“Try this. It Doesn’t Contain MSG”

Have you ever tried to explain an invisible illness or sensitivity to someone who just doesn’t seem to “get” it?  Usually they mean well and are just trying to help.  I have a lot of “helpful” friends.  I still love them, though.  It really is too much for anyone else to remember.  I am always grateful they care enough to try. 


My grandson has a peanut allergy; it’s pretty straight-forward for the most part.  It’s a common enough allergy that warnings are all over most products, but people still need to be careful, because there is always something out there that won’t mention it.  Just in case, I always had an epi-pen somewhere on my person or in my purse.  I say “had” because he lives across the country right now.  As an allergy it can be countered – most of the time.

MSG poisoning can’t be effectively countered.  Once it’s in the system, you pretty much have to ride it out.   A few symptoms can be managed, like going into cardiac arrest, but you better pray doctors use a medicine that won’t make the reaction worse.   Many have them have no clue about how to treat MSG sensitivity/poisoning.  In fact, I’ve only been able to get our family allergist to write down I have it.  No one else ever does.

I have had a bit of success with ginger for the “brain” inflammation (easiest way to describe it), but I’m still experimenting with herbals and hope to develop my own protocol for supporting my body if I accidentally ingest it.


Trying to explain that MSG sensitivity doesn’t mean one ingredient causes people to smile and nod.  They don’t understand about how processed free glutamates affect people like me, nor do they understand there are dozens of names I have to watch out for.  I’ll give you the example I received today.  Keep in mind that I also can’t have GMO corn, so organic corn — which is gradually becoming contaminated by GMO — is the only corn I can have.

I had a friend forward a link to a blog post that recommended a “No MSG” product.  Let me say right off – I am not knocking the company or the product.  I’m sure many people use it and like it.  However, that is something I can’t confirm, because I can’t eat it.  I’m just using it as an example to explain.

Hydrolysed vegetable protein (corn and soy), salt, dextrose, corn starch, vegetable shortening (soybean, cottonseed, canola), wheat flour (bleached wheat flour enriched with niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), onion powder, caramel color, celery extract, onion extract, garlic extact, disodium inosinate, spices.

Product contains SOY, WHEAT”

Obviously, my daughter can’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.   There is enough soy in there to warrant locking her in a padded room until the effects wear off.   As for my MSG-sensitive self?  I would be extremely sick or in the emergency room.  Ingredient lists usually start with the item that makes up the largest quantity, and the last ingredient is usually the smallest quantity.

In this case, the very first ingredient is one that is on the “Eat if you feel like having your heart go spastic” list.  It is a big no-no.  In the words of my kids, “Don’t even touch the can, or we’ll be calling an ambulance.”  It is also made with corn.  GMO?  Non-GMO?  No clue, but the odds favor the former.  I can’t take the risk.

MSG reactive ingredients: 6-8 (2 depend on source); possible GMO ingredients (including soy): 4-5.  Some are the same ingredients as the reactive ones.   Add in that many wheat farmers use a chemical to “fast dry” the wheat, which is something I also react to, and we have a heart attack waiting to happen.  That’s after my eyes get full of dark spots, puke my guts up, a migraine, the feeling of ants crawling under my skin, etc.

As for my friend, I thanked her for thinking of me, and told her unfortunately I couldn’t eat it, because the ingredients can cause a reaction.  She said it was too much to keep track of.  I agreed and told her that it wasn’t her problem to deal with,  nor did I expected her to remember it all, and I was glad she thought of me.


Sidenote:  If someone asks you if something is made from scratch, like a cake, they mean did you personally add the flour, eggs, sugar, salt and so forth.  Boxed cake mix is not from scratch.  Thankfully, I had stopped eating after a few bites due to a conversation I was having.  When my face start tingling, I again asked the “baker” if it was from scratch, but added “or boxed”.  She said, “What’s the difference?  I added the other stuff and baked it.”   It’s a big difference to me.   My son happily finished my piece, and we had to leave before the headache started.




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