I have blogged before about my allergy to salicylates and its impact on my life but recently I have had a lot of searchs on my blog about salicyaltes so I thoguht I would blog a bit more about it.
There are a large number of different salicylates but the only one which has been proven cause allergic reactions is acetylsalic acid or commonly known as aspirin. People with asthma are more prone to being sensitive to aspirin. Other types of salicylate but not acetylsalic acid occur in food naturally. There is actually no proven research which suggest that people with aspirin sensitivity will be sensitive to salicylates naturally occuring in food as the amoutns of salicylate perday consumed in food is about 10-200mg whereas taken in medication such as aspirin there is up to 600mg of salicylic acid.
Of yet there is no research which proves that asthma control is increased when there is an exclusion of salicylate in food however individuals may find that symptoms improve and wheezing subsides especially after eating specific foods.
My personal experince of avoiding food with salicylic acid is a postive one. I think this is due to my extreme reaction when taking aspirin (anaphalxsis) therefore I find I have a very low tolerance to salicyaltes of any kind. I find when my asthma is well controlled I can tolerate certain amounts of salicylate on odd ocasions and can eat things such as a chinese meal from a restaurant however I will have adverse reactions afterwards such as flushing in my face and neck, wheezing, coughing and a productive cough. I find if I am having a very symptomatic day with my asthma I have to avoid all salicylates even food with low amounts.
There are foods which even on good asthma days I have to avoid such as nuts, tomatoes, herbs and spices.
At first the diet was very difficult as I ahve always been someone who loves all food except potatoes (I have never liked them!!!). i used to eat everything and had a very large appetite. I was also very lucky I could eat what I liked and not worry about weight. As i reaped the benfits fromt he diet I found it easier to stick to. I find everything in moderation works well and on good days I do indulge myself a little but this is very rare and I suffer afterwards. I ahve been on the diet for about 6 years now and find it quite easy. The main bit I still struggle with is the things salicylates are in that you wouldnt think. Things like bonjela for mouth ulcers, or face cream and make up (although I have to admit I am not one to wear makeup but the odd ocasion I guess I do!!).
I am looking into doing research possibly amoung people with asthma who follow the salicylate free diet and to see what their experinces are as not many people follow it and there is no research to prove or disprove its effectiveness only personal experience.