Talking Allergies

Sulfite allergy
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Author:  Richard Fillmore [ Mon May 23, 2005 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Sulfite allergy

Having suffered for nearly 10 years,a dozen trips to hospital emergency wards or urgent care centres,two allergsts both of whom decided my problem was idiopathic I feel qualified to address this issue.The magazine article was well done. This is a complex medical condition and through extensive time in research I learned it can manifest itself in different ways.A delayed reaction is common ie an event will occur in 12/18/24 hours.In my case an edema of the tongue,lips ,throat I have awakened from a nights sleep and gone directly to the hospital.Wine is one of the products where "the Brimstone Demons" can be found but many people are not aware of refined corn products like corn starch,high fructose corn syrup in soda drinks,the color carmel,french fries and many more all prepared with sulphite preservative.Those of us who suffer may only be 1% of the population but that is a lot of people in North America.
Much more has to be done to to improve labelling in order for us to be able to avoid the ofending products.Lets all keep the pressure on those who can make it happen.
Thanks for allowing me to share.

Author:  Kelly [ Mon May 23, 2005 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Post topic

I also have this allergy
It was diagnosed in the early 1980's. I woud have asthma attacks, and my throat would feel choky I do not even remember what wine or other drinks tasted like. I did make a big fuss that epi pens have sulphites. Doctors have told me that epi-pens have leess sulphites than foods do and even if I react to the sulphites in the epi-pen, I'm on my way to the hospital anyway.

Author:  Helen [ Sun Jun 05, 2005 12:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

I could see an allergist dismissing minor hives as idiopathic....but if you're having life-threatening reactions to something the doctors better be certain before deciding that there isn't a particular trigger. You're fortunate that you were able to figure out the problem on your own.

I would imagine that sulfite allergies are more common than generally suspected. I have a friend who has major migraines after drinking wine sometimes....sounds like it *could* be sulfites.

Author:  quacker10 [ Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:18 am ]
Post subject:  sulpha allergies

My dear husband has a sulfa allergy and as I was reading the above posts didn't see anyone mention that some medicines also contain sulfas. Now some pharmacists have told us that sulphites and sulphas are not the same but some antibiotics that have them he can take and some he cannot. Luckily for him it is not anophalactic, but his heart races etc etc etc. Just thought that I would mention the antibiotic you all can keep a heads up and question the pharmacists before taking them. Hope this helps someone. quacker10

Author:  Kelly [ Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

My husband and I and my parents and his parents have the same allergy.
We are extremly careful about the meds and the suphites and sulfa drugs.
My poor Aunt was given a treatment for arthritis and it was a sulfa drug and she is is allergic to that. Poor womens stomach was bleeding and and she had a rash. :(
I was dianosgesed with suphite allergy in the early 1980's that is long time ago. Then in 1985 I had a sulfa drug for bronchitis and reacted to it.

Author:  Shadow [ Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

I recently have been diagnosed with sulphite sensitivity and has been suggested no dried fruits, I was telling my Dr. what happens when I eat raisin pudding--craisins
I also get severe asthma attacks and have noticed the last two times I lose my voice when using my steroid or my blue inhaler-my dr. told me to continue to use--I developed a raspy to no voice now when I react to sulphites-I watch my intake and am tring the organic route and will see how that goes--I ate a burger from a fast food restaraunt and my throat started to close and haven't had one since--I was diagnosed with asthma, chronic bronc about 13 years ago along with milk allergy and numerous drugs

Author:  Jacky [ Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Sodium metabisulphite in foods

I am allergic to sodium metabisulphite (preservative 223). This is commonly used in medicines, anaesthetics (dental & medical), stored adrenalin/epinephrine, as well as in many foods. Here in Australia I have found it in the following food/drink products:
cordial, some soft drinks, packaged lemon/lime juice, some wines & beers (note it is used for steralizing bottles/kegs in beer & winemaking), some dried fruits (particularly apples, pears, pineapple, mango, citrus peel), products containing cooked apple (eg packaged fresh or frozen apple pie), sausage meat, meat pies, packaged smallgoods, pickled vegetables, some bread products. Hope this helps some of you out. My best advice - avoid this devil :twisted: - become pedantic about reading food labels, and get a medic alert bracelet if you have this allergy.

Author:  Bon [ Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:55 pm ]
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I'll share my story as it may keep someone else alive. This is a killer.

I was identified with bisulfite allergy in 1984 in a hospital emergency room. The sharp doctor on call linked my anaphylactic shock to my meal at a salad bar treated with "Salad Fresh", together with a glass of wine. I suddenly found myself a medical statistic! In 1985 the US FDA banned the use of bisufites on fresh fruits and vegetables after it had been linked to 250 cases of anaphylactic shock and a dozen deaths. However, it's still allowed in packaged food, and wine is loaded with it. I'm convinced this was the cause of the mystery death of my father from suffocation about 40 years ago.

My fix is liquid Benadryl (diphenhydramine). I know within minutes that I'm in trouble when my mouth and tongue start to burn and swell and I have difficulty breathing, and it gives me enough time to chew several caplets of Benadryl. This slows the reaction down enough that I can get to a stable state before I crash.

I've reacted to an Epipen , and to medical epinephine solution, so I'd really advise bisulfite sufferers to warn their dentists and physicians against the use of epinephine. All medical epinephine products (in fact most medical solutions) are preserved with bisulfites to increase their shelf life. Most doctors do not know this and have no training for sulfite reactions, so don't assume they know how to deal with it. If they suspect an allergic reaction they are trained to use an Epipen. I take Benadryl before a trip to dentist to mitigate the reaction from the anesthetics, and make sure I tell them not to use epinephine. Any surgery will pose a risk, because most reconstructive surgery uses an epinephine-bisulfite solution.

Please note that many countries still have widespread use of sulfites, especially in high-end restaurants in hot weather. I nearly died in the ladies room in a restaurant in China, I think everything on the table was laced with bisulfites. So if you travel abroad, please be careful with anything that wasn't caught or picked in front of you.

Sulfite hypersensitivity is not related to sulfa or sulfate allergy, so make sure you research them separately.

Be welll- Bon

Author:  KarenOASG [ Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for sharing your story, Bon. It's very helpful. I had no idea that this was an issue with regards to epinephrine.


Author:  laforgue [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

An idiopathic disease is not necessarily minor. It just means that they don't know what is causing it. So an idiopathic allergy can kill you just as easily as any other. It's probably more likely in that you don't know what to avoid or expect. In fact some idiopathic illness have worst outcomes than the ones they understand.

Author:  laforgue [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have a question. I had my first episode of anaphylactic shock (and I hope my last) in a restaurant the other night. Or I guess that's what it was--that's what they said in the hospital. I was eating very rare tuna (which didn't taste that great) and drinking white wine (on glass over 2 hours). I had a rash because my friend kept remarking on the fact that I was getting redder and redder and I looked sunburned. I didn't feel anything. I felt fine. Then all of a sudden my heart started pounding and within a minute I was passed out on the floor. When I came to I was surrounded by cops and EMTs. I had no idea where I was. It still seems unreal. I'm going to my allergist tomorrow, but I've never had a food allergy before. I've always been allergic to dust, mold, pollen, etc. But I've never had asthma. Now I'm afraid to eat. Does fresh tuna have anything that might combine with wine to cause that kind of reaction? They couldn't give me epinephrine because my heart rate was already through the roof but my blood pressure was bottoming out. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. I haven't eaten much more than tea or toast and plain chicken since Friday. Are canned soups full of sulfites (I'm just guessing at what caused it, but I'm really terrified and nobody understands--my friends (other than my husband and our friends who were with me) keep telling me I'm being silly and over cautious. But the friend who was with me at the time said I was convulsing. She thought I was dying, having a stroke or a heart attack. I don't remember any of this.

Author:  dustytiger [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

laforgue - i'm not sure if it was a combination of the two things, remember that allergies can appear (and disappear if you're lucky) throughout your life time, so something you've eaten or come in conatact with a million times before can suddenly become a very big issue, and it's incredibly scary when you think about it

i hope that you have made an appointment with a doctor to get a referal to an allergist since it's definatly serious and let ppl think you're paranoid it's your LIFE you are taking care of.

as for sulphites, they are in a lot of things and you absolutly have to read labels, i'm no expert i had a customer at my work with sulfate allergies and she educated me on her allergy after asking to see the packaging of pretty much everything we had since she wanted a snack, she says she has to look because there is no consistency in where suphites are put, some places she can have cookies, a hot dog, pizza, a bag of chips or popcorn and htye don't have the allergen, other places (unfortunatly where i work) she can have nothing but a bottle of water!

Author:  laforgue [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Dusty. I do have an appointment for tomorrow. In the meantime I'm just taking methylprednisolone and benydryl and eating what I'm pretty sure is completely different from what I had that night. I can't wait to see the allergist. I've had my face blow up like quasimodo from dust mites (sleeping on a pillow). My lips were so big I couldn't talk and my eyes were swollen shut. I've had poison ivy so bad it was systemic and covered me completely, but nothing was as scary as this. I was thinking it might be the fish and wine combined for some reason. I'm not sure what I hope it is--sulfites are in everything, fish is everywhere.

Author:  Nicole [ Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:02 am ]
Post subject: 

Is it possible you reacted to the fish and not necessarily sulphites?

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

I wondered about the fish to - there's a high incidence among adults of developing allergy to fish and/or shellfish.

Laforgue, did you get any news from the allergist?

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