Citric Acid Problems

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Hey, I think that I have Citric Acid intolerance along with my gluten intolerance. Atleast every time I eat something with Citric Acid in it my body goes bananas. My vision get blurred, eyes go dry, loose stools, incomplete bowel emtying, stomac pain, Interstitial Cystitis and my feets are killing me. It's like my body cannabalise my feets treat pads. Also my memory is very foggy, though I'm not sure if it's caursed by Citric Acid or something else.

Does anyone have a complete list of food with citric acid in it and/or a list with Citric Acid free food? What about a list with what procced foods contain Citric Acid? I read somewhere on thies borads that baby carrots is wassed in Citric Acid.

I inted to on a salad+meat diet adn see what happens.

I really need a good list as my ability to put a list together myself fromwhat I find on the net is next to zero. Stupid disease =(

Thank you in advance

..eh I should proberbly mention that I'm a almost 29 year old male and I'm kinda picky with what I eat

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I think you will need to learn to cook. Citric acid is really common in processed foods. This might help you. It's some info compiled by another citric acid intolerant person.


Some info on this message board as well.


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I can't have citric acid at all. Soda like Sierra Mist kills me. I have to avoid it in all forms. I have the same symptoms as you when I consume it. It feels just like a glutening. Tomato paste and sauce have citric acid and like Skylark said, most processed foods. Watch juices too. Every single juice in a bottle is full of citric acid. Synthetic vitamin C = citric acid. Those are the big ones for me.

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@Skylark: Thanks for the link. I also found this link http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/nuttab2010/nuttab2010onlinesearchabledatabase/onlineversion.cfm?&action=nutrientFoods&category=Organic%20Acids&nutrientID=CITRIC

Apperently peas contain Citric Acid ...DUH. Oh well, atleast it makes sence now.

@GFreeMO: I see, so I'm most likely correct about being Citric Acid intolerant.

What kind of spice do you use for coocking? The food I've made so far is kinda dull =D

I was thinking about making some dessing based on olive oil or plain youghurt for my salat. Do you have some good recipies?

Can you tell me a bit about what you generelly eat?

Some other questions.

Does corn starch contain Citric Acid?

Does regular corn contain Citric Acid? The link I posted say that sweet corn does.

What should I eat to get C vitamins? Seems that it'll be hard to get C vitamin with out eating Citric Acid also.

Many thanks for the help. I really appriciate it.

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A true intolerance to citric acid is extremely rare (although it absolutely does exist, so you could be right on the money.). More common seems to be a reaction to what the citric acid is contaminated with or what it was sourced from. The link Skylark gave listed sugarcane as the main food source for the fungus used to make citric acid, but in my experience, corn syrup seems more common at this point, at least in the USA. Many sensitive corn allergic folks avoid all citric acid, because corn is so commonly used.

Another issue with citric acid can be sulfites (I found out I have this one). The vast majority of processed corn things, like citric acid and cornstarch both, pick up some sulfites from the processing. I'm not familiar with Interstitial Cystitis, but all the other symptoms you named are ones I've heard those with sulfite issues also describe. Many of them are what I get, too.

If you react to citric acid no matter what the source (corn, cane sugar, citrus), especially if it also includes natural sources, that's a good clue that it's a true citric acid intolerance rather than a reaction to something introduced from the source or during processing.

However, it can be tricky to test this, because it's a challenge to find out if you are getting totally clean produce that hasn't had contact with citric acid. Both conventional and organic farmers can use chemicals, pesticides, or other substances that contain citric acid, so that can muddy the issue. Even the soap we use to wash off our fruits and veggies frequently contains citric acid. <_<

According to the EPA:

...Citric acid is an active ingredient in pesticide products registered for residential and commercial use as disinfectants, sanitizers and fungicides. These products, containing citric acid in combination with other active ingredients, are used to kill odor-causing bacteria, mildew, pathogenic fungi, certain bacteria and some viruses; and to remove dirt, soap scum, rust, slime and calcium deposits. Citric acid products are used in bathrooms, and in/on dairy and food processing equipment. (Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, 1992, EPA)

So in other words, it may need some detective work to figure out exactly what you react to. If you have any friends or relatives that might have totally clean produce in their gardens, that may be a useful resource for your food detective work, as it were.

If you are very sensitive to citric acid or something in it, here's some more food risks you'll want to be aware of.

- Those little plasticky-paper pads underneath raw beef and chicken, inside the styrofoam trays - that's got citric acid in it to help keep down on bacterial growth.

- Meats in the USA have certain cleaning practices that they have to go through after slaughtering but before being packaged. An antibacterial wash is one of these, and some meats are washed with either citric or lactic acid, as well as a diluted bleach wash. This is most common with beef and seldom seen with poultry. I'm unsure about how common it is with lamb or pork.

- Fish can also come into contact with citric acid during cleaning. In fact, some fishing boats now that have ice on the boat, to put the fish on right after being caught, are now making the ice from part water, part citric acid. The citric acid penetrates the first few layers of skin, so it can't be washed off.

- Medications. Pills and vitamins can contain citric acid, and you'll want to examine the ingredient lists of any injections you get, too. I just got zapped a while back with numbing shot that contained citric acid. :-/

Because so many corn sensitive folks have to avoid citric acid, corn-free sites can be a good source of information on where it can be hiding, actually.

Sources of vitamin C - Fortunately, produce will take care of this. A lot of vegetables are surprisingly high in vitamin C. Broccoli has almost as much vitamin C per cup as lemon does - 1 cup of raw, chopped broccoli is 135% of your daily vitamin C. Red bell pepper has even more - 1 cup chopped, raw red bell pepper is about 317% of your daily vitamin C needs. The main thing to remember is that heat and contact with the air slowly destroys vitamin C, so eating produce that is fresh and has little to no cooking will net you more vitamin C.

If you're looking for other sources, the following site is a good one for telling you the nutritional information on various foods - you just enter a food into the search box and it'll give you options that may match. :-)


Re: foods to eat

I've pretty much been making everything from scratch. Sauces, salad dressings, etc... One of the best things that's helped me get some better flavor is to start up an herb garden. It took me a good year to get a really nice one, but now, my food is SO much tastier when I can add all these fresh herbs!

Without them, it's been much harder to have a nice flavor.

A cooking site you might like is called 101cookbooks:


She does recipes from whole food ingredients rather than a lot of added sauces, primarily. She has a gluten free section, but the part I really like, that may be of use to you as well, is her 'Basic Techniques' section, where she talks about making, say, your own celery salt or homemade bouillon.

If you'd like any more information about sulfite possibilities, just let me know. Some of the information on the web can be challenging to wade through, because there are varying sensitivity levels and a couple other oddities which make the safe/unsafe food lists not universally applicable.

Wishing you good luck on figuring this all out!

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MIne is def. corn and sals related. Read about salicylate sensitivity. A lot of us here can't handle them. Also, many here have problems with corn causing gluten like reactions.

Manufactured citric acid comes from corn. The citric acid in plain old oranges is natural. If you are ok with eating an orange than it is probably corn and or sals.

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I just remembered that I'm also intolerant to acetylsalicylic acid.

My nose tend to run in the morning. It is not as bad currently as it was when I didn't know I was Gluten intolerent. (I lost like 41-42 pounds over 9-10 months) It run mostly in the morning.

I also had this weird sneezing thing going. I would Sneeze 7-10 times in a row with some very powerfull snezes. Still do 3-4 ish powerfull sneezes a day though.

I get a headache/migraine from time to time and there's often a lot of tention around my eyes. (I rearly take painkillers)

I do have some itcing around my eyes 1-3 times a day in relation to eating. But it's no where near to when I eat gluten.

Sometimes when I eat, I get really sleepy. I though it was my bloodsukker going out of wack.

I tend to get depressed easily, but that's proberbly not so weird with all that is going on right now.

My stool is kinda oliy, which is what make wiping hard.

As for hyperactivity hmm... mayby, I think that it is akathisia I got and now I'm doubting that. I kinda have a hard time starting and staying with a task. I should mention that I have been schitzofrenic, but that when away when I got of gluten *wild scream of pure joy* I only got the dysfunctial memory and akathisia/hyperactivity left.

So this salicylate sensitivity is also a good candidate.

So buying a lokal danish organic thing with Citric Acid and no salicylate in it and vice versa, would be the best way to find out.

@T.H.: Broccoli have 0.3G per 100G Citric Acid accoarding the the link I posted.

I would love to know more about sulfites intolerance.

A thing I have noticed is that the same type of food doesn't always tricker a reaction. If i drink a certain danish chocolate milk my body reacts. But if I eat a chocolate frog with sugger/caramel cream inside my body doesn't react. I once eat some with cabbage with out a problem and a little week latter I tried again and my body reacted. It was a different recipe. I also drank some fresh pressed orange jouice a some point without a problem. My dad, who have the same problem as I, couldn't eat the oranges. My dad doesn't necessary have the same intolerances as I though.

@GFreeMO: Guess I should try an organic orange

Again, thanks for the help. i appreciate it a lot.

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I believe the vitamin C in an orange is ascorbic acid, not citric acid. fwiw.

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@ciamarie: I see,byt the link I posted say 0.6g per 100g and the site is run by the Australian goverment.

Anyway, after some experimentation, I'm now pretty sure that it's corn/maize I'm intolerant too. Corn is like everywhere too ...grr

Thanks for the help all. I appreciate the help.

I'll come back if new problem pop up =D

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Greetings everyone!

@Skylark- apologies for voting your post down, please let me know it this affects your standing/ability to post things etc. and I will undo it. I just did that because the website you posted, though I'm sure well-intentioned, is dangerously inaccurate. :blink:

@T.H. That's a lot of great information! Just a warning, though, that *all* fruits and vegetables contain citric acid to some degree. Some people can tolerate low-CA veggies like carrots and lettuce- I personally cannot.

Wishing you a safe and lemon/gluten free day!

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If you want a Vitamin C supplement that is NOT corn based, there is one out there made from palm trees. Its The only one I have not reacted to.

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Umm, as has been said, I thought citric acid is naturally found in, well, all fruits and probably most vegetables? Do you have a problem with fruits? Is it worse with citrus fruit? ALTHOUGH, from what I've read, most citrus fruit is waxed with a wax that is likely corn derived, so that's also hard to tell...it's never easy is it :-(

If you think you have a corn sensitivity, then any processed food listing citric acid is suspect, but that would be due to corn potentially being in the citric acid they add.

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    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
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    • I figured I'd give an update. Shortly after my last post I had a bad sinus infection but was only given prednisone which only made the congestion in my nose go away and some sinus pressure. I continued to feel worse with it pretty much developing into Bronchitis. I called the dr about it and they phone in a z-pac. I thought "well if I have SIBO" which I still wasn't sure of...." this will alleviate the off and on symptoms I had of mushy stools and icky feeling stomach. I would get that feeling whenever I had dairy for the last 9 yrs or so. Sure enough after I was done I felt like my old self. I did take probiotics while I was on the zpac which I hadn't taken for months since it only made things worse.  Everything finally returned to what it was before all this started. I felt so much better and "normal". I tried some aged cheese, brown rice and refried beans over the course of a couple weeks and was able to have those with absolutely no issues. For the next 1.5 months or so I felt great and better than before. I continued to take the probiotics twice a day as I did before and one day had a little stomach issue with some cramping. I then had some trail mix which had soy in it but I didn't really give it much thought and the next day my stomach was hurting pretty bad and worse than before it seemed. This lasted off and on for a week. Now the mushiness has returned and seems to be constant for the last week along with cramping. I'm guessing that the zpac killed off whatever it was I had...SIBO or Candida and now I've relapsed? Not sure but I'm going to call the doctor tomorrow to see if I can get some relief. I've also had some gas return as well.  I stopped taking the pribiotics thinking maybe that's making things bad again too since I wasn't on them before after I stopped gluten and soy and I didnt have this as much as I have now. I do take Gentian with Pepsin when I have protein and that seems to help as I don't have the gas I had way back.  It's so disheartening because I thought I figured out what was going on
    • I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago. I never had any of the usual problems. I had anemia and while trying to find what that was from, my GI found the celiac. I immediately started a gluten free diet, but it has always been a struggle. I am not the healthiest eater and would always seem to get the processed gluten-free items. I am not much for veggies and fruit or fish. So, for the last year it has been very difficult, financially and mentally for me to stick to it, but I did. I hated how I always had to have "special" food at family gatherings. I asked my GI several times what would happen if I stopped. He advised against it of course, but recently I just felt like my quality of life was so diminished. I already have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hashimotos, Arthritis, Pre-diabetes, endometriosis, had my gallbladder out recently and many other issues. So, after much decision making, I decided to go back to my "old life". I started today with a couple regular beers and had some crackers. I was expecting to be running to the bathroom like when I first switched to gluten-free, but nothing has happened and it's been almost 8 hours now. Not sure what to think. I know about the dangers of cancer and etc, but I have so many illnesses, I just want to live a semi-normal life again. 
    • In 2004, I complained to my doc of intestinal problems. I had my gallbladder out in 2003, and things hadn't really returned to normal. He did some testing, and told me, "You're not quite celiac, but you definitely have something going on." He never showed me the numbers, and I never asked. We moved shortly afterwards, and I never really thought about it after that. A few years ago, I went on the Atkins diet. I cut out all starchy carbs & bread carbs for three months. I had one cheat day (Wednesday), and broke out in a rash from neck to ankle. It was Thanksgiving weekend (and my birthday), and I couldn't get in to the doc. I ate a piece of birthday cake on Friday, and had insane stomach cramps. I know, I know. I should've gone to the ER. I finally got in to see the doc the following Wednesday, and the rash was clearing up. She told me it was dermatitis herpetiformis, and to stay away from gluten. No talk of being celiac. No other ramifications. So I go home, look it up, and find out about celiac. I ask for testing, and she tells me I'd have to go on a gluten diet for a month in order to get tested. After the pain I had from one piece of cake, I know I can't tolerate it. I stay off gluten, I don't have a rash. I eat something containing gluten (always in small amounts from cross-contamination--never like a donut or something), and I get a rash. That's proof enough for me. Fast forward to today. I got a copy of my medical records from 2004.
      IGA <20, which is negative
      IGG 79, where 30 is considered a moderate to strong positive. Wouldn't this be a "definite celiac", not a "something going on"? I'm a bit frustrated. I should've been gluten-free for 14 years, not 3. 
    • Hopefully the biopsy results will tell the tale as they say.  I am on rx D myself.  You can find info on vitamin D at the vitamin D  council site.  Seeing they just announced higher levels of vitamin D can help prevent colon cancer it's even a better reason to take some.  You can get natural vitamin D from oily fish like mackeral, sardines, salmon and tuna.  Other than that they do add it to milk and some orange juice in the USA.  The sun is another good source but only during certain hours of the day depending on your local latitude.
    • I dropped 30 lbs after going gluten free in a MONTH.  It seemed to be a lot of water flushing out of my body.  Underneath I was underweight and looked emaciated.  I've since built back 10 lbs of good weight in muscle and probably bone, and much healthier.
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