Sulfite in tomato paste/puree & tea bags?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/17/2013 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been aware of a sulfur allergy for about 2 years.. I get bad mouth ulcers from sodium lauryl sulphate (toothpaste), and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis / chrohns after a colonoscopy & endoscopy.. but IMO.. its actually pure and simple a sulfur allergy causing the whole lot.

My typical symptoms were: gastric reflux/heartburn, increased heart rate (making sleeping a problem), chronic fatigue, depression / doom & gloom, mental fog, and itchy skin. Minor symptoms start with moods and lethargy and aches in joints, prolonged exposure leads to ulcers of the GI tract.

After a few years of removing sulfites as much as practical, I have next to no symptoms, 100% recovery, but I can trigger smptoms by overdosing on a little sulfur. My latest relapse was after drinking about 4 glasses of sulfite free red wine... least now I know what causes it..

I have a question, I have read this whole thread, and a few times Tomato puree/paste gets mentioned and so do tea bags or tea. I am confused about these as I have never had tea or tomato on my list of things to worry about. Does anyone have any info on these things?

Thanks for any help!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5024
   Posted 4/17/2013 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum, Deanox.

I get pretty bad tachycardia and gastric problems with sulfites.

Some brands of teabags list in their ingredients sulfites. If you want to try a new brand just read the labels.

I don't have trouble with tomato products, paste, puree, other canned tomatoes. Spaghetti sauce could bother some people if it has sugar, garlic or onions added.

Thanks for the tip on toothpaste. I have chronic mouth ulcers, never considered it. I itch too. Sodium laurel sulfate is in most shampoos and body wash soaps. I'll have to address that issue!

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/18/2013 1:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,

just wanted really to thank you for the amount of effort you have put into the other thread (the 9 page one).. I actually thought i was posting to that.. but clicked new post instead of reply. either way I learned more in that thread than just about anywhere else.. was great to actually hear from other sufferers about how much they can tolerate.

Regarding sulfate vs sulfite.. sulfite as you know in food is typically very low, for example a concentration of 100parts per million is considered quite high. Compare that to sodium lauryl sulfate, which can be the second or third ingredient in toothpaste, shampoo, dishwashing liquid & washing powder/liquid - so the concentrations are potentially hundreds of times more concentrated.

I get mouth ulcers from toothpaste - easily solved, I mix bicarb soda / coconut oil / some salt & peppermint oil to make toothpaste.

In the last year I realized that our washing powder was a problem. I am a fitness nut, and when I am having a mild sulfur reaction, as soon as I exercise & the blood gets pumping, I get really itchy. We changed to a sulfur free washing powder - and immediately this itchiness disappeared. What was interesting is that when discussing this with my mother, she mentioned my pop was alergic to fab (or so they thought) - I am in Australia and fab is a particular brand of washing powder. My mother also has recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease - I have no doubt that a massive part of this is sulfur allergy/intollerance.

Also fyi - I once bought a 25kg bulk lot of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Put 1 cup into the bath.. and well.. as opposed to feeling relaxed.. i had jittery heart, and then just felt really nauseous.. then depressed the next day.. so Sulfates can definitely effect me the same as sulfites.

Mouth ulcers are an absolutely horrible and painful thing... I would love to hear how you get on after you stop using regular toothpaste.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5024
   Posted 4/19/2013 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you posted. Here's another sufferer to sulfur: She has lists of products that may be of some help.

I stopped using the toothpaste I had switched to out of vanity for whiteness. I went back to my regular Sensodyne and am better this morning. It takes a few days for mouth irritation to clear up. I also see my dentist this afternoon, will ask him if he has any experience with toothpastes and sensitivity. If I don't get anywhere in a few days I will try your formula. Even plain baking soda is not that awful for me after chewing tramadol.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4415
   Posted 4/19/2013 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, canned tomato products can be high in sulfites. The boiling water used for canning often contains sulfites to prevent rusting of the food processing equipment.

Also, tomato skins themselves can contain naturally occurring sulfites.

I used to be able to eat peeled, fresh tomatoes but not canned. Now, my sulfite sensitivity has gotten so bad I cannot eat tomatoes of any kind anymore.

It all depends on your level of sensitivity what foods are tolerated vs. not.

Re: reaction from Epsom salts - may also be a detox reaction, i.e., accumulated toxins exiting the body, facilitated by the Epsom salt soak. I don't tolerate SLS in shampoos, etc., but am ok with Epsom salt soaks as long as I don't do them too often.
Edited to add:
Yes, UC particularly can have a connection to out for animal proteins.
Also there are bacteria that thrive on sulfites, that may cause inflammation when sulfites are consumed but which go dormant when sulfites are not you may need to address bacterial imbalance in addition to the sulfite issue.

Unfortunately, probiotics create sulfites also, so you may need to start slowly with probiotics and try various different brands until you find one that works for you...  I do well with Jarrow's Allergen Free Jarro-Dophilus despite my severe sulfite sensitivity.
And don't forget about the methylation connection - be sure you are getting adequate Vitamin B12 & Molybdenum, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron and using active forms of Folate (want methyl-folate, or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and not Folic Acid) and B6 (want P5P vs. the usual pyridoxine HCl).

Chronic Lyme, Bart., Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut dysmotility & non-specific inflammation, Lupus, Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube
Meds: Flagyl, Domperidone, Zofran, Claritin, Andrographis & other herbs, homeopathy, supplements, etc.

Post Edited (Razzle) : 4/19/2013 5:56:14 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/25/2013 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I am a newbie to this site.

I have a gluten intolerance a wheat allergy and have now been told I have a sulfite allergy. I now feel like I there is very little I can eat. Also, is it true that eggs contain sulfites naturally? My doctor believes I am highly sensitive and prescribed me an EPIpen. I was in a restaurant a few weeks ago and sat at table where someone had just ordered nachos and developed an itchy welt within minutes of sitting there. Another instance I was in a Thai restaurant and was have pad thai (they make it gluten free for me) and it caused me to itch and develop welt and dizziness. I also will go into grocery stores and will get a hard to swallow feeling in my throat and sometimes feel nauseous while in the store. So, for these reasons the doctor prescribed an EPIpen. He tested me for corn and sugar allergy because I was able to narrow down my suspected allergy to that. However, when the tests came back negative for corn and sugar, he concluded that it must be sulfites. A lot of my gluten free foods bother me so I knew something was wrong. I was feeling the same symptoms I experienced before being diagnosed (by skin prick test at allergist) of my wheat allergy. I just am finding this so hard to believe. I go to my allergist on Thursday for verification of what my PCP has diagnosed.

Post Edited (Iambutterfly) : 8/25/2013 6:46:38 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/3/2014 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Deanox:

I have heard that teabags are bleached with sulfites. I have not been brave enough to try tea
without the bags, i.e. lose tea.
Also, with canned tomato products, I have noticed manufacturers do add citric acid and calcium chloride
for some reason. Maybe that could be a problem also.

Hope this helps. We need all the help we can get. Good luck

Post Edited (Cherylt58) : 1/3/2014 8:15:34 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/14/2016 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there

I am allergic to sulphur and react to all non-organic food (tight chest, throat swells).

I have been reacting to tomatoes recently.

Even organic farming websites say sulphur is free to use. Very frustrating. It kills the fungus apparently.

So I will be avoiding ALL tomatoes from this point onwards!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5024
   Posted 11/15/2016 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Victoria.

How about posting your own topic so more people will read it. I'll reply there.

Just hit the Post New Topic button.
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