Posted 1/17/2012 1:31 PM (GMT -6)
My allergist says sulfite allergy or intolerance, as far as she is concerned, is all allergy.
She started me on keeping a really good food log/journal. I had to write down everything I ate or drank, all meds every day for a month. I was able to note certain meals, often certain foods or drinks, that triggered my symptoms.
Then she had me do "challenge testing." I had to eat ingredients of the meals, one at a time. I was to start with a small amount, say a teaspoonful, then waiting 20 minutes. Then if there were no symptoms I took 2 tsp, waited another 20 minutes, then 4,8,16 and stopped. I could do 2 items a day, one morning, one afternoon. Continue eating regular meals of foods that were not triggers, but leave time before doing testing. Of course if you are one of those people, usually the ones with migraines, you can react 2 days later, so you'd have to modify the test.
Your hives do sound like "true allergy." Of course I'm no doctor!
I haven't heard of a skin prick for sulfite. If there is one, let the forum know! I'd be awfully cautious about letting a doc use a full strength sulfite powder or strong solution if I had a true allergy! It could cause you to have throat swelling and not be able to breathe. Bring along some Benadryl! Not the liquid, just tablets and chew them. The liquid has color, flavor, preservatives - all sulfited. Many other IV and oral liquids and liqui-gels contain sulfites too. Plan to stick around for a while after the test in case there is a delay in your reaction. And since there may not be a test that has been documented, I'm not sure I'd believe a negative result. The food journal works!
Even if you don't have an "allergy" to sulfite, lots of foods that contain sulfites also contain other allergens. MSG is among those allergens. That's where the food log helps so much.
BTW I have reacted strongly to chashew butter, although I don't have a problem with some cleaner peanut butters. I can eat a couple of brands of yogurt, but not ones with gelatin or starch thickeners, certain artificial flavors and coloring. Gelatin, cornstarch, some other starches, and flavors and coloring are some of my biggest triggers.
Some brands of tea have sulfites. Find some you tolerate, and don't use bottled lemon juice. I don't have a problem with coffee, but powdered creamers can be triggers. I don't use coconut oil for anything, so I don't know about it. I avoid baked goods unless they are home made. All the grocery store ones here are loaded with preservatives. I don't know about baking powder specifically.
Best of luck!