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Battling the MSG Myth » How You Made the MSG Connection » No sleep and I have to work at 3pm today. « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 8:32 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I am a 26 year old man. I just had one of my famous nights of no sleep. My mind was racing all night with anxious thoughts about the prior work day and the fact that I wasn't falling asleep. This same thing happened to me just one week ago, except it lasted for two days and two nights.

After that second night last week I called in sick for work. I went to see my doctor. I've always been depressed, and anxious, ever since I was a child. This last year it has seemed to just get worse and worse. The symptoms are more anxiety than depression however. I don't feel suicidal but I beat myself up regularly over the most minute things that happen day by day.

So I guess with that introduction to my doctors appointment, you probably already know I was prescribed anti depressants. He gave me Wellbutrin XL. He also gave me 15 1mg lorazepam to help with my sleep issue. I did mention to my doctor after that I was wondering if my sleep issue could be related to MSG. I only thought so because I ate Chinese food the two evenings I couldn't sleep(The second night was left overs). After the second night I kinda thought maybe it was the food because that's all I had that day. I usually eat one meal a day when working. I did a quick google search and found some links on this site and saw that a MSG allergic reaction symptom was insomnia. My doctor said I was just looking for answers, implying it was really just my depression that was the cause of all this.

Last night for lunch while at work I went for Chinese. I had General Tsao's Chicken and well you already know what happened. No sleep. I lied in bed sweating and anxious with no more lorazepam. At around 5am I got up left for the drug store to get some nyquil in hope of it helping me sleep. My girlfriend was annoyed I yelled in frustration. The Nyquil didn't help. ugh.

I'm really starting to think it's the food. I noticed the flier for the restaurant said no MSG. But with this same reaction to the other chinese food I had last week. I think it's a lie.

I've never had such obvious symptoms like this until this year. I've always had random nights where I wouldn't be able to sleep and just lie in bed sweating. But I've never attributed them to anything.

I guess the only thing I can think of that has made me more sensitive to MSG (if that's what's happening) is that I drank so much diet coke this summer. 3-4 bottles a day. I'm reading on this site that aspartame and MSG are some how related.

Anyway that's my story. I'm going to try not to eat any MSG and see how the sleep goes. I'll come back and let you know.
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 11:32 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, please let us know how you are doing. You just described the insomnia I was plagued with for years before I discovered MSG and aspartame were the culprits. Aspartame loads on the same brain receptors as glutamate...both over stimulating the neurons and also destroying some of them. Some Chinese restaurants will say they add no MSG themselves, meaning the pure salt crystal, monosodium glutamate. But what most people don't know is that there is MSG in soy sauce. Soybeans and any high protein food is going to contain natural glutamate, but when the beans are fermented, as is fish for fish sauce, the glutamate is broken down into the free form glutamate, which enters the blood stream can bypass the digestive process that normally needs to happen when a food is in its natural state. So eating Chinese food will most always contain free glutamate, the harmful form found in MSG...sauces such as fish sauce, soy sauce (pure MSG is often added to soy sauce, so it can pack a wollop) oyster sauce, bean sauuce,`Hoisin, sauce, etc. The restaurant is right in that they are not adding pure MSG to their dishes, but the sauces they buy and use already contain it. Depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders are classic symptoms of MSG toxicity. Your brain cells are being overly stimulated. Doctors know very little about MSG. I'm not at all surprised by his reaction.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 2:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb, Great explanation!

Anon, When this used to happen to me, it also was when I had consumed some caffeine (even decaf coffee or tea, which has some caffeine). Now that I'm off MSG and it's cousins I can tolerate a little bit of decaf, but not much.

My husband still drinks diet coke, but not as much as he used to. At one time he had panic attacks and was diagnosed with OCD, and was put on medications. For 2 years he thought he was going crazy; he could hardly function. As he cut down on the coke he was able to cut back on the meds until eventually he didn't need them anymore (even though the doctor had told him the chances of him getting off the meds was very slim).

Anyway, you will probably notice quite a difference when you avoid MSG/other free-glutamates and Aspartame. You have come to a great place to get support and questions answered. Please report back on your journey to health.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 9:05 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you so much for your quick and very detailed responses. I know it's going to be nearly impossible for me to eliminate msg completely from my diet. Especially right away.

Now that I'm conscious of what's happening though I think it's going to help me reduce my consumption.

I was supposed to have thai food this weekend for my girlfriends birthday but I think I'll look for an alternative.

I specifically liked diet coke and diet pop for it's stimulating effects when I started drinking it. I always felt like I was more sensitive to the aspartame than other people. I would explain how I would be "high" for a lack of a better term after drinking diet pop. Other people would look at me like I was nuts. I realized soon after I started drinking it, I couldn't drink regular pop anymore. It no longer taste the same. I figured I had developed a chemical affinity to the aspartame. This summer was literally the summer of diet coke. I have never had so much in my life. I work tech support for a internet, phone, and cable company. It's a job where you want to stay alert and that's why I probably drank so much. This is my first year.

I can my body is starting to react differently to this and other foods. I don't know if it's from over consumption, aging, or something else. But if I don't make changes soon I'm not going to be able to stop this ship from sinking.
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Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 9:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thomas, have you see the test diet that Deb put together? You can find it on the left side of this site. It's not impossible and you CAN do it. I just found out about this 4 weeks ago and have been staying away from MSG very strictly. I have a problem with chronic migraines, chronic daily headaches, and irregular heart beats. Since I've gone MSG free, these things are GONE. These are things that I've suffered from for 20 years. They were daily and constant and I can't remember a time where I've been able to string together more than 2 days migraine/headache free. And it's been 4 weeks! Give this a shot, what can it hurt?
Deb A.
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Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 1:48 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, that's a good suggestion, Lauren, and I'm so happy to hear you are doing so well now. Thomas, the test diet is at our site at Just scroll down the left menu until you find it. Remember, it's just a test diet...there to help you discover if MSG is the culprit. From there it's up to you to decide how you will eat. We're here to help.
Carol H
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Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 1:25 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I also added a lot more info to my Foods To Avoid page on as well. It gives actual fast food items that have MSG as well as tips for eating in restaurants. I know how stressful working at tech support can be and it is too easy to eat the wrong thing. You probably have very little time to cook. Keep us informed how you do. Hang in there. We'll be here for you.
Roy Piwovar
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Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 - 3:53 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol's update:
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Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:26 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, I hadn't visited your site in a long time, but since Roy provided the link I took a look around. Great site for info. Do you have any idea when the movie will come out? I am anxiously waiting.
Carol H
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Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 11:45 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It won't be until 2008 sometime. Not sure yet.
Deb A.
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Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 - 12:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Remember when the your site was just a suggestion/idea in Reno, Carol?...a site devoted to the science behind our claims? Wow, look what you've accomplished with that site. Thank goodness you found us all those years ago! I still have the letter you sent me years earlier than that meeting. I just can't believe how long we've been at this. We must love this work! Made copies of your take on the umami article I posted recently...excellent! I plan to pass them on to friends and family.
Carol H
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Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 10:22 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MSGTruth was completely born out of all the hard work done here. Things were vetted, discussed, and researched here before they formed the basis of what is now on MSGtruth. We were all blogging before there was ever the term! I think everyone here that ever contributed to the discussion here and especially you, Deb - can be proud of the fact that MSGTruth has gotten so much attention. The Related Research page was done with the help of Judy T, MEMorris, and Roy especially. Tom helped us find some of the best remedies - CoQ10 for example and helped us understand how this all affected A-Fib. I call Roy, the linkmeister for finding the best web resources. I also miss folks like Gerry. Jerry Story has been helpful with tips on juicing and nutrition and taking a more active role in your own health. This has been such an incredible journey these past 7 years. I think everyone here should be so proud of how many lives we have changed for the better. Each time one of us made our own painful discovery, and then found help here - each turned around to help others through the same thing. That is why there are so many of us now. Nothing succeeds like success.

I just recently have been battling by email with someone convinced that MSG doesn't cause headaches. If they had recieved the many positive emails I get, they wouldn't be saying that. Perhaps we should have a section called Success Stories or Letters from people detailing how they have improved. We post them every now and then, but I think it will be powerful to see them all in one place.

Regardless of the skeptics demanding peer reviewed double blind studies paid for by industry and spiked with aspartame, we can point to many healed people and be content to sleep soundly at night knowing we've made a difference. Have a wonderful Holiday Season everyone!
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Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 11:03 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I just recently have been battling by email with someone convinced that MSG doesn't cause headaches."

I want very badly to be able to laugh at this, but it's just a little too sad. I have been battling migraines and chronic daily headaches for 20 years (half my life!!!).

Not one of the MANY doctors I've seen have been able to help. Not one of the MANY medications I've taken have helped and most have even made things worse. Until 6 weeks ago, I had 5+ migraines a week and a headache every day, and I had just about given up hope when I stumbled on this website. I've had 2 migraines since eliminating MSG, both a result of accidentally MSGing myself. For those who don't believe MSG causes headaches, how do they explain 38 out of 40 headache-free days vs. having one almost daily? Also, how do they explain why my heart no longer races on a daily basis and at night keeping me awake?

I'm happy for those people that aren't affected by MSG, but for the rest of us, we deserve the right to not have all of our food sources contaminated.

Thank you Deb and thank you Carol for the invaluable information and resources you provide, and for giving me my life back. You did what all the doctors and medications couldn't!
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 3:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol H,

Thanks for the kind words above. :-)

I sometimes lose track of time and forget to log in and read the postings on this discussion group. But when I do I'm amazed at the fact that so many “Old Timers” are still faithfully posting. Guess it goes to show that if something works, people will tend to share their good news.

As I write this, I have recently been corresponding with a fellow named Daniel who wrote to me because his Mother is experiencing symptoms similar to mine. Though he’s new to the MSG issues, he has an open mind and has been relating some of his own experiences.

Once we see how my recommedations to him & his mother go, I hope to be able to post another success story.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 4:00 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, I think it's a wonderful idea you have: "Perhaps we should have a section called Success Stories or Letters from people detailing how they have improved. We post them every now and then, but I think it will be powerful to see them all in one place."

I often wish there were an easy (this is key) way for a nonbeliever to read some anecdotal success stories.
Deb A.
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Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 8:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another great idea, Carol! Mike is off most of next week, and I'll see if he can add the new our 2007 update of our book, I added more such success stories, and there are several at our site at www.msgmyth...but it would be more powerful if we had a separate topic for such stories here and in the archives..and maybe a special archive just for such stories...I had hoped to find time a couple years ago to compile a book full of the stories I have been sent...think it would fill 2 books now...but Mike and I are so very busy, it has not happened...but this would accomplish the same allow people to see the living proof and to be able to relate to someone and their MSG horror stories. Mike and I are going to revamp the site this coming year and would love some suggestions or ideas that would help get the message out. Time for an update! Mike has 3 more years until retirement...or of a layoff within the year...but at least it will allow us more time for the tasks at hand.
Hi Tom! Yes, we "old timers" go back a long way and I consider you all wonderful friends. I still talk to Kaye Wanke who used the man the NOMSG hotline 12 years ago, and also Shirley Harvey who wrote the NOMSG newspaper. They are both in their 80's and they are the ladies who talked me through my first year of MSG avoidance...before there was this site, Carol's site, and our book...or an upcoming film! None of us would be where we are now if it weren't for someone else taking the time to care and to help. Wow, we've come a long way...and Carol, I think you were right when you said that the glutes are nervous...they should be...the word is spreading...on such a sincere and grass roots can feel the increasing interest in our food and its safety....good to know we had a little hand in that. :-) Thanks to all you amazing newcomers who are sharing your experiences and knowledge. You lift our hearts and hopes. I need the support here, too...and I love to keep learning. Thanks for all you share and for your time.
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and whatever else you celebrate at this season! Be healthy, happy, and safe and God bless!
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 - 3:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm sure grateful for you Deb and all the rest of the people that post here with information and encouragement...but I guess I never gave a thought to the people that encouraged Deb or Carol or others that had a hand in your successes and websites. Thanks to them too. I hope somewhere along the way I will have helped someone too. Happy Holidays to you all.
Deb A.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 6:32 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Dianne! We had a wonderful pre-Christmas family party, and it was great... I made "safe" empanadas and refried beans/salsa, and the others brought fruit plates and salads...and lots of homemade cookies. My husband dressed as Santa and visited the little ones at relatives' and friends' homes Sunday and Monday, and it was a treat for us to see the reactions of the kids...and the parents. We should post a few of the pics of our resident Santa. :-) Happy New year and remember to eat and drink safely!

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