Medical Ask Your Doctor

allergic to wine

Do I Have a Beer Allergy or Wine Allergy?

Though anaphylaxis is rare (alcohol accounts for only a small percentage of the United States' 150 annual food-related anaphylaxis fatalities), allergic reactions to wine and beer are relatively common. The causes of these reactions range from sulfites to sturgeon swim bladders. A single bottle of beer, for example, can contain more than 10 allergens, including preservatives, histamines, animal products, pesticides, wheat, yeast and corn. Why are these allergens added and what symptoms do they cause?

Celiac and Autoimmune Disease Links

Recent research has revealed that the spectrum of diseases associated with celiac disease may be much wider than previously thought. A team of scientists analyzing a database of the electronic health records of 36 million people discovered potential links between celiac disease and a multitude of conditions as diverse as liver disease, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, eosinophilic esophagitis, anxiety disorder, Down syndrome, psoriasis and autism.

Epinephrine Options

North Carolina resident Elizabeth Powell stood at the pharmacy counter, ready to buy the EpiPens her son needed for his multiple food allergies. She’d done this many times since the boy had his first anaphylactic reaction to peanuts ten years ago. Each time she would buy two EpiPen 2-Paks, ensuring he had one set at home and another when he was out and about.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis: The Celiac Disease Rash

For many people with celiac disease, gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea take center stage. But for a subset of people with celiac disease, eating or coming into contact with gluten results in a vicious skin rash, either as the only symptom or as a complement to the more typical ones. This rash, known as dermatitis herpetiformis, or DH, typically presents as a series of small raised red lesions that are either solid or filled with fluid. They often show up on the elbows, forearms, scalp, knees, buttocks and even the face. They’re usually bilaterally symmetrical, meaning they appear on both sides of the body at the same time, and they are intensely itchy.

Research Roundup: June/July 2018

Why are milk-allergic kids at risk for growth problems? Dairy constitutes a large part of the American diet, contributing calories and nutrients. In addition, children with milk allergy are more likely to have eczema and asthma, which may contribute negatively to growth rates, Keet noted, adding that additional study is needed. In the meantime, pediatricians and allergists should advise their patients about eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and monitor their growth over time.

Oral Allergy Syndrome

People who suffer from hay fever (allergic rhinitis caused by pollen) can experience OAS when their immune system mistakes proteins in certain fruits or vegetables for the proteins found in their problem pollen. For example, when someone like Combs with a birch pollen allergy bites into an apple, the same IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibody that recognizes the birch pollen protein also recognizes a similar protein in the apple, prompting an allergic immune response, explains allergist Philip C. Halverson, MD, FAAAAI, of Allergy & Asthma Specialists in Minneapolis.

The Changing Face of Celiac Disease

Stefano Guandalini, MD, is an internationally recognized expert on celiac disease who has greatly influenced the way the condition is diagnosed and treated. He founded the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center in 2001, where he’s served as medical director, as well as section chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Chicago Medicine. He recently transitioned from these positions to the role of professor emeritus.

Ask the Doctor: April/May 2018

Allergist Scott Commins, MD, PhD, is one of the nation’s leading experts on the alpha-gal allergy, an allergy to mammal meat induced by a tick bite. A member of the University of Virginia’s research team that discovered alpha-gal allergy about ten years ago, Commins now heads the laboratory that studies the allergy at the University of North Carolina. He also serves as Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and has a clinical practice that specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with the alpha-gal allergy.

Celiac and Pregnant

There’s ample scientific evidence that untreated celiac disease, characterized by inflammation and nutrient deficiencies, can lead to infertility. There can be issues during pregnancy, too. If a woman with untreated celiac does conceive, the fetus potentially could be at risk: An Italian study published in 2010 demonstrated that anti-transglutaminase (anti-tTG) antibodies in the blood—a hallmark of untreated celiac disease—can interfere with the function of the placenta, possibly leading to early loss of the pregnancy.

Research Roundup: February/March 2018

A case recently published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports described a dramatic and surprising presentation of celiac disease. A 3-year-old Albanian girl came to a clinic with carpal spasms (involuntary muscle contractions) and paresthesia (numbness and tingling) in her hands. A physical exam revealed no other symptoms but a blood test showed the child had severe calcium depletion. A screening for celiac disease was conducted (among other tests) with positive results; the diagnosis was confirmed with a duodenal biopsy.

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