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Health Forum    Allergies
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A friend of mine has allergies she says to an ingredient in wine called sulfites? I can see the problems ....?
she has with her eyes, burning itching, and after a while her eyes close up. She just puts a cool wet wash cloth on her eyes until they get better, then she finally is able to open her eyes.
Our families enjoy going out together, but when she has a glass of wine, this almost always happens.
What can I suggest to her to use, or take, etc. before she drinks a glass of wine, to help prevent this ?
Or should she give up drinking any kind of alcohol that contains sulfites altogether ?

I can't believe she still drinks wine KNOWING that is going to happen to her.

If she has such a bad reaction every time and she still drinks....sounds like she has bigger problems than an allergy to sulfites. If she can't just give it all up.....she needs help.

My mom is allergic to sulfites as well. It says right on the wine bottle if it does contain them. Check with the bartender before drinking, they show the bottle and/or tell you and suggest something else.

Maybe there's something she can get from her doctor but untill then I go with answer number 1 and say don't drink wine or drink sufate free wine.

its best if she just stays away from beverages she is allergic too

t t
check with your doctor first but you can get wine without the sulfates however this only helps some wine fans.
the preservative free wine does go off quicker but maybe until your friend checks and finds out offically she should avoid alcohol, it could be quite serious

Monique Attinger
As others have mentioned, the safest thing is to completely avoid sulfites. This would mean being very careful about wines, and ensuring that she only drinks sulfite-free varieties.

Sulfites are present in foods other than wines. For instance, at one point the sauteed vegetables at Swiss Chalet had sulfites in them. (I don't know if they still have this side dish. I haven't eaten at Swiss Chalet in some time.) This points to how important it is to take control of your diet and ask a lot of questions if you have allergies.

While you can take an antihistamine before being exposed to an allergen to help reduce the severity of any symptoms, this should only be a strategy if there is no way to avoid the allergen. Avoidance is the most important and safest approach to managing allergy symptoms.

Antihistamine drug might help - as it blocks allergy reaction in the body.

You could try Claritin - it's an over the counter and you can buy it pretty much anywhere. It's a very small pill. However it might not help... worth trying though!

Benadryl liquid medication (over the counter as well) can be used as well - but be aware that it will make her sleepy, while Claritin will not.

Organic wine that doesn't contain sulfites is available but they are so common in other things like salad bars that she should consult an allergist. At some point she might have a life threatening reaction to an exposure

She should avoid the alcohol that contains the sulfites. With a reaction that severe, I don't think there is anything she can take to stop it otherwise.

I suggest you drink something else altogether so she isn't tempted. She definitely needs to stay away from the wine, try maybe all getting say a different flavored daiquiri or something and taste testing or something.


I have the same allergy to the point where I begin to go into anaphlyactic shock which can lead to death.
She should not drink anything with sulfites as the allergy can get worse and why the heck would you want to take a med to relieve this so you can drink. Ridiculous.
Beer, hard liqour are normally safe.
Cant your families serve anything besides wine?
p.s. Champagne is the same as wine.

personally, I'd give up wine altogether, because often allergies can build to the point where she could go into anaphylactic shock and die. This often happens to people that develop an allergy to bees, the first sting swells but subsequent stings cause difficulty breathing and erratic heart rate, and eventually if not treated, death. Other allergies do this as well, like those to peanuts. If she insists on drinking wine, she can try taking a small dose of some antihistamine before hand, but this will intensify the intoxicating effects of the wine...not a good thing. I would suggest she choose a non-fermented beverage, it is the fermentation process that requires the sulfites.

One solution only...dont drink wine, its as simple as that!

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