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Beer and Alcohol

An actual allergy to alcohol is quite rare, but being allergic to the grains and additives used in liquor is not: Wheat or the preservative sulfur dioxide could cause a rash or a stuffy nose. New York City allergist Wellington Tichenor, MD, founder of the information site, also blames grains like corn, bar­ley, and rye, as well as fruit flavorings. Wine and beer may create problems too.

What to do: Stick with grain-free liquors like potato vodka, rum (made from sugar), and tequila (the agave plant). Skip all flavored liquers. And if sulfite preservatives in wine bother you, red wine tends to have fewer preservatives than white. Also, look for wine labeled “sulfite-free” (it won’t stay fresh for long). Remember that anything with carbonation (like a wine cooler) increases the likelihood of an allergic reaction, Dr. Tichenor adds.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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