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MSG Info - HUGE Trigger for Son's Tics


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I just wanted to put a word of advice out there for those of you who are desperate to figure out why you or your child is experiencing tics. I realize with tourettes there can certainly be many causes but in my son's case, who has had tics since he was 3, MSG has to be avoided at all costs. I did food journals for months to try to figure out the pattern of why he was experiencing tics. All of a sudden, it became very clear so many of the products that had given him problems had MSG in them. Why is MSG such a problem for someone with tourettes? Its because it excites the nervous system.

 

A lot of people consider MSG to be simply a Chinese food issue. I can tell you my 7 year old son has never had Chinese food. Once I started investigating the products it is in it is simply frightening. The food industry uses MSG as a cheap food flavor enhancer. The biggest problem is it is under many differant names other then MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). I would like to list for you just some of the most common names. Here it goes MSG, Monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), autolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, yeast food or nutrient, and autolyzed yeast. All these are MSG disgused under differant names. I even heard of a new name called Pea Protein but I have yet to see this on a label. So be aware the food industry is smart and you need to stay on top of all the new names they may come out with over the years.

 

Food products that almost always have MSG are chicken patties (yes this includes chicken nuggets), canned soups, soups from restaurants, gravy mixes, sausage, seasoned meats, soy sauce, flavored potato chips, and many salad dressing. Even so called MSG free products can have a small amount under something called "Natural Flavorings".

 

About a month ago my son started having tics again and I could not figure out what was causing them. I had given him no MSG, so I thought. Then I realized it was sodium caseinate (MSG) that is in whipped toppings. I had made a birthday cake and used the whipped topping from the store. I learned from this you have to really check dairy products for sodium caseinate and calcium caseinate.

 

I have also had to be a detective at my son's school for the school lunches. There was MSG in probably 70% plus of the lunches they are serving. Also school parties you have to be aware of foods people might bring to school that could cause your child to react.

 

Please also note, that aspartame (nutrasweet) will give the same reaction as MSG. It is also an excitotoxin. A person with tourettes has to avoid aspartame. As a side note, a woman I know was having epileptic type symptoms and they linked it back to aspartame. How scary is that. All because she was drinking diet soda!!!

 

What I have had to do is read every food label like his life depends upon it and also study all the names of MSG. I also have had to research restaurants and which ones use MSG in there food (KFC and Chick-Fil-a use MSG in A LOT of their products so make sure you research before you enjoy your next chicken dinner out). Also note some restaurants use MSG in pizza sauces. Great places to start researching these things is on migrane websites to do with MSG. A lot of people get migrane's from MSG and I have found a great deal of information on these sites.

 

I also have to add that I read that people who are MSG sensitive usually have a magnesium deficiency problem. My son has been on Bonnie Grimaldi's vitamins for almost a year now to help with this. These vitamins have magnesium built in but I have to say if my son has MSG he still reacts but less then he did before taking the vitamins. I have also found that Yellow #5 food dye, Red #40 food dye, and high fructose corn syrup also give my son tics but not nearly as reactive as the MSG. My son has had tics for up to a week after consuming the smallest amount of MSG. Where the other products I just mentioned seem to get out of his system faster and have a less dramatic effect.

 

In regard to Bonnie Grimaldi's vitamins, the only way I have been able to get them in my son is mix them in peanut butter. We make little balls from the mixture and sprinkle it with raw sugar. It really helps disguise the strong vitamin flavor. I realize people with peanut allergies could not even begin to do this but for our son it has worked. Believe me we tried so many ways to try to get these vitamins in him. Somedays I wondered what was worse the tics or getting the vitamins in him. But thank God, I mean that literally, we have a system down.

 

I can sum it all up with this simple sentence. When my son has the vitamins in him and no MSG, yellow 5, red 40 or high fructose corn syrup he is virtually tic free.

 

I also wanted to thank Chemar for helping me understand MSG is such a problem for my son. It was one of her posts that was a true answer to prayer.

 

I hope this helps some other person who is struggling with the puzzle of tourettes. I know it may seem overwhelming to avoid MSG but it can be done. It probably has taken me three months of going to the grocery store, reading labels, learning to make food from scratch and studying all the names to be confident enough to give my son an MSG free diet. I strongly encourage you to look at this as part of what might be going on in your situation.

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Thanks Carolyn N,

 

It is so great to hear you have a good idea on how to help control your son's tics. It does feel hopeless sometimes, but nice to hear your story, and the success you are having.

 

I have become a good cook, because of having to make meals from scratch. I am even figuring out how to shop wisely and get the most out of my organic foods. It's kind of fun.

 

Keep up the good detective work and thanks for posting it will help a lot of parents.

 

C.P.

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:)

 

Hi Carolyn N.

I am sitting here thinking that YOUR post may be like an answer to MY prayers.....

 

Not that I am unaware of the MSG and aspartame that our kids should stay away from, but reading these labels and finding suitable snack foods requires a masters degreee, and it looks like I am way behind!.... Last couple of days I am seeing my son spike on his vocal and now seeing eye twitching all over the place. I have been trying to rack my brain and keep going back to these Barbara's crackers that he has had in last week, lots of them. I was suspecting a hidden name for corn, but now since reading your post maybe it IS msg in here and maybe he is more reactive to that than I have thought, since I'm always concentrating on the corn and dyes. would you or anyone mind seeing if I'm missing something:

 

ingredients of Barbara's Rite Rounds (like a ritz cracker type)

Organic unbleached wheat flour, expeller pressed high-oleic safflower oil, brown rice syrup, sea salt, honey, leavening (baking soda, cream of tartar), barley Malt, soy lecithin, enzymes.

 

Am I reading correctly that brown rice syrup could contain msg? And what about barley malt, soy lecithing and enzymes? anything there?

 

Here is a site I was looking at:

 

http://www.msgmyth.com/hidename.htm

 

what do you think? I have upped his magnesium when I see this spike in symptoms, and I noticed last couple of times I gave epsom salt bath (which I may have been a little lax on lately) I see a goldish yellow ring around the tub when I drained the water. Anyone else notice that?

 

thanks sincerely for that,

Faith

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Hi Faith,

 

First I want to say I know what you are going through. Sometimes I would feel like I was going crazy trying to figure out what triggered tics. However, it REALLY helped that for months I kept a food journal for my son Daniel. Everything he ate was logged (however for some people it can also be environmental things like pollen, chlorine, or scented candles. At first you really have to take notice of everything you come in contact with after tics start to narrow it down). Then I would assign a number scale from 1-10 as to how severe his tics were after eating certain foods. Some days I would see no tics in the morning and then they would pop up in the afternoon. So, for example, I would log his morning as a 0 and his afternoon as a 4. This really helped me start seeing a pattern of what was really affecting him.

 

I have a question for you Faith. How soon after your son ate all those crackers did you start seeing the tics increase? I can tell you in my son, Daniel who is 7 and about 52 pounds, with MSG I will see a reaction with about 40 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. I then notice the tics peak the next day and then starts the very slow coming down on the third day and can take up to a week to totally clear up. I do have to mention I read on one MSG website that in certain people the MSG reaction can be delayed for 24 hours. I suppose it depends on the persons metabolism.

 

You had mentioned in your e-mail that the crackers contained Malted Barley. I was reading on the web page http://www.msgmyth.com/msg.htm that malted barley does contain trace amount of MSG in it. Some foods naturally create MSG in their manufacturing. From doing very quick research on rice syrup it looks like it may naturally also produce MSG in processing. But I have to tell you with malted barley I have NOT noticed a reaction from my son after eating a product with malted barley. It seems to be the actual MSG, under all the main names I mentioned in my early post, that seems to give him the problems. Not the products that have the trace amounts. But this does not mean this could not be the case for your son especially if he ate large quantities of the crackers which contained both the rice syrup and malted barley . I am learning real quick that everyone has a differant MSG tolerance. So you may have found an answer in those crackers. It could be for your son the amount of "naturally occuring" MSG in the crackers, even at a low level but with a high consumption rate, may be to blame for his increase in tics. It might be your son could tolerate say 5 or so crackers but not a lot like he ate.

 

I read on on web page, I apologize I could not find it again to reference the web address, but of a woman who gets terrible migranes from MSG. She also found that homemade yeast products, like homemade breads or donuts, cause her the same reaction if the yeast does not fully rise and if she does not bake the product fully. I found this very interesting because the one week when my son was having reactions and I traced it back to the whipped topping, with the sodium caseinate, I had also made homemade pizza and donuts. I had used frozen bread dough from the grocery store. So I wonder if it could cause some reaction if you are super sensitive to MSG? I do have to say I have used that same frozen bread dough again but I made sure to really bake it well, after I read this on the internet, and he had no reaction what so ever.

 

I know on the web sites for hidden names for MSG they have sections listing a lot of ingredients that may contain MSG for example (stock, soy protein, annatoo, spice, dough conditioners, flavors, etc). But, in my very short experience, what I have found is some of these products naturally make MSG in their manufacturing process in low amounts while others are just products that may be included in products that contain full blown MSG. For example, you buy some chicken stock at the grocery store to make "Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup". Well if your read the ingredients it has chicken stock but also autolzyed yeast extract (MSG). As a side note, the organic chicken broth I have checked does not have MSG listed in the ingredients.

 

Also be very aware of the term "natural flavorings". This can actually be a certain percent of MSG!!! It is so frustrating isn't it. I have also found shopping at Sprouts and Trader Joes, which a lot of people would consider safe from MSG, that some of their products have MSG in them. You have to read and read and read labels.

 

The other thing I forgot to put, on my original post, is you have to avoid Corn Oil. It is naturally high in MSG. My son will eat a food containing corn oil, where he can eat other forms of corn like cornmeal, but will start having tics from the corn oil. It is all in the manufacturing process.

 

Another quick note, I have read MSG people have to be sensitive to using a crock pot for cooking. Food cooked that slowly can create trace amounts of MSG naturally. But again I have not found this to be a problem for Daniel.

 

Also I have gone on restaurant web pages to find out what ingredients are in their foods. This has helped us to be able to go out and eat once in a while.

 

Knowing that MSG is such a big problem for my son we have done something similar to NAET to try to desensitize him to it but it has not "taken yet". I have read on the internet some terrific stories of how NAET enabled very sensitive MSG suffers to be able to at least tolerate it. I have another appointment for Daniel the end of September and I am praying his body will hold the treatment this time.

 

Another web site you might want to look at is I found it really helpful http://www.inlightimes.com/archives/2007/05/msg.htm

 

Faith thank you also for saying this may be an answer to your prayers. I am a Christian and last night I really felt led to post this about MSG even though I had my hands full with other things. I just love seeing God at work!

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Thanks Carolyn,

the eye twitching is still there but seems like it is a little less, so hopefully is on the way down. And his vocal is down too, havn't heard anything in about an hour. Really I don't know exactly what's what, but I know I have to pay alot more attention to the ingredients list. I know we have done alot of cheating here and there, I have to be like a drill sargeant with my son, he tries so hard to get goodies. He did say he had a cupcake ate school with white icing. I hid the box of crackers, he was having like 1/2 the sleeve a day for about three days. Maybe it was just too many, or it could be something else. I do write down things in a daily journal, but it gets tedious so when things are going well I leave alot of blanks! Sometimes I get discouraged and want to give up on all the restrictions and trying to fine tune his supplements, but I think after reading your post on the msg and how your diligence with this pays off for your son, it made me see the importance of staying on track. So thanks again for that because I think it was a message for me to not give up and look a little closer at his menu. Corn and yeast are things he tested delayed sensitivity to, so maybe I'm overlooking some things. He doesn't seem to be one who reacts with tics immediately or even that day, more like next day, so sometimes its easy to think something is not a problem when really it is. And it was interesting that you also mentioned trying the NAET type treatments--I have been wondering if I should look into that too.

 

So glad you have a handle on this and thanks again for posting about it.

 

Faith

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Faith,

 

I ran across this in an old aol email account, that I just happened to check today. I used to get Mercola's health newsletter there.

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles...ers-of-msg.aspx

 

And, if you do eat processed foods, be on the lookout for the many hidden names for MSG on food labels. They include (but are far from limited to):

 

Gelatin

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

Yeast Extract

Malted Barley

Rice Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup

 

There were a coulple of other articles too, that I haven't read yet. This is one

California flouride in water

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles...ds-at-risk.aspx

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Carolyn & Faith,

 

In my personal opinion, NAET is worth your effort. It helps one raises tolerance on sensitive food. It is so hard to avoid everything, especially for children.

 

My son treated all of his food sensitivies last & this summer, with the exception of cashew & peanut, and all of the environmental allergies this summer. Although i haven't see direct impact on his tics, but his asthma & chronic bloody nose is gone. While we were always doing multiple alternative treatments, i do believe NAET is largely responsible for my son's healing. Even though my son was treated for MSG, artificial flavor, colorings and sweetner, perservatives, additives, i still continue to avoid it at all cause because these are neurotoxins and are not good for anyone with or w/o tics. We also eat mostly organic, drinking filtered water and used only stainless steel cookware. Also, no mircowave and used organic and/or pure cleaners like shampoo, soap, lotion....

 

My son is 95% better than a year and a half ago. I believe it is a comprehensive approach, starting with diet, TV & video game restriction and alternative treatments.

 

Pat

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Pat,

 

Thank you for your encouragement regarding NAET. I always appreciate hearing success stories. I know NAET has been very effective for a lot of people. My doctor in Phoenix does a slightly varied approach called NEAT (the vowels are just switched around). It is the same concept as NAET but they do a lot more allergies at one time. Without much knowledge on the subject of these programs I don't know if what my doctor does can vary in results compared to the NAET. I have more work to do on my end in terms of asking questions at the doctor.

 

Thanks again for your encouragement.

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Carolyn,

 

Just want to add why NAET works for my son. I decided to used NAET because my son was born with asthma and later developed environmental allergies. I also suspect that his tics may be linked to environmental allergies. Also, my son has some mild sensory issues. Therefore, my approach in treating his tics is to desensitize his allergies and calm his nervous system (chiropractic & CST).

 

Pat

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi. Carolyn, your post here is wonderful. I have been wondering the last couple of days what could have triggered my son's increase in tics... when I read all the different names MSG can go under. Amazing. Plus you mentioned chicken patties and nuggetts... well a few days ago while camping my son had a chicken burger, and 2 days ago he had chicken nuggetts and chips. Plus there'd be other bits and pieces there.

 

I was questioning the fluoride in water, which I still wonder about, plus the fact that he'd missed a week of his magnesium wouldn't have helped. {that's if it is helping though}

 

Thanks again, I think everyone needs to know about the MSG in things. It seems to be everywhere.

 

So is it a standard thought that MSG is no good for people with TS? Or is it only if you're sensitive to it? I've also heard that just because you're not sensitive to something doesn't mean it won't harm you or have some effect.

Thank you so much for this info, and to Guy for bumping the thread.

Lyn.

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http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/01/his-nam...tial-facil.html

 

MSG and Autism

 

Carol Hornlien, food scientist and creator of www.msgtruth.com revealed the reason: High levels of MSG reduces the liver’s production of Cysteine. This leads to a reduction in Glutathione which aids in the removal of heavy metals in the body. With less Glutathione, the metals collect in the body. High Mercury would then be a symptom of Autism, and not the cause.

 

I had hoped that the Autism community would embrace such a phenomenal revelation as this but after meeting with and speaking to many of the elite in the research and funding organizations I found that they had put too much effort into the mercury connection to even consider glutamate. When the Autism Genome Project was finished the main finding of the research scientists was that there was a connection with the genes dealing with Glutamate transport. Yet still the theory that MSG in vaccines and food is causing Autism has gotten little attention from the Autism organizations.

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Lyn,

 

I am so glad that the post helped you. That is what this website is all about. Opening our eyes to those things that are triggers and those things that can help reduce the tics.

 

One thing I learned recently from my Naturopathic Doctor is B6 vitamin is very helpful in reducing an MSG reaction. He said people who get migraines from MSG he suggests them taking 100 mg's of B6 right a way. He said the B6 and the MSG compete for the same receptors within the body so the B6 helps to reduce the reaction of the MSG. So I have started carrying around B6 tablets with me just in case Daniel comes in contact with MSG. Now he is only 8 and he already gets 50 mg's of B6 in his normal vitamins. So I would reduce it to 50 mg's for him if he came in contact.

 

Also here is a food list I compiled, a while back, that shows all the foods I have found to buy for Daniel that are MSG free. Here is the link http://www.latitudes.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=2976 .

 

Keep away from those premade chicken products. They almost always have some form of MSG. Chicken is so plain tasting I guess they feel to sell it they need to make it more tasty.

 

Have a blessed day,

 

Carolyn

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  • 2 weeks later...
I just wanted to put a word of advice out there for those of you who are desperate to figure out why you or your child is experiencing tics. I realize with tourettes there can certainly be many causes but in my son's case, who has had tics since he was 3, MSG has to be avoided at all costs. I did food journals for months to try to figure out the pattern of why he was experiencing tics. All of a sudden, it became very clear so many of the products that had given him problems had MSG in them. Why is MSG such a problem for someone with tourettes? Its because it excites the nervous system.

 

A lot of people consider MSG to be simply a Chinese food issue. I can tell you my 7 year old son has never had Chinese food. Once I started investigating the products it is in it is simply frightening. The food industry uses MSG as a cheap food flavor enhancer. The biggest problem is it is under many differant names other then MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). I would like to list for you just some of the most common names. Here it goes MSG, Monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), autolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, yeast food or nutrient, and autolyzed yeast. All these are MSG disgused under differant names. I even heard of a new name called Pea Protein but I have yet to see this on a label. So be aware the food industry is smart and you need to stay on top of all the new names they may come out with over the years.

 

Food products that almost always have MSG are chicken patties (yes this includes chicken nuggets), canned soups, soups from restaurants, gravy mixes, sausage, seasoned meats, soy sauce, flavored potato chips, and many salad dressing. Even so called MSG free products can have a small amount under something called "Natural Flavorings".

 

About a month ago my son started having tics again and I could not figure out what was causing them. I had given him no MSG, so I thought. Then I realized it was sodium caseinate (MSG) that is in whipped toppings. I had made a birthday cake and used the whipped topping from the store. I learned from this you have to really check dairy products for sodium caseinate and calcium caseinate.

 

I have also had to be a detective at my son's school for the school lunches. There was MSG in probably 70% plus of the lunches they are serving. Also school parties you have to be aware of foods people might bring to school that could cause your child to react.

 

Please also note, that aspartame (nutrasweet) will give the same reaction as MSG. It is also an excitotoxin. A person with tourettes has to avoid aspartame. As a side note, a woman I know was having epileptic type symptoms and they linked it back to aspartame. How scary is that. All because she was drinking diet soda!!!

 

What I have had to do is read every food label like his life depends upon it and also study all the names of MSG. I also have had to research restaurants and which ones use MSG in there food (KFC and Chick-Fil-a use MSG in A LOT of their products so make sure you research before you enjoy your next chicken dinner out). Also note some restaurants use MSG in pizza sauces. Great places to start researching these things is on migrane websites to do with MSG. A lot of people get migrane's from MSG and I have found a great deal of information on these sites.

 

I also have to add that I read that people who are MSG sensitive usually have a magnesium deficiency problem. My son has been on Bonnie Grimaldi's vitamins for almost a year now to help with this. These vitamins have magnesium built in but I have to say if my son has MSG he still reacts but less then he did before taking the vitamins. I have also found that Yellow #5 food dye, Red #40 food dye, and high fructose corn syrup also give my son tics but not nearly as reactive as the MSG. My son has had tics for up to a week after consuming the smallest amount of MSG. Where the other products I just mentioned seem to get out of his system faster and have a less dramatic effect.

If I may ask, how you find out what is triggering this? What is the food elimination? My son has started pulling his mouth to either side and it appears to be increasing. Where do I even begin???

 

 

 

In regard to Bonnie Grimaldi's vitamins, the only way I have been able to get them in my son is mix them in peanut butter. We make little balls from the mixture and sprinkle it with raw sugar. It really helps disguise the strong vitamin flavor. I realize people with peanut allergies could not even begin to do this but for our son it has worked. Believe me we tried so many ways to try to get these vitamins in him. Somedays I wondered what was worse the tics or getting the vitamins in him. But thank God, I mean that literally, we have a system down.

 

I can sum it all up with this simple sentence. When my son has the vitamins in him and no MSG, yellow 5, red 40 or high fructose corn syrup he is virtually tic free.

 

I also wanted to thank Chemar for helping me understand MSG is such a problem for my son. It was one of her posts that was a true answer to prayer.

 

I hope this helps some other person who is struggling with the puzzle of tourettes. I know it may seem overwhelming to avoid MSG but it can be done. It probably has taken me three months of going to the grocery store, reading labels, learning to make food from scratch and studying all the names to be confident enough to give my son an MSG free diet. I strongly encourage you to look at this as part of what might be going on in your situation.

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