Americans are in a world of hurt. Use of store bought painkillers primarily for headaches increased by nearly 90% between 1997 and 2005 according to statistics provided by the Department of Drug Enforcement.
What’s worse, frequent use of over the counter painkillers can cause withdrawal headaches causing the sufferer to use an ever increasing dose to treat symptoms and a cycle of overuse.
It’s no secret that recurring and sometimes debilitating headaches are a primary reason for abuse of over the counter pain meds. Unfortunately, most folks popping pills to rid themselves of headaches have absolutely no idea what is causing them.
What if I told you that completely eliminating a single food additive would rid you of many, if not the majority of headaches that you suffer from?
That additive is none other than the ubiquitous monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG. MSG is the mirror image of the naturally occurring glutamic acid in the human body. In a nutshell, MSG is glutamic acid gone bad.
MSG is a Neurotoxin and a Primary Cause of Headaches
MSG is a potent neurotoxin, according to neurologist Dr. Russell Blaylock MD, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. When consumed as an additive in processed foods, it hammers the hypothalamus, part of the brain stem, and shrivels and kills brain cells. The hypothalamus is the Master Gland of the endocrine system and controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and sleep.
Rats fed or injected with MSG get morbidly obese, possibly because the MSG causes the pancreas to increase the amount of insulin it secrets which can rapidly lead to insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome.
Ok, so we now know that MSG can contribute to weight issues and other metabolic problems.
But did you also know that MSG is a primary cause of headaches and migraines?
Most people fail to make the connection between MSG and their headache problems because the headache doesn’t always immediately happen after eating a MSG laced fast food meal, for example. In some cases, the headache won’t take hold for a full 24 or even 72 hours later, long after that brief, dietary lapse has faded from memory.
The good news is that you can eliminate MSG from your life once and for all, and with it, your headaches and dependence on over the counter pain meds!
To do it, you must basically swear off most, if not all, processed foods. Earlier in this post, I referred to MSG as ubiquitous because it is everywhere. MSG is the dominant additive in the food supply occurring in approximately 95% of all processed foods!
Restaurants use MSG laden ingredients too. Most soups and sauces in restaurants come from some sort of “flavor” package. The “flavor” package or bouillon cubes are loaded with MSG. Steaks are frequently brushed with MSG before grilling to make them more tasty for the consumer (this disguises poor quality meat).
Beware also of restaurants that claim that they do not use MSG! What they are really telling you is that they don’t add any MSG. MSG is still very much present in the flavor mixes, soup starters and bottled sauces that they buy and use to prepare the food. They don’t make that stuff from scratch, I can assure you!
Beware also of products that have on the label “No MSG Added”. The picture above is of a package of beef sausage bites my husband bought for our kids thinking it was MSG free. Is it? Absolutely not! The ingredients list includes “natural spices” which is almost certainly MSG. Again, the manufacturer can get away with the “No MSG added” label because none of the listed ingredients contain more than 50% MSG.
Games, games, and more labeling games. Bottom line? If you think a product may contain MSG, it most likely does considering that 95% of processed foods have it added somewhere.
Once you decide to get off MSG and avoid it like the plague like I do, you will be delighted to see that headaches become a distant memory in your life story. I can’t remember the last time I actually took an ibuprofen or any over the counter pain med for anything, let alone a headache!
There is much benefit to be gained from slaying the Processed Food Giant in your home! Start by eliminating MSG from your life and experience the wonder of headache free days that ensue from a happy hypothalamus!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist