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Salicylates – what are they and are you intolerant?

Salicylates – what are they and are you intolerant

Salicylates are chemicals that have salicylic acid as a base. This acid is natural and is found in a variety of plants. It is usually used by these plants as a defence system to fight off diseases, bacteria, and insects. However, it is also made synthetically and used in a variety of products such as aspirin as well as household cleaners and beauty products.

Some people have an intolerance to salicylates, which is not completely understood, therefore sometimes misdiagnosed. An intolerance is more common in adults but children can still have an intolerance. Foods that contain salicylates may cause an intolerance. The number of salicylates will most likely determine whether or not symptoms are present as most people who suffer from an intolerance can actually tolerate a small amount.

Salicylates issues – symptoms

Some of the symptoms that may be experienced when you are suffering from an intolerance can include asthma, hives, inflammation of the large intestine (causing abdominal pain, diarrhoea), fever, and sinus inflammation or infection. These symptoms can easily be mistaken for allergy of any kind so it often becomes misdiagnosed. Intolerance may cause other health issues in the digestive system such as inflammatory bowel disease. You may find that you are also more prone to other food allergies. Salicylate intolerance has been known to be more common in adults with asthma. People with asthma need to be careful. Although it is unknown why salicylates affect asthma just one dose of a pain reliever that contains salicylates can lead to a person to losing consciousness and stop breathing in severe cases.

What increases sensitivity?

Foods that contain salicylates include fruits, vegetables, and spices. These have reported to have the highest levels however the levels of salicylates in each food varies. Other sources of salicylates include health and beauty products such as conditioners, house cleaning products, exfoliants, fragrances, and anti-dandruff or acne products. On the other hand, cereals, fish, dairy and meat products have little to no salicylates.

What to do

There are ways that salicylates intolerance can be treated. Adults may want to try a low-salicylate diet to get these out of their system. Some of these are avoiding certain medications such as aspirin and making the switch to beauty products and household cleaners with no salicylates in them. Some cases may require treatment with other medication such as steroids, or in some cases surgery. Another treatment is desensitisation, which requires the patient to take daily doses of acetyl salicylate which is slowly increased over time.

If you are having health and immunity issues it’s a good idea to contact your natural practitioner to find out your food and environmental sensitivities. There are tests that can be done and once you know certain remedies, supplements and appropriate diet that can be applied to help you overcome all those uncomfortable symptoms of a sensitivity or an allergy. Remember also that a lot of health issues begin in the gut so it is essential to take your prebiotics and probiotics for good gut health. Check out this article on how to do that and why not call your practitioner today to find out what else you can do? https://www.wellbeing.com.au/body/nutrition/probiotics-prebiotics-essential-wellbeing.html



Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website.