Since 1997 I have suffered with what I was told is chronic urticaria especially affecting my hands and feet. For about a year I had constant welts and itching on the soles of my feet and would develop huge welts on my torso and back at times. It then seemed to settle a bit and was more intermittent, sometimes not happening for several months. I was investigated for SLE and other autoimmune disorders - all negative.  Over the past year it had worsened into what looked liked an urticarial vasculitis where my fingers swell, become intensely painful and itchy and small watery skin eruptions would develop into purple swellings, like blood blisters but dry. I also had episodes of joint and bone pains that lasted 24-48 hours and always had patches of welts somewhere on my torso or thighs. Some months ago I again saw a GP about it and he felt I had probably developed mixed connective tissue disorder. However all my blood results were normal and yet again I was left feeling extremely despondent about any chance of management of what had become a very debilitating condition.

Then about six weeks ago I came across your articles and letters re riborash and stopped all foods with these enhancers. Within 48 hours my symptoms had gone and I am elated to say that since, I have had only 3 welting episodes.  I'm sure now that my symptoms had been intensified in the past months as we have been planning to do some long walks and trying out all sorts of pre-packaged and dehydrated foods (all containing 635). Ironically I was going to go on a course of prednisone to dampen it all down so that I could walk, while I would've been eating the very thing that is causing the problem. Now I have done a couple of day walks wearing boots (for months I have only been able to wear crocs as any pressure or rubbing around my ankles would result in a similar outbreak to my hands) with absolutely no problems!  Once again thanks for sharing your knowledge on the web. – see photos on Ribo Rash factsheet.

And for bone and joint pain, see