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Could salicylates sensitivity induce CFS?

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I wonder if salicylates could be a factor in our illnesses.
A doctor named Feingold, who researched ADHD in kids, came up with a salicylate-reduced diet that improved symptoms of many of these children. He also found that many food additives caused similar problems.

Since learning disabilities,such as impaired memory and concentration, are part of ADHD, and are shared by many with CFS, could this be part of the puzzle.

St. Amand mentions Feingold in his book on Fibromyalgia, as someone who looked at the role of salicylates in cognitive dysfunction in illnesses such as autism, as well as ADHD.

I know St. Amand's theory about quai and FMS is that it excretes the toxic phosphates in our bodies, but I find it curious that to do so successfully, one must elimate sources
of salicylates! Yes, he does say that sals block guai's ability. But, it seems like, considering the Feingold discovery, that maybe the salicylates themselves could be a big part of the problem.

Maybe the sals act like allergens in our susceptible immune systems, and that once we reach a certain load, because of sensitivity, our bodies collapse causing the cascade of symptoms we experience.

We, who have CFS, and have had discrete remissions and relapses over time(in my case,20 yrs.), might be able to strengthen our immune symstems in between episodes through diet and stress-reduction. But, once we revert to consuming too many(how much could be individual) sal-foods or using sal-products, we tip some delicate balance. Then, we relapse.

What do others think?




New Member
for these DDs in most cases but they could be a contributing factor for some people.

In my attempts to improve my health I made further changes to my diet and added black cohosh to my alternative hrt. As a result I've got awful permanent gastritis but it took a post on OLE to make me realise sals could be part of the problem. I do have MCS and at one time was very badly effected so had sub lingual desensitisation drops. Sals weren't picked up then and I'm sure if I'd had problems with them at that time the doctor I saw would have picked it up when he tested me.

It is an interesting point and I think once these DDs start a lot of other factors come into play. That's why the most successful treatment regimes are so holistic, they treat all the aspects in individual patients.


[This Message was Edited on 07/17/2003]


New Member
After posting here I found a website for salicylate sensitivities. It belongs to a woman in the UK who discovered her own salicylate sensitivities after she'd helped her husband research the causes of his migraine headaches. His sensitivity turned out to be to tyramine, which is found in many aging and fermenting foods, i.e., cheese, soy sauce, beer, and wines.

Encouraged by his progress, she went to work on her own chronic health symptoms, which included aching muscles, joints, etc., fatigue, and cognitive impairment. It took her a long time to find all the offending foods, all of which are moderate to high in salicylates, it turns out. All kinds of herbs and spices, including oregano, rosemary, and black pepper contain big amounts of sals.

Many lettuces, other than iceberg, apparently contain substantial amounts of salicylates. Most fruits, including pears and apples are high in sals. Avocados are among the highest.

She went through a food elimination diet, included her vitamins and supplements, and felt much better. But, it wasn't until she avoided salicylates that were in soaps, detergents, and toiletries that her health was ultimately restored.

I'm just realizing that food and other allergies can be a big part of the mystery.

Dr. Crook in " The Yeast Connection" made this convincing case over 30 yrs. ago. In that book, he talks about fermented foods, including vinegars,that cause profound neurological symptoms. Milk induced severe depression in many of his young patients. I read that book 20 yrs. ago when I had acute onset of CFS, following a severe flu. I eliminated many foods, and, over time, got better after a year and half. But, I forgot, and eventually began adding those foods to my diet again. And, voila, got sick again.

Many of the high salicylate foods, such as strawberries will create an instant brainfog for me. But, because I love them, and they're okay for many hypoglycemia diets, I thought I could eat them.

Pineapple, too. Before, this last relapse - now a year ago- I was eating frozen pineapple chunks every few days. Occasionally, I'd become so drowsy, after consuming them I would take an hour long nap.

I ordered a CD about salicylates, food elimination diets, and other things from this woman. If I actually get it(I'm skeptical of ordering anything off the net), I'll let others know what I learn about salicylates sensitivity.

From what I've read so far, the salicylates' factor is making a lot of sense to me about my symptoms, beginning recovery.




New Member
Are you saying pears apples and avocados , the latter which many have posted on this site are can help glutithiane are bad for us?? maybe you are right, i just have trouble believing, GOD given natural things like apples pears avocados are bad for us, except of course for the obvious, what man has done to our foods pestides picked green etc.

this is an interesting point for discussion.

what are some sal. free soaps, shampoos?

paul mark


New Member
If you type in quaifenesin in a search engine, you should find some quaifenesin-support sites. One I chose, is an international quai support site. Don't think I can type URLs here. But, anyhow, on that site I found lists of sal-free products, including shampoos, etc.

It was on an UK woman's website that I read the "ratings" of sal-foods, from low to very high. She has written a salicylate handbook that she sells. In it, she, goes into more details about sal foods and plants that people might have reactions to. At least, I'm hoping she does, since I bought her the handbook/CD.

Avocados and apples only pose potential problems to those of us who are especially sensitive or allergic to salicylates. Since finding out about the ADHD connection
and salicylate sensitivity discovered by pediatrian, Dr. Feingold, I've been searching for other evidence that salicylates might have something to do with my brain fog and fatigue, and my CFS, overall.

Yes, it's frustrating to consider all the foods or products that might be contributing to my symptoms, and that I might, therefore, need to avoid.

Sometimes, I just want to(and do)scream " I'm not giving up one more thing...or, that can't be bad for me, too." But, I'm determined to get better. So, at this point, I'm open to considering anything!

Others might not have food or salicylates' allergies, but right now it seems like a big possibility for me. Only for me. Others, of course, will decide what's true for them.

Good luck,



Wow, this was 15 years ago but I developed fibromyalgia and then a few years later salicylate sensitivity. The link may be in the liver function