You have probably heard that alcohol can have an impact on your asthma. But, does it cause the attack directly, or it is connected to asthma in some other way? In this article, we will tell you more about the connection between asthma and alcohol consumption.
How can alcohol affect asthma?
There are still a lot of researches about the connection between alcohol and asthma. Still, the studies have shown so far that alcohol can affect your asthma. It can make the attacks more frequent and make them worse than they normally are. The main cause of this is histamines and sulfites, the ingredients that can be found in some alcoholic drinks.
Histamines are responsible for allergies, so those with allergic asthma are the first to avoid them. In alcoholic drinks, they are produced during fermentation, from bacteria and yeast. Red wine has the highest amount of histamines, so if you have asthma, you should avoid this alcoholic drink. Beer and ciders are likely to contain histamines, because of the fermentation process.
Sulfites are additives that can be found in a variety of alcoholic drinks. Studies show that they affect around 10% of people with asthma and trigger the attacks. Again, red wine is the most likely to contain sulfates.
What can you drink?
Although alcohol itself is not likely to cause asthma attack, it has the ingredients that can do it. Therefore, the best option is to avoid alcohol completely. However, if you simply can’t resist having a drink or two on a Saturday night, there are some alternatives to consider.
As we said, red wine contains both histamines and sulfates. As an alternative, you can opt for white wine, since it has less of these ingredients or none whatsoever. Also, 100% organic wines (both red and white) are free of sulfates – although they may still contain histamines.
There are some alcoholic drinks that are very low in histamines and sulfates, or they don’t contain the at all. Spirits fall into this category, so if you really crave for a drink, it is best to go for this option.
Other than alcohol, of course you can always opt for non-alcoholic drinks. However, you have to be cautious here as well. Avoid cocktails and mocktails, because the drink mixers also contain sulfates. Instead, drink freshly squeezed juices or lemonade – and you will not need to worry about asthma.