|Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 11:25 am: || |
Hello Deb and Company,
My name is Patrick. I have been reading the blogs on this site for the last week since I discovered this site. Let me first say thank you to Deb and all the members that post their personal experiences/truths that they have come to know. Your doing great work! This is my story: I am 28 years old and have been living with anxiety, depression, and acid reflux since about my freshman year in college. I was always active in sports and ate generally "healthy" during my time in college. I drank pop (Dr Pepper) and energy drinks throughout college and nearly every day in the last few years. During college when my depression was very bad, I went to my family doctor and was prescribed meds that really helped my depression but my anxiety (specifically social anxiety) still plagued me. I had been on nearly every anxiety/depression med but nothing seemed to help my social anxiety, so I just lived/suffered with it, accepting that was my life. After college, I decided to try stopping the depression meds and found that I was okay without them. However my social anxiety, low energy level, and acid reflux have continued to cause me great problems. I was given the pump inhibitor Protonix and the antacid Zantac for my stomach acid. This really helped me out and I didn't feel like I had a stomach full of battery acid. As far as my social anxiety goes, the problems have seemed to progress over the last few years.
So that brings me to where I am today. I recently became aware (no thanks to my doctor who said I would probably be on my stomach acid pills for life) that Protonix and Zantac are only intended to be used for a short time period and not the long run. Discovering this information has prompted me to find alternative ways to control my stomach acid so I can quit taking my meds for good. Upon searching for natural acid reflux cures, I came across this site. I was shocked, saddened, and angered at all that I have learned in the last week about MSG toxicity to our bodies, the lack of FDA regulation of MSG/MSG alternative names, and the food industry's continued research into adding more "natural flavors"/MSG to the foods sold in grocery stores/restaurants. I find it upsetting that after all I have learned in my life, I was unaware of the horrible negative effects of MSG toxicity. I feel betrayed and lied to, as I'm guessing we all do. Now I know I can not ever trust just eating food without knowing exactly what is in the food.
I am excited at the idea that all of my mind/body problems stem from overexposure to MSG/MSG related names, because then I can give myself the solution. I am not sure if this is the case but I am hopeful that changing my diet habits could help my issues. The first thing I did was quit drinking pop. I read a blog entry on this site from Deb I believe, citing that caffeine will damage the lower valve in my esophagus, further adding to my acid reflux. I have been off of pop/energy drinks for 5 days now. Furthermore, I have decided to revamp my eating habits. I went to the new Trader Joes in my area and purchased foods/liquids, to the best of my knowledge and the bad list, that were absent of free glutamate, specifically avoiding the processed MSG, rather than natural glutamate because I bought fresh salsa with only tomatoes and other vegetables. I will send another post with the foods/liquids on my list for community checking.
In my attempt to overhaul my life, I am changing my eating habits (MSG free), quitting Protonix and Zantac, switching soap/shampoo/conditioner (MSG and carcinogenic free) [cosmeticsdatabase.com for product checking], quitting pop/energy drinks (artificial flavors and corn syrup), exercising daily, and cutting back almost completely on beer .
Specifically for my acid reflux, I have compiled an extensive list of ways to control the acid bath in my tummy. For the last 5 days I have drank an apple cider vinegar/baking soda/water drink. 1-2 Tablespoon of Briggs organic apple cider vinegar, 1/2-1 Tablespoon of baking soda, mixed in full glass of water with optional honey added for taste. This really seems to work well lowering the acidity of my stomach. Also, I made a fruit drink mix that I drink morning/night consisting of: 1-2 bananas, 1 mango, 1 papaya, 1/2 pineapple, 1 orange, 1 glass water, 1 glass ice, and honey for added sweeter blended together. The papaya is considered helpful in breaking down the stomach contents for better digestion. I have had good results in this short time period with the fruit drink. Furthermore, I have weaned down to 1 Protonix over last 5 days and none yesterday and today. I do feel some stomach acid pain but I figure my body/stomach needs to get back to a homeostasis level of acid production. The key is that I do not want to be on these meds anymore out of fear of long term damage of the well drying up, as they say, plus other health issues it may cause. I am hoping that this overhaul of my life habits will have a chain effect for the positive and my anxiety, specifically social anxiety, will improve.
My progress over the last 5 days of starting this overhaul is difficult to judge since I am changing so many things all at once. I do think I feel better just cutting out the soda in this short time. My skin looks better and my sleep pattern is more on track. I have an average body type (180lbs 6ft) but I do have a bit of a beer belly. I am guessing that as I eat better and lose weight in my belly area, those cells will release stored free glutamate, possibly making me feel worse for the time period, but that's okay cause I'm sticking it out.
I would greatly appreciate the community's thoughts on my conditions, and what role MSG plays in my acid reflux, social anxiety, and overall energy levels. I will be heading over to my local bookstore to purchase Deb's book very soon. I used to eat out nearly every day, but now I will learn to cook my own food with your help.
I realize that most of you guys/gals on this site have immediate negative reactions from MSG exposure. If I understand this correctly, your bodies have reached an overflow level, if you will, in which even a slight amount of MSG sends you over the edge. And when we detoxify our bodies from our toxic levels of MSG, we are then able to handle more MSG without immediate negative reactions. Is this the line of thinking?..that once we clear our bodies of toxic levels of MSG and bring our levels down, we are able to handle more foods with MSG? I am hoping that cutting out my pop/candy intake will lower my MGS toxicity level way down, and in turn, feel better.
I know this post is long and detailed but I just want to get better as soon as possible and after all I have read in the last week (feels like college again), you gals/guys are the people I should be talking to. I will post the new foods/products from Trader Joes in another entry after I hear the community's thoughts on my story. Thanks a lot again for your help. ~Patrick
|Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 1:01 pm: || |
Patrick, be very thankful you made the MSG connection at 28! Since I made the MSG connection only 8 months ago at age 53, I will leave the technical information to the real pros here on the discussion board.
I will tell you what has been true for me. Since I removed MSG, my diagnosed Fibromyalgia is gone, as is my anxiety and constant migraines. I sleep normally at night and the fatigue I felt since high school has disappeared. I have always exercised regularly and stayed in shape and now I finally feel the benefits!
At least for me, I am much more sensitive to accidental MSG ingestion now. I will start feeling a buzzing, tingling feeling in my arms, chest and face within minutes of eating something tainted with MSG or FGA. I do not have any interest in trying to test the amount of MSG I can ingest because I feel so much better now.
Keep up the reading here on the discussion board and buy Deb A's book ASAP. I shop at Trader Joe's every week. While you still have to read the labels, it is a much safer place to find quality food. Please post the products you enjoyed at Trader Joe's. I love trying new foods!
Patrick, your symptoms will take a while to fade, so be patient. Read the discussion board everyday and go through the search tool to find answers to almost any question imaginable. I thank God everyday that I found these angels here. Good luck!
|Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 5:19 pm: || |
Wonderfully written post, and welcome - so glad you found this site. I don't know if anyone can say with certainty that all your symptoms will diminish, but my guess is that most will. I have definitely found that with being MSG (FGA) free for 3 years I can now tolerate a tiny bit of the stuff occasionally without any reactions, but any more than that and I pay. As far as quitting your meds, I might think doing it somewhat gradually would be best, unless advised by your physician. But good for you to want to be rid of all that poison - you're pretty wise for a 28 year old. I don't know if anyone will have all the answers for you and your specific symptoms/problems, but it sounds like you have the will to get healthy and that is half the battle. I've been reading posts here daily for 3 years and I'm still learning, so keep coming back with questions and reports on how you are doing. We love success stories and I'm sure yours will be a dandy.
I'm sure Deb will be responding soon and she is the guru.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 7:34 pm: || |
Hello Patrick! Welcome to the message board.
I can tell you my experience: In 1997 I started reacting to MSG and the reaction slowly increased over time as I learned more and more ingredients it was hidden under. I hit a peak where I felt like I was reacting to everything. I found this site in 2004 and cut out an additional 20 ingredients totally 50 ingredients (the same that I now avoid). My minor reactions stopped and I'm now not so hypersensitive. I'm still very hypersensitive, but not as much as I was before. I can occasionally get a little sloppy (buying regular, unsalted nuts vs. organic unsalted nuts, occasional canned tomatoes, etc.) but anything more will give me a reaction.
ALL my stomach pains and anxiety are now gone. My husband gets fewer migraines and we both feel like a million bucks- every.single.day. I can't tell you how amazing that feels to feel so good and feel so healthy all the time. I used to be so "sickly" always going to the doctors growing up and now it's been years since I've been to a family doctor.
I can't tell you much about acid reflux, I've only had it while being pregnant, so much sympathy to you! I also did the cider, baking soda mix and it really helped.
My biggest piece of advice for you is to meal plan. Plan out every meal and every snack for the week. Right it down, make a shopping list, then do some food prep. Chop up some fruit and veggies to snack on, etc. You'll be used to quick, fast meals so make some healthy meals ahead of time so you don't cave and grab some junk food. Always having a meal plan will really help you stay focused and see if these diet changes help you feel better.
Good luck! Emily
|Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 2:18 am: || |
Welcome to the board Patrick Sounds like you are off to a great start by coming here and learning about msg toxicity. I've a few suggestions...one is a book that I highly recommend called, "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" by Jonathan Wright, MD. In many cases of diagnosed "high stomach acid", the issue is really not enough stomach acid. The book goes on to explain all of that and more and is an eye opener (at least to me it was). Additionally, he talks about how meds to suppress stomach acid do more harm than good in the long run (which it sounds like you know now).
The other thing is to take a look at Mercury Toxicity....can be the root of many health issues for some.
For me, simply removing msg from my diet did not alleviate my health issues....there are many layers of the onion to peel so to speak. For some it is all that was needed to return to a place of well-being and good health. In any case it is a great place to start.