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Sulfite Allergy, A Type of Allergy that Are from Food Preservatives

Have you ever eaten something, then suddenly the skin becomes itchy, red, and inflamed? You may experience allergies from the food you just ate. Although usually caused by eggs, beans or meat, this allergic reaction can also be caused by sulfite preservatives in food. Actually, what are the sulfite preservative allergies like and how do you deal with them? Next is complete.

What is sulfite?

Sulfite Allergy, A Type of Allergy that Are from Food Preservatives

Sulfites are chemicals that are often used to preserve drinks or packaged foods. However, this type of sulfur compound can also appear naturally in some foods, such as fermented drinks, canned fruit, raisins, and grapes.

In addition, sulfite can also be used as a preservative in medicines. These chemicals function to prevent discoloration of the drug so that the shelf life is longer.

Here are some drugs that usually contain sulfite preservatives, namely:

  • EpiPen, an injection containing the hormone epinephrine.
  • Bronchodilator to treat asthma.
  • Ointments and eye drop, for example, dexamethasone, prednisolone, or prednisolone acetate.
  • Other injecting drugs, such as EpiPen, injecting hydrocortisone, amikacin, metaraminol, gentamicin, and so on.

What are the symptoms of sulfite preservative allergy?

Not only from eggs, nuts, or meat, some foods containing sulfite also often trigger allergic reactions in the body. But indeed, when compared to other types of food allergies, sulfite preservative allergy cases are classified as less frequent.

According to the FDA, equivalent to POM in the United States, there is only 1 in 100 people who are allergic to sulfite. After a skin test, his body was found to form antibodies to sulfite preservatives.

The symptoms of this type of allergy are not always in the form of itching and redness on the skin. Reporting from Very Well Health, a number of studies have shown that around 5-10 percent of people experience symptoms of asthma that worsen after consuming foods and drinks containing sulfite.

These symptoms are wheezing (breath sounds), chest tightness, and coughing. In fact, the reaction is the same after they breathe a small amount of smoke or sulfite vapor.

According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), allergies to sulfite may cause anaphylactic shock. Although rare, it is important to know that anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Because if not, this can be fatal and lead to death. Therefore, if you have a heartbeat, dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and difficulty swallowing after exposure to sulfite preservatives, you should immediately see a doctor.

Can sulfite preservative allergies be treated?

Just like other types of allergies, it is very possible for you to overcome or even prevent sulfite preservative allergies. The key thing is to avoid foods, drinks, and drugs containing sulfite.

Yes, you must know the types of food and medicines that make you allergic. If all this time your skin often itches after eating raisins or canned fruit, you should limit the amount or even avoid these foods.

While for those of you who have asthma, be careful when choosing asthma medications. Again, this is because some asthma medications sometimes contain sulfites which can trigger allergic reactions, for example, bronchodilator drugs.

Ask your doctor for advice about asthma medications that are right for you and do not cause allergies. Even if you have to use bronchodilator drugs, choose an inhaled bronchodilator because this type of drug usually does not contain sulfite.

However, this does not mean that all people with asthma will definitely experience sulfite preservative allergies, huh! Take a skin test and other allergy checks to determine whether you also have allergies to sulfite or not.