Thursday, February 2, 2017

I reacted to what?

I'm posting this one as a sort of 'pay it forward' post, because a post like this started me down the path to figuring out some of my own issues. So this is for all the people who are still struggling and searching, and who would swear that they are reacting to water, or to salt. Or that it feels like they are allergic to water or salt, sometimes.

I'm here to tell you that you are not losing your mind. It is entirely possible to react to water or salt. Or rather, it's possible to react to water, or to contaminants present in water and salt due to our current processing.

I'm just going to give some quick examples, that folks are welcome to go and check out for themselves.

1. Allergic to water - a condition called Aquagenic urticaria presents like being allergic to water. This is a rare condition where a person can break out in hives or a rash on contact with water. Again, very rare, and presents enormous difficulty in getting through the day, as one can imagine. ( )

2. Allergic to water, but not really - Aside from the urticaria, in my experience reactions to something IN the water seems to be an issue.
- Reactions to a brand of water -
--this is usually due to something the company adds. Sulfites, minerals, an antibacterial or anti-fungal agent. Dasani brand is one that many sulfite sensitive folks have trouble with, for example.

- Reactions to water at home -
--municipalities can add substances to water that some folks react to. Chlorine is one, sulfites can be one.
--There can also be contaminants from substances in filters used on water at home. Coconut was commonly used for carbon filters for a while (I am unsure if it still is), corn can be an issue, and I know some who react badly to gluten who have said that a certain brand of filter was a problem, even.
--Water softening agents can also be a problem, especially for those who have problems with citric acid or corn.
-- temperature of water - some people can have something similar to aquagenic urticaria except to cold or heat, so the temperature of the water is the problem, not the water itself. Also, some folks with mast cell activation disorders can have a temperature trigger that causes the same issue.

2. Allergic to salt, but not really - To my knowledge, there is no allergy to salt. However, the following are difficulties that can occur (and have, in some cases I know of).

- Sulfite sensitivity
--sulfites can be used to bleach salt to the well known white color. So folks with a serious sulfite sensitivity can react to the majority of salt they try.  Salt that is not bleached can often be consumed safely, typically sea salt. But it's important to remember that sea salt isn't typically iodine fortified and so that nutrient would have to be monitored more carefully in the diet.

- corn allergy -
--iodized salt has corn to help stabilize the iodine so it digested properly, so corn allergic folks often react to iodized salt.

- contaminants from other products made in the same factory-
--This could be an issue if, say, seasoned salts might be made in the same area, or on the same line (it would be rare to find one processed on the same line, however).

This is not a list of all the possibilities, but just a few examples for those folks who, like myself, find themselves reacting to salt, or to water. You're not crazy. You're not alone. *hugs*

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