Sulphur Intolerance – My Functional Medicine Approach
Do you live in Ottawa? Are you looking for help with sulphur intolerance?
If so, you are in the right place.
Today I will write about my Functional Medicine approach to sulphur intolerance.
In This Article:
Let’s start with what triggered me to learn more about Sulphur.
Close Encounter of the Sulphur Intolerance Kind
Meet Anne. Anne is a client I have been treating for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
Whenever she took the antimicrobial herbs I prescribed, her symptoms would disappear. But as soon as she stopped the supplements, her gas and bloating would return.
Anne’s case was a puzzle, so I returned to basics to determine whether her food was causing her symptoms.
I asked her to do a food-symptom diary. She was following a low Fodmap diet which generally would help people with SIBO.
She returned after two weeks with her completed diary, but there did not appear to be any noticeable correlation between her symptoms and diet.
I told her to return after three weeks.
On the next visit, she reported that she had begun experiencing joint pain. I asked her if anything had changed in her life, and she said that her family had moved into a new house in the country.
The new house had a well. Anne always drank lots of water, so we got her to have her water tested. On receiving the water report, it showed it was very high in Sulphur.
Armed with this new information, I began looking at what foods are naturally high in Sulphur. Then, I told Anne to stop eating those foods and drink healthy water.
The effect was immediate. After two days, her gas, bloating and joint pain disappeared.
What is Sulphur?
Sulphur is a multivalent non-metal, abundant, tasteless and odourless. In its native form, Sulphur is a yellow crystalline solid.
It occurs naturally as a pure element or sulphide and sulphate minerals. Although Sulphur is infamous for its smell, frequently compared to rotten eggs, that odour is characteristic of hydrogen sulphide.
How Does The Body Use Sulphur?
Sulphur in the form of sulphate is the third most abundant mineral in the body, about half being found in the muscles, skin and bones.
Sulphate makes up essential amino acids that create protein in cells, tissues, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Our bodies require a constant supply of Sulfate.
Sometimes the metabolism of Sulphur to Sulfate is hindered. Poor metabolism can be problematic and can lead to sulphur intolerance.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sulphur Intolerance?
Sulphur intolerance can produce various symptoms because Sulphur plays a role in many body systems. That said, there are some more common symptoms, including:
- Feeling exhausted and toxic
- Brain Fog
- Eye inflammation
- Skin issues like urticaria and eczema
- Gas and bloating
- Ammonia smell in nose
- Joint pain
What Is The Cause Of Sulfur Intolerance?
Sulphur intolerance is the result of an excess of Sulphur in the body.
This excess is partly due to a reduction in the body’s capacity to metabolize Sulphur into sulphate.
A reason for this reduced sulphur metabolism is exposure to Glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient found in the herbicide, Roundup.
Farmers spray Roundup on genetically modified crops such as canola, corn, sugar beets and soy.
When ingested into the body, Glyphosate binds to Molybdenum.
Molybdenum is one of the cofactors used by the body to convert Sulphur into sulphate.
So Glyphosate slows the conversion of Sulphur to sulphate.
This slowing will lead to a build-up of Sulphur in the body.
Let’s now look at the primary sources of sulphur.
What Are The Primary Sources Of Sulphur?
There are five chief sources of sulphur exposure:
1. High Sulphur Containing Foods
Diet is a prominent factor that may aggravate sulphur intolerance if you are eating a high sulphur diet such as a paleo style diet or GAPs diet, which will be problematic.
Food that is high in Sulphur includes:
- Cruciferous Vegetables
The highlighted foods are the most common.
2. Water Source
Anyone who is on well water needs to get their water tested.
If you see red rings around your faucets and in your toilets, you may have a high sulphur content in your water.
3. Medications and supplements
Joint detoxification supplements such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, MSM and N-Acetylcysteine will increase sulphur levels in the body.
Certain medications, like sulphur medications, may be problematic.
For example, you may have been prescribed sulfasalazine and felt very ill.
If someone has a sulphur allergy, that might be another indicator that they may have a sulphur intolerance issue going on.
4. Hydrogen Sulfide Bacteria
Hydrogen sulphide-producing bacteria can be found in water systems. Again, testing is essential here.
5. Environment toxins
Sulphur is one of the byproducts of fossil fuels.
Breathing in exhaust fuels is a potential source of Sulphur.
What Are My Four Treatment Approaches For Sulphur Intolerance?
1. A Low Sulfur Diet
Many different versions are often available if you google any low sulphur diet online.
They are all very similar, so it does not matter if you follow a particular diet.
You can find an excellent low-sulphur diet from Dr. Michael Ruscio.
You can use this source as a base and then begin experimenting.
Rarely are all sulphur foods bad for everybody.
If you feel much better on a low-sulphur diet, reintroduce one food at a time to see which ones bring back your symptoms.
If sulphur intolerance is your issue, you should notice a reduction in your symptoms after 3 to 5 days of following the diet.
2. Eat Organic Foods
Eating organic foods is an integral part of the treatment as they are devoid of Glyphosate, which, as I explained above, stops the conversion of Sulphur to Sulphate.
3. Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulphate. Epsom salts can be very beneficial, particularly for helping to reduce the toxic feeling. Take 4 cups of Epsom salts per bath.
Supplements are a necessary part of treating sulphur intolerance.
The supplements help mitigate symptoms and help reduce high-sulphur food intolerance.
Trace minerals that also have Sulfate in them are clinically valuable. For example, Trace Minerals Research has a ConcenTrace product that includes magnesium, calcium, and lithium orotate.
Calcium D-Glucarate is clinically helpful for people with ammonia issues.
As previously stated, Molybdenum is a significant cofactor in converting Sulphur into Sulfate.
Therefore, glyphosate exposure can cause a molybdenum deficiency.
So avoiding Glyphosate by eating organic foods and supplementing with Molybdenum is clinically beneficial.
I recommend Biotics Mo-Zyme Forte, a food-based tablet based on sprouted lentils. Chew one tablet two times per day.
There have been some impressive results in using hydroxocobalamin as well.
For those with digestive symptoms, I recommend Bismuth in the form of Bio HPF.
Now It’s Over To You
Do you have a Sulphur Intolerance?
What strategies have you tired to help?
Leave me a comment below.
Do You Need Help?
The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply this information without first speaking with your doctor.