|Posted on Friday, June 05, 2009 - 11:41 pm: || |
My kids and I have been willfully avoiding FGA (free glutamic acid) since January 1st. We had a wide array of symptoms that have diminished almost to extinction since abstaining from all free glutamic acid sources. These symptoms are now so recognizable that we immediately know if fga has been ingested. Here is a partial list (believe it or not, some of the symptoms we were so accustomed to tolerating slip our minds now that they are no longer a part of our life).
My daughter (14):
vivid nightmares, anxiety (self-medicated by thumbsucking), irritability, rage, fuzzy thinking, inability to read, writing in mirror image (like DaVinci), poor vision, sleepiness (wanting to sleep around the clock) or insomnia, spaced out (hard time processing info or instructions), deviated septum, dry throat, asthma, sighing (unaware she was doing it), ankle pain, muscle aches, stoop shouldered posture (now I can tell if she is reacting from the way she stands - we thought this was genetic because me and my mom stood the same way - it has improved for me as well), argumentative, stretching arms over head to relieve pain in upper back, swollen neck and under chin, swollen fingers and feet, diarrhea or constipation, urgency, GIRD, heartburn, nausea, dizziness upon standing, bad balance, walked and ran as if her feet weighed a ton, fear of dark (extreme, needing a lamp on instead of a nightlight), yawning constantly, TMJ, bad enamel on back teeth, head congestion and post nasal drip, paleness w/hectic blotches on cheeks after exertion, tightness and tenderness of shoulders and neck and upper body, overweight (lost all excess weight without effort in 5 months), no muscle tone (could not seem to build muscle no matter how hard she tried), fatique, discomfort from bending over, no strength in arms or legs, etc. I am sure there are many others but these are the major ones that she suffered with. We are constantly realizing that she no longer suffers a symptom that we didn't even recognize as a symptom before. Just a few days ago we tried something new and she had such a horrible nightmare that she was afraid to go back to sleep for hours and we didn't realize nightmares were one of her reactions until then.
My son (16):
anxiety (nail-biting), irritability, impatience (when he has a reaction he yells about everything - otherwise a very easy-going kid), swollen arms/hands and legs/feet (he thought he just had huge ankles that he hated but they were swollen and we didn't know it until they went down dramatically five or six days into the test diet), man-boobs(his term) - (he was horrified by this but didn't tell me until they started going away), acne (his reactions are obvious almost immediately), stomach pain, muscle aches, foot pain and burning (couldn't stand long at a time), oily hair (even right after washing it), inability to concentrate, overweight (also lost all excess weight without effort in 5 months), heartburn, insomnia, frustration or rage (even when intellectually he realizes it is out of proportion to situation and must be a reaction, it takes herculean effort for him to contain it), hair loss. Again, these are most of his symptoms but I'm sure there were others that we have forgotten now that they are gone.
My symptoms are too many to list but I will say that I am still obese even though the weight and swelling/inflammation have gone down tremendously in the 5 months we have been doing this. I had a huge hump on my upper back and my neck was swollen (like John Goodman's - does anybody else want to just call him up and give him the hint about FGA?!) and my upper body was so swollen I could hardly breathe. All of that is improving daily and I couldn't be more thrilled. I had chronic diarrhea for 25 years that stopped abruptly (and for the first time in my life) as soon as the test diet kicked in - what a freeing experience that was! I had muscle aches and joint pain and a pain in my upper back whenever I was upright - all gone unless I eat something bad. Chronic fatigue and what I call my zombie state was the norm in December. I would eat then immediately fall asleep and be unable to wake up. It was so like being drugged - I would remember someone trying to talk to me and I thought I was talking back but they never knew I was awake and I never actually said anything. I would struggle to wake up and stay awake by moving around but I swear I felt as if I would die if I didn't be still. At the end I was so zombie-like and light sensitive (I still wear my sunglasses in Walmart but no longer have to have long sleeves and a hat) that I was afraid to leave the house. I had sores on my scalp and itched all over (one of my reactions now) - I have scars from scratching in my sleep). I had restless legs and ankle pain so bad I could hardly walk or sleep unless I passed out. I had shortness of breath that inhalers didn't relieve at all and no lung problems. I gained weight even though I never ate much and had a highly limited diet - the doctor swore I must be eating more than I reported but I knew I was starving all the time but just didn't eat anyway. That is another symptom, ceaseless hunger pangs that were almost painful. When those stopped, I thought something was wrong since I have lived with them for so long - I had no idea that other people weren't hungry all time. Tired all the time = I remember wondering all the way back in college how everyone else seemed to be able to go all day without a nap...I thought I just needed to buckle down and get more sleep at night. Seems like the symptoms I have been suffering with all my life were always attributed to laziness or lack of willpower or lack of character.....Even my weight gain was thought of as evidence that I was doing something wrong when I had a stricter caloric intake of most of my family and friends. Looking back on it, I can see now that most of those people wouldn't have survived the symptoms that I had to deal with - everything worked out easily for them only because they had no symptoms to overcome. I was working three times as hard than they did every day to just make it through and I was always told that I just wasn't as good as them. One good thing that came from that was being understanding of my children's symptoms and believing them when they complained of weird pains/symptoms. I never forced my kids to do things that were painful for them or rode their backs about bad habits because I knew how horrible that made me feel when my mother did it.
I have to say that my kids are the reason that I am still here. I had given up hope of ever getting well or even getting an accurate diagnoses until my kids started to complain of some of the same symptoms. The sicker I got, the more we relied upon convenience foods and that made them sicker, faster. When they told me of the symptoms that they suffered I knew that I couldn't let their life go the way mine had. I had to find the answer so I started trusting my instincts and believing my symptoms and scouring the internet for answers. Luckily, I found this site and all you helpful people and Deb's book.
I know this is a long post but I wanted to list our symptoms since some of them are unusual and I am hoping that they will help someone find answers. I didn't even list all the ways that our lives have improved because it is hard to express in words....I guess one of the biggest improvements is the hope we feel - life seemed so hopeless before. Now things are better every day even though we catch a lot of flack from "friends" and "family" over our "special diet". They make remarks about what we "don't want to" eat, insinuating that it is our choice just to be difficult. You would think they would be happy that our health is improving, but these are also the same people that didn't help me when I was bedridden. As long as everyone was sure that my health problems were my fault, it made them feel safer and healthier. I think that is the basis for our society's bias against obese people - everyone is deathly afraid that it could happen to them no matter how hard they work to avoid it.
I just reread my post for errors and I feel the anger coming off it in waves. I guess I am still so angry at everyone and everything but I am hoping that will get better as well. Looking back at my life it is hard not to be angry at my mother for her constant criticisms like riding me about my posture and nail-biting, or my pediatrician for prescribing soy formula for my babies, or the doctor that told me to push away from the table when I went to him for shortness of breath and pain, or my husband for refusing to "enable" me by helping with cooking and cleaning when I hurt the most. Most of all, it is hard not to be angry at myself for listening to all those ignorant people instead of trusting myself and demanding answers.
I am teaching my children to stand up for themselves and to trust their own instincts. They are already so strong in their convictions that they help me prepare for travel so that we don't have to eat out anywhere. I have seen both of them grow more confident and self-assured in the last five months. I am so proud of them (and myself) that I think a little residual anger should be overlooked. Overall, we are healthy and happy and hopeful and working hard to figure this thing out. Even though you may not be able to tell from reading this post, I am a very happy and outgoing person and I am not allowing anger to rule my life, although I do give in to it on occasion - like in this post. We look forward to the future and feel sure that we can meet any challenge that presents itself. 8^)
|Posted on Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 8:47 pm: || |
Your post really touched a nerve with me - one I assumed was healed now, but it's still pretty raw.
The anger does get better, I promise, but I too remember the hatred I felt.
Your post did report some symptoms that are a little odd, but I'd say nearly 70% of your and your children's symptoms matched mine.
The part that hurts the worst is that was pretty much my mom. She passed away in 2006 after heart surgery. She had most of the symptoms you posted. I didn't find out about MSG until 2007. Though she had a bad heart valve that I don't think MSG had anything to do with, the quality of her life could have been greatly improved, and perhaps she would have been a better candidate for surgery.
Well, the past is the past but you can take the future for yourself. And I know my mom would be extremely proud.
Can I share your post with other people? It's written better than I think I could come up with.
|Posted on Sunday, June 07, 2009 - 6:57 am: || |
Your story is heartfelt, and although I didn't have all those symptoms, I know many people who do and won't listen. I will keep on trying to educate them, maybe give them the link to this page, and hope they will eventually see the light.
As far as anger, almost all of us have felt this, more strongly in the beginning - it eases as time goes by. I remember feeling furious when I found out what was going on with our food supply. A little bit of anger will keep us wanting to do something about it and that is good. Don't be hard on your husband or mother, who were probably doing what they thought would help, not realizing the damage. We all make mistakes due to ignorance - look what we used to eat.
Anyway, I'm so glad you and your kids are doing so well. You must be so proud of them.
|Posted on Monday, June 08, 2009 - 11:39 am: || |
Since 1997, I have heard from thousands of people, and none of the symptoms you mentioned were new to me....have experienced many of them myself. Your post will help so many people, Kristy. Thank you for sharing your story in detail. I left many of my symptoms out of the book, because I felt some would find it unbelievable that MSG could cause so many diverse reactions. But like you, they disappeared once I ate "clean". You need to be upset for a time..it's part of a true grieving period. But then, you can breathe and feel good about others...even the ignorant ones. One day, they may be coming to you for help. My sister and mother are just now picking my brain for help now that they are convinced MSG is making yet another brother-in-law very sick. You made my month, knowing you and your children are reclaiming your health. Bet many of their friends could use their knowledge. Spread the word!