Beer contains various ingredients that may cause irritation in your throat if you have certain medical conditions. Common conditions that can cause soreness in your throat from drinking beer include sulfite sensitivity, grain allergies and alcohol intolerance. You should avoid the consumption of beer until you receive an evaluation from your doctor. Some conditions may cause a sore throat because of swelling that could lead to breathing difficulties. If you develop any other symptoms from drinking beer, disclose them to your doctor.
Sulfite sensitivity is a condition where your body overreacts to foods or beverages that contain sulfites. Sulfites are chemical preservatives used in various foods and beverages to prevent color changes as the product sits on the store shelf. Sulfites naturally occur in beer and can trigger side effects following consumption. The most common symptom of sulfite sensitivity is asthma, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Asthma constricts airways, leading to shortness of breath, throat discomfort, coughing and wheezing.
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If you are allergic to certain grains, you may develop a sore throat after drinking beer. Barley, wheat and other grains are typically used to make beer. While a sore throat is a symptom of a grain allergy, you will develop more than one symptom if you're allergic to one or more grains in the beer. A grain allergy causes your immune system to malfunction, triggering a chemical reaction throughout your body. Most symptoms from a grain allergy cause swelling and inflammation in soft tissue. You may develop hives, skin rashes, digestive complications and nasal congestion along with a sore throat if you're experiencing an allergic reaction.
Alcohol intolerance is a hereditary condition that causes various symptoms as a result of lacking an enzyme in your digestive system. The enzyme deficiency causes the alcohol to remain undigested and unabsorbed while in the digestive tract. Alcohol intolerance can also be the result of histamine. Histamine is a chemical by-product of brewing process that can trigger tingling, itching or soreness in your throat. Histamine is the main chemical in the body that causes most allergy symptoms. The American College of Gastroenterology states that histamine may also be found in spinach, tuna and wine.
A prolonged sore throat may be a sign of a more serious medical condition. PubMed Health recommends seeing your doctor if your sore throat remains for a few days. If the sore throat is accompanied with a high fever, a rash or swollen lymph nodes, call your doctor immediately.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.