British Lung Foundation
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Gerd or sulphite allergy?

Hi,

Im hoping someone might be able to help as Im not getting far with gp. Im asthmatic have had this most of my life alongwith eczema. Was diagnosed 10 yrs ago with IBS however meds didn't help. Three yrs ago I decided to eliminate gluten and my IBS symptoms cleared very quickly. For a year Ive been experiencing asthma flare ups chest tight, breathlessness, palpitations etc which gp simply put down to asthma. Six months ago I got hpylori and since I have had what Gp is labelling as bad reflux. Meds arent working great on waiting list to see gastro. Recently Ive been reading bmj and I now think most of my symptoms relate to a sulphite allergy. Ive been cutting sulphites out for just under a week and Im not experiencing as many issues with reflux/breathing however as Im cutting out alot of food Ive been feeling quite dizzy, spaced out and tired. Has anyone else experienced anything similair? Can anyone advise what food to avoid as websites appear contradictory?

Many thanks

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I'm unable to offer advice but someone I'm sure will be able to help. Hopefully you've been to see your GP to explain what's being going on. Hope things improve for you very soon x

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Thanks Georgia, appreciate you're concern. GP hasnt been great so I'm hoping elimination will highlight this as an allergy or sensitivity and I can finally get my life back on track. Take care x

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Sorry Georgina for the typo in your name, thats what happens when you try to type quickly!

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Sorry that was the op the medication was metolizumab

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I also think I'm allergic to sulphites among other allergies , I will follow this post with interest because I am not getting help from the powers that be

They just don't seem interested pleased your getting help

Take care

Dorothy

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Hi, oh thats terrible you're not getting the help you need, I understand how difficult that can be. Its been through alot of researching that I feel Im getting closer to finding the problem. I've found an immunologist who will see me privately if I can find money for a consultation, Ill keep you posted on how I gey on in case it can help you too. Take care, hope you get to the bottom of it soon x

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Hi

Some reading for you.

foodsmatter.com/allergy_int...

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Thanks, really helpful!

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I am allergic to solicilates . It is found in food colouring and preservatives perfumes and hair colouring etc . If I follow the diet and avid people spraying their deodorants I can alter my asthma . It is like a bath filling up so I do not respond straight away and can cope for a short time. I also have been diagnosed with reflux this time at the specialists and he says there is a new very expensive drug out. Nissen fundoplication but with every drug there are side effects ! At the moment I am managing and wish you luck lin x

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Thanks, this is really helpful. Its a bit of a mine field trying to work out what foods etc triggers the asthma and I hadnt even considered cosmetics and other products. I will look into this new drug, thank you. Glad to hear you're managing you're condition, long may it continue. Take care x

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Sulphites are the asthma sufferer's nightmare - keep off them, seriously. Do not drink any fruit juice drinks with sulphites in them. Sulphites are used as a preservative, so you need to check the labels carefully. Also, keep out of dusty atmospheres.

Eric xx

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Thanks Eric, cutting them out at the moment but it is tricky as they seem to be in everything. Planning on making all my own meals but I do travel alot for work which then makes eating difficult.

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It's the fruit drinks mainly which contain the sulphites. Generally, salt is used in most foods as the preservative so this is not the problem.

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Hi ninja

Almost 2 years ago I had very bad flu and lots of health problems afterwards, mainly tight chest and respiratory but also a worsening of my ibs symptoms and for the first time I was definitely getting asthma symptoms. Had a bit of a long haul with my gp... they were very focused on the fact that I smoked in the past and said pretty much copd with asthma and was the past smoking catching up with me. I tried to tell them that i thought there was more to it than that as I could suddenly have a few really good days out of the blue followed by days of tight, burning chest and wheeziness. They marked me as copd on my records. I got quite low and run down although my spirometer was normal at 98 fev1 with fev1/Fvc of 89 percent. I have been gluten intolerant - self diagnosed - for years and prone to sensitivities to various chemicals but nothing unmanageable and the decline in my health was a horrible shock prior to that flu, I had been very fit for my age (52) and was running, walking for a couple of hours a day. Anyway I worked out through trial and error that various foods and even hair products were making me significantly worse. I then saw a brilliant new gp who really listened, and I was subsequently diagnosed caeliac which causes intestinal damage which in turn can lead to further food allergies . I now eat no grain, no sulphites, no tree nuts, limited dairy. It's not that hard, I bake with coconut and green banana flour and I try to exercise every day. The results are well worth it, my respiratory symptoms cleared up in a week and my digestive problems are all but gone.

However the symptoms quickly return if I break my diet, especially wheat, tree nuts or sulphites.

i honestly never thought I would ever feel better, and it was frustrating that the gp only focused on the fact that I used to smoke. The other thing is, I had periodically mentioned that my ibs seemed very bad compared to what other people described, but that wasn't really listened to either. Even my heart rate has come down to a resting rate of 54...... I am astounded by how quickly everything improved once I had identified and eliminated everything that I had become allergic to.

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Hi Sara, sounds like you've really been through it, glad to hear youve got to the root of the problem though. I understand youre frustration with gp's they're very quick to put symptoms down to something in youre history rather than investigating. I am awaiting the celiac test which might shed some light on my symptoms. Thanks for the tip on parabens as my hair products irritate my eczema and I wonder if they also exacerbate my breathing. Do you react to sulphites that naturally occur in some products or only those artificially added in?

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By the way, I have also changed to using hair products without parabens, aveda products are great, I was suddenly itchy and wheezy when I used redken and kerastase in particular.

Sadly I react to red wine (sulphites) and also grain based alcohol too x. Still worth it to steer clear 😊

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Also added in, I realised that from jelly babies ... eating them causes chest tightness within minutes. My understanding of why my allergies suddenly worsened was that my immune system was affected by the flu. I also used to feel full easily and almost breathless just from eating but understand now that the caeliac can affect digestive motility and cause food to sit in the stomach and small intestine for longer causing pressure on the lungs. Actually my stomach went 'down' rapidly after eliminating all grain and everything is so much more comfortable. It's not easy eliminating all grain ... wheat and flour are in almost every processed food including a lot of the gluten free labelled products, but I am so glad that I have made the effort. I do hope that identifying and avoiding everything that you are reacting to gives you the same relief. Before this I honestly thought I was gluten and corn intolerant, had ibs and had developed copd ... that was the official diagnosis but it seems not so!

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