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Could I have permanent brain damage? ...

Battling the MSG Myth » "Help! I Have a Question" » Could I have permanent brain damage? Long lasting cheese puff headache. Please help. « Previous Next »

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Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 3:32 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Short summary: I have had a MSG induced headache for one and half months that never fully goes away, only diminishes in strength at times, from eating a large amount of cheese puffs (one and half months ago).

About me: I've been MSG sensitive since I was a child, but my MSG sensitivity multiplied by 10 fold after I started having Fibromyalgia issues 6 or so years ago. I have extreme food sensitivities to many additives and types of foods. I usually try to avoid them.

What I suspect caused my Fibromyalgia originally: I suspect (ecoli) food poisoning from a spinach salad is what caused my Fibromyalgia in 2007. I have had major food intolerances ever since. Ever since the day I ate that salad, I've had abnormal reactions to food, hair loss, vertigo, irregular periods, spotting, brain fog, butterfly face rashes (no lupus though) distorted vision, aches and pains, and a long list of annoyances. Biggest noticeable difference is the way my body reacts to food. It always reacts, just sometimes it reacts much stronger than other times. (And FYI, brain - MRI normal 5 years ago. Also blood work normal-negative for autoimmune conditions)

More info about this specific incident and symptoms: Two months ago, my partner brought home two kittens. He also brought me a nasty contagious cold which I caught. I was extremely sick for weeks with the stubborn cold, and didn't realize I was allergic to the kittens but soon made the connection. I didn't have a headache with the cold nor allergy, just breathing issues, congestion, and sore throat. However, because I was feeling miserable and hungry, I gave in and picked up a huge container of cheese puffs and went to town eating them. I'd had a few puffs earlier in the day with no reaction and thought it would be safe, even though usually I stay away from cheesy snacks. The headache descended on me hard right away as I ate them. I stopped eating them when the pain came and hoped the headache would go away in time.. but it really has not. Sometimes the pain subsides, but it always comes back. Almost going on two months.

Symptoms: Ongoing headache that subsides and strengthens. It feels as if there is a cold, tingly spot on the top of my skull, right on the top center of my head. It tingles all the time. In addition to this, I have pressure around my eyes and eye strain often when I dart my eyes around. I also sometimes have tension going down my jaw, and in the muscles around my eyes and nose. I have vertigo very badly. Sometimes when I wake, I feel a sensation as if one eye is bulging more than the other. I sometimes have these symptoms on and off with Fibromyalgia. I kind of feel that my Fibromyalgia is exacerbated mostly by food and additives, although eliminating doesn't seem to completely cure my Fibromyalgia, it does help me to manage it much better. But food and my sickness are intertwined and interrelated.

But in regards to this recent headache, I'm scared and nervous that I seriously 'excited my neurons to death' this last time and that my brain is permanently damaged and that I will have to live in pain like this forever.

Does anyone have any advice?

Should I see a neurologist? Should I take any supplements? Has anyone had a long lasting headache that eventually went away? Has anyone had panging head pain spots after eating? Its hard to think about a treatment when my body is SO sensitive to a wide variety of chemicals and substances.

Empathy and sympathy are appreciated, but what I'd really like more than anything is a direction to go in and hope for relief. If anyone has any advice, it would be appreciated.

-Regretful cheese puff eater :-(
Roy Piwovar
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 8:39 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CheesePuffEater,do you get any relief from ibuprofen? As a glutamate blocker it's worth a try. Also, I would keep a food diary to see if anything you're eating is extending the reaction.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 11:49 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

thanks Roy. I have not thought to try ibuprofen. Perhaps tomorrow I'll grind some up and try a very small amount (since I'm very med-sensitive) and then go from there and take a bit more if I seem able to tolerate without too many adverse affects.

If I were to accidentally ingest a large amount of MSG again in the future, might ibuprofen help lesson the negative affects?
Roy Piwovar
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Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 - 3:36 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CheesePuffEater, I have found ibuprofen to reverse an MSG reaction at the same rate as it set in, but have to take 3 for that result. Someone smaller might need less. Nothing else works at all for me.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 - 5:28 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CheesePuffEater, I don't know if you are reacting to free-glutamic acid or if it's something else....or a combination of things. Some of your symptoms remind me of an autoimmune disease. From what I've read fibro is classified as one, and if you have one, you are at much greater risk of developing another.

I've read a lot about A.D.s over the last 3 months and can recommend a great book, "YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM RECOVERY PLAN: A DOCTOR'S 4-STEP
PROGRAM TO FEEL BETTER NOW by SUSAN S. BLUM, M.D." It takes a comprehensive approach in dealing with/treating it.

I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, because I certainly don't but you may have several systems out of balance and need to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you can. I understand it's important to treat the symptoms but it's also important to look at the whole picture and see if there is anything you can do to improve the entire body, as everything's connected.
Roy Piwovar
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Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013 - 10:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 7:00 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You have gotten good advice...but I'll throw one more thing into the mix. I would be very suspicious that you are eating things that have trace amounts of free glutamate that you didn't react to before, but are enough to keep the cheese puff reaction continuing. Also, a large ingestion like that can trigger a new level of sensitivity, at least it did for me. ESPECIALLY if it's associated with a virus, for some reason. I would suspect that your immune system being reactive at the same time as the high load of glutamate could have triggered something.

My suggestion, as you also investigate the immune issues that others have suggested, is that you consider going on Deb's test diet, elsewhere on the site. (
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 7:02 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PS: having no reaction to a food in my book is not any indicator. It's really critical to read ingredient lists. MSG builds up in your system, so the trigger food might not be something that causes a reaction one time, but is the last straw another time. Other factors also determine severity of reaction, such as low blood sugar, presence of heavy metals (including aluminum, in many baked goods). It's just too much playing with fire to eat a food and decide based on only that whether to eat more of it. Just my experience, learned the hard way!
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 5:37 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I discovered years ago that aspartame gives me headaches, so that might be one place to look. MSG gives me a numb sort of feeling around my nose and mouth area similar to what you described, as well.

In my case, it also turns out that I'm also sensitive to gluten. Most of my major symptoms around that involve fatigue and brain fog and skin rashes. The food diary mentioned earlier is good idea, plus the other ideas. I mostly wanted to suggest a specific look at aspartame and gluten.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 9:48 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I was very sick (from MSG) any accidental ingestion would set me back. Muscle twitching might start the next day and last for a week or more. That is one way I know that I have gotten some FGA. I believe that Fibromyalgia, as suggested in some readings, is caused by chronic FGA overexposure. Neurons are firing, just like in my muscle twitching and it sounds like, just like in your headaches. I still take and stand by the use of taurine to slow or stop the neurons firing. It's been posted here a number of times, that epilepsy drugs are (were? are they on the market now - I've stopped checking) being tested with taruine added. As I've said before! Pure US made powdered taurine can be purchased at Cheap. Definitely worth a try. I still take 2-4Kmg when I have trouble sleeping or notice any muscle twitching - it's been my miracle drug (when combined with a clean diet!) Thanks, Deb :-)
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 12:41 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Perhaps I was lucky that my reaction to MSG is/was Atrial Fibrillation. Once suspected, it was very easy for me to replicate the reaction as MSG was a common "spice" available at the grocery store fifteen years ago. I could be guaranteed an A-Fib reaction if I took as little as 1/4 of a teaspoon of the stuff.

How many people have suffered here with less dramatic reactions and have been prescribed all sorts of medicines including antibiotics to treat their symptoms. These treatments come with their own side effects and one of them that I suspect is that over use of antibiotics results in killing off the good bacteria that the body needs in the gut to digest and synthesize food. Thus many of us who discover MSG and other excitotoxins as the root cause of their problems also have to address related symptoms caused by years of misdiagnosis and ineffectual treatments.

This fact is clearly responsible for the FDA and excitotoxin manufacturers to argue that there are just too many symptoms being attributed to these excitotoxins and as such, the affected people must be in a minority or else everyone would be experiencing common symptoms. But common symptoms are not the track that these excitotoxins take. Every individual can and does react differently with the introduction of these poisons. That is because they encounter them at different times and phases of their physical development.

In my case, I think I was made more vulnerable to the effects because I had heat stroke when I was young. They say that such an occurrence can compromise the brain/blood barrier. If mine was so compromised, the MSG could pass through that barrier and make me more prone to a reaction. My reason for stating this is that so many variables may be present in each individual that they may react entirely different to excitotoxins than the person standing next to them. But they both may react.

Tom :-) :-(
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013 - 1:07 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom that was so well put.

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