I am a 55-year-old woman who recently worked out for myself that I have a muscle spasms as a strong reaction to 220 (sulphites) and minor reactions to others which I haven't identified yet. The muscle spasms are usually in the limbs and are worst when I sleep. I am a very fit and active person, so when I finally sit in front of the TV after tea and relax, this is when I feel the spasms. When mild it is usually any one muscle at a time in my legs and usually every 30 seconds. The affected muscle tightens or twitches and can occasionally jolt my leg or finger etc. When I have a worst reaction during the night, again it is like a tightening of, possibly, a muscle in my chest, or hip, or shoulder, head etc. When it is in the chest, some times it actually knocks the breath out of me as I awake with a jolt. Have you ever had the electrical impulses on your body when you are at the physiotherapist and a muscle tightens - that is how I feel. Sometimes of a night I feel as if I have a "motor" running in my chest or sometimes my head (sounds crazy doesn't it!) I can also quite often get a tingling (or motor sensation) feeling down my legs.

I went to four doctors last year and not one knew what was wrong, with one referring me to a neurologist. I become hyperactive in the evening – full of energy when everyone else is wanting to go to sleep - and have constant insomnia. When I am at my worst my muscle spasms (during sleep) wake me every few minutes and I experience hallucinations or bad dreams. Strong sleeping tablets don't eliminate these muscle spasms. It wasn't until I realised the 220 preservatives were in the "healthy" foods: dried apricots, sultanas, most yoghurts - that I was able to get my health back into order. It took me nearly a year to work out what was wrong with me.  Since watching my diet I am sleeping so well it is unbelievable; I haven't slept like this for possibly 7 years and only have mild muscle spasms resulting in bad sleeps occasionally when I'm not aware of the preservative in the food. I guess I am still finding it hard to check everything before eating!!

The last 12 months have been very scary for me when I didn't know what was wrong - I feel so strongly for our children who also must be suffering and unable to communicate how their body feels. - by email, Victoria.