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In tears - please help. I want to jus...

Battling the MSG Myth » Share Your Symptoms » In tears - please help. I want to just give up « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 12:49 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am at my wits end. I feel insane and am beginning to doubt myself. I'm 37 years old, always been hypersensitive in being intuitive, etc. (An INFP brain-type for anyone who knows what that is).

I loved KFC, canned raviolis, etc. Mom used cream of mushroom soups in casseroles, etc. By 13, had migraines, went to neurology clinic. "Unexplained."

By 16, was depressed, slashing self b/c felt "crazy" and hated it. I never wanted to be nuts. Mood swings, would get tired after eating, etc.

At 23, was pregnant - developed gestational diabetes (did not fit profile - am 5'2, 110 lbs). They found a goiter at this time, "unexplained". Dr told me to avoid sugar with the diabetes, drink diet pop. When I did, my head felt "funny". I mentioned this to him and he assured me it was safe. 15 years later, am hooked on it but don't want to be.

After baby born, really severe depression. The diabetes "disappeared" but I still had to watch blood sugar as I could feel it spike and ebb - randomly. Depression written off as "baby blues" and I was given Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft, etc. When they didn't work, the dosages were increased to obscene and I felt like a walking zombie.

By my 3rd baby, depression was no better but at least I didn't much care. I developed "hyperemesis" with her, threw up constantly, and could only eat Ramen Noodle Soup and mashed potatoes and diet pop. Kept throwing up. They later attributed the hyperemesis to hyperthyroid, "cause unknown". I went to an endocrinologist, tested for Grave's, etc., all negative. They told me to live with it. One good thing is that I was so sick, I got OFF all anti-depressants and will NEVER touch them again.

After 3rd baby born also, was diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. This was some other internist, I went to HIM after setting off the heart-rate alarms in a DOT physical 3 times. That doctor said he could hear my heart speeding up and slowing down while I was on the table. An EKG showed up nothing, I was referred to the Mental Health Unit. I felt so humiliated and frustrated. I've been to Urgent Care shaky with a resting pulse of 120, told, <shrugging> "we can't help you". They'd look at me like *I* must be doing it myself.

My thyroid went out again severe enough to put me in the hospital in 2006. Once again, cause unknown, told to "live with it." It was hunting season and we unknowingly ate huge amounts of canned, processed food, etc. No doctor ever seems to think of that. I never connected it myself before.

I tracked this recently from a can of ravioli and being told by a friend that "you crash very hard after eating fast food." 30 minutes after eating the ravioli (which I hadn't eaten for a LONG time) I had the headache from h*** and a most awful mood crash. It was like something told me after I came out of it, "Brenda, what did you eat?" I found the info about MSG but am EXTREMELY frustrated trying to get away from it. I'm a truck driver and my cooking and time options are very limited.

I tried to go off diet pop cold turkey a week or so ago after learning all I have (large amounts of it) cold turkey. Initially felt pretty good but by the next day thought I was going to have a stroke the pain was so bad. I tried a little caffeine thinking caffeine headache, didn't work. Only caving and drinking the pop got rid of the headache but I've been screwed up for days from that. How do I get OFF this stuff without also killing myself in the process?

Trying to cut MSG, I ended up eating a steak one night that had mushroom sauce on it. Very bad idea. I didn't catch the sauce being bad. Headache before I got back to the hotel (on vacation), next day my eyes were swollen w/dark circles. I had the chills in 75 degree weather (no fever) and was too weak and tired to get out of bed. A friend witnessed this and said, "Oh my god!" He's the one who now also believes (he mood-crashes, has headaches, is achy) and is trying to get rid of the MSG and his heavy aspartame use also.

I am in tears b/c I went to see a more homeopathic chiropractor in desperation who agreed and warned about the dangers of MSG/aspartame. He then sold me a $48 bottle of some supplement. I took one last night. Woke up today with a headache. I looked at the label: glutamic acid and L-Glutamine in them. WHY WHY WHY give a glutamic-sensitive person something like this? Is there no doctor that helps?!

A friend and I are struggling terribly with aspartame withdrawal to the point I feel I'll die if I stay on it and die by trying to get off of it. We're both mood-crashing so badly it isn't funny. We feel insane when this hits.

These headaches, horrible depression, dizziness, extremely tired all the time, terrible backaches plus all the other things mentioned. I shake, twitch, feel irritable. I feel like I'm mentally ill. I'm scared to eat anything and thinking maybe I am just crazy and should give up and die. This is no way to live.

These headaches, horrible depression, dizziness, extremely tired all the time, terrible backaches plus all the other things mentioned. I shake, twitch, feel irritable.

I'm very angry this crap is in all the food and I don't appreciate having brain/central nervous system damage. I'm going to buy Deb's book if I can keep myself level enough here to function. I sound probably like a nut. I've been told by doctors and some friends that I just don't think positively enough and that's why I don't feel good, or they seem to not believe me that I DON'T WANT to be this way!

I sometimes can't drive like I'm supposed to b/c I feel so rotten or have to pull over and rest constantly for the same reasons. One day plans are made that sound great then the next I feel so lousy it's hard to do them.

I'm sorry for ranting. I'm so frustrated and tired of feeling bad. I didn't know peanuts had glutamic acid in them. I ate a handful earlier and it pushed my headache into the "I feel like I'm having a stroke" category. Onions and garlic don't agree w/my stomach well.

Thank you for listening.

Tiffany P.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 6:18 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brenda, I posted a thread a little like yours, called "mental illness". I was very upset like you when I first found this website. That was only like 3 months ago. I was scared to death that I was going insane.

You are not going to die by getting off diet pop and MSG. The first thing I did was cut out caffeine. Because I learned that caffeine is a brain stimulant, and you can develop a sensitivity to it that can cause schizophrenic like symptoms. The first few days were SO hard. But getting rid of that took away that "crazy" feeling I had, and also took away my muscle weakness and heart palpitations.

I used to be addicted to diet pop, like you. Diet pop is SO bad for you! Oh my goodness. I stopped cold turkey. You really need to get off of that because aspartame is an excitotoxin just like msg. It caused my right eye to swell up on the inside and I lost most of my vision for a while. When I got off aspartame, it went away.

I know it is so overwhelming trying to radically change your diet and trying to figure out which foods you can eat. I don't know how sensitive you are and what foods are bothering you, but here's what I did:

Since I had so many mental issues, I decided to cut out MSG, gluten, dairy, caffeine, and finally sugar. I did a lot of research and found out gluten and dairy can cause a lot of my symptoms, so I thought I would rather be safe than sorry. I cut out sugar because of Candida. It is a bacteria that can overgrow in our bodies and cause mental issues as well. Basically I am following the same plan that Jenny Mccarthy did for her son when she cured him of autism.

You may not want to be so drastic, you may just want to start with cutting out msg.

But I am going to give you a copy of my food list that I made. I have finally perfected it, and I eat nothing that is not on it. I started with Deb's test diet and made a few adjustments.

Gluten, Dairy, MSG, Caffeine and Sugar Free Diet!


Cereal (tastie o's organic)
Rice milk
Almond milk
Eggs, Potatoes and Peppers


Popcorn plain
Almond butter
Rice cakes
Shake (rice milk, almond butter, flax seed, vanilla)


1. Chicken Salad
2. Spaghetti
3. Roast and potatoes
4. Meatloaf
5. Fried chicken and rice
6. Stuffed green peppers
7. Steak and fries

Sides: Veggies, Potatoes, Fries, rice, beans

I make sure to strictly buy foods with no msg, gluten, or dairy. You have to watch out for some meats. My spaghetti is made out of rice, and the sauce is homemade. I also make my own rice milk. I can post the recipes for any of that if you want.

The key to your success is first of all: Learning which foods to select at the store, that do not contain hidden msg.

Then you are going to need to plan out what you are going to eat, so you don't end up hungry and feel like you have to deny yourself and eat plain rice and eggs for a week like I did.

And you are going to have to cook. I am still trying to get used to this. I am so used to just microwaving something fast. I spend a lot of time each day in the kitchen, but I am considering buying all my foods for the week on Saturday, and then cooking them all up at once on Sunday, then freezing them until I need them.

If you have any questions at all let us know. Try to stick with it, it will be worth it. I am not 100% better, but I am not as miserable as I was before and that is worth a lot!

Tiffany P.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 6:35 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When you said: " I feel like I'm mentally ill. I'm scared to eat anything and thinking maybe I am just crazy and should give up and die. This is no way to live. "

You are just overwhelmed and confused! I have been there! I have totally felt that way since May. I am just now feeling calm since I have my safe foods planned out. You need to remember the truth.

The truth is that MSG and Aspartame are exotoxins. We also know that caffeine can mess up the dopamine levels in our brain, making you feel crazy. Start with that. If you are interested in learning about gluten/dairy and how they can cause mental problems, I can post some of the links I have for you to read.

It is hard to give up the foods you love, and start eating different, but you will get used to it. I did, and I still have to eat with my 3 kids and rest of my family who all still eat the stuff I used to. I had to go to McDonald's with my grandma and kids, and watch them eat big macs while I ate a potato with salt and pepper. My birthday is tomorrow, and everyone will be having pizza hut pizza at my party while I eat stuffed green peppers. You get used to it.
You can do it!
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 7:05 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brenda, you found the right place! We are here to help so stick with us for a while... I just know this is the answer for you. First, you need to take baby steps. You MUST get off the diet soda's and anything else with aspartame. To make the transition easier, start by switching to regular soda's (sugar is better than HFCS and HFCS is better than Aspartame). Then, slowly start cutting your intake. It will be hard and you will have headaches. Whenever I detox from caffeine it has to be cold turkey and I usually had to spend 4 to 5 days in bed in absolute misery. However, it doesn't sound like cold turkey is going to work for you. If the slow reduction of sodas isn't going well, maybe talk to your doctor and see if they can help you. I'm serious, caffeine and aspartame are drugs. Just because they're legal doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken seriously. Find a doctor who will take you seriously on ALL of this (MSG, Aspartame, Caffeine, etc.). As soon as they start talking down to you like you're nuts, move on and find another one. Don't let them waste your time.

Second. Start eliminating processed foods. Raw veggies and fruit are just as easy as grabbing packaged foods. Next, start carving out some time to prepare large batches of food and freezing in individual containers for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. One of the easiest things I make is 3lbs of (safe) hamburger, throw in some sauteed onions and garlic, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and a small can or two of safe tomato puree and probably a bit of water. Throw it over some rice pasta, and voila. I can get 10 meals out of this and it's super quick and easy. I can eat it cold while on the road, and I also have an electric plate and small pan I take with me to heat stuff up.

You can eat stuff like butter (organic with cream and salt only), olive oil, and whole milk. So don't be concerned that your food will be boring or that this is some sort of nutso restrictive diet. We can eat any treats we want, it just has to be homemade with safe ingredients.

I just know you will benefit so much from eliminating processed foods. Getting over the hump and withdrawls will be hard, but it will be brief in the grand scheme of things and will be SO worth it.

I do hope you will stick around and give this a try. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Getting through the hard part is a small price to pay to be able to enjoy the rest of your life.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 7:10 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Tiffany, I noticed that you have plain popcorn on your list of foods. Can I suggest using organic popcorn? I have only found it online, but it's worth it. Popcorn is highly toxic and loaded with pesticides and chemicals.
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 7:36 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Lauren. I'm not as focused on pesticides and eating organic anymore because I know that while they are not ideal, I doubt that they are causing my symptoms. Plus, I can't afford to order food online, I'm on a tight budget. Right now I am sticking to eliminating things that have been proven to cause my symptoms. Thank you though :-)
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 7:42 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

***correction*** My cereal is called "perky o's", I just bought it yesterday, but it has a little sugar in it, so I think I will switch to gluten free oatmeal, they sell it at my grocery store.
Lauren II
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 7:54 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You can do it. Its hard, really hard to transition, but better than not being able to get out of bed or feeling crazy all the time.

Don't be too hard on yourself. My favorite quote from Deb A. (the website and book author) is this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Give up one thing at a time(there is good advice above on which) and take it slow.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 9:58 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you for the replies & listening to me. I was at my wits end yesterday after discovering the supplements ALSO contained glutamic acid and pretty upset with the doctor, who claimed he knew and understood. My frustration-o-meter hit red.

I can feel rather crappy for several days if I eat the wrong thing which really affects my job. Today I'm feeling drained (muscle weakness) and shaky from yesterday's supplement episode.

I'm an OTR truck driver, I have my own truck and am locked into a lease with it so I can't just quit and find something else so I'm going to have to try to do the best I can w/this for right now. It scares me b/c Kenworth doesn't care if I become too ill to drive - you make the lease payments or else (requiring the truck must be run) or they sue you. I don't want to have to file bankruptcy.

I have limited space in my truck. Does anyone have perhaps any helpful suggestions to smaller appliances I could cook with? I have a microwave and crockpot. I also have a fridge - it's pretty small so I can't store too much but I do have one in here.

How about quicker things to prepare? Or suggestions for what you do if you're in more of a hurry? If I stop, they don't give us a whole lot of time to make deliveries so stops must be limited also. Yeah, I know - very un-ideal. But maybe there is someway around this so I can function better.

We as truck drivers are used to running absolutely ragged. The stress factor doesn't work well with finding out you can't have aspartame/msg.

I have just purchased Deb's book and I made a note of food suggestions listed in your responses. I'm based out of Fargo, ND. There is a Cashwise here that has a natural foods section where I found sliced meat w/NO additives, etc. Smoe snack foods that don't seem to bother me.

It's very weird. Plain potato chips a week or two ago didn't bother me or so I thought. But when I tried to eat some last night, I began itching. What in the world?? Is that the extreme-sensitivity, system topped-out thing going on? I'd thought I was ok with peanuts too (ingredients: peanuts, sea salt, honey) until yesterday when they made me extremely crabby and irritable.

Have you taken any sort of supplements (taurine? Does that help?) that have helped you function a little better? Is there something that can help a person especially detox from aspartame so it can be totally walked away from? That stuff may have done permanent damage to me. 15 years of it, was drinking 96 oz of diet pop a day (unknowingly) PLUS diet energy drinks - I've gotten rid of those - and sugar-free gum, yogurt. I saw somewhere I can order gum sweetened with xylitol so the other gum will be pitched out. I replaced the yogurt w/some that doesn't have aspartame or gelatin, carrageenan, etc., in it. My friend and I are having such terrible withdrawal symptoms trying to ditch the aspartame that we're kind of at a loss. We've both cut back but can't seem to entirely drop it. It's not that we don't WANT to. Aspartame does terrible things to your brain, apparently. I've had such severe mental reactions too (suicidal) that I must be very careful with trying to do this.

Thank you all for all your help. Please bear with any posts from me asking redundant questions, or just venting. I've found very few that understand this or believe it.

I would like to register to post so I'm not "anonymous" - how do I do that?

Thank you,

Lauren II
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 10:28 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watch supplements! I took them for a while thinking they helped and they only made things worse. I've yet to find a vitamin or supplement that does not contain something forbidden for me.

I, too, can no longer eat foods that I could. I ate wheat, dairy, corn, junk food, and soy for years without a problem. My guess would be the body just reaches a limit processing all those poisons (in my case those things are poison) and cannot do it any more.

You are learning a whole new diet and it will get better. Yes, you will also be suffering b/c your brain is re-adjusting without chemicals its had for years.

If it helps, if I have too much glutamate I have seizures. Epilepsy is caused by too much glutamate in some people and I am one of them. I mention it b/c--trust me--I'd much rather have a headache or be shaky or panicky or almost anything then have a seizure just for having a slice of pizza. Of course, that is not to minimize anyone's suffering (I get those symptoms, too, and they are awful), I just saying it could be worse.

Take a deep breath, don't panic and you will be fine. Everyone here has slightly different sensitivities. You will find your own.

If its helpful, I don't read ingredients labels any more. I just don't eat any processed food at all under any circumstances. Certain fruits, veggies and meats is all I do. While extremely limiting at first, its almost easier then trying to read labels all the time.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 10:54 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I can't imagine the difficulties with trying to cut out or down on Aspartame when you've been used to consuming so much of it - but know it must be hard because my husband doesn't seem to be able to kick it completely and he didn't drink or eat that much to begin with. But it sounds like you certainly have the desire and that's the first step. Good for you.

Do you drive interstate and stay out of town? I didn't see what type of driver you are. Do you have time when you are at home to prepare a few things and freeze them then put them in the frig on the truck? Fruit is mother nature's great snack and most requires no or little preparation. Nuts (perhaps other than peanuts) are good and seeds too, some places you can buy them in bulk. Hard-boiled eggs keep well in the frig. Bread/crackers, if you can find any with safe ingredients - sometimes that can be difficult. Canned tuna or salmon with just water and maybe salt is good (I eat it out of the can as is), may also be hard to find but it's out there. Plain yogurt with fresh fruit (or a dap of jam). And drinking good old water is about all I drink.

Posting with your name - just type 'Brenda' in the "Username:" box, then type 'msgkills' in the "Password:" box and click preview/post message. that's it.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 11:50 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have things happen similar to Tourette's. Like a mild seizure almost but it doesn't hit like epilepsy. I'm very sorry it does that to you.

My arm or head will jerk uncontrollably. I've inadvertently flung or dropped things when this happens. I shake sometimes. My speech will go to where I sound drunk or can't get the words in my head out.

Aspartame also causes seizures in some. I read they're putting it in Depakote (sp?) - which is an anti-seizure drug! What awful disgusting crookedness.

I'll have to drop the aspartame more gradually since it causes the severe withdrawals - whereas stopping the MSG isn't quite so drastic in that department. If I avoid it, I just feel better. I do initially stopping the pop, too until the withdrawal crap kicks in. I'm trying to not drink it until the nausea, headaches hit and cutting the amount consumed that way.

Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 1:15 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I too thought I was having seizures as you describe, but in my case it was my elevated heart rates keeping blood from properly circulating due to MSG induced A-Fib. I was actually almost "blacking out" from lack of oxygen and to me it felt like I was having a seizure. I would get all tingly and shake and have sweats. I too had difficulty with speech. I dreaded having to get up in front of meetings because at times I felt like I was strangling on my words and the thoughts I had would not come out as speech.

Once I started becoming successful with MSG and Aspartame abstention, all these symptoms eventually disappeared, but it took at least 6 months of diligent abstention.

I also hit upon a mix of supplements that I experimented with and tailored to my system based upon interaction with many others on this discussion group. These supplements include CoQ10, Vitamin B6, Taurine and Magnesium Orotate.

Also, you might try diet sodas that don't contain Aspartame. My wife has had success replacing her diet Pepsi addiction with Pepsi's product called "Pepsi One" which is made with Splenda instead.

Keep up the good work -- it only gets better.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 2:33 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, I am amazed at the symptoms that disappeared after your months of diligence. I think you should post your great success story in the Topic "Share your MSG story/recovery". I'm sure others could benefit from reading this.
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 2:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brenda, a few days of suicidal thoughts from getting off of aspartame is not going to kill you, because you can tell yourself that "it's just from the pop" and make it through. You can do it. I can only imagine how many of your symptoms are from the diet pop alone.

If you are in a pinch and need to eat, you could microwave a potato and open a can of green beans.

Maybe you could cook your meals at once, then freeze them, take them with you in a cooler, and microwave them as needed.

Good luck!
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 11:06 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tiffany, it makes me so happy to see the changes in you. I remember your earlier posts and you sounded a lot like Brenda...look how far you have come?! So Brenda, hang in there and know that the wonderful people here have been where you are now... and you can do this. The book will give you some good ideas and so will the fellow MSG victims here.
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 11:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And Brenda, know that most doctors are clueless about the hidden forms of free glutamate...all they know about is the seasoning salt of glutamate called MSG. Your chiropractor is probably unaware that the l-glutamic acid or glutamate in the supplement is the same glutamate in MSG.
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 12:49 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you all for your responses and support. I appreciate it so much.

I should clarify and I'm totally embarrassed and ashamed by this - but I have episodes where I go "out of my head" from the MSG/aspartame. That's where the suicide thing crops up. I have difficulty maintaining control, it's almost like "me" goes away and hides and someone else is there. I don't get suicidal over having to change my eating or giving up the pop - I WANT to do those things (though it's frustrating) - it beats feeling like garbage.

I found I'm now itching off eating the wrong things. I tried to eat some Ritz crackers, yeah that was a bad idea. I began itching and aching fairly quick after and get ridiculously tired. I passed out and woke up in a fit of rage (I know it was a reaction).

I didn't seem *that* touchy before and the itching is a new thing now.

So...I launched the crackers, the peanuts, etc. Went to the grocery store here and tried again. I have some brown rice, veggies, fruit. Organic whole milk. Non additive meats. I bought some seltzer water for that bubbly fix to assist w/getting off the diet pop. I tried Splenda (sucralose) but that also gave me a headache and a crawly stomach. So we'll either do unrefined or natural sweeteners or none at all (while and after I kick the aspartame).

I got back to my truck and fixed some dinner finally. I was so hungry and couldn't eat anything earlier after the stupid crackers.

I'd be interested in the gluten/diary info someone mentioned earlier. It's always good to review information.
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 5:33 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brenda, don't be embarrassed or ashamed about anything, especially here. You are heading in the right direction with your purchases, so don't focus on the mistakes, they are inevitible. I've been doing this for 9 months (wow, I can't believe it's been that long) and still make mistakes. But, the longer I eat properly, the recovery time is shorter and the sypmtoms aren't as severe. I'm so looking forward to the day when you tell us you are free from the sodas!
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 6:38 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lauren, I'm looking forward to that, too! I did pretty good w/it yesterday. We'll just keep cutting back little by little. Then I won't shock my system so bad.

I've been trying to steer my kids off the MSG also so they don't have to end up like me. Do you know my little 11 year old son came out to my truck and said, "Thanks Mom, for trying to not feed us poison". Made me a little teary-eyed. :-)

Oh, to answer somebody's question earlier, I am an over-the-road truck driver. I go all over the States and am usually out for a week or two at a time. If I run down to Virginia or Tennessee, for example, usually takes about a week to get down there and back up to Fargo. I've had to pace myself a little slower with these food issues as my stamina isn't there anymore. But that isn't a bad thing - overdoing it the way I have probably only makes one's system rebel harder.
vicki s
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 8:09 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brenda, I had the itching when changing my diet too. Itchy, crawly feeling in my skin. And a girlfriend of mine has the rage response....just so you know you aren't the only one! Msg is poison.
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 9:27 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brenda, I didn't mean to overwhelm you with the gluten/dairy thing. They may not be a problem for you. The reason I checked into it is because I heard Jenny McCarthy on TV, saying she cured her son's autism by cutting out sugar, gluten, dairy, and things like MSG. I felt like I had autism, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try the diet. To my surprise, 2 weeks on the diet it helped a lot, more so than 3 weeks of just cutting out MSG.

There is all sorts of stuff on the Internet if you do a Google search, that tells about how gluten can affect a person if they become intolerant of it, and the symptoms are a lot like those of MSG. I'll post a link to one page I found. By the way, there is a gluten antigen test your Dr. could do to see if you are reacting to gluten, if you wanted to try that before you started the diet. Although it may not be 100% effective. Here are a couple of links I found:
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 9:34 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here are a couple of good links about Caffeine intolerance and mental problems:
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 9:49 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like Tiffany said, you may not have a problem with gluten and dairy, so first focus on eliminating processed foods and MSG. If you are still having symptoms, then try eliminating dairy and gluten one at a time. I do much better when I don't consume dairy and gluten, but I do have it on occassion. Also, my acne is finally clearing up after avoiding dairy. I am tickled that your son said that to you. It's great that you are educating them as well. I SO wish I had known this at 11!
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Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 1:36 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Brenda,
There is a light at the end of your tunnel - guaranteed! You have so much to look forward to.
Just to add my two cents worth - inre Splenda. It's a good thing your body was quick to let you know that it isn't a good option either. Here's why (make sure to scroll down the whole page for even more links at the bottom):
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 9:55 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I've held a theory for a long time and have expressed it on this discussion board before. It is my theory that over the years, many of the symptoms we MSG sensitive people have had may have been treated by various physicians with antibiotics. Antibiotics are known to affect certain strains of bacteria -- some bad and some good. The good bacteria affected play a crucial role in keeping the normal flora of the digestive system in balance. When the antibiotics affect these good bacteria, the results may lead to an inability of the digestive system to create the required enzymes needed to digest lactose (milk) products or Gluten (wheat) products.

Having theorized this explains to me why certain of us MSG sensitive people have difficulty relieving all our symptoms by mere MSG/Aspartame abstinence.

Because of ineffective treatments for the symptoms of Excitotoxin poisonings, we are doomed to run the gauntlet of a multitude of symptoms caused by the supposed curative prescriptions.

Sounds pretty depressing doesnt it? But since Ive been successful abstaining from Excitotoxins, I have been able to limit my need for antibiotics and thus have avoided their bad digestive effects.

Im sure others here can attest to their sensitivities to various food ingredients due to digestive damage as I have suggested above. Were all different, but on this discussion group there seems to be a single thread that everyone can link back to Excitotoxin damage!

Keep up the good work. Im especially pleased that your son has seen how much you care for him by being concerned about what he eats. My grown children are just now beginning to make special dinners for me when I am invited over (Its been over ten years since I learned about my MSG sensitivity). In fact my oldest daughter bought Deb As book and is cooking healthier for her family.

Perhaps your son could learn to help you prepare food packages for your extended absences. It would help both of you bond during the short time you have together and he could show you how much he appreciates your desire for a healthy, happy family. :-)
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Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 - 10:47 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Natural Brazil Nuts with no salt or anything else works for me. I use them when I travel as they are filling and have a very low glycemic index. The nuts can almost replace a meal if you are on an airplane or a similar place with only processed food available. They contain high levels of selenium and a bunch of other rare earth trace minerals. Some people might be allergic though.
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 12:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well said, Tom. I can remember when my children thought I was going overboard with the way I began to eat when I discovered the MSG connection to my many ills. Now all of them avoid MSG. We can now see which grandchildren are more sensitive than some, although most are showing some degree. All of them know about MSG, even the 3 year old. They may not get it right away, but they can see how we improve and come to their own conclusions, eventually.
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Friday, August 08, 2008 - 12:15 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Deb,

Maybe we should all keep todays date in mind:


It should remind us how bad we all felt when we just "ate & ate & ate" without looking at what we were putting in our mouths and considering the adverse consequences.

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Posted on Saturday, August 09, 2008 - 12:41 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, I like that. I can only have five foods (chicken, cabbage, lettuce, pears, rutabagas, quonoa and rice) right now and its hard to stick to. I binge on forbidden foods and suffer!

I'll have to remember, 8-8-08 and the consequences of eating out of my league
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2008 - 11:48 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ha... I fell off the wagon on 8-8-08, I had some McDonald's and birthday cake. I still feel sick!
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 4:32 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, I fall off the wagon lots! Its so hard being able to eat only five foods (no matter what I do thats the only stuff I can eat). Its very easy to do...even knowing I will pay a price later.
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 7:27 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Help! I am a food addict. I am sensitive to practically everything (all my food should be glutamate, sulfite and salicylate free) and, despite that, I eat bad foods for me. It is not just a lack of self control. Its a mental illness/addiction that I let get the best of me.

I binge, make myself sick, have seizures (!) and still do it. Please, please, please send me encouraging words!

I have Deb's book and its great. I eat well at home, but am incapable of eating out without triggering problems, but I've eaten out almost every day this week. I know what the food is going to do to me and I can't stop. I know I should not eat out, but its so painful not to.

The suffering caused by the poor eating always seems less important than the suffering from not having my self-medicating foods. I come by the problem honestly, my family has a history of self-medicating with various things.

I just read that certain foods release the same pleasure chemicals in your brain as illegal drugs and I believe it. Also, that people like me have less dopamine (the pleasure chemical in the brain) than normal brains...just like drug addicts. So, we eat to stimulate our dopamine and get the pleasure response that nothing else gives.

Ironically, the more you binge, the more dopamine is inhibited and the more you have to eat just to feel normal. Nothing (and I mean nothing) feels as good as eating the foods that I should not. I won't bother people with the list, but suffice to say its the stuff with the sugar, preservatives, and fat that should be avoided.

I am convinced that I ate my way into my food sensititivies by binge eating for ten years. I am fortunate that my weight is under control, b/c I eat so well at home but I lose all control when eating out and cannot even conceive of a day when I don't eat out.

I made an appointment with a therapist today who specializes in addictions. I truly need treatment.

Everyone is so great on the list serve and clearly cares about each other.

Can someone please send me encouraging thoughts or share your own experience?

I normally just read and don't post, but I had to see if anyone else struggles with food addiction.

Thank you, my friends! I hope everyone is having a good day.

PS What to hear something crazy? I just finished a food binge and feel so great. I can literally feel my brain bathing in the pleasure and relaxing. Until I pay the inevitable price for ingesting the wrong foods, its like aaaahhhhhhhhhhh...
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 7:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Emily. I used to suffer from compulsive over eating. I never could get the hang of the purge part (thankfully). It used to be all or nothing for me... either I was so strict (never realized before that I could have butter and loose weight and feel better), or I was binging whole hog. So I do understand the addiction and compulsion. I had managed to get it under control before discovering the MSG connection, but it was still a daily struggle. It's funny though, over the last 9 months I had mostly forgotten about that part of my life, now being MSG/preservative/sulfite/crp-free until you brought it up.

I no longer have that struggle and food doesn't have the hold on me that it used to. When I thought I was "eating clean" before, I was actually depriving myself of vital nutrients. And besides that, who can live on lettuce and grapefruit for long anyway? No wonder I always fell off the wagon. Now that I know about MSG and have eliminated it (and the other junk), all the cravings and the physcological hold is gone. I would so rather have homemade roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes loaded with butter than fast food french fries, homemade grass-fed juicy (and 100%) burgers rather than soy filled cheap crp, creamy thick homemade ice cream rather than the chemical and air filled junk people "think" is good... until they've tried the real thing. It's funny how I eat all this stuff and still maintain a 20lb weight loss. It's not real food making us fat, it's the fake food that's making us fat along with the wallet of the food industry.

I truly believe that if you can adhere to a month or two of strictly avoiding processed junk, you too will overcome this addiction. And after all, what is 2 months in the grand scheme of things? The rest of your life is certainly worth giving it a shot, no? The addiction and the compulsion had such a profound psycological effect on me that I can hardly believe I don't even think about it any more. I'm completely free of it now and I can't encourage you enough to try. No, don't try, just do it.
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 9:24 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I don't know that I had a food addiction, per se, but I once had horrible eating habits, albeit they were spawned from wanting to lose a little weight. I would binge, eating junk, then not eat the next day because I would feel guilty and also because I felt fat. Then I would feel deprived and the cycle would repeat itself.

Then, along came an event in my life that made me really, really want to eat good. I could all of a sudden see the future and didn't want to be eating like I had been anymore. I asked the doctor for a good diet, which he gave me. It had all good wholesome foods on it. I followed it to a 'T' for 4 months, although the first 3 weeks were very hard. Once I got over the 3 week hump it was almost easy to continue.

I know you can do it, you just need to see the future in a clear image. Your therapist will offer some help I'm sure. When you get up each morning look in the mirror, smile and say emphatically, "This is going to be a great day, I feel great and I won't eat out today"! Like smoking cessation, the first day is real tough, but the second morning when you look in the mirror your smile will be bigger than the first morning and will get bigger each subsequent day.

At first you may have to fight with your steering wheel to stay on the road and not turn in to the restaurant, but you can do it. I know you can!
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 6:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you, Lauren and Dianne, for sharing your stories and encouraging words. I will print them up and keep them with me.

I think I would do better if there were more than six foods I could eat. I can only eat chicken, turkey, cabbage, pears, millet and rice without a problem. Water is the only beverage I can drink.

Everything else causes a problem. All dairy, wheat/gluten, soy, corn, eggs, beef, pork, sea food, chocolate, mint, citrus, teas, juices, most fruits and vegetables (even well washed organics are off my list), vinegars/fermented products, honey, sugar, stevia, buckwheat, rice milk, potatos, tiapioca flour, rice the majority of everything, even substitutes are a "no go" for me. All seasonings, even organic fresh seasonings are impossible, too. I can use salt and thats it.

I don't use hair products. I use baking soda to brush my teeth, all natural fragrance-free organice soap and deoderant. No make up. My body cream is organic shortening from palm oil with a little bit of rose oil mixed in. I cannot tolerate the soy, salicylates and glutamate in any beauty or sunscreen products.

I don't take any vitamins or medications. Can't find any that don't mess me up.

But the big part is coping with the eating. Its so depressing waking up every morning knowing my options are plain millet or rice for breakfast, plain turkey or chicken for lunch, and cabbage for dinner...maybe with a pear thrown in for those crazy days.

I can do this for a week or two but then I get so depressed at the limited diet that I have to to have something else to eat. Sometimes my "binge" is just a fresh piece of organic fruit or broccoli and yet they mess me up like french fries.

Thank you again for your kind words. I will try to take them to heart and see if I can stick to the restricted diet for longer than a couple of weeks.
Tiffany P.
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 - 10:06 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, how did you find out all of those things you listed were harming you? You must have been experimenting for a while.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 5:35 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, Just curious, was a few days ago the first time you posted on this board. I ask this because there was an Emily that posted a few months ago...didn't know if that was you or not.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 7:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, I know it is tough with such limited food choices. I am pretty limited as well. BUT, when I do "cheat," I cheat with the real stuff (the butter, the potatoes, the sugar, the whole organic raw milk, etc.). Instead of giving up entirely when you hit the inevitiable wall, how about picking up some whole foods and making something "bad" yourself? I know it's easier to go to McD's or something, but that's not your only choice, nor is it helping. At least with the stuff you make yourself, you won't be harming your body nearly as bad as with the fake food. Keep trying and you will get there.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 10:00 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Emily, I know having such a limited diet is such a challenge and I think we all struggle with missing the foods we can no longer eat.

For me I do my best to avoid situations where I'll be tempted. I don't ever go to a restaurant anymore and if I ever go to a get together where there will be food served I make sure I eat a large meal along with a few treats before leaving the house. Then I'm so full, I don't feel tempted (or sad) that I'm not eating with the rest of the group.

I also make sure I always have treats in my freezer. I feel like my diet is so limited I HAVE to reward myself with a treat every day. I hate to admit it but I eat 5-6 cookies every day. I know that's terrible but for me it is what keeps me focused on ONLY eating foods that are safe for me.

I also make sure I keep a lot stocked in the freezer for quick meals. When I'm hungry I'm weak so I know for me I need to always have a few quick meals on hand.

Hang in there Emily. There is a great message board so search for answers. I have used this message board for the past few years to help me with this diet. *hugs*
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Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 3:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you all. I can't tell you what it means to me and how its helpful to have the tips.

Dianne: Nope, I am another Emily.

LaurenC: You are right. Eating the not-so-bad stuff is better than the real bad stuff.

EmilyS: Eating out is definitely my weakness. I need to try to avoid it or go having already eaten like you do.

All good ideas. Thanks sooooooo much. I am going to do one "clean" day tomorrow and will report back on Thursday whether I did it. Having the incentive to come back and say I made one "clean" day will be helpful.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

PS I probably should explain that I am eating particularly badly right now b/c our foster son of several months--who we hoped to adopt--is being returned to his biological mother. I need to stop eating as a way to treat the pain of losing a child we hoped would be ours.

Thanks for the *hugs.*
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Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - 6:51 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, I am sorry for the pain of losing a child you hoped would be yours. I know we all grieve differently and this may be just one stressful period in your life. Try to get through it as best you can, then again concentrate on healthy eating. I know you can do it. I can't wait til you report back and tell us how you did today. :-) :-) :-)
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Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - 6:13 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, I too am sorry for your pain.

Have you tried dehydrating pears for a treat? They are so sweet and are easy to pack for a quick snack.
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Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 1:56 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello. Thank you both for your kindness. I did it--a clean day yesterday and today. I am on the east coast so its almost dinner time--meaning I got through the whole day.

I thought about getting a dehydrator. I should do that.

I am taking it one day at a time. Thank you so much for your support and wisdom.
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Posted on Friday, August 15, 2008 - 7:35 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great job Emily!! Just remember, when you have a weak moment, cheat with real food :0).
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Posted on Friday, August 15, 2008 - 9:26 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Way to go Emily! I'd highly suggest getting a dehydrator, you'd love the dehydrated pears. They are sweet and a perfect snack or treat. Plus you can control the ingredients and you'll know your pears are only pears. :-)
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Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2008 - 6:49 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


That is great! Congratulations! I knew you could do it. Keep up the good work (I know it is *work*) and report back often. We love success stories :-)
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Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 4:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello. Day five of clean eating. I am having severe sulfur reactions either to organic rice or organic chicken or organic rhutabagas...despite washing and soaking.

Lord, I am hungry! I seem to react to every clean food, too. On the upside, my brain is clearer.

How are you guys?
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Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 6:41 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, What kind of dehydrator do you use? I'd like one but don't want plastic. The more I read about plastic, especially heated plastic, the more I want to stay away from it.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 5:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nana, I think you are wise in staying away from plastic that is heated. Funny, my dad told me to stay away from those "Turkey cooking bags" about 50 years ago, and he was the only person that thought that (that I ever encountered).

I had thought about getting a dehydrator, but wondered - when you dehydrate fruit, do you reduce the vitamins?
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Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 5:36 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Emily, That is fabulous!!!!! Keep up the clean eating. Just wondered, do you react to raw organic foods too?

You know I am reading a book about transgenic crops and GMOs and how some people react very negatively to them. And that the neighboring (and not always in real close proximity) fields and crops get contaminated - so that an organic or traditional farmer's crops are sometimes testing as being GMOs. It's horrible what Monsanto has and is doing to us. Greed, UGH!
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Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 5:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hi all anyone vhere or r u at facebok twitter
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Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2018 - 7:48 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Balancing Your Glutamate Neurotransmitter Level Naturally


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