Are you experiencing a terrible headache, a migraine, chills, nausea, a skin rash, dizziness or depression after eating in a Chinese restaurant? You may be sensitive to MSG, a flavor enhancer and stimulator. You can avoid Chinese restaurants in the future, but how can you relieve the pain and other symptoms you're experiencing now? The following tips have worked for some MSG sensitive people and may help you.
This is perhaps the hardest to do, but the most important as you want to avoid the repeated assaults on your body. MSG comes in many forms which are not always listed and many times are disguised as different ingredients entirely. Shampoos, soaps and detergents may also contain MSG ingredients.
Familiarize yourself with possible sources of MSG. Purchase Battling the "MSG Myth" , by Debby Anglesey, a book full of helpful information, lists of possible sources, foods that most likely contain MSG, some that don't and recipes you can use. The book also provides small cards you can take with you to restaurants. By sharing them with the staff and making them aware of your sensitivity, you will probably avoid getting any MSG in your order.
Avoid processed and packaged foods. Read labels. Avoid Chinese and Japanese restaurants if you must. Some do not use MSG in their food preparation, but you will have to ask. If you are very sensitive, you can cook and prepare fresh whole foods from scratch. This is probably the best and most effective way to keep MSG out of your system.
Some individuals find relief from taking the following, not just during the reaction, but daily as a preventive measure:
Magnesium supplements or foods rich in magnesium
Vitamin B6 supplements or foods rich in B6
Check the fillers in capsules or tablets and watch out for MSG additives. IMPORTANT: Please check with your doctor to make sure these won't interact with any medications you are taking.
DRUG STORE REMEDIES
Several sufferers have found the following to be helpful:
Ibuprofen- some people use extra strength don't use if you're allergic to it
Benadryl an anti-histamine,once at onset and repeat if needed
Aspirin or Bufferin one or two
Laxatives to flush out the offending foods
Once again, read the labels and check for additives, fillers or flavorings. IMPORTANT: Please check with your doctor to make sure these won't interact with any medications you are taking.
Drink fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice or water and eat fruits, vegetables or rice. Some find relief from drinking just one regular, not diet, Red Bull. Remember to check the label.
Hot baths with cup sea salt and cup baking soda or use 1 c Epsom salts. Some have found enemas helpful.
These are remedies that have worked for others who have experienced the pain and suffering of a reaction to MSG. Of course it's best to avoid MSG altogether, but if you do get some by mistake, hopefully one of these remedies will give you some relief.
This is just a brief overview. For more detailed information see the book and websites below. They provide extensive information on MSG sensitivity, good and bad foods, sources of MSG, lots of research and many testimonies and stories.
Visit the following websites for more information:
www.msgmyth.com You can order the book from this website
References: The above websites and the book Battling the "MSG Myth" by Debbie Anglesey