What you need to know about tannin allergy

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Tannin is an acid that is commonly utilized in various drinks that can cause an allergic reaction. Just like with any allergic reaction, the symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening but all must be taken seriously. It is important that you are familiar on what tannin allergy is all about in order to save a life, especially if a family member is allergic to the substance. Once you suspect a tannin allergy, it is best to consult a doctor right away.

What are the mild reactions?

Tannins are commonly found in coffee, red wine and teas. If you have not heard about tannins before, it is basically a product of a plant which can trigger abrupt reactions in some individuals even those who have ingested these drinks for years without experiencing any ill effects.

If an individual has tannin allergy, a mild reaction typically includes jitteriness, mild headache and anxiety. These symptoms occur since the body reacts since it perceives tannin as a minor infection. As a result, the body pumps up on adrenaline, histamine and other chemicals in order to eliminate the threat.

What are the moderate reactions during tannin allergy?

The moderate reactions can occur if the individual with a mild reaction continues to ingest tannin or it can also occur spontaneously. It is important to note that these symptoms are more severe and can be problematic to the individual. Some of the symptoms include upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea and severe headaches. In some cases, individuals can experience symptoms similar to hay fever. In such cases, histamine is starting to overreact to the presence of tannin and trying to eliminate the threat from the body right away.

Tannin allergy
Some of the symptoms of a moderate reaction include upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea and severe headaches

Severe allergic reactions

In some cases, an individual can also experience a life-threatening reaction upon exposure to tannin. Most of these individuals experienced mild or moderate reactions previously.

During a life-threatening allergic reaction, the individual can experience breathing difficulty, swollen tongue and a choking sensation. These symptoms are caused by the severe overreaction of the body, thus resulting to the swelling of the soft tissues and mucus membranes.

Other possible reactions

In some studies conducted, it was discovered that a mild form of tannin allergy can worsen other chronic illnesses including asthma. Likewise, some can experience migraines or hang overs after the consumption of even a small amount of red wine. In such cases, tannin allergy can exacerbate an allergic reaction to sulfides that is used in order to preserve wine.

Preventive measures

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction to tannin is to instruct the individual to avoid beverages that contain the substance. During mild to moderate reactions to tannin, treatment involves the administration of antihistamines or even an injection of epinephrine. The doctor usually prescribes epinephrine to individuals who are prone to severe allergic reactions. An EpiPen is always carried by an individual and used once the symptoms of an allergic reaction start to manifest. If you want to learn how to use an EpiPen, click here.


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