Salicylate Sensitivity

Salicylate Sensitivity

 

Salicylate Sensitivity

Salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants. They are produced by the plant to regulate flowering, growth, ripening and they act as a natural pesticide against fruit fly and other destructive pests, as well as limiting fungus and mould growth. Some people have a sensitivity to moderate levels of salicylates which can either be genetically predisposed, or the result of foetal exposure to pesticides and other chemical irritants. While salicylates are naturally occurring, higher than acceptable levels in some people causes them to react and salfrtsdisplay any number of physiological and psycho-behavioural symptoms such as hyperactivity and “silliness”. The symptoms can vary quite widely however, with other more common symptoms reported below:

  • Headaches and migraines and Meniere’s disease
  • Skin rashes such as hives and eczema
  • Bowel problems such as IBS, bloating, nausea and stool changes
  • Bedwetting
  • Asthma and other respiratory conditions such as runny nose, post-nasal drip, congestion
  • Behavioural problems such as ADHD symptoms, irritability and less commonly rage
  • Sleep disturbances, nightmares
  • Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • Palpitations
  • Arthritis pains

 

The levels of salicylates in fruits and vegetables is high when unripe and decreases as the fruit/vegetable ripens. They are also highest in the skin zone of fruit. Before the onset of industrial agriculture, people grew their own crops or bought them at markets when they were picked fully ripe and therefore low in salicylates. Nowadays, fruits are always picked unripe because of the decreased risk of spoilage and they are then “artificially” ripened through gassing or other means. This results in crops that are significantly higher in salicylates than they should be, which means that people are consuming higher amounts than they did even 50 years ago. They are also concentrated through drying and in sauces, pastes and powdering, while modern agricultural engineering produces crops with higher pest resistance due usually to higher salicylate content.

 

Added to this higher intake, is the addition of salicylate containing additives into processed foods, which further increases the load of salicylates on your body. Convenience foods such as cured meats, canned and dried fruits as well as sweets and cereals high in corn syrup, colours and flavours all mean that some people’s tolerance of salicylates is breached- leading to symptoms. Many medicines contain high levels of salicylates which means that managing one illness through medication often causes another to develop. Children have a smaller body volume than adults so their threshold for tolerance is much smaller leading to more obvious symptoms than in adults.

 

 

Salicylate Levels commonly found in different food groups:

GRAINS AND CEREALS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
BarleyBuckwheatOatsRice (& plain rice cereals e.g. Rice Bubbles)Rye

Wheat

Breakfast cereals that contain:

  • Fruit, nut, honey or coconut
  • Corn (e.g. cornflakes)
  • Flavouring

Polenta

 

MEATS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
All fresh meats, fish, seafood Processed and packaged meats:

  • SPAM etc.
  • Seasoned meats e.g. salami, sausages, hot dogs etc.
  • Fish canned with spices or certain oils (see below)
  • Gravy made from stock cubes or pre-packaged

 

FATS & OILS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
ButterCanola oilSunflower oilSoybean oilSafflower oil

Margarine

Ghee

Almond oilCorn oilPeanut oilCophaSesame oil

Walnut oil

Coconut oil

Olive oil

 

DAIRY & SOY PRODUCTS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
All fresh, natural dairy foods except blue cheese

  • Yoghurts
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Plain icecream

Rice milk

Goat milk

Soy milk

Tofu

Blue vein cheeseMayonnaise

 

NUTS & SEEDS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
Poppy seedsCashewsHazelnuts

Pecans

Sunflower seeds

CoconutPeanut butterPumpkin seedsSesame seedsWalnuts

Brazil nuts

Macadamia nuts

Pine nuts

Pistachios

Almonds

Peanuts

VEGETABLES

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
Asparagus (fresh)Bamboo shootsBeans (except Borlotti)

Bean Sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Chickpeas

Iceberg lettuce

Leeks

Lentils

Onion

Peas

Potato

Shallots

Swede

 

Asparagus (tinned)AlfalfaArtichokeBeetrootBroad beans

Broccoli

Capsicum

Corn

Cucumber

Chilli

Carrots

Egg plant

Endive

Most types of lettuce other than iceberg

Mushrooms

Olives

Parsnips

Pumpkin

Radish

Snow peas

Sweet Potato

Tomato & Tomato products

Turnips

Water chestnut

Watercress

Zucchini

All pickled vegetables

 

 

 

FRUITS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
Apples: only Golden DeliciousBananaPear

Lime

Nashi Pear

Papaya

Paw Paw

Tamarillo

ApplesAll dried fruitsApricotAvocadoBerries of all kinds:

  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Cherries

Citrus of all kinds:

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Mandarins
  • Lemons etc.

Currants

Dates

Grapes

Locquat

Mango

Melons of all kinds

  • Watermelon
  • Rockmelon
  • Honeydew etc.

Passionfruit

Rhubarb

Stone fruits of all kinds:

  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Prunes etc.

 

SWEETS

 

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
CocoaCarobCaramelGolden SyrupMaple syrup

White sugar

MolassesRaw sugarChewing gumFruit flavoursMost commercial jams except homemade pear

Liquorice

Mint flavoured sweets – including tea & toothpaste

 

 

SEASONINGS & TOPPINGS

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
Maple syrupSaltChivesFennelGarlic

Parsley

Shallots

Soy sauce (plain)

CorianderHorseradishMayonnaise

Most sauces

All types of spices e.g.

  • Bay leaf
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Chilli
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Cinnamom
  • Dill
  • Honey
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Mustard
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

Vegemite

Vinegar

Worcestershire sauce

 

SNACKS & BEVERAGES

Negligible – Low Moderate – High
Plain potato crisps (no flavours)Coffee PopcornChewing gumFruit flavoured snacks e.g.:

  • Fruit/nut bars
  • Gelato ice creams
  • Lollies

Fruit juices

Tea (including herbal teas and chai)

 

 

 

How can I manage a suspected salicylate sensitivity?

 

  1. Keep a food diary so that any professional helping you with your medical condition will have the ability to analyse and make appropriate changes to your diet in an experimental fashion.
  2. Avoid the foods listed on the moderate-high category in the charts above: be aware that more fruit and veg is not always better- especially if you are salicylate sensitive. We all have different levels of tolerance, so try cutting down and if that doesn’t help, do a strict elimination diet such as the Feingold diet or the FAILSAFE diet
  3. Limit fruit generally to 1-2 pieces per day maximum, make sure if having those on the higher salicylate level that they are peeled.
  4. It can take 3 weeks or so of elimination to see an effect so be patient with an elimination diet. Then try reintroducing high levels of salicylate foods to challenge the body over 48 hours and observe.
  5. In a more severe reaction, try taking some antacid powder such as ENO, which can give some temporary relief of symptoms

 

Dr. Allan can advise you of further testing and experimentation in regards to salicylate sensitivity so feel free to call the clinic and speak to him directly, or make an appointment on (02)98220588.

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