Thursday, July 23, 2009

Diet clean-up and finding hidden MSG

On Tuesday we had our monthly visit with Little R's DAN! doctor. During this visit Little R had his finger pricked for something called a Food IgG test. Poor Little R was scared, struggled and cried as his dad held him tight for the prick. But he saw the blood coming out, he was calm and interested. Little S was interested too as she looked on.

Once the taking of the blood was done, we talked about how this month was for Little R. Every time we go to see this doctor (especially since we pay a whole lot of money to see him) I always write a detailed summary of the past month. After skimming over my one page report, Dr. G commented that nothing positive was going on: Little was overall more hyperactive, regressed in speech (from string "I want" + item to not saying it), overnight incognitence and a lot of ABC behaviours. ABC (antecedent, behavior and consequence) behaviours. So for example, I would ask him to brush him teeth (antecedent), then Little R would flop (behaviour) and then he's supposed to face a consequence. Anyway, I had a lot of flopping, whining, jumping and babbling loudly on his duct-taped bed. And he would put up a lot of resistance taking his supplements (something he didn't really have a problem with the month before).

The doctor asked what additives I was giving to Little R. Since I mostly make everything myself I usually have a good idea of what ingredients Little R ingests (except for things other people give him that are prepackaged in a language I can't read and the gluten-free pizza from PizzaPizza). I responded that we had added back in soy (we did that so that the Food IgG test would accurately show if Little R had an intolerance or a sensitivity to it) for the month as well as used some nutritional yeast in some dishes. He pointed out to me that many ingredients that are MSG or that have MSG effects are hidden under different names. Wow. Here are some helpful links to understand what free glutamic acid is, and what other names it's hidden under:

Yesterday, despite warnings of thunder showers in Toronto, we decided to go to Centre Island for a family bike ride. The day was going well even though we did not get across to the islands (just found out today that the ferries weren't open because of some big civil strike in TO), then we got hungry. We stopped in Sobey's (an expensive grocery store) on the Habourfront. DH led us in the sushi section and picked up a package of vegetarian roll and cucumber roll. It wasn't until we finished our purchase, sat down at a bench before I decided I should read the ingredient list (which I normally do - but I wasn't suspicious of the sushi). Well, it turned out that the seasoning in the rice contained high corn fructose (bad sugar) and MSG among some other things that I think are not necessary in sushi.

After 4 pieces of vegetarian roll and 4 pieces of cucumber roll dressed with some green wasabi, pink ginger (hint hint: possible food colouring?) and soy sauce I actually felt a gush of migraine flush into the back of my head. At first I thought it could have just been the wasabi, but as the afternoon wore on, the headache worsened. I was in bed before 9PM, clothes left unfolded... and I was NOT going to take Tylenol or other synthetic drug (strong intention, anyway). Luckily this morning I was fine when I got up at 5:45 AM. So, what was it? Was it the MSG? I'm not sure because I've had MSG before and I don't remember headaches coming on that strongly.

Please do go on the links to find out more about free glutamic acid in our food. I really think it's quite important to know what we eat, and what we feed to our children.

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