Since my body first forced me to realize the extent of my glycol allergies, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about food. Not only have I replaced nearly every staple in my house, but I keep looking for convenience foods that I can have around in case of needing a quick snack, or that I can take when I travel. I go out of my way to avoid any added flavours or colours, eat organic to avoid glycols in pesticides and herbicides, and avoid commercial egg and dairy. Still I come across foods that cause allergic reactions. I’m getting a bit better at it though. What do I look for?
- No caramel, annatto, or vanilla colours or flavours
- No “natural or artificial flavours” of any kind
- Only 100% organic foods, to avoid the pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that could use glycols as a base/carrier/stabilizer
- No commercial dairy or eggs. Even if the eggs are organic, they’ve been washed with chemicals that can pass through the porous shell. Even if the milk is organic, I haven’t confirmed whether the cow’s teats could have been dipped in antiseptic solution, or the cow’s udders massaged with a lotion.
- No organic foods from China
- I have been avoiding dried fruit because I read that people with glycol allergies could have problems with fruits preserved using the sulphite process. I had a reaction to a dish containing both organic dried raisins and non-organic spices, but those spices also caused me problems another time as well, so it’s hard to blame the raisins at this time. From all the research I have done, it looks like organic dried fruits and vegetables should be free from glycols. I will be trying organic dried fruits again as soon as my life settles down a little.
- The shortest list of ingredients possible. That way if I have a reaction I am usually able to narrow down the source of the problem.
I’ve also been keeping track of when each symptom appears in relation to the foods I eat. I now know which symptoms will be the first to appear, within a few minutes of beginning to eat. If I am uncertain about a food, I take a small amount and then wait a little while to see if a reaction will develop. No matter how much I want to eat what’s in front of me, I stop eating at the first sign of an allergic reaction and evaluate what I’ve been eating.
By taking the above measures in my diet and eating habits, I have been able to calm my allerg
y symptoms, inside and out. My stomach has been functioning more normally, my scalp doesn’t get dry and itch, I don’t have indigestion, my eye swelling has disappeared, my skin has stopped falling off like mad in the shower, my sinuses are clearer, and even my rashes are reduced so that medication use is minimal. Some other notable side effects are that my skin looks smoother and more moisturized and I’ve lost six pounds (holding steady at the new weight). At this point, I can’t attribute it to anything other than the lack of propylene glycol in my diet. (See my posts about milk and eggs containing possible propylene glycol, with the link found in the list above, for information about cows and fat retention.) It’s really hard, and sometimes it means I end up going hungry longer than my family on the occasional road trip, but for the quality of life it’s been worth the sacrifice.
Have you seen any change to your health and allergies after eliminating propylene glycol from your diet? Comment below.