Sulfite Intolerance

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Layla_Lee
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/2/2010 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello -

My allergist is having me eliminate sulfites for 2 weeks to see if I may have an intolerance to them - mostly due to allergy symptoms (congestion, sneezing, water/itchy eyes) with all allergy tests to pollens, etc coming back negative (ten years ago I was extremely allergic to them all so I find that odd). I've also suffered migraines my entire life. Because of that I am up for trying anything, even though I don't seem to have the major symptoms associated with sulfite allergies.

My question is what can I eat? I've done the research, I've probably seen any website you can send me to. The problem is that every website says something different. I am lactose intolerant and a vegetarian. I can't eat nuts, anything with high fiber or high protein. I was getting my protein from soy protein bars, but I've read that you cant' have soy. I can't find a dressing for salads that I can use, I can't find sauces to make a stir fry with or a soup to make a casserole with that doesn't have some form of sulfite in it.

Do you have any brand suggestions for foods I can try that are known to be sulfite free? Can I really not eat anything with soy, modified food starch, sugar, etc? Are fresh potatoes still sprayed with sulfites so I can't have any kind of potato?

Any help would be so greatly appreciated, I'm feeling really lost in knowing what to do as well as overwhelmed. And because there is no test that will tell me yes or no you are intolerant, I somehow need to figure this out.

Thanks!

couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12643
   Posted 8/2/2010 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Please go to the GERD forum and look up Alcie posts on sulfite allergies. She posts alot about her sulfite allergies and what she can eat.
Joy

Problems too numerous to name. :)

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 8/5/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Layla -
I just happened to look on this forum and noticed you are asking about sulfites. That's my problem. They cause gastric reflux for me, which, via the vagus nerve, triggers tachycardia. I too am lactose intolerant. I also have a severe allergy to sunflower seeds, maybe some nuts, definitely peanut butter (but that could be the additives).

I didn't test much to pollens, but allergy shots for pollens, dust and mold have helped me a lot.

SULFITES - they're in most foods that are processed, including breads and soups. The problem with breads, including pizza crust, is that bakeries don't make their own dough anymore. They just use frozen dough, with sulfite dough conditioner. Packaged nuts are processed - sulfite is a bleaching agent. Processed things in powder form, like corn starch, is made from corn and other things that are softened with sulfite bath, then more sulfite is used to keep them from sticking to the spray nozzels. Gelatin is made from pig skin softened with sulfite, then processed. Avocado products, but not avocados. Potatoes that are cut or powdered always have sulfites, but plain potatoes are clean. Peppercorns pick up sulfited when they are roasted over the charcoal in 3rd world countries. Fish and seafood is usually sprayed with sulfite right on the boat. I get away with washing it. Yogurts generally have powdered milk added (spray processed). Salad bars no longer are sprayed with sulfites (unless they are glossy).

Naturally sulfited foods: Grapes, onions and especially garlic, pork, cheese, wine and beer.

Stick with real foods! You should be able to eat anything you cook from scratch, as long as you watch the spices.

My sulfite tolerance has increased with avoiding it. It's not like peanut allergy. I can eat a slice of pizza once a month if I'm careful the rest of the time.

My posts on the GERD forum should be searcheable. Basically they consist of keeping a food log with symptoms, then doing a food challenge.
http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/index.htm The best website and info to help you calculate sulfite in foods.

I have a problem with a lot of medications too. Most multi-use vials of injectible medicines have sulfite preservatives. Lots of OTC meds are sulfited too. You have to search each med with the word sulfite.

Frankly, I think your allergist may have missed something if you have breathing symptoms other than asthma. Asthma is often associated with sulfite, but hay fever isn't. Migraine is seriously associated! I went to a second allergist when the first one missed my allergy by a mile.
Alcie
 
 

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 8/5/2010 7:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Just read your post again. Soy is sulfited in processing, so are sauces. You can use rice vinegar, but not white or cider. Salt is ok. Sorry you are a vegetarian. I live on rice and chicken. (I can't eat most veggies because of gas problems post stomach surgery.)
Alcie
 
 

Layla_Lee
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/5/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Alcie -

Thanks so much for the help. Apparently I had a few things wrong. I had no idea cheese was off the list. I've been eating it every day. I'm lactose intolerant but it is at a mild level, I have to eat like a bowl of ice cream for a bad reaction. Do you know if all cheeses are bad? I thought because it didn't have the milk filler in it it was okay. Do you even have problems with feta or goat cheese?

I've also been eating one to two eggs every day for my protein intake. I'm not sure where else to get it from. I mostly don't eat meat because it grosses me out, it isn't like it is a choice and I can just start eating it again (I have trouble separating the animal from the meat). Do you add anything to your Rice and Chicken (sauces or flavoring?)

I am incredibly happy to learn that raw potatoes are okay. That is a huge plus.

I also saw on another of your posts that you have liquor still - vodka. And after doing more research it looks like a lot of sulfite intolerant people do well with tequila. I rarely drink but like most things as soon as I am told I can't have it I want it. Are certain liquors okay to have (dependent on what you mix them with of course).

I am on day 5 of lowering my sulfite intake (obviously I didn't stop. I also eat cereal every morning but its fully organic as is the peanut butter I eat at lunch every day so it has much less if any at all). But the cheese, the eggs. And I've only had hayfever allergy symptoms for the most part. I might feel like I can't breathe after running past a row of bushes and trees and dust for a certain amount of time. And I've never associated my migraines with eating, I've always associated them with being stressed (they are always there when my stress is at its higher). So now I have to figure out if I haven't gotten a migraine in 2 days because my stress went down or because I changed what I was eating. Either way I have to say I feel healthier because I'm forced to stop eating convenience foods and fast meals (like frozen pierogies or pizza or instant mashed potatoes). So if I end up not having an intolerance, I'm still sticking with the low-sulfite as much as possible.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 8/5/2010 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Layla -
Cheese, especially the tasty hard cheeses are loaded. The soft cheeses are better. Read the nosulfite webpage and email there for info too! Ice cream is full of lots of awful stuff, much of which has sulfite. I don't eat it often because of the lactose, but tolerate a little if I drink a small glass of Lactaid before or after. Lactaid pils are useless. We used to be able to get the liquid, but I can't find it anymore.
Eggs are full of sulfur. Some is probably in the form of sulfite. Remember this is not sulfAte or sulfIDE! Anything with SO2 or SO3 or metabisulfite or any of the other names is bad. Most of the time you will not find it on a label. It's not required if the company didn't put it in themselves, just bought the ingredients that way.
If you can get a little chicken or fish down that will help, but you can also look to beans, lentils, etc. Skip the sauces. I do use individual spices (except garlic, onion or pepper). I have a good list I will have to find a way to publish from my mother of what goes with what. A single spice is usually enough!
I THINK I can still drink vodka. But I can't drink it with soda, or anything with carmel color because of sulfite there. Also no bubbles because of the stomach surgery. Bottled lemon or lime juice is sulfited very highly, over 100ppm! Frozen juices are clean.

Cereal is loaded too. I actually had such a bad reaction - reflux, then tachycardia - after eating a bowl a few years ago that it gave me a heart attack. Coronary vasospasm (from the tachycardia or maybe the cause of it) can cause a tiny plaque rupture which closes of the artery. It was 95% - nearly fatal!

Read the nosulfite website about migraines. Sulfites can apparently cause migraines up to 3 days after consuming them! The guy has done some serious scientific research.

Instant mashed potatoes say right on the box that they have sulfite, so it's a really high amount.

Like me, you can still have other respiratory allergies. I have had great results with the shots, give them to myself in the thigh when hubby isn't available to give them. With the tiny insulin needles, they don't even hurt if I pinch the skin a moment. I'd ask to have the pollens checked again.
Alcie
 
 

Lee1
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/11/2010 4:54 AM (GMT -7)   
also, as I found out by an asthma episode, some epi pens are preserved with sulfites.. I had a bad experience from this, so if you have an epi pen look at the preservative, and then try to find one that is not preserved with sufites..

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 9/15/2010 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I've read that Sus-phrine is sulfite-free, but also that Epi-pen can be used for anaphalaxsis safely. I have an Epi-pen but have never needed one - and they DO expire! They're probably a waste of money unless your doctor thinks you should have one - and prescribes it for you.
Alcie
 
 

Sulfite
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/26/2011 1:24 AM (GMT -7)   
A SULFITE PROBLEMI have a sulfite intolerance. Sulfite intolerance is cumulative (gets worse each time you are exposed) and if I had realised 10 years ago my health would be much better.
I have controlled my intolerance by not taking in any foods with sulpher in them and by drinking distilled water.
I eat only food I cook at home and buy only products with "no preservative added" at the supermarket...eg bread, etc. The only food I can eat in resturants is authentic Japanese, as they use NO SULITES in their food at all and they use rice wine vinegar which is sulfite free. ( common vinegar is very high in sulfites.)
I have controlled all my symptoms by doing this, but unrelated to my intolerance after a CT scan I have developed acute Thyrotoxicis wich gave me atrial fib etc. The joke on me is that the ONLY treatment for this stage of my thyroid disorder is a sulfite drug.
The first day I took the drug I had chest pains, tachycardia and collapse and had the dose reduced by 1/3. And now one week in I have blisters and weeping sores on my hands and face and can hardly see out of swollen eyes. If I do not take the drug I will die and if I do take it..........probably will just be a slower process
SULFITE is a metabolic poison, it shuts down many of the biochemical pathways we need for metabolism. (it shuts down the thyroid gland also that is why I have to have it)
Overweigt people are not fat because of their fat intake, it is because Sulfite inhibits the metabolism of fat as an energy source and so it is just deposited in the body. Same for sugar, hence diabeties.
Sulfite also decreases the immune system leaving us open to cancers.
The medical profession is unaware of this sulfite problem and it is affecting more and more people daily because it is being added to our processed foods as a preservative. There is no money given to researching a problem that does not result in a drug to be sold.
Good luck if you live in the USA because corn syrup (a cheap form of sugar) has VERY HIGH levels in it.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 3/26/2011 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sulfite -
Welcome to the forum. You can post a new thread to introduce yourself, as this one is getting pretty old.

I'm sure you already know that your reactions to sulfite depends on your individual tolerance. I'm not hysterical about a lillle sulfite anymore, since I started calculating how much some sulfited foods and drugs contain. After avoiding sulfite like the plague for a few years, I have upped my tolerance to about 2000 -3000 micrograms a day. Of course that's cumulative for one day, and I wouldn't want to consume that much every day or I'd likely be right back to extremely low tolerance again!

There shouldn't be any sulfite in tap water or any bottled water. If you smell "rotton eggs" you could be looking at a sulfur compound you might not tolerate.

Bread from stores here have a lot of sulfite because they have HFCS added instead of sugar, no matter they say no added preservatives. I've given up totally on store bread! Homemade bread is OK for most of us, but I don't tolerate wheat anymore - same sort of thing as building an intolerance to sulfite. I just avoid bread or anything with wheat.

It's interesting you can eat Japanese. They use a lot of corn starch, highly sulfited, another thing I don't tolerate at all. I have to avoid all gravy, sauces, most dressings, anything breaded. I can eat at least some things at most restaurants, except Italian which have garlic and onions in everything.
Alcie
 
 

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 4/11/2011 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Look -
Silk? Oh no! Soy isolates have 20 - 30 ppm sulfite! I don't tolerate anything made from soy.

I don't know about the peanut butter brand, but it doesn't matter if it's "organic." The things that are added are where you will find sulfite - the sugars, sweeteners, preservatives. I eat only almond butter - made from nothing but almonds, no additives, although it could use a touch of salt!

Forget lunch meat. Make your own. They all have additives. Cook a turkey or chicken breast and slice it yourself. Avoid mixed seasonings, garlic, onion, pepper. Single seasonings may be OK. Fresh is safer than dried. Fish, inhcluding "fresh," needs to be washed thoroughly, even then may be preserved - right on the boat. Avoid pork and things made from it. I get away with a couple of strips of bacon, but not a sausage or slice of ham. Gelatin is made from sulfited pig skin.

Bread too. If it's not made from scratch by you, or in a small bakery where they actually mix the ingredients and don't use preservatives or "dough conditioners," it's contaminated. If it can sit on a shelf for more than 2 days it's got preservatives.

There's nothing wrong with dairy, as far as sulfite, unless you have lactose or other allergy or intolerance. Do you know if you have lactose or one of the milk proteins? Stay away from hard cheeses and yogurt. I tolerate a small Activia, but the nice Greek ones can send me to the hospital. I'm lactose intolerant, but at least tolerate Lactaid and whey.

I don't know about almond "milk." It's made from almond flour and water. Just like soy milk is made from soy flour and water. I don't know the process used in making the flour. If it's spray-dried, they use sulfite to keep the spray nozzles from clogging.

I eat a lot of oatmeal. Rice is fine too.

Check out the various lists of sulfited foods on the web. But there's a problem with most of them - they usually don't list the AMOUNT of sulfite!
Alcie
 
 

look1433
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/16/2011 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Anyone know of a dairy and sulfite butter to use.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 4/17/2011 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Milk and butter shouldn't have enough sulfite to bother you. Do you have a lactose problem or maybe a sensitivity to other milk proteins?

Yogurts and cheese are another matter. I only tolerate Activia yogurt, and that in small amounts. I do tolerate cheese in small amounts, especially the soft ones. The hard cheeses are higher in sulfite.
Alcie
 
 

look1433
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/18/2011 4:52 AM (GMT -7)   
 Thanks Alice, what kind of cheese do you use,.

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 4/18/2011 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I mostly don't eat cheese except for an occasional snack on rice crackers, but it's usually ust a couple of bites of mild cheddar.  If I had to eat more I would choose a fresh, whey or curd cheese like queso fresco.  The more additives and flavorings and processing, the worse for me, although those are the tasty ones.  Check out Wikipedia for info on cheesemaking.
 
I avoid soy products too.  I think the processing adds sulfite. 

svb2003
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/20/2012 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I've seen some rumblings about pork, but I'm confused. Do sulfites occur naturally in pork or is it the crap they coat it with in the stores to keep it fresh that's the problem?
 
I can get a pig that will not be processed with anything, and I need to know if it will be safe before I drop the money to buy it! (Theoretically safe at least.)
 
Thank you!

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 2/21/2012 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi svb, and welcome to the forum.  I hope you will read some of the other threads on sulfites in this forum.  There are LOTS!  See the search box on top of the page, also the 6 page thread that is still getting new people.  Have you read Rick's free online book?  http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/index.htm
 
Yes, pork has natural sulfites AND gets added stuff when it's processed as ham or especially barbecued ribs, which were my favorite and makes me sick enough I can't walk to the car after eating out.  I can't eat my own cooking if it's pork.  GELATIN, which is made from sulfited pork skin is also very toxic to us sufferers.  Gelatin is in ice cream and lots of yogurts.
 
Avoid ALL processed foods.  Just skip the deli altogether.  Get a nice chicken or a beef roast and bake it yourself.  Don't use onion or garlic in any form, or pepper either.  Salt and some nice individual spices, but not any of the mixed ones, for avoiding all sulfites.  Fixh is OK if you wash it carefully.
 
Don't use anything MADE FROM corn or soy, although the fresh or frozen plain varities are fine.  No corn syrup, dextrose (powdered sugar), maltodextrin, molasses, other procesed sugars.  Be wary of beet sugar - the cheap one.  Cane is low in small servings. 
 
I have a problem with all boxed cereals now.  I can have a little rice krispies if it's the white rice type.  They've all added stuff!
 
If you read Rick's book you can learn how much sulfite is in various foods and how to calculate how much is in a serving.  Then you can figure out how much you tolerate in a day.  I can have a half (huge) slice of Costco pizza if I've avoided sulfites the day before and am careful the rest of the day.
 
READ LABELS. READ LABELS. READ LABELS.

svb2003
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Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/23/2012 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much Alice! I will read the book and check out the other thread, I came across it during my initial search, but haven't gotten back there yet.
 
I'm beyond frustrated. We thought I had corn intolerance issues, but slowly realized it was more than just corn. That's when the sulfites came up. In all the research I've done so far it seems that all of the corn things I was worrying about contain sulfites as well!
 
So, here I am, just trying to figure out which way to go now.
 
Thank you again for your help, I truly appreciate it!
 
Samantha

smb0314
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/6/2012 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been reading this post and I'm allergic to sufites, all sulfa products actually.  I keep seeing something about garlic and onion and I love both so I'm wondering why I can't use them?

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 4/6/2012 6:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum, smb.

The onion family all have sulfites.
 
Do you have the "true" allergy, mouth symptoms, throat closing?  Or do you have the more common "sensitivity" as I have?  My allergist lumps sensitivities and calls them all allergies.  No matter which you have, the only way to treat them is avoidance.
There are many lists of foods containing sulfites, but most of us only need to avoid the ones with more than a trace - 10 - 50 parts per million.  However, we also have to consider the amount of a food we eat, as it adds up!
 
 
For a good chemistry lesson read the free book at http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/index.htm. There is a formula for calculating how much sulfite is in the total food item. With it you can figure out your tolerance.

Emma10
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/20/2012 2:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for all of the information given on sulfite allergy/intolerance.

I live in the UK and there is so little known about sulfite intolerance that it has taken years to be diagnosed and even longer to be given any useful information. This post and the online book have been a godsend! My tolerance is now quite low due to the years I remained un/misdiagnosed and the lack of product labeling does nothing to help this. It is so nice to hear from others who can end the frustration!

Em

Marcea
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Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/9/2012 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm new to the forum, and I'm concerned that I might have sulfite intolerance. I don't have the usual symptoms, though. My main symptom is tachycardia, which sent me to the ER at the hospital two weeks ago. The doctor said the tests were all normal, and that I should cut back on caffiene, which I did, and it's better, but I still have occasional tachycardia, but not the extreme kind. In a follow-up visit with my regular doctor last week, she thinks I have a vagus nerve problem, and she want me to have a consult with a cardiologist, but I think I'll wait and see if staying away from sulfites helps. I just started yesterday in trying to eliminate sulfites. I also have thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) and I'm gluten-sensitive.

My question is this: though it seems a less common symptom, does it ever happen that a person's only real symptom is tachycardia if they have sulfite intolerance? Thanks in advance for any help or ideas!

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 10/10/2012 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum, Marcea.
 
My major reaction to sulfites is tachycardia too, also usually not a very high rate or lasting more than an hour or so.  I've been to the ER often enough, once had to have chemical cardioversion because I'd tried everything else and couldn't get the rate below 145 - 165 after 6 hours.
 
Yes, the usual tests will come back normal.  The vagus nerve is indeed involved, because the intolerance starts in the esophagus and stomach, which are on the vagus, and then that triggers the heart.  I once had a heart attack caused by the vagus stimulating the coronary arteries to spasm, blocking the artery 95%. 
 
This condition is known as linked angina or cardio-esophageal reflex.  There are more papers on the subject all the time.
 
You may notice a feeling of a gas bubble just before a little gastric reflux or jumping feeling in the stomach just before the tachycardia happens.  Or the tach may take hours to develop.  I sneeked a small glass of wine this evening with dinner, and 3 1/2 hours later have  a little tach going on.  I take Inderal right away when this happers - prescribed by my cardiologist.  It doesn't work long, but the tach doesn't usually last long either.  It does act very quickly, which I appreciate, since another heart attack could happen quickly too. 
 
KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL!  Every day for a few months at least, write down everything you eat, drink, all medicines, the time and any reactions.  When you note a reaction you can look up the page and find out what you might have eaten that triggered it.  Write down little things like the feeling of a gas bubble, stuff you'd ordinarily ignore.
 
My heart attack was precipitated by eating a bowl of cereal with some lovely dried fruit for breakfast. 
 
Look up how to do Valsalva maneuvers - of course, check with your doctor!  I find it often stops the tachycardia if I push hard like going to the bathroom or getting up a gas bubble. 
 
If you think you are having a heart attack chew up an aspirin and call for transport to an ER.
 
It's not necessary to avoid ALL sulfite.  A lot of foods have it in small doses that won't bother most people with the sensitivity.  It's easy to avoid processed foods, especially the ones with too many ingredients.  I nearly went to the ER after foolishly eating a store-cooked chicken pot pie.  They didn't make the pie, just cooked a frozen one.  Grocery stores don't make their own bread dough here (US) either.  A couple of slices of toast will set me off unless it's "preservative free."  Keep reading the old threads.  There's lots more information.
 
Interestingly, the lower gut, which is also on the vagus, can trigger tachycardia.  I've had that happen when I was had a ruptured diverticulum.  If you have diverticulitis, you might want to consider this as a pssibility for a cause, if finding trigger foods doesn't work out.

Marcea
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/11/2012 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the good info, Alcie. I'm glad you shared what your symptoms are, since you also have mainly tachycardia, too. It's scary to think that the vagus nerve can cause the coronary arteries to spasm. Oh my!

I will indeed keep a food journal, starting today. I'll try to notice if I feel a gas bubble or jumping in the stomach when it happens again. My doctor wants me to consider having some sort of shock treatment to the nerve, but I don't know if it's a good idea, though it's pending a cardiac consult first.

Good to know I don't have to avoid all sulfites. Wine is what seems to trigger it the most, which I now avoid. The evening that I went to the ER I had a small frozen pizza and half a glass of red wine about an hour and a half before the episode started. I was just sitting at the computer after dinner and notice my heart pounding fast, and I went and laid down on the couch. Then I started having muscle tremors and coldness and tingling in hands and feet. Really strange. Heart rate 150-160 bpm. I did have mild heartburn, and a sort of pressure in my chest/upper stomach area, in the area of the Xiphoid Process. Heart rate went down after three hours and 2 bags of IV fliuds at the ER. Never had anything like that happen before, though I had a serious bloating issue two months ago where I was bloated and looked six months pregnant after eating a large Chinese take-out dinner. I fasted and avoided solid food for two days and it improved. Drinking fluids seems to help. Have you ever had these other symptoms?

Appreciate the advice about the Valsalva maneuver; I'll check with the doc about it, and I'll check out the links you provided.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3675
   Posted 10/11/2012 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Marcea -

Didn't they give you any meds in the ER? Just fluids? Ask your cardiologist about possibly having a few pills of Inderal on hand for when you get these episodes. That's what my doc gives me, and it works. Ask him also about chewing up an aspirin also. I do that when I know it's a bad episode. It probably saved me from heart muscle damage the time I had the heart attack.

I haven't felt bloated, but I'm tired after a tachy episode. That's a normal reaction. Sometimes I get jaw pain, rarely pain radiating down left arm. That's a pretty bad symptom, so you should consider going to an ER when you feel like it could be a heart attack coming on.

Chinese food can be pretty badly sulfited because they use a lot of corn starch. Corn starch has enough sulfite that I can't eat a slice of cherry pie made with it. I have to use ordinary flour instead. I use flour for gravy too. Any sauce thickened and clear has corn starch.

Avoid frozen pizza. Make your own with dough you mix up yourself. You can make up a bunch and freeze them. Frozen pizza and other bread dough is usually "conditioned" with sulfites - enough to bring on a reaction, especally when combined with commercial wine. I can have a single slice of commercial pizza that is made with homemade dough - if I don't raise my sulfite intake further with wine or soda.

I make wine in my garage. I can drink a little because I don't add any preservatives. It's easy. I get a 6 gallon plastic of a good grape juice and let it sit for a week or two. Then I add enough sugar to suit my taste - 1 to 2 1/2 pounds. I like it sweet. I put a plastic tube in the top hole and run it into a bottle of water so no oxygen gets in. That's it, no work. A lot of people like mine better than what they can buy. In late November I bottle it in whatever I have handy. I like screw-top water bottles, but plastic milk jugs will do. The only trick is not to let any oxygen get into the wine. It adds to the alcohol to make expensive vinegar.

Speaking of vinegar - try to use only rice vinegar. Cider and wine vinegars have a lot of sulfite.
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