Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm writing this post from a conference room in Excellent Teaching/Research Hospital. For the past 6 weeks I've been involved in a dietary study for people with fibromyalgia and IBS.

For 4 weeks I had to completely avoid MSG, glutamates, and all other excitotoxins. Then last week and this week I came in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for the challenge. Each day I drink a glass of juice and then wait 2 hours at the hospital. One week the juice is just juice. The other week it is laced with a dose of MSG equal to the amount in a Chinese meal.

I'm pretty sure I am getting the control this week and the MSG last week. After a month of feeling pretty good, shortly after drinking the juice each time I felt extremely ill.

Not only did I have severe fatigue and an increase in pain, but I even got to scare the researcher as she watched me quickly deteriorate neurologically. I got the whole brain fog, dizziness, muscle weakness, headache, loss of short-term memory, having difficulty finding words for common objects, and even starting to slur my speech. It came on quickly, with a definite difference between the before and after states.

What a relief to know that the unnerving symptoms I've been getting seemingly randomly may actually be some kind of reaction to excitotoxins. It would be wonderful if it turned out to be something I could just avoid eating, and cut down significantly a lot of those symptoms.

I'm so glad I took part in this study. Not only am I helping further knowledge for health care professionals and scientists working on treatments for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, but I'm also learning information that will be immediately helpful for myself.

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Blogger Kevin said...

Brave woman! I'm glad it sounds like good will come from it.

It's ridiculous how many ingredients can signify MSG, and that's just one excitotoxin. I've heard of aspartame also being an excitotoxin. What other ones did you have to stay away from?

I'm repeatedly amazed how our diet affects our health. I've actually had some issues that I tracked down to raisin bran recently, and my brother used to have upper back pain all the time until he noticed it was exacerbated by eating corn! MSG, et al. have also been on the "avoid" list for a while because of my mom's sensitivities.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Deven said...

Wow. I just can't imagine having to figure out what would be a good idea to eat.

1:58 PM  
Blogger liz said...

I'm so glad you're in the study! I know that avoiding MSG and all the other garbage that gets introduced into our food all the time will be hard, but not as hard as avoiding all corn and soy!

All my best,


6:24 PM  

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