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Hayfever and Sneezing

Battling the MSG Myth » Share Your Symptoms » Hayfever and Sneezing « Previous Next »

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Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 11:18 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi everyone, I've been following an MSG free diet for the past 6-8 months, with varying degrees of success. I've been constantly lurking here on the boards and have just gotten in touch with Deb to order a copy of the book.

My symptoms are the same as most others on this board: headache, bloating, diarrhea, asthma, heavy feeling, depression and mood swings. Being mostly MSG-free has helped enormously - but obviously over the holiday season it's so easy to fall of the wagon and slowly build your MSG levels back up to flashpoint and start having reactions again. It's hard telling relatives you can't eat ANYTHING they've offered because they just do NOT understand the extent to which MSG is put in all our food - my mother in law insisted that she used 'MSG-free soy sauce', for example.

So anyway - my worst symptom by far is a runny nose and sneezing. None of the newer preparation anti-histamines help at all - I have had some relief from Phenergan (I'm in Australia, I don't know whether you have that in the US), but even then the relief is intermittent and often I don't know whether it's the drug or my diet that has helped.

Today I broke down and almost cried in the chemist when I asked them for Benadryl. In Australia, we can't buy Benadryl with Diphenhydramine off the shelf - we have to go through the interrogation by the pharmacist to get it. A 22 year old girl, fresh out of Uni, demanded to know how I even knew of Diphenhydramine, because it is rarely used anymore. Ironically - our version of Benadryl which is readily available to everyone contains dextromethorphan instead, which is the one all the teenagers are getting high on. Go figure. A teenager can buy a litre of DXM without a single raised eyebrow, but a sneezing adult can't buy a bottle of Benadryl without being made to feel like a junkie!

So anyway, I've now got some Benadryl, I took it about an hour ago and so far it hasn't done anything, but I suspected it would be another dead end.

So I was wondering if there are any other posters who find that the rhinitis is the most pervasive and annoying symptom, and if so - have they found any short term solutions to a violent reaction?
Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 2:32 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How long have you had the rhinitis? Are you positive that you don't have a sinus infection or cold? Just checking. I can sympathize with post nasal drip that lasted for years until I discovered MSG was the culprit along with sulfites. Are you avoiding sources of sulfites, also?
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 3:19 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Deb, thanks for your reply.

Yep, I've suffered rhinitis for over ten years (I'm 32 now) and have been searching for answers the whole time. For that whole time I have been seeing the same GP - she's great, but obviously lots of GPs don't understand or realise that MSG could be the problem.

During the last ten years I've tried every single antihistamine on the market, I've had allergy skin tests (only allergic to house dust mites, not pollen or mold apparently), acupuncture, immunotherapy, you name it. I've pulled up all the carpet in my house and now have polished floor boards, I have a latex mattress and hypoallergenic bedding, use hypoallergenic washing powders etc - none of those things have made an ounce of difference. I should also mention that my hayfever is not seasonal - I have it 365 days a year. Each day is different - some days are mild, other days are so bad I put myself to bed as soon as my kids are asleep.

The one advantage of having this chronic condition is that I have stayed incredibly fit and have stuck to a largely wholefood diet to help deal with the depression and other physical symptoms.

Making the MSG connection was something that happened very gradually - when my youngest daughter was born, she was diagnosed with cows milk colitis, more commonly known as a milk/soy protein intolerance. I was put on an extremely restricted diet to clear those proteins from my breastmilk, and even though I was hungry all the time and lost quite a bit of weight - the one symptom that stood out to both myself and my husband was that my hayfever and headaches stopped completely. I was in a fantastic mood and had quite a bit of energy.

Within weeks of weaning my daughter and I resumed a 'normal' diet, I suffered crippling depression and my hayfever returned. At first I put this down to hormones changes, and my doctor agreed with this and we agreed that I would start zoloft again (which I'd had after my first pregnancy). A year later, things hadn't improved - I was having heart palpitations, arrhythmia, dizzy spells, migraines, and postural blood pressure drops that were measured and tested in the doctors' surgery. I had blood tests, my iron was a little low but nothing out of the ordinary and I took an iron supplement which helped a little. The doctors could see there was something physically wrong with me, they could measure that themselves, but they tested me for diabetes and cancer and suggested I might have chronic fatigue syndrome from the stress of dealing with my daughter's GI illness.

I decided to attack my diet even further and tried a liver cleansing diet, which is all organic, no dairy, no meat except free range chicken. I was having the most incredibly healthy tofu and vegetable stir-fries every night, miso soup for lunch, green tea, and loads of tomatoes.

It wasn't till I borrowed a book from the library, "Was It Something I Ate?" that I slapped myself on the forehead and realised that my 'healthy' diet was poisoning me. I cut out tofu, soy sauce, miso, tomatoes, vegemite (sorry, I'm Australian, I LOVE it), and felt SO much better.

That was about May last year - then in my research I found your site, and cut out all other remaining hidden sources of MSG and I felt amazing for the first time in my adult life. My husband pointed out that my 'no-milk-or-soy breastfeeding diet that had made me feel so good was extremely similar to an MSG free diet - which made complete sense!) I stopped sneezing for months at a time - sometimes if I'd be at a dinner party and I'd eat something dubious I'd get a mild hayfever attack the next morning but I'd just stick to a bland diet for a day or two and be fine.

Your site has quite literally changed my life, and I'm so greatly indebted to yourself, Carol, Roy, Tom, and all the other regular posters here who have done all the legwork for us.

So anyway, I apologise for the essay - I do avoid sulfites as well, which give me asthma within an hour of eating. I was just wondering whether there was a magic antihistamine that anyone had discovered to help with the hayfever when you just cannot avoid ingesting MSG, for whatever reason.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 8:31 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a sinus drip that used to be really, really bad, but eliminating sulfites helped, and so does removing MSG. But I still have it on occasion. These are two products that help me the most:

I use a steroid nose spray. I can't for the life of me remember the brand name, but the generic is Fluticasone Propionate. This really helps a lot, but I tend to use it only when I'm having a bad time. It takes about a day to have a noticeable effect, however.

The other product that helps a lot is a nasal wash. I use the Neilmed system:
I use this pretty much every day in the morning, and if still bad, when I get home from work.

Oh, and hot peppers do it to me too, but I can live the consequences - usually short lived. No MSG reaction for me, but a lot of people can't tolerate them.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 10:13 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I get sneezing bouts and stuffiness that seem allergy driven. I have never thought about it being precipitated by food, I just always thought it was associated with an airborn allergen, but can never figure out what that allergen is. I will have to pay attention to what I have eaten. This board is priceless, isn't it? All kinds of thoughts and suggestions....
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 12:34 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jennifer, thanks for that - I have tried a different nasal spray called Beconase 12 hour, which is beclomethasone dipropionate - but I just did a bit of research and apparently the Beconase 24 hour has Fluticasone Propionate, so I'll go get some of that today and report back.

I also take a garlic and horseradish tablet every day: which my mother recommended, and that has been brilliant over the last 12 months in stopping the secondary infections I used to suffer as a result of the chronic post nasal drip.

Dianne, I too thought that my sneezing was caused by an airborne allergen, and my GP and allergy specialist were both baffled because neither could establish what that allergen was, since nothing would show up in tests. I thought that my hayfever was just another symptom that was unrelated to the migraines and GI problems, and so I tried to treat each one as a separate ailment, when in fact they were all connected.

Since going MSG-free, however, I'm able to walk around outdoors in high wind, in spring, through freshly cut grass - while others are sneezing around me - and be totally fine. As my doctor has proven time and again, none of these airborne allergens seem to be the cause. But if you try telling that to a pharmacist, they just won't believe you - it's very frustrating.

But as I said, there are some parts of the year, when social eating and drinking inhibits my ability to stay 100% MSG free, and the first symptom to return is almost always that sinus drip - it's like my first warning that I need to start being careful again.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 2:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Also, Dianne - I totally agree - this board IS priceless, I have learned so much that would have taken me another decade to work out on my own. I am so grateful to have found others that have confirmed for me that this not something I have to live with every day.

And even though the rest of my family didn't suffer from the awful physical symptoms that I did, my husband tells me that he has heaps more energy now, and my daughter is no longer a 'drama queen'. I would put money on the idea that a lot of moody teenagers could be aided by an MSG-free diet.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009 - 2:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Amynesia, It's funny you mention moody teenagers. I agree with you about people being helped with moderate symptoms that no one might suspect are related to MSG.

Also, I have 2 cats and it hasn't been until just recently that I've began to suspect that it's something added to one brand of canned cat food that makes one cat attack the other. He seems to mind his manners until I feed him the suspect brand.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 1:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The most difficult thing I've found is the raised eyebrows whenever you discuss it with someone. They refuse to believe that governments would allow food companies to put something unsafe in our food, and that they were allowed to HIDE the use of this ingredient. They look at you like you're a paranoid nutcase.

Imagine (and I'm sure this has been posed elsewhere on the board) if you explained to people that it was essentially the same as hiding alcohol or caffeine in food for children? Would they be so dismissive then? How can kids possibly make decisions about the right things to eat when the "responsible" adults pour out a bowl of doritos at a party and say "Have at it kids, and when you fly into a dorito-rage later and can't concentrate at school tomorrow - I'm going to be blaming you for those behavioral problems!"

I get very, very angry about this.
Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 - 12:01 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Very well put, amynesia. My own daughter, now 39, would fly into rages now and then as a teenager and was cranky a lot of the time. Now, she knows when she has eaten some MSG or glutamate additive, because she says she feels exactly like she did as a teen and hates it. We didn't know about MSG back then, but sure wish we did. Two of our children react like I do and two like their dad..he's only cranky when he's sneaked something at a party at work. Can you tell me what is in the garlic and horseradish pill? Fillers? Gelcaps?
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 - 6:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They're fillers, Deb, not in Gelcaps - I couldn't find exactly what those fillers contain during a brief search, but I haven't reacted to them as yet.

In other really exciting news - Jennifer - the Fluticasone Propionate has worked!! It's amazing. I'm on day four now and am completely sneeze/drip free. I'd tried the 12hour beconase and had no relief - I simply assumed the 24hr version was just a higher concentration of the same thing. You're my hero!
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 - 10:05 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb, I remember a "rage" of my own...

My washing machine would spit out the drain hose from the drain hole in the wall, if I didn't push in back in after every load (it's since been fixed).

One time, I once again was faced with a pool of water in the laundry room 1/2" deep. I was SO mad, and I grabbed a laundry basket full of clothes, and chucked it down the hall, while screaming obscenities. My poor hubby sat on the couch and fixated on the TV, and tried his best not to make eye contact.

This is an event that is forever burned into my memory - an example of how bad it really was. I've since had worse things happen to me, but now I just can't fathom reacting like that. There's a video interview with Dr. Russel Blaylock, and I remember him saying something to the effect that MSG injected into the right part of the brain will cause uncontrollable rage.

Glad I was able to offer something that helped. I recently got a prescription for the spray because I got a cold that turned into a chronic cough. I could either take antibiotics or do something to reduce the nasal drip. I was coughing up lots of green stuff - nasal washes didn't do much at that point, but the spray stopped it. I was able to wean myself off it after about 10 days. It's a good tool to use to help you through the holidays (bad food) or an environment you're allergic to.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 8:48 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I used to think I just had really bad PMS, Jennifer - and my husband (being a big sweetie) would go out and pick me up some "comfort food", which was generally my favourite things like wine, blue cheese, salty things. What we didn't realise at the time was that this was actually making things a great deal worse. I can remember one day just sitting on the couch after the kids had gone to bed, just weeping because I'd yelled at them when they wouldn't clean their rooms - and I felt unworthy of my beautiful family and thought they'd just be so much better off without me.

I haven't had anything like that happen now in over a year - my marriage is back like it was when we first met - and my husband is happy that my hair-trigger is now just a distant memory.

But again, thanks for the tip on the nasal spray - like you said, it's not a cure for the whole issue, but it's a great tool for those times when you can't control your diet (like on holidays or visiting family).
Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 8:46 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's wonderful to share these stories. Newcomers here often can relate to them and that starts them on a journey to reclaiming their health. Think of all the MSG induced rage in the world. It's so tragic....while food companies gain profits and power.

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