Stop Your Wining!

Allergic reactions can be worse with wine

(RxWiki News) Do you drink two glasses of wine during allergy season?  Are you tired of suffering with seasonal allergies? You may want to lay off the wine and see if your seasonal allergy symptoms improve.

Arturo Gonzalez-Quintela, MD, led a study investigating whether regular alcohol use, defined in this study as more than one drink a day, increases Immunoglobulin E (IgE),  an antibody involved in allergic diseases. His study confirmed higher IgE levels in study participants even when they only had two alcoholic drinks a day.

Dr. Gonzalez-Quintela had previously established that IgE is elevated in alcoholic patients.

dailyRx Insight: Quit drinking wine during allergy season.

The study had 460 participants, 29% were not highly sensitive to allergens while 71% were highly sensitive, most of which were house mites allergens. 

"Our research found that regular alcohol intake higher than 70 grams per week (or more than one drink per day) was associated with increased total serum IgE levels in the patients studied," said González-Quintela. 

The research finding invites another question: If alcohol affects the control of the immune response to allergens, one could hypothesize an exaggerated response would be expected.

Gonzales-Quintela concedes the results require further study before drawing such a broad conclusion.

Until all research on the subject is complete, you could still quit drinking during allergy season and see if it helps the sniffles.  It's worth a shot.

More than half of the entire population of the United States, 150 million individuals, would test positive for one or more allergen. Allergic responses are caused when the body's immune system has a reaction called hypersensitivity, causing the body to release inflammatory proteins into the body. Allergies include airborne particulate matter, food allergies, drug allergies, and skin irritants. Symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, and runny nose to airborne allergens; indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea to food allergies, and hives, itching, and rashes to skin allergens. In some cases, an extreme, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can occur in response to allergies to drugs, bee stings, or even food allergies that can cause the patient's airways to close up from swelling. Medication treatments include many over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Zyrtec®, Allegra®, and Claritin®, and prescription medications, like steroids (AeroBid®, Flonase®, Advair®) and anti-leukotrienes (Singulair®, Accolate®). Diagnosis are made through blood tests or skin tests.


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Review Date: 
March 27, 2011