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Old 12-14-2009, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default Beer Allergy Diagnosis???

So I've at times had allergic reactions to beer and I couldn't find a thread here that addressed the topic (I did end up finding some after more extensive searching)...

Symptoms: Runny nose, coughing, lung congestion (like asthma)

So today I drank a St. Peters Winter Ale, Faxe Strong Beer (bear with me, I'm aging my brews so I'm trying not to consume them before they reach their prime). Anyways, I'm totally fine and then...I drink an Imperial Coffee Stout and can't even finish it my airway is full of mucus and I'm blowing my nose constantly.

Then I thought back, I've had the same reaction to Guinness and Fort Garry Dark.

So, I'm not allergic to yeast or gluten. Most beers and all breads are fine.
I'm not reacting to histamines from the fermentation process because I eat a lot of high histamine food with no reaction. What else is there?

The only connection I can see here is dark beer...what the heck could be in stouts and dark beer that would cause this reaction???

I figured who better to ask then home brewers to know/suggest/contemplate what ingredient might be setting it off.

Cheers

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Old 12-14-2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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Before you said yeast/gluten I would have said that...now Im not sure. I'm "allergic" to beer- meaning I turn red (must be the Native American in me). Ever had an allergy test?

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Old 12-14-2009, 04:25 AM   #3
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Interesting, but if you think you have an allergy this is really something you should probably go to a doctor and get tested for. There is an off chance you could have a severe reaction to something similar without making the connection.

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Old 12-14-2009, 04:35 AM   #4
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Interesting. Obviously anything answered here is total speculation and you should see a doctor if its bothering you, but I would have guessed gluten too. I've also heard of breathing symptoms associated with liver problems, but I'm definitely no doc.

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Old 12-14-2009, 05:07 AM   #5
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Yeah, I've got an appointment with the doc on Jan 15th so we'll see. I'm not taking any advice given on this site as serious health advice...

I was just hoping for some thoughts while I wait or maybe some crazy brew nut might be like: "Dark malt has specific co-enzymes that stimulate the production of allergens in the hypothalamus...."

Cheers

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Old 12-14-2009, 05:16 AM   #6
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I know of people which turn bright red when drinking (which is a form of an allergic rx), but to go through anaphalaxis is pretty serious. The next reaction you have could completely close your airway. I would definitely recommend seeing your doc and maybe carrying an epi pen. I work on an ambulance and have seen anaphalactic pt's.....bad stuff...
Maybe it's the different malt's your allergic to?
Good Luck..

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Old 12-14-2009, 05:49 AM   #7
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Possiblity you having a negative reaction to the various B-vitamins in beer. You may just have a developed a sensitivity to them and certain brews will contain higher "doses" of B-vit. than others. Just a thought...

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Old 12-14-2009, 05:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp_atient View Post
Yeah, I've got an appointment with the doc on Jan 15th so we'll see. I'm not taking any advice given on this site as serious health advice...

I was just hoping for some thoughts while I wait or maybe some crazy brew nut might be like: "Dark malt has specific co-enzymes that stimulate the production of allergens in the hypothalamus...."

Cheers
They just roast it a bit longer and hotter.... I couldn't find much and this looks like no help. You might try a company that does the malting, explain your situation, and see if they can offer clues. Good luck and stay away from the darks.....

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Old 12-14-2009, 07:14 AM   #9
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Let me preface this by saying Im only a 3rd year medical student. That being said, it sounds like you ARE having a "hay fever" like reaction to whatever is in those beers. I dont really know what you mean by "high histamine" foods, if what you mean as foods that cause a release of histamine in some people, then I guess I understand.

Your symptoms are from the immediate release of histamine from your own cells caused by a hypersensitivity reaction from something in the beer; not anaphylaxis, which is multi-systemic. Your doctor is most likely going to tell you to avoid the substance that offends your system; so what that means for you is, no dark beer.

Caramelization produces so many different kinds of chemicals(probably in the dozens to hundreds depending on the amount of non-enzymatic browning from the kiln) that you are probably having your reaction to one, if not more, of those compounds produced from a Maillard-like reaction after the barley is malted.

Combining sugars with amino acids results in the color change of the barley,Maillard Reaction, that is used in those darker beers, and because AA chains are notoriously responsible for immune reactions, my guess is that you are correct in thinking that those dark beers are causing your symptoms.

Hopefully your doctor will have better answers for you than me, but the first thing he is going to say is "remove the offense".

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Old 12-14-2009, 08:55 AM   #10
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I have had some issues when milling but never drinking (except gout) good luck I'm interested to see what your doc says

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