MSG Allergies In Children

Chances are you’ve heard of adults with MSG allergies or sensitivities, but did you know that up to 2% of children deal with MSG allergies – and in many cases these sensitivities go completely without diagnosis?

MSG is a flavor enhancer that is used in all kinds of cuisine and prepared foods. Some forms of MSG are extracted from plants, while most forms are synthetic. In any case, many people find that their bodies simply cannot tolerate the use of MSG. Some of the most common symptoms of an MSG allergy in children include:

  • Numbness of the neck and back
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Weakness, drowsiness, and fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pressure in the face or forehead
  • Chest pain

For many parents these specific symptoms will stand out leading them to an easy diagnosis of a possible MSG sensitivity. The hard part comes in dealing with that sensitivity since MSG is far from the most honestly labeled ingredient in foods these days.

While some foods clearly state that their products contain MSG, others use food regulation loopholes to label MSG as something else. If MSG makes up less than 78% of an additive, it doesn’t have to be labeled as MSG. So, natural flavoring, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, and hydrolyzed yeast can all be hiding places in your favorite foods for MSG content.

Many ‘all natural’ foods use the yeast labeling to make their products seem healthier when in fact they are using the same MSG ingredients that less healthy options are using.

If you are concerned that someone in your family may have an MSG allergy or sensitivity, now is the time to get educated. Learning to spot MSG in your food is easy, and there are an increasing number of trustworthy resources online that can help. Here are a few of our favorites…

MSG Allergies

The Truth About MSG

All About ‘Yeast Extract’

2 thoughts on “MSG Allergies In Children

  1. Grace Flower says:

    My 10 year old son has had a sensitivity to artificial colors and what we thought was inattentive ADD, depression, anxiety and a general learning disorder. It turns out that what he really has is an intolerance to MSG. After a very strict elimination diet, we realized that all the foods that we were testing had overlapping ingredients and all of them were forms of MSG. He is off all forms of anti-anxiety and depression medication. His symptoms were increasing anxiety, deep depression (that came and went), suicidal thoughts, hatred of himself. He has allergies, asthma, weird rashes, hypersensitivity to medication and many other odd symptoms that we couldn’t figure out. His Dr. thought that it was something autoimmune related but NO ONE ever suggested a problem with his diet. He feels so NORMAL right now, school has improved, his memory is better, he forgets less and most importantly he is so happy.

    • smn says:

      Wow that’s such a great testimonial to how changes in diet and becoming an advocate to your child can make a HUGE difference! Thank you for sharing!

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