The following may help your doctor determine the cause of your symptoms and whether you have alcohol intolerance or something else:
March 26, 2015
- Description of your symptoms. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and what drinks cause them. Your doctor may want to know whether you have blood relatives with food allergies or other allergies.
- Physical examination. A careful exam can identify or exclude other medical problems.
- Skin test. A skin prick test can determine whether you may be allergic to something in alcoholic beverages — for example, grains in beer. Your skin is pricked with a tiny amount of a substance that could be causing your reaction. If you're allergic to the substance being tested, you'll develop a raised bump or other skin reaction.
- Blood test. A blood test can measure your immune system's response to a particular substance by checking the amount of allergy-type antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a laboratory to check reactions to certain foods. However, these blood tests aren't always accurate.
- Wigand P, et al. Prevalence of wine intolerance. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2012;109:437.
- Fazio SB. Approach to flushing in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 16, 2015.
- Bryant AJ, et al. Alcohol intolerance as associated with Hodgkin lymphoma. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2013;185:E353.
- Linneberg A, et al. Prevalence of self-reported hypersensitivity symptoms following intake of alcoholic drinks. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2007;38:1.
- Uticaria, facial swelling after beer/alcohol. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/ask-the-expert/Urticaria,-facial-swelling-after-beer-alcohol.aspx. Accessed Jan. 16, 2015.
- Alcohol angioedema and uticaria. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/ask-the-expert/alcohol-angioedema-urticaria.aspx. Accessed Jan. 16, 2015.
- Alcohol and migraine. American Headache Society. http://www.achenet.org/resources/alcohol_and_migraine/. Accessed Jan. 18, 2015.
- Food allergy testing. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/testing. Accessed Jan. 18, 2015.