Janey - I do drink a tiny glass of my own wine once or twice a week. I have to be careful still, because grape juice is naturally sulfited. It's a treat for avoiding processed foods. But I don't have the "allergy," only the "sensitivity." Your reaction strongly suggests an allergy.
When you get through a week of a very limited diet with no problem, then start adding new, safe foods. Yes, pick them from Rick's list. The object is to get rid of your reactions, then figure out what you can eat or use without bringing them back. First thing is to confirm that all your trigger foods contain sulfites. You may come up with other things also. That's where the internet comes in handy. When you have a list of foods you type a few of them in with the term "food allergy," and links will probably pop up.
sals. - Welcome to the forum. Sorry about the salicylate sensitivity.
Sorry also about your palpitations. Does your heart beat very fast also? That's one of my reactions. It's called "linked angina" or "cardio-esophageal reflex." I sometimes get left arm pain when I have a particularly bad reaction. I've had to cardioversion once, came close some other times. I hope you will continue to have your heart checked. These cardiac symptoms can trigger a heart attack.
I agree that walking past the deli is a good idea. Actually there are plenty of "natural" foods that are loaded with sulfite (sulphite). The onion family, pork and beef for a start. I get sick from eating any of them. As for colors, I have to avoid artificailly colored foods, but ripe red tomatoes are fine. Carrot juice may even be good for sulfite intolerance, but I haven't tried it. See the link to housemouse above. Potatoes that are processed are sulfited to prevent browning, but fresh potatoes are clean. Is there a connection between salicilates and colored foods? Double sensitivity must be hard to deal with.
Ria - welcome to the forum. I hope you will find lots of information from reading all the posts on this subject. Sorry about the cat. I miss my pets, but now just feed birds and deer in the winter. We have towhees now that will probably nest in our forest. See the links above for natural ways of lowering your sensitivity. I tried the egg whites, but didn't stick with it long enough to notice any difference. I do find if I avoid sulfites I get more tolerant.
Hazel - Welcome to the forum to you too. I haven't found a gastroenterologist yet who believes in sulfite (sulphite) srnsitivity. I did find an older, experienced allergist who said she sees it all the time. She had me keep a food journal (see the search box above for details). Then when I had my food list, she had me break the foods down into ingredients and do a "challenge test" for each of them. To test for wheat I had to find a pita that didn't have a bunch of additives which was hard to do. I cut it into 16 pieces. I ate 1/2 of one piece, waited 20 minutes, no reaction, then a whole piece, waited 20 min, no reaction, then 2 pieces, then 4, then 8. I knew then that the reaction I had to bagels with all the yummy stuff like onion and seeds was not due to the wheat. With gelatin I had to use the unflavored kind with apple juice. I used tablespoon as the measure. I got sick after the 4 Tbsp level. I'd had no reaction with plain apple juice. Rick's book tells about the processing of gelatin from pig skins.
Best wishes to all, and please post your progress!