Food intolerances have been rising, and salicylates are among the typical food intolerances. The percentage of people suffering from salicylates intolerance is unknown. However, 2-22% of adults with asthma are sensitive to salicylates.
Even though some people suffer from salicylate intolerance or sensitivity, it’s not quite as common as lactose or gluten intolerance. Similar to other food intolerances, it can be challenging to diagnose salicylate intolerance unless you get an Intolerance Test.
What is salicylates intolerance?
Salicylates are compounds in foods and products. Salicylates are derived from salicylic acid. Salicylates are naturally present in some foods, but they can also be manufactured and added to other products like food preservatives, aspirin, and toothpaste.
Salicylates, whether natural or manufactured, can cause symptoms in people suffering from intolerance. Plants that contain salicylates produce them to defend against harm, including insects, diseases, and fungi.
Salicylates intolerance or sensitivity occurs when your body cannot break down a specific chemical in the foods or drugs you consume. This often results in gastrointestinal symptoms, which can be pretty uncomfortable.
Causes of salicylates intolerance
Naturally, consuming high amongst of salicylates can cause adverse reactions. However, the body can handle small amounts of this chemical. People who don’t suffer from salicylate intolerance can comfortably eat foods with this chemical and even take an occasional aspirin for headaches without any problem.
However, if you’re suffering from salicylate intolerance, you’ll experience symptoms upon consuming these small amounts. People with salicylate intolerance have the inability to digest, metabolize, and excrete it.
Salicylate intolerance is often caused by the body overproducing leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are inflammatory mediators which have been linked to various conditions, including allergic rhinitis, asthma, anaphylaxis, interstitial lung diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Leuotrines overproduction is triggered by inhibiting cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that regulates the leukotrienes. When leukotrienes build up in the body, it results in salicylate intolerant symptoms.
Even though there aren’t definite statistics for people with salicylate intolerance, it’s more common in people with asthma. Research also shows that people with inflammatory bowel disease and allergies are likelier to have salicylate intolerance.
Salicylates intolerance symptoms
Salicylate intolerance causes symptoms that mimic those of other illnesses and which are general. These symptoms can also vary from one individual to the next, both in severity and how long they take to appear. Common salicylates intolerance symptoms include:
- Sinus infection and inflammation
- Abdominal pain
- Welling tissues
- Abdominal cramps
- Stuffy nose
- Gut inflammation
Salicylate intolerance symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on one’s ability to break down the chemical. While some people suffer from symptoms after exposure to small amounts of salicylates, others don’t, and only large quantities affect them. The amount that can affect an individual solely depends on their body’s ability to break down this chemical.
Foods that contain salicylates
There are many salicylates foods that we consume daily. However, the foods with the highest levels include vegetables, spices, and fruits. The level of salicylates found in food can vary depending on certain conditions, including the level of ripeness, growing conditions, and preparation.
Besides fruits, vegetables, and spices, other items that contain salicylates include:
- Mint-flavored toothpaste
- Shampoos and conditioners
Salicylates can seep through the skin, so you must check the products you put on your skin and see whether it’s an ingredient. The most potent source of salicylates includes aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen.
How to get a salicylates intolerance diagnosis
Suppose you think you may be suffering from an intolerance. In that case, it’s necessary to get a doctor to take tests to check for any underlying conditions or let them decide if your symptoms are due to any chronic conditions you could be suffering from.
Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease often cause symptoms that are salicylate intolerance or other food intolerances. Hence it’s best to know if you may be suffering from such. However, if you’re sure there could t be affecting you, there’s a different way to get your diagnosis.
You can access an Allergy and Intolerance Test, which will help you determine what allergies and intolerances you may be having. This test includes allergy testing because sometimes salicylate intolerance symptoms may seem similar to allergies.
If you find out you have any food allergies or intolerances, managing your lifestyle and diet will help alleviate the symptoms. The best way to deal with salicylate intolerance is to find salicylate foods your body can tolerate because living without fruits and vegetables is a little impossible. You can, however, successfully eliminate aspirin from the drugs you’re taking for headaches as it contains the highest among salicylates.
You can talk to a dietitian who will recommend fruits and vegetables that you can consume in specific amounts to prevent salicylate intolerance symptoms. Your doctor can even put you on an elimination diet. During the re-introduction period, they’ll help you build up your salicylate tolerance so you can consume most fruits and vegetables without a problem.
Salicylates are a compound naturally found in some plants. It’s also added to some medications and non-food items. While most people can tolerate salicylates, some people are extremely sensitive to these compounds and may need to restrict their consumption quantities.
Getting an Allergy and Intolerance Test will help you determine whether you have salicylates intolerance or any food intolerances and allergies. This test checks for allergies and intolerance in food and non-food items against your blood sample. So you’ll get definitive results. Once you get your results, you can discuss with your doctor or dietitian the way forward and how to plan your diet so you can manage your allergies and intolerances.