Alcohol and Asthma

Hi all :)

Had a rough week, had ANOTHER attack and ended up in resus, nearly ITU but my lungs decided to behave after every IV medicine under the sun!!! So decided to treat myself to a nice alcoholic drink tonight as I think I deserve it :)

However, choice is VERY limited, due to wine/beer/cider/champagne etc causing my airways to react and tighten!!! I was told at the Asthma UK Residential weekend that the best thing to drink is in fact vodka, as it is the purest alcohol. But what to drink with it? I usually have lemonade as I find coke makes me tight. I picked up a vodka and tonic can and thought I'd look up about tonic.

Apparently it is an anti-inflammatory and used to contain an ingredient called 'quinine', although nowadays this is rare to find such a high dose in tonic water.

I was just wondering what alcohol you can all drink and what is safest, in your opinion, as to not make my chest react so much!! Or have you had any advice from asthma specialists about what is safe to drink?

Would be great to know :)

xxx

11 Replies

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  • Ooooooh, there's a question. Most of the time I don't drink at all but when I do I'm a white wine girlie and I don't believe in small glasses! Oh, and Brandy in a coffee is nice. Or beer (has to be bitter) on a hot day but I can only drink one or two. Come to think of it, a glass of Port after a meal is good.

  • hey SB

    wow, tricky question, sounds weird, but my flatmate makes fab mojitos!! with bacardi rum, lime cordial, brown sugar, crushed ice and mint, lil bit lemonade and LOTS of water lol. lush!! always take few puffs beforehand, but last time i forgot too and i was okay, maybe theres hope!!

    vodka wise, i try drining it with coke ZERO only, and find its okay only a lil bit of nellie afterwards, so still need few puffs to keep her at bay, but no nebs!! :)

    had a bottle of champagne for my leaving doo in work back in october, but i suffer BADLY when i drink it, so i havent been able to open it :( so i am keeping it till sis' hen nite in october :) she can happily drink it!!

    also, used to love drinking cider and rose wine with a passion, but i recently found it gives me SEVERE reflux as well as asthma symptoms, so no longer can drink them, damn u asthma!!! grrrr....

    hope this is useful and not more confusing lol

    :)

    x x x

  • Hi,

    Hmm, interesting, never thought about it, probably because my asthma wasn't an issue about the time I was starting to try drinking.

    I say 'try' though because I have NEVER been able to drink more than a tiny bit of any alcohol without bad effects - haven't noticed anything chest-wise but it makes me act funny (not in a relaxed way, more a strange bad mood way), gives me a headache and makes me walk strangely - it's like going straight to hangover and bypassing the fun bit, on about half a glass of wine or equivalent. I have never managed to get properly drunk - I haven't even tried because of the effects of a little, and it's not even as though I was that small - I'm 5''8""!

    I have no idea if this has anything to do with asthma but I suspect it is genetic and it's on the same side as all the asthma genes - my brother (mild asthma) can't drink either and though this is only anecdotal and I don't know what effects it had on him, my mum says my grandfather (also asthmatic) never really drank so I wonder if he had the same thing. On the other hand I think there are lots of other asthmatics in the family who can drink, but I don't really know.

    It's not the worse thing ever to have (saves money at least) but it does make me cross when I'm in a cocktail bar - I LOVE cocktails but can never drink a whole one.

  • I'm probably not a great deal of help as I've been really struggling to find a drink that that doesn't cause me any problems since I developed a sensitivity to sulphites. My problems seem to be dose related so I can tolerate small amounts that may not be declared on labels, but if it's on the label (either as and ingredient or in the allergen list) it's guaranteed to affect my asthma, probably cause some rhinitis symptoms and can even make my mouth sore.

    I really miss pear cider, having a glass of wine with a meal if we've got friends over and Pepsi, which used to be my favourite soft drink.

    I've found German beers aren't too bad as sulphite levels are much lower to comply with the strict German regulations. I had some of that green apple flavoured Smirnoff vodka (I'm not a huge fan of normal plain vodka to be honest) and I seemed to be okay with that and lemonade. I've read on a website by someone who is very sensitive to sulphites that they are okay with gin and tonic but I haven't tried that as I hate gin (it tastes like trees to me, yuk) and I'm not particularly fond of tonic water.

    Does anyone know if coconut rum (Malibu) or peach schnapps (Archers) have much in the way of sulphites in them? I used to love them and if I'm careful I might still be able to make/invent some cocktails if they're okay. I always used to love making cocktails at parties, it'll be sad to make them for everyone else and not be able to drink them myself anymore.

  • Hya sj,

    I dont drink alcohol so prob not much help.

    However, i sometimes have can of pepsi/coke.

    I was told these contain caffein which is supposedly ok for asthmatics.

    Perhaps you could add one of these

    Howie :)

  • careful with coke SB, as you know already with having probles you said in your post with coke.... coke/ caffeine has the same properties as aminophylline :S

    though i tend to be okay with coke ZERO

    x x

  • Hi SJ

    I also have real problems when It comes to drinking alcohol and alot of my severe asthma attacks have been alcohol related so I don't really drink much anymore. But I seem to be ok with vodka and I usually mix it with either cranberry juice or lemonade. I can only drink clear alcohol and find that all coloured alcohol tends to set my asthma off eg wine, beer, rum etc,

    So maybe try drinking a small amount of vodka but maybe mix it with something else clear.

    lejaya

  • Hi SJ

    I also have real problems when It comes to drinking alcohol and alot of my severe asthma attacks have been alcohol related so I don't really drink much anymore. But I seem to be ok with vodka and I usually mix it with either cranberry juice or lemonade. I can only drink clear alcohol and find that all coloured alcohol tends to set my asthma off eg wine, beer, rum etc,

    So maybe try drinking a small amount of vodka but maybe mix it with something else clear.

    lejaya

  • I drink Wine and Real Ales, but not particularly flowery wines because they make me wheeze. Like the odd drop of cider and lager too, have never been advised on what to drink. All that I do is drink in moderation and never drink when even slightly unwell.

  • See, I'm not much use on this one because I don't drink at all. I'm completely tee-total. And the one time I did have a drink (Blue WKD at a birthday party over 2 years ago) it made me wheeze. So I just avoid it. You can't miss what you've never had. And I'm one of these people that doesn't see the point in drinking, so I'll stick to my Red Bull and Lucozade ta.

  • alcopops defo a big no-no or its a defo green meanies trip to costa :(

    x

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