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Living Sulfite-Free - Is It Possible?

Updated on November 15, 2014

What's Happening to Me?

That's the question more and more of us are asking these days. That's the question my husband, Gerald, asked about three years ago. Strange things started happening to him that had never happened before. Maybe they're happening to you, too.

They tell us that only 1 percent of people in the U.S. have this problem, but I wonder . . . and even if it's true, that's a lot of people!

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site contains our personal experiences with sulfite sensitivity. It should not be viewed as an authoritative source of information on the subject. Although we continue to work hard to make sure our statements are accurate, we are by no means experts. PLEASE do your own research to make sure you are as safe as possible!

(Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)

I took this picture on the evening in question . . .
I took this picture on the evening in question . . .

It was a simple glass of white wine . . .

We were out with good friends, enjoying a theater experience - Charlie Chaplin silent films accompanied by a talented musician who sat playing a gigantic organ. We sat in a huge banquet room. The company was great, the food was delicious, and our white wine was chilled to perfection. Gerald took a sip along with his meal. Strange . . . my lips are tingling, he thought. My face is feeling flushed. My tongue's a little numb.

He waited, and gradually those feelings subsided. Another sip, and the symptoms returned. This is strange. I've never felt this before. Could those sulfites they always warn about on wine bottles be affecting me like this?

Have you ever had a sulfite reaction? - Tell us what happened.

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    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      @jessien36: It seems that there is some controversy about LEAP. I've read many good firsthand accounts of how it has helped people. Some professionals, however, do not give it much credibility. I'm really curious to look into it further. Thank you for bringing it to our attention! :)

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      @jessien36: Very interesting! I'm looking into it. Thank you.

    • profile image

      jessien36 2 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: There is a test for food sensitivities. Google LEAP. MRT

    • profile image

      jessien36 2 years ago

      I was having reactions to foods and found out that I am sensitive to sulfurs. I had a lot of inflammation, weight fluctuation, bloating, and lower back pain, and a lot of other things. There is a test for food sensitivities! It is different from an allergy test. A food sensitivity causes things like: headaches, bloating, brain fog, being tired, joint pain, muscle pain, itchy ears, ringing in the ears, nausea, diarrhea, constipation..... there are so many different things that can happen. If you think you think you have food sensitives, find a dietician that will do LEAP with you. It is not appropriate for everyone but you should fill out a symptom profile that helps determine if it is appropriate for you. It has helped me tremendously! I'm still in the process but most of my symptoms are gone. Not only was I sensitive to sulfurs but I'm also sensitive to ginger, nitrates, raspberries, sunflower seeds, and a few other items.

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      Bunnyfart 2 years ago

      Joie ,

      Well all the blood tests came back Neg .yea. So looks like sulfites are the culprit šhît !!!!!!! Sulfites are in everything .

      Dr said next time I have a out break if I can make it to a lab while I have hives and systems she wants me to have my tryptase levels checked .but she also said it needs to be put on ice and tested right away .

      Still taking Zyrtec at night

      But would love to have a cookie but with soooooo many different kinds of sulfates

      I'm FREAKEN lost !!!!!!

      So many other names for sulfites

      Sulphite ammonia caramel E150d

      Caustic sulphite caramel E150b

      Sodium bisulphite (sodium hydrogen sulphite) E222

      Sodium sulphite E221

      Potassium metabisulphite E224

      Sodium metabisulphite E223

      Potassium sulphite E225

      Calcium hydrogen sulphite E227

      Calcium sulphite E226

      Potassium hydrogen sulphite E228

      Sulfur Dioxide (not a true sulfite, but chemically very close)

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      @Bunnyfart: It's good that you're getting tested for allergies. This type of test detected two life-threatening allergies in my daughter, who is NOT sulfite-sensitive. On the other hand, Gerald, who IS sulfite-sensitive, passed these tests with flying colors. The doctor said that his reaction to sulfites was a sensitivity, not an allergy, and that there was no test for sensitivity. Be super alert to every reaction you have, and document everything. It could save your life.

      We do not know a lot about how they make medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter. I looked up Zyrtec, and found that it comes in several forms. My suggestion is that you do NOT buy the kind that comes in gelatin capsules. Gelatin contains sulfites.

      Thank you so much for keeping us posted! Hang in there! :)

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      nosulfites 2 years ago

      A week of discomfort, extraordinary breast pain, and brain fog. The culprit: Trader Joe's crystallized ginger with sulfites.

    • profile image

      Bunnyfart 2 years ago

      Had blood work done the other day and they will be testing for things I never would think. like black beans love those. this too, garlic, bananas,beef,chicken ,nuts ,seafood,mold, etc I never had allergies to anything my 55 yrs .

      8 vials of blood .

      Dr told me to take Zytec every night ,and doing what she said and have Benadryl on hand .she mentioned the epi pen as well .

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      Bunnyfart 2 years ago

      @mugas1908: I have the same symptoms

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      @Bunnyfart: You have our total sympathy and support! And congratulations on having a doctor who even considers that sulfites may be the culprit! Remember, too, that another sulfite transmitter may be the fumes from the traffic we drive in. My husband uses the air conditioner all year round to help protect himself from airborne sulfites. Take care, and let us know how you're doing, okay?

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      Bunnyfart 2 years ago

      OMG,

      Hives hands swell ,feet , lips swell ,coughing reflex started , vomiting and been racking my brain what I ate .this started 5 yrs ago and have been getting worse ever since . It happens at midnight , early morning and also driving in the car it happened at 2-3 in the morning driving ny to fl .

      Just had blood work done .dr thinks it is caused by sulfites .

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      @DeborahDian: I'm glad you learned something. :) Maybe in the future you can help someone else who has the problem. Thank you so much for visiting!

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is really interesting! I had no idea that sulfite could be a problem.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      @kimberlyann71: Excellent advice, kimberlyann. Thank you for your first-hand experience and helpful suggestions!

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      kimberlyann71 3 years ago

      Learning to eat "sulfite free" at first was a challenge and still causes me anxiety when going to new restaurants - Epi pen always within reach and pre Benadryl just Incase . I have found that on a dally basis eating as close to nature / preservative free as I can get, the better. The naturally occurring sulfites don't bother me, it's the added ones . Try heading to the organic sections of the grocery stores. This type of allergy just happens and doesn't necessarily have a reason for appearing..."it just is what it is and learn to live with it", is what allergist and doctors have told me . There is no "fix" , So for me , after many tears and periods denial, anger and grieving , I have accepted what is and now eat healthier than I ever did . Any new comers , read your labels.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @mugas1908: Thank you so much for sharing your story! We'd love to hear more from you.

      Yes, there is a lot more to the sulfite saga, and I will continue to try to make this lens more comprehensive. People like you help me so much to be aware of things I need to add. The more we work together, the more we can all benefit. Thank you!!!

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      mugas1908 3 years ago

      Stomach pain, nausea, massive hives, face looked burned, palm and soles of feet incredibly burning and itching, trouble breathing, BP dropped. Barely made it to hospital. A total mystery late in life (50's).Allergy tests provided no clues. Afraid to eat and attached to phone &epi pen 24/7 Detective work and research started. Everything on this site and more. Some foods like black tea have naturally occurring sulfites. Other thing I have become aware of is that a product may be labeled as having no sulfites added BUT producers may claim this in all honesty but some of the ingredients used from other sources may have previously added them to their product. What I have learned is be vigilant but not fearful, go out and enjoy life just be sure to keep your 2 epi pens and a phone with you even if you just go next door. Wear an alert bracelet. Sometimes even eating in a place you thought to be safe may change a supplier and not realize sulfites are in their product..this happened to me a place I had eaten at for years changed hands and even thought the menu was the same the ingredients had been altered

      I give thanks every day for paramedics in the ambulance service they don't get paid nearly enough for what they do.

    • profile image

      Beth0810 3 years ago

      Apple Cider Vinegar has sulfites, as do instant mashed potatoes. So it's most likely that you reacted to the to those. The K-cups for tea don't have anything but tea leaves in them.

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      Beth0810 3 years ago

      Well, Apple Cider Vinegar has sulfites and so do instant mashed potatoes. As far as I can see, the Keurig tea that I have (twinings) contains only black tea, so that wouldn't be a problem. I'm guessing the double dose of sulfite from the instant potatoes and the ACV caused your reaction. Hope you figured it out by now.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @Susan Zutautas: Thank you, Susan! :)

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Johanna Eisler: The bottles are labeled but there's no warning on them. Maybe I misunderstood what I'd read. After reading this again I did read it wrong. Sorry about that. I came back because I'd meant to pin your lens on my Pinterest board and will do that now.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @Susan Zutautas: Very interesting! Here in the US, the government requires that wines made with added sulfites be labeled: CONTAINS SULFITES. It surprises me that Canadian wine would not be labeled the same, because usually Canada is a little bit more vigilant about labeling sulfites. However, the specific wineries that made your wine may not have added sulfites to their product. If so, bravo for them!

      Now you've got me curious, lol! Next time we head north to visit our family in Canada, I'll be checking wine labels for sure! Thanks for visiting!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      No I don't think so, and I don't think I've ever seen any warnings on a bottle of wine either. I just went and looked at 2 bottles at wine I have here and there is no mention of sulfite at all. Mind you the wine is made in Ontario Canada and I'm wondering if that is the reason for no warning.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @Eatfreshfoods: I'm so sorry you've been experiencing such severe reactions!

      I've learned that peanuts are the only nuts that contain naturally-occurring sulfites. Which is pretty crummy if you love peanut butter! Almond butter is also delicious, though. ;)

      My first guess as far as your most recent reaction would be the potatoes. (from the container - what container?) Potatoes can be very dangerous. If you didn't make them yourself from scratch, they're probably the culprits. There could be other reasons, but that's my first guess. It's also possible that it could be a combination of several things that just added up to more than your body could handle. Be careful. Be safe. Thank you for coming!

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      Eatfreshfoods 3 years ago

      I've had allergic reactions to wine and blood pressure meds with sulfites. The wine made me wheeze and cough and the meds made me itch badly. I then realized that if I took an allergy pill I could drink a glass of wine, but decided that's a bad idea. I recently found out I was severely allergic to a pain medication with sulfites and skippy peanut butter. I'm not realizing I'm allergic to more and more each day. I had a reaction this morning and I'm not sure what it was; the mashed potatoes from the container or the apple cider vinegar I madd with the salad or the tea from the kcup. Not sure but it was horrible my heart rate went up and I felt like fainting, my tongue swelled and throat felt tight, it's scary.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      How right you are! My dream is to live in a world where everyone has their own garden with beautiful organic food to eat all the time. Or at least where everyone has access to and can afford healthy, non-poisoned food. Wouldn't that just be paradise?

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      i broke out in hives once, just slept it off...

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: Thank you! It's somewhat comforting to know that I'm not the only one dealing with this.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @anonymous: You're making positive changes, Patti! Good for you! Keep up the good work!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Mandy, for posting your most enlightening experience! How frustrating for you to be limited in your food choices - and even more frustrating not to have your doctors recognize or even consider what the source of your problems could be! Fortunately, my husband's first visits to an allergist eliminated all the other possibilities, and the doctor agreed with our "diagnosis." It's so encouraging to hear that you are almost back to full health, and we wish all the best for you.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I can't tell you how incredibly impressed I am with your positive attitude, Kimberly! My husband and I each carry an Epi-pen. If he become incapacitated, hopefully I will be with him to grab mine out of my purse and help him until I can get him to a hospital. But although we try to be prepared for the worst, we try to focus on the positive and enjoy the life we have been given.Thank you for your encouraging comment!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I still don't understand how this goes on without the public being informed about it. How many people are terribly sick without ever knowing the reason why? I'm so glad you finally were able to pinpoint one of the sources of your problems, and I hope you are now enjoying a more pain-free life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I have suffered from severe migraines since childhood and never knew when one was coming. In my 20s it could be daily. I now know that some of my worst reactions would occur after eating scallops. Since the migraine could begin 8-12 hours after eating them I never pinpointed the cause until into my 40s. After studying up on this it is apparent that the scallops were dunked in sulfites while on the trawlers and this is never disclosed at the fish counters. Unbelievable! Years of suffering that could have been avoided.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Over the last year I have had symptoms ranging from tingling in my nose accompanied by hives to chest tightness, shortness of breath, and palpitations. I finally narrowed it to sulfites. I now have to carry an Epi-pen, Benadryl, and Tagament everywhere with me, just in case. Sulfites of any form cause these reactions depending on the amount. Learning to live "sulfite free" is very difficult, but I'm figuring out through trial and error, can be done. I have stopped feeling sorry for myself, for the most part, and one day at a time, I'm taking my life back.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      All started with hair color reaction then frozen seafood. I now am becoming sensitive to more and more foods so am trying to eat fresh and organic. My symptoms are rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing!! Benadryl is always with me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I am very happy to hear that your daughter is doing so well. I am amazed at how quickly I improved after removing sulphites.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I am 54 and for the last 8 months, until I discovered the cause, suffered extreme, severe and debilitating symptoms affecting my sinuses, nose, ears and breathing.

      I work on an island which is an "A" class reserve and quarantined, therefore the food provided comes in under strict conditions. Most of the raw is prepared in Perth and transported to the island. Unfortunately it is treated with sulphites so it lasts until it is consumed by the contractors resident on the island.

      I have never had a problem with allergies before and was unaware that the food I was now eating had been treated.

      I developed symptoms within the first week there and got steadily worse over the ensuing months. I saw several Dr's who all said oh its allergies have some cortisone! And the ENT specialist said oh its allergies have an operation!!

      Each course of cortisone subdued the symptoms but then they returned worse than before. I have listed over 40 symptoms associated with my allergies and I had a couple of 'events' lasting up to 12 hours where I felt that I could suffer an anaphylactic reaction. Some symptoms include constant mucus production and blocked nose, wet ears, screeching scratching popping noises in my ears, extreme pressure in the ears, loss of sense of smell, taste, loss of balance and appetite, hours of coughing wheezing and several other debilitating symptoms.

      Fortunately I put 2 and 2 together before my operation and eliminated the food with the sulphites added. I kept a diary of all the food I ate, any reactions and my 'miraculous' healing.

      Both my Dr and the workplace Dr are very dubious about my claim that my illness was caused by the sulphites in the food at work and both used the word 'coincidence'. Typical!!

      I am now almost back to full health. I have noticed I am now sensitive to sulphites in foods (beer!) where I wasn't before so I am careful with what I eat (and drink!).

      I am rather outraged by the almost denial of the medical practitioners and while I would never wish my experience on anyone I think they need an experience of their own to open their eyes and give them the courage to step out of the 'lamestream' and admit the truth.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, Miriam. You've been through so much! You're at the really difficult stage of this problem now - trying to figure out what you can eat, when so many of your former foods are now off limits. Try not to be discouraged. The longer you work at it, the easier it will become. I promise. We wish you all the best. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I had to go through a lot of tests i.e ultrasound,colonoscopy and finally a CT scan after numerous really excruciating stomach attacks,they all come back fine(thank God) but it was alwful not knowing what was ailing me,ave had three c-sections and and an appendectomy so I thought something had happened to my insides due to so many surgaries.I don't eat any canned foods or frozen ready foods except veggies and barely drink wine or coffee,when I did occasionally I'd get sick so I stopped,tea also started causing havoc so I stopped that,however I did drink some Kenyan tea that my mom had sent for me and didn't get a reaction,that was when I figured I was allergic to sulphites as everything that made me sick had it in them!-I recently had to give up my favourite grain bread but I guess that's life!!-My doctor is looking for a specialist for me so I can be "officially" tested!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      that is exactly the same as my symptoms!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the excellent point about knowing how much sulfite each food contains. I've been meaning to post a chart for everyone so that they can manage their sensitivity better. Now you have me seriously working on it, and you should see it appear here very soon. I wish you all the best!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My reaction is a little unusual. A year ago I suddenly started getting bloated with horrible intestinal pain after every meal. Seemingly anything I ate made me feel - and look - like there was a watermelon growing in my intestines. I was reduced to eating very small meals, else I'd end up confined to the couch by evening. IBS meds didn't help, multiple gastrointestinal tests were negative, celiac was negative. I finally started keeping a food diary and discovered that sulfite was the culprit. It was hard to pinpoint due to the proliferation of hidden/undeclared sulfites in our food supply, and also with my symptoms one "overdose" of sulfite cased repeat symptoms every time I ate for up to 3 days following. I've found that dealing with a food sensitivity/intolerance is a numbers game, about knowing how much of the offending substance will put you over the edge, and knowing how much of the substance each food contains. I can handle a little parmesean cheese, for example, but a glass wine or a few dried apricots will put me over.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Becky, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. You have been through so much! But you have succeeded in discovering the problem and dealing with it. More than just loving and nurturing, you have probably saved your daughter's life. I cannot praise you enough!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My daughter is severely allergic to sulphites (at risk of anaphylaxis). Having been a supersize baby as soon as she was being weaned she stopped growing. After years of invasive testing for coeliac and various allergies I linked her reactions to my husbands much milder response to foods/alcohol with sulphites in (headaches, reflux, wheezing). She is now natural/chemical sulphites and egg free (yolks have high levels of sulphites) and is thriving.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      No, can't say I ever had one

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Sulfite makes me itch all over. I need two or three Benadryl to stop the itching

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree. It totally stinks.

      Once a week, my daughter and her husband come over for dinner. I have to prepare a meal that is gluten-free, sulfite-free, and diabetic friendly. At first, it seemed nearly impossible . . . and now it's easy.

      I hope this is encouraging - it WILL become easier. Hang in there! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i have this reaction anytime i drink or eat something with sulfites. i have celiac so at first i thought i accidentally been gluten-ed but then linked it to the wine later on. totally stinks and is a scary feeling. :(

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I didn't know but after reading this, I think I need to be careful.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Reading labels isn't much fun - how I miss the days of 'grab and go'! But it's a fact of life now, and the longer I do it, the easier it gets. I wish you all the best, and as little pain as possible! :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I never paid much attention, but every time I have a glass of red wine the pain in my feet gets unbearable.

      Have Neuropathy and the sulfites really make it so much more painful. I'm lucky that I was able to find this out by process of elimination, have to read labels now.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @beeingwell: Thank you so much for sharing our story with others that may be helped by it! :)

    • beeingwell profile image

      beeingwell 4 years ago

      I can't say I've had a reaction but I want to commend you on a very investigative and well written lens. This is information I'm passing along right now!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: It's good to try to find remedies that don't contain sulfites. :) Thank you very much for your input!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Look1433: There are non-medical resmedies when catching a cold or for pain. It's good to have a naturapath, but online you can find solutions. Dr. Mercola has a good site. For a cold, nip it in the bud with 3000 mg. of vitamin C, one zinc tab, and a B complex capsule, plus 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. For pain, try comfrey root or PA free butterbur. For joint pain, take natural anti-inflamatories such as boswellia, turmeric, or in between meals try bromelain. Well worth the research so as to avoid the side effects of drugs.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @happynutritionist: You're very wise to be so careful. Listening to your body's reactions to things is vitally important.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: You make a good point, Sue. I need to add a section here on warnings about going to the dentist. Many numbing agents that the dentists use contain sulfites. Thank you for warning us!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: Be careful about that .. I started as just having issues with wine and avoiding it .. I was fine for many years then I was injected with numbing agents that had sulfites in them twice and I had major reaction and became majorly sensitive. So even if it is minor now be careful because it can get worse over time and all it takes in that final straw to change your life permanently.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      Yes...I used to be able to drink wine with no problem, but now can't drink any with added sulfites. All wine has sulfites, but I have no trouble if it is what is naturally on grapes. Flushing and then bad heart palpitations are my usual reaction. If ANYTHING makes my tongue or roof of mouth feel strange, I don't finish eating or drinking it. It's a great way to determine sensitivity for me.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Ears actually turn purple! facial flushing and sometimes i have difficulty drawing a breath.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much, Anna. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: Thanks you, yes I pick up on that when I tried anything after I read the labels I realized it was the cornstarch, today I tried newmans owns organic green tea so far so good, not sure if there black tea is ok one at a time. Great sight

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @Look1433: This is an area that I have not researched thoroughly, but the same principles hold true. Be extremely diligent in reading ingredients, watching out for ingredients like sodium metabisulfite or any starch (very often they are cornstarch).

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      Look1433 4 years ago

      I have sulfites reactions and I'm eating almost everything organic and it's not easy but I am finding more to eat because of the new organic foods coming out, I have a question about medications that have sulfites in them, does anyone know what we can take, I am not sure what to take if I need a painkiller or catch a cold.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: I have emails in to Trader Joe's and Safeway. I'll let you know what they say. Wouldn't it be ironic if unorganic vegetables had less sulfites.....

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: i also had a bad reaction to raw beetroot grated on a salad.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I honestly don't know. I assume they buy their organic vegetables from a variety of sources, which would make it even more difficult to find out. I know that it is illegal to spray them with sulfites after they are grown.

      The only one I know about for sure is that grapes (a fruit, not a vegetable) are regularly sprayed during the growing season. My husband commutes through the Napa Valley and has to take special precautions so that he is affected the least amount possible on those days.

      I wish I could be more helpful. If you learn anything about this, please let us know. :) Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Do you know if Trader Joe's sprays its fresh organic vegetables with sulphur when they grow them? I thought I was being so good being organic until I learned that sulphur is one of the chemicals you can spray on growing vegetables and still have it be called organic..... Thank you......

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I've wondered the same thing. :) There are many theories about sulfite sensitivity, but we have only our own experience to go by. Thank you for the thought-provoking question.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was reading this article about aspartame which brings me to this question. Do you think that sufites accumulate in your body? That if perhaps you eat/drink/breathe too many of them that they stay in your body and little by little as they accumulate you become more sensitive?

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I've not heard of it before!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for mentioning this shampoo, toothpaste and soaps. ALSO make up, hair dye, and many lotions. I learned about a year ago after a trip to the ER and then my allergist that sulfates/sulfites are the culprit. I have to admit a great deal of denial and many reactions since I am learning that reading labels and asking questions is vital.....I am so happy to have found this site. Keep up the great work!!!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, Organic Sulfite Free Girl! I'm glad you're still alive, too!

      I'll try to address your comments and questions in order. Bear with me - remember, I am NOT an expert on these matters. We are continually learning more. :)

      1) The pork episode can be a combination of problems. First, even organic pork has naturally occurring sulfites in it. It's not a terribly high percentage, but some very sensitive people react to it. Second, garlic has some naturally occurring sulfites. To make it worse, when people make garlic salt and garlic powder, they want the product to be nice and white, so they bleach it with what? Sulfites, of course. The Montreal steak seasoning also contains garlic, probably in a sulfited form, although the ingredient list may only say "garlic." I am not certain that the other spices were sulfited.

      2) Is it worse if you breathe in the sulfites? Here's an example: My husband is a commuter. For many years he has commuted through the beautiful Napa Valley. (I'm also a California girl!) During the grape-growing season, the vineyards are regularly treated with sulfur sprays to control powdery mildew. I truly believe all those years of exposure have taken their toll and helped to create the sensitivity he now experiences. Now when he drives to and from work, he does so with the air conditioniong on, using only recirculated air - otherwise, he gets the same reactions as he does when he drinks wine: numbness, throat swelling, wheezing, and coughing. And that's just from breathing.

      3) Fish and seafood with sulfites include canned clams, all types of shrimp, frozen lobster, scallops and dried cod. The reason? Many shellfish are treated, BEFORE they are transported to the processing plant, with sodium metabisulfite to prevent melanosis or "black spot." Your doctor's advice was good.

      We're happy you found us and truly appreciate your sharing your experience with us. We wish you all the best!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      (California. USA) I've been having a reaction for a few years to sulfites but it has gotten worse. I read somewhere that other than children with asthma most people don't develop sulfite sensitivity until they are in their 40s or 50s. Mine started when I was 50. At first I would just turn red, and then it got where I would turn red and get really tired. Finally I got so tired I thought something was wrong with me and my aunt said, "If you have this problem with wine, and shrimp, I think you might have a sulfite sensitivity." So, we looked up all the foods I had reactions to and most were high in sulfites. After I stopped eating/drinking sulfites, I couldn't believe how much energy I had and my shoulder stopped hurting. I do think the joint pain had to do with the sulfites.

      Last week I bought 100 percent natural pork and my brother said he would cook it. I wasn't paying any attention to what he put on it. I stood by talking while he cooked it - so the sulfite fumes were in the air - and then we sat down to eat and as soon as I put the meat into my mouth I thought I was choking and my saliva glands were going crazy.... It happened so fast. Finally he said, "Can you talk?" And we realized I wasn't choking my throat was swelling. I have an EpiPen a doctor gave me because of seafood. I couldn't find it so I took two Benadryl and tried to relax. It helped and I normalized without medical treatment. (By the way, what he put on the pork was garlic salt and some kind of Montreal steak seasoning. Neither were organic. Someone said that they really sulfinate spices. Is this true?) And, is it true it's worse if you breathe in the sulfites? I know the doctor said that I shouldn't be anywhere near where they are cooking seafood.

      As I'm also allergic to antibiotics my family made sure I got a Medical Alert bracelet that states I'm allergic to penicillin, sulfa drugs, sulfites and seafood. (I'm not sure I'm actually allergic to seafood. It could just be the sulfties they put on it.) I'm glad to be alive and have gone 100 percent organic. As far as I know, sulfites - as well as antibiotics and steroids - cannot be used on organic meats and foods. I'm glad my anaphylaxis was mild. I'm glad to be alive. That was really scary.... Now, I have my Medical Alert bracelet and have my EpiPen in my purse. I think it was an Australian blog I saw that said after you have had such a reaction to only eat food if you have your EpiPen with you. I think it's a good idea because this happened so fast...

      Thank you for this blog. I'd love to share my research. It's nice to know I'm not alone.....

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @coffeemad lm: Thank you, coffeemad. Of course, we don't want anything to be wrong with us that drastically changes our lives, but if something is affecting us seriously, we need to be able to identify the problem. If this lens happens to put you on the right track in your search for a solution, we'll be so glad we decided to share our experience. In any case, we wish much success to you and your wife. Please give her our best. :)

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      coffeemad lm 4 years ago

      Not me as far as I can tell, but my wife. This lens has made me think about the possibility of her reaction being attributed to sul'ph'ites, i'm British :)

      We were sharing a bottle beer (sophisticated huh?) and about half an hour later her lip started to swell considerably. The odd thing was, it was just one side. Then she broke out in Hives, that hasn't happened in a long time.

      Since then she has had a few hive break outs and we have not been able to attribute it to any one thing, particularly as it has happened in the morning - I have to say, she doesn't drink beer in the morning :) Antihistamines work well to counter this, which makes me think sulphites are a possible cause as they too can trigger histamine related problems.

      Now I need to go check all the labels again - thanks! :)

      Great Lens!!

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Cherry, I'm so delighted that you came, and even more delighted that you added some very insightful comments. You're right about white wine being higher in sulfites than red. Another thing I have learned is that sulfites (also known as sulfur dioxide or SO2) is commonly used in most wineries to clean their fermentation tanks, equipment, hoses, valves and other process hardware.

      It is wonderful that in the future European regulations will require products to be labeled accurately! I hope the rest of the world follows suit. Thank you for the reminder about the chemical names and E-numbers. I've been meaning to include them here, but I needed a little nudge! :)

      I will be adding more information about wine soon. There is actually a wine that Gerald can drink now - although he's trying it out very cautiously. I'll include information on that when I add a module specifically about wine.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Desires, you can't be allergic to sulfur itself as the mineral is an essential part of our own body tissues. Sulfites are one form of it; another form that causes allergies is sulfonamides, which are used in some drugs including antibiotics.

      I've had a potentially fatal allergy to sulfonamides since childhood, but only developed the sulfite intolerance recently. So it seems there is a connection, however you don't need to worry about plain sulfur: you'd die without it.

      I'm sorry you're suffering from many allergies. Such a nuisance!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm British so I call them sulphites :D I've been a wine-lover all my life but had to give it up a year and a half ago, due to a violent reaction (really painful stomach cramps, projectile vomiting, delightful). Some of your followers need to know there are more sulphites in white wine than red - they're a bleaching agent. Or colour stabiliser, as they prefer to be known.

      Over here, sulphites are used in fewer foods than in the US but they're still prevalent in sausages, potato crisps (chips) and shelf-stable drinks made with fruit. This is a pity, as I can't drink cider now! Some beers are OK, but you have to check whether they're 'cleared' by filtration. If it doesn't say so on the pack, it's probably been cleared with sulphur dioxide which will make you poorly. All very bad news for a happy drinker like myself ...

      I've tried drinking very expensive red wine, which has fewer sulphites. Sadly, I was still sick afterwards but Gerald might be okay with wine from a small family vineyard.

      European regulations are being tightened up so that all foods will have to state whether sulphites have been used in the manufacture. During this transition phase, check the Wikipedia page for the chemical names and E-numbers to watch out for.

      I've bookmarked your site, Joie; thank you for your positive and interested approach!

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: So happy to see your beautiful angel face again! Your visits are so encouraging!

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      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Just stopping by again to sprinkle a bit of angel dust your way. This is such an important subject!

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, Laurie! What a close call! I'm so proud of you for the work you put into preparing all your own food from scratch. It's no easy task, I know.

      It's really wonderful that you are willing to share your experience. It really helps people realize the seriousness of the problem. Thank you so much.

      Thank you, too for your input about toothpaste, soaps and shampoos. I'll be doing additional research to make sure these items are addressed.

      Keep taking good care of yourself! :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was eating baked chicken with Saucy Susan apricot sauce glaze. The last thing I remember eating was a large chunk of apricot. Suddenly my nose started to itch terribly. I thought it was odd but I wasn't concerned. Then it felt my throat closed up, or my lungs were paralyzed. I had to really force myself to breath and even when I did that it felt like I was breathing through one of those thin mixing straws that they put in alcoholic drinks. It was so scary. i made my kids call the ambulance and at the hospital they told me it was an allergy to sulfites. I do, or did have asthma and the doctor told me that I had a severe life threatening asthma attack. I've never had an attack that bed ever or since. I cook from scratch now because sulfites are in just about everything, and I haven't had any asthmatic symptoms since I've started cooking from scratch.

      Be careful of toothpaste, soaps and shampoos. They are full of sulfites.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Good for you! Knowledge is power.

      I'm sorry to hear about your reactions, but glad you have a positive attitude about figuring out what's going on. As far as inheriting an allergy or sensitivity, I believe it's entirely possible. I inherited my mother's nearsighted eyes and my father's low blood sugar. Weaknesses and sensitivities can definitely run in families.

      Thank you so much for sharing! I wish you much success in your research!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I recently started trying red wine. I tried so a couple nights ago and woke up with a numb throat, a light headache and my allergies might have been a little more haywire than usual. So I checked the ingredients on the back of the bottle (I really don't have any food allergens, it's everything else I have to worry about) and the only one that, stood out, was sulfites. I know my grandmother is allergic to sulfur. Could it have been passed down??

      So I waited a few days and tried a glass of red wine last night. I still woke up with my throat feeling eerie of numbness I guess, and now I'm online doing my research.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Interesting! Many bacons have sulfited ingredients. I'm a little puzzled about the beets. Fresh beets should not have been sulfited. But canned or pickled beets could easily have sulfited ingredients. I admire you for noticing which products are causing your difficulties. Thank you for commenting. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Red wine causes me to have stuffy nose and difficulty breathing. The same for red beets and certain cured bacon.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @peitas1: Sulfites may not be the only culprit, but it's a great place to start. Hang in there! Here's hoping you find some answers soon!

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @peitas1: I'm proud of you. It's a huge challenge and can feel quite daunting, but you're doing it for an excellent reason - YOU! I wish you much endurance, many successes, and a happier life!

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      peitas1 4 years ago

      today i begin my journey,all labels in stock cupboard and freezer being studied!!

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      peitas1 4 years ago

      i have so many food intolerences,and really think sulfites could be the common denominater,it is usually in the form of a bloated tummy,severe indigestion,hives,it all kicked off when i started to drink wine,but cartons of orange juice have the same result,also i am lactose intolerant.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: You're very welcome! We're so glad you came. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Interesting I never knew about this. Thanks for sharing!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: When visiting a winery I was informed that very young wine and very old wine are safer because young wine hasn't formed sulphites and very old has had its sulphite level drop. Can anyone confirm this? I am itching all the time and figured it must be additives because most reactions come after dinner out or packaged food mixes/spice. This forum has me convinced my migraine (suspected this from the wine reaction) AND the itching are both from sulphites. Thanks for the info!

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: I really wonder how many of us are sensitive to sulfites and don't know it. We usually only hear about the severe reactions, but sulfite sensitivity can range from slight to life-threatening.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I'm sure that I am a bit allergic to sulfites. I do have an immediate reaction to wine. It doesn't take much for my face to light up like a beacon.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @Millionairemomma: Thank you, Millionairemomma. We're happy you came for a visit. :)

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      Millionairemomma 4 years ago

      Very interesting.....this lens introduced the topic to me. Excellent job.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm sorry it took so long for me to reply. This was new to me. In researching it, however, I learned a lot about toe and foot cramps - and that the reasons for it are many. One reason is dehydration, and alcohol consumption contributes to that. Other reasons include deficiencies in important minerals and vitamins. (See http://www.livestrong.com/article/484304-what-defi... So far, I haven't found a connection between toe cramps and sulfites. It's important for you to see a doctor to diagnose the reason for YOUR toe cramps.

      It's not always easy to find out if you have a reaction to sulfites. Here is a link to a list of possible symptoms that may help you: http://www.freemd.com/sulfite-sensitivity/symptoms... I hope this helps you, and I wish you all the best! :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      hi....i have a problem im almost sure its sulfite related....when i drink a few glasses of red wine the next day i get a cramp in my second toe...it sounds silly but its like a vice tightening on it for a couple of hours....anyone have the same id like to no....how do you find out if you have a reaction to sulfites

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for sharing, Apryl. :) You're right. Many sulfite-sensitive people are able to drink wines, like Frey, that are labeled "no sulfites detected" or "no detectable sulfites." Others, like my husband, are more sensitive and are affected by the naturally occurring sulfites even in fresh grapes.

      I very much appreciate your comment.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes it has. I can't drink wines unless they are sulfite free. I came across this site seeking new sulfite free products and read your entry and felt compelled to post. I avoid sulfites. Frey wines are sulfite fre and taste good and I'm hard to please when it comes to wines. I don't work for them, I just discovered them and thought I'd share. I hate it when doctors tell you it can't happen. Are you kidding me? Things happen everyday that aren't expected and they all want to think of themselves as an authority. Trust your yourself. thanks for the post

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Donna, I'm not a doctor, so I can't begin to tell you if your condition is affected by wine. But I found the following Wikipedia article very interesting. Take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismuth_subsalicylate

      Wishing you all the best!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I think it is red wine too. My tongue has been black and feeling weird for over a month. I have been taking anti fungal script and there is an improvement but if/when I have any red wind the next morning it is back.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I believe you're right. I'm not a medical expert, but I know that a lot more of our problems are caused by food preservatives than we are probably aware of. And you know? Through the years, Gerald has occasionally had weird facial swellings, too. I never thought to associate those with his current condition! Thank you for getting my mental wheels turning! I hope your life improves as you learn what is causing your problems. Take care.

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow. I'm glad you're confirming your problem - too bad you had to suffer to find out what it was. :( You have all my sympathy. I wish the best for you. Please let us know how you're doing.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was at a party, sipping on red wine. I started feeling weird, like I was having an adverse drug reaction. My eye became grossly swollen. When I told the ER doctor I thought the wine had caused it, he disagreed, and said wine wouldn't cause such a reaction!!! Oh really?? The next time it happened, I literally took a sip of wine, said to my husband "it's happening again", and my eye swelled up Quasimodo style within minutes. Lovely! I haven't had that reaction since, but I am convinced that my respiratory problems and tentative diagnosis of esosinophilic pneumonia are caused by food preservatives.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Glad I found this site. I have recently developed this problem. I noticed years ago that I would occasionally get reactions when eating farm raised Salmon but within the last 2 months I cannot even drink a 1/4 glass of wine without being knocked off my feet. I immediately become loopy and lethargic and get a severe headache (think of the worst hangover you have ever had), I've also started developing gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and bloating.

      Last week I wanted to play it safe so I had a Mike's Hard Lemonade cooler to drink at a party and within minutes I got the same bad reaction. My husband looked at the label and guess what it said: "CONTAINS SULFITE"...

      So in my eyes, that's a strong confirmation of the problem. I have an appointment with an allergist for thursday afternnon.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, asthmatics tend to be more sensitive to sulfites. And in my husband's case, he was never asthmatic UNTIL he became sulfite-sensitive.

      In the US, it is illegal to use sulfites on fresh fruits and vegetables in restaurants. (Years ago, they sprayed sulfites on fresh fruits and vegetables in salad bars - yikes!) But MANY other foods in restaurants use foods that contain sulfites. Eating out can be a seriously risky event. Not fair, right?

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      Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

      @pinkrenegade lm: You are most welcome. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes! I am severely allergic to sulfites! If I eat something with sulfites I immediately start coughing and then wheezing. I have asthma and I read somewhere that this is a common allergy for asthmatics; I don't know how true this is. I recently had a reaction in a mexican restaurant from the tortillas and I was upset and scared since I thought it was illegal to use sulfites in food at restaurants. I live in MN by the way.

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 4 years ago

      I've never heard of this type of allergic reaction. I've never encountered it but the information is quite useful. Thanks!

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, Fran. Your experience motivated me to do a little more digging. This article (http://www.ehow.com/about_4614109_sulfites.html) is very enlightening. It showed a difference between the frightening experiences of one who is sulfite-sensitive and the truly terrifying experiences that can be experienced by one who is allergic to sulfites. I am so glad that you were able to find the source of your seizures! Thank you so much for your contribution to this discussion.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow! The reactions to sulfites are many and varied! Thank you so much for posting your reactions so that others can learn about them!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Here's a reaction for you - 1988 - started drinking wine coolers occasionally at home - had a seizure in my sleep one night, which wife and i thought was some sort of muscle spasm. Drank more wine coolers few days later, had another grand mal seizure in my sleep (NO history of epilepsy, seizure disorder). Went to hospital, full catalogue of tests - MRI, CAT scan, EKG, etc., all normal. Few months later my mom read an article re: sulfites in tuna fish causing seizures. Ever since '88, have tried to avoid sulfites (aka POTASSIUM metabisulfite) - but now, foods high in potassium, or sulfited, give me wicked rotten headaches. Sulfites are nasty crap.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Extensive redness on trunk and back along with hives, sneezing, flushing, urticaria, itching and burning sensation. Like red ants on my skin. Less is best!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      I can't touch red wine, it gives me an immediate headache.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Susie! Adding your icon to the beautiful list of angels at the end of this lens! :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning with sulfite free angel dust!

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      I have a feeling I'm sensitive too... I recall a certain red wine brand that I NEVER touch anymore, because any time I have even a sip, i get hive-like blotches on my face and neck (and my face is ruddy enough as it is!)

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @miaponzo: You have all my sympathy. :(

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      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I certainly have and it was like getting the flu!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice though, Well i will never do that

      women wholesale clothing

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @Akitajitsu: Wow. You have to be even more restrictive than we are! I'm so proud of you for being so conscious of all the things that trigger his problems. Good job! Great parenting!

    • Akitajitsu profile image

      Jen 5 years ago from California

      My son reacts to sulfites. Most of his reactions are behavioral. He does much better when we avoid sulfites, salicylates, and amines.

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      Thrinsdream 5 years ago

      No. I can't say I have.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @chezchazz: I was surprised to learn that grapes themselves - even home-grown - contain some naturally-occurring sulfites. And there are also some naturally-occurring sulfites in the fermentation process, even if sulfites are not added.

      The fact that your wife can drink organic wines where sulfites were not added in the wine-making process is proof that each person's sensitivity is different. I'm happy she can enjoy those organic wines without problems. Gerald can't. All the best to you and your wife! :)

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      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      I haven't but my wife has. She can, however, drink organic wines that do not contain sulfites. Luckily we live in an area near some excellent wineries that make some.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @mihgasper: That's good!

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      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Don't think so:)

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @wolfie10: I'm glad, wolfie. I hope you never do.

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      wolfie10 5 years ago

      never encountered this.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @mivvy: You're right - sulfite sensitivity manifests itself in various ways.

    • mivvy profile image

      mivvy 5 years ago

      headache, that's why I never drink wine because all wines contain sulfite

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @Northwestphotos: I'm not sure that's a reaction to sulfites, but it may be. Try to notice if you also have symptoms when you eat other sulfited items, such as the ones listed below.

    • Northwestphotos profile image

      Northwestphotos 5 years ago

      Yes, I can get a flushed face also when drinking wine.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @NidhiRajat: Thank you.

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      NidhiRajat 5 years ago

      nice and interesting lens....

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @Julia Morais: I hope you continue to be able to enjoy your wine. :)

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      No I haven't. I like wine, so this is pretty scary.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, it can be scary. But I think probably it starts with a small reaction that is barely noticeable. Each time it gets worse, until it finally dawns on you what the problem may be. By then you probably have a lot of research to do to figure out how to handle your life.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      No, I don't think I have. It sounds scary!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: Drinking just a little wine should have good side effects - relaxation, happiness - not bad ones. If you have a bad side effect, it's important to find out why.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      So maybe it was the sulfites in wines that affected me when I drank wine at social dinners. I no longer drink wine, because I liked the taste but not the side effects and you point out some important information.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Those who are affected research like crazy, to the best of their ability. Others who should be concerned (many in the food industry) are strangely silent.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is strange and disturbing, I hope there is enough research done on this allergy.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @evelynsaenz1: I'm glad you are doing your own research, Evelyn. That's the best way to get accurate information.

      I do not profess to know all the answers, especially to questions that so seriously affect people. That said, I have recently found that I am allergic to sulfa drugs, but I don't think I am sulfite sensitive.

      One place to look for more information is here: http://allergies.about.com/od/medicationallergies/... under the heading "Allergy to Sulfa, Sulfite, Sulfate and Sulfur." It may help you analyze your son's particular condition.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

      My son is allergic to the sulfa drugs. I wonder if sulfite is related? I am going to check into this.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @iijuan12: People with asthma can have serious reactions. Some people don't even know they have asthma until it is triggered by sulfites!

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @nadiazr: That's a pretty common reaction. Some people don't even realize that sulfites are responsible for their health problems. I'm glad you're aware of the problem, and hope that you are being successful in handling this challenge!

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      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      No, I've never even heard of having a people having reactions to sulfite.

    • nadiazr profile image

      nadiazr 5 years ago

      Yes, they give me migraines. And my mom and aunt can't consume them either, for the same reason.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @sousababy: Yes, it is. And the more we research, the more we learn. I'm so glad you visited this lens.

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      sousababy 5 years ago

      My husband has sulphite sensitivity too. We check every label now. It amazing how many products contain them.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @hlkljgk: You have all my sympathy. :( If you have anything to add, your input is always welcome.

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      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      i have - no fun.

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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @giddygabby: You're not alone, by any means! :) Please try to be extra aware of your reactions to some of the other foods I mention on the site. Hopefully, sulfite sensitivity is NOT your problem, but it's important to pay attention!

    • profile image

      giddygabby 5 years ago

      My family has always joked about how I turn bright red after just a sip of red wine. Now you've got me wondering!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
      Author

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @ajgodinho: Ajgodinho, I appreciate your relating your sister's experience. I'm glad her frightening experience ended with her recovery. I am NOT a medical expert, by any means, but I would seriously recommend that she make an effort to be aware of any reactions, however minor, she has to foods that list any "sulfite" in the ingredients. The reactions become stronger over time, and sometimes become frighteningly serious without warning. Your sister's experience moved me to search for the relationship between medical sulfur and the sulfites in foods. I found this web page: http://www.feingold.org/PF/asth-pg2.html. PLEASE read it.

      All the best to you and your sister.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've never experienced a sulfite reaction when drinking wine or otherwise, however, one of my sisters had a bad reaction to sulfur (I think through some medication) and it was almost near fatal, but thankfully she recovered.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      I've never heard of sulfite sensitivity...interesting lens! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is the first I've heard of a sulfite reaction but I did hear of a lady last year who had gone to a wine tasting event and her lips swelled up and changed color that took a couple days to resolve.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I don't believe so but one never knows.

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 5 years ago

      I haven't experience anything like that before. But, it's good to know these kind of awareness all about these life threatening reactions in some.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I haven't really had the same reaction, but I know I am feeling sensations differently as I get older.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My face gets flushed with only 1 small glass of wine. I usually avoid drinking wine.

    Photo courtesy of Burger Baroness thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)deed.en)
    Photo courtesy of Burger Baroness thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)deed.en)

    Maybe it's not just the wine . . .

    We're not big wine drinkers, so it was a few months before Gerald drank wine again. We each had a glass of wine with dinner, and the same things happened to him - only worse. His lips felt swollen and numb and his face became more flushed. He started to wheeze.

    Strangely, he said that the symptoms had started to a degree even before he drank the wine. What had you eaten before? I asked him. He had been at my brother's house, where he had eaten some tuna and some flour tortillas. It sounded safe enough. Confusing.

    As usual, I jumped on the internet to learn what I could about sulfites. I learned that many flour tortillas have something in them called sodium metabisulfite. Wow. This definitely sounded like a problem. It wasn't just a problem that could be solved by avoiding wine. He had to avoid those tortillas, too.

    "But I LOVE tortillas!"

    Don't worry . . . be happy! (Read the end to find good news about the price!)

    I can't tell you how discouraged we were when we couldn't find a flour tortilla without sulfites. I even tried making them myself - what a disaster! One day I was bemoaning my plight to a friend of mine who happens to be a chef. He asked me if we had tried the UNCOOKED Tortilla Land flour tortillas sold in the refrigerated section of our local Costco. These tortillas don't have to sit on a shelf for who knows how long, being preserved by things like sodium metabisulfite.

    Let me tell you, the next time I went to Costco, I headed straight for those Tortilla Land tortillas and analyzed the ingredient list. SAFE! I could hardly wait to try them.

    This is how I cook them: Heat a frying pan (no oil needed), place a tortilla in for about 30 seconds, and wait for the tortillas to start to bubble up. Turn it over and you'll see those nice little brown circles of doneness. Cook for just another few seconds, and you're done! Quick and easy! And how do they taste? Ooohhh! . . . tortilla heaven. Like your own abuelita would have made.

    If Gerald hadn't become sulfite-sensitive, I doubt if I ever would have tried these. Now I can't imagine buying anything else.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: These used to be carried at Amazon. Now Amazon carries a comparable and equally delicious product called Tortilla Fresca Uncooked Flour Tortillas. I ordered them from Amazon to try them out. Packed with something to keep them cold during transport, they arrived in great condition and were delicious! I thought maybe the previous brand wasn't being made any more.

    Imagine my surprise when I visited Costco and found the original product still in their refrigerated case - and at about half of Amazon's price! Just a little heads-up for you price-conscious shoppers! ;)

    Photo courtesy of somegeekintn thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
    Photo courtesy of somegeekintn thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

    We had to become detectives . . .

    Gerald's allergist gave him a comprehensive skin test to determine what he was allergic to. Test results? He wasn't allergic to ANYTHING. The doctor explained that there is no such thing as a sulfite allergy - only a sulfite sensitivity. Nor is there a specific test for sulfite sensitivity. It was something the patient had to figure out for himself, mostly by tracking one's reactions to foods.

    The doctor gave us a list of foods that could cause Gerald problems. That and my internet search revealed many things that were eye-opening. I learned that there was a vast array of food that "everybody" eats without adverse reactions - but that Gerald dare not touch.

    Here's what we learned . . .

    We came up with a fairly comprehensive list of foods that MAY contain sulfites. Not all manufacturers use sulfites in these products. Remember to check each label.

    1. Baked Goods: Bread; cookies; crackers; mixes containing dried fruits or vegetables; pie crust; pizza crust; quiche crust; flour tortillas
    2. Beverages: Wine; wine coolers; beer; cocktail mixes; dried citrus fruit beverage mixes; instant tea; liquid tea concentrates
    3. Condiments and Relishes: Horseradish; relishes; pickles; olives; salad dressings; salad dressing mixes; wine vinegar
    4. Dairy (and Non-Dairy) Products: Filled milk (specially prepared skim milk with added vegetable oils to increase its fat content); non-dairy coffee creamers; sour cream; yogurt
    5. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: Sulfite use banned in the U.S. (except for prepared raw potatoes - for example, uncooked frozen french fries or hash browns)
    6. Gelatins: Puddings and Fillings: Fruit fillings; gelatin; pectin jelling agents
    7. Grain Products and Pastas: Cornstarch; modified food starch; spinach pasta; gravies; hominy; breadings; batters; noodle mixes; rice mixes
    8. Jams and Jellies: Jams and jellies
    9. Nuts and Nut Products: Shredded coconut
    10. Processed Fruits: Canned, bottled or frozen fruit juices; dried fruit; canned, bottled or frozen dietetic fruit or fruit juices; maraschino cherries; glazed fruit
    11. Processed Vegetables: Vegetable juice; canned vegetables (including potatoes); pickled vegetables (including sauerkraut); dried vegetables; instant mashed potatoes; frozen potatoes; potato salad, onion powder, garlic powder
    12. Seafood: Canned clams; fresh, frozen, canned or dried shrimp; frozen lobster; scallops; dried cod.
    13. Snack Foods: Dried fruit snacks; trail mixes; filled crackers
    14. Soups: Canned soups; dried soup mixes
    15. Sweet Toppings: Corn syrup; high fructose corn syrup; maple syrup; pancake syrup; fruit toppings
    16. Meats: Bacon, ham, sausage, hot dogs

    Which of these contain Sulfites? - All of them. Look below the picture to find out why.

    Click thumbnail to view full-size
    There are naturally occurring sulfites even in home-grown grapes. Commercially-grown grapes are regularly sprayed with sulfites while they grow. Photo courtesy catlovers and CC by 2.0.The raisins in the bread are from grapes, which contain sulfites (see grapes). The glaze contains powdered sugar, which is made with corn starch. Photo courtesy turtlemom4bacon and CC by 2.0.Everybody's favorite cereals can contain corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and modified food starch (often corn starch). Photo courtesy brendan-c and CC by 2.0.It's a challenge to find soda pop that isn't sweetened by corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, brown sodas get that way by the addition of caramel coloring, another sulfite culprit. Photo courtesy procsilas and CC by 2.0.Who knew? Gelatin contains sulfites. Photo courtesy furryscaly and CC by 2.0.Unless you cut the fresh potatoes yourself, odds are these lovely french fries were kept nice and white before frying by using a sulfite solution. (Hint: a FEW "fast food" restaurants do cut and fry their own potatoes without the use of sulfites; forMost hot dogs contain corn syrup, as well as onion and/or garlic powder, which contain sulfites. Also, it's nearly impossible to find sauerkraut that hasn't been whitened with sulfites. Another warning: most of those hot dog (and hamburger buns) contI LOVE shrimp! Shellfish and seafood are sulfited ON THE BOAT. Photo courtesy stu_spivack and CC by 2.0.It's hard to find ice cream that isn't sweetened with corn syrup. Photo courtesy eyeliam and CC by 2.0.Gerald LOVES cookies! But nearly all of them contain corn starch and corn syrup. :(
    There are naturally occurring sulfites even in home-grown grapes. Commercially-grown grapes are regularly sprayed with sulfites while they grow. Photo courtesy catlovers and CC by 2.0.
    There are naturally occurring sulfites even in home-grown grapes. Commercially-grown grapes are regularly sprayed with sulfites while they grow. Photo courtesy catlovers and CC by 2.0.
    The raisins in the bread are from grapes, which contain sulfites (see grapes). The glaze contains powdered sugar, which is made with corn starch. Photo courtesy turtlemom4bacon and CC by 2.0.
    The raisins in the bread are from grapes, which contain sulfites (see grapes). The glaze contains powdered sugar, which is made with corn starch. Photo courtesy turtlemom4bacon and CC by 2.0.
    Everybody's favorite cereals can contain corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and modified food starch (often corn starch). Photo courtesy brendan-c and CC by 2.0.
    Everybody's favorite cereals can contain corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and modified food starch (often corn starch). Photo courtesy brendan-c and CC by 2.0.
    It's a challenge to find soda pop that isn't sweetened by corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, brown sodas get that way by the addition of caramel coloring, another sulfite culprit. Photo courtesy procsilas and CC by 2.0.
    It's a challenge to find soda pop that isn't sweetened by corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, brown sodas get that way by the addition of caramel coloring, another sulfite culprit. Photo courtesy procsilas and CC by 2.0.
    Who knew? Gelatin contains sulfites. Photo courtesy furryscaly and CC by 2.0.
    Who knew? Gelatin contains sulfites. Photo courtesy furryscaly and CC by 2.0.
    Unless you cut the fresh potatoes yourself, odds are these lovely french fries were kept nice and white before frying by using a sulfite solution. (Hint: a FEW "fast food" restaurants do cut and fry their own potatoes without the use of sulfites; for
    Unless you cut the fresh potatoes yourself, odds are these lovely french fries were kept nice and white before frying by using a sulfite solution. (Hint: a FEW "fast food" restaurants do cut and fry their own potatoes without the use of sulfites; for
    Most hot dogs contain corn syrup, as well as onion and/or garlic powder, which contain sulfites. Also, it's nearly impossible to find sauerkraut that hasn't been whitened with sulfites. Another warning: most of those hot dog (and hamburger buns) cont
    Most hot dogs contain corn syrup, as well as onion and/or garlic powder, which contain sulfites. Also, it's nearly impossible to find sauerkraut that hasn't been whitened with sulfites. Another warning: most of those hot dog (and hamburger buns) cont
    I LOVE shrimp! Shellfish and seafood are sulfited ON THE BOAT. Photo courtesy stu_spivack and CC by 2.0.
    I LOVE shrimp! Shellfish and seafood are sulfited ON THE BOAT. Photo courtesy stu_spivack and CC by 2.0.
    It's hard to find ice cream that isn't sweetened with corn syrup. Photo courtesy eyeliam and CC by 2.0.
    It's hard to find ice cream that isn't sweetened with corn syrup. Photo courtesy eyeliam and CC by 2.0.
    Gerald LOVES cookies! But nearly all of them contain corn starch and corn syrup. :(
    Gerald LOVES cookies! But nearly all of them contain corn starch and corn syrup. :(
    Photo courtesy of fred ross lord thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)
    Photo courtesy of fred ross lord thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)

    Oh, no! What next?

    Grocery shopping became an intensive research project, every single time. I got so that I didn't even want to go grocery shopping, because it was such a lot of work, reading every single label on every single product. But if it kept my husband safe, it was worth it. So I pressed on.

    One night shortly after dinner, Gerald's throat started to close and he began wheezing loudly. We panicked, terrified. We called our medical help line and talked to a nurse. She said we should see a doctor as soon as possible, but in the meantime, I needed to buy some Benadryl quickly. I raced to the store and back, and Gerald took the Benadryl. Shortly thereafter, he breathed easier and got very sleepy (a side effect of Benadryl).

    Why? I asked myself again and again. I had been so careful. Dinner had been simple - no chance of sulfites that I was aware of... plain vegetables, macaroni and cheese - made only with macaroni and shredded cheese. Simple. Suddenly I thought about that cheese. I raced to the garbage can, where I had tossed the empty bag of store brand shredded cheese. Ingredients: shredded cheddar cheese, modified food starch to prevent caking. What???

    Modified food starch - it doesn't specify which food starch is used, but a lot of the time it's cornstarch.

    The Corn Connection

    Photo courtesy of Darwin Bell thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
    Photo courtesy of Darwin Bell thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

    I wanted to use a BIG picture, because the corn connection to sulfite sensitivity is HUGE.

    We love corn, and neither of us has any problem eating it. But when we researched how corn is treated to produce other products, were were amazed.

    One of the most enlightening sources of information was from the International Starch Institute, on how corn starch is made. After the corn is cleaned, it is steeped in hot water to release the starch. The Institute explains: "The steeping is actually a controlled fermentation. Sulphur dioxide improves the fermentation by enhancing growth of favourable micro-organisms . . . The sulphur dioxide may be prepared by burning sulphur and absorbing the gas in water. Because modern processes call for more strict and narrow dosage, a supply of sulphur dioxide gas under pressure is preferred or SO2 is replaced by sodium hydrogen bisulphite where no local gas supply is available." (Bold print is mine.)

    Sulphur gases are used in the production of corn starch! In the same process, part of the continuing process extracts corn oil from the corn germ. Residual extracted corn germ meal is used for animal feeds. Corn starch itself is converted into corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.

    Sooooo . . . try buying food that has no corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or modified food starch! It's pretty challenging! But necessary, since Gerald seemed to be reacting to all of these.

    Sulfite sensitivity can cause many different reactions and in varying degrees. Since the sulfites were giving Gerald serious asthmatic reactions, his doctor provided him with an albuterol inhaler and an Epi-Pen - one for him and one for me, in case Gerald couldn't give himself a shot because of passing out or something. He also recommended that Gerald get a Medical Alert bracelet stating that he was sensitive to sulfites. Scary stuff. (Interesting side note: The Epi-Pen medicine contains . . . are you ready? Sulfites! But apparently the benefits outweigh the risks, especially if it will open a throat that is so swollen you can't breathe! The instructions are for him to use the Epi-Pen and then go immediately to a hospital emergency room. Did I say scary stuff?)

    Gerald is by no means an isolated case. Click on this link to find out what happened to 37-year-old Karen just from eating french fries..

    What's Your Opinion About Sulfite Labeling?

    Do you think all food should be required to clearly label added sulfites?

    Yes - it would simplify my life.

    Yes - it would simplify my life.

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      • anonymous 2 years ago

        Definitely.

      • anonymous 2 years ago

        Yes Please! It would make the chaos of coming up with a grocery list easier

      • anonymous 2 years ago

        Sulfites should be disclosed on every item of food, drink, cosmetics etc People think you are odd when you talk about the evils of sulfites... more education is needed re this evil stuff!!!

      • Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

        @anonymous: Poor Angie!

        I really understand where you're coming from. If sulfite sensitivity is really your problem, do yourself a favor and visit Tracy's website at holdthesulfites.com. She is extremely sulfite sensitive and has figured out all kinds of yummy stuff she can eat. How kind of her to share it with the rest of us!

        I wish you all the best.

      • anonymous 2 years ago

        I'm starving.....seems I can only eat lettuce, organic chicken with no flavoring, rice vinegar and olive oil. My heart has an extra heartbeat now..my eyes swell and get red....I wish I could finf a Dr who can treat that....my body bows up and i get a radh allover mt body with anti-biotics.....I don't want any more pilks of any kind

      • anonymous 2 years ago

        It could save lives. A few years ago my two cousins died from heart attacks from swelling up with cortisone. And told to keep eating - no one realised it was sulfite - each meal gave them breathing difficulties but the Doctor didn't know why. I've now got it but found out myself through the internet that it is sulfites. This must go on food labels. I hadn't known about crisps, frozen potato or potato flour, etc, etc

      • anonymous 2 years ago

        Yes

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        All foods should be labeled for added sulfites.(sulphites) It hides in many products and from what I understand can accumulate in the body. I found this out the hard way suffering from anaphylaxis after eating fish and chips and a beer. All potato products contain sulfites and it is used to mask poor quality in some foods and likely in bottle beer from big producers. It is not permitted anymore on fresh veg, but some places still use it on lettuce to keep it from browning. I wouldn't trust teabags coffee filters or k-cups as paper products are treated. I asked about the epi pen and the allergist told me to go ahead and use it but call 911 also. The benefit outweighs the risk. you may also find hidden in toiletries. I have switched to locally made organic soaps even to use for a shampoo. Witch is a good aftershave and skin freshener. I am very cautious, the first time I got really sick it was from KFC and purchased tub salads at a party; another time it was from subway grilled chicken sub. Eating out is always a risk but have a few trusted places that understand. Endosulfan is still being used in food production and I suspect this may be a factor in some things. Eat locally organic. Stay well!

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I react to both sulfite and MSG. I wish labels were clear and easy to read without having to be a food chemistry detective. This is the first place I've read about the corn starch connection. FYI last week I had a reaction and was searching for the culprit. It was a bottle of Mike's Margarita that, in my ignorance, I thought was a tequila drink. When I searched the package for ingredients, the only thing I found was "flavored beer." A simple 'contains: sulfites' would make life so much safer and simpler!!! I think 1% is a false low number because of the ignorance around this issue.

      • Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Yes most definitely.I want to know what all the contents are in everything I am about to put in my mouth to eat or drink,.Many times I read labels and end up putting the item back on the shelf due to the contents.

      • Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

        @Eatfreshfoods: I went to the Green Mountain Coffee website to search for your answer. Although the tea K-cups are mentioned, anything pertaining to sulfites seemed to apply only to some of their coffees. Here's what it said:

        Question:

        Do your coffees, etc. contain sulfites?

        Answer:

        Most of our flavors do not contain sulfites with the exception of Rainforest Nut, Green Mountain Coffee Golden French Toast®, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and Hazelnut. Once the coffee is brewed the sulfite content drops well below 1ppm, which is considered negligible.

        That being said, I really don't know if perhaps the K-cup filters have been bleached with sulfites. If they're white, there's a distinct possibility that sulfites were involved in the bleaching process.

        For a more definitive answer, I would recommend that you contact the company directly. If you get a good answer, we'd love to hear from you about it. Thank you for a good question.

      • Eatfreshfoods 3 years ago

        I want to know if the tea k cups have sulfites. I don't see it on the label of the variety pack.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Absolutely!!!! It's life threatening, people need to know!

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Yes, my sister and I both have severe sulfite allergies. I get migraines and currently have a rash on the front of both legs below my knees with severe itching. Labels would be so helpful!

      • Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

        @anonymous: I noticed the same thing when traveling in Canada. Many more products openly label sulfites, although not all. It's a step in the right direction. Thank you for your comment!

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Sulfites are being used in more and more products so it's just a question of time before someone actually DIES from the effects of it. Labeling in Canada is more strict than in the U.S. Bigelow tea in Canada labels sulfites but not in the US, for example.

      • sheilamarie78 3 years ago

        Certainly it should! People are sensitive to it and should be able to know this ingredient is added by reading the label.

      • Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

        @anonymous: Kudos to the physician who knew about sulfites!!! As you already know, most canned peaches use corn syrup for a sweetener. It seems like such a nice, natural dessert - but can disastrous for some people! Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kay! :)

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I say anything related to sulfites should be in big, bold red letters on the package! After YEARS of having doctors tell me it's all in my head I had a particularly horrific reaction to canned peaches and the attending physician in the ER knew about sulfites! Wow. Made a bid difference in my life.

      • LoriBeninger 3 years ago

        Since my reaction is difficulty breathing, I'd certainly like to have a heads up to the possibility. The medical community has been the most resistant to acknowledging my "sensitivity." Very frustrating.

      No - not enough people are bothered by sulfites for it to matter.

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        • Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

          mihgasper: I didn't think I had much use for labels, either, until it became a matter of life and death. Now I read them religiously. As you say, we need knowledge, and labels are the quickest way to gain SOME knowledge about the products we buy. The critical thinking goes right along with it! Thank you for your insightful comment.

        • Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

          I try to be realistic. Most people really don't care about poison in our food, water, air, all environment. So I don't think we need labels. We need knowledge and critical thinking. Not only about sulfites, about everything!

        Worldwide, people are facing the same challenge.

        I was very impressed with these reports from Australia.

        Watch out for these ingredients! - Commonly-used sulfites and their E numbers

        In Europe and other parts of the world, E numbers on packaging identify sulphites in food. In the US, the chemical names are used. Become familiar with the designation in your part of the world, so that you can avoid them.

        • E150b Caustic sulphite caramel
        • E150d Sulphite ammonia caramel
        • E220 Sulfur dioxide
        • E221 Sodium sulphite
        • E222 Sodium bisulphite (sodium hydrogen sulphite)
        • E223 Sodium metabisulphite
        • E224 Potassium metabisulphite
        • E225 Potassium sulphite
        • E226 Calcium sulphite
        • E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite (preservative)
        • E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite

        Sulfite or Sulphite?

        Sulphites and sulfites are exactly the same thing. :) In the US, the English spelling "sulfite" is used; in other English-speaking parts of the world, the spelling "sulphite" is often used.

        Since coffee is arguably the world's favorite beverage, this is something you will want to know!

        My own invention!
        My own invention!

        One of my wonderful readers asked me this seemingly simple question: Are there sulfites in coffee? I found out the answer wasn't so simple. I'm hoping that this flowchart will help simplify a complicated answer.

        These Coffee Filters Were NOT Bleached With Sulfites

        If you hop on over to AMAZON, you will see that they carry dozens of unbleached coffee filters for all different coffee makers - lots to choose from!

        This photo courtesay of Bean thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
        This photo courtesay of Bean thru http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

        Feeling more than a little overwhelmed?

        We absolutely understand.

        Oh, my goodness, you say. This is too much, too hard. I am absolutely overwhelmed.

        We understand. We've been there, done that - and that's why we've created this lens. So you won't have as hard a time as we did.

        First, let us help you be informed - information is power. We've got some web sites to help you. The first was written by a woman with a long history of sulfite sensitivity. She explains her personal experience and her belief that you can find a substitute for any sulfited product, if you look long and hard enough. She has really good suggestions for you. She can help you understand it, she can help you handle this.

        There's another woman who, like me, has a sulfite-sensitive husband. She's really done her homework from a scientific viewpoint.

        I just discovered a wonderful site by a woman with an amazing knowledge of sulfite sensitivity. It includes sulfite-free recipes and strategies for dealing with sulfite sensitivity in everyday life.

        Last, we'll show you the web site that helped us understand the whole issue the best. This site uses humor, intelligence, and science to teach you about a very complicated problem. We learned so much from this author! His e-book about the subject is absolutely free to download. We printed it and read it a little at a time to give us time to digest and discuss it at our own pace.

        But What CAN I Eat???

        The good news is, you can eat many of the foods you ate before - you just have to look a little harder to find what you need. But I'm giving you a secret weapon that will save you from hours on your feet reading labels in the grocery store. It's a link to a wonderful site called foodfacts.com. You can look up so many, many grocery items, and the site provides you with all the nutritional information, including every ingredient found in the product.

        For example, say you would like to have pork sausage links for breakfast. In the search box at the top of the page, type in sausage. A list of popular sausages will appear. Under each is the little blue word "Ingredients." When you click the word, the ingredients appear. Let's pick three and compare them. Which of the following sausages should a sulfite sensitive individual pick?

        a. Johnsonville Breakfast Pork Sausage:

        Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Lemon Juice Powder (Corn Syrup Solids, Lemon Juice Solids, Lemon Oil), Monosodium Glutamate, Flavoring, BHT, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid

        b. Organic Valley Organic Italian Pork Sausage:

        Ingredients: Pork (Organic), Water, Salt Sea, Milk Non-Fat Dry (Organic), Cane Sugar (Organic), Spice(s) (Organic), Garlic Powder (Organic), Rosemary Extract, Celery Seed Extract, Pork Casing Natural

        c. Jimmy Dean Original Fresh Pork Sausage Links:

        Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Sugar, Spice(s), Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice(s) Extractive, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid

        If you picked "b," you're right.

        Both "a" and "c" contain Citric Acid, which uses sulfites in its production. "A" has both corn syrup and corn syrup solids; "c" has corn syrup.

        Did you notice that "b" is sweetened with organic cane sugar? This is important. Beet sugar is whitened with sulfur dioxide. Only buy cane sugar, which is low in naturally occurring sulfites. The only possible problem I see is that "b" contains organic garlic powder. Many garlic powders are treated with sulfites to keep their color light. You still will have to do a little cautious trial and error to determine how YOU react to individual products.

        NEW! Sulfite-Sensitive Shopper's Guide

        Handy wallet card just for you!

        The hardest thing for me was during my actual shopping. I would be staring at a long list of ingredients, and for the life of me I could not remember if there were sulfites in some of them. It's complicated!

        With that in mind, I designed a card to help me when I shop, to make life a little less complicated. I'm sharing it with all of you.

        The cards come in packages of 100. That seems like a lot, but it really isn't. First, carry one in your wallet. Put some in your glove compartment. Put one in each of your purses. Give them freely to everyone in your family and to all of your friends. Explain that this will help them to help YOU to be safe. Share them with chefs in your favorite restaurants. Remember, this is a problem you will likely be dealing with for the rest of your life, so these cards will be a tremendous help to you for years to come.

        Photo courtesy of www.hailmerry.com and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
        Photo courtesy of www.hailmerry.com and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

        In Praise of Whole Foods Market

        You can find products that you can eat at the local supermarket. I won't kid you - it's a lot of work, and you CAN do it successfully. But Whole Foods Market is like an oasis in the desert. I don't think there's a single product in the vast store that has high fructose corn syrup. The gigantic produce department is all organic, and not one piece of dehydrated fruit there has been treated with sulfites. I go there, and I love shopping again. I sincerely hope there's a Whole Foods Market near you.

        As time goes on, I'll try to list some products that we enjoy that are safe for Gerald to eat, products that you might be able to find at your local grocery store. :)

        Feeling our way . . .

        I promised to give you a list of some foods that Gerald can eat without reactions so far. This can change at any time.

        I hope this list will help you or your sulfite-sensitive friends. Some of these are in the form of a link to Amazon. Next to some of these "acceptable" foods, I will mention related items that we have discovered that Gerald can eat, as well as warnings for you to heed.

        Keep in mind that the same foods are not safe for all people; each person has his/her own level of sensitivity. And those levels can change. Hopefully, this list will be a good place for you to start. I wish you all the best!

        Photo courtesy of bark and Creative Commons 2.0.

        1. Baked Goods

        BREADS:There are more and more breads available now that are relatively safe. Look for Mestemacher Pumpernickel, Open Nature Breads, Dave's Killer Breads, etc. Look for breads that say "No Preservatives." Read bread labels carefully, watching out for dangerous ingredients like corn syrup, cornstarch, modified food starch, and so forth.

        Clif Bar Energy Bar, Variety Pack of Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, 2.4-Ounce Bars, Pack of 24
        Clif Bar Energy Bar, Variety Pack of Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, 2.4-Ounce Bars, Pack of 24

        COOKIES: Technically not a cookie, my cookie-loving husband loves his Clif Energy Bars. The only thing he loves more is my home-made cookies! (Go ahead and bake! YOU control the ingredients that way, and they are so much more delicious than store-bought!)

         
        Triscuit Original Crackers 9.5 Ounces (Pack of 12)
        Triscuit Original Crackers 9.5 Ounces (Pack of 12)

        CRACKERS: Most crackers have cornstarch in them, but these woven salty treats are just fine! Just be sure that you buy the Triscuit Original flavor - some of the others have unacceptable ingredients.

         

        2. Beverages

        WATER! It's the best thing you can drink, except that bottled water can contain sulfites. And not all bottled waters are created equal, at least where sulfites are concerned. Those with the least discernible amounts are Aquafina, Poland Springs, Crystal Springs, and Ozarka.

        V8 Juice (Original): I haven't been able to learn if V8 uses any dehydrated vegetables, so drink with caution. This is one of Gerald's absolute favorites, and he has never had a bad reaction to it. It also gives him a full serving of vegetables in every serving, along with the benefits they contain.

        Hansen's Natural Cane Soda (Mandarin Lime, 12-Ounce Cans, Pack of 24)
        Hansen's Natural Cane Soda (Mandarin Lime, 12-Ounce Cans, Pack of 24)

        SODA: Soda is a very hard item to shop for - you must avoid anything with corn syrup in it, and most sodas are loaded with it. Look for a drink that is sweetened with CANE SUGAR, like Hansen's or Sierra Mist Natural. (There's a small amount of naturally occurring sulfites in cane sugar; beet sugar is treated with sulfites.) One other warning: avoid brown-colored sodas. They contain caramel color, another sulfite culprit.

         

        3. Condiments and Relishes

        VINEGAR: Although some vinegars contain sulfites, rice vinegar is a good choice. :)

        Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)
        Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)

        KETCHUP: My husband LOVES ketchup. The safest one we have found so far is Heinz Organic Ketchup. However, be warned that it does contain organic onion powder (no guarantee that it hasn't been sulfited) and Natural Flavors (which CAN contain dehydrated onion and/or garlic).

         
        Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise, 64Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)
        Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise, 64Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)

        MAYONNAISE: Hellmann's and Best Foods are identical products. So far, no bad reactions from this mayonnaise. Be careful, though. It does, however, contain vinegar (What kind? Vinegar made from grapes is sulfited.), and Natural Flavors (which CAN contain dehydrated onion and/or garlic).

         
        Heinz Dill Relish, 26 Ounce (Pack of 9)
        Heinz Dill Relish, 26 Ounce (Pack of 9)

        RELISH: This relish has been good so far. Be warned, though - it does contain dehydrated red peppers and Natural Flavoring (which CAN contain dehydrated onion and/or garlic).

        Sweet relish very often contains corn syrup. Those that contain sugar will still contain vinegar. (There are sulfites in wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar, so be cautious.)

         

        4. Dairy (and Non-Dairy) Products

        Amazon doesn't sell a lot of dairy products online, for understandable reasons. :) So let me give you a basic rundown on dairy products that can be safe to eat.

        CHEESE: All cheeses contain low levels of sulfite created naturally during the aging process. Each person must determine whether or not certain levels of cheese give them reactions. Gerald seems to be able to tolerate small amounts of mild cheese, UNLESS it is pre-shredded and packaged. Practically anything added to the shredded cheese to keep it from clumping together will cause a problem. So if you're going to try to eat cheese, take an extra couple of minutes and grate it yourself. :)

        SOUR CREAM: Like cheese, sour cream contains low levels of sulfite created naturally during the aging process. These do not bother Gerald, as long as the sour cream is a brand with no added ingredients. We like DAISY brand, which contains only milk and cream.

        YOGURT: Plain yogurt is free of sulfites unless corn starch and gelatin are added. Beware of flavored yogurts containing corn syrup or other dangerous sweeteners.

        CREAM CHEESE: Cream cheese contains low levels of sulfite created naturally. Watch out, too, for added ingredients in flavored cream cheeses like onion and garlic powder, which could cause problems.

        EGGS: Eggs naturally contain some sulfur. Although this bothers many people, so far Gerald is able to eat eggs with no problems.

        5. Fruits and Vegetables

        Remember that, at least in the United States, it is illegal for grocery stores to sell fresh produce that has been treated with sulfites. That's where your safest source of fruits and vegetables can be found.

        Safe produce can also be found in the frozen food department, with the exception of frozen potatoes. Because potatoes so quickly turn brown, people are allowed to use sulfites on frozen french fries, frozen hash browns, etc. to keep them white. So be very careful!

        Libby's Peaches Sliced In Pear juices Concentrate, 15-Ounces Cans (Pack of 12)
        Libby's Peaches Sliced In Pear juices Concentrate, 15-Ounces Cans (Pack of 12)

        FRUIT: It's pretty hard to find canned fruit that you can eat, because 99% of them are canned using corn syrup. Find fruit that is canned using fruit juice or sugar. Or can your own fresh fruit! Mmmm....

         
        Libby's Naturals Whole Kernel Sweet Corn, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
        Libby's Naturals Whole Kernel Sweet Corn, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

        VEGETABLES: It's pretty easy to find canned corn that has no corn syrup. But watch out for creamed corn, because it contains modified corn starch or modified food starch, two very dangerous ingredients for the sulfite-sensitive.

         

        6. Gelatins

        The e-book Headaches, Asthma, Fries and a Cola says this about sulfites and gelatin: "Gelatin is pure protein processed to promote the gelling of liquids. In other words, Jell-O. Most of the gelatin produced in the United States is made from pigskin, although cattle hide and bones are also used. The first step in making gelatin is a softening soak in sulfur dioxide and water. Why are we not surprised? Gelatin is used in many foods to build body and improve texture. Lowfat yogurts use lots of gelatin to make up for the missing milkfat. . . . An alternative to gelatin is fruit pectin. In the past, some forms of pectin were preserved with sulfites; however, today all forms are sulfite free."

        Ball RealFruitTM Classic Pectin - Flex Batch 4.7 oz.
        Ball RealFruitTM Classic Pectin - Flex Batch 4.7 oz.

        Today, all forms of fruit pectin are sulfite free. So go ahead and create some delicious home-made jams and jellies using fresh fruit and pure cane sugar. :)

         

        7. Grain Products and Pasta

        Plain pasta is seldom a problem, but pasta sauce is. Besides the commonly included dehydrated onion and garlic, some contain cornstarch, modified food starch, modified corn starch, and so on. This is especially true in things like Alfredo or cheese sauces.

        Barilla Tomato and Basil, 24-Ounce (Pack of 6)
        Barilla Tomato and Basil, 24-Ounce (Pack of 6)

        SPAGHETTI SAUCE: Barilla makes some of the only pasta sauces I've found that are safe for Gerald to eat - and their sauces are delicious! (But be sure to read labels - I haven't checked all of them out yet!)

         

        8. Jams and Jellies

        You wouldn't think it would be so hard to find jam made with sugar, would you? After all, when I was little and my mom made her own jam, she wouldn't have imagined she should make it with corn syrup! Look for jams and jellies made with SUGAR! (There's a small amount of naturally occurring sulfites in cane sugar; beet sugar is treated with sulfites.)

        Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves, 13-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)
        Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves, 13-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)

        JAMS AND JELLIES: Hint: When looking for jams and jellies, you'll have the most success if you look for organic jams and jellies. Generally, they won't have preservatives in them, and are sweetened with sugar. (Be sure it's cane sugar - remember, beet sugar is treated with sulfites.)

         

        9. Nuts, Nut Products, and Coconut

        WATCH OUT FOR PEANUTS! They have some naturally occurring sulfites in them. The good news? The rest of the nuts are safe, as long as you are eating plain nuts without added sweeteners, etc. Read your labels!

        Let's Do Organic Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)
        Let's Do Organic Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)

        COCONUT: There is a small amount of naturally-occurring sulfites in coconut. Most shredded coconut is sulfited to keep it white, but this product isn't. If you want to try to eat un-sulfited shredded coconut, please do it carefully.

         

        10. Processed Fruit - Buy only fruit packed in its own or other fruit juices. Nothing else added. That's the safest. :)

        Be careful - most processed fruit is sweetened with corn syrup - and fruit pie fillings are loaded with cornstarch.

        Oregon Fruit Blueberries in Light Syrup, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 8)
        Oregon Fruit Blueberries in Light Syrup, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 8)

        PROCESSED FRUIT: Ingredients: blueberries, water, sugar. Beautiful! Beware of canned pie fillings, which are full of cornstarch to thicken them. If you want to thicken blueberries for pie, check your cookbook for how to thicken it with flour. I wish this product specified "cane sugar" - there's a small amount of naturally occurring sulfites in cane sugar, but beet sugar is sulfited to whiten it. When it just says "sugar," there's no way to know for sure which it is.

         

        11. Processed Vegetables

        CHILI: Be especially careful about food starches and cornstarch in canned chili. Gerald really enjoys Amy's Organic Chili.

        Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
        Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

        I was surprised to learn how many brands of garbanzo beans (chick peas) use sulfites to keep their beans white. Eden's beans have no sulfites, and in addition to being high in fiber, they are low in sodium. Nice.

         
        Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, Diced, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
        Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, Diced, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

        PROCESSED VEGETABLES: It's surprising how hard it can be to find canned tomatoes that are safe for those who are sulfite-sensitive. Another good one is 365 Organic Diced Tomatoes from Whole Foods.

         

        12. Seafood

        The e-book Headaches, Asthma, Fries and a Cola explains the many forms of sulfur preservatives and discusses the problems they can cause. It says this about seafood: "Sulfites are a preservative for fish. Theoretically, sulfited fish must carry a warning somewhere near the fish display, but I've never seen one. And, a sulfited fish has bitten me more than a few times, especially salmon. Whether declared or not, shrimp are almost always preserved with sulfites to prevent a black spotting fungus. Restaurants can further complicate matters by deep frying shrimp in a common vat with vegetables. The shrimp sulfites leak into the oil and contaminate the otherwise clean vegetables."

        13. Snack Foods

        POPCORN: Gerald is the original Popcorn Monster. He LOVES it! And he doesn't have to give it up because of sulfites. I'm so happy! We never buy microwave popcorn - we always use the air popper. Salt is our seasoning of choice - many fancier seasonings contain dehydrated onion and garlic.

        Tostitos Brand Tortilla Chips, 100% White Corn Scoops, Family Size (Pack of 3)
        Tostitos Brand Tortilla Chips, 100% White Corn Scoops, Family Size (Pack of 3)

        SNACK FOODS: Corn, oil, and salt. Good snack. Un"flavored" tortilla chips are a great snack that you can find most anywhere.

        But I have to make Gerald's dip at home - so far he reacts to every store-bought salsa.

         

        14. Soups

        Amy's Organic Soups, Low Fat Minestrone, 14.1 Ounce (Pack of 12)
        Amy's Organic Soups, Low Fat Minestrone, 14.1 Ounce (Pack of 12)

        This is one of the very few soups I would serve Gerald. It's much safer to make my own. Store-bought soups nearly always have dehydrated onion and/or garlic in them, as well as malto-dextrin, modified food starch, modified corn starch, and so on. Most store-bought soups will hurt my husband - mine will actually be good for him!

         

        15. Sweet Toppings

        You can safely enjoy honey and UNSULPHURED molasses. You can also enjoy pure maple syrup. (There's a tiny bit of naturally-occurring sulfites there, but not enough to bother most people.)

        WATCH OUT, though, for MAPLE-FLAVORED SYRUP - it is nothing but corn syrup and some maple flavoring.

        16. Meats

        The e-book Headache, Asthma, Fries and a Cola says the following about sulfites and meat: "Sulfites are not allowed on red meat. Sodium bisulfite does such a good job of color fixing, that sulfited ground beef can be rotten and you can't tell by looking at it. For this reason, the FDA has an absolute prohibition against sulfites in meat. However, the rule doesn't apply to other ingredients that may be mixed into the meat. For instance, sausage may legally contain corn syrup, molasses, or wine."

        That's why we really appreciate Safeway's new Open Nature brand. The Safeway web site carries this information:

        "The OPEN NATURE promise:

        * We believe ingredients should come from nature.

        * We believe food should be made only with ingredients we are proud to share.

        * We believe food should be simply prepared, the way you'd make it at home.

        * We believe food should be made with a commitment to quality."

        They keep that promise. And that's why we buy most of our bacon, hot dogs, and sausage at Safeway. These products are not only sulfite-free, they are also nitrate- and nitrite-free.

        Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage, 13 ounces
        Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage, 13 ounces

        MEATS: Although we don't know exactly what they mean by "evaporated apples" and we don't know exactly what spices are included, we do know that Gerald has been able to eat these. (Please check ingredients carefully, because not all Aidells sausages are created alike.)

        Something we like equally well are the Open Nature sausages available in Safeway. No sulfited ingredients, and no nitrates or nitrites. Just deliciousness. (Is that a word?)

         
        Photo courtesy of Trippography and Creative Commons 2.0
        Photo courtesy of Trippography and Creative Commons 2.0

        What do you mean, there's MORE???

        There's always more. Why? Because we're always learning. As I learn more about sulfite-containing products, I will post them HERE.

        11/10/2011: Gerald loves to chew gum. But most gums contain some kind of corn sweetener. I was delighted to discover SPRY, a gum sweetened with the healthful sweetener called xylitol. We got the Green Tea flavor, because Gerald loves green tea. Terrific. Except that every time he chewed it, he got a reaction - long-term coughing and wheezing. A little research on the innocent-sounding ingredient VEGETABLE GLYCERIN yielded this information from eHow.com:

        "Some vegetable glycerin products contain preservatives that are added to extend their shelf lives. Sulfite preservatives (compounds of oxygen and sulfur in combination with sodium sulfite or potassium sulfite) are popularly used to maintain the freshness of vegetable glycerin products, including soaps, shampoos and lotions. They produce asthma-like allergic reactions in allergy-prone individuals, the symptoms of which include itching, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, shortness of breath and hives."

        Read more: Vegetable Glycerin Dangers | eHow.com

        This is a complex issue, and one that isn't easy to thoroughly cover in a Squidoo lens. But I have done extensive research, and if you have a question, there's a chance I'll have the answer. I'll do my best to answer or at least try to point you in the right direction to find those answers, okay?

        Any questions? - (Of course you have questions! This is hard stuff!)

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          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

            @TerriCarr: Thank you so much for your input! I will re-visit my Whole Foods and check out the produce department. It's been a while, and I don't live close enough to shop there often.

            The last time I checked, there were no sulfited fruits where you buy them in bulk. I have not checked the packaged products. And you're right! Brightly-colored dried produce is a dead giveaway - SULFITES!

            Thank you so much for the heads up. I may be changing the Whole Foods portion of this lens. :)

          • TerriCarr profile image

            TerriCarr 2 years ago

            I don't know where you live...but the Whole Foods I frequent have plenty of non-organic produce. They are probably pretty good about high fructose corn syrup. I would double check the dried fruit and a few other things for sulfite. If the dried apricots are a pretty orange, they're sulphured. Pretty red sun dried tomatoes? Same. Can't be too careful.

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

            @Gayle Dowell: Thank you so much, Kit!

          • Gayle Dowell profile image

            Gayle Dowell 2 years ago from Kansas

            Great information that I am sure will benefit a lot of people. I learned something new!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

            @Cari Kay 11: Thank you for your praise and compassion!

            I sympathize with you, too. Hair care products without sodium lauryl sulfate are really hard to find. Even though it's something entirely different from sulfites, there are those who can't handle either sulfites or sulfates. You have my best wishes!

          • Cari Kay 11 profile image

            Kay 2 years ago

            What a helpful page for people! I understand what you and your husband are going through. I have a son with a serious latex allergy and my daughter and I have developed an allergy to SLS which is found in many hair care and beauty products. Shopping is not always fun!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

            @5678dance: Oh, dance, I wish I had the answers to give you! But sulfite sensitive people all have different levels of tolerance, and what may be fine for one person may send another to the hospital. It's better to be safe than sorry. Gerald can eat cheese but many cannot. Gerald eats a few peanuts on occasion, but that doesn't mean it's safe for everyone.

            I am a big nut eater, too. Thankfully, there are such a variety of nuts available! We currently really enjoy almond butter, and there are other nut and seed butters out there that are safe.

          • profile image

            5678dance 2 years ago

            Thank you so much for all of this information! It has been extremely helpful! At the moment, I have taken all cheeses out of my diet but I miss them very much. I was considering getting a block of cheddar? Does that sound safe? Also, I am a big nut eater - do all people have reactions to peanuts?

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

            @mandy-timmermansimonson: I'm so happy to hear from you, Mandy. :)

            As far as I know, if you follow the steps in the flow chart about sulfites in coffee, you should be safe. Of course, I'm always learning new things, and if I find out differently, I will be sure to post it. My husband couldn't live without his morning coffee, lol!

            The level of naturally occurring sulfites in cane sugar is very low, and most sulfite-sensitive people can enjoy it without problems. But stay away from beet sugar, which is whitened with sulfites. Although there are varying opinions about pectin, my current opinion is that pectin is safe. My favorite reference book (http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/protein.h... says: "Gelatin typically has an effective sulfur oxide concentration of 45 ppm. An alternative to gelatin is fruit pectin. In the past, some forms of pectin were preserved with sulfites; however, today all forms of pectin are sulfite free."

            Salad dressings are tricky. You can get creative and make your own. I like to use Daisy brand sour cream and flavor it with fresh lemon juice salt, pepper, and fresh garlic. (Some folks cannnot tolerate the garlic, though. My husband is okay as long as he doesn't use garlic POWDER.) Lately, though, I have been able to buy MOST of the Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings. (I buy them at Safeway.)

            Sweets? Hunt for things made with sugar! If you can't find anything that doesn't have other dangerous ingredients, have fun baking in your own kitchen. Those homemade goodies are the best! ;)

            Thanks so much for coming, and I hope to see you here again. Let us know how it's going!

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            mandy-timmermansimonson 2 years ago

            I have so many questions...so organic coffee is safe??? What about fruit jam with cane sugar that also uses pectin? By the way bought the uncooked tortillas you mentioned..tortilla land..DELICIOUS. I do need help finding a safe salad dressing and also sweets! I have a massive sweet tooth and need suggestions please. Thank you so much for all the info!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @Susan Zutautas: Thank you for the comment, Susan. This seems to be a more and more common problem. We're happy if it helps people. :)

          • Susan Zutautas profile image

            Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

            Very informative lens which I learned a lot from. I think I've finally discovered why red wine gives me headaches now too. When I first started drinking red wine it never affected me but as I grew older every time I'd have a glass of red wine I'd end up with a terrible head pounding headache. I have had bouts where I've needed to take Benadryl due to breaking out in hives. After reading your lens it makes me wonder if these bouts were due to sulfite.

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @leesieleesie: Wow, leesie! You have all our sympathy! You should be proud of yourself for being pro-active and figuring things out for yourself. It's sad that so many doctors are unaware of what you already know. I wouldn't wish this sensitivity on anyone, but it would be nice if someone who suffers from sulfite sensitivity would turn out to be a doctor!. Maybe someone in the profession would be believed and could explain it to other doctors in a way that would eventually be understood, maybe even helping the rest of us! Hang in there, and please keep in touch. :)

          • profile image

            leesieleesie 3 years ago

            Thank you for all of this information!

            I have a sulfite sensitivity that started with a bad reaction to a course of antibiotics this summer (ended up n ER). Since then, a margarita, hair color, champagne on New Year's Eve, and a couple of dried spices used in cooking have caused me to have reactions. My reactions have included tingling of the tongue, flushing of the face, palpitations, anxiety, and diarrhea and vomiting. Just awful! I just want to not be fearful of food.

            I am sure to have Benadryl with me at all times. I am also taking B-12 to see if that will help me. Two doctors (ER doc and urgent care doc) told me they thought I was just suffering from "anxiety." So frustrating to not be believed!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @jammikfthis: Thank you so much!

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            jammikfthis 3 years ago

            As a sulfite allergy sufferer (with a thankfully high threshold) I have been noticing more and more information pop up every year in regards to this condition. Not sure if more people are becoming aware or of the allergy is increasing due to putting high fructose corn syrup (and other nastiness) in most of our food nowadays. This is one of the better sites for information and please keep up the good work!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @rob-hemphill: Thank you for your comment, Rob. We have been experimenting with a few wines that are labeled: "No discernable sulfites." Some still cause Gerald problems, but we've found one that he can drink! (Hurray!) I'll write more about that later. :)

          • rob-hemphill profile image

            Rob Hemphill 3 years ago from Ireland

            Great information! As a former winemaker I came across and used sulfites a lot, but the skill is to know how to use them properly. I often think that cheaper (and usually poorer) wines tend to have more sulfites in them to control the problem areas (bacteria etc.). So the moral is if you like wine go for the better ones or the reds.

          • sheilamarie78 profile image

            sheilamarie78 3 years ago

            Very thorough information for people sensitive to sulfites. Everyone should know about this stuff.

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you so much, Ailyn!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you, Jennywren, for your sharing your experience. :) Thank you, too, for the suggestion about the popcorn. I'll try it!

            I'm trying to compile some sulfite-free recipes for my upcoming site "Cooking Sulfite-Free - Is It Possible?" In the meantime, head on over to this fantastic site for some truly sulfite-free recipes: holdthesulfites.com This lady is great!

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @anonymous: What many people are looking for is toothpaste without sodium laurel SULFATE (different from SULFITES). I found an excellent site to help you find a long list of toothpastes you can use. It is https://hubpages.com/health/toothpastes-without-so... Hope this helps you! :)

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            anonymous 3 years ago

            very informative and thorough lens, this strikes hearts of most people as they are very useful

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            anonymous 3 years ago

            Thank you for creating such a easy to read, and chock full of GREAT information site! I went back to school in 2011 and they told me my MMR wasn't fully effective (missing the R I think...) so I had to get the whole shot. 2 months later I was itchy all the time, hives, itchy EVERYWHERE. 2 months later I went to an allergist and told her how I ate raisins recently and felt like I was having an asthma attack. She immediately added Sulfite allergy to my already long list of food allergies (I also have oral allergy syndrome- no apples, stone fruits, etc). I didn't have time to worry about it and went to just potatoes, butter, rice and eggs. within 4 weeks the result was AMAZING! I felt so much better, but I can't eat like that forever, so I kind of gave up.

            I take 2 zyrtec and 2 prilosec a day to keep my itching to a dull roar, and now that I am out of school I need to take the time to learn more, make good dinners for not just me, but my family as well. I was very interested to see corn starch (and realized recently maybe I wasn't gluten sensitive, but sensitive to the sulfites). I also found that I MUST use sulfite free shampoos and soaps or I itch more.

            If your husband loves popcorn, one thing I do is take a brown lunch sack, put kernels in the bottom of the bag, fold over the top 1", 2 times, and microwave as you would regular popcorn (2.5 min usually for me) and you have a quick, full bag of popcorn!

            I hope to find some good recipes, because "sulfite free" recipes I have run across really don't seem like they are.....

          • Johanna Eisler profile image
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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @virginiamom: My heart aches for you and your precious daughter. I truly hope that Johns Hopkins is able to find the source of her problems so that she gets the right treatment. Our deep concern and our best wishes continue to go with you, and I hope the next time you write, you'll be able to share some good news with us. :)

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            virginiamom 3 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you, Jen and Joie. We are really struggling right now. My daughter had to leave school and is home as she had another bad reaction with a hospital stay during her spring break. She has not recovered yet. She has been in and out of the hospital and is now on IV nutrition because she simply cannot eat anything much without reacting. They do not know what is going on - if it is truly sulfites or some sort of immune disorder or a combination of many things. She is going to Johns Hopkins next week for more testing to see if we can get to the bottom of this. Of course, through all this they have her on so many meds and nutrition and I know that they all probably have some sort of corn derivative, but she can't survive right now without it. We hope we can get some answers soon and will then navigate whatever we have to in order to get her healthy again. We weren't doing well avoiding sulfites as she seemed to react to many things that were supposedly safe. If it is sulfites, we will definitely need some guidance on how to proceed. Thanks so much for your concern and willingness to help.

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            Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you, Jen, for being willing to share your experience with fellow readers. We all need to help each other. :)

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            anonymous 3 years ago

            @virginiamom: Hi virginiamom, just curious, was there pectin in that yogurt? That could be the culprit.

            Your daughter will have a tricky situation to navigate; college life is just about the most difficult situation to avoid sulfites. Cafeteria food and convenience foods are two categories that tend to be high in sulfites. I would be more than happy to share what experience I have with you, and some ideas for easy-self-prep meals away from home; please don't hesitate to ask.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            IS there a toothpaste free of sulfides?Iam allergic to sage. Please tell me what to brush my teeth with.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @virginiamom: Dear virginiamom,

            My heart goes out to you. This is scary when it happens to anyone, but when it happens to your child - even your adult child, it is terrifying.

            I've spent three days thinking about any possible sulfites that could have "snuck" their way into your beautifully simple made-from-scratch dinner. (Believe me, I've analyzed my made-from-scratch dinners many times after Gerald has had a bad reaction!) Here are a few possibilities:

            Did you season the chicken? Iodized salt contains some sulfites. Pre-ground pepper may have sulfites added to keep it from clumping. Herbs may have been sulfited before they were dried, and ground herbs may have sulfites added to keep them from clumping. Most pre-mixed herb and spice seasonings have dehydrated onion and/or garlic flakes OR onion and/or garlic powder (bleached with sulfites).

            Watch out for yogurt that may have corn starch or gelatin in it.

            I haven't found anything yet that connects fresh cranberries with sulfites, but I will continue to look. If the sugar used to make the cranberry sauce was beet sugar, that can be the cause of the problem. Usually cane sugar doesn't bother sulfite-sensitive people.

            One other possibility is this: People do not always react only to the sulfites eaten in their most recent meal. Sometimes the symptoms do not appear for a day or two, which can make figuring it all out much harder.

            PLEASE look at my two favorite web sites about avoiding sulfites: http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/ and http://holdthesulfites.com/.

            You are NOT alone. There are lots of us here - around the world! We need to give each other help and support. Please keep in touch, okay? :)

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            virginiamom 4 years ago

            Hello-Thank you for your site. You seem to know so much about this topic that no one else seems to be able to help us with. My daughter (21) has developed an allergy to (we are most certain) sulfites, and we are beyond frustrated and scared. She, unfortunately, has asthma so her reactions are quite severe including hospitalization and ventilator time We are having a terrible time figuring out what she can eat. She is away at college which makes it so difficult for her to cook for herself. She even has reactions here at home when I cook everything from scratch. She reacted tonight to baked organic chicken, baked potato with yogurt (instead of sour cream) and homemade cranberry sauce (which she so loved as she canât have any sauces whatsoever). I am wondering if you know if cranberries are often sprayed with sulfites before harvesting? It is the thing I suspect most from the list as she has had the other foods very recently. Also what cooking oil do you use? Any advice, suggestions, words of wisdom you might have would be so appreciated. We feel so alone and lost in this mess.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Don't apologize for your questions! :) Questions make us think, and thinking is GOOD!

            1. So far, Gerald is not bothered by citric acid in shampoos and hand soap. Some people are. Because Gerald is not bothered by them, I haven't done research on these soaps and shampoos. If I learn anything about this, I will definitely post it on this site.

            2. Are sulfates bothersome to people with sulfite allergies? This is a BIG question. There is so much confusion between sulfur, sulfa drugs, sulfates, and sulfites! Most of the explanations you will find are very scientific and complicated. I am searching for a simple way to explain the differences. I do know this, though, that a person can be very allergic to sulfa drugs (like I am) and have no problem whatsoever with sulfites (also like me). More to the point, my husband can use soaps and shampoos that contain sulf-ATES, but cannot tolerate sulf-ITES. Other people are bothered by both.

            3. My husband has the same problem with a persistent cough at night when he has accidentally eaten sulfites. He says that for himself, if it's not a life-threatening situation, the best thing he can do is to drink lots of water.

            4. Does your tap water have sulfites? I don't know. There are sulfite testing kits out there, and I suppose they could also be used to test water - but I have no idea of their accuracy.

            Thank you so much for your comments and questions, Lindsay. They are very welcome and helpful. :)

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            I was wondering if the citric acid in shampoos and hand soap bother your husband... If so, and recommendations of citric acid/ sulfite free soap? Are sulfates bothersome to people with sulfite allergies? I've only been allergic for a year and it seems that maybe my dry cough at night is due to foods I eat sometimes ...

            How do you know if your tap water has sulfites?

            Sorry for all of the questions...

            Lindsay

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: I didn't know about ginger. More research for me! :) Thank you for helping!

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Also the spice Ginger often has sulfur dioxide in it. Please be careful using spice blends that contain ginger as well.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! Yes, some medications can be very dangerous for the sulfite-sensitive. I need to add a module addressing dentistry, and I also need to discuss the pros and cons of using sulfite-laden medicines in the treatment of this condition. :)

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            I have an extreme sulfur/sulfite allergy and started going into anaphylactic shock after cooking with wine. After going and talking with the allergist, we found that other medications I was having sensitivities to have sulfates in them as preservatives. Please be aware that going to the dentist or getting an immunization can be life threatening. Sulfites are present in novocaine, and even in your epipen. The allergist couldn't answer if it was safe to use the epi-pen or not she only said if you may die from a reaction its worth trying to see if it helps. So I would not use a epi-pen for a sulfite reaction unless you are sure the person will die with out it. It could make it worse.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Those are all excellent additions to the list. I need to edit and add them.

            The tofu was something I had not heard of before. I just assumed tofu was naturally white. Silly me!

            I try to keep fresh lemons and limes on hand. I use them in my homemade salad dressings and marinades.

            Thank you so much for your very helpful comment! :)

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            My sulfite intolerance started when I began incorporating more tofu into my diet. Sulfites are added to tofu to keep it from changing color. Also beware of gelatin capsules, jarred horseradish, deli meats, and cheap margaritas (usually made with bottled lime and lemon juice). I always make sure my margaritas are made with freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice. I am now able to tolerate some sulfite intake, especially with respect to red wines. But beware, EU red wines contain significantly fewer sulfites than do their U.S. counterparts. I also have a problem with most Australian reds. Drinkers beware!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Yes. My husband is a commuter, and drives five days a week through California's beautiful Napa Valley, which is full of vineyards. Vineyards are regularly treated with sulphur. Gerald can see the aerial spraying happening and has to drive right through it to get to work. He has to be careful not to allow outside air into his car through its vents.

            I was not aware that sulfur dioxide was present in diesel fuel exhaust. That explains why Gerald sometimes has reactions while driving in places other than vineyards. We really don't know about the sulfites in perfumes - I gave up perfumes long ago for other serious reasons. (See my lens "Do Scents Make Sense?")

            Thank you so much for your contribution. We really appreciate it!

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Does your husband react to inhaled sulfites very often? That's become a huge issue for me. Sulfur dioxide is present in diesel fuel exhaust, and sulfites are often used as a preservative in perfumes, as well. I live out in the country and we discovered that when I visit relatives in areas with lots of vehicle traffic, I start getting sicker and sicker over a span of days. How much car traffic is nearby is not something I ever thought I'd have to worry about when I found out about this particular sensitivity, that's for sure!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @happynutritionist: I am so happy that you discovered the solution to your problem! Thank you for coming by! It's so sweet of you to add this to one of your lenses. I really appreciate it. :)

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            happynutritionist 4 years ago

            This is a very well done and thorough page on sulfites. I am not as sensitive as your husband...my big food enemy is lactose...and it was WONDERFUL to discover what the problem was around this time last year after months of being so sick. Now if I do get dairy by accident, it's more than just a digestive upset, I feel like I'm being poisoned...or what I guess that would feel like:-)) I am going to add this to one of my lactose free lenses:-)

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @Melissa Miotke: It seems possible. Let me explain. If you are only slightly sensitive, it will take higher levels of sulfites to affect you. If you are very sensitive, it will take lower levels of sulfites to affect you. You may occasionally eat high levels of sulfites, and when you feel a reaction, you think, 'This only happens to me once in a while.' In reality, you have eaten HIGH levels sulfites 'once in a while.'

            Unfortunately, as time goes on, you can become more and more sensitive, and your reactions may occur more often.

            Thank you for the excellent question. And thank you for coming!

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            Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

            This was a really extensive lens and would be very helpful for those that are affected by sulfites. I may have been bothered on occasion but not regularly if that's possible?

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            LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

            Thanks for sharing...I'll watch out on those labels!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: That's a new one on me! Listen to what Wikipedia says under the topic "Sulfite process": "A special grade of bleached sulfite pulp is known as dissolving pulp[10] which is the raw material for a wide variety of cellulose derivatives, for example rayon, cellophane, cellulose acetate and methylcellulose." I have no idea how much gets into our food from that source, or how much we are exposed to from the material our clothes are made of. Wow.

            Just a side note: the little white pads that are under our chicken in the grocery store? Sulfited.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Cellophane. Is it true that cellophane contains sulfites? If so, is it all cellophane or just some? Could the sulfites in the cellophane the meat is wrapped in get on the meat?

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Hi, Denise. :) It's important to remember that each person has different reactions and different degrees of sensitivity. That being said, most sulfite-sensitive people I've talked to are able to eat rice. Many drink rice wine, since there are sulfites in nearly all wine made from grapes.

            Thank you asking.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Can I eat rice?

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Thanks so much for your research and your personal experience, Erin. That's what this site is all about - helping each other.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            @anonymous: There could be sulfites in the water used to make the coffee. I react to plain hot water from Starbucks (yes I have ordered plain hot water at Starbucks).

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            @Johanna Eisler: Joie,

            I did some more research and it looks like there are sulfites in the Ozarka Sparkling water (up to about 7 times as many as the Ozarka Spring water). The Ozarka Spring water also seems to have higher amounts of sulfites at times, so that could explain why I react to it sometimes. I have been reacting to it a lot lately. I also found out that there are sulfites in some tap water and they seem to be used in many water filters (especially some that filter out chloriine).

            I read that hydrogen peroxide is supposed to help to turn the sulfites in water into sulfate which many people can handle better, but I do not know how safe it is to add hydrogen peroxide to water. I am going to try water without sulfites first (most distilled is supposed to be good).

            I am trying the molybdenum (from lentils) and Vitamin B12 now and both are really helping a lot. I feel better right away with both.

            I am going to possibly try an algae next that is supposed to help with people who have mercury fillings which could be a cause of the sulfite sensitivity.

            I also want to say that this is not my area of expertise and this is only related to my personal experience. The information above may or may not be correct.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you for the compliments, Erin. We are on a never-ending journey, continuing to try to learn as we go along.

            I wish we had all the answers to your questions, but these are some we don't have. As we said in our 'disclaimer,' we are not experts in this field - this is a site related to our personal experience. We seldom drink any bottled water, and I haven't been able to find any definite information about Ozarka sparkling water. I have read other people's recommendations about molybdenum and B complex, but Gerald has not tried these, either. I hesitate to recommend any course of treatment that we are not sure of.

            I'm really happy you added your experience to our growing list of people with sulfite sensitivity. It helps others realize that this is a very real problem that affects more people than they may have thought. Thank you so much for coming!

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Thanks for putting this information together! It wonderful to find a current source of information. I have always had a sulfite sensitivity, but it has been ok as I am very careful about what I eat and drink. I usually only drink Ozarka bottled water as I am sensitive to the sulfites in some of the other brands. I recently started drinking Ozarka sparkling water because I assumed it was ok as the brand's non-carbonated water is. Have you heard of anyone having reactions to the new Ozarka sparling water?

            Also, some sites are recommending molybdendum and vitamin B complex for sulfite sensitivity. Do you have any information on that?

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Contessa, I wish I could help you. This is something I have not researched. The only anti-diarrheal ingredient list I have been able to find is for Pepto-Bismol. It may be safe. Actually, your best bet would be to go personally to your local pharmacy or grocery store and check the labels yourself for suspicious ingredients.

            If I learn anything more in my continued research, I will be sure to post it on the site. Thank you for your interesting question.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            We all get diarrhea now and then. I was unaware that the formulation of simple kaopectate changed in 2003? it now contains carmel color. Any ideas on OTC treatment for this "simple" problem?

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Angie, you have asked a simple question with no simple answer. THANK YOU! Most of you know that I have a Coffee House lens and that I LOVE coffee. (Isn't coffee wonderful???) So I'm doing extensive research right now to find out all I can. I'll be posting the answer soon. You will either find it under "What do you mean, there's MORE??? " or a brand new module dedicated to coffee. Please keep checking back for the answer to your excellent question.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Does coffee have sulfites? Or does it just depend on the coffee?

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            Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

            Don't take any medicines like this. Too many side effects.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @acneanswers: I'm so glad you came by, and even gladder (is that a word?) that you have not had any problems with sulfites. :) But if you meet a sulfite-sensitive person, you'll have a little idea about what they face every day. Thanks for visiting!

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            acneanswers 4 years ago

            This is a new problem that I had not heard of before so thnaks for the lens. So far I am able to say I have not had any problems thanks goodness!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: You're welcome. I'm glad you found it informative!

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Very informative lens. Thanks a lot for sharing;)

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @Cinnamonbite: Lots of wonderful suggestions here. And thanks for the heads-up about tea - I would not have thought to check for starches there!

            I have been intending to make my own sausage for a very long time - you're very encouraging. :) I've made my own yogurt in the past. You're right - it's easy, and I need to get back to it.

            Thank you, thank you, thank you for your visit and all the great ideas!

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            Cinnamonbite 4 years ago

            @Johanna Eisler: Time for a new hobby. Wine making. I have a friend who makes mead and wine. Can't be hard if HE can do it! LOL

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            Cinnamonbite 4 years ago

            Don't get depressed. I'm on the SCD diet because everything I ate made me sick (run to the toilet within 20 minutes sort of sick). Basically, just don't eat processed foods. Stay away from vegetable oils. I've always made my own sausages, maybe you should look into that? It's easy. Start with the patty shape and graduate to links when you're ready to buy a stuffer and grinder. Around Thanksgiving I make a turkey, cranberry, apple sausage that is to die for! I make my own yogurt--which is really easy. I make my own oil and vinegar salad dressing which is way better than the store bought ones. I don't go near grains of any kind. In my case, it's because they turn to sugar and increases the bad bacteria in my gut--which makes me swell up and get violently ill. And be careful of tea! I bought one by Lipton and got sick so quick my head was spinning! They use starch in it. So check tea labels. Check paleo sites for more recipe ideas. I just got a dutch oven and I'm LOVING IT!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @KandH: Thank you so much. :)

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            KandH 4 years ago

            Incredibly informative lens - thanks for sharing!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @WriterJanis2: Thank you, Janis! We appreciate your encouragement. :)

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            WriterJanis2 4 years ago

            You've really done some great work here that many people will benefit from. Blessed!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: You make a good point, Kim! Sometimes we are fooled by seeing the word "organic." Some examples: 1) Grapes can be grown organically, not treated with sulfites during the growing process. But after they leave the growers, the winemakers usually use sulfites in the wine-making process. 2) Corn can be grown organically, but we all know what they do to corn after it has been sold - sulfites are used in the process of making corn starch, corn syrup, some corn meal, etc. 3) We read "organic" on a label - but when you read the fine print, non-organic ingredients have also been used in the recipe.

            Thank you so much, Kim!

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            I've been dealing with sulfite allergies for over 20 years. I eat only orgainc. Sulfites are not allowed in orgainc products. But still read the lables becuase not all ingredients in organic products are organic. Or look for 100% organic.

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @piarejuden: Thank you so much! It's an ongoing work of love.

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            piarejuden 4 years ago

            This is such a mindblowing lens! I am completely wonderstruck at the amount of work you've done on it! Thanks for the info! God bless you and your husband, Gerald!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @LaraineRoses: Your visits and your encouraging comments are blessing enough. :) Thank you.

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            Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

            You have added so much to this lens since I previously visited! I wish that I could give you another blessing!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @FranMaine: I'm so glad you came by! I hope you're able to forestall the headaches!!!

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: All dental local anesthetics that contain epinephrine contain metabisulfite. There are other dental local anesthetics without epinephrine and without sulfites. The two commonly used ones are 3% mepivicaine and 4% prilocaine. For a more complete explanation, see the "Ask an Expert" page here: http://www.netwellness.org/question.cfm/48082.htm

            I hope this helps. :)

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: That's a harder question to answer than it looks like. :)

            Here's what Wikipedia says: "Sulfites are counted among the top nine food allergens, but a reaction to sulfite is not a true allergy.[8] Some people (but not many) have positive skin allergy tests to sulfites indicating true (IgE-mediated) allergy.[9] It may cause breathing difficulty within minutes after eating a food containing it,[10] asthmatics[11][12] and possibly people with salicylate sensitivity (or aspirin sensitivity)[13][14] are at an elevated risk for reaction to sulfites. Anaphalaxis and life threatening reactions are rare.[9] Other symptoms include sneezing, swelling of the throat, and hives.[14]"

            I hope that this information is helpful. If you need more information, let me know and I'll do some more research for you

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: Wow, Emma. I understand to a degree, because in addition to my husband's sulfite sensitivity, my daughter is gluten intolerant, diabetic, and has an allergy to almonds and pistachios. I've learned to be creative when cooking for the two of them - it's surprising what I've learned to do when I HAD to!

            Try to keep smiling - I'm rooting for you! :)

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            Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

            @anonymous: You really have my sympathy.

            Eating out with a sulfite sensitivity can be like trying to safely navigate a minefield. Sulfites can be hidden anywhere. Here are some possibilities in the dinner you had:

            1. White rice is usually safe unless seasonings have been added. Black beans are safe if you cook them yourself. But the restaurant may have bought black beans in a can, where there's the possibility of added garlic powder (nearly always sulfited), onion powder (nearly always sulfited), or dehydrated garlic or onion ( nearly always sulfited). (Also, garlic and onion have a small amount of naturally occurring sulfites. Some people need to avoid them altogether.)

            2. The same applies to the grilled chicken. It's nearly impossible to find a seasoning for grilled chicken that does not include garlic and/or onion powder. (These are sulfited to keep them "nice" and white.) Also, the dehydrated vegetables used in some are almost certainly sulfited. Some, like McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning, list "Sulfiting Agents" right on the label.

            3. It's entirely possible that your husbands fries had been sulfited to keep the resulting fries bright in color. (And if you had eaten the shrimp, you'd surely have had sulfites - seafood is sulfited shortly after catching it to keep it from developing some kinds of mold.)

            Something to remember is that each person has a certain tolerance for sulfites and cannot exceed that tolerance without serious consequences. So you have to do some research to find out how much is contained in the foods you're eating, learn your tolerance, and do not exceed it. And sadly, your tolerance usually decreases with time, sometimes rapidly.

            Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I hope you come back and tell us what you've learned. I wish you all the best.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            So I've always had a hard time drinking liquour because I would wheeze. So I simply stopped drinking because its not worth my asthma acting up. But last weekend something happened that scared me too much...we went out to eat and I had white rice with black beans and grilled chicken. My husband had sweet potato fries and fried shrimps. I ate one of his fries. Thirty min later I was dizzy, had a foggy brain and my body was flushing. Soon after had a rash on my face and one on my chest. Then shortness of breath. Benadryl and my inhaled helped. Just last Thursday I ate saltine crackers in the day and was fine but when I had them at night had a rash, itchiness on the body and short of breath with heart palps. I went to the er since benadryl wasn't working. But by the time I got there I was much better. Now I'm afraid of eating. I walk around with the epipen just in case but I don't know if I'm actually allergic to sulfites.

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Really helpful, although to make my life harder i am also allergic to nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and intolerant to gluten and lactose...brilliant!

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            What are the symptoms to look for?

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            anonymous 4 years ago

            Is there a safe dental anesthetic that is sulfite free? Thank you so much.

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            FranMaine 5 years ago

            Nice page - great info - thanks for taking the time - sulfites are a huge pain in my head !

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @norma-holt: How wonderful that you are able to grow your own food that is safe for you to eat. I'll bet your jams and preserves are wonderful. :) Thank you so much for the blessing and for featuring this lens on your special lens!

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            norma-holt 5 years ago

            This explains why I am allergic to a lot of food and, therefore, grow most of it myself and make my own jams and preserves. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @sherioz: I'm glad you came, Sheri! You're not alone - many, many people have never heard of it before. They need to hear about it. Many suffer from this and never have a clue what's triggering their episodes of serious health problems.

            Thank you for the compliments! :)

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            sherioz 5 years ago

            I never heard of this before. It sounds awful. This is an incredible lens. The photos are great and it is so information-packed!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @anonymous: Oh, my goodness, Barbara! I'm so sorry to hear about all your suffering. I hope you find someone who is able to understand what you're going through and give you some help. I send you all my best wishes.

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            anonymous 5 years ago

            I am in the same boat. I become extremely congestive and my nosal membranes

            closes and I have not been able to smell in 3 years.I have had sinus surgery and now have

            asthma . I almost died last night and had to go to the ER for nubilization with ventalin.

            My Doctors have no knowledge about this condition and seem unable to help

            with my constant congestion and asthma. very frustating

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @writerkath: Thank you so much, Kath! I passed your message on to Gerald - you got a big smile in reply. :D

            I hope this information continues to help you. I will keep adding information about sulfite sensitivity as I keep learning. My next addition will deal with sulfites in dental anesthesia.

            Take care. I wish you all the best! And thank you for the blessing! :)

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            writerkath 5 years ago

            I'm amazed at what I've learned here. I've known for a few years that SOMETHING has given me a little "wheeze" in my breathing - but interestingly, nothing that has made me short of breath.

            I mentioned (above) a reaction to a certain brand of wine (happens to be YellowTail) that I cannot drink because I instantly get hives. Well, recently, we have cut down - WAY DOWN - on wine consumption, and I've begun to notice LESS wheezing. Hmmm...

            Also, I've noticed my face isn't quite as red. I'm looking at other foods as well. Because I enjoy eating out, I suspect I'm going to need to rethink some of the stuff I eat.

            I've already gone to a largely whole food w/ lots of raw veggies/fruits - but I'm still learning about this sulfite thing. Thanks so much for this information. Please also thank Gerald for sharing as well - and I'm glad to hear he's doing well! I'm bookmarking it for frequent consultation! *Blessed* Kath :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @miaponzo: You're sweet to give me such a compliment! But remember - not all of these foods are sulfite-free. These are the ones that Gerald has been able to eat without reactions. Some may be low in sulfites. Other people who are more sensitive to sulfites than he is may not be able to handle all of them. This is just a starting point for people who are struggling with the issue like we were.

            Thank you so very much for the blessing! Look for your name below with all the other wonderful folks who are so encouraging to us!

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            miaponzo 5 years ago

            This is an absolutely FANTASTIC lens!!!! Thanks for bringing the world all these great sulfite-free foods! Blessed!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Pat Broker: It's definitely worth looking into. My husband never had any breathing problems before this sensitivity developed - now he is asthmatic, and sulfites are his trigger. I read that 5% of the sulfite-sensitive are asthmatic. From personal conversations with people, I suspect that percentage is even higher. I hope you find that limiting or eliminating foods with sulfites will lessen the frequency and/or severity of your attacks. Keep us posted, okay? We wish you all the best.

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            Pat Broker 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

            Very interesting and informative lens! I have asthma and don't always know what's triggering it. Limiting foods with sulfites may help.

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            Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

            Very interesting article. How about the sulfates contained in shampoos? Are they the same type? My daughter would get all blotchy after taking a shower, her face, arms, chest and shoulders. We never knew why. Then she read an article in seventeen magazine about sulfates in shampoos. We began looking for sulfate free shampoos and her blotchiness is almost gone. :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @anonymous: Thanks, Susie - yours, too!

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            anonymous 5 years ago

            Nice to see this lens showing up on the front page of Squidoo. :)

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            cleanyoucar 5 years ago

            Very informative lens, we should really watch what we eat.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @chezchazz: I finally found "Wing-ing it on Squidoo." In case anyone's wondering, it's ---Chazz's lens about the many fine lenses he has blessed. (I would have found it easier, but I think Squidoo's search engine is on the blink at the moment.) Thank you for including me, ---Chazz. :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @chezchazz: Thank you so much, Chazz, for your blessing and your insightful comments! I appreciate them very much!

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            Chazz 5 years ago from New York

            Thank you for a lens that is most helpful and expertly crafted too. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo."

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @mihgasper: Thank you, mihgasper. As you say, this lens is a good STEP in the right direction. There are many more steps to take, and we'll try to keep you informed about every one of them.

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            Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

            You made great work with your research. Spread your knowledge. This lens is good step in right direction!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @jimmyworldstar: Thank you so much for your sympathy, Jimmy. Wouldn't it be nice if the food producers showed the same compassion that you do? :)

            I want to repeat something, however, because it's so important: THE SAME FOODS ARE NOT SAFE FOR ALL PEOPLE; each person has his/her own level of sensitivity. Just because Gerald can eat something doesn't mean others who are sulfite-sensitive can eat it safely. The list is simply a place for someone to start figuring out his or her own safe foods.

            Thank you so much for visiting. It means a lot to us. :)

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            jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

            Wow this really sucks. Sorry to hear that your husband developed some sort of sensitivity to sulfite since it's in so many things (I had no idea what it was in besides wine at first). Good that you've found out which food products are permissible for him to eat, and thank you for the list of what's safe for those suffering from the same thing.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @canoz: I did similar research to your sister's and found a similar winery in California. There are undoubtedly more, but they're not easy to find. Their efforts are highly commendable. The only problem for the highly sensitive is that there are NATURALLY occurring sulfites in grapes themselves, even when grown in your own back yard. A person may or may not be able to drink even the best, most carefully produced wine. (One substitute is sake - Japanese rice wine has no sulfites, to my knowledge. We have yet to try it.) Thank you for your thoughtful input. :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @canoz: Thank you, conoz. I am honored and humbled. Please remember that we are still finding our way. I know there are many more knowledgeable people than we are; we're just trying our best to reach out to others as we learn and to do our best. We ARE NOT experts. But we'll share whatever we learn.

            Again, many thanks.

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            Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

            PS I haven't looked into it myself but my sister did find one organic wine grower in Australia that didn't put sulphites into their wine. It's out there if you really enjoy your drop but may be difficult to find. As Joie so aptly pointed out there are substitutes for most things... it's about making informed choices.

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            Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

            Joie, your lens is gold for many people. I move amongst many young families via the school and behavioural problems and health problems are rife. I have had success with my one challenging child through taking him off all food additives and preservatives as listed on fedup.com.au (Sue Dengate is the advocate). Sadly many parents don't even want to hear about it. Too hard, not convenient or their doctor said "that doesn't happen". The irony is that our whole family is eating better than ever and doing really well on a simpler, healthier and much cheaper diet without all the processed food stuffs. Thank you for this fantastic lens. When time permits I want to share my own experience too.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Gayle Dowell: I'm proud of you for making the move toward whole foods. It's not easy in today's world. Thank you so much for visiting.

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            Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

            I didn't realize this was a problem for some people. I've been trying to move toward whole foods because the thought of additives just doesn't sound....natural?! Great lens and keep up your great research. Hopefully it will be a big help to others who have a sensitivity to sulfites. Squid angel blessings!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Rock Artist: Thank you so much, Nancy. Your comment means a lot.

            It's interesting that you mention the slow buildup of sulfites... my husband is a commuter. Every day he travels through a vast wine-producing area with scores of vineyards. During the growing season, the grapes are sprayed about every ten days with...sulfites. He's been breathing this in for many, many years. Who would have dreamed that such a beautiful commute could result in such a change in our lives! (At least that's our theory about how his sensitivity developed.)

            Again, thank you for your visit and your insightful comment.

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            Rock Artist 5 years ago

            I have a sensitivity to MSG (monosodium glutamate). The FDA allows it to be listed in foods under thirty different titles ("Natural Flavors" being one of them) which I think is an absolute crime. MSG is used in most, if not all fast food chains, McDonald's being a huge culprit, so beware of those "Happy Meals" that you're treating your kids to everyone. MSG is poison as far as I'm concerned and people need to know about it. You can read more about my experience here if you like:

            https://hubpages.com/health/the-dangers-of-msg-in-...

            It's fortunate that you were able to find out what was affecting your husband so negatively before it really hurt him. I think it's great that there are places to shop at such as Whole Foods but it's really sad that we have to become detectives about what's being put into the food we eat.

            As with MSG, it's probably the slow build up of sulfites in the body that your husband became sensitive to. I didn't have a reaction to MSG until my mid 40's and found out about it by calling Progresso because my left leg became swelled up from eating a "healthy" homemade soup made with their chicken broth. "Natural Flavors, my ____!

            Fantastic lens, thank you so much for this information.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Julia Morais: Please encourage her to investigate. It can be very serious, and can get progressively worse. I wish your sister all the best.

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            Julia Morais 5 years ago

            I have a sister who's always having a reaction to wine and some other types of food. Now, I think its sulfites. Very educational lens.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @JoshK47: You know, I hadn't heard of it in anything but wine, either. The research really opened our eyes - in shock. Maybe this site can help soften the blow for others. Thanks for coming!

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            JoshK47 5 years ago

            Very good info - I'd not heard of sulfites in anything except red wine, but it doesn't entirely surprise me that they're elsewhere. Thanks for sharing!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @lesliesinclair: Thank you, Papier. I must point out that while some soaps contain sulfites, most contain sulfates (with an A). This is an entirely different ingredient. Some people are sensitive to one and not the other; some are sensitive to neither, some are sensitive to both.

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            lesliesinclair 5 years ago

            I had no idea that soaps may contain sulfites and I appreciate all the work you've gone to, to create this informative lens.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @evelynsaenz1: I was amazed about the cornstarch, too. But please let me clarify the potato question.

            I realize that what I posted about potatoes was unintentionally misleading. I am very sorry and have corrected it in the list above. Here are the facts: At least here in the U.S, truly fresh potatoes are the ONLY potatoes that sulfite-sensitive people CAN eat. All others - potato chips, instant mashed potatoes, pre-packaged potatoes for hash browns, french fries, etc. - are very likely to have been treated with sulfites. Why? Sulfites keep cut potatoes nice and white.

            So go ahead and enjoy your FRESH potatoes from the produce department of your supermarket, skins and all. They're the safest.

            Thank you for the information about Hormel. I'll look for it in the store. :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @norma-holt: Ah, real food! How fortunate you are to live where you can grow it! And how wise you are to prepare your own food that you have grown!

            I agree with you - it's so sad to live in a world where what counts the most is profits instead of people. Thank you so much for your insightful comment.

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            norma-holt 5 years ago

            Processed food is rarely on my menu and most of it is grown in my garden and frozen or preserved by me into jams, pickles, relishes, and so on, from basic ingredients with litttle to no chemicals added. It's clear that where there is money to be made manufacturers will add just about anything to make their product appealing and that turns me off right there.

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            Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

            I always read the labels but it never occurred to me that sulfite could be in cornstarch. Who would have guessed that it could be added to fresh potatoes? Is there any way to tell which ones or do all fresh potatoes have sulfite added to them? Will peeling the potatoes eliminate the sulfite? Did you know that Hormel now makes sliced ham or turkey without sultites? Thank you for opening my eyes.

            Excellent lens, blessed by a Squid Angel! :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @nadiazr: I'm so glad it was helpful. Please check back, since we're discovering hidden sulfites in foods and other products all the time. We will continue updating the site in the hopes that others can avoid the additional dangers we have found.

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            nadiazr 5 years ago

            Excellent lens. Thank you for creating it, it was most helpful.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @hlkljgk: You're absolutely right! I buy MUCH healthier groceries than I ever have before, and have re-discovered the art of cooking. So I guess there IS a positive aspect to this, after all! :D

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            hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

            keeping it all natural and as close to nature is very helpful.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @giddygabby: Wow, gabby, I am truly surprised. I haven't found that to be true where I live, but I sure will be paying attention next time I go there!

            You know, as bad as we always hear high fructose corn syrup is, I was shocked to read from a very reliable source, that it is not nearly as dangerous for the sulfite-sensitive as I once believed. He says, "High fructose corn syrup and fructose are so highly refined that much of the sulfur dioxide is left behind and the effective concentrations are usually low enough to be ignored. As a matter of fact, they are almost as low in sulfur as cane and beet sugar." He says that for the sulfite sensitive, cornstarch and regular corn syrup are much more dangerous. Read his free e-book here: http://www.readingtarget.com/nosulfites/book.htm. It's called "Headaches, Asthma, Fries and a Cola."

            Thank you so much for your helpful comments!

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            giddygabby 5 years ago

            P.S. My local Whole Foods Market carries quite a few products containing high fructose corn syrup. I would caution folks to always look at the labels, even in Whole Foods. It seems to be more and more difficult to find unadulterated, non-GMO, organic whole foods at their stores in recent years.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @LaraineRoses: How kind of you to visit me and honor me with your blessing! I have so much to add to this lens and the Coffee House lens that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed - but that hasn't prevented me from starting another lens - one that requires a lot of research, naturally! :D It's going to address the controversial subject of scented vs. unscented products. Stay tuned!

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            Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

            Well hello, I just flew over from your other lens, you know, the coffee house lens. I had a feeling that this lens would be wonderfully researched and informative and, I was right. But after all I am an angel, and angels are known to right most of the time. I am blessing this wonderful lens. Now, how about another one, JoieGirl?

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @ajgodinho: Thank you, ajgodinho. That is the whole reason I posted this lens - to help people who might have serious reactions to sulfites - people who are as in the dark about this as we were. I appreciate your sharing your sister's experience with us.

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            Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

            Thanks for sharing this experience about sulfite sensitivity. I'm sure this will help people who are looking to become more informed about it. I was surprised to see so many types of food that may contain sulfites, but good to see that you've been able to come up with many alternatives...Blessings!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @LaraineRoses: Thank you so much!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Brandi Bush: Thank you, mamabush. I am learning additional technical names of ingredients that contain sulfites - ingredients that I incorrectly assumed were "safe." I'll be including those names to beware of, as well as some safe substitutes for the dangerous products. So happy you came by!

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            Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

            I agree with Tipi, this is a great lens. Very educational and informative...can't wait to see it after you add more! :)

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            Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

            Checking in again. Congratulations on your purple star!!!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you for the praise, Tipi. I've got a lot more work to do on this lens for it to be as helpful as I want it to be. I appreciate everyone's encouragement so much.

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            anonymous 5 years ago

            Thank goodness you have found an oasis in Whole Foods, they have a top notch reputation that is well deserved. What a challenge to overcome and how scary to have those symptoms! So very well done, your story just flowed along and was so informative. Hopefully, many will see this and be forewarned and informed!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @anonymous: Thank you, Denise. I'm learning more all the time, and I want to share what I learn so that others may be helped. :)

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            anonymous 5 years ago

            Very good lens, with interesting questions and information.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Sylvestermouse: I agree. We were so discouraged at first! Eventually, though, we found that most of the dangerous foods had safe versions or delicious substitutes. I plan to include many of those to this lens as time goes on.

            Thank you so much for coming!

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Redneck Lady Luck: Thank you so much. Label-reading has become such an eye-opener to me. Now I wonder what all the OTHER ingredients are that I never heard of before and what they're doing to us!

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            Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

            I was glued to your story. It is amazing how the body will react to substances which it just does not want within it. Our food sources can indeed be a scary thing at times. Great article on allergies and sensitivities. Thank you so much for sharing.

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            Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

            Oh, my! That is awful! So many of my favorite things hit that list. There are few foods I really "enjoy" eating and of course, most of them would have to go. It seems like every day I find one more way our food is killing us. Excellent, informative write up.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @TonyPayne: Thank you, poddys.

            As Michel Legrand wrote,"The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know." Well, I am learning more and more about sulfite sensitivity. At the same time, however, I am realizing how little I know of the whole complex subject. So this lens is going to be growing and evolving to become a little more accurate all the time, as far as I am able to do so.

            You're absolutely right about how scary this is - maybe you and I are not exhibiting the same frightening symptoms as others are, but who's to say what these chemicals ARE doing to us that we're unaware of?

            Thank you for coming.

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            Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

            It's the dreaded Corn Syrup again isn't it! So many things in the USA use HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), which is supposed to be really bad for you. That includes many sodas, iced teas, low fat salad dressings. It's scary just how many chemicals we ingest these days.

            Excellent report on this growing allergy problem.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @LaraineRoses: Thank you, LaraineRose. I hope this lens helps your brother. I'm actively seeking new information and sources to include here, so come again soon! :)

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            Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

            Congratulations on a very informative lens. A brother of mine has this problem. I'll be checking back frequently to see what other foods and suggestions you provide.

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @Blonde Blythe: Thank you for the compliment!

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            Blonde Blythe 5 years ago

            Fantastic lens! :)

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            Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

            @MargoPArrowsmith: Thank you, Margo. :D

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            MargoPArrowsmith 5 years ago

            Excellent lens Angel Blessed

          Does living sulfite-free mean NO wine, ever?

          It all depends. If you are VERY sensitive, maybe you will give up wine altogether. But if your sensitivity is not as great as Gerald's, pay close attention to this lesson on finding wine that you can drink. I warn you, it's a challenging proposition!

          (Note: This video states that drinking beer is safe for people with sulfite sensitivity. This is not always true - do your research carefully.)

          I appreciate your letting me share our experiences with you. It's been quite a journey, and if we can make that journey a little easier for the countless others who share this sensitivity, we will be content. Thank you.

          I hope this page has helped you.

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              Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

              @BodyHairRemoval: Thank you very much!

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              BodyHairRemoval 2 years ago

              What a truly unique and well thought out lense you wrote.

            • delia-delia profile image

              Delia 3 years ago

              Depressing to know the lack of ingredient control for the pure sake of Greed! That's why we have so many unknown illnesses and carcinogenic contributions...what a shame!

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              Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

              @othellos: You are very kind. It's a work in progress. Thank you for coming to see it. :)

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              othellos 3 years ago

              Are you sure that this lens gained ONLY a Purple Star?? Excellent lens, very well investigated topic, simple and understandable writing. I couldn't ask for anything else. Thanks a lot:=)

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              I must first congratulate and thank you for this considerable comprehensive work! Would that many more citizens were as willing to contribute so much for the common good! I am not only allergic asthmatic and sulfite sensitive but also a chemist so I may be able to add to the understanding.The Sulfur acids that react with bases to form sulfites and sulfates are formed by adding gasses to water; SO2 to H2O makes sulfurous acid and SO3 to H2O makes sulfuric acid. When sulfites are added to a very acidic stomach and heated in the stomach a significant bit of SO2, a gas, diffuses up through the esophagus and into our lungs as we inhale and takes Oxygen out of the air, very bad for asthmatics! It also reforms acid on the linings, irritating and inflaming them, bad for everybody! Sulfates do not do this as they are more stable! Richard

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @dellgirl: You are so very welcome! Thank you for liking it enough to bless it!

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              dellgirl 4 years ago

              Thank you so much for sharing this informative and helpful lens, I appreciate it. Congratulations on getting the Purple Star for it. ~Blessed~

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @anonymous: No problem, Aaron. I'm happy to respond. I wish I knew the answer to your question. It's something I've wondered about, too. I wish I knew whether the water itself had naturally occurring sulfites, or whether it came into contact with sulfur dioxide somewhere along the way - in the plumbing or in the water bottling facilities - or even in the bottles!

              If I learn anything more, I will post it on the site. Thank you so much for your thought-provoking question. :)

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              Thank you Joie for even reading my post, I appreciate it, now when looking at these bottled waters, do they add sulfites or they naturally occurring?

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              Hello, I thought I was going crazy, but after doing some searches I think I may have found my answer on what is happening to my body when I drink bottled water. Honestly, I was blaming everything else: the food I ate, my lack of sleep, poor ventilation in my office, but then I tried a trial and error test and sure enough everytime I would drink bottled water, my head would start to get real tight, my back would hurt, I would start getting tired a constant array of yawns, but most troubling: I really could not concentrate or think, it was almost as if my memory would not work. I thought to myself there is no way this could be possible because of the word: "purified" labled on the bottle. In fact, I did not know that a sulfite allergy existed until I found your site, now I have become keenly aware that I indeed may suffer from this allergy. I guess my question is do bottled waters like wines have sulfites added to them?

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @anonymous: Thank you so much for the compliment. We're trying hard, but we're constantly learning new things. We appreciate everyone's input - we all do our best to help one another. :)

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              Great page, I am always looking for more info on this. It is a very dangerous problem for those affected. It has made eating out a challenge and very scary. Thanks for all the hard work you put into the site.

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @mariaamoroso: That is so true! More than ever before! Thank you for commenting and blessing! :)

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              irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

              I never heard of this! Mankind is really suffering bad! So many "new" allergies and sicknesses march on us!

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @GramaBarb: Thank you so much! You're very kind. I truly appreciate the blessing, too - but meeting you was best of all!

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              GramaBarb 4 years ago from Vancouver

              WOW! Amazing information and all new for me! I will be linking this lens to some of my health issue lenses. Thank you. Thrilled to meet you today :)

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @balancebydesign4u: How interestng! You may have just stumbled onto something. Citric acid is one of the sulfite culprits. Try to be aware of your reactions to other things that contain sulfites that are listed here.

              Thank you for the idea about the kids liquid Benadryl. It seems reasonable that a liquid would go to work much more quickly!

              Thank you so much for your interesting and helpful comment! :)

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @balancebydesign4u: I knew what you meant. ;)

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              Carol 4 years ago from Arkansas

              Woops, I meant congratulations for the purple star!!

            • balancebydesign4u profile image

              Carol 4 years ago from Arkansas

              Very helpful article. I wonder if my years of allergic reactions to citric acid is really based on sulfites? Any doctor I have seen has laughed at me when I say I cannot eat or drink anything with citric acid in it-as it causes a severe reaction in my joints. But I have proven it to myself to be true over and over again. Also, I keep kids liquid Benadryl with me at all times because it works so much faster than pills and capsules. I take a big swig if I feel that tingling tongue or itchy throat feeling.Congratulations on the Lens of the Day award!

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @shay-marie: Exactly! Thank you for the illustration! :)

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              Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

              I don't have sulfite sensitivity myself, but I relate to what you've gone through. It's similar to the experience those with sensitive skin or acne - I've got to be careful about every product or cosmetic I put on my skin. It is a bit like be a detective - scrutinize ingredient labels, find out what works, and slowly eliminate what doesn't work.

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @dellgirl: We really appreciate your visit, dellgirl. Thanks for coming. :)

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              dellgirl 4 years ago

              This is a really helpful lens, itâs very informative! I learned a lot, thank you for sharing.

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @anonymous: That's a good question, Madge. I honestly don't know the answer. Each person's response to sulfites is different. A "regular" person can eat things that stop my husband dead in his tracks. Yet he can eat some things that other more sensitive people can't touch at all. So far vegetables, raw or cooked, have not been a problem for him, so I don't know the answer to your question from any personal experience.

              Here's an excellent resource that I've referred to elsewhere on this page: http://holdthesulfites.com/. The creator of this page is very sensitive to sulfites, and yet she's kept the joy in her life by her innovative creativity expressed in delicious sulfite-free recipes, and by sharing her acquired knowledge with others. I know you'll learn a lot from her.

              I'm wishing you all the best, and hope to hear from you again. :)

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              @Johanna Eisler: Thanks so much for your research. I did some searching myself on corn processing but you came up with a much better source! I will stick with stone ground as well and try Bob's. I know I can get that brand here.

              Another question: Do you know if the naturally occurring sulphites in vegetables are minimized by cooking? I have difficulty eating a lot of raw vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower but no problem if they are cooked. I'm guessing the red pepper thing is just a nightshade intolerance.

              I know I also have a sulphite problem, as I react to wine, some beer, dried fruit, some bottled water, some corn products and most prepared foods. I'm now trying to eliminate ALL sulphites as much as possible, in the hopes that my fibromyalgia symptoms will go away!

              Thanks again!

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @anonymous: Thank you so much for your comments and your questions, Madge. I love questions because they make me dig deeper.

              Although each person's tolerance of these is different, the following are fresh fruits and vegetables that contain some naturally occurring sulfites: grapes, garlic, coconut, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, chives, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale. I could find no mention of raw peppers, but I may have missed it. Gerald eats peppers without a problem.

              As far as cornmeal goes, wow! did I learn a lot. There's a detailed description of U.S. Corn Meal milling processes here: http://www.namamillers.org/ci_products_corn_mill.h... It describes three processes: (1) a tempering degerming process; (2) stone-ground or nondegerming process; or (3) alkaline-cooked process. Of the three, I'm only comfortable with #2.

              Look for cornmeal that says it is stoneground or uses a nondegerming process. To make extra sure it's safe, contact the company that mills it. I emailed Bob's Red Mill, since they do their own milling of cornmeal. They sent the following prompt reply: "Our Cornmeal does not contain sulfites, nor do we use any processing aids, additives or preservatives to our Cornmeal." They've got my cornmeal business from now on! :)

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              This is a great summary - thanks very much for putting all of this together. I appreciate that you qualify which things your husband can tolerate, but that may be problematic for others. It is certainly not black and white, and some sites I find err on the side of caution and have lists that are so comprehensive that I get even more discouraged.

              Have you figured out any brands or types of cornmeal that are okay? Also, does your husband have any problems with any kinds of fresh vegetables? I can't seem to tolerate raw peppers and raw onions, and sometimes raw garlic bothers me. I'm wondering if there is some other intolerance there or if it could be sulphites.

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @Margaret Schindel: Thank you so much for your kind words and your blessing. We truly appreciate them. :)

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              Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

              This is an absolutely wonderful, well researched and well written lens that you can be very proud of. Blessed by this SquidAngel! :)

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @GetFactsnotHype: Thank you so much! I just visited your fascinating page to take a look. It's obvious that you care a great deal for people. :) We appreciate your support.

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              GetFactsnotHype 4 years ago

              I featured this page of yours on "Living Sulfite Free" on my page on "Health and Beauty Solutions for Women" in the middle of that page. you can see it at http://www.squidoo.com/health-and-beauty-for-women

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @JoshK47: Thank you so much, Josh!

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              JoshK47 4 years ago

              Popping back in to sprinkle some angel dust on this lens!

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              Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              @anonymous: You're absolutely right. It's mind-boggling. It's amazing what you can learn if you HAVE to. Best wishes to you.

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              I think I've had a reaction to sulfites myself this year, probably from drinking wine. Allergies are so hard to track especially if you've never had them before. Thank you for sharing your husband's story.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @anonymous: So good to hear from you again, Sarah. :)

              I've been trying to research beers, and I keep coming up with contradictory results. I would not like to recommend anything I'm not sure of. Gerald pretty well just avoids beer. If I learn anything different, I will be sure to let you know. If you go to my bio page, you can click on the "Contact" button, which allows you to email me directly. Then if I learn anything that would be helpful to you, I can reply via email.

              Happy planning!

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              @Johanna Eisler: Hi Joie,

              Now we've booked and paid for the trip, it's becoming more real, very exciting!

              I don't know if you or anyone else may know if Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has sulfites? I've been doing research and written to the company, yet to receive a reply. I have a few beers I can drink here without a problem - Just realised how alcohol related my comments have been :)

              I have to order Happs directly from the cellar door, but so far it's the only I can have without a reaction.

              Thanks again for going to the trouble of writing such a helpful column!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @anonymous: Sarah, I am so happy to hear from you. I hope you have a wonderful visit in September. :)

              Gerald has never had much of a problem with cheese, although I know there are naturally occurring sulfites in cheese. But grated cheese is another matter. It's so hard to find pre-grated cheese he can eat. I have to say, I'm getting a lot of experience with my hand grater! :D

              I've not yet seen Happs Preservative free on our shelves, but I'll keep looking. There are a number of other Australian wines here.

              I asked Gerald if he has been bothered by certain vitamins he takes in gelatin capsules. He replied, "Yes, a little." He just never bothered to tell me. (!) He doesn't like to complain.

              Wishing you all the best, Sarah. Thank you so much for your input!!!

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              Hello, thank you so much for this page. I was diagnosed by my allergist four years ago with a sulphite allergy. In Australia, generally things are a bit easier from what I can see, we don't use nearly as much HFCS and if I read the word sugar in processed food I can be pretty assured it's cane sugar over here, owing to our abundance of it.

              In saying that I'm planning a trip to the US in September, and with food allergies I've been a little worried, I'm going to print your page out and check the products when I get there for any changes to ingredients. It's going to be a challenge as I just can't believe how many products are sulphited over there!

              On a side note, our grated cheese here has always been fine for me, most cheeses only contain pasturised milk, rennet and cultures. All of which have been fine so far.

              Thanks again, your thoroughness of research and clear format are a God send!

              If you ever get to try Australian wine, Happs Preservative free has been fine for me, it may contain low levels, but from all their websites and research I've done they're the most strict on the process. I've reacted to other wines that say they are 'preservative free.' But, this one has been wonderful.

              Also, we have to be pretty careful over here with medications, I once reacted to a panadol (headache tablet) which was coated with gelatin. At the time I didn't even think twice.

              Best of luck on your food journey!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @LaraineRoses: So happy to see you again! And I do have another lens simmering - but only in my head so far. ;)

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              Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

              A return trip to check out your lens. WOW, I'm impressed .. you are flyin'. (Not from the wine you're not drinking.) I hope you'll soon make another lens for me to see.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @michellemuggli: Another sulfite-sensitive husband? Wow, thanks so much for coming and for commenting! I'm so glad you investigated further and got treatment for his underlying medical issue. Gerald will be having a checkup soon - we'll definitely discuss this with his doctor. Thank you!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Thrinsdream: You know, you're right. You've aroused my curiosity. I'll look into that.

              Thank you for your concern. Every day is still a challenge, but shopping is a little easier now that I know which products are usually safe. (I still read those labels carefully from time to time, since their recipes sometimes change!)

              Thanks again! :)

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @RaintreeAnnie: It's nice to hear from someone who knows what it's like to read labels for hours! Wouldn't it be nice if everything were clearly marked? My daughter, who is gluten-intolerant, has a slightly easier time, because our local supermarket has easy-to-spot tags on the shelves identifying everything that is gluten free. I wish they could do something like that for us!

              Thank you, jasmineann, for visiting. I appreciate it.

            • michellemuggli profile image

              michellemuggli 5 years ago

              Such an important topic, this is something my husband suffered from for years. His sensitivity turned out to be linked to an underlying medical issue though and once he was treated the severity of his reactions subsided. So people should definitely discuss this with their doctors. We still avoid sulfites as much as possible because regardless of how we react to them, they just are not good for us (and because we got used to eating fresh food that just tastes better than the pre-packaged, preserved stuff!)

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              RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

              I think you have done a great job here. I understand to some degree about the shopping issue as we have diabetes in the family and when it was first diagnosed shopping for food was a difficult thing! Took hours trying to read labels and all that sugar in things we didn't realise! I think food should be much better labelled and be very clear about what it contains. We also have to take responsibility to educate ourselves. This would help everyone coping with food sensitivities, allergies and conditions as well as just knowing what we are putting in our bodies. I am sure this page will help many people. Thank you for sharing.

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              Thrinsdream 5 years ago

              Have you ever thought about looking into the raw diet? It would certainly help. There are loads of lenses on squidoo about it. Thank you for your enlightening lens. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x PS Hope you and Gerald are both finding things easier now you know the problem.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @seeker2011 lm: Thank you for mentioning the natural sulphur in our bodies. Interesting how things can get so out of balance, isn't it?

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @MariaMontgomery: Thank you! It was pretty exciting. :)

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              MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

              Thank you for a very informative lens. I learned a lot. Congrats, too, on making the homepage.

            • seeker2011 lm profile image

              seeker2011 lm 5 years ago

              Sulpher is found in all body tissues and in haemoglobin in the blood, and it is needed for the formation of amino-acids and in the metabolism of proteins, too. In its natural form it has its purpose. Unfortuanelty most food manufacturers need it to preserve the food and taste. Nice lense.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Close2Art LM: Thanks so much.

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              Close2Art LM 5 years ago

              lots of great information here, Wonderful Job!!!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @anonymous: Thank you for mentioning toothpaste! I'm in the process of trying to research that and offer some suggestions. I'm glad you are able to use Tom's.

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              I take and have taken medication for hypertension for years and years. Dry "cottonmouth" is a side effect of them. Also I read lately that toothpaste has sulfur in it. I guess that's related to sulfites? Anyway, regular toothpaste leaves me with that dry mouth sensation, and later on even if I chew gum or have a piece of cany, I still get that it and aftertaste. So, i bought some Tom's Natural toothpaste and haven't had that problem since. Hope this helps someone!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Northwestphotos: Why, thank you! I'm so happy you dropped in.

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              Northwestphotos 5 years ago

              This is an excellent lens! Thanks for taking the time to put together all this information. I hope it helps a lot of people.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @NidhiRajat: Yes, it is. Thank you for coming.

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              NidhiRajat 5 years ago

              It is the serious issue...

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Lee Hansen: I totally sympathize with you. Wouldn't it be lovely just to be able to eat without fear? Wishing you all the best!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Gardenbella: It is surprising, isn't it? And we keep discovering more...

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              Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

              I have mild sulfite sensitivity and severe MSG sensitivity. I read label ingredients all the time, and have a tough time dining out or even at family gatherings without some reaction. I prefer organic and simple foods. Thank you for the education - most helpful!

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              Gardenbella 5 years ago

              I had no idea there were sulfites in so many different foods as I had only thought there were in deli meats and bacon. Guess I will have to start reading the labels all the time now. I do buy a lot of food at Whole Foods so I'm glad to hear they don't stock products with sulfites.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @MadScience: I appreciate your visit, coco.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @ViJuvenate: Thank you so much for your kindness.

              I believe you're right about how a whole, natural foods diet would benefit mankind as a whole. My husbands parents had a huge garden for many years, and most of the food on their table came from that totally organic garden. My father-in-law lived to be 94, and mum is still living, in her 90s. Nothing like this ever touched them.

              Thank you so much for visiting!

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              Candace Bacon 5 years ago from Mad Laboratories

              Food sensitivities can be so hard to deal with, especially when it is such a common ingredient as sulfites. I think manufacturers should stop using so many preservatives in food. Really helpful lens. Thanks!

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              ViJuvenate 5 years ago

              I'm very sorry this is something you are dealing with. I also have food allergies/sensitivities, but I've been unable to discover what they are exactly as yet, so I know what you have been going through. And to have it in a substance that is so pervasive in our typical American diet is a really challenge. I would love for all of us to be able to return to a whole, natural foods diet, preferably in which we raised all of our own foods. I think we'd eliminate so many problems, it would completely change society in every way - for the better. But that is not possible any longer. We've gotten too far away from it and the only thing that could get us there would be complete disaster. So glad you found out what it was and have put together this incredible and helpful web page on it to help others. Thank you!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Art-Aspirations: Thank you. I know what you mean - my husband is sulfite sensitive, and my daughter is both diabetic and gluten-intolerant. Shopping and mealtimes are a big challenge. Hang in there, my friend!

            • Art-Aspirations profile image

              Art-Aspirations 5 years ago

              Lots of good information here. We deal with a lot of food sensitivities on a daily basis and sulphites are one of the things we try never to have in our house.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Lady Lorelei: That's for sure! And the more research I do, the more I learn that we have to avoid! But it's absolutely worth it!

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              Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

              Sulfates, soy, there are so many products we have problems with which we are having less and less control to avoid. These add ins are becoming more and more common in our foods.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Wbisbill LM: Thank you.

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              Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

              Informative and interesting. Thumbs up!

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @KimGiancaterino: I really appreciate your commenting here. Those who have experienced these serious problems are the best ones to enlighten others. Thank you so much!

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              KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

              I had a heart ablation procedure a few years ago, but prior to that was very sensitive to sulfites and MSG, which would send my heart rate soaring. Label reading is so important when your health is at stake. I stopped going to Chinese restaurants because they all used MSG, even ones that claimed otherwise. Thanks for sharing your knowledge -- you have helped many.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @hotbrain: Thank you for the compliment. But there's still lots to add. I learn new things nearly every day, and I want to put them all here. It's my understanding that there is a technical difference between an allergy and a sensitivity. And I think a person can be allergic to OR sensitive to sulfites. My husband's allergist tried to explain it to us, but it's still very confusing, I agree.

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              hotbrain 5 years ago from Tacoma, WA

              You've put together a wealth of information for anyone suffering from sulfur related allergies (or sulfite sensitivity - although it sure sounds like an allergic reaction!). I hope that labeling on products will get better.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @LaraineRoses: Thank you, Laraine! I keep learning more, and I just want to share. There's so much to learn, and it's hard for people to learn it alone. Thank you for the kind words.

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              Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

              Every time I come back here, I find something new added. I appreciate your effort to help people with sulfite allergies.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @anonymous: Thank you. :)

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              Very informative lens.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @JanieceTobey: It is a challenge, isn't it? I used to have a lot more fun shopping than I do now, and it didn't take nearly so long. But when you're doing it for someone you love, it's worth all the effort.

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              JanieceTobey 5 years ago

              To the best of my knowledge, we don't have anyone in my family with a sulfite sensitivity. We do have a family member with a very severe dairy allergy though, so we have to read labels and be extra careful in restaurants too. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @evelynsaenz1: I used to make pickles with my mom. :) (She made the BEST spicy dill pickles! Yum!)

              The trouble with pickles - even home-made - is the vinegar. Much vinegar is made from grapes. Sulfites are naturally present in grapes and grape products. (See this page showing that even an organic balsamic vinegar is not sulfite-free: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_balsamic... You can safely substitute distilled white vinegar or Chinese black vinegar, made from fermented rice.

            • evelynsaenz1 profile image

              Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

              I have helped my grandmother make various kinds of pickles and never found the need to add sulfites. It has been difficult to find pickles without sulfites commercially but I finally found them at my local Co-op. If you have access to cucumbers from your garden or farmer's market, pickling is a very doable activity with delicious results. Then you are sure to have sulfite free pickles.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @iijuan12: Thank you!

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              iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

              Very informative lens! Thank you for posting it! Liked.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @sousababy: Thank you so much, Rose! I know that YOU understand, but for the benefit of people who may not: my guess is that the mustards are made with vinegar (most of which contain sulfites). Some "fancy" mustards can also contain sulfited onion powder, garlic powder, corn syrup, cornstarch, etc. Dried fruits are a huge problem. They keep their beautiful color because they have been treated with sulfites.

              Thank you so much for visiting here, and I wish all the best for you and your husband.

            • sousababy profile image

              sousababy 5 years ago

              Mustards and dried fruits are a big problem for my husband . . I look painstakingly at all labels and he cannot drink wine at all (he's fine though with single malt scotch, on occasion). I believe this problem is more widespread than first believed. Thanks for doing this lens, it will help many folks. Good to see a purple star on it.

              Take good care,

              Rose

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @giddygabby: What a wonderful friend you are!

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              giddygabby 5 years ago

              Thank you! I will visit the links you provided and learn more so I can be more helpful to my friend with the sulfite sensitivity.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Kylyssa: Thank you, Kylyssa. The more people are aware of sulfite sensitivity, the more people can be helped. I'm so glad you stopped by.

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              Kylyssa Shay 5 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

              Thank you for sharing your family's experience with sulfate sensitivity! "Blessed" by a Labor Day SquidAngel.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @Brit303: It is amazing, Brit. I know MANY gluten-intolerant people. That condition which affects people with Celiac Disease is also truly frightening. (Check it out at http://www.celiaccentral.org/Celiac-Disease/21/?gc... These are scary times we're living in. Thanks for visiting, Brit.

            • Brit303 profile image

              Brit303 5 years ago

              Nice lens, Joie. I don't have a sensitivity to sulfites, but have heard of the condition. Reminds me of all the talk about gluten sensitivity. Someone I know has put herself on a gluten-free diet. Amazing what's occurring out there.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @NAIZA LM: Thank you, Naiza! He is doing much better, and I'll tell you why. When we first learned about his sensitivity, he went through what many of us do - denial. Not total denial - he knew he had a problem, but it was hard to accept that he had to avoid some foods he had always enjoyed. As time went on, however, he began to accept responsibility for what he ate. Now he's very pro-active, asking restaurants or friends what ingredients are in the foods they serve, using good self-control and being willing to speak up for himself when he learns they contain ingredients that are dangerous for him. I am so proud of him, and we are a sulfite-searching TEAM! He is feeling so much better, and we are both a lot happier. :)

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              NAIZA LM 5 years ago

              Terrific lens! I learned something new about this dreadful chemical allergies. I hope your husband is feeling better now. This is really an eye opener to a lot of us. ~Blessed by a Squid Angel.~

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @TheresaBesaw: I hope you find one near you. Thank your for visiting - wishing you all the best!

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              TheresaBesaw 5 years ago

              This lens was quite an eye opener. Now on to my search for that local organic market.

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              Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

              @junecampbell: Thank you, nightcats. Yes, it's been one of the biggest dietary challenges I've ever faced. Your sulfite labeling on food products in Canada is a bit better than in the U.S. (we have lots of family in Canada), but still leaves a lot to be desired. I think it's a worldwide problem. Again, thank you so much for visiting.

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              June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

              This is all new to me. I have never heard of this condition before. It must be extremely challenging to figure out what foods your husband can eat and what he cant eat safely. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the public. We need to know.

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