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My 5 year old son's sudden onset of chronic hives...

Subj: Son's Reaction
Date: 11/10/2000 5:33:04 AM Pacific Standard Time
To: adandjack@aol.com

My 5 year old son's sudden onset of chronic hives has led me to your web site regarding MSG. We are at the early state of testing, but the Specialist did not mention MSG as a potential problem, I discovered it through word of mouth
inquiries. I think it is a food trigger for him, and since it doesn't seem to be related to one "family" of foods, I
became suspicious of what was in those food that set off the hives. My concern is that the "specialists" are willing to
write off the hives as just a chronic case of hives, may last 2 years, and may never know what is causing them.

My questions, if you could direct me: can MSG reactions begin at any age, any time when they were not present
before, can we medically determine MSG as the culprit, and why hasn't it been mentioned to me by the doctors?

Thank you for your time and information.


1) Can MSG reactions begin at any age?

Yes. We know of infants whose adverse reactions abated when they were taken off MSG-containing formula

2) Can MSG reactions begin any time when they were not present before?

Yes. Dr. Russell Blaylock has a fairly sophisticated book on the effects of neurotoxic amino acids (glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and L-cysteine). It's called Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. It's published by Health Press. He discusses the events that can precipitate MSG and aspartame reactions -- examples are a blow to the head, high fever, and ingestion of MSG by an infant or child with an undeveloped blood-brain-barrior (which fully develops about the time of puberty). There are others.

3) Can we medically determine MSG as the culprit?

Because the MSG reaction in not IgE mediated, scratch tests and blood tests will not detect MSG as the culpret. The best way to determine whether or not MSG is a trigger is to maintain and diet free of all processed foods (milk, bread, and butter are processed), and see if the reaction isn't abated. Then add one food at a time back into your diet every other day. I recommend that you read Dr. William Walsh's new book: Food Allergies: The Complete Guide to Understanding and Relieving you Food Allergies, published by John Wiley.

4) Why hasn't it been mentioned to me by the doctors?

The "glutes" spare no expense to flood health care professionals with propaganda that claims that MSG is safe. The same is true of those who promote aspartame. I like to think that because so many health-care professionals are overworked they don't have time (or the habit) of checking on what they are told by industry. It has also occurred to me that doctors might think that they wouldn't have nearly as much business if they PREVENTED reactions instead of being paid to cure them. But to answer your question, I really don't know.

There is a physician who is (or was) at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis who is a hive specialist. Some years ago, he found that aspartame causes hives. I will try to come up with his name and forward it on to you.

Adrienne Samuels

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