To name a few,
cornstarch or ANY thickening agent
high fructose cornstarch
modified food starches
That was all I could think of off the top of my head. I too avoid many foods but I am much healthier without them. Also, regarding medications, many include gelitan or cornstarch.
Other sulfited items to avoid:
processed foods (almost all of them)
preservatives ie: sodium metabisulfite etc. (I have found that I don't tolerate msg either though this may be specific to me)
bacon unless nitrate free (only eat small servings)
Processed meats ie: sausage, canadian bacon, ham
Most deli meat (chicken and turkey are usually safe though you have to get the ones that don't have added ingredients)
All dried fruits
corn syrup (This is in everything and will be your biggest pain! On the plus side it is bad for everyone and impairs you liver function, so your better off without it)
onions (also in tons of stuff and for me it has become the one item I wish I could still eat)
Spices (I seem to be allergic to almost everything except salt and pepper. You will have to test stuff out to figure it out)
Certain food colorings (I can never remember which ones are bad so I just don't eat any)
Pumpkin seeds (can eat small amount)
All broths (I have to make all broth from scratch as all of them either have onions or garlic, or msg)
Certain cheeses (safe: cheddar is safe, gouda, meunster) (unsafe:mozzarella (when melted it seems to be better), Brie(most of them), very aged cheeses)
Raw eggs & yolks(cooked are fine as long as you don't eat too many)
Shrimp (I have found I can't eat crab now either though not sure if this is due to sulfites? Lobster is safe for me)
Processed yogurt with added food coloring/flavors. I buy either plain yogurt or honey yogurt. There are a few vanilla yogurts that are safe if you go to whole foods or another health food store. Greek yogurt is the best, just add some frozen or fresh berries.
There is a ton more stuff, but the big ones are the sugars, onions, garlic and "preservatives".
I now eat just whole foods that I cook myself. I make my own broth, soups, sauces. I mainly use salt and pepper and then sometimes cheese for flavor. Celery is my friend too. I eat a lot of fruit. Eating out is a pain, but if you pick somewhere with whole cooked foods like steak, potatoes, vegies, or fish you should be fine. Just always ask about seasonings and sauces since they will have to be left off. Most restaurants are accommodating, and if not, you just won't go back there. Most places deserts are absolute no's though I have found a few "real" bakeries where I can eat some cakes etc.
Sometimes you just have to try something to see. Luckily for me I can usually tell pretty quickly since my tongue will tingle or I'll get a sore throat, so I can eat a little and wait about 20min to see how I will react. Of course it seems symptoms do vary a bit from person to person as well. I have both fast onset symptoms like the tongue tingling and shortness of breath, but also symptoms that show up about an hour or so later and last for 24 hours which include muscle and joint pain/stiffness. On occasion I will get an upset stomach, but that is only if I really overdid it.
Learning how to live with a sulfite allergy is a process. I've had my allergy about 5 years now and I feel like an expert with my own body. It did take a long time to get there though and lots of reading, researching and experimenting. Doctors won't be of any help to you either as they don't understand this allergy at all. They will give you a list of the basics, but have no idea that stuff like corn syrup and onions will cause reactions, so you have to learn this through your own research.
Before I was diagnosed through a skin test, I was very sick with fibromyalgia like symptoms. I had the muscle pain, joint pain, muscle twitching, irregular heart rate/PVC's, I was cold a lot in my extremities, anxiety, panic attacks, foggy brain (hard to think), tired all the time, nausea, bloody stools, crawling skin, sinus congestion, asthma like symptoms. I think even my diaphragm would cramp because I would have terrible cramp like pain at the diaphragm level around my body in a circle and it would feel like I couldn't breath at all. Sulfites affect your ATP synthesis which is the energy your cells need to work. I think this is the cause of my reactions and not the typical "allergy/histamine" reaction since benadryl has no affect at all in preventing my symptoms.
Regardless, this was a very scary and unpleasant experience to say the least. Getting diagnosed took about 6 + months and being told on more than one occasion that I was imagining it all since none of the tests showed anything wrong. Once I was diagnosed (my own idea to get an allergy skin test) and changed my diet, all of these symptoms went away. It felt like a miracle since I was starting to think I was dying and at that point dying would have been a relief.
I hope your diagnosis wasn't this traumatic, and even better that you have a mild allergy. :-) Hope some of this info was helpful as well. Good luck.
Thanks so much for this response...how helpful it is!!! You and I could be twins in what we have suffered. I recently had a severe anaphylaxis episode with a diagnosis of sulfite allergy. All of the things you mentioned I have suffered before the episode and had been mentioning to my doctor for quite some time. God bless!
I think if you read around you will find that coconut has naturally occuring sulphites.
Wow....I've figured out just in the last few days sulfites must be my problem. This comment right here...all true to the word almost. I thought it was all just Celiac. I haven't really felt any better in a year though. This HAS to be why! Thank you for this comment, much appreciated. :) ....I understand that feel like dying part and would feel easier for sure right now hahaha :/ thank you!
I have severe Sulphite reaction. Similar to your description. After reading about ways to alleviate the symptoms for years, I found out that our allergy is because our cells cannot change the Sulphites to Sulphase. We need to take a large dose of Magnesium to combat it and assist in the cellular change over to Sulphase. I take three magnesium pills immediately, and do an epsom salt foot soak - I used to be out of action for over two weeks at a time - incredibly ill. Now I can get it under control in about 5 hours. I also take charcoal pills it seems to help a lot.