Topics Topics Edit Profile Profile Help/Instructions Help    
Search Last 1|3|7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

My battle with MSG

Battling the MSG Myth » How You Made the MSG Connection » My battle with MSG « Previous Next »

Author Message
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 - 4:55 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, all, just wanted to first say that I'm so happy that people are finally starting to figure out the lowdown about MSG.

I first realized I was allergic to MSG when I was 13. That year I had chronic migraines, sometimes three a week. Dealing with migraines in middle school is not fun, let me tell you! I was always getting them at either 10:15 am or 2:15 pm. Finally, after eating fast food and getting such a horrible migraine I was vomiting most of the day, we made the connection.

I've been MSG-free since high school, for the most part. It's tough being allergic to MSG--I can't eat whatever I want to, and my family keeps telling me to "shut up and eat" even though they know I'm allergic to it. I don't dare eat the food at family reunions because I don't know what's in it (and their idea of good food is Campbell's Green Bean casserol and oyster stew). Every time I go to a pot luck dinner I always take something I know I can eat safely. If I work at community dinners as a server, I have to sometimes explain that I'm allergic to MSG when people tell me to get a plate, or explain why I'm being so picky about what food I eat. I've had migraines for thirteen years now. I finally read a book on MSG and that led me here. I finally know why I can't eat some brands of chocolate without getting migraines (to the point where I haven't eaten chocolate in five years) and why my skin has never cleared up and why I constantly have lights flashing in my vision even though I try so hard to stay away from MSG. I also have a friend who passes out from MSG, so when she visits it's nice to have the moral support.

People accuse me of being a health nut, but I'd rather not get chronic migraines!

Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 - 8:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Welcome, Min!

It's tough, isn't it? We all "get it". Have you seen this list? It's my "goto" list to figure out when I have a reaction, what it might be to. I don't avoid everything on this son and I seem to do OK with natural flavors in non-savory foods, guar gum, citric acid, and a few others. I think it's worth at least knowing even if you don't have to avoid all of them. (Our biggest offenders are yeast extract, carrageenan, maltodextrin, and anything with the word protein).

I also have a blog where I talk about what food works for us, etc: . And Emily has a great blog with lots of recipes:

Good luck on your journey.
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 9:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've found that as long as I stay away from actual MSG and yeast extract anything I'm okay. Normally, now I only get od'd on MSG maybe once every couple of years--loads better than every week, in my book! It's funny how you get really good at identifying culprit foods. Raw and sweet (no chocolate) is always okay for me but I have to be careful when it comes to cooked food that may have seasoning in it. If I don't know, I don't even touch it. Unless I can get hold of an ingredients list, I don't touch it.

Lisa, thanks for the links. I have a massive garden so it's a bit easier to control what goes into my body. I'm an anthropologist, but I can never do fieldwork in a foreign country because of the MSG allergy issue. :/

Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 1:24 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's how I was until this winter. I would get a migraine maybe every year or two. I was eating restaurant dressings, the ocassional diet coke, and did fine, even though I knew my son was extremely sensitive. Then somehow, a virus, a little bit of Splenda-sweetened Chai, and suddenly I was sensitive to everything, even specks. It seemed to come out of no-where, and it hasn't gone away even with very careful dietary management.

If I were you, I'd consider eliminating at least carrageenan, extracted proteins, and all artificial sweeteners, and try to be aware of the other ingredients too, because you don't want to trigger that extreme sensitivity.

Also if you have other health issues, they can also be linked to low-level exposure. We found out a few years ago that our son had an chronic reaction (fatigue and irritability) as well as the acute reaction we had been managing for a while(mood / overwhelm / anger) that were very different, but we didn't realize the chronic reaction wasn't just part of his personality until we stopped eating out at all for a few weeks. Just food for thought, so to speak :-)
Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 3:39 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Blargh. Went to a restaurant recently and asked the waiter if a soup had MSG in it. He thought for a moment, then said, "Yeah, I think it is low in sodium."

*bangs head on desk* Sodium =/= MSG!

Last night I made organic couscous (the plain kind) and to add flavor I put in some homeade garlic oil (homegrown, freshly dug garlic baked in organic extra virgin olive oil) and some organic tamari sauce (soybeans and salt), and had mayonaisse with natural flavors in it. I've had occular migraines all day, and I'm not entirely certain that they are from the rather brilliant thunderstorm that rolled through at 3 am (strobe lights also set my migraines off.....). I'm trying to be really careful now because I've already had two migraines in November and another one a few weeks ago, so clearly I'm not doing something right. :-(

Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 6:49 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anonymous, I can't tolerate anything with processed soybeans (even though "organic tamari sauce" sounds non-threatening). I don't know what they do or what happens during processing but clearly the high glutamate content of soybeans must have something to do with it. And the mayo with "natural flavors" usually means trouble because they can throw anything they want in that title.
Sleuth JohnB
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 11:26 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Min, Tremendous progress on your own towards solving your MSG problems. cONGRADULATIONS!

You are not allergic to MSG ....the massive overdose of MSG in the modern diet is TOXIC. Too much MSG acts like a poison.

The Human body needs a tiny amount of MSG to function properly but today's processed foods give us thousands of times too much. It becomes toxic.

Soybeans is not food.

Through processing much more like making gasoline than anything that ever happened in your Grandmother's kitchen THEY turn a non-food into an"almost food". To make soybean oil, They crack, they refine they add hydrogen molocules under extreme pressures and temperatures as they do to crude oil. THEY make soybeans into an "almost food".

In my opinion, you will skate right on the edge between healthy and chronic ill as long as you consume any type of soybean product. This includes the fermented soy sauce as well as soybean oil, raw or cooked soybeans.

The ancient Chineese NEVER used soybeans as food. They grew it to put nitrogen back into the soil. They knew to keep their animals out of the soybean fields and not feed them the plant nor the bean. The plants were plowed back into the soil.

Prior to and during World War II the Germans (knowing that they did not have a good oil supply)searched for a plant that they could grow and obtain oil from. They worked with the soybean and hybridized it to become a prolific bean (oil) producer.

Soybeans have gone from a non crop in the US before WWII to the single largest cash crop in the US for the last several decades.

THERE IS NO STOPING THE SOYBEAN BOARDS! They are government institutions. County, state and federal soybean boards work to develop products and promote the growth and use of soybeans.

JUST BECAUSE SOYBEANS ARE ORGANIC DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS FOOD. The processing necessary to change this plant from non food to "almost food" produces a great deal of MSG as a by product. When you have received enough MSG from whatever source to make your body sensitive to this toxin, YOUR symptoms will surface.

Soybean products are not safe for anyone: this includes babies drinking formula, children, teens and adults. Babies on soy based formula are going to be especially prone to the myriad symptoms listed on the home page because they recieved such massive doses of the chemical during their early developemtal period.

Those health nuts muching soy products will probably bump into a physical health brick wall some time down the road.

Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012 - 9:28 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Excellent tirade on soybeans, John! :-)
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 3:43 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was browsing through, and just found out why cigarette smoke tends to trigger migraines for me within minutes of breathing it in. Yep, glutamate reaction. *bangs head on desk*

Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 10:14 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Min, the only way you are going to find soup that works in a restaurant is if they make their own stock. I've found two restaurants that do, but it's quite rare. Stay away from all stock that isn't homemade until you figure this out and are migraine free for a while.

Did you double check your soy sauce ingredient list? Can you tell us the brand? It's certainly possible you are sensitive to soy sauce, in general, but I've found our family can eat Kikkoman and one other brand I can't remember. Eden has Koji which releases glutamate ( and most of the others contain "soy protein". If you see the word protein on a label it's a problem.

You didn't have any artificial sweeteners, gums, or anything like that, did you? For me, the ocular part of the migraine seems to be tied to the sweeteners, but I don't know that for sure.

As for soy being evil, that's a debate that continues to rage but suffice to say there are many opinions on it. I think we have enough to rant about with MSG on this board :-)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, August 03, 2012 - 2:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think all soy sauce is quite high in glutamate. Some has msg added. I do okay with kikkoman too. But if i eat two days running i know about it. A bit brain fuzzy and off key. I limit it to once a week with a particular meal we have and thats okay. But i cant give it to my youngest at all.

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Options: Post as "Anonymous"
Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message

Administration Administration Log Out Log Out   Previous Page Previous Page Next Page Next Page