Ask the allergista: I think I have a Propylene Glycol allergy. How do I avoid PG?

Q: Quite sometime ago, I took Miralax for my IBS-C.  It made me sick to my stomach, nauseous, with malaise and then I broke out in hives.  I found out from a good friend that this product is made entirely of Proplylene Glycol.

Can you tell me what products contain PG that I should be avoiding?  I suffer from fibro, SI joint pain, IBS-c, Diverticulosis, Migraines, arthritis, etc.

Can you also tell me what other products I should avoid that could possibly add to my pain from the diagnoses I mentioned above.

Thank you ever so much!

A:

Thanks so much for reaching out to me! :-) And thank you for sharing this info about Miralax! The more info we can all share with each other, the better. Sounds like Miralax really did a number on you, as if you don't suffer from enough already, you poor thing.

Propylene Glycol is in sooooo many things and it's very commonly used. It's in a lot of:

  • soaps / body wash
  • shampoo
  • make - up
  • deodorant
  • pretty much any body product
  • medicines (you and I both need to get medical i.d. bracelets for the E.R.... still on my to-do list)
  • dry baking mixes
  • salad dressing
  • theater smoke
  • botanical extracts (and they don't have to list the ingredients in extracts, so that's a hidden one)
  • e-cigarettes
  • hand sanitizer
  • and I'm finding out more items all the time

It also:

  • gets fed to cows
  • is sprayed on produce
  • and I can only imagine what else (please post your discoveries in the comments!)

This blog has been a great platform for discovering more items laced with PG - check out all of the Propylene Glycol posts here: http://theallergista.com/category/propylene-glycol-2/

Here's a couple pages that list food products with PG in them: http://theallergista.com/2012/11/09/propylene-glycol-in-food/

Here's a chart that will show you which body care / make-up products you can use. The allergen legend is in the back.

I hope this helps... Oh, also when your skin breaks out, make sure to only bathe in cool water and use a mild soap. I use the Dove bar for sensitive skin. Hang in there girl and make sure to always read the ingredient labels!