Vinegar is a sour liquid made from fermentation of alcoholic liquids or ingredients and distilling the resulting alcohol. It may be produced from different kinds of materials such as apples or grapes (wine/cider vinegar); malted barley or oats (malt vinegar); and industrial alcohol (distilled white vinegar). They can be made from beer, sugars, rice, and other substances but there are some that contain no wheat such as apple cider, balsamic, rice wine, lavender, orange and sherry.
The principal use of vinegar is to preserve food or for flavoring or pickling and is also used as condiment. According to some studies, it has also been used as medicine to treat ailments and up to now, it presents many household uses.
Despite of its benefits, some people still develop allergy to it. There is not much research done about vinegar allergy but people suffering from this are always on the lookout for foods containing vinegar.
An allergy is one of the most common chronic diseases that occur when the immune system sees a substance as harmful when they normally are not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 million Americans suffer from some kind of allergy. Abnormally sensitive immune systems of such people overreact to allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, feathers, or food.
As with the case of vinegar allergy, it occurs when there is too much vinegar in the body or when it is out of control. Most of the reactions happen within hours of ingestion but oftentimes, it starts within minutes and can range from mild to severe to life threatening (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis affects the whole body and can lead to difficulty in breathing with an extreme drop in blood pressure. It is an emergency medical condition that requires the patient to be brought immediately to the hospital.
The most common symptoms are headaches and migraines; itchy eyes and nose; heartburn; vomiting; white colored tongue and sore throat; runny nose; wheezing, coughing, fatigue; nasal congestion, constipation or diarrhea; and skin rash.
It is a rare type of allergy affecting not too many of the population and is therefore difficult to diagnose. Some people may recognize it immediately, but it is important to consult an allergist or doctor to confirm allergy to vinegar since it has almost the same symptoms with other allergies. Specific tests and laboratories may be done and they may prescribe antihistamine drugs and corticosteroids. In severe cases, adrenaline shots might be required.
There is no cure for allergies but it can be controlled. Although home remedies and conventional treatments are available, the most important management of allergy is avoidance of triggers or the foods containing vinegar. Examples of these food and drinks are tomato paste, dried fruit, wine, beer, and soy sauce. Keep off yeast if you’re on a yeast free diet. Any type of vinegar except distilled vinegar is most likely to cause a problem if you have yeast allergy. It is also best to prepare your own meals to avoid vinegar-containing foods but be careful if you have to eat in restaurants. Inform the waiter or the cook not to put vinegar to your dishes and ask if they did before you start eating. It is also advisable to read tags, labels and ingredients when buying food to avoid consuming products that contain vinegar.
This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be relied as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any medication or supplements.