Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Special Thanks

I recently discovered that I am sensitive to sulfites. This is not a fun thing to be. Let me tell you, here in the USA almost everything you can eat is sulfured in one way or another. There are two main reasons for this: grapes and refined corn products. Of course, the biggest culprit is refined corn products.

Refined corn products include the following: corn syrup, corn starch, fructose corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin and dextrose. The very first step that a manufacturer takes in refining corn is the worst. They soak it all in a giant vat of sulfur oxide solution! Corn syrup is used in every kind of sweet made in the United States. It is used in juices and jellies. It is the primary sweetener of our country. Any type of non-diet soda contains corn syrup.

Grapes are not as bad, mainly because they are not in as many kinds of food. However, they are sprayed with sulfur when they are on the vine. Otherwise they grow a nasty mold. Thus, even unsulfured wine is very bad for me. The only types of wine I have found that I can drink are made with no grapes and no sulfites are added. They are made with different types of berries and you can find this company online here. Of course, they do not have a store in my area and according to shipping laws they cannot ship wine to my state. Oh well, maybe I will get some when I go visit the fam sometime.

I only just figured out about this sensitivity problem. But I have been having digestive difficulties for at least two years. Now I know why.

I would like to thank my primary source of research to this post. Some caring sulfite sensitive person did a ton of research and was nice enough to put it all online for the rest of us. Here is his website. I don't know who this guy is, but I would have had a lot of trouble without his effort. I read his research and now I know what to avoid to evade my stomach and digestive problems.

How do I know for sure that I am sensitive to sulfites? Well, I stopped eating food with sulfites in them and I felt all better. Furthermore, I can trace any digestive problem I have had recently to some sort of sulfured food. I often suspected that certain foods and drinks were causing me problems, I just did not know why they were doing it.

A sensitivity is different from an allergy. I have been tested for food allergies and I have none. Being sensitive, my reaction comes very slowly, often 6 to 8 hours after I ate the contaminated food. I know this is self diagnosis, and oh my gosh, I should go see a doctor. Really, maybe I'm some sort of nutty hypochondriac who thinks she's sensitive to everything under the sun. Okay, yeah, I do not want to be sensitive to sulfites. I happen to like wine and grapes, sodas and candy. I happen to think corn starch is a very useful thing. If I could wish away my sensitivity I would. But I can't. It's here. From what I have read, doctors cannot check for a sensitivity. They can only check for allergies. Half the time they don't actually figure out what's wrong with you when it comes to things like this anyway. The most a doctor could do is ask me to stop eating sulfites and see if I feel better. I can figure that out by myself, dude. Besides, since sulfites do not have to be disclosed in everything, just reading labels will not do. And neither the government, nor most doctors know what all sulfites are in. I had already stopped eating wheat and lactose, and still I kept being sick. So it has to be the sulfites. It seems so obvious now.

I do enjoy feeling better all the time now.


HuskerFoley7 said...

So can you go back to eating wheat and lactose now and just not have the others? I'm so confused. And it is in everything because I've been trying to eat healthy, so I'm trying to avoid a lot of corn starch and corn syrup but I look at the labels of everything and it is in it. Grrr! Stupid processing.

Esther said...

I can't go back to eating lactose. I have a slightly different reaction to lactose than I do to sulfites so I know that I am still lactose intolerant. Besides, sulfites are in most cheese. Wheat is okay for me. But since it is commonly used it is more likely to have corn syrup or some other sulfited product in it. I have to read labels carefully and avoid a lot of different types of food. It's a pain, and it's mildly depressing. I mean, I may never eat out again, and pot lucks are about the scariest things ever!