Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pet shampoo

 I was in a relative's house over Christmas and came across the hypo-allergenic shampoo that I'd noticed and tried before. I'd never been able to find anything like it in the shops and now I know why.

It's called Epi-soothe and when I read the small print I discovered it is prescribed by veterinarians for use on cats and dogs. I didn't try it again. However if it worked before there is no reason why it should not work again.
I guess it hasn't been tested to the same standards as shampoos sold for humans. If you are concerned about animal welfare, you may think that is a good thing.


Sunday, December 28, 2008


It's been a very merry Christmas indeed. Not only did I drink wine with Christmas lunch I drank it on Boxing Day and yesterday. In fact on Boxing Day I got through the best part of a bottle of Chardonnay, I estimate.

There have been minimal reactions. Some tongue tingling on Thursday and Friday but that's about it. Most significantly my skin remains largely clear, although there are some red spots on the arms. Apart from that I feel better than ever.

What a glorious Christmas! It had been two years since I drank wine.

So what does this mean? It raises a question in my mind as to how much salicylate is in white wine. After all it is the juice of white grapes, purified to some extent, possibly more than is grape juice.

Secondly it demonstrates that there is some flexibility. Maybe up to now I have been using that flexibility up in the consumption of chocolate. So if I avoid chocolate and eat home-prepared food and a reasonable amount of fish, sometimes I'll be able to enjoy a bottle of wine. I have doubts about red wine, which, of course, contains many more chemicals than white.

Happy New Year to all!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Cured by the common cold?

 Not quite maybe but it's made a big difference. Tonight I indulged in my first mince pie and sherry (actually a whisky and wine drink) for two years.

For it was two years ago I had to give up wine and beer and coffee overnight, just in time for Christmas. I'd already given up beer but wine was a real blow and Christmas pretty miserable.

Now the cold, which has nearly gone, seems to have dampened my immune system and increased my level of tolerance. Yesterday I indulged in chocolate puddings and a dish made with kidney beans and my skin was as clear as the full moon. No rash on my belly or my arms as has been normal. Tonight's indulgence hasn't let me off so lightly. My tongue started swelling and the red spots have started returning on my belly so I've had to take a montelukast to deal with it - my first for some time.

Nevertheless I now have a plan for Christmas Day. Zero-salicylate and plenty of fish for the next couple of days and then I can have wine with my Christmas lunch. Is this a little daring?


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A cold

 It is a full-blown, stinking, glorious cold. It gets worse when I go out in the rain and makes me crotchety, just like a real cold. My first in three years.

I had another cup of redbush tea - great! - to stimulate the immune system. No need for echinacea. Even had some cashew nuts to provide some omega 6 and help get things going.

I have one question: is it possible to have a cold and hay fever at the same time?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


 I went to a buffet today and it was great. On this occasion I had been consulted in detail about the menu beforehand. There was beef and stilton sandwiches and salmon and scrambled egg. And there were prawns in those little dough bags, whose names I do not know.

And everything reeked of pepper. I thought it was just the prawns but I took some of the other sandwiches away in a doggy bag. When I tried them later they tasted strongly of pepper, sprinkled over everything.

Tonight I'm sitting here with my nose streaming and my throat sore. It may be a hay fever type reaction or it may be a cold. I don't feel feverish and I haven't had a cold in two years.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter problems

It's December and the cold middle of the winter and you wake up with a slight runny nose and sore throat.

It could be:
1/ the beginnings of a cold, soon dealt with by an over-active immune system;
2/ non-allergenic rhinitis, ie a kind of hay fever caused by exposure to low level salicylates;
3/ the beginnings of a cold, which is going to buck the pattern of the last two years and become a real one;
4/ the beginnings of something worse, such as flu.

At the moment I favour the last as my insides also seized up and I've felt tired all weekend. After trying bananas and a high-fibre diet, I hit upon a remedy - redbush tea. I thought low levels of salicylates might trigger an internal reaction - and they did.

As to whether it's flu, we may never know. For it is quite possible the over-active immune system will kick in and see it off, especially after that delicious and far too short cup of redbush tea, my first for nearly two years.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Conditioner passes test

No doubt the research department of Head and Shoulders has been waiting with bated breath for the results of my test of its "sensitive care" conditioner.

I am pleased to report the conditioner does no harm at all. It passes the Imperial Leather test. (Imperial Leather is rich in salicylates and always caused me to go bright red before I realised what was going on). I'm not sure whether it's any good yet. Time will tell.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Searching for shampoo

 Early on, when I thought I had a gluten allergy, I created a "free from" blog. You can find the link at the bottom. The idea was to provide a guide to where to find Free From foods in different British stores eg go to the farthest corner, turn 180 degrees and it will be facing you (that was generally the best principle). It's still there but nobody ever contributed to it so it has never been developed or used.

I am tempted to try the same for salicylate free shampoos and conditioners - except there would be hardly any entries. Somebody suggested getting baby shampoos - but they smell awful.

The best on offer recently has been a "derma" shower gel, which I have been using. My hair is starting to stick up like a punk. So I had another search today. Lloyd's chemists - nothing. Back to Tesco. They are definitely no longer selling the wheatgerm and cornflour range. I picked up a Head and Shoulders conditioner "for sensitive skin". I will let you know.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

A confession

 I haven't really given up chocolate. I've cut down a little but this afternoon I was cold and hungry so I had a hot chocolate drink. I've been eating chocolate cake and chocolate gateau. However when I eat dark chocolate it tastes of coffee - so that is a little off-putting.