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Have I become allergic or intolerant to alcohol?

by (379)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Created April 28, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I've been eating paleo, about 80/20, for around 8 months, and I've been noticing that every time I drink alcohol, I develop a hoarse cough while drinking. It happened again last night; I was drinking red wine, white wine and a little champagne at a friend's dinner party, and I started to get the cough. I had one glass of water before bed. In the middle of the night I woke up coughing really badly and couldn't get back to sleep for half an hour. When I breathed in and out you could hear a coarse, raspy breath trying to pass. Think lung cancer or pneumonia. And half the time it would cause a tickle in my throat and I'd cough again. It was miserable. It still hurts a little this morning.

I used to be able to drink any kind of alcohol in larger amounts and be fine (except of course for the hangover). Why does my throat hate alcohol now?

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6229 · April 28, 2012 at 8:32 PM

that might be better off as a comment then an answer...

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140 · April 28, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Sorry - that should say "tannins" in the wine.

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140 · April 28, 2012 at 5:49 PM

You may have asthma (adult-onset) that is triggered by histamines or tanners in the wine. Usually people think of wheezing as a symptom of asthma (and it is) but so is coughing. You should get checked out by a doc. An albuteral inhaler may nip that right in the bud before you suffer all night. Did you recently move to a big city or a new apartment/house? Sometimes mold or pollution cause asthma to show up in someone who never had it before.

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2 Answers

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174 · April 28, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Wines and champagne have a lot of histamine and usually sulfites. Do a fun experiment and see if vodka (or any other pure distilled liquor) has the same effect.

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2904 · April 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I was at a party yesterday too!

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · April 28, 2012 at 8:32 PM

that might be better off as a comment then an answer...

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