I have decided to go on an awareness crusade!
This idea has been brewing for a while, but my recent illness reignited that flame.
As anyone who has been following me knows, I suffer from a number of chemical intolerances contained in natural foods and additives. I also suffer from allergies, however it is the intolerances that cause the most distress to my health. Intolerances are notoriously hard to diagnose and many people are living with “sickness” that they cannot get diagnosed and this is where my crusade starts. I not only want people to be aware and maybe find a solution to their ongoing illness, but also make it so much easier for those of us who know their intolerances to be able avoid them more effectively.
Recently, I caught the “plague” that has brought down almost everyone I know in Sydney. The problem for me was when I had to resort to antibiotics and just kept getting sicker and more incapacitated. As I always do, when all seems too bleak to cope, I went on a research rampage to figure out what was wrong with me, only to discover that the antibiotic that was supposed to make me well, actually contained Benzoate, which, as you guessed is one of my intolerances. So essentially, I was poisoning my body and getting ridiculously ill as time went on.
So, now that I am on my third course of antibiotics (Benzoate free!) and starting to come out of the fog, it occurred to me that most people are aware of Lactose and Gluten intolerances but the majority are unaware that others exist. Yes, MSG would be a well known one, but other than MSG (621) being added to Chinese food, did you also know Glutamates also occur naturally in tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms?
So how is it that only some of the intolerances are well known and have even created a whole line of products and marketers dreams? Look at preservatives – this has started to become a whole new buzz industry. If you are buying for your child it must be “all natural”, “colour free”, “preservative free” etc. There is a whole new niche market for preservative free wines (thank you God!!) and even bottles of stuff to take out the majority of preservatives in wine (again thank you for small mercies).
That is fantastic and the more awareness the better but what about the others? Have you heard of:
?? Benzoates – it took me 4 pages of information to find that Benzoates were contained in my antibiotic – small print at the very bottom, almost an after thought. It is contained in every cough medicine I can place my hands on and even lemonade, the old wives tale, cannot be tolerated. Another interesting note, when I called up my regular doctor to advise another doctor had placed me on the antibiotic containing Benzoate, she put it through her computer that has software that is supposed to warn them of the allergy/intolerance ingredient in the drug – but it did not appear!! You have to specifically check each and every one with the Chemist and even then read the pamphlet that comes with the medication thoroughly yourself.
?? Sulphites – yep appears in many “drugs” and even dried fruits.
?? Propionates, Sorbates, Nitrates, Amines, Salicicylates
You would know about colour intolerances, particularly in children’s diets (red cordial anyone?) but did you know that Antioxidants (wonder foods) can also be on your list of intolerances?
So my mission is:
- To educate people that you could be eating things that are making you sick (yes, even really healthy foods)
- To make the other lesser known intolerance chemicals as well known as Gluten and Lactose
- Chemical numbers or chemical names be on all medicinal packaging – not just food packaging or contained in the four page leaflet that is not always provided when receiving your prescription
- To give people with ongoing and undiagnosed illness some hope or at least another avenue to investigate in their search for a “cure”. These symptoms can present themselves in so many forms. The chemicals can attack your central nervous system so symptoms can show up as migraines, chronic sinus, muscle aches, lethargy, nausea, dizziness, night sweats – separately or all together – and the list goes on.
I may not have a huge following on my blogs at this moment, but I hope with a little help from everyone spreading the word through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, plus some extra work on my behalf, that I may just get out there to at least one of the millions of people suffering as I have. Making it easier on those of us who know our intolerances but still get caught so often would be an added bonus too.