How do you know if you are sulfur intolerant?
Is there a low-sulfur foods list that’s accurate?
I’ve lived with chronic migraines, joint pain, mysterious rashes and a slew of other symptoms for most of my life.
Many tests and doctors that were left shaking their heads and I’m left with more questions than I started with.
Unfortunately, sulfur intolerance is not well researched and most people end up figuring out on their own what they can and can’t eat.
Although I’m following as many doctors as I can who are interested in sulfur intolerance, I am not a doctor and I am speaking solely out of personal experience.
This article is not a medical study but a sample of my journey in dealing with sulfur.
What are the symptoms of Sulfur Intolerance?
I have found symptoms to present shortly after eating sulfur or at least within a few hours for myself.
- Loose Stools
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Stiffness
- Brain Fog
- Eye Pressure
- General Swelling
- Ammonia on Breath
- Feeling Toxic
- History of Steven Johnson’s Syndrome
For me personally, I notice almost immediately after eating sulfur that my neck thickens up and I’m under a dark cloud of brain fog with a headache that turns into a severe migraine. It also causes extreme irritability, bowel problems, itching, and flushing.
As I have mentioned above there is very little research in the field of sulfur for those who are suffering.
Having a sulfur intolerance seems to stem from a number of different things including:
- CBS mutation
- Sulfur producing bacteria in the gut
- Ammonia producing bacteria in the gut
- Nutritional deficiencies
Although I do have a CBS mutation, I also feel better while on antibiotics which lets me know I probably have some bad gut bacteria contributing to my sulfur intolerance.
So what foods contain sulfur and which ones are “safe”?
Low Sulfur Foods List
It’s easier to point out the foods that are high sulfur than the ones that are low. Some people may tolerate foods on the “no” list because of their individual bodies’ chemistry.
Some people may be sensitive to thiols, oxalates, silicates, Fodmaps, amino acids, and so many other chemicals and nutrients.
Please, keep a journal or list of what you are eating and how you feel afterword. Individual needs vary so much and there isn’t one “list” for everyone.
That being said, here is a list of relatively low sulfur foods.
Low Sulfur Fruits
- Pumpkin Seeds
Low Sulfur Vegetables
- Romaine Lettuce
- Bell Peppers
- Bamboo Shoots
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potato
- Water Chesnuts
Other Low Sulfur Foods
- Long Grain Rice
- Meat in moderation
- Macadamia nuts
- Pea Protein
- Dark Poultry
An excellent place I get these foods is Thrive Market. You have to try it.
High Sulfur Foods to Avoid
I think it’s easier to avoid the very high-containing sulfur foods and go from there with your meals.
Any cruciferous vegetables will be high in sulfur such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, onion, garlic, bok choy, and greens such as kale.
I also avoid large amounts of protein, bone broth, collagen, and amino acids because it can cause ammonia overload.
It’s so deceiving if you have a sulfur sensitivity because you will likely add these foods into your meals thinking you are getting healthier when you are actually making yourself sick.
Many people told me my symptoms were just detox and to push through. Unfortunately, pushing through these foods just doesn’t work with sulfur sensitivity.
The only way I could get relief was to dramatically lower my sulfur intake including protein.
Supplements and Sulfur Intolerance
It’s not well known what supplements can help sulfur intolerance other than Molybdenum which helps the body process the sulfur.
I see good results with Molybdenum if I pulse it, for example, to take it for a few days then take some days off before I start again.
If I take it continuously I get uric acid issues.
Chlorophyll can be helpful for mopping up extra ammonia in the system and I take that every few days.
I spent years buying different supplements I thought were healthy like SAMe which helps so many people but just gave me a migraine.
Many supplements contain sulfur so please do your research before you purchase one.
Please leave your symptoms of sulfur intolerance and your own foods list below in the comments so we can all learn together.