In 1997 at age 19, I developed an itchy, burning rash under my nose.  For the next six years, I went to doctors, naturopaths, homoeopaths, meditation and relaxation. Nothing worked and no-one could tell me why it was there and what it was.  In 2001 I gave up smoking and went through a lot in my life while living overseas and in 6 months went from 55kg to 72 kg.  I started getting bowel problems (flatulence, constipation, cramps and diarrhoea) and no matter what I tried I
could not lose the weight.

By the end of 2003 I had moved back to Australia and was on a wheat-free diet. My rash went away but I was still having bowel problems and irritability. Sometimes I would buckle over in so much pain I couldn’t walk, have terrible wind and then diarrhoea. I always needed to be near a toilet. That is when I went on the elimination diet and found that I was incredibly sensitive to sulphites and that the cramps and diarrhoea were from sulphites. The bad wind was caused by amines, and artificial antioxidants were a mixture of the two.  My rash is staying away too. I am also back down to 55kg after coming back to Australia, going off wheat but also enjoying the active Australian lifestyle.  I can now eat wheat as long as it has no preservatives - maybe it was never wheat that was the problem!

I am now only just on the other side of finishing the diet and am trying to come to terms with what I can and cannot eat. I have been trying no added preservative wine, which is a lot better, but I still sometimes have a bit of a reaction. I am very sad about Amines, I love chocolate and I can't eat much at all, same with cheese. I just know that it is not worth having sulphites because the reaction is too bad. My family have now begun to take out additives in their diets too after hearing from me just how bad they are. It gets confusing talking about natural food chemicals and chemicals to other people, but eventually they understand. – by email