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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