Sulfite Food Allergy and Autism
Like millions of other Americans, I am sensitive to sulfite
sulfur dioxide in foods and prescription drugs. Sulfites give me
that last for 24 hours, though the most commonly reported symptom is
In 1986, the FDA banned sulfites for use on salad bars after
of people died from anaphylactic shock. Today, salad bars are safe but
rest of the food supply still contains sulfur preservatives. And
day, the use of sulfur grows as American food habits evolve.
and sulfur dioxide are most noticeable in wine, dried fruit, sulfa
instant potatoes, french fries, pizza and lemon juice
But they are also hidden in hundreds of ingredients like corn syrup and
which find their way into thousands of foods. Because sulfite
cause me so much trouble, I call them the Brimstone Demons. If
suffer from asthma, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, G6PD deficiency,
heart arrhythmia, hives, irritable bowel, lupus, rosacea, swelling or
allergic symptoms, perhaps the Brimstone Demons are causing trouble in
life. To help with this problem, I have written a short book titled
Headaches, Asthma, Fries and a Cola. To read the
book, click No Sulfites eBook on the menu above.
are in a hurry, the menu pick Where to Now? contains a
overview and a list of problem foods and additives you need to avoid.
Sulfite allergy websites come in three flavors: pages written by doctors, by wine promoters and by sulfite sufferers. Doctors will tell you all about the human immune system and how it is responsible for our many allergies, including sulfite and sulfa allergy. It's a fascinating subject and you should research these sites to expand your knowledge base and to learn how the medical establishment views sulfite intolerance. Unfortunately, most of these doctors aren't sensitive to sulfites themselves and the best they can do is offer the advice "avoid sulfites." Of course, that's good advice - it's just very hard to do. Wine promoters are interested in all the details of wine making and are particularly touchy about the bad press associated with sulfites. Sulfites occur naturally during the processing of grape wines and additional sulfites are added at various stages to prevent unwanted fermentation. It is very difficult to make wine without sulfites and virtually impossible to age it for any length of time. So, wine enthusiasts get very agitated when sulfites are blamed for health problems, reasoning that such criticism taints their beverage of choice. For instance, it is very common for wine websites to claim that sulfites do not cause headaches. They prefer to blame this side effect on histamines, grape protein allergies, alcohol and even over-indulgence. Now, I get headaches from sodium sulfite dissolved in distilled water. I wonder how they explain that? Finally, there are websites written by people that actually suffer from sulfites. Generally, they give good, personal advice that can help you to navigate these confusing waters. I am such a person and the information on this site allows me to live a relatively normal life even though I am sensitive to only a few hundred micrograms of the Brimstone Demons.
In a new twist on a difficult problem, the oxides of sulfur may be
significant players within autism. Most children with autism have very
disturbed sulfur chemistry, for instance sulfite levels in urine that
are 51 times normal. This is a consequence of mutations that lead to
poor expression of the genes
within the Moco Pathway that creates sulfite oxidase enzyme. I believe
I have similar mutations that lead to my sulfite intolerance.
Thankfully, I was born before the autism epidemic began and I am not
strongly affected. To explain this connection, I have written another
book called Autism,
Enzymes and the Brimstone Demons. A summary of this book is
presented under the menu pick Autism Book and
a study of mothers of children with autism is described under the menu