Holy $#!+

In Food Diary on May 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Excedrin Migraine for doctorfoodtruth

Too many pills, sometimes still not enough

You’ve probably figured out that I’m fixated on food and healthy choices by now.  Today I need to rant on something not as diet and weight-related as usual but very dear to my heart, nonetheless.

I just uncovered a list on Fooducate (great site and app, by the way) that has me seething.  I am a migraineur since age 9.  You know, someone who suffers from migraines.  Funny that the word kind of looks like connoisseur  – guess I’m a connoisseur of headaches, huh?

Anyway, this list is of all the alternate names for MSG.  MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a common trigger for migraines.  It is also a fake food additive used to make bad food taste better and people to eat more.  I’ve got multiple reasons not to be a fan of MSG and try VERY hard to steer clear of it.  The best reason for me is how horrible I feel during one of my many-day-long migraine episodes.

If you don’t get migraines, be grateful.  Let me tell you, they suck – bad.  Mine can make me smell horrible things that aren’t there, stumble over everyday words, have trouble remembering simple things and generally feel like @$$.

So imagine my anger when I come across this list of alternate names for MSG.  I read every label at the store and carefully choose the restaurants I patronize for several reasons.  Organic?  Great.  Gluten-free?  A must for my family with my wife’s severe allergy and my pretty severe intolerance.  Humanely raised?  Nothing else will do for Dr. Mary the Veterinarian aka my wife.  It has MSG you say?  Not in my grocery cart!

This list shows DOZENS of other names for MSG.  Dozens!  I’ve never seen anything like this, never knew that so many of these, unpronounceable chemical names in the ingredient list were really just another name for a chemical that gives me migraines and makes bad food taste artificially better than it is.  AHHH!!!!

  1. Ugh that’s frustrating! I have been blessed to have only experienced one migraine in my entire life (while pregnant) — I can’t imagine having them regularly. And then having to worry about the 587 (ok, exaggerating a LITTLE) alternate names for a trigger.

    I think all of these intentionally misleading terms for food items is ridiculous. I didn’t notice it until I became a vegetarian but there are a million and one words that don’t at first glance *seem* like they mean “from the intestines of an animal” but do — like one of the more common ones, rennet. Why is the food industry trying so hard to confuse all of us?

    • That is a great comparison, I never knew that about rennet. In the FDA;s defense, they do require food companies to at least list this crap – I read that even that took a fight. Big Food is a blight!

  2. I have suffered from migraines for years, at times having 3 or 4 a week. This list is astounding…I’ve pretty much switched to a whole foods approach to eating (eliminating most processed foods) but still can see where these ingredients can slip by, seemingly unnoticed.

    I had never known anyone else who suffered from the olfactory disturbances that accompany a migraine – I often smell burnt toast, ammonia, or cat feces (and of course, none of those are present when I smell them). I also have visual disturbances, often “holes” in my vision or the watery, wavy appearance in my vision that occurs in an aura (but mine stay even after the headache begins). You are right – they absolutely SUCK.

    Fortunately for me, menopause has greatly reduced the number that I have. Sorry that remedy won’t be available to you!!!

    • You made me laugh k8edid! As much as I wish for a respite from the migraines, I can’t say I’m wiling to wish for menopause.
      The olfactory disturbances are more rare than the visual ones, though not unheard of – what sucks is they are always something bad. I’ve never found someone who got the smell of roses or fresh-baked bread!
      Mine are similarly disgusting and usually related to animal poop/pee though living with a veterinarian and having a few too many animals might explain at least some of those episodes.
      Thanks for coming by!

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