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Migraine, Thyroid, Tinnitis

Battling the MSG Myth » Share Your MSG Story/Recovery » Migraine, Thyroid, Tinnitis « Previous Next »

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Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 11:24 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My name is Sally and I'm making the MSG connection. Here's my story: I grew up on a farm where I had access to fresh produce along with homegrown beef and eggs. We ate healthily, but our cupboard had its fair share of processed foods too. At age 13, feeling sorry for our beef cows, which I regarded as pets, I became a vegetarian. My parents thought it would be a passing stage, which only made me more determined to stick with my diet.

In my later teens/20s, faux meat products starting hitting our grocery store shelves and I dug in with a flourish. I would typically have veggie bacon with eggs for breakfast, veggie ham sandwich for lunch, and a veggie burger with veggie cheese for dinner. In between, I ate lots of soy isolate granola bars and imbibed "health" drinks made from soy/whey powders. Of course, I ate veggies and whole grains too and I thought I had a superior diet. I thought my high soy consumption would save me from cancer and heart disease.

Around this time, I started experiencing concentration problems in school. At age 20, I started having strange 104 degree fevers with extreme chills at night that would go away in the morning. I went to several Dr.s who treated me for different kinds of infection, even though I had no symptoms of infection other than fever. Finally, a Dr. checked my thyroid, which at that time turned out to be hyperactive. She prescribed a radioactive iodine treatment, which I took. (I wish I had known then what I know now). My thyroid has been hypo ever since and I've been on levothyroxine for the past 15 years.

At 23, I started having migraines. By age 24, the migraines stopped responding to OC pain relievers. I started taking various triptans and now take as many as 10-15 a month! I'm desperate to end these headaches. I'm worried about having a reliance on such powerful medication. While these are my two major health problems, I also have tinnitus, insomnia, and struggle with fatigue. I often fall asleep just fine but then wake up suddenly in the middle of the night with rapid heartbeat and my ears ringing. Dr.s have suggested these symptoms may be related to anxiety-but I'm not an anxious person at all. One suggested anti-depression medication, but again, I'm not depressed.

I finally started thinking that some of my symptoms might be diet-related this summer when my family and I went to Europe for a month. During that month, I only had 2 migraines, a huge reduction for me, despite drinking several glasses of red wine, which is something I never allow myself to do at home. I realized that I had not eaten any soy in Europe and thought maybe somehow soy was related to my headaches. I immediately cut out the major sources of soy, but I did not get measurably better.

My Dr. wants to put me on Topomax, an anti-epileptic med, for my migraines. The thought terrifies me, so I became determined to discover everything I could about food triggers & migraine. My research led to finding this site.
I now see how MSG may be making me sick. I'm still vegetarian and am thinking I may need to start eating meat again. I having a lot of problems with breaking that barrier. To all you meat eaters, I'm sure the process seems easy- just pick up a burger and bite. But it's actually something that's hard for me to get over.

The worst part of all this is that I've been feeding my children like this. My eldest son already has migraine, though for now, they're treatable with OC meds. I'm upset because I truly wanted to feed my family well and it turns out that nearly nothing in the grocery store is safe.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 12:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First of all, I applaud you for being a vegetarian. I often think about doing it again, but so far haven't. I think you could still be a vegetarian as long as you can eat eggs, try to eat beans and other protein organically grown and prepare everything from scratch. You may not know to what extent MSG (or free-glutamate) is affecting you until you go on a strict diet to avoid all sources for a month, or possibly more. I think most people show some degree of improvement after a month, as you may have read in some of the posts, especially under the "share your MSG story" topic. I agree medications are very scary because of their side effects.

I didn't think I'd ever be pain free again, but now that I've been MSG/FGA free for about 4 years I feel really good, and have been off all meds for about 3 years. I couldn't believe what an effect it had on me, but I now know it's a poison and treat it as such. My friends and relatives still probably think I'm nuts, but they are the ones still running to the doctor and hospital. My sister-in-law has been in the hospital 3 times in the past 5 weeks, 1st they thought it was her heart, then her gall bladder, then an ulcer, then low potassium, now yesterday they said it's an adrenal problem. She won't change her diet and is paying for it. My husband has tinnitus and because his cardiologist told him to avoid sugar and fat he eats some stuff that contain MSG, and he pays for it with a tinnitus spike that can last for days. He mostly eats what I do, and won't believe me about MSG playing a part in his tinnitus, but I notice when he eats what I call "junk", he suffers.

Anyway, I hope you can give a no-MSG diet a try and see how much it helps. Have you read Deb's (the author) story? It was when her 20 year old son was having symptoms that she came upon the answer to their health.

This is a fabulous board with tons of information, welcome and I hope you come back and feel free to ask questions.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 6:54 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You don't have to start eating meat again, do not despair! I just made the connection a little over a month ago and was also worried I'd have to go back to meat. I became vegan my first year of college, and 4 years later added a little dairy back into my diet, but I still can't stomach eggs and I KNOW that meat causes me severe nausea, from a couple of accidental ingestions in the last decade.

IMMEDIATELY order the cookbook "Pure & Simple: Vegan, MSG-free, & Gluten free" from Amazon! It's been a life-saver for me. Even if you're not vegan or gluten-free, it has lots of really good recipes and you can always modify to your liking.

One of my biggest problems was also those soy and other fake meat products. I actually made the connection after downing a bunch of Quorn chik'n nuggets and getting severely depressed right afterward! So I chucked all the processed fake meats in the trash and started reading through these forums!

I've been eating a lot of brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta (Do NOT get enriched!) Also, if you like soy/rice milks, I can tell you that the ONLY safe one is Rice Dream Original Plain NOT "Enriched".

Hope this helps a little, good luck and keep asking questions!
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2010 - 2:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anonymous, You can go right on being a vegan or vegetarian, there is plenty of food to eat for you. I am not a legitimate vegetarian, but I eat very little meat, when I do it is safe meat for me. You have come to the right place, get Deb A's book you will be better before you know it. So much to learn but do not be afraid, we were all where you are not that long ago. You need to have a good reference book about where all this bad stuff is in food. The book will lay it out clear and simple and the recipes are great. I was getting migraines all the time, now I do not any more, my heart palps are gone and I do not get anxious for no reason. Keep at it and stay in touch here. Everyone will help you Mariann
Posted From:
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 8:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sally here again-- Thank you all for the feedback. I will order Deb's book and also the Vegan one suggested by Annie.

As angry as I am about this poison being in our food supply, I'm also so grateful to finally be learning about it. I now have hope that maybe I can get better and off these migraine medications.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 12:04 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

sally... want some more fuel for the fire??

check out (or for LOTS of reports of damages to humans, animals, and the environment caused by these genetically engineered poisons (i mean foods)-

believe me, i do understand your anger. i too fell for the 'healthy veg revolution'... only to have my health permanently damaged by Soy and all its myriad derivatives. i would also caution you to use extreme caution toward Quorn or any other of these new 'mycoplasm foods' based in yeasts/molds/algaes... i know for a fact that my family's health problems definitely got worse when i was adding Nutritional Yeast as a recommended 'supplement' to our diets.

so much for the wisdom of the mainstream 'health' experts, eh?
glad youve found this site! hang in there and keep experimenting, and most of all Listen to what your body tells you...
please feel free to ask lots of questions and share your discoveries- welcome to the community!
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 3:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok, I just read through the articles on GM "foods," and now I am thoroughly depressed. What in the world am I supposed to eat?

I took a trip out today to Whole Paycheck (I mean Foods)Market in search of something edible. I couldn't believe how few of the products passed the criteria on this site. "Natural" and "organic" apparently have no meaning other than overpriced. I really felt defeated today scoping out all the folks buying overpriced organic maltodextrin and natural dextrose. MSG infiltration doesn't only impact consumers of Doritos, but people who try to eat conscientiously as well. I'm angry!

I wish I could grow all my own (non-GM) food, and then bake/bottle/process it. But what is one to do when one has a job and three kids? I have started making my own bread and crackers-and yesterday I bought a tortilla press.

I'm tired and am still getting migraines. I doubt that I've eradicated all the impure foods yet. I also wonder if I'm experiencing some rebound headaches. It's interesting how the illnesses caused by the problems within our food supply force us to become interlocked with prescription drugs.

Thanks, all, for listening.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 1:23 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Sally, i feel your frustration. Ive been there. I have three kids too and i understand the "not enough hours in the day" thing all too well. Im fortunate at the moment to be home while the youngest is still a preschooler and even I struggle on time. I cant imagine how hard it is to work, have three kids and then try to cook from scratch. Hard work for sure.
I remember all too well the anger i felt when trying to buy concienciously and find that even the prepackaged organic food was far from safe.

In the last few weeks, ive cleared half of our garden ready to start growing our own veg next season. I cant wait to get started with that.

In the meantime, i dont even go down the middle aisles where all the prepacked food is and with what money i dont spend on packets i upgrade our fresh produce to organic where possible. I wish i could afford organic meat, but its so expensive. I do buy local farm meat though, fresh rather than prepacked. Ive not had any problems wiht it so far....???

Do you cook in bulk Sally? Ive found that to be a life saver. When i make a dish i make two and freeze one for the next week. Stews and casseroles are great in winter, i can make enough to feed a family of five for two meals and then one out of the freezer the week after. I also find that mashed potato freezes well. Once a week i make a huge pot and put it in portion size tubs in the freezer. Just a matter of defrosting and warming in the microwave. Or i defrost then add a little safe flour and put through a piping bag for quick easy duchess potatoes. Chops and gravy freeze and reheat well too. Frozen veg are a godsend on a busy day. One favourite of the kids is chicken goujons. I buy five chicken breasts and chop them nugget size, dip in flour, then egg and finally breadcrmbs seasoned wiht lots of herbs. They freeze well and cook well from frozen in 15 minutes in the oven at 200celcius. Both the kids and i love them. Sure beats KFC and a headache!! hehe.

Dont know if any of those ideas help Sally, but maybe just knowing your not alone and that we all have been through this frustration is a help. I hope so. Hang in there, it does get easier with familiarity and practice.
Take Care and be strong
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 6:10 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

sally i meant to say about three weeks in from going cold turkey from processed food that i hit a brick wall. I was am emotional wreck and cried a lot. I felt exhausted and overwhelmed. In retrospect i think it was some sort of withdrawel. Not pleasant but did soon start to ease. Ive gone from strength to strength emotionally since then. I think what we eat has a large impact on our mental state. Im in no doubt thats the case for me. The first warning sign now that ive eaten wrong is a very sharp and sudden drop in my mood. Dont know if this rings true for anyone else?
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 9:36 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sally, It has to be difficult for you to say the least - working and raising 3 children, then to add to it, now you have to change your cooking habits. I think it is challenging for everyone in the beginning, I mean learning how to shop and cook again. Ali's advice about cooking in bulk is very helpful. There are lots of foods that freeze well. You just do what you can everyday and little by little your diet and ways of doing things change, and you will begin to feel better. I've always believed that old adage too some degree, "you are what you eat", but not until a few years ago did I really realize just how much food affects us. When you think about it, what else does our body have to use to grow or sustain itself? Recently I heard someone's reply to the question, "How can I afford to buy organic", answer, "Of all the things you spend money on, food is the only thing that actually becomes a part of you..." Sorry, don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing... About still having migraines, sometimes it takes a while to get off all the FGA/MSG and rid our bodies of the toxins, but when you do, it will be so worth it.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010 - 8:50 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sally take a look at your personal products as well, my migraines got under control after changing to clean foods and then getting rid of toothpaste and using baking soda, I use the old fashioned peroxide type contact lens solution, it goes in a little container with a metal that makes it bubble and turn to plain saline solution. Check out hand lotion, shampoo, cream rinse, make up I don't use anti bacterial soap any longer, I use goat's milk soap from the farmer's market, I use plain Dawn dish detergent. Now the headaches are gone, from 3 to 4 a week to one, once in awhile. Mariann
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 7:44 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd like to also add to all of this that you may have a vitamin B 12 deficiency. I just got blood test results back today and my levels of B 12 were really low. I am hoping that's the reason I've been feeling fatigued still, after about 2 months on the diet. I've been reading up on symptoms of B12 deficiency and it can also cause migraines. I even read an article that connected glutamate toxicity and's the link:

I don't know how many animal products you eat...chances are it's more than I do. I am mostly vegan, although I will eat some cheese and cook with whole milk once in a while. So you may be getting more of the vitamin than I do! But, it's just something to think about.

The B12 supplement I just bought is by "Superior Source" and it's a tiny tablet you dissolve under your tongue. The form of B 12 it is is methylcobalamin." The ingredients are Methylcobalamin, Lactose (Milk), and Acacia Gum. It had the fewest ingredients of any of the supplements and I read at least 10 bottles. I know that some of the gums can cause NoMSG'ers a problem, so I am hoping acacia gum is okay!
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 1:20 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sally here again -- Wow, thanks for all the info everyone. I received Deb's book and have been reading through it. I'm looking into all kinds of food/personal care product changes. I also have a thyroid check coming up and will ask the Dr. to test my B12 levels at the same time.

Speaking of Thyroid -- I did a search on this site for info on thyroid meds and see that folks have switched meds a lot. I have been on the generic Synthroid -Levothyroxine- and am wondering if there is any benefit to paying more for the brand name Synthroid. Does it have fewer fillers? Please advise!
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Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 12:23 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Triscuits Rule. You are all wrong. MSG rules. Go NABISCO!
Roy Piwovar
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 9:18 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Triscuits may have ruled at one time, but even their original currently uses soy oil, most likely from genetically modified soy:

And don't get me started on their newer varieties, with their disturbing nutrition info:
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 10:29 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What a coincidence! I was just looking for their ingredients the other day, after a friend posted a 'like' for them on facebook. I figured they are crap - but I could not easily locate the nutritional info to prove it. Thanks!!
Roy Piwovar
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 8:38 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Thanks for spreading the information and helping to educate people.

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