Sunday, May 4, 2008

Our MSG Story.

As many of you have probably read, my motivation for our homemade revolution was the onset of my son's severe allergy to MSG. The discovery of this allergy was long & painful, so I hope by sharing our story, it may help some of you in diagnosing a problem you or someone you know may be having.

My son began having problems with eczema around one year of age. It affected his entire body, even around his eyes, which were always red & scaly. Following advice from our pediatrician, we took him off of dairy & soy, which did not help. We had to bathe him every night in a salt water bath, apply special lotions & steroid cremes, & occasionally bath him in bleach. Even after all of this, he still suffered. One night a short time later, he broke out all over his body in a rash & was completely swollen. We rushed him to the ER where they immediately asked what he had "gotten into". We then informed them that we had no new chemicals or pets in our home & that the only new item that was given to him was a cool ranch dorito. They informed us that this type of reaction was from a chemical or antibiotics, none of which applied to our situation. The rash was big red circles with white targets in the middle called Erythema Multiforme. They gave him Benedryl & Progesterone which worked to eventually relieve his rash. Still we left the hospital with no answers as to what had caused this reaction.

We went to his pediatrician the next day who had no answers for us either. After that incident, there were two more occasions that he had the same reaction. One after eating ranch dressing & another after cheetos. We began to look into what ingredients these items had in common. Through a suggestion of a close friend, we realized that the common ingredient was MSG.

We got rid of every item in our home with the ingredient Monosodium Glutamate. It is in more than you think. We can't figure out why Chinese food gets such a bad rap when it is in nearly every snack food or canned soup that you eat! The reactions stopped occurring but yet the eczema still plagued him. After much research online, we discovered there were many other names for MSG. We again raided our cabinet only to find these labels throughout our food items. So we took it all to the dumpster & tried again.

Almost immediately after cleansing our diet of these substances, my son's skin cleared up completely & his eyes were not red & scaly. We no longer had to bathe him in salt & dairy was added back to his diet without a problem.

Since then, we have been to an allergist who tested him for all sorts of things, all turning up negative. We asked her about MSG & she said that there is no test for that since it is a chemical. She & our pediatrician are baffled by our experience & have no other answer for us than, "If it's working, then keep doing it." They also inform us that there are no cases of MSG causing a reaction of this kind, but was this case reported?

It was hell having my son go through this with no clue as to what would help him, but I am so grateful we were able to by some miracle, come across the solution. If you ask us now though we consider his allergy a blessing because it truly has opened our eyes to the harmful things they throw into our food & that we don't even question. Sometimes when people find out about this they feel sorry for us because it must be so hard, but I could never feel bad about being enlightened & we will never turn back. We are so lucky.

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