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Allergic to sulphur ?

Hi, I am hoping someone can help clear up this for me. A few years ago I suffered whiplash and again recently which has flared up my neck and chronic pain.
To avoid medications I opted for natural remedies. I am taking cod liver oil and was also taking a joint remedy with glucosimane and chrondroitin with some other vitimins. It has helped although not cured anything as yet. I ran out of the joint formula and when I returned to purchase another a new one was in the store with MSM. The lady advised it was better. After taking it for 2 days I was feeling sick. High temps, red hot face, swelling around the eyes and mouth. I had also taken a hot Epsom salt bath the night prior to starting MSM. I continued taking it for 4 days with the same results. I am allergic to sulphur. The chemist said if I am allergic to sulphur I cannot take MSM. I have stopped taking it today and the fever has reduced as has the swelling although not completely. It is 4 days since taking the salt bath. I don't know if I should try taking MSM again as the symptoms may have been from the epsom salt bath. I have only used this method (salt bath) 3 times before. Possibly I may haved done too much at the same time ??? Any help appreciated.
  melcol on 2005-05-10
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
Yes I would think you are reacting to the raw sulphur in the MSM.

I would suggest one of the homeopathic injury remedies .

Hypericum 10m
Bellis per 10m
Arnica 10m

Only use ONE.

one dose on three sucessive nights and wait for about 7/10 days to judge result.

It may be that your reaction to Sulphur means that you would benefit from homeopathic sulphur.

Raw sulphur = Sulphur +
Homeopathic sulphur = Sulphur-

Check out the characteristics of homeopathic sulphur.
passkey last decade
Use sea salt in your bath if you wish to change.

Homeopathic remedies are very different than their namesake in the allopathic and even the herbal world.

Even though the source is the same, the manufacture process eliminates all harmful side effects of the source.

Blessings, Sabra
sabra last decade
I suggest ARNICA be your first choice. Sabra
sabra last decade
Thank you for both of your posts.

Would the epsom salt bath alone cause issues with my allergy to sulphur?

I have taken 3 .. first bath I experienced unwellness for a few days ... 2nd bath .. no unwellness although the bath was more brief and not as hot .. 3rd bath I was taking MSM orally so perhaps an overdose of sulphur. I found the baths did loosen the shoulder muscles and some of the chronic pain.

I will invesigate arnica as I have read some other posts for hair loss (for my husband) and this was also a suggestion so we can both try this treatment.

If I take arnica do I continue with the glucosamine/ chrondroitin & cod liver capsules?

Does it react with any other medicines?

Thank you again.
melcol last decade
Hi Melcol

You may be confusing the detox reaction that you experienced with the MSM with an allergy, when in fact in some people , even small doses of 500mg MSM induces a powerful detox in the body. MSM increases permeability of cell walls so toxins can pass easily into bloodstream, causing symptoms of flu,swelling,rashes,boils,temperature etc etc ..all detox symptoms. These symptoms are sometimes extreme, but generally the more extreme, the more MSM is useful for the body to detox. These symptoms are temporary - may last 1-10 days.

I know cases where people with history of recreational drugs have taken MSM and temporarily re-experienced the effects of those drugs years later thru the MSM detox.

The Epsom salt baths are useful in that they speed up the detox and further draw the impurities through the skin - although, of course if you don't know this you will presume they make you feel even worse !

I took MSM 6 months ago as I was aware of its efficiacy in detox and I started with just 500mg. As I knew what to expect potentially, I wasn't suprised when i felt so awful. But even I wasn't prepared for how AWFUL awful was!! It was like I had the flu. I had no energy, i had to stay in bed. My skin erupted in rashes and boils and spots. It was horrendous. I was tempted to stop as I too worried that it was an allergic reaction. But I persisted as I knew deep down it was detox and I made sure I supplemented with 5g or vitamin C and gallons of water to flush it out. Over 2 weeks the symptoms lessened until I was taking 1-2g of MSM with no reaction and i felt AMAZING. It was like I'd had the detox of my life. Now when I take MSM and have no reaction at all.

When i write on this forum I am careful to encourage people to take their own road - I post my experiences so that they may help in some way so please remember I can't speak for all of us. We are all unique so what's good for me may not be for another. Having said that I'm suprised at how little is know about MSM as a detoxifier, so I really want to clarify how powerful it is in this respect for SOME people that take it. Others really have no or little reaction. For anyone taking MSM for the first time I would take the smallest amount - maybe 100-200mg and work up gradually over a few weeks.

With regards to the allergy, I don't know that you can be allergic to MSM, I know that you can have an allergy to sulfa drugs, which are different chemical compounds. MSM is just natural organic sulphur. Our cells are composed of this.

Just a thought.

Hope this helps & all the best..
carlotta last decade
Hi Carlotta,
Thank you for your detailed description.
It is a very interesting read as I knew after my first salt bath I felt some flu like symptoms but recovered quickly. I put this down to some detox. That is why I was thinking the both combined may have caused the stronger reaction. My symptoms were basically exactly as you described. My skin has a very clear appearance now although I have some large pimple like bumps, one on my face, one on my forehead & one on my chest. The fatigue, temps, hot face, swelling has all reduced now after stopping it 3 days ago.
Since stopping though my whiplash injury is it at it's worse again .. bearly have enough strength in my left hand to type this message. It was much better on the MSM, glucosamine joint formula. I have looked up what I started on .. and I started from NO MSM to 1000mg per day. I think one day I took an extra teaspoon so that would have been 1,250 mg. Possibly it was detox shock as I have had over the years, feldene (anti-inflammitories), vioxx, painkillers, valium (muscle relaxants) etc etc which some of them I am still taking for relief.
I have started my husband on the MSM joint formula at 1 teaspoon per day (250mg) to see how he goes. I was considering waiting until all symptoms clear .. which would be possibly 1 - 2 days and then starting 1 teaspoon per day (250mg) and slowly increase by 1 teaspoon every other day.
I am confused on the sulphur allergy as I ask chemists, natural health stores and get varied answers. Some say no don't take it, some say yes it's different form of sulphur. One lady did ask if I was allergic to garlic, eggs, onions etc which I do not appear to be as I do eat these regularly without any problems.
Any other experiences or advise on sulphur allergy and the use of MSM would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again for any advise Carlotta.
melcol last decade
Hey Mel

I'm pretty sure that what you're describing is the detox reaction and not an allergy. Yes 1000mg induced the same reaction in me, so I would advise 250mg per day with food, LOTS of water and vitamin C. Perhaps increase even more gradually. Play it by ear and tune into the symptoms rather than the dosage, and keep going with the 250mg until you experience none or little reaction, then raise to 500mg, and so on. The MSM is excellent for the joints/whiplash , as you testify, so on this count it's obviously suiting you.

You have to see it as a whole process, the purging of old toxins - all those heavy pharmaceuticals - and help it detox via the bowel, urine and the skin. Again, pure water, lots of fibre, epsom baths - all good.

Take really good care of yourself and sleep lots, don't do anything strenuous.

Keep posting.
carlotta last decade
Hi Carlotta,
Thank you again for your post. I take 4 - 5 teaspoons of the joint formular with glucosamine & chrondroitin without MSM but tonight I will include 1/2 teaspoon of the MSM joint formular which is 125 mg of MSM. The recommended daily dose is up to 6 teaspoons so I am still just under their guide. They are both the same formular just one has the MSM & one doesn't. I will see how I go on 125mg for a few days and then if all is OK I will go to 1 teaspoon (250mg) for 2 weeks and judge my reaction. My husband is still taking 1 teaspoon and doing fine.
Another post suggested Arnica 10m. I am not sure about Arnica whether it is a liquid, tablet, powder or where to purchase it from. Also, I do not know if I can take it with the other medications (alternative & prescription). What is it's purpose ?
I will try another epsom bath in a few days also .. this time not so much salt and not so hot and possibly bathe less time.
I will keep you posted. Thank you again.
melcol last decade
Update for Carlotta. Hi !!

I have taken for 2 nights 1/2 teaspoon of joint formula with the MSM (125mg) and have experienced first day a slight runny nose and today itchy ears but that is about it. It seems at present I am tolerating the 125 mg. I am still taking the 4 teaspoons of my usual joint formula. I will continue with 125mg each night for another week or so and then try an epsom salt bath.

Are there any other remedies for my whiplash?

The cod liver / joint formula is helping but it is still giving me some pain which I would love to control more if I can.

I was still asking about arnica as suggested by passkey & Sabra. I need further info on it if possible thanks.

Thanks again.
melcol last decade
I'm going to have to disagree with the theory that MSM pushes toxins to the surface of the skin.

Here's why:
MSM has been promoted to me by people with very poor diets and extremely high toxins, including MSG/preservatives in their meals and likely high levels of lead/heavy metals in their blood.

They have no health problems despite all the toxins/poisons. They only took MSM because they heard it's good for the joints.

They get no rashes, no reactions. In fact, 99.99999999999999% of the population has no reaction to MSM, eventhough North America is one of the most unhealthy countries in the world in terms of diet & obesity.

I eat chinese food once a month on average. I used to eat Taco Bell when younger.

I've been eating healthy a solid 1-2 years.

I take 1000mg of MSM a day, for 3 days, and my face falls apart literally.

I bring this up with local health 'experts' and they act like rude pricks.

I'm really curious why my face gets all red and breaks out, am I allergic to sulphur? I don't know? How would I test this.

If it's toxins coming to the surface of the skin, it's a very rare toxin then! One that most people don't have in them.
yakuza last decade
'Unless it's an issue, y worry? :)'

it just seems every blood thinner/anti-inflammatory i run into has sulphur

i seek blood thinners because i can't give blood during blood tests. this has only started since i began eating healthy(to cut down my cholesterol)

i figure it's thick blood
yakuza last decade
If you really had thick blood they.d put you on Warfarin!
walkin last decade
Why do you want to keep taking the MSM if you are still reacting badly to it?
carlotta last decade

that's very possible, but not in the Toronto area of Canada. We have some of the worst Doctors in the world.

No offense to immigrants, but due to the influx, Canada has become dependant on immigrant Doctors to cope with the flow of increased population.

This has lead to multiple Doctor's that don't speak English, and many of us diagnosing our own problems.


I don't know about the original poster, but today I woke up, and I look 5 years younger, and my rash has gone away. I cut MSM off on Friday after 3 days of 100mg.

I'm literally shocked, it didn't have this effect last year. My skin is in the best condition of my life.
yakuza last decade

not 100mg - but 1000mg

I was taking 1000mg each day
yakuza last decade
Hi Yakuza
I think that is a very strong indication that you had a detox reaction and not an allergy. I had the same reaction also and was amazed that post-detox I felt absolutely wonderful and very clear-headed.
carlotta last decade
Also , you can take up to 10g of MSM - thats 10,000mg !! I didn't want to think how i'd feel at that dose, but many say you can work up to it over a period of time. The most I ever took was 2000mg per day and this gave me as strong a detox reaction as i could handle.
carlotta last decade

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