Pub cycles whipping through the streets of downtown Asheville, amazing brewery tours where you can sample the most coveted brews in town, delicious wine tastings at the awe-inspiring Biltmore Estate, Brew-N-View movie theatres full of local draft beer and delicious pizzas. These are just a few of the popular 21 and up events that Asheville has to offer.
With the prominence of alcohol-related activities popping up in Asheville and cities across the country, many of us are led to question our drinking habits. But do these activities affect you more heavily if you are one of the 18 million Americans living with Asthma? The answer may surprise you.
According to an article in the March edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, many of the various forms of alcohol can have an adverse affect on asthmatics. Hassan Valley, author of the article, cites red wine as the biggest offender in causing alcohol-related asthma attacks and states that overall, a whopping 43% of all asthmatics in his study reported having some type of reaction to drinking alcohol in general.
While red wine and beer appear to be the main culprits in affecting individuals with asthma, some studies suggest that ingredients in hard liquor may actually improve some asthmatic symptoms. So what is the difference between these types of alcohol?
Dr. Myron Zitt of the Nassau University Medical Center in New York, suggests that the symptoms asthmatics may experience when drinking wine or beer may be caused from the sulfites that are in these types of alcohol. Zitt attributes these sulfites to causing “red, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, upset stomach, and difficulty breathing”, in individuals that have consumed wine and beer.
Hard liquor, on the other hand, is made with ethanol, which Zitt proposes may actually improve asthmatic symptoms by soothing the airways and allowing breathing to become easier.
So what can you, an asthma sufferer, take from this? Dr. Benjamin Gaston of the University of Virginia Health System in Charlotte, North Carolina, states that what Zitt’s study found is “true and useful to know”, but does that mean that an asthmatic should give up drinking alcohol? Of course not, however as with other areas in an asthmatics’ life, you must aim to be cautious and aware of how the various types of alcohol are affecting you. If having a glass of red wine at a local wine tasting flares up your asthma, go for a glass of white instead. If tasting the beers at your favorite brewery downtown makes breathing a little harder, opt for the samples of cider instead (I promise they are just as delicious).
For more information on living with asthma and how alcohol can affect your asthma, visit this link. And for more information on respiratory health products available through your insurance, contact Aeroflow Healthcare today.