Many people experience cold-like symptoms after drinking alcohol, including getting a stuffy nose. But why does this reaction happen?
Nasal congestion after drinking alcohol
Alcohol is not good for the body. Everyone knows that. But not many people realize that there are many ingredients, additives and preservatives within alcohol that can cause negative side effects. In some people, these reactions look like allergy symptoms even though they don’t have a true allergy to alcohol.
Many alcoholic beverages include common elements that can cause negative symptoms in people, such as:
So while you might have a negative reaction when drinking a beer, it’s not actually the ethanol that’s causing the problem: it could be any one of these elements listed above.
It could also be that alcohol has a natural side effect to make people congested. Alcoholic drinks have a natural vasodilatory effect which expands blood vessels. This effect can also make you feel hot when you drink alcohol, but it can also lead to short-term nasal congestion. The blood vessels around your nasal cavity can expand, making it a bit more difficult to breathe normally.
On top of those reasons, the individual may have an alcohol intolerance. An alcohol intolerance is commonly mistaken for an alcohol allergy and is often misdiagnosed. Want to learn more? We have plenty of reasons on alcohol intolerances, allergies and what to do next.
Red wine and nasal congestion
Many people report that red wine causes the most noticeable nasal congestion, even in those without an alcohol allergy or alcohol intolerance.
Have you ever gotten a stuffy nose after a glass of red wine? You could be in this category, too.
Unfortunately for wine-lovers, there’s a lot of things in wine that can cause negative reactions or intolerances.
Grapes - Some people can have allergies to grapes, just like any other food allergy. So while you’re not actually allergic to the wine specifically, you’re reacting to the grapes instead. An easy way to avoid this reaction is to pick alcoholic drinks without any grapes and you reaction should stop.
Histamine - This chemical is made naturally in the body and is released when someone is having an allergic reaction. It’s histmaines that make you feel itchy, flushed or congested. While everyone can react negatively to histamines, some people are more sensitive than others. In drinks with higher levels of histamine like red wine, this could spark a reaction in someone who is sensitive to it.
Sulfites - These are added to wine as a preservative so it will last longer. Unfortunately, people have reported to have sulfites intolerances or are more sensitive to the chemical.
Tannins - Tannins causes the mouth-puckering effect in red wine but can inadvertently cause headaches and stuffiness, depending on how sensitive you are to it.
Why does beer make me sneeze and get congested?
Just like wine, beer has a lot of ingredients that can make someone react negatively. Some of the most common cultripts for reactions are gluten, hops, wheat and yeast. If you have an intolerance or sensitivity to any of these ingredients, you’ll likely react to drinking beer.
Beer also contains histamines would could cause a reaction in some people, including sneezing and nasal congestion.
I get a stuffy nose after drinking, among other symptoms. What does that mean?
Millions of people worldwide deal with a condition called Asian Flush. This is sometimes called:
- Asian Flush
- Asian Glow
- Alcohol flush reaction
- Alcohol flush syndrome
- Alcohol flushing
This genetic condition means that you experience negative symptoms when drinking alcohol because your body is unable to process it properly. Because the body can’t break down alcohol, it’s toxic byproducts flood the system and accumulate with each drink you have.
Common signs and symptoms of Asian Flush include:
- Runny nose
- Restricted or trouble breathing
- Stuffy nose or nasal congestion
- Red facial flushing (can sometimes be seen on the neck, shoulders, chest and arms)
Sunset Alcohol Flush Support is a natural supplement that works specifically to reduce all of these symptoms, including a stuffy nose after drinking alcohol. Sunset works with the body to break down alcohol quickly and effectively, so you don’t experience the negative symptoms.
Even those who only deal with nasal congestion from alcohol can benefit from Sunset’s ingredients.
Want to learn more about Asian Flush? Check out our Asian Flush Guide for everything you need to know about this condition.
How to prevent nasal congestion from alcohol
It can be tricky to nail down the true cause of nasal congestion from alcohol. Are you intolerant or allergic to a specific ingredient? Do you have alcohol flush reaction? Do you have a slight histamine sensitivity?
Unfortunately it can be difficult to know!
If you're intolerant or allergic to a specific ingredient - the easiest way to avoid nasal congestion in this situation is to avoid that specific ingredient. If you're truly allergic, it's really important not to expose yourself directly to that allergen. If you're unsure, make sure to always speak to your doctor before drinking again.
If you have alcohol flush reaction - Sunset Alcohol Flush Support is a great way to reduce your symptoms, including red facial flushing, a stuffy nose and headaches. Sunset can also help minimise nasal congestion from histamine in alcohol beverages as well. Want to enjoy alcohol again? Choose Sunset.