises in a few hours. This occurs as a response of the immune system to the protein in food that is perceived as a threat. The allergic reactions that involve wheezing, hives and chest pain arise immediately.
If the symptoms are mild, it might be a food sensitivity rather than an actual allergy.
Do I have beer allergy?
Even though the main component in beer is water, there are other ingredients that can trigger symptoms. If an allergic reaction occurs, it is likely that the individual is sensitive to an exact component in beer. The usual ingredients present in beer include:
- Malted barley or other types of grains such as sorghum and wheat
- Assorted flavorings, colorings and preservatives
What should I do?
If the individual suffers from undesirable signs after ingesting beer, there are steps that can be done:
- In case the symptoms are minor, it is recommended to switch to a different brand to check if it can be consumed without any problems.
- An antihistamine can be given to manage the mild symptoms. A more potent antihistamine is prescribed by the doctor if the symptoms are severe.
- Undergo testing for allergies. The process can be carried out by the doctor or an allergist.
If an individual is allergic to one component in beer, he/she can still enjoy beer. This requires the individual to search for a beer that does not contain the specific allergen. In addition, he/she must also avoid other products that are made from the ingredient.
In case the individual experienced anaphylaxis after consuming beer, it is vital to pinpoint the ingredient responsible to avoid it entirely. The doctor might also suggest an injectable epinephrine that is used in case of a severe reaction.