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Is MSG what is making me so ill?

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » How You Made the MSG Connection » Is MSG what is making me so ill? « Previous Next »

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Tracy C
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 8:19 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess you could say I haven't really made the connection yet. I am still in the evaluation stage. I found this website this past weekend, when trying to self diagnose the cause of my health issues. I have been sick for almost six years now, and continuing to get worse. Last March my left Adrenal gland had to be removed due to a softball sized tumor. I thought my troubles were over. They would get the thing out of me, and I would be all better right? Wrong. I have continued to feel worse, and my migraines, joint pain, memory loss, dizziness, pressure in the neck and face, bloated feeling, and other symptoms continued to get worse. I am hoping I have finally found the reason. It will not be easy for me to eliminate MSG from my diet, but I plan to try. It sounds like it will be difficult, but I would do almost anything to feel better at this point. I can't even imagine a day without some kind of pain or discomfort.
Ruth
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 8:45 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Welcome Tracy C,
The first thing you need is Debby's book, "Battling the MSG Myth," available on this website. You will not believe that MSG lurks in so many places. The eye-opener for me was reading that when you combine meat, vegetables, and water in a pot and cook it, as in stews and soups, you are making hydrolyzed vegetable protein right in your own kitchen. HVP is just one of the many hidden names of MSG. It will probably take a while to discover where all the hidden sources are, and what your own individual limits are with various foods, but hopefully you will start seeing improvement right away.
shirley
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 2:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ruth how do you get hvp when making homemade soups?

Welcome Tracey, Just take it slowly. I would watch for sauces and seasoning first in labels. Avoid aged cheeses and enzymes. This will help in the beginning.
Ruth
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 3:15 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Shirley,
For info. on slow cooking of meats, see Debby's book, "Battling the MSG Myth" under ATTENTION HYPERSENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS. In my book it's around page 54-55. I got a 5 day migraine from my own, slow-cooked chicken soup, all natural ingredients and basically just chicken, onion, and water, cooked many hours. I guess the onion served as the acid, or maybe it was just cooking the chicken so many hours that released the glutamates into the water. Anyway, Debby says the process is called hydrolysis-hydro for water, vegetable, and protein, the meat-HVP. I am very, very sensitive to foods. My only symptom is headaches. Hopefully you are not as sensitive as I am.
shirley
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 6:49 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never simmer cook. I do make soups though. I do leave food in a covered pot which is warm, is this msg? Wouldnt anything boiled for a while create this too?
Anonymous
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 9:09 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

shirley, read the chapter on glutamate in Debby's book. It explains the difference between natural glutamate found in lots of foods, and the way it can be turned into free glutamate, the kind in MSG. All it takes is heat or chemicals or cooking for long times in water to turn foods high in natural glutamate to the dangerous glutamate. Hope I said that right.
shirley
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 10:51 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree that simmer is different as to cook something for hours compare to hour. I think this need to be clear otherwise everything that is cooked in water or sauce becomes free glutamate which isnt so?
Tracy C
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 11:31 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for welcoming me! I must admit I am extremely overwhelmed. I am practically starving myself to avoid anything that might make me sick. I need to purchase the book, but I am not financially able until Friday. Yes money is that tight, which makes this even more difficult. I don't know what I can and can not eat yet, and have not felt much of the benefits at this time. Of coarse, I am not sure I am avoiding MSG either. I don't know how to cook anymore. All my spices have suspicious ingredients, as well as any sauces I used to marinate with. I have almost given up Coca Cola, (which is amazing for me.) and I am drinking more water. Can anyone give me some ideas about meals, to start me out, brand names and such? I am so picky, it is sad. I only eat the basic meats, (Beef, chicken, pork, turkey, and Ham), and the only veggies I eat are corn potatoes and green beans. I am a big pasta eater, but it has to be in a red sauce, or a garlic & oil sauce. Is pasta even safe? Bread is another big one for me. I eat a lot of fruit, but it doesn't seem to fill me up well. Any ideas?
Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 3:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tracy, For now, Eggs are a great protein source. As for meats stick to naturally raised beef. Chicken often is injected with MSG-laden "broth". Pasta is good with garlic and oil, fresh zucchini maybe, or Contessa frozen shrimp. Try fresh Italian bread with only flour, salt, yeast, and water instead of the supermarket junk. Fresh Italian bread freezes well. Buy organic potatoes if you can for now. Find a Whole Foods (Fresh Fields) market and eat as simply as you can. Instead of jarred tomato sauce, use fresh tomatoes diced and cooked slightly with garlic and fresh herbs. Try a variety of brown rice that is not enriched. There are many different kinds out there. Rice Dream Rice milk Original is tolerated well by folks on this board. As for fruit avoid non-organic if you can. If not, avoid strawberries especially.
Tracy C
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 4:43 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol,
I thank you for your suggestions, and I will try some of them. The problem with veggies, is that I literally can not keep most of them down. I have been told it is all in my head, but as much as I try to convince myself, I can't eat very many. Zucchini is a definite no, and the closest I have ever come to tomatoes is store bought sauce, or tomato soup. Are there any that are ok? I also do not eat eggs, or any type of seafood and fish. Is there any help for me?
shirley
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 6:21 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Go to the website www.truthinlabeling.org
You can write it down or print it out to read label.
shirley
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 6:26 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The tomato soup is not good and also tomatoe sauce. The only tomato sauce that is good is homemade or the one in the health food store without citric acid. Avoid all can vegetables which has citric acid in it.
Tracy C
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 9:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Shirley,

Does that mean all tomato soup? Even Campbells healthy request? I am a tomato soup freak. I eat it about 2 times a week.

Also, Is all Citric Acid a no-no? What can I have for Juices?
Deb A.
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 11:34 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All commercial tomato soups that I have looked at contain hidden glutamate or MSG. Do you have a blender, Tracy? First, you should know that tomatoes are VERY high in natural glutamate, so it is best to lower your intake of them. I love fresh tomatoes with a sprinkle of sugar or salt, but I don't eat them two days in a row and they are never very ripe...the riper they are, the more free glutamate is created (like cooking on the vine or aging in the kitchen). Back to the soup. Cut up a couple fresh large or 3 small tomatoes and puree and pour into a little bowl. Then in the blender pour 1 1/2 cups of water or Rice Dream plain rice beverage (blue box) 3 T. of whole wheat flour, 1 t. of sugar (opt. or you may want more), 1/2 t. salt (add more to taste later), a pinch of cayenne and some black pepper. Puree. Pour just this blend into a soup pot and stirring, just bring to a simmer and cook until thickened about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring once more to JUST a simmer and immediately remove from heat. A dab of butter may be added if desired. It is the way tomato soup used to be made by great grandmothers before Campbells came along. My daughter makes it this way with just water and sometimes doesn't even thicken it with flour, and the kids love it that way, too. She adds a pinch of cinnamon and teeny bit of clove. Nice in a mug on a cold day. Of course she doubles or triples this sometimes.
Shirley
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 11:46 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Citric acid is a no-no. Maybe at the hfs they have it without citric acid. Avoid anything with natural flavoring cause it is msg.

I havent read the ingredients in healthy choice so I dont know. Until you are informative to know labels as to do the search key under the utilities file, or type out the ingredients here then you'll know or just make a soup like Deb A's ingredients above.

You can also get a juicer. I usually juice my friuts then add water. I also place fruits in a blender with water too.
amh
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 2:01 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tracy C,

For years I wouldn't eat fruit until the week end. I had chronic diarrhea and I THOUGHT it was the fruit. When I began to eliminate MSG in all of it forms, I found I could eat all the fruit and vegetables I wanted. You may find out once you eliminate processed foods that you will be able to tolerate fruit if you wish.

Try one or two days just drinking water with lemon and herbal organic tea if you can find it. I order mine on line and if you wish I will send you the name of the company. Right now I am not at home. This will help to cleanse your system of all the toxins built up from the MSG.

Good luck and do not give up, you will feel much better for the effort.
Deb A.
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 3:46 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

amh, I think we would all like to learn a source for organic herbal teas, short of growing the herbs ourselves! Would you share the info with all of us???
Laurie M
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 7:07 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.mrskellysteas.com has some organic teas. They will send small samples if you request them
Laurie M
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 7:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Correction:
http://www.mrskellystea.com

It is funny how one letter can change an address like that.
Deb A.
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 3:11 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Laurie!
Tracy
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 2:58 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I bought a turkey breast from whole foods to make for my daughter and myself for lunches but have reacted to it. I have also had problems with whole chickens but have been ok with cooking chicken breasts for 20-30 minutes. I know that I react to homemade chicken soup but is it possible for me to be reacting to the turkey or chicken because it has to be cooked for a few hours? I am not cooking anything else with it. It seems every time I cook something, I find something else I cannot tolerate. What is strange is that my daughter reacted to the chicken soup but not the others. Also, has anyone had any problems with blueberries?
Ruth
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 7:55 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just learned that I can eat the Whole Foods chicken-it's Bill and Eddy's? brand. They say they haven't carried Buddy's Natural brand in over 5 years. This is the first chicken I have eaten in 8 months, and since I just found out I get headaches from beef, I am really excited to have found a safe source of protein. I bake it in the oven for @ 40 min. I got terrible migraines from chicken soup, with just chicken and onions. I think I read on this board that just cooking chicken a long time will release glutamates. Tracy, are you able to find organic blueberries?
Gerry Bush
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 12:18 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Watch out for phosphates in chicken and turkey!
MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 11:42 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Folks: Does anyone know where I can find supporting written references on the web or whereever (other than from sufferers like us) which states phosphates or some other chemicals are used on certain meats? ---- as Gerry has reminded us. I want to use the references to show some people who don't buy this.
By the way, last week I experimented by eating some supposedly fresh pork cutlets that had very little fat on or in them --- they almost looked like chicken. They were packaged by my local Shoprite supermarket with the Hormel brand on the label. Within one hour, I was suffering badly --- it was definitely the pork.
Carol H
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 1:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MEMorris here's three. The first shows meat additive info given to food scientists at an IFT convention, which is one of the biggest trade shows attended by food scientists every year: http://www.meatingplace.com/articles/m33.asp
The next details info about how pork may become unsafe to eat and why meat processors add phosphate solutions to fresh pork. http://ansci.colostate.edu/ran/meat/ks002.html.
The last is a site that tells you what may be added to turkeys. http://www.turkeyfed.org/foodsrv/manual/parts/cookedProducts.html In general, fresh pork, self basting turkeys, and fully cooked meats like hot dogs are probably treated. Listeria can contaminate and live on even cooked meats, even stored in you refrigerator. They add chemicals to kill the listeria and other pathogens because they don't trust us to cook our hot dogs and because meats that are sold already cooked, may have become contaminated after cooking but before packaging. You'd be much safer buying fresh meat, and cooking it at home. But because they don't trust us to do this correctly, they have resorted to spiking our fresh pork to kill pathogens. Who are these companies that make phosphate solutions, who play big brother because they do not trust us to do our own cooking? The main one is Monsanto. PCB, Nutrasweet, Roundup, Celebrex, Soybean pusher to the world.
Carol H
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 1:26 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Two more: http://ansci.colostate.edu/ran/meat/gkb011.htm

http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/research/ardi/projects/98-168.html
Tracy
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 3:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ruth,

I can get frozen organic blueberries from Whole Foods. I guess I will try that as well as Bill and Eddy's chicken. Maybe I will look for a local butcher shop and make sure they don't use phosphates and start buying beef and chicken that way. I didn't know beef could be rinsed as well. I want to thank everyone for all of your advice on the questions I have asked. Between the magnesium, exercises and drinking tons of water with lemon I am doing better. Also, I have been taking taurine for almost 2 months and have definitely been able to tolerate the sulfites in my hair color better. I had it done last week and resigned myself to spending the next day on the couch with an icepack. I still had a headache but I was able to function. It does help!
MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 3:33 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol - Thank you for posting of earlier today re chemicals used on poultry, pork and cured meats! Very helpful -- but very sad too.

I surfed the Meating Place archive further and found references to chemicals used to clean poultry carcasses such as "pre-chill sprays" using trisodium phosphate [TSP], Sanova which is a highly potent antimicrobial process, and heavily chlorinated water. UGH!

If anyone finds more references addressing chemicals specifically for uncured red meat such as fresh beef and lamb, please post.
Ruth
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 5:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just came back from Whole Foods and the correct name of the natural chicken my local market sells is Bell & Evans, from Fredericksburg, PA. I was told they use boiling water first to open the pores, a machine plucks the feathers (no acid wash like I have heard many chicken processors use to dissolve feathers), then cold water is used to close the pores. Their e-mail address is
bellandevans.com. Also, I checked the Horizon organic butter while I was there and sure enough, the unsalted variety has natural flavors added. The salted Horizon organic butter is just cream and salt. The company is not the small, Vermont operation it was a few years ago (Organic Cow), but a multi-million dollar corporation that controls 70& of the market for dairy products. I read that their milk is now ultra-pasteurized so that it can travel long distances and sit on shelves longer. It's less nutritious than ordinary pasteurized conventional milk. Organic doesn't always mean good for you, at least, not any more.
Evelyn H.
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 10:24 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ruth--Not all Organic Valley milk is ultrapasteurized. I have some in my fridge that's just pasteurized whole milk.
Ruth
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 11:07 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Evelyn, Is Horizon Organic the same brand as Organic Valley? The one with the cow on the label? I'm really not familiar with dairy products any more, as I totally gave up everything except for a little butter. I am referring to an article and looking at the picture from last May that appeared in the New York times regarding the Organic Cow brand that was bought by Horizon. It's a fabulous article called "Behind the Organic-Industrial Complex," from May 13. Very interesting reading. Not sure if it is still available on-line.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 12:54 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A commentary on the May 13th article:

http://thriveonline.oxygen.com/news/nutritionnews/2001_0601organicfoodbusiness.html
Ruth
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 2:01 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Roy.
I'm going to try the recipe for healthy French fries.
shirley
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 6:18 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Ruth and Roy!
Evelyn H.
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 10:29 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oops my mistake. I'm unfamiliar with Horizon Organic. Do use lots of Organic Valley products, however. Sorry.
amh
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 9:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello,

I must be very tired. I put the information down and didn't post. Source for organic tea:

The Republic of Tea
The Minister Of Supply 020
P O Box 1589
Novato CA 94948-1589
1-800-298-4TEA

http://www.republicoftea.com

I buy the Organic Rising Leaves Green
Darjeeling. I do not have a catalog right now and the web site is being updated. I think you could probably buy this in a large grocery or health food store. I got my at a gift shop the first time I saw it.

This tea never gives me any problems, other herbal teas I have had, cause backaches etc.
jackie
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 9:12 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello. My mother has always reacted to chineese food -- headache and occasional chest pains -- but recently, her reactions have become more severe and wide spread. She now has these reactions to things like soups and salads. I was so interested to read your posts on soups causing reactions. I would have never thought all this could potentially be MSG related. How did you all pinpoint MSG as the cause? And, if it is, then what? These reactions have really been affecting my mom's personality. Your posts have been helpful, but I want to learn more. I see you are all trying to get together in Reno in a few weeks. I'd love to be able to go, but it's simply to near to get the time off and make arrangements. Will there be anyway to get materials or anything from your meeting? It sounds like it would be a huge help. Any other sources that would be a good resource would be great too. Thanks!
Evelyn H.
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 10:11 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jackie--I'll try to keep this short :). I altered my family's diet last year in an effort to help my son who has symptoms of ADD/ADHD. I didn't honestly think my husband or I was affected by MSG. After about a month on our new diet, I started to notice that I had fewer digestive problems (stomach cramps, gas, etc.) and my sinus problems have all but disappeared. I also noticed that my husband's mood had improved. He was starting to suffer from mood swings. Now, when we go off the diet (a meal at friends or out), we definitely feel the difference. The virtual elimination of MSG from our diet is the only thing to which we can attribute the changes. My son is doing much better in school this year, as well.
jackie
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 3:06 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Evelyn -- thanks so much for your response. Who would have thought MSG could have such an affect on personality. We're starting to pay closer attention to labels. How long did it take for your symptoms to start easing up?
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 7:02 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

jackie,

I can personally attest to the effects of MSG on personality. I find that my ability to communicate is severely impaired during a mild MSG reaction, which causes personal frustration and consequently has an adverse effect on my moods.

I say a "mild" reaction because a stronger one will range from severe dizziness to total unconsciousness, in which case the "mild" symptoms are eclipsed by the more dangerous ones.
Evelyn H.
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:27 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jackie--It took about a month or so for my husband's mood to level out. Oddly enough, it only takes a meal or so of food containing MSG for his mood swings to start. It's also odd that we didn't really notice he was having mood swings until after we'd been on the diet and reflected back to what changes we noticed in ourselves and our son.

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