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Old 04-18-2010, 09:04 AM   #1
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Default Strange beer allergy

I've known about this allergy for a couple years now, but since joining here I realized this community might have some insight into the cause of it. Before I found out about this allergy, I drank all kinds of beers: ales, stouts, lagers, etc, from all different regions. But about two years ago, I was drinking with my wife and went to bed only to wake up with my throat swelling and scratching my whole body. My whole body was covered in hives by the time we got to the ER. It wasn't a terrible allergic reaction (not like peanuts or shellfish for some people), but obviously kind of scary.

The only new food/drink item I'd consumed that night was Kronenburg 1664 so we suspected that beer was the cause.

A few months later, my love for beer overpowering fear of allergic reaction, I tried another new beer, Delirium Tremens which resulted in the same allergic reaction, but this time I realized it early, took some Benadryl and it died down (drunk+Benadryl=sooooo tired).

Now my question is, what do you think is in these beers that I might be allergic to? I've always assumed it was the yeast causing the allergy, but I suppose it could be anything, hops, malt, perhaps a bacteria. Is there a shared ingredient between 1664 and DT?

For now, I've just been avoiding Belgian/French beers of any kind, but if I could narrow it down to certain types of Belgians, I could expand my beer options especially since I've got a few bars around me specializing in Belgians.

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Old 04-18-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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You think it might be the 'souring' agent in these types of beers? They use other bacteria than yeast during fermentation and/or aging. Some use Lactobacillus delbrueckii which is a lactose producing bacteria. How do you guys do with dairy? Another thing could be the wood these types of beer are conditioned in. Maybe you have oak allergies? Or, and I doubt this in the case of these types of brews, it could be a wheat allergy. I know people who swear any wheat in the brew makes them break out. (I use carapils anyway instead of wheat for mouthfeel).

Just guessing here but pehaps these are some possibilities...

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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Dude, when your throat starts to swell from an alergic reaction, thats called anaphalyctic (sp) shock. Its not something I would define as "Not Serious"

Stay away from those kinds of beers or get yourself an Epi-Pen or two. lol

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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Rather than engaging in specualtion with a bunch of non-medical people, as to what could be causing this....Go see an allergist and get tested. If you are having a major allergic reaction to something, then this is NOT the place to get answers. A doctor is.

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Rather than engaging in specualtion with a bunch of non-medical people, as to what could be causing this....Go see an allergist and get tested. If you are having a major allergic reaction to something, then this is NOT the place to get answers. A doctor is.
This. Allergies, especially ones that cause this kind of reaction, are not to be taken lightly.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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Yep but I wonder how they'll hand testing him with the things from beer......I recall the tests had a few things but can't remember beer yest etc........

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Rather than engaging in specualtion with a bunch of non-medical people, as to what could be causing this....Go see an allergist and get tested. If you are having a major allergic reaction to something, then this is NOT the place to get answers. A doctor is.
while i agree 100% here, i think the OP is more concerned with trying to find a specific set of possible ingredients that could, in theory, be brought to an allergist. Who better to consult than a bunch of beer recipe creators and cloners?
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:07 PM   #8
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It's tough to diagnose an allergy with alcoholic beverages because they arent required to have an ingredients list. I'm not sure an allergy specialist would be able to pin it down because of that. If you only get it from Belgian beers, your best bet might just be avoidance of all Belgian, Trappest, and French beers.

The things in my mind that stand out as defining characteristics of Belgian beers: high phenols, high ABV, sometimes wheat, sometimes Brett yeast, and sometimes Pedio yeast. I don't think Rye is a common Belgian ingredient.

The high levels of phenols in Belgian beers makes my nose numb.

I agree, throat swelling is nothing to play with. My wife gets that off of bell peppers. Trust me, it's only going to get worse with repeated exposure.

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Old 04-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #9
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As much as I love beer & brewing - my one word answer is MARTINI.

Some higher quality Allergists could figure it out for you. Find a home brewing doctor and put him/her on the case.

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Old 04-18-2010, 05:15 PM   #10
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It's probably the yeast. I know a few people that are allergic to specific yeast strains. I'd go get it checked out at an allergist to be sure.

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