According to the FDA, 5% of the population is sensitive to salicylates.
Research shows that about 20% of adults with asthma, 60% with of people with food-induced itchy rashes, headaches or migraines, 70% of people with irritable bowel symptoms and 75% of children with behaviour problems may be sensitive to salicylates. Most people with salicylate intolerance have no idea what could be affecting them.
Salicylates are chemicals found in many products and occur naturally in many plants – they’re a kind of natural pesticide – to protect the plants against insects and diseases. Salicylates are just one group of the hundreds of compounds in foods that can have varying effects on us, depending on how much we eat and how sensitive we are.
Some individuals feel that they have a salicylate intolerance or allergy that causes them serious health problems. Some have reported a wide range of symptoms that they feel are alleviated by strict avoidance of salicylates in food and other products.
Salicylates have a cumulative effect in the body, meaning that a person may be able to tolerate a small amount but will experience symptoms after excessive exposure.
SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS
You may have some or all of these salicylate sensitivity symptoms.
Stuffed or running nose
Sore, itchy, burning eyes
Mouth ulcers or rash around mouth
Ringing in ears
Skin color changes throughout the body – a very rare symptom
Itching on face
Rashes on the skin
Swelling of the hands, the feet and the face
Pain in the stomach area – from whatever food that may have contained salicylate.
Sleep disturbance - difficulty falling asleep, night terrors, frequent night waking, sleep apnoea
Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
Rapid heart beat
Diarrhea or constipation
Frequent throat clearing
Inattention, irritability, defiance, ADHD
Salicylate-sensitive people may be particularly prone to eye muscle disorders such as nystagmus, nasal polyps, rashes, or asthma, and may complain of joint pain and fatigue. The physician should be consulted to rule out other serious medical situations.
It is now widely known that there is a high correlation between ADD, autism spectrum disorders, and the gluten/casein intolerance combo. Less widely known is the controversial correlation between salicylate intolerance, ADD, and autism spectrum disorders. Some people need to be on both a gluten-free and a salicylate-free diet to feel their best.
Dr. Ben Feingold, former Chief Allergist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco, is credited as the originator of the theory back in the 1960′s that people with ADD and/or autism spectrum-related symptoms have a problem metabolizing foods or medicines with salicylates. His clinical findings were that many children’s behavioral and attentional issues calmed down when salicylates were reduced or removed from their diets and medications. His Feingold Program is still being used to help children with behavioral and learning issues with reported success for both children and adults.
The Feingold Program also eliminates anything with artificial flavors, sweeteners, or food colorings—a good common sense recommendation that would drastically improve anyone’s health.
Of particular interest to those with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and similar illnesses is that most of the symptoms that are mentioned for salicylate intolerance are symptoms that are associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) and Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). It seems possible that some who have been diagnosed with FMS or CFIDS may have a problem with salilcylates.
Salicylates and BLOOD SUGAR
Salicylate is listed as a drug that may be related to hypoglycemia.
Aspirin is a salicylate. Doses of salicylates that are commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (4-6 grams per day) may induce hypoglycemia in both non-diabetic and diabetic adults and may reduce insulin requirements in type 1 diabetes.
People with impaired kidney function should be careful in their use of salicylates. A case of hypoglycemia was reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine to be caused by topical salicylate use in an elderly man with reduced kidney function.
A salicylate free diet is recommended by these allergy specialists for people who are having difficulty getting rid of hypoglycemia.
Reactive Hypoglycemia may be caused by food intolerance, including salicylates in food
According to this research, salicylate might be considered in the therapy of type 2 diabetes someday.
Prevention of fat-induced insulin resistance by salicylate
Salicylates and CONTACT DERMATITIS
One study of 6 patients with contact dermatitis of the lips determined that 5 of the 6 patients were allergic to phenyl salicylate. It was noted at St. Luke's Hospital in the United Kingdom that a 2 year old had urticaria that did not respond to antihistamine therapy. It was found that she was using a topical salicylate preparation that was regularly being applied to her pacifier. Her urticaria cleared and has not recurred once they stopped the topical. There are many other accounts of these types of reactions to topical salicylates.
Salicylates and DISEASE OF THE LOWER GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT
Patients with chronic active disease who have inflammatory bowel disease and food allergies should be evaluated for salicylate intolerance.
Salicylates and ALLERGIES
Salicylate intolerance mimics allergy symptoms. If you are not finding any relief with your allergy treatment, chances are you may have a salicylate intolerance.
FOODS HIGH IN SALICYLATES
Salicylates are most concentrated just under the skin of certain fruits and vegetables, and in the outer leaves of vegetables. Salicylate content decreases as a food ripens. Some foods may be better tolerated than others in people with salicylate sensitivity, or can be consumed in a very ripe, peeled or cooked form.
Green bell peppers
Visit HERE to see a more complete list.
SOME PRODUCTS CONTAINING SALICYLATES
TERMS INDICATING A SALICYLATE SOURCE
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Unfortunately, no formal test exists for salicylate intolerance. If you think you may have a problem with salicylates, the best thing to do is eliminate all salicylates products that you can, and start a 4-6 week salicylate elimination diet. For anyone who has done an elimination diet and felt a life-long symptom lift, you know how ‘worth it’ the challenge of doing an elimination diet is.
See HERE for a helpful list of what to do and where to start if you think you have a salicylate sensitivity.
An American Journal article indicates that the amino acid glutathione is used by the kidneys to detoxify salicylates. Cysteine, another amino acid, can be converted by our bodies to glutathione, therefore supplementation with cysteine (or NAC) may be beneficial.
Here is an article where three patients were helped dramatically by taking fish oil. Chances are, flax oil would have the same effect. Some salicylate sensitive people do seem to have poor reactions to fish oils though, therefore flax might be a better option.
The amino acid glycine and charcoal are helpful with salicylate intolerance [ source]
Other helpful supplements are: magnesium, probiotic, multi-vitamin, B12, calcium, vitamin K. See more HERE
SALICYLATE SENSITIVITY FORUM
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