How to cope with salicylate intolerance

Written by tamiya king
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How to cope with salicylate intolerance
Fruits like watermelon and canteloupe are high in salicylates. (melons image by Claudio Calcagno from

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with salicylate intolerance, purchasing the right cosmetics and eating "safe" foods on a regular basis can be challenging. These tips can help you to avoid the symptoms associated with salicylate intolerance.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Grocery list
  • List of safe cosmetics
  • Food journal

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  1. 1

    Talk with your doctor about coming up with a customised diet plan. Although there are several fruits and vegetables that are moderately or extremely high in salicylates, everyone's body is different. You may find that you don't have a severe reaction to watermelon (which is high in salicylates), but your body may not respond well to mango, which only has a moderate salicylate ranking. Report any symptoms such as headache, fatigue, or complications with your menstrual cycle to your doctor right away, so that the right treatment plan can be established. You may need to eat smaller meals a day to ensure that you're getting enough nutrients, or eliminate certain foods from your diet altogether.

  2. 2

    Check your cosmetics and hair products for salicylate ingredients. According to WedMD, products like shampoo and perfumes can be high in salicylates. Skin care and acne products with salicylic acid should also be avoided. Again, your tolerance level for certain products may vary, so you may be able to use certain fragrances, shaving creams, or lip glosses without having an immediate reaction. Pay attention to how you feel after performing normal tasks like shaving or washing your hair. Your doctor may be able to recommend products or websites that you can use safely.

  3. 3

    Keep a salicylate intolerance and food journal. This will help you to pinpoint the fruits and vegetables that you need to limit or exclude from your diet. Be sure to get a salicylate chart from your doctor, so that you can see how each food is rated. This will help you to plan your meals for the week, and will make it easier for you to get the recommended amounts of vitamins and nutrients each day. A journal can also be kept for the toiletries and cosmetics that you use. There are a number of websites where you can purchase cosmetics that are completely salicylate-free, so if your intolerance is severe, it's best to visit these speciality online stores to purchase toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and make-up.

  4. 4

    Take a look at restaurant menus online before eating out with family and friends. This will give you an idea of what you can order, and it's likely that you'll be able to ask your waiter to make adjustments to your meal once you arrive at the restaurant. Even if you see something on the menu that looks safe, a number of seasonings are high in salicylates, such as basil, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, so you'll want to ask about all the ingredients in the meal you want before ordering.

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