My triggers

Infection - give me lots of symptoms as I get ill and when I am recovering

Examples - more flushing , itching, waking wheezy.had me in A&E many times .


It seems that when my immune system has a proper job to do, it stops picking on me for a while .


In the context of compliment being activaed by bacteria and other bugs . The symptoms when becoming ill are understandable . As this produces anaphlatoxins and mast cells being split open by the membrane attack complex .


As I am recovering antibodies are availble-having taken time to be made - which couple with compliment bringing asecnd round of compliment activity, mast cell opening and anaphlatoxins-3a and 5a which open mast cells through their own receptors


I know I have an infection because I have more symptoms - from this point I need antibotics in and working within 48 hours -otherwise I have anaphylaxis.


Antibiotics in the mycin group are a no .Also cpasules and corn flour . I thought all antibiotics were a problem but now I have kiddie preperation I am ok with some .


The known problem ones bother me - erythromycin -yrs ago


made my tounge swell . gentamycin =anaphylaxis (before I knew this )


A brewing abcess had me having anaphylaxis weekly -3 bofore it was found and 3 after . i had premedication for the operation to drain it.


So how does this apply to a real person ?

My triggers are - with some practical observations

Emotional Stress- causes serious major symptoms up to anaphylaxus, fast anaphylaxis  


More general life stress - increased symptoms - i can feel this as sudden anxiety-when Im not worried about anything , or any of my symptoms .


-This can be immediate or delayed for up to 48hours .

Stress generally stirs up my bucket-causing increased symptoms in the days of stress and up to aweek after .I am also more likley to react to other triggers.


Physical and emotional stress in high levels in common just prior to sysmptoms emerging for the first time.The reason is not known currently


Any operations or invasive procedures can cuase increased symptoms and we should be premedicated-see medicines


Exercise - swelling up to anaphylaxis


Exercise is known to cuase anaphylaxis either alone or after food .


Mast cells are in connective tissues so excercise makes then open directly .


This can be that no exercise is tolerated in bad cases .In many they can mange gentle exercise but this must be done within the individuals personal limits.This can be very very hard when so much feels taken away by the condition. before anaphylaxis -warming up for abiggie excericse wont be tolerated. After recovery time varies.But understanding that the lungs swell, constrict and fill with fluid in anaphylaxis - recovery time is needed . Patience. If the person does exercie when unwell or having more symptoms it will worsten sypmtoms up to anaphylaxis in some .


I am at the extreme end and can't do very much at all and so use awheelchair now for more than transfering.

Caramel colouring - flushing quickly to anaphylaxis

I only need a very small amount of this to cause symptoms .E150A,B,C,D . b and D contain sulphites . E160 a -Annetto also

But i aviod all of them religiously

Corn flour - bowel cramps, mouth swelling up to full symptoms


Corn flour is in a.number of foods and personal care products.Its used as thickener for sauces-gravy , custards , dips, low fat yougarts .It gives me agonizing bowel cramps, diarrhoea ,vomiting and as the histamine reaches other parts of my body full symptoms .


Pesseries and medical creams and most tablets contain corn flour -miaze starch, maize four, modifed maize starch . The corn is soaked in sulphite for processing and the flour is bleached with it. But this is not labelled


Gelatin - wheeziness up to anaphylaxis

Geltin is in most capsules, thickener for many products . It makes me wheezy and short of breath within 5 minutes . Up to full anaphylaxis ( from a pork pie ). All geltine has this effect .


In capsules the effects build over 48 hours


Hormones - wheezy and swelling and flushing mid month and when I am due on when anaphylaxis is common.


Anaphylaxis related to periods is called catemenial anaphylaxis .In most of us monthly horomone fluctuation cause increased symptoms. For me this is waking itching and wheezy, havinf low oxygen dreams .

This can lead to full anaphylaxis

Alcohol - flushing, heart racing up to anaphylaxis


Vinegar - bowel cramps, flushing, vomiting -then onto whole body symptoms as the histamine from the bowel travels


Affect me in foods and personal care products -deoderants  and cleaning products.Alochol fumes will have me itchy and wheezy . .Cleaning product fumes are often alohol and vinigar based 2 supermarkets use something to clean with which makes my skin flush when close to the vapour .


From personal care products - mousiturisers inc prescription creams, pesseries -I get constant symptoms as it is slowly absorbed into my body . This makes me -ripe to go off-to other triggers.


Shampoos/deoderants give me flushing as the touch me and itchiness. followed quickly by drop of voice.If i wash it off and have some antihistamines it mainly settles .


Inhaled from drinks /bottles in the room


Malt-o dextrin/dextran , maltilol and a sulphamine K . Malt o dextran causes breathing symptoms for me like asthma .maltilil causes bowel symptoms and a sulphamine K = majotr bowel symptoms with ongoing symptoms from traveling histamine-flushing,shortness of breath.

CT contrast - FULL anaphylaxis the worst I have had ;-(


I had 2 lots of CT contrast the first made me itchy.The seond gave me an anaphylaxis which lasted 10hours.I was very very unwell . If a scan with contrast or angiogram is needed it should be an MRI with contrast and you should be premedicated .( discussion regards angiogram .


It is the contrast not  the CT itself which is a problem .


Iodine in any product also gives me problems .i can only use one branof sea salt and can't have skin cleaning or dressings with ididone in them .


Sulphites - I have a naughty list which is exhaustive for sulphites - varying symptoms up tp anaphylaxis


See further down for full suphites avoids .

I had random symptoms for years which I now suspect to be sulphites. esp toffee bon bons, popcorn (has since given me anaphylaxis ) mcdonalds breakfast -suddenly dizzy and swollen face  (c0ntains sulphites ) . Many of my reactions have had sulphites present and clearing my diet and meds of them has helped me significantly

Especially my bowel which was permenatly swollen  and agony.with searing pains in my bottom and then right upper side pain which bought tears every time I went to the toilet -10 x a day fromy bowel .


The resulting histamine and other mast cell contents then traveled and caused me symptoms elsewere - short of breath++, fast heart ++ and dizzy. My feet were burning all the time.I thought this was due to diabetes emerging.But it wasnt.It was the sulphites and if I have even atiny bit my feet burn.them I am exhuasted-can't hold my head up and on from there


Cleaning products ( all bar simple disinfectant ) - breathing problems up to full anaphyalxis


Cleaning products are both fumes and actual product related . Due to aprocess of elimination due to direct reactions I am now down to one simple detergent and washing up liquid for home cleaning.I can't use these products myself but i tolerate being close to them .


Cream cleaner makes my tounge swell

Evans products make me dizzy and pale and need to lie down .

Any sparay kitchen and bathroom cleaners are a no

Any floor cleaners are a no

Sodium leureth sulpahte (SLS)  in personal care products, Alcohol , Vinigar - itching up to full symptoms esp if inhaled .


I thought everyone itched after bathing and they brushed their teeth,I just ddnt think to ask .


In oct07,I had an asthmatic reaction after I got out of abth with bubble bath in .In summer  08. I was getting very short of breath in the shower . New year 08-09 I had avery itchy mouth after brushing my teeth. So I worked out SLS was auniversal ingredient-the foaming agent -so i got rid of it and my mouth nolonger itches ir my hair ( which now seems silly ) but it helped me remove a trigger

BBQ's - fumes from fuel and food - ihaled giving breathing probs, itching to full anaphylaxis

Paints- swelling in my mouth, low BP ,pass out


I had reaction to sulphite rich foods cooking and itching and wheezing to a BBQ . I also had areaction in aDIY store - went dizzy,pale, then confussed and shouting then went all spaced out .Recaently a door was being painted with gloss paint and I went very itchy, hot +++ then flushed .

Friction of clothing and rubbing skin -while washing and drying myself , gums with toothbrush or down below causes swelling, flushing and confussion/word finding difficulties .


Cotton clothing/breathable fabrics help reduce heat at the skin surface .


Womens snaitary towels and tampons can cause issues with friction and what the towel/tampon is made from and the production process.I can only use one brand of sanitary towels


Heat - Swelling ,flush up to full symptoms


heat has given me full symptoms -it -tends to case swelling increasing over several hours finally leading to airway swelling and low blood pressure . My abdomen and down below are noticalbly swollen quickly  .


I sit under afan 24/7 to protect me as much as possible.On hot days even 2 fans isnt enough and I go light headed, fast pulse, exhuasted and sleeping until it cools down .


I have to shower in cool water to prevent my temperture increasing


If I have an infection with a fever or addissions crisi this tempertre increase will trigger me


Diesel Fumes - feeling sick, hot++++ flushed up to full symptoms , there is alot of reaserch backing up dieael fumes as mast cell activators .Worst on hot days  / on streets with more than one petrol station.But i can't get out of the car at a petrol station without getting symptoms.


One occasion I was ona street with abrewery, and 2 petrol staions and I was quickly flushed and vomiting


Direct sunlight - dizziness within 5 minutes


This doesnt seem to be heat related it is pure direct sunlight will make me dizzy and I need to get inside away from it .

Air fresheners - itching, breathing probs .

I know an air freshener is present before I see it. My lips itch as I inhale it . Spray ones are worst for me, than car ones .But all will give some symptoms .This can be up to full anaphylaxis

My naughty list continued to grow -then it came to a natural lul . Then only accidnets or my condition doing something completely new would put something on the list .


between knowing my triiger so avoiding-were I can -and the right med mix for me .I have gone from shocking every 2 weeks to havinga 5 month gap ;-) .


My diagnosis is idiopathic - weve tested for everything we know of and we don't know .But I have hope in my back pocket of new medical discoveries which will improve things further for me .

Fatigue -both triggers me and if it comes on suddenly,completey is asymptom as well . I get to the point I cna't hold my head up, hold amobile or adrink ,everything aches with pain in certain areas .

Pain is a trigger -in me it causes shaking of my legs and inabaility to take adeep breath in.if my painkillers wear off and I get pain,It can trigger other symptoms up to breathing problems .I have had my chest listned to in this situation and I go wheezy suddenly

My Naughty list

Foods -ah relationship with food has changed .beyond all recognition .

My attitude to preservatives is it would atke me longer to rot when i die and allergy was the preserve of the slightly precious middle class parent -the may contain nuts brigade . i dont think that now .Intolerneces in children are huge worry for parents but education is key to establishing what is intolerence and easily sorted and what is anaphylaxis .Allergies themselves are complex to diagnose so lack of information can be very worrying for parents


Below is my naughty list and triggers list I carry . It delails every known trigger for foods and drugs . All of these have been worked out the hard way - reactions up to anaphylaxis .


I hope it will aid you in working out yours



Sulphites E220 -228 (EU )


Wine , Cider , martini , larger , beer


Popcorn , many sweets ;-( , toffee bob bons , toffee in general


Fruit Juice - especially from concentrate. Has  citric acid and sulphur dioxide in also




Fruit squash


Cooking sauces - white wine sauces


 Malt vinegar,


Sausage rolls - poorly labelled batch got me , now on anaphylaxis campaign web site from other subscriber


Garlic bread . ( variably labelled ). Pizza dough .




Corn products - oil , corn starch ,

Horseradish , mint ,

apple sauce, mustard,

brown sauce

Jams and marmalades


reacted to in combination


Grapes - naturally high in sulphites , fertiliser contains sulphites , transported with sulphite for freshness. ( unlabeled)


Bananas - sulphur dioxide used to mature bananas for sale (unlabeled)


All types of vinegar - sprit ,  distilled malt , balsamic , white wine , cider , rice .( some labelled )


Raw young garlic


Teas - instant and pre- prepared .


Milk - skimmed or semi skimmed with added vegetable oil - UHT ( unlabeled )


other meat products  - inc


Pies and pasties - Maltodextran , pastry improver , in meat or vege prior to processing (unlabeled


Breads , baguettes in particular , dough improver - breads , all kinds esp. baguettes , bread sticks  ,


Salads - for colour ( variably labelled )


Anything containing - corn starch , maize starch - soups , custards , gravies , dried mixes for meals , cakes , skips ,                                                              

Corn oil - crisp and dry , vegetable oil , maize oil


Symptoms experienced

Inhaled -  bright red rash all over , blocked nose , mouth , throat swelling , lungs fill with fluid,  voice goes airways close .


Eaten -  dose dependant - itchy body , mouth, throat swelling , lungs fill with fluid , voice goes ,  throat closes, Anaphylaxis


Cakes and bakery products -  mince pies , fruit pies , Christmas cake , Christmas pudding , Danishes ( fruit) ( variably labelled


Dried fruits , apricots , raisins , sultanas - cereal containing dried fruits ( variably labelled )


Fruit jellies  - Jaffa cakes  - gelatine and fruit juice concentrates ( variably labelled           desiccated coconut


Dried products - vegetables , garlic , stock cubes , soups . carrot


Dried pasta , noodles - sulphite used to soften grain for processing ( unlabeled )  ,


Fresh pasta - due to filling ( variably labelled


Syrups - maple ,  and custards ( poorly labelled )


Potato - instant mash , dehydrated , crisps , potato starches


 Potatoes- frozen - chips / fries , pre packaged, pre cooked , peeled . HOT CHIPS


Meat , vege , apples  - preserved in sulphite prior or after processing


Cheeses - the longer matured the more the sulphites ( unlabeled


Gelatine - skin soaked in sulphite to soften - found in :- yoguarts, Jaffa cakes , jellys , custards ,


Note connection to ECG tabs


Crustaceans - prawns  - 30ppm sulphite allowed , frozen , cooked or f,resh  


shrimps , crab , lobster - put on to preserve colour on boat


Variably labeled


Some fresh fish for colour  - salmon


Fishmongers should have sign up


Sulphite avoids

E150 b       E150d


Caramel colouring -  anything dark brown Malt loaf    


Malt cereal




Cola of any brand


Mars bars


Soy sauce , brown sauce


Stock cubes - ammonia caramel


Eaten - dose dependant - large volume - itching all over inc mouth . Lungs tighten , throat swells , lungs fill with fluid , throat closes .




Small volume - wheezy in chest , local reaction ( in throat) , can be cumulative with other allergens




Vinegar of any description ,  in its own right


( contains sulphites )


Pizza bases


horseradish sauce




apple sauce , mint sauce


sandwich spread , mayonnaise , salad cream - coleslaw , potatoes salad


Tomatoes ketchup , brown sauce Soy sauce -  



Domestic cleaning products and personal care products


Many cooking sauces , curry and sweet and sour ,


 Breads - French breads / baguettes in particular




Skin - local irritation


Inhaled - mouth itchy , throat itchy


Eaten - delay if in a food - upto 3 hrs - itchy initially , lungs fill with fluid and tighten , throat swells ,  stridor noise , voice goes throat closes




Within 1 hr - loose stools , bowel spasms ++++


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