|Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 1:02 pm: || |
Hello all. I am going to give this MSG free thing a try. I just received my copy of Battling the MSG myth and I feel armed and ready to take this on.
I am wondering about chicken during the diet/detox phase of this. I found some free range chicken breasts from Trader Joes, but it states on the package that they are fed Soy food (don't remember exactly what it was called). Will this be a problem since I am supposed to not have soy during this process? Also, could I try recipes from the book during this is just stick to the basics for the first few weeks?
I would like to add some background on myself if this helps. I am a 36 year old fit male that has had headaches for as long as I could remember. Usually these are not terrible migraine type headaches (I do get those once in a blue moon as well). My headache is a dull pain on the top of my head going down the right side to the back of my neck. My dentist out of the blue asked if I head headaches about 5 months ago and said the work would be free if he did not get rid of them in 3 months. Well itís been 5 and he still trying. All free because he won't let it beat him. I know wear an NTI/TSS appliance to bed. This actually has seemed to help the pain towards the back of my neck but has no bearing on the rest of the headache. My Neurologist says I have Occipital Neuralgia. My symptoms actually match exactly this diagnosis, but the first medication (Neurotin) he gave me did nothing. He just changed me to something used to treat Fibromyalgia and I won't take it (Bad possibility of side affects. I hate meds and when there this past time, he said he will just keep trying new meds until it worked and actually seems surprised that the Neurotin did nothing for me. I have had many tests done as well as MRI's with and without the dye.
The headache I have does have its days when it unbearable, but for the most part itís just ALWAYS there. This headache does usually get progressively worse as the day goes on and is at is worse when I go to bed. This is a main reason I am hoping this will work for me. I figure the food I eat must put me over the edge during the day and while I sleep my body processes the bad stuff trying to start me out good.
About 2 weeks ago when I found this site, I read something about parmesan cheese being bad. Well that night we had pasta for dinner and since my wife didn't want pasta I was lazy and didn't make sauce. I also figured it would a good test for the cheese. Well I had a bowl of pasta with what most would call a lot of Kraft sprinkle cheese on it with no sauce. Oh my god did I have the worst headache in some time that night!! It took days for that to go away. I have not had it since. I don't know if it was coincidence or what, but I never want that again.
Well, thanks for reading my story and as you can tell I am usually long winded. I will be starting this on Monday (11/2/09) and will keep updating here with results and searching here for more help. Why Monday, I need more shopping to be fully prepared and not fall off the wagon.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 4:00 pm: || |
Wow, that sounds terrible. I really hope going MSG will provide some relief.
My only personal experience that in any way sounds remotely relevant to what your experiencing is that I was subject to migraines for many years (only 1 or 2 a month). In the last 12 months, I only had 1, and that was 6 months ago.
During the last year, 3 main things changed: I started taking magnesium supplements, I corrected a vitamin D deficiency, and I went on an elimination diet (only chicken, rice, sea salt, sunflower oil) trying to get to the bottom of a terrible skin problem.
Please keep us posted on your progress. I'm only officially msg-free for 1 month, but there were many months I was inadvertently MSG free during the last year as I was trying to get to the bottom of this crazy thing.
I'm a fit, healthy 41 year old male.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 4:34 pm: || |
Welcome to the board. I wish you luck during your elimination diet. It is recommended to keep your elimination diet week as simple as possible with only a few ingredients for a few reasons.
You don't know how sensitive you are. Some people are a lot more sensitive than others. If you keep your diet down to just a few ingredients and your headache's go away, then you'll get your answer. But if you add in two many ingredients and say you are too sensitive for dairy products but you added them in your elimination diet week and continued to get headache's you would assume that food isn't causing your pain.
If you find recipes in Deb's cookbook (or other cookbooks) that require short cooking times and only the few ingredients listed for the trial diet- then go for it.
I'd recommend getting as prepared as possible before hand. Plan out all of your meals and snacks and if possible prep some of your fruits and vegetables ahead of time to make sure you are always prepared with something safe to eat.
I don't have an answer for you regarding the chicken. If there was another brand, then I'd choose that over the soy fed chickens. Do you happen to live near a Costco? Their Foster Farm's Kirkland Signature boneless skinless chicken breasts are safe.
Good luck and I hope you are able to find some answers. Please feel free to post any questions you have.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 7:06 pm: || |
Thanks for the replies so far. Emily, it makes total sense to keep the elimination diet as simple as possible. I don't know why that really never hit me (taps forehead....duh..). I really hope this works, my main concern is being hungry. I go to the gym every morning before work and eat 5 to 6 small meals a day as well as a protein drink that I am gonna miss.
Itís been so long with this headache, I just hope this helps. I figure the book investment is a Dr. CoPay, so why not try this.
Mike, I never really get a Migraine and thatís a concern of mine. Most of my reading has shown people with major issues and to me a 24/7 mostly dull headache sadly seems minimal.
As for my chicken, I live near a BJ's and have used Perdue shortcuts for lunch with salad dressing 5-6 days a week. I also have chicken breasts for dinner probably again 5 or so nights a week with some type of soy sauce my wife gets. After all this research here, I am definitely blasting by body with bad stuff. I just hope that my body thanks me when I stop using it.
I will definitely keep posted here for anyone interested.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 3:19 am: || |
The Perdue shortcuts, salad dressing, & soysauce are obviously (now) bad from an MSG perspective, but here's one that isn't: Protein Powder.
The free glutamic acid (the business end of MSG) is liberated from the naturally occuring glutamate in protein when it is broken down (in order to make powdered protein).
For years, I would enjoy a protein shake on the morning drive. My favorite was soy milk, powdered egg protein, banana, etc.
After I made the commitment to try the MSG free diet, I just happened to look at my jug of protein powder. It had 6,000 mg of glutamic acid per serving (that's like 6 servings of soy sauce)!!! To make matters worse, I had been adding 10,000 of l-glutamine powder.
I mention this because if you're into spinning and going to the gym, you might very well have been taking sports nutrition products with powdered protein and l-glutamine powder.
When I compare my sports nutrition products to various food items, I cringe:
Free glutamate content of foods (mg per 100g)
roquefort cheese 1280
parmesan cheese 1200
soy sauce 1090
fresh tomato juice 260
grape juice 258
human milk 22
The other thing that wasn't on my radar was I was creating my very own MSG factory in my slow cooker: you liberate lots of free glutamic acid by slow cooking.
My routine was to kick off my slow cooker, go to the gym, and enjoy a great potroast when I got home from work - again, terrible from an MSG perspective.
Lastly: Emily's point about few ingredients and unprepared foods is key. If you don't construct your experiment perfectly, you could get a wrong conclusion.
As I was bumbling through my attempt to isolate the cause of my problem, I would eliminate a food group for a couple weeks, not notice a difference, and conclude it wasn't that.
I wish I had simply bit the bullet and done a pure elimination diet to begin with, that would have saved me months of suffering.
You won't go hungry: you can eat as much chicken, rice, sea salt, & sunflower or olive oil as you want: 6 or 8 or 12 meals, it doesn't matter.
I really hope the MSG thing works for you.
Please keep us posted.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 3:35 am: || |
One more thing:
Some people have problems with the absorbency pad under the meat because it can be soaked in citric acid. Some vac-packed meats have cornstarch in the plastic as a dusting material.
If you have access to a whole foods store, they sell meat wrapped point of purchase in a waxed paper.
The more things you can rule out food wise during your elimination trial, the better!
|Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 9:41 am: || |
spinkid the one big piece of advice I can give you is to stay in touch with this group of knowledgeable people and keep an open mind. You will see from some of my recent posts that even after a couple of years I was fooling myself about some foods. Stay focused and don't let nay sayers keep you from finding your true healthy self. On going headaches can drain you and there is no ego here as to who has worse symtoms. We are in this together and all the reactions stink. So keep at it and let us know how well you are doing. I use Bell and Evans chicken with no problems and I use Bell and Evans chicken sausage safely (but only the italian, the others have questionable ingredients). Good Luck Mariann PS Roy I forgot to give you qudos for your scientific input on this board, you are the go to person on that score.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 6:36 pm: || |
Hi Spinkid and welcome. I have every confidence that you will rid yourself of that nasty headache and may even cure problems you didn't realize you had. I would say fga toxicity causes gradual decline in many areas, but it sounds as if you are catching this early enough that it won't take you long to get back to health.
Deb suggests that you cook a big pot of brown rice ahead of time and put it in the freezer. That is very good advice. Having serving size bags of rice in the freezer makes sure you always have an option. Eat every time you are hungry and don't worry about calories for the first week. Find a good butter (cream only ingredient) and put it on veggies and rice (if you have previously avoided butter) and buy extra chicken because you may eat more than usual the first few days. Have lots of fruit handy and take it with you wherever you go. I hope your wife is doing the test diet with you, it is so much easier if the whole family is on board.
P.S. Don't drink water with "added minerals for flavor" if you do drink bottled water. Plain purified water is getting hard to find, but I would drink spring water before the added minerals.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 9:09 pm: || |
Mike, Thanks again for the info. Here is a list of my protein drinks ingredients. I have been off this for a week in anticipation of the elimination diet. Now remember I took 2 scoops to start my day after the gym, so everything get multiplied by 2. Amino Acid profile per serving (mg):
Ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Peptides), Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Acesulfame Potassium, Aminogen, Lactase.
Glutamine & Precursors 4082
Aspartic Acid 2508
Is the Glutamine & Precursors the same as the L-Glutamine you mentioned and I have read as bad?
Mariann, Thanks for your input. I was on my home from work really hoping that this is going to work and believe it or not I was thinking of possible issues I have (Many according to friends), and wondering what could be remedied by this. I donít to have high hopes let down again, but for some reason I have a gut feeling this is my last stop. I mean that in a good way.
Kristy, Thanks as well. I plan on having many meals prepared for the next days adventure because I wonít crack. I work on the road and I bring a huge cooler with all my days food. I usually pack extra incase there is overtime and I am to cheap to usually eat out. As for water, I installed a filter in my house years ago and only drink water from the house. I pack a half gallon container and 2 Nalgene bottles every day. As for my wife, she is not on board yet. She is very interested and has started reading labels. She has also started purchasing my foods and will definitely be helping. If things improve, she will be in for sure and the kids to follow.
I will also be giving up coffee, which is a pretty big deal. I have 1 cup every day and sometimes 2. I hope that goes well. Also, does anyone think that I will experience any affects from eliminating all these bad foods at once?
|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 8:52 am: || |
As you read through the board, and the book, you'll see that powdered whey protein is terrible from a MSG perspective.
I'm really glad you chose SpinKid as your name because that led me to ask if you were a big user of sports nutrition products like powdered protein. I think you very well may have stumbled onto the root problem.
For me, it did take some time after stopping the protein powder for things to settle down.
As for glutamine & precursors question, when you process dairy to the point of making powdered protein, the naturally occurring glutamate is broken down into free glutamic acid (the business end of MSG). I think what you listed was the amino acid profile of the protein powder.
That figure is pretty close to why my egg protein powder supplement labeled as "glutamic acid".
I suspect the glutamine on your product is indeed the glutamic acid.
As for l-glutamine, that is an amino acid (not sure the exact difference between the 2). The main difference I do know is if you drink milk, you are mostly getting glutamate (bound form), which you body breaks down slowly. If you have powdered milk protein, it's already been separated, and is absorbed much more quickly.
Either way: STOP the protein powder, and any l-glutamine powder!!
And, I forgot to ask: DO YOU USE NUTRASWEET? (Aspartame). IF so, STOP IMMEDIATELY (that's in the same excitotoxin family as MSG).
|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 9:08 am: || |
I am fairly new to this diet myself but have had great results in reducing the number of migraines I have. The first reaction that I knew was due to MSG was after ingesting a fair amount of "brown gravy" made from a packet (listing MSG as an ingredient). I went to the internet and started reading about MSG intolerance. Then I had a reaction similar to Spinkid with parmesan cheese. Some of the other big items that I have eliminated after having reactions are homemade strawberry jelly; canned tuna; cottage cheese, skim and lowfat milk; and any products containing gelatin. I noticed a big improvement in my burning eyes when I stopped taking fish oil capsules (which, ironically, were suggested by my eye Dr. to help the burning eyes). I seem to do fine if I cook all my own food - eating out seems to be my big problem. It just plain scares me. I really don't trust anyone to prepare food for me. I have had good luck at Chipotle's and a local restaurant that serves a wonderful homemade Octoberfest menu - with homemade gravy. I do miss the pizza though - wish we could find a safe, reliable pizza place. This site is the best and you people have been so very helpful.
|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 12:24 pm: || |
Mike, I donít use nutrasweet to my knowledge. My coffee I have with either cream or 1% milk only no sugar. I also have stopped chewing gum within the last 2 weeks due to the Aspartame. I had another follow up with my dentist today and he still believes the mouthpiece is going to be solution.
Is my new chicken safe? It is from BJís and is Harvestland brand chicken breasts. The package states No Hormones or Steriods Added. No Antibiotics Ever, Fed 100% all vegetarian diet. I hope this is a good one.
|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 1:45 pm: || |
I think the chicken sounds great!
|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 7:51 pm: || |
Just one point on whey protein powder. Those without severe glutamate reactions can sometimes tolerate ultrafiltered/microfiltered as it is not processed under high heat and the protein is left intact. My son hasn't reacted to Jarrow Formulas. I've heard excellent things about Mercola's brand also. But it definitely would depend on your level of sensitivity, and certainly shouldn't be included in an elimination diet.
|Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 10:27 pm: || |
The chicken sounds good for grocery store chicken but chickens are omnivores so "100% vegetarian diet" is not necessarily a good thing (it means GMO corn and soy only), but at least it means that they no longer feed them the carcasses of their diseased compatriots. Pasture raised is much better because it allows them to forage for grass, grubs, insects and sunshine making much healthier chickens.
Sorry about graphic post, but once I started scrutinizing food ingredients, I just couldn't stop there. Once you find out all these facts about our food supply it is hard to "un-know" them and to resist spreading the word - just like spreading the word about msg.
On a personal note, my pastured chicken I buy from a local farm costs more but it isn't slimy like grocery store chicken and it tastes much better. Even the texture is better - it's hard to explain, but if you have the chance you really must try pasture raised meat.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - 5:23 pm: || |
Ok, So I am at the end of Day 2 and things are going terrible!!! My headaches started out Monday very light. Started with scrambled eggs and after the gym I was ok, had a tangerine for snack and had my chicken and and short grain brown rice for lunch. Headache started getting worse. By dinner time my headache was in full effect. Probably a 7 on a 10 scale. By the end of the day it probably bumped up to an 8.
Well today I woke with a headache and it only got worse. Started the day again with scrambled eggs and had an apple minus the outside for snack. My headache was about a 9 by lunch. I came home from work to rest and I also felt and still feel terribly weak. I also feel very emotionally drained and loosing my mental edge. I don't know if the lack of coffee (usually 1 medium a day) has anything to do with it, but man am I wiped!
My wife made some more chicken with a sweet potato, beans, and since I never tried it, she made cabbage. That was about 3 hours ago and my headache is currently about a 4. Where typically I would say it idles most of the time between 2-3 on light days and usually a 5 on bad days. The really bad days don't happen often.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 - 11:44 pm: || |
It's quite a long, arduous process to get your body off of MSG, especially given that it might have addictive qualities on top of all the potential harms. Would this be the first time that something that's considered safe is actually harmful AND addictive?
Someone ought to start a 12-step program like there is for alcohol and nicotine addiction. It's been almost 1.5 years since I've been (mostly) MSG-free and my favorite MSG-laden food/beverages are still sneaking into my dreams at night every now and then.
Anyway, I'm glad that you're past (or might have skipped) the denial phase.
Please read my article that I published last December and feel free to send it to everyone you know: http://www.naturalnews.com/025066.html
|Posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 - 7:16 am: || |
In re-reading your original post, you say the headache gets progressively worse as the day goes on and is at is worse when you go to bed. This makes me wonder if foods eaten during the day are worsening the headache (e.g. lunch building on breakfast, dinner building on lunch, etc.)
Based on your recent food changes, and that the headaches got worse with the new foods, one might wonder if it was caused by the new foods (assuming foods eaten are causing it in the first place).
Another possibility is the increased headache intensity was caused by "withdrawal" (much like caffeine withdrawal in someone for whom caffeine causes headaches in the first place)
One thing to try might be to fast for 1 day (no food, just water).
If the headache gets terrible, that might rule out foods being eaten.
If the headache intensity increases during the course of the day (like it normally does), that might suggest that foods eaten throughout the day are not incrementally making it worse (lunch building on breakfast, dinner building on lunch, etc.).
With all that said, headaches are scary, and we are not doctors, so I'm only offering my 2 cents from a trouble-shooting standpoint: what I would do if it were me.
To complicate matters worse, if it is related to diet, and not knowing if there is a "withdrawal" factor, you don't know how long it takes for a dramatic change in diet to have a dramatic change in symptoms.
When I was troubleshooting my terrible skin rash, I'd stop eating a suspect food for a week, the rash was still there, and I'd conclude it wasn't that suspect food. The whole problem with my experiment at the time was I wasn't eliminating all the sources of MSG in my diet (only one), then making a false conclusion.
That's why an elimination diet with as few foods as possible is an ideal way of ruling out food as a source.
A completely different trouble-shooting approach might be to wait till your headaches subside, then have a huge serving of parm cheese which you think might have caused the terrible headache last time. If it does the same thing again, one might surmise that it's something in the parm cheese (e.g. like free glutamic acid, or something else). Or, maybe taking pure MSG (like Accent seasoning) on an food you normally eat; if a large dose of MSG causes a terrible headache, then it's probably NOT dental or chiropractic in cause).
Anyway, I hope that some of these options are helpful. In the end, you have to decide which way to go.
Please keep us in the loop, we're all rooting for you!
|Posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 - 5:11 pm: || |
guruofmsg and MikeS, Thanks for the replies. Mike, I agree with foods as a possible trigger since it gets worse as my day goes on. Thatís one of the reasons after researching the msg thing I believed I could be progressively poisoning my body. I say from health standpoint, my stomach feels great. No bloating since this started, not really a big issue, but a few slices of pizza would do me in. Right now my headaches are about a 4 and I hate to say but I had to crack and have a coffee. I felt I could not continue if I did not try to give me energy. The coffee was a k-cup regular coffee with only my organic whole milk.
I honestly canít imagine these new foods being a trigger. The only possibility being the new chicken as everything else (besides cabbage) I have eaten before. I will try the cheese thing again if necessary, but I plan on sticking this out for at least the week.
I am actually searching for a headache Dr. or Naturopath to go to for this and see how to proceed. I would like to be sure my diet is squared away and healthy and not a possible cause of this. I believe that something in my diet is bad because of the worsening headache during the day.
Thanks again and I will keep updatingÖÖhopefully with improvements.
|Posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 - 6:50 pm: || |
Just my 2 cents again: try very hard to give it a good week or two, and in the ideal: eat just 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fat, and sea salt.
If, symptoms get worse, has just happened, try switching to a different protein (e.g. beef instead of chicken), carb (but not wheat), fat (maybe olive to sunflower, but not soy).
If you had to have coffee, it would be ideal not to add milk because some here have problems with dairy; dairy would not be an elimination phase food.
And, I wouldn't rush to try the test of intentionally eating MSG or msg containing food. Give this a good week or two.
When I was having the most free glutamic acid, and things were absolutely terrible, it did take about 2 weeks to get from a 10+ down to a 1 or 2 intensity of symptoms.
And yes, please keep us updated.
|Posted on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 2:33 am: || |
Sometimes something as simple as sleeping with an extra pillow can help:
|Posted on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 6:03 am: || |
SpinKid, I don't know if this actually helped or not, but when I was having reactions, I spent a lot of time in the sauna "trying to sweat it out of me".
I may have overdone it, as you can sweat a lot of mag/cal/ and electrolytes out of your system, but since you go to the gym, and if they have a sauna, something to consider,
|Posted on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 11:25 am: || |
Well, so far today has been a fairly light headache day. I woke up with maybe a 1 which I only could barely notice. Its stayed pretty much a 2 for the most part so far today. Improvements albeight slight are a positive sign and a good motivator.
Mike, I might try the sauna at the gym, if it doesn't work, I hear its good to shave after being in one, so not a total waste. On a previous reply, you said no milk on the elimination diet, but it does say to make all that brown rice and eat with milk. I thought it was ok as long as it was whole organic and not ultrapasturized?
|Posted on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 12:01 pm: || |
I would NOT eat milk on an elimination diet, no way. The whole point is just the bare minimum. Also: Milk is one of the top 8 allergens, and you some folks here do react to it.
I was on an elimination diet of chicken, white rice noodle, sunflower oil & sea salt for a solid month, then 2 weeks at a time after various reactions, trying to get back to a neutral base line.
Yes, I know it's boring, but it keeps things simple. You can do it !! And, what if, for example, an elimination diet plus milk gives you a headache scale=2, but pure elimination eliminates the headache all together? You wouldn't want to make a false conclusion that an "elimination diet" didn't "cure" the headache.
You need a pure clean base line. As few foods as possible.
I'm glad today's headache is better than before.
We're all keeping our fingers crossed.
|Posted on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 2:49 pm: || |
Hey Spinkid, I noticed the coffee....caffeine withdrawal gave me a horrible headache for days so caffeine withdrawal might be contributing to the continuation of your headaches. Another thing to consider: coffee blocks the absorption of calcium and there is a connection between headaches/migraines and calcium channels (can't remember what off the top of my head, but something you may want to research).
I would second the opinion to remove milk and coffee (try ginger tea with raw honey instead - also good for digestion) and give it at least a week - our problems were very different but we starting feeling real relief after about the third or fourth day. What you are doing is really hard but it sounds like you are doing great!
|Posted on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 3:21 pm: || |
Kristy - How do you make your ginger tea? Do you buy ginger root?
|Posted on Friday, November 06, 2009 - 3:09 pm: || |
Hey Hope, I do buy fresh ginger root. We keep it on hand along with a tea ball. I just peel the ginger root (the back side of the knife or even a spoon works well) then finely dice about 1" - 2" of ginger and put it in the tea ball. We add filtered water in a saucepan to barely cover the ball and then heat. I bring it to a boil and then immediately turn if off and let it steep about 10 minutes. We put between 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. (the kids like it sweet!) of raw honey in our mug and then pour the tea over it. Stir and enjoy. You can use pasteurized honey if you want, but try raw if you never have....it is to die for. This is so delicious and it helped us through the flu this year. Great alternative to sinus meds or cough medicine and the raw honey is just as important for these as the ginger.
It's funny because I only had powdered ginger in food growing up so I thought I hated it. Real ginger root is so fruity and spicy, I love it. We add it to all kinds of things now - especially our ginger carrot fermented veggies. It is a natural decongestant, digestive aid, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial - it is definitely something we should be eating more of during flu season. Local raw honey is said to be very good for those with seasonal allergies, too.
BTW, I found all this info when we came down with the flu this year and couldn't find any meds without corn. We had recently discovered crystallized ginger and loved it as a treat, but we also found a simpler version: use a peeler to slice paper thin slices of ginger and put them in a container and cover with raw honey. Shake and store - gets better with age. You can eat the ginger like candy and use the honey to sweeten herbal teas.
I sound like a ginger salesperson but I am just so excited about it. It's one of my favorite discoveries of the year.
|Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 3:38 pm: || |
How you doing?
If you're up to it, we'd love an update.