Many individuals end up with allergic reactions to certain foods. This is quite common among those who developed resistance to natural food components or substances after going through extended periods of medication. Nevertheless, sometimes allergies might not be caused by the food itself, but from the additives such as MSG allergy. Some individuals are highly allergic to monosodium glutamate (MSG).
It is important to note that MSG is widely used in Asian cuisine as a flavor enhancer and might also be used in other cuisines. MSG allergy is oftentimes called as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”. This is the reason why eating out can put an individual at risk for experiencing the allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of MSG allergy
When an individual has MSG allergy, the digestive system is responsible for triggering a response that can lead to some of these usual symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and gas formation
- Abdominal cramps
- Weakening of the body
- Numbness on the back of the neck, arm or shoulders
- Chest pain
- Unusual heartbeat or palpitations
- Facial pain
- Breathing issues
- Facial numbness
- Burning sensation on various parts of the body
Severe MSG allergy symptoms
Some individuals might suffer from severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis, but this is considered uncommon. The severe symptoms only manifest if the individual consumes large amounts of MSG on an empty stomach.
If any of the severe symptoms manifest, it is vital to seek medical care right away. Even today, no one knows when MSG allergy can strike when eating out in an unfamiliar restaurant.
Varying MSG allergy symptoms
It is important to note that the latest studies on the body’s reaction to MSG have inconsistent results. Substantial amounts of MSG intake have resulted to mild reactions such as itching of the throat. In some individuals who are suspected with intolerance to MSG, there are no symptoms after eating foods that contain MSG.
This led to the conclusion that MSG contains toxicities and even affects the nervous system. This is will trigger other allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. MSG can actually activate the neurological pathways and result to the excessive reaction of the body to the food components. The symptoms of MSG allergy tend to vary.
MSG allergy versus intolerance
Even though the symptoms appear similar for food allergies and food intolerance, it is important to note that there are differences that you should be familiar with. Essentially, a reaction to MSG is not an allergy but a form of food intolerance.
When it comes to food allergy, the immune system is involved which creates a response after the intake of a certain protein that the individual is allergic to. Understandably, antibodies (IgE) are released and can instigate the release of chemicals that prevent the invasion of allergens. Nevertheless, this does not occur during a MSG allergy.