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

My child

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Share Your Symptoms » My child « Previous Next »

Author Message
Lenae Germano
Posted on Sunday, October 29, 2000 - 10:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My 11 year old son is having balance problems and tremors. We have had MRI, EEG, and many tests, and all have been normal. Doctors are calling it stress related. We believe MSG may be our problem. Does anyone else experience balance problems and tremors? Our son has had them hourly. At times he falls down to the ground and his left arm tremors. We are currently cleaning up his diet. He was on Dilantin (anti-seizure medication) and it did not work. Any information you have is appreciated. Thanks. Lenae.
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2000 - 10:41 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

my symptoms to msg is first the palms of my hands itch then the bottom of my feet and i sweat alot and were ever i sweat it get worse with the itching my thoat swells up and i break out in big welts all over my eyes swell shut and my doctor told each time i have a reaction they seem to get worse and so far the only thing i take is benedryal before i eat anything or while im eating something
Carol H
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2000 - 2:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

People on antiseizure medications are usually told by medical personnel to avoid foods containing MSG. If your son was consuming MSG at the same time, that would probably explain the medication not working. I would definitely avoid feeding your son MSG.
sue m
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 12:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

we have two boys that are sensitive to msg and aspartame. They both have seizures when they accidently consume it. A classic example of this, last night we were eating out and trying to be careful, because I have them on such a strict diet of home cooking, but we goofed last night and we consumed msg in the salad dressing and my son had three seizures during the night and finally after throwing up 3 times, he got it out of his system and has been fine since then. My boys do not have a seizure disorder..{and they are not on medications]it is just how they react when their bodies can't handle what has been put into it.each child's reaction is different, but the cause is the makes me so mad to know that they know how dangerous this stuff is...but it's a money maker!Has any one had similar experience?
Deb S
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 2:35 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I feel badly for your little guys, glad they're feeling better. I read your other post and you mention you ate at a spaghetti restaurant. One mistake we (used to) make is thinking that restaurants cook from scratch. Actually, most items are pre-prepared and distributed to the majority of restaurants by food service companies. It is very likely that the spaghetti sauce came from a can, and contained MSG in one or more forms. If possible, you should call the restaurant and ask them what ingredients were in the sauce, and to read you the ingredient label(s). And let them know how your son reacted to their food--scare them! Have a list of the hidden names for MSG handy and review it first. Anything that you wouldn't put in spaghetti sauce you would make yourself from scratch is highly suspicious.

Parmesan cheese is "naturally" high in free glutamate, and some cheaper brands add more to boost the flavor. I went to my son's daycare (in-home) to pick him up one evening, and she had just taken some lasagne out of the oven. The house reeked with this rank/ripe smell unlike anything I have smelled in quite awhile. I guessed it had to be some Kraft or off-brand parmesan cheese--a lot of it. And to think I used to put that on my food. YUK! (My frustration with what she's feeding to my son is a whole other topic...)
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2001 - 5:57 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sue M,

Most restaurants use pre-prepared salad dressings but will bring oil and vinegar to the table if you ask.

Also, hold the croutons and bacon bits.
Laurie M
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2001 - 9:38 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They might even be reacting to the noodles in the sphagetti. If they were packaged enriched noodles I have had reactions to those several times
Deb A.
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 7:22 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Laurie, it's difficult to find safe restaurant food, but unbelievably, we can eat at a family owned small Chinese restaurant. There are just a couple items that I can eat, but they will let me tell them exactly what I want and don't want in a stir fry. They know us so well, that if I start to order something for someone else that doesn't care about MSG, they will look alarmed and tell me I can't have that. It's hilarious. I usually tell them to put in only fresh vegetables, not canned anything, and strips of beef. Then I ask them to add hot pepper flakes, garlic, some sugar, and ginger. I ask for a lemon slice and will sprinkle that over it to taste. You can eat it with white rice or have it stir-fried with noodles if they don't bother you.
Gerry Bush
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2001 - 7:54 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb A.- The description of your favorite Chinese restaurant made me smile. It reminded me of my many trips to China in the past. The Chinese understood the msg problem as many of them are msg sensitive too! They were always sooo careful of me and wouldn't let me eat anything that contained msg. Thanks for the memory.
Deb A.
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 - 4:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You're welcome!...with another smile.
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 8:50 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the information everyone. I did call the restraunt and the claimed it was not in the salad dressing etc.. but this is my frustration, no one knows anything about these additives. Though I have people read me the ingredients on things..some people are helpful. If Lenea G. is still looking for information on her son's condition.. I might have some things for you to consider. My son that reacted to the msg also has left sided seizures(tremors) he will fall to the ground.All of his seizures affect the left arm. we have discovered that he ultra sensitive to additives, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics and sugar.We cannot give him antibiotics, if we do his arm goes"shakey" as he calls it. He is also hypoglycemic. When we eat only natural foods and homecooking, no sugar or white flour and gets no additives and use vitamins and herbs, he does just fine. I would look to an alternative doctor or chiropractor for help..thats where we have found the most help. The question I would like to ask now is what makes people so sensitive to things like msg and others aren't affected by it? Does anyone have any info?
Deb A.
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2001 - 9:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We don't know why some of us react and some do not...not yet, anyway. Dr. Blaylock says that all of us will react if given enough glutamate that crosses our tolerance threshold. He also suggests that our blood brain barriers have been weakened for one reason or another....injury to the neck or spine or head, the trauma of birth itself, or it could be a genetic predisposition. Some theorize that it's a cumulative effect. The pumps in the brain that normally rid it of excess glutamate can no longer function (perhaps due to overload and damage) and then we begin to feel the effects. Dr. Olney's tests on animals showed each successive generation exhibited more and more damage, suggesting that glutamate was passed through the placenta causing defects prenatally. Yet the lobby groups claim that MSG cannot cross the placental wall. (interesting, since the FDA, even when it touts MSG's safety, warns pregnant or lactating women to avoid it) Lots of theories, not enough adequate tests. There have been several theories offered here concerning the link to food allergies. It's suggested that since our bodies now recognize MSG as a dangerous substance, that it reacts with the release of histamaine, t-cells, and othere powerful chemicals that characterize the uncomfortable responses we now feel even when we eat other, even natural sources of glutamic acid, such as in ripe tomatoes, or mushrooms, corn, etc.
Beth E.
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 - 4:16 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Sue M.-
After reading all your previous posts, I noticed that our sons have many of the exact same symptoms: hypoglycemia, left side weakness, and seizures. I'd very much like to talk with you further about them. Deb A. said she'd be willing to forward your email address to me if you're interested-just email her at

I enjoyed reading Deb's response to your last question. If you want more detail, Dr. Russell Blaylock's book, Excitotoxins, isn't exactly an easy read, but it will give you a pretty good understanding of how the brain functions and why our hypoglycemic kids have problems with MSG.
Sue M.
Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2001 - 9:27 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Beth E. I will be happy to give Deb my e-mail address. I am always so willing to talk to others because it helps me learn so many new things. I was very interested in your post, Deb. My son has had neck problems and does not hold his corrections well. Is it possible to not always be severly reactive to msg? My son went a whole year without a seizure and we were not always careful with the msg. But now he is having seizure reactions again. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what triggers the severe reactions all of the sudden. Is it along the lines of what you were talking about..can it be a build up in the brain and it overloads, especially when other things aren't in sync in his blood sugars, neck problems.. Thanks for all the info, I have learned so much from this site.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2001 - 2:33 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sue M.,

The site below lists some causes of seizures:
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2001 - 4:06 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My 13 year old Westhighlander White Terrier had
seizures and twice we had to take him to an after hours
emergency clinic because the seizures were more than mild. Once I found out about MSG's
aliases and changed his dog food he hasn't had
another seizure. So many dogs suffer from seizures
and are put on anti seizure drugs that have bad
side effects. What if it is the flavor enhancers
that dog food companies use to sell their product in many cases? I took a lot of information to my vet and he accepted it and found it very interesting.
Humans aren't the only ones suffering from man's
Deb A.
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 8:56 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's lots of hydrolyzed protein products in pet foods, including lots of soy and corn products. I have heard from several pet owners who have reported the same symptoms as yours, in addition to severe itching. Some owners sadly reported that their dogs have lost their battle and died, due to their owners not making the MSG connection in time. In countries where dogs are used as food by humans, they are killed by giving them large does of pure MSG. Hope I haven't upset some of you, but the information is true.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 10:05 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


MSG is listed here under "Factors That May Trigger A Seizure":
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 8:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, I never considered I'd be involved with a "support" group, but I have (painfully) traced MSG and glutamates to nearly every health issue I've ever had...period. The splitting headaches, general malaise, hair-trigger temper, depression...all a result of eating this poison. And to find out that it was in darn near everything processed. Boy, the Ajinomoto corporation has found a way to avenge Hiroshima -- it's MSG. Anybody ever wonder why so much antacids, pain relievers, pepto bismol, and such are sold? How about antidepressants? Unfortunately, by the time I found this website I'd had to deduct all of this for myself. Whenever my family would vacation, I'd be miserable most of the time with headaches, stomachaches, and general anger and depression. It was from EATING out all the time. Now that I've become very careful, I almost never have headaches or problems and feel great. It's like becoming a new person. In California, we have Trader Joe's, which specializes in food without Ajinomoto's poison. Good luck to all.
Gerry Bush
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 8:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try "Wild Oats" and "Whole Foods" markets. They are even better than Trader Joe's. I particularly like "Wild Oats" as they carry luncheon meats and cheeses that are msg, nitrites, and phosphates free!
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 9:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am free from msg almost two weeks. How long does it take to be a new person?
Deb A.
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 10:33 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Shirley, it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months to feel better...or at least to have a better handle on avoiding MSG. Remember, some of us have lots of excess glutamate in our bodies' tissues, which will eventually decrease as we continue to watch what we eat. You are doing great, so keep up the good work! And if you have a setback and eat MSG by mistake, just be patient with yourself, and be more careful. You are still learning and there is quite a lot to remember at first. I continue to encourage people to read the first 80 pages of our book at least a couple times the first month. It will help immensely, and things will make more and more sense to you.
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 11:30 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ok, now that I know it will take a month or so I will have to take herbal supplement to help the detox along.

Carol H
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 6:35 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Shirley, I think I read elsewhere on this board that you are taking St. John's Wort. You may want to reconsider that if you have trouble with MSG. I beleive that contains tyrosine which will counteract the effects of avoiding MSG.
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 7:15 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I dont know cause I took st.john's wort and I went to sleep with no problem. I am worst if I dont fall asleep. Sleep make me renew myself.
Judy T
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 1:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Shirley; Perhaps I had more than excitotoxin toxicity, but it took me 9 months to begin to feel like I was in my own body again. Now after 1 1/2 years I can say I feel better when I don't get 'dosed' than I have in probably 25 years. No more deep down bone pains or aches and no more rage/depression. Stick with it. This is a lifestyle change....this is for the rest of your life. If excitoxins are your problem, than the solution will be worth it; listen to your own body, go slowly when making changes, keep vigilant in changing your diet forever.
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 3:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Judy!

The detox headaches are msg like but they are alittle less. I will try to hang in there.
Posted on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 9:45 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm new to this group. My son and husband are both allergic to MSG. They are mainly sulfite sensitive, but sulfites are found in MSG. They do OK with any natural food and free glutamic acid in vegetables. My son missed a lot of school his 1 and 2 years due to this illness. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong, but he kept getting worse with more symptoms until he couldn't get out of bed. His symptoms were,headache/migraines, daily nausea, constipation, dizziness, eye problems focusing and seeing double, eye pain, sore throat, ashtma, numbness and tingling in feet and arms, severe joint pain, severe fatigue. First I took him off of all medications and eliminated MSG in my son's diet. His symptoms improved a little, but many of them were still there. I later eliminated sulfites which is almost impossible, and he changed almost overnight still occasional headaches. He also is allergic to aspergillus mold which is in a lot of foods, found naturally and added for fermentation. This causes bad migraines and nausea. He seems to react a little differently to all 3 things. This is my best guess at this point- MSG caused the dizziness, headache, tingling and numbess, eye problems, and sore throats (maybe some of the other symptoms as well). I believe the sulfite reaction is primarly migraine,asthma and soft tissue pain, and the mold reaction is migraine and nausea. He also reacts to acidic foods with joint pain and mild headaches. The joint pain gets quite severe at times and he can't sleep. This is just speculation as I try not to feed him any of these things now and I just try to notice what the reactions are when he accidently gets something. I'm still searching for a doctor who can help, but am getting nowhere with that. I now have an apt. with homeopath doctor because that's the only medicines he can tolerate and they work very well for most things. I'm converting my medicine cabinet to all homeopathic remedies, and getting rid of prescriptions. He can also take herbal supplements with no problems, but not synthetic vitamins and supplements. The gelation caps don't bother him that I've noticed. -cheryl
Posted on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 10:32 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You might try looking at tyramine if you haven't already do so. Foods such as bananas, raspberries, avocados, spinach, many vegetables and leftovers (anything not fresh) build up tyramine. Also, any fruit and vegetable that is getting ripe or over-ripe is fermenting and the levels of natural glutamate is increasing. There is also salicylic acid in many foods such as oranges, apples, most berries, peaches, nectarines, the list is very long. The Fiengold Association website can provide more info on salicylic acid (it's what aspirin is made of). They also eliminate all artificial colors, flavors, preservatives. Watch out for smells in the environment-soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, colored pens that might get on his skin. I think your idea to go to a naturopath is good. I am looking for one myself to continue testing of foods that I had done in England last month. It helped me a lot! Good luck.
Deb A.
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 8:17 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheryl, one thing that comes up time and again when people contact me because they or a child is still reacting to "something" and they can't put a finger on it, is supplements, whether, herbal or not. The fillers that are used, though a doctor may tell you they are safe, often contain hidden sources of free glutamic acid, such as dextrose, lactose or lactates, citrates, dextrins/dextrates, cornstarch, and the list goes on. Gelatin is slowly absorbed, but it can have a cumulative effect that may take up to 20 or 30 days to manifest itself. Even supplements that are not in gelcaps often have minute amount of glutamate, but that can build up to an eventual reaction, too. Children are especially vulnerable to MSG and aspartame. Sulfites are much easier to avoid, but are still in many items. The best way to avoid food additives is to find products that are completely additive free...closest to their natural forms. Sulfites primarily cause asthma like conditions and bronchial spasms, gastric distress and nausea, diarrhea, headaches (nothing like MSG ones for me and most of the people I talk to), belching(sulfur gas), backaches, chills, dull eyes, listlessness, mouth lesions,(acid reaction) itchy skin. (more info on page 50 of our book) Indeed, MSG can cause all the same problems, but for me, the reaction is more immediate, and the duration is shorter and less intense.....and it usually effects my stomach the most. There's MSG and aspartate in toothpaste, too. So many kids love the crazy brands formulated to please them, but they are loaded with garbage. I wish you and your child the best. He's lucky to have such a committed mom. It's not an easy road, but it will get better.
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 8:20 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I haven't read about tyramine, but have heard a little about it. I really don't think I can take it if there's anything more he can't eat. Yes, overripe food causes headaches, but I think it's due to mold(maybe??). He's very allergic to aspergills, which loves to invade fruits and leftovers. I don't give him many leftovers because of mold and keep his bread in the freezer until I use it and take out 1 peice at a time. I think he can eat peaches OK. He doen't like most of the other foods you listed. Yes he has to avoid smells, so do I. Especially perfumes, mostirizers, etc.. Someday I'll figure it all out to where hopefully he won't get sick any more.

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 8:27 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Yes you're right. His reactions to sulfites take anywhere from 6-9 hours depending on how active he is that day. They are just as you described, only a couple of years ago he had many more reactions (the MSG type) before I started eliminating MSG after I read your book. That book helped me so much with this. No doctor even suggested food intolerances. I also began suspecting sulfites after reading it in your book. He doesn't have a lot of asthma now, mainly from mold, but he did have 2 years ago when he was in the worst physical condition. Now the main problems are headaches, fatigue, nausea and acid reaction (joint pain). Thank you for all the wonderful informantion.

Evelyn H.
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 10:03 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I need some help. My son, 6, has been very good about following our diet, pretty much since we switched it about 9 months ago. This year, getting him to eat properly in school has been a struggle. I send him his lunch and he eats it but he's always talking about trying school lunches and about snacks other kids share with him. I have pointed out the mood change and inability to concentrate that afflict him when he's had MSG, but he doesn't seem interested in listening. Unfortunately, he got my stubbornness. Anyway have any tactics that have worked with their kids. I can't be with him all day at school, so I need some assistance. Thanks in advance.
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 2:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My son is 8 and he's just the opposite. He gets so sick from foods he doesn't even try to eat them and always asks me before taking a bite of anything if it's OK. It's hard on him sometimes when someone brings a birthday treat or unexpected treat to class and he gets nothing. You might talk to the teacher about bringing a snack to keep in the freezer at school for those days when they have treats. We're going to try that. If he's not willing to give up the food there's not much you can do. You can't be with him every minute and he will sneak food when given the opportunity unless he fully realizes he will feel bad if he sneaks food. My son gets migraines and nausea and that's enough to make him not want it. You're son may not react badly enough to not want the food. If you keep talking to him about feeling good that may help.
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 9:11 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Evelyn and Cheryl,
When my son was following the Feingold Diet (word search here or on the internet) they encouraged kids to write to each other-pen-pals. Maybe you could have your sons write a short note to each other about their special diets. I'm sure the Feingold Association would have lots of ideas for kids. It was never easy, but even my son could see and feel the difference when he was careful what he ate. My daughter did a project, an entire newspaper, devoted to her special diet, with information, pretend articles from mothers who talked about the diet, favorite recipes, and word search games. Finishing that project was a real accomplishment for her and reinforced the reasons for our family following the special diet. Our whole family was on the diet, as it would not have worked having bad foods in the house. The Feingold Assoc. has a food list for shopping at neighborhood markets that lists hundreds of foods that are safe, identifying MSG as well as artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and salicylic acid, the additives that they eliminate. My kids are older teens now and I wish they would watch what they eat more carefully. At least I can still somewhat control what they eat at home.
Evelyn H.
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:01 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheryl and Ruth--Thanks for the ideas. A snack to keep at school might be helpful. In a way, I wish my son's reaction were as strong as your son's, Cheryl. It's not that I would want him to be sick, but at least then he could easily see the cause and effect for himself. MSG leads to symptoms of ADD, which to a 6-year-old, aren't bad enough to make him want to stay away from it entirely. I do frequently talk to him about our diet and about how much better he acts and behaves when he's following the diet. Yes, at home, I can control his food intake, but at school and elsewhere, there's not a lot I can do. Although he did tell one of the cooks at school the other day that he can't eat school lunches because they have too much MSG. So, I guess he sort sways back and forth.

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