Sulfite Allergy

Sulfites are sulfur compounds that are usually used as preservatives in numerous kinds of foods and drugs. Sulfites stop bacterial growth in foods, thus increasing their shelf life . Sulfites are widely used in commercial foods. Sulfites are also present in fermented drinks and wines. Hence, the presence of sulfite in food causes allergy. According to FDA estimation one out of 100 people suffer from Sulfite Allergy. Sulfite allergy can be mild in some cases and nearly fatal in some.

Causes of Sulfite Allergy

Sulfite Allergy results from consumption of foods containing sulfites. Since Sulphur Dioxide is an allergen, the consumption of sulfite containing food causes allergy such as contraction of airbags in lungs. This leads to Asthma like symptoms. Sulfites in high concentration can be contagious for people suffering from severe asthma. Sulfites lets off a gas known as Sulfur dioxide which when inhaled by an asthmatic patient results in severe bronchospasm.

Symptoms of Sulfite Allergy

The main symptoms of Sulfite Allergy are dizziness and respiratory problems within minutes of consuming sulfite related food. Other symptoms include flushing, fast heartbeats, choking, coma, hives, diarrhea, difficulty in swallowing, sneezing and swelling of throat. The reactions are sometimes can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Diagnosis of Sulfite Allergy

Sulfite Allergy  can be diagnosed with respect to the aftereffects of consuming sulfite containing foods. For correct diagnosis of Sulfite Allergy the doctor performs an oral Metabisulfite procedure on the patient. In this procedure the patient is given increased quantity of sulfite and his lung function is closely monitored. Abnormal lung function confirms Sulfite Allergy. However this procedure should be performed under strict supervision of a professional only.

Treatment for Sulfite Allergy

Vitamins like Vitamin C, Quercetin and Bromelain are vital in treating Sulfite Allergy. Vitamin C protects the body against infection and enhances immune system. Quercitin is a flavonoid and a powerful antioxidant and has the ability to constrict the release of Histamines, resulting in prevention of allergy symptoms. Bromellain increases the absorption rate of Quercetin.

Prevention of Sulfite Allergy

Avoiding Sulfite related foods is the best way to prevent Sulfite Allergy. Presence of Sulfite in foods can be checked by reading the food labels. Patients should also avoid medications containing sulfites except Epinephrine shot which is also known as Epi-pen.