Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Allergy Sulfites Overview

Another name for Allergy Sulfites is Sulfite Sensitivity.

What is sulfite sensitivity?
A person with sulfite sensitivity has an allergy to sulfites, which are natural substances that contain sulfur. Sulfites are used as preservatives or flavor enhancers in foods and medications. Sulfites can be found in beer and wine, where they can occur naturally during fermentation. Sulfites have been banned from most fresh foods, but may be added to preserve processed foods.

What are the symptoms of sulfite sensitivity?
Common symptoms of sulfite sensitivity include hives, eye redness, itching, diarrhea, nasal congestion, and runny nose. Symptoms of severe sulfite sensitivity include difficulty breathing, facial swelling, mouth or tongue swelling, or severe hives.

How does the doctor treat sulfite sensitivity?
Treatment for sulfite sensitivity includes avoiding foods that contain sulfites. Additional treatment includes oral antihistamine medications or oral corticosteroid medications.

Continue to Allergy Sulfites Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Allergy Sulfites References
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  2. Atkinson TP, Kaliner MA: Anaphylaxis. Med Clin North Am 1992 Jul; 76(4): 841-55. [1614236]
  3. Busse WW: Mechanisms and advances in allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000 Jun; 105(6 Pt 2): S593-8. [10856163]
  4. Nimmagadda SR, Evans R 3rd: Allergy: etiology and epidemiology. Pediatr Rev 1999 Apr; 20(4): 111-5. [10208083]
  5. Reisman RE: Insect stings. N Engl J Med 1994 Aug 25; 331(8): 523-7. [8041420]
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