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Sulfites, Wine, and Asthma



I am a 46 year old white male with chronic asthma that I am treating with Albuteral and Flovent. Over time the condition has been getting progressivley worse. I am at the point now that vigorous walking causes chest pain, tightness and shortness of breath. Heart and lung scans and a stress test reveal no problems. Basic allergy testing reveals no specific sensitivity. I am a regular wine drinker. Would sulfite sensitivity and regular wine consumption cause my asthma to become worse over time?


Only if you note an immediate reaction after drinking some wine. Most wines contain sulfites and reactions could range from asthmatic wheezing to anaphylaxis. However, this sensitivity is usually quite obvious and not insidious in nature.

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Response by:

David I Bernstein, MD David I Bernstein, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati