When I was a child, I would periodically get really bad headaches that would cause me to feel as if I was going to vomit. The pain continued into my puberty and I was told it is probably the result of hormones. Later, pregnancies brought more headaches which was blamed on more hormones and increased blood flow. Finally, after my headaches became constant and crippling, I started leaning to a possible food allergy. For a time, I thought it was potatoes because I noticed I would always get a headache after eating chips or french fries. But then, one busy day, all I had to eat were Doritoes and I could not handle the pain or anything in my stomach anymore. I was floored and when I finally started to feel better the next day, I was determined to figure out what was causing me to cry in the shower begging God to take me or the pain away.
Doctors and many websites list foods that could trigger a migraine: caffeine, chocolate, sausage or pepperoni, too much sugar/too little sugar, alcohol, fermented cheese, aspartame, sulfates, nitrates, and MSG.
Even though on that busy day I didn’t eat enough, the culprit of my pain was listed on the bag of Doritoes ingredients. Monosodium Glutamate. This had me reading more on MSG.
I learned MSG is in almost all seasoning out there. And while it would be nice to only have to be on the look out for just MSG, I learned that MSG is used to make other more expensive products cheaper. MSG takes on the flavor of other seasonings and intensifies the flavor, allowing a food processing plant to stretch out those more expensive ingredients.
Technically, MSG occurs naturally in many foods. But chemically and broken apart from the other natural compounds, it becomes an excitotoxin. The first part of the word is “excito”, yes, it excites your brain and tastebuds. Your brain is tricked into believing that the food is amazing and even triggers so much excitement, you will binge or overeat. This is exactly the reaction the food companies want to increase their sales and profit! The second part of the word is toxin. Toxin translates to damage that occurs at the cell level…that is your brain cell. Over a prolonged period of ingestion of this toxin, it may inflict permanent brain and nervous system damage.
Over the last 5 years I have had to read labels and learn, sometimes even by the hard way eating the wrong thing, there are many names for MSG and the derivatives. I have had to face others not believing me and calling me or implying that I am being a hypocondraic. Ultimately, I am the one that faces the consequences each time I eat the wrong thing. Each time I risk and eat something that may contain MSG*, my reaction and pain becomes more extreme. You don’t have to believe me because you do not suffer the same sensitivity but that does not take away my real pain. You can tell me that it is natural but that does not change the toxin effect.
If you know someone that suffers from a MSG sensitivity, show that person how much you care by learning more and understand that just because you don’t suffer painful reactions does not mean it may not be a toxin to your cells. Know that when the packaging claims No MSG*, that * is there for a reason. If education continues and we stop buying chemically laden food, companies will forced to remove harmful ingredients and start producing real food with real nutruition…in due time.
MSG counterpart list I commonly look for:
monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract, hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), sodium caseinate, kombu extract, disodium insolnate, EDTA
Please feel free to search more but below is a site that will list far more than above.