Sulfite allergy can trigger a series of health problems, which may need treatment. The consequences of this allergic reaction may become life-threatening and sometimes even lead to fatality, in the absence of timely diagnosis and therapy…
Whether it is natural foods or preserved foods, certain traces of sulfite can be found in them. These compounds keep the food from getting spoiled easily. From a very long time, sulfites have been used as preservatives and can be found in a number of foodstuffs, especially in dried fruits, wine and other processed foods. Some individuals are unable to process this compound or their body fails to accept it, resulting in sulfite allergy.
Because this can be triggered after drinking wine, it is also sometimes referred to as red wine headache. This allergic reaction may trigger asthma attacks and other complications. It is essential to recognize the signs of this reaction in the initial phase so that it can be treated in an effective manner and care can also be taken that it does not compromise the person’s health.
Symptoms of Sulfite Allergy
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one in approximately ten people may suffer from sulfite allergy. The side effects of sulfites in wine, dried fruits and other preserved foods can cause problems to health, in case the person is sensitive to this chemical compound. Based on the duration in which the body is exposed to sulfites the effect may range from being moderate to life-threatening in a few cases. The previous medical history of an individual also helps determine the seriousness of this issue. Since it affects the respiratory system, the person may suffer from asthma attacks.
- The person may suffer from rashes, which can be seen as red bumps on the skin. These skin rashes may also have itching or burning sensation. It can also result in the eruption of hives as a result of an allergy. Swelling of the mouth and face, problems while swallowing, scratchy throat are also attributed to this allergy.
- Sulfite may also trigger a series of respiratory problems like breathlessness, shortness of breath and a pressure on the chest. Bronchial spasms, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest and throat, and bouts of asthma attacks may also be noticed in the individual.
- As seen in most cases of food allergy, the stomach may also get affected. Common abdominal complaints include persistent diarrhea, stomach cramps and pain, nausea induced vomiting, etc. Along with it some other symptoms like rise in temperature, flushing, headaches and dehydration may also be observed.
- Some people may also suffer from a sudden drop in the blood pressure, which may make them experience black out sessions, fainting spells etc. Sometimes the dip in blood pressure may be so low that the person may completely pass out.
- In some cases, the person is seen to be suffering from anaphylactoid reactions or anaphylaxis, even when he is not suffering from asthma. This can put the individual at a greater risk of suffering from a severe asthma attack. This however is of rare incidence and very few cases have been reported.
Relieving Sulfite Allergy
A failure to identify and treat sulfite allergy in the initial stages can cause havoc to the body and may also affect the individual in various ways. In extreme cases, an anaphylactic shock can lead to fatality. Hence to prevent the occurrence of these unwanted effects of the sulfite, it is essential to consult a medical practitioner, who may diagnose the severity of the condition and provide appropriate treatment. The physician may prescribe antihistamines to fight allergic reaction and also reduce its intensity. The doctor may also administer epinephrine to stabilize the condition of the patient.
Sulfite allergy can take a toll on the health of the individual, and may also lead to some unwanted complications. In order to avoid these, consult a health care provider who may help you in managing this allergic reaction and also prescribe medications to prevent its recurrence. Take care!