Yeast in Alcohol

Alcohol Intolerance

If you have an alcohol intolerance (defined by YorkTest as a food-specific IgG reaction) to alcoholic drinks, your body may be producing an inflammatory response to proteins present in the fruit or other ingredients in the drink. This can be the grapes in wine or hops in beer. The yeast which ferments the alcohol can also be a cause of alcohol intolerance symptoms

In addition to the problems which could be caused by the ingredients, ethanol also opens up blood vessels which can exacerbate symptoms such as asthma, urticaria or rhinitis. Alcohol can also increase gut permeability which can increase the likelihood of an intolerance forming.

Can You Be Intolerant To Alcohol?

An ethanol or alcohol allergy is extremely rare and is due to an enzyme deficiency. Instead, you may have an intolerance, where uncomfortable but non-life-threatening symptoms are presented because you are reacting to one of the ingredients in the alcoholic drink.

In fact, there can be many reasons why people are intolerant to alcoholic drinks, and most don’t have anything to do with the ethanol itself.


Symptoms of Alcohol Sensitivity

The symptoms of alcohol sensitivity can vary from person to person, but they often include:

  • Facial Flushing: This is one of the most common symptoms, causing redness and warmth in the face and neck area after consuming alcohol.
  • Nasal Congestion: This symptom might be experienced as stuffiness or a runny nose.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Alcohol sensitivity can cause discomfort in the stomach, leading to nausea and in some cases, vomiting.
  • Rapid Heartbeat: Some people may experience an unusually rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) after consuming alcohol.
  • Headaches: A headache or migraine may occur during or after alcohol consumption.
  • Low Blood Pressure: In some instances, alcohol can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.
  • Breathing Difficulties: Some people might experience shortness of breath or other respiratory problems.
  • Skin Reactions: Alcohol can trigger various skin reactions, such as hives or rashes.

If you notice these symptoms after consuming alcohol, you may have an alcohol sensitivity or allergy. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it’s important to seek a medical diagnosis and take an alcohol sensitivity test to be sure.

How Do I Get Tested for Sensitivity to Alcoholic Drink Ingredients?

Sensitivity tests can help you to understand what it is that you’re intolerant to, as it may be that it is ingredients within certain drinks that are causing you discomfort and other beverages may be okay for you to consume. It is important to understand which ingredient of the drink is causing you issues; (is it the gluten or the hops, rye, yeast, barley or the fruit/grapes?). With this knowledge, you can choose alternatives.

Food sensitivities can be very disruptive to a person’s life. You can obtain a Food Sensitivity Test from yorktest.

If you have found out that you are sensitive to ingredients found in alcoholic drinks, changing your diet need not be daunting. yorktest Nutritional Therapists are here to help you understand how to optimize your food and drink choices.

Our tests do not detect allergic reactions to alcohol, if you feel that you may have an alcohol allergy, please consult your doctor or medical professional.

alcohol intolerance

Where To Look?

It is generally fairly easy, if sometimes frustrating, to avoid alcohol if you suffer from an intolerance. However, it is still important to be aware of the various ingredients in alcoholic drinks which could cause you to experience alcohol intolerance symptoms. These include:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Fruits in alcohol (grapes, apples, berries, coconuts or oranges)
  • Flavors (hops)
  • Grains (wheat or barley)
food intolerance consultation

Advice For Alternatives

It is widely known and understood that overconsumption of alcohol is generally bad for your health. However, most of us enjoy a drink in moderation.

If you suffer from unwanted symptoms after drinking alcohol, it is important to understand which ingredient of the drink causes a problem for you (such as wheat, the gluten in the wheat, fruit or yeast). With this knowledge, you can choose alternatives to help you avoid the symptoms of the sensitivity.

If you have found out that you are intolerant to an ingredient found in alcohol, changing your diet need not be daunting. yorktest Nutritional Therapists are here to help you understand how to optimize your food choices.

Information provided above regarding Food Intolerance (defined by yorktest as a food specific IgG reaction) is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimization. yorktest recommend that you discuss any medical concerns you have with a doctor before undertaking a yorktest program.


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The Premium Food Sensitivity Test measures your IgG reactivity to 200 foods and drinks. Get answers on which foods could be triggering your IBS symptoms, headaches, bloating, tiredness, and more.  Simply collect your finger-prick blood sample at home. Mail it to our laboratory for testing. Then receive your results online within 7 days!

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