Propylene Glycol: It Doesn't Have To Be Used

After a long time of having doctors not know what I was allergic to they finally sent me for patch testing in my mid thirties. Results - highly allergic to propylene glycol! It’s in EVERYTHING. Being it’s considered a non-active ingredient, companies are not obligated to list it as an ingredient on their products. I’ve spent years trying everything possible to keep it out of my world (which has been no small feat) but it’s impossible to do:( Fast forward to today’s date: I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis last year (at the age of 51) and after reading this article I found it very ironic that she too has this auto-immune disease. Hmmm - is there a link to this? I find the most difficult part is that it is in food and I don’t know what to do with this. Jello.... it’s in the gelatin component. Didn’t know it’s in salad dressings. How an I suppose to live a healthy life with this allergy? I’m thinking my only option is to eat a vegan lifestyle but this doesn’t totally eliminate foods with this chemical, so this is going to be extremely hard to achieve. Any thoughts anyone?
— Anonymous

First of all, I'm SO glad to hear that you were finally sent for patch testing! It's seriously life changing for those who test positive. I really, really wish it was included in the "preventative care" category in our annual physicals. I'm so sorry to hear about your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. I'm glad you brought it up, though. I did a little research and it looks like rheumatoid arthritis does indeed under the autoimmune umbrella along with allergies and eczema. The body is essentially attacking itself. (I read about that here). From what I've seen, people with autoimmune issues often have more than one... it's just a matter of which combination your body decides to have. I wish there was a safe, instant and permanent solution to getting our immunity and health back to 100%!

Honestly, the best logic to follow in eliminating propylene glycol is to go 100% organic. This can obviously present the unfortunate issue of high prices and inconvenience. A more realistic option is to cook most of your food from scratch and try to stay away from highly processed foods. When I do choose something processed, I make sure to read the label and learn about hidden ingredients. When it comes to eating out, I have a good handful of local places that don't seem to bother me. I stick to those. While I can't have fun by switching it up and try new restaurants all the time, I can have fun trying new recipes at home :-) I usually stick to cooking with whole foods and other basic ingredients like oils and herbs.

If you buy produce that isn't organic, make sure to wash/scrub it well. There are certain things like cucumbers that I started always buying organic because regular store-bought cucumbers have this gross, waxy layer applied to them. It's difficult to scrub off, unnecessary and rather unappetizing.

Here's some other useful propylene glycol knowledge:

13 Things To Avoid Which Contain Propylene Glycol

The Story of Modified Food Starch & Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol in Food

Watch Out For Propylene Glycol in Medication

Your Stories: Propylene Glycol Edition

Propylene Glycol: The Toxic One

The Story of Hidden Propylene Glycol

Getting to Know Propylene Glycol

Also, make sure to follow my propylene glycol boards on Pinterest! Keep your head up - this will get easier!