Subject: phosphate intolerance
This report was submitted by Julie, from the US:
First, let me tell you: thank you for taking me seriously!
Thanks for your web site. I discovered, by myself, slowly, that I'm intolerant to phosphates. I've eliminated them as best I can, but it is nearly impossible to avoid them 100%, as even with home cooking they are added to more and more foods, like flour, cream, etc...
I suspect they are added to dehydrated onions, too, as well as yeast, but it's not on the labels.
My health has improved dramatically since I have made a strict effort to avoid phospates, but not completely. I used to have very clear skin, but my face is usually covered in red "bites", much like acne, which I never had. I suspected that lecithin was the culprit, and I see it listed on your page as something to avoid.
I don't have my severe reaction to naturally occuring phosphates, just the added ones. Could you please tell me more about why lecithin is probably the culprit to my skin rash/breakouts?
I also have begun to believe that many of the diseases we are seeing a rise in, like osteoporosis and ADD are a direct result of the toxins added to our food. I pretty much am afraid to eat things anymore unless I've prepared them and I know exactly what's in them- it makes me feel very neurotic, especially since I've never had an allergy or intolerance to anything, ever, and before becoming intolerant to phosphates was only sick about twice in my whole life!
I came across your site as I was looking online for how the body digests phosphates from food, especially the added ones. I'm trying to figure out a way to offset it, like lactose intolerant people who can take lactase. Calcium supplements do seem to make it slightly less bad... I want to figure out what Phospate (P) binds most readily to, and perhaps I could safely take a supplement of it to bind with the P and not get so sick all the time.
I get much sicker than just a skin rash if I ingest added phosphates- I get really bloated, sharp stabbing pains in my gut, headaches, and it coming out both ends simultaneously. My symptoms vary depending on which version of the phosphate additives I eat. Sometimes I get undigested food in the toilet, with grease floating on top of the water. Ewwww!!!!! TSP is the worst, that's a 72 hour delay with a week of explosive @!#$!%. The others, like DiCalcium Phospate, affect me about 7-9 hours after I eat them, I get the runs about once and I'm bloated for a few days, with "acne" on my face showing up as much as a week later. Movie theatre popcorn "butter" is still a mystery to me- I start vomiting about 5 minutes after I eat it. I have no idea what's in it that I react to. Plain popcorn is fine, no problems. Johnsonville Bratwurst, *was* so yummy, will make me throw up all night long. No idea on that one either, nothing suspect on the ingredient label. Maybe it's in the packaging juice? No clue! Dehydrated onions also seem to be covered in phosphate, I'm not sure. So no tomato sauce in cans from the grocery store. Yup, it's in there. And I'm afraid of anything that says "natural flavors" or "spices" on the label. For the last decade I worried I'd either get osteoporosis or colon cancer from being sick all the time. (I suspect that the pharmacuetical companies know all this, and they make us sick enough to treat us. The same company heads make our food, "regulate" it, and then make the medicines to treat the diseases we get from eating it. Maybe I'm being completely paranoid, but obesity, osteoporosis and a host of other diseases are skyrocketing, and I can't help but draw these conclusions).
I remember the start of when I got really, really sick, it was Memorial Day, 1998. (I was born in 1965). I got sick literally overnight! (Well- three days later). We had take-out chicken, which I have eaten lots of times before. I got a little nauseous about ten minutes after I ate it and then three days later I thought I had food poisoning. I usually cook at home, and am pretty careful and clean, so I thought it was the take out chicken that made me so sick. (I kept on eating foods I always had, and started to get sick from my own cooking, but no one else was.) Because I didn't know why I was getting sick, I lost about 10% of my body weight. I could barely leave the house for fear of soiling myself in public, it would come on very suddenly, with great intensity, for the first year. I went to a couple different doctors, one of whom told me I had irritable bowel syndrome (NOT!). I drew the conclusion on my own that I was intolerant to phosphates after I'd been sick for about three years.
After I figured out it was something I was eating that was making me sick, I started to keep a food diary of everything that passed my lips. I noticed that every time I ate Tyson Brand chicken I'd get sick. So, I called the Tyson chicken company and asked if they had been doing anything different to their chicken, and they said they'd switched to TSP to kill salmonella, where they had used bleach prior to that, at EXACTLY the same time I started to get sick. (Unbeknownst to me, the food laws had been changed to allow Phosphate compounds to be put into food.) It's interesting to note that I can still eat Purdue Brand chicken, with no ill effects. Evidently Purdue doesn't use phosphate to rinse their chickens. So I knew I wasn't suddenly violently allergic to chicken. Then I started to look for a common ingredient between Cocoa Puffs cereal, Wonder Bread, and chicken. Phosphate was it. I ate vegetable soup once, thinking I was safe (it "looked" vegetarian) and got sick three days later (lovely, the immune system response, eh?). My husband got the can out of the trash and looked at the label. Chicken broth was the first ingredient. If I hadn't been so ill, I would have kicked myself. Now I look at every label, every time. Unfortunately, they don't have to notify us on the label anymore that they've altered the ingredients.
I used to never be able to drink beer, years before I got sick, way before they changed the food laws (around 1985?). Even small quantities of American beer in a spaghetti sauce or in chili would give me the runs back before then. I didn't know why beer made me sick until years later when my husband told me (when he started to brew beer at home) that the yeast is treated with phosphate as a "nutrient". I think I've always been intolerant to phosphate compounds, it's just that the Americans changed the food laws to allow it to be put into things it wasn't in before. I suppose the phosphates are cheaper additives than the other ones I could tolerate.
I've begun canning a lot. Because I avoid almost everything with "..Phosphate..." on the label, I'm a lot healthier now. I'm down to merely getting a skin rash (probably from the lecithin) and/or sick for only a few days once or twice a month.
Trying to avoid P is practically impossible, it's like not eating. It's as common in food here as salt. I *have* to buy my food becuase I'm not a farmer. I can't grind my own flour, either. It's in almost everything: flour, cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, meats, cheeses, etc. Anything packaged, boxed or processed, which is 85% of the food on the grocery store shelves. Even the organic food (USDA type or Horizon "Organic" Dairy) has it! Even with my best efforts, cooking at home is difficult at best. What it comes down to, is I don't want this to kill me. I get sick much too often and I know it's tearing up my colon on a regular basis, as well as sucking the calcium out of me. I want my energy and health back, and there isn't any good reason that something like eating should kill me, or that I should be afraid to eat becuase it's not listed on the label!
I'm afraid to eat! I used to eat everything, and I've never had so much as an allergy, always been healthy, and I'm angry about it, sorry.
Sorry this was so long.. I'm always happy to share my experience, maybe it will help someone else, or maybe I'll finally find the answers I'm looking for. Thanks for letting me know about the lecithin - Phosphate! It makes sense now.
Thank you again,
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