Sulfite questions

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Poppie
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Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 9/8/2015 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sulfite intolerant, and so have been educating myself recently on what I can and cannot have, and I have some questions, and so would be very grateful if anyone would be kind enough to share their thoughts:

Are Water filters a good idea? I was tempted to buy one, but read somewhere that the filters themselves contain sulfites? Also is there a particular brand of bottled water that I should be buying?

Tea makes me ill, and I know the sulfite problem is connected to the actual tea bag, and so I was wondering if I can buy loose tea, would that be okay?

I have GERD and I am struggling to find something that is free of Lactose, Corn starch or Gluten, and I need 'Ranitidine' (Zantac) which has lactose and corn starch in it. I am thinking of having something made up for me at a compounding pharmacy, unless there is something out there that would work. Does anyone know of anything else out there that might help relieve severe heartburn, and that doesn't contain any of the above products?

My symptoms of my Sulfite intolerance, usually manifest themselves within one hour, and include a deep tremor, followed by palpitations, and then I usually fall into a deep sleep. Obviously I am now taking the correct supplements, and avoiding certain foods, and although I have not experienced any swelling at all, I was wondering if I might need an 'epipen'? Is this something most people have with this condition? Should I be worried?

Thanks a lot

Razzle
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4415
   Posted 9/9/2015 4:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Carbon water filters are usually made from coconut, which is sprayed with sulfites. These sulfites can then be imparted to the water that is run through the carbon filter.

Also, most tap water contains other substances that have been sulfited.

I use Crystal Geyser bottled water.

The reflux may also be from sulfites...I get reflux from sulfites, and when that happens, I find a combination of a calcium tablet (make sure it does not contain calcium citrate, as citrates contain sulfites), an oral Vitamin B12 supplement (I use Pure Advantage B12 Spray), and Homeopathic Nux V. helpful.

EpiPens also contain sulfites, so if you don't get swelling or difficulty breathing then you probably don't need an EpiPen. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor, though, just to make sure...

If you need to take medication containing corn starch, take the medication with a Vitamin B12 supplement to counter the sulfites (B12 binds the sulfites, rendering them harmless and more easily eliminated by the body).
-Razzle

Chronic Lyme, Bart., Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut dysmotility & non-specific inflammation, Lupus, Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube; TPN-dependent
Meds: Flagyl, Cefazolin, Essential Oils, Homeopathy, etc.

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 9/9/2015 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Some brands of tea and chai tea are preserved with sulfites. Check the ingredients on the labels.

Spice blends are often preserved with sulfite.

Do you get your reaction to lactose if you only take the Zantac? I'm OK with small amounts of lactose in pills.

A lot of medicines contain sulfites. Usually the small amount of corn starch in the pills is not enough to trigger a reaction, but if you are very highly sensitive then it could be a problem.

Have you been diagnosed with gluten intolerance? As long as you don't have celiac you should be able to take pills. Pills don't usually have gluten in them anyway. But google them individually.

Bottled water often contains sulfites. There was a very good thread on this subject. Try looking in the archives - the search box at the top of the page.

I keep a pretty thorough food journal on my kitchen counter. It's been valuable as a reference to go back to when I get a reaction to something new. It helped my allergist diagnose my sulfite intolerance.

I also keep a list of meds I have reacted to on my computer and in my purse. I've got 3 pages of meds, OTC meds, and foods and drinks I don't tolerate. In small type. It's been a lifesaver when I've been in an accident or getting surgery and can't talk or can't remember all my reactions.

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 9/9/2015 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
@Razzle...I will look for the Crystal Geyser, not sure I will be able to get it where I live, but I do know they have Crystal Agua de Manantial (Spring water) Do you think this would be Ok? I do know the re-flux is definitely linked to what I am eating, which is why I am hopeful that I can eliminate everything that is reacting badly with me.

I have ordered some B12 and will definitely pick up some Homeopathic Nux V as I am one of those people that responds well to homeopathy, so thanks for the suggestion. Do you take that every day, or only when you start to feel unwell?

When I next see my GP I will definitely ask about the EpiPen, I don't think I am in the group of people that need them, but one never knows with allergies, they can lay dormant for a while, and then terrify you when they suddenly react badly, to something you thought fairly innocuous!

I will try taking the Ranitidina with a B12 tablet, to counteract the cornstarch, and hopefully the small amount of lactose present in such a small tablet won't cause me a problem, however, I am not sure if it will or not, so will have to try it and see. I will have to try it in any case, as I need something immediately, as I am having to sleep on one of those weird wedge pillows at the moment, to keep my body raised, and the acid re-flux at bay!

I think this is because I am still discovering new allergies, which is resulting in my body being punished daily. Just last week, I discovered through meticulous recording in my food diary, that I cannot take bananas or plantain anymore, this was a serious blow, and if that wasn't upsetting enough, today I suspect the corn in my tortillas could also be a problem!

I was searching online for different recipes using flour, and was dismayed to discover that the four packs of 'Bobs Mills All purpose flour' I recently purchased, contain garbanzo flour, (chickpeas) and Chickpeas were only recently highlighted as a big problem for me at the allergist clinic, and I really had not made that connection, so I need to order some different flour now, but I am at a loss as to what to order, or where to start looking! I just looked at 'King Arthur flour' online, and looking at the list of ingredients, I think I can spot at least two problem ingredients, what do you use? of course it has to be Gluten free also.


@Alcie..I am going to have a look manana for some tea, how I miss it!... and of course being English, tea was something I was brought up on. As I mentioned above, I am going to give the Zantac another go for a few days, as you are correct in suggesting that the lactose may not pose a problem, however I am struggling with a lot of new allergies popping up, so its difficult at the moment.

I think I have been in denial for a while, I knew nothing of Sulfites, and yet if I had taken the time to really look closely, I would have known that was the root cause of most of my ailments, some things you just don't want to admit to yourself, and now I feel like my body is weak, because I continued eating/drinking all the while oblivious of the cumulative effect on my body, and now I am struggling with what to eat.

I don't have Celiac intolerance, just Gluten intolerance thank goodness, and I find this easy enough to handle, but this Sulfite problem has knocked me for six, as it affects my body very quickly and rapidly, and also I have realized (or admitted to myself!) that I cannot eat things like chocolate anymore.... Not for the time being anyway.

I have Lichen Sclerosus and yesterday I had a nasty flare up, which results in some very unpleasant symptoms in the vaginal area, and so I really do need to get on top of everything quickly, as my Ulcerative Colitis has started to play up again, and I have had to raise my Meds from 2g to 3g a day. It's a shame, as only last month after a colonoscopy procedure, and check up, I was told I was in clinical remission.......everything is connected.

I have a feeling that my two recent visits with the allergist, which entailed skin prick testing has actually set me back, and I am supposed to be seeing him next week for Immunotherapy treatment, which I am thinking of cancelling, as I feel like it could make me worse at the moment.

Sorry this is such a long post, but I felt like I needed to get things off my chest! I really appreciate the help from both of you, as you have more experience with the issues relating to Sulfites than me.
Samantha, 45 yrs
Stopped smoking Jan 2013. Diagnosed Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014.
Pentasa 2g daily, Vit D, Multivitamin, Calcium, St Johns Wort, Vit B12,Quercetin with Bromelain
Gluten, Dairy and Sulfite free.
Clinical remission as of July 2015.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 9/10/2015 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
It's probably not the corn in the tortillas. Corn tortillas are routinely sulfited to preserve or whiten them.. Check the label. The refrigerated ones might be ok.

You might be ok with a little bit of milk chocolate, but definitely avoid the yummy dark stuff. You need to find out your tolerance level.

In Rick's free online book there are some pages that show you how to calculate how much sulfite is in a particular food. It's helped me a lot. I know I can have most of a can of soda, but definitely have to stop there and avoid any other sulfites in anything else for the rest of the day.
www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/index.htm Click on the ebook and start reading the next 3 chapters. You can find in his tables how much sulfite is in many of the foods you eat. I start reacting at about 2000 micrograms (not milligrams). Rick recommends keeping the food journal too!

Keep on with the allergist! No, it shouldn't make things worse! Do make sure he knows how you are testing yourself for sulfites. If you need to do "challenge testing" he'll want you to do it in the office. That's the standard allergists are told to follow now. You can look up one of my old how to do challenge testing posts in the search box at the top of the page. But I'm not recommending to do it at home, especially if you have a serious reaction. I get tachycardia as a reaction, so I have to be careful with these tests.

You have allergies besides sulfites. I love not having to take allergy meds, some of which make me sleepy. The shots have made a huge difference in my other allergies! Shots won't help with sulfite intolerance, but you might as well be more comfortable with the others under control.

I keep an Epi-Pen, but it's because I also have a "true" allergy to some meds, and sunflower seeds, which can be hidden in cakes, cookies, just about anything. I can probably get away with just having Benadryl and Alavert tablets on hand at all times. (No Benadryl liquid - sulfited)

Take another look at some of the herbals you are taking. St. Johns Wort, in particular, is known to interfere with lots of meds and conditions.

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 9/10/2015 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Alcie, I will definitely look at everything you have suggested, thanks a lot!
Samantha, 45 yrs
Stopped smoking Jan 2013. Diagnosed Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014.
Pentasa 2g daily, Vit D, Multivitamin, Calcium, St Johns Wort, Vit B12,Quercetin with Bromelain
Gluten, Dairy and Sulfite free.
Clinical remission as of July 2015.
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