Help! Red Wine Makes Me Sick! | Laurita Winery
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Help! Red Wine Makes Me Sick!

Help! Red Wine Makes Me Sick!

Laurita Winery , Wine Science 🕔December 28, 2016 0 comments

Ever feel sick from drinking red wine?

We don’t mean a hangover. Although we fully acknowledge that a hangover from too much wine can be a doozy. We mean symptoms that could come from a virus, regardless of whether you’ve overdone it on the tasting.

It turns out there are several substances in wine that can affect a sensitive person. Thankfully, if you’re one of them, you can try to determine the substance you’re reacting to based on your symptoms. Here via Popular Science are the likely suspects, based on your physical reaction.


Coughing, Itching, Hives!

Sulfites, which winemakers in the United States sometimes use to keep wine from spoiling, are often to blame for wine-induced sniffles.

A tip to avoid sulfites is to choose a drier wine. Sweet wines have more sulfites, as a general rule.

But if you’re getting an itchy rash or experiencing abdominal pain, then another allergen called histamine is the more likely cause.

Histamines are harder to avoid. If you find the symptoms lingering into your morning after, an antihstamine (allergy medicine) will offer some relief.


For those who experience debilitating migraines following a glass of red wine, the most likely culprits are congeners, says Leslie Bonci, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist.

Tannins, which are one type of congener, can make migraines much more likely in someone already prone to them. If you notice that you frequently have a headache after red wine, considering switching to white so you don’t inadvertently trigger migraines.


Digestive… uh… Difficulties

Red wine takes its color from grape skins, which contain lipid transfer protein (lpt) allergens. In sensitive individuals, it can cause shortness of breath, flushing, and… uh… diarrhea.

While it won’t kill you (or cause an anaphylactic response) it’s extremely uncomfortable.

Right. It’s also a major party foul.

This Isn’t the End

You don’t have to give up on wine. (Thank goodness.)

Bonci says the most important thing to remember about wine intolerances is that the effects are often dose-dependent.

Be mindful about the amount you drink. A serving of wine should be about 5 ounces, but a six ounce pour is common in restaurants. And how much do you pour in your own glass? If you’re left ill by red but want to indulge your tastes, measure it and monitor your intake.

Or… you know…


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