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This one ingredient found in common foods, drinks and alcoholic beverages could be the reason for sudden bursts of Endometriosis pain.

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I went out a couple of nights ago to celebrate the Rugby – of course! It was awesome that New Zealand won! Very exciting stuff…. anyways naturally I had to celebrate and decided to have a few cocktails. Now, normally I know that if I want to have anything alcoholic that I should stick to pure spirits, like Vodka and simply add a mixer like cranberry juice or lemonade. Well, they had a special on cocktails, so I thought why not? When the cocktails came out, they had a foamy head and they were very sweet and tasty. So, I had 3! Yes, three!

Initially, I had that old feeling of being tipsy which was quite nice. – I had almost forgotten since I haven’t really drunk much in the last 8months……then after about an hour, it started. It was a dull ache at first and I thought maybe I just need to go to the toilet. So, off I went to the toilet to relieve anything that needed to come out. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to do anything at all.Β  The dull ache continued and it seemed to be building in intensity. It was now dominating my whole lower abdomen and it felt like a pulsating wrenching kinda pain. I hadn’t experienced this kind of pain with Endometriosis for years. It was scary.

Nasty thought started running through my head…. you know the type: panic thoughts. I started to stress about what was going on. Maybe all this work hadn’t really done anything at all and my endo was back, stronger and meaner than it was before! Maybe, it was trying to tell me something…. well it was…..

It was only this morning that I began to realise what the trigger of the pain could be. It lasted most of the morning and only subsided by late afternoon, yesterday. I took it easy for the day and spent most of the afternoon lazing in the bath – making sure I was super warm in the process.

Okay, so what caused this dramatic on-surge of pain? They are called sulphites. They are designed to keep foods, drinks and alcoholic beverages from spoiling – they are a type of preservative. You find them in 90% of wines – especially the cheaper variety. On food labels they would be the number 220-228. Now, when I actually thought about last night and the cocktails…. I realised they were being contained in a large flask behind the bar. It was a huge long plastic tube with a nozzle at the end. Logically, they would need some serious preservative to keep the cocktails from going off. Never mind all the other strange ingredient probably found in those cocktails πŸ™

Thing is, not all of us are aware of how these sulphites can cause such a dramatic instant pain reaction. I never was until I met a girl who had figured it out – Alex :). She spent weeks examining all the foods she ate and what was stated in the ingredients list. Eventually, she figured out that the same preservative made her sore.

This preservative is found in so many things! Wine, sweets, jams and all sorts of foods you would probably not even suspect. Now, for some of us we may not even have a reaction at all or it may not be instantly obvious. I had that with wine. I never noticed it so much. I could have a glass of wine and feel fine on the night but then I would feel absolutely lousy the following day. I used to put it down to just alcohol being bad for me. Which is of course true but one glass? Then I tried drinking vodka with cranberry or a pure spirit drink and guess what??? no bad morning or reaction.

When I was younger I would drink the really cheap casket wine and I would get this whole itchy throat thing and feel like I couldn’t breathe. My chest and neck would also go really red. I didn’t know it at the time but this was a reaction from my body against the sulphites in the wine.

It is funny because Endo does have some unexplained moments to cause us pain and sometimes it may seem like it is unjustified or sudden. This could explain why you have had pain in the past with no explanation. Now, you can imagine if you were unaware of these nasty sulphites and they are in the food you currently eat, how you could be in permanent pain. Imagine eating a jam which contained sulphites for breakfast each morning and not being aware that the bought of pain could be so easily banished, by simply buying a different brand of jam!

So, if you get sudden bouts of pain and you feel there is no other justification for it… perhaps check what you ate or drank just before it started and read the ingredients list! You may find it is the sulphites preserving the food that are the problem πŸ™‚

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Melissa

    That is soooo awesome Alex! I am so incredibly happy to hear that πŸ™‚ I am sorry to hear of your struggles in the hospital – again! Feel free to email me with any questions πŸ™‚
    It is only natural – ha ha!

    Living in Queenstown now – it is awesome!

  2. Alex

    Hi Melissa,

    Aha those naughty sulphites!.. I am so glad you are still spreading the message πŸ™‚

    Recently I have had another crazy CRAZY time with my health, just had another laparoscopy! and an awful time in hospital.

    I have come a full circle and I am now convinced that natural is the only way to go for me…I have totally exhausted the medical model and now that I have accepted that I feel SO SO much more positive. So I guess i’ll be seeing you on here more often. Funny how we have to reach these decisions in our own time hey?

    Hope you are well

  3. Melissa

    Hi Sarai and welcome back πŸ™‚ Missed ya!
    Glad to hear you are doing a juice cleanse. Sometimes pain is the biggest motivator for change!
    Sulfites are listed on products here in New Zealand so they probably are there too. They are the numbers 220-228 which are listed as preservatives. I am sorry to hear you are in pain sweetie! I hope it gets better for you. Let me know how you are going πŸ™‚ hugs

  4. Sarai

    do sulfites have to listed on labels??

    finally am doing a juice cleanse melissa, it has been two years in pain and I am just now getting the will power and finding my flow. Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Melissa

    Hi Nadia and welcome! Beer has gluten in it, which could explain the bloating. I figured having Vodka with Cranberry Juice somehow makes it okay – hey it has something good in it πŸ™‚

  6. Nadia

    Great information! I like to enjoy a glass of wine here and there and undoubtedly feel pain afterwards. It’s true…sometimes you want to enjoy a celebration…but with that type of pain a fun event can turn ugly, fast!
    I appreciate the info on pure spirits as well. I seem to have terrible bloating with beer…but no pain. Can this be endo related?


  7. Melissa

    Hi Christine and welcome to my blog πŸ™‚
    There are very few foods that would cause such an instant pain reaction – the sulphite reaction is more like an allergic reaction than a food reaction. A food reaction would usually cause other symptoms along with the pain or prior to pain – like nausea, headaches, bloating, digestive issues etc. The biggest give away would have to be the time factor – how instant the pain is. If you are not sure if a certain food is causing a reaction, get your daughter to eat nothing but rice and steamed vegetables for a couple of weeks. Then test the foods you are concerned about and the body will tell you if there is a problem.
    Food plays a massive role in how we feel with Endometriosis. It all relates to our liver and providing the body with the right tools to heal. Put your daughter on a liver focused diet and she will feel instantly better. Also, Maca really helps πŸ™‚

  8. Christine

    Hello. Just wondering how you know that the response to ingesting sulphites is causing endo pain rather than pain in the bowel as it passes through. I am trying to work out whether food is having any effect on my daughter’s endometriosis pain and progress and how it could. Appreciate an opinion, thank you.

  9. Melissa

    For sure πŸ™‚
    Totally true – never thought about the sugar! I still avoid it like anything but there are just some moments when you kinda wanna celebrate!

  10. Hannah

    So interesting! I will look out for these sneaky sulphites and see how they affect me. Maybe the cocktails also had a big sugary hit that you wouldn’t have been used to as well? I haven’t had any alcohol for about 5 months and I am kind of scared to have it again, good to hear your advice on the pure spirits being the best bet. Oh – and of course, the best rugby result!!

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I'm Melissa

Sick of dealing with endometriosis and ready to move forward?

I empower women toΒ stop feeling like a victim to their endometriosis and find empowering ways to reduceΒ pain & symptoms.Β 



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