Help for Sulfite and Sulfur Dioxide Food Allergy, Sensitivity and Intolerance
Like 3 million other Americans, I am sensitive to sulfite preservatives and sulfur dioxide in foods and prescription drugs. Sulfites give me headaches that last for 24 hours, though the most commonly reported symptom is asthma. In 1986, the FDA banned sulfites for use on salad bars after dozens of people died from anaphylactic shock. Today, salad bars are safe but the rest of the food supply still contains sulfur preservatives. And every day, the use of sulfur grows as American food habits evolve. Sulfites and sulfur dioxide are most noticeable in wine, dried fruit, sulfa drugs, instant potatoes, french fries, pizza and lemon juice concentrate. But they are also hidden in hundreds of ingredients like corn syrup and gelatin which find their way into thousands of foods. Because sulfite preservatives cause me so much trouble, I call them the Brimstone Demons. If you suffer from asthma, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, G6PD deficiency, headache, heart arrhythmia, hives, irritable bowel, lupus, rosacea, swelling or other allergic symptoms, perhaps the Brimstone Demons are causing trouble in your life. To help with this problem, I have written a short book titled Headaches, Asthma, Fries and a Cola. To read the free book, click No Sulfites eBook on the menu above. If you are in a hurry, the menu pick Where to Now? contains a quick overview and a list of problem foods and additives you need to avoid. After selecting from the menu, each page ends with an arrow in the shape of a cola bottle. Click the Next arrow to continue to the next topic or the Home arrow to return to this page.
Sulfite allergy websites come in three flavors: pages written by doctors, by wine promoters and by sulfite sufferers. Doctors will tell you all about the human immune system and how it is responsible for our many allergies, including sulfite and sulfa allergy. It's a fascinating subject and you should research these sites to expand your knowledge base and to learn how the medical establishment views sulfite intolerance. Unfortunately, most of these doctors aren't sensitive to sulfites themselves and the best they can do is offer the advice "avoid sulfites." Of course, that's good advice - it's just very hard to do. Wine promoters are interested in all the details of wine making and are particularly touchy about the bad press associated with sulfites. Sulfites occur naturally during the processing of grape wines and additional sulfites are added at various stages to prevent unwanted fermentation. It is very difficult to make wine without sulfites and virtually impossible to age it for any length of time. So, wine enthusiasts get very agitated when sulfites are blamed for health problems, reasoning that such criticism taints their beverage of choice. For instance, it is very common for wine websites to claim that sulfites do not cause headaches. They prefer to blame this side effect on histamines, grape protein allergies, alcohol and even over-indulgence. Now, I get headaches from sodium sulfite dissolved in distilled water. I wonder how they explain that? Finally, there are websites written by people that actually suffer from sulfites. Generally, they give good, personal advice that can help you to navigate these confusing waters. I am such a person and the information on this site allows me to live a relatively normal life even though I am sensitive to only a few hundred micrograms of the Brimstone Demons.
For many years, the No Sulfites website was hosted by America Online . However, AOL shutdown all member sites and the current address is www.readingtarget.com/nosulfites. If you find references to the old address as you surf the web, please pass on the new address. If you find our information useful, please consider adding a link to No Sulfites from your own Website or Facebook page. Getting the sulfite message out there is a giant step toward cleaning up the food supply and advancing medical treatment for this condition. The sulfite problem ( spelled sulphite elsewhere ) is not limited to the United States. As large food companies expand into the world market, they spread the use of sulfur preservatives and processing steps to every corner of the planet. If you are sensitive to sulfites, you must be on your guard whether cooking in your own backyard or dining at a restaurant in London, Paris or Hong Kong.