MSG and Joint Pain: You’re Not Imagining It

Happy New Year 2017!! One thing I’ve noticed about my body when it comes  to being exposed to MSG is that the level of severity depends on how much MSG I’ve injested.

For me, a serious MSG reaction includes shortness of breath, nausea and a migraine headache. These symptoms hit all at once, and are frightening enough that going to the ER has come to mind. On one occasion, I was unable to take a deep breath — my lungs simply would not inflate.

The lesser symptoms of MSG poisoning for me, include a dull headache, lower back pain and soreness throughout my legs. This always indicates to me that I’ve eaten something that has a small amount of MSG — or a soy derivative.

Everyone is different. I’ve received emails from readers from around the world who’ve experienced many of the same symptoms as I have.

If I have just a bit of something with Soy in it, I know that the next day, I’m going to have lower back and leg pain and stiffness.

Listening to your body is important. While not every ache and pain means something, it is important — especially with an MSG allergy to pay attention to what’s going on.

Remember that ginger is an incredible MSG antidote! It’s also great for treating the pain of arthritis, which I also suffer from.

Some good foods to add to your diet: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale or cauliflower in your salads or stir fry is a great way to fight joint pain. Also, fatty fish like salmon, tuna (not canned), trout and my personal favorite, mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation. Try adding fish to your diet twice a week.

Keep reading your labels! In 2016, I managed to have just 3 MSG poisoning incidents, with only one of those being serious. The other two I was able to cure quickly with a glass of ginger ale.


  1. It has been a year now since discovering my MSG allergy. Thank you for writing this blog. I use the word allergy because that is what most people understand my Dr calls it a food sensitivity. And then she always says that could kill you.
    My blood pressure drops to the point of near passing out. This can continue for 2 days. A rash up my neck and a terrible headache last the rest of the week.
    It is no joke and I simply can not make mistakes.
    I wanted to point out that you suggested broccili for joint pain. It contains natural MSG. It was so bad I almost had to call 911 fro the restaurant.
    I know everyone is different but I thought it worth mentioning.

  2. I had chronic pain in my knees for years. There were also times when I would have pain in my neck, hips, headaches. Thinking back on it there was definitely a correlation between what kind of junk I was eating at the time. It’s just getting so hard to cut all of these things out…they seem to be everywhere and in everything. Thanks for posting this article I’m glad I found you.

  3. I am just a couple of months into finding out about my intolerance to MSG. I have been on migraine preventives for over 10 years, waking up every morning feeling as if I was hit by a truck!
    Since cutting out the MSG and it’s forms for the 2 months, I ate something without knowing of the soy content, the next day….BAM… Migraine… body aches! I thought this is for real!! If only I knew years ago!! I have much to learn and meds to wean off of..

  4. Thank you for sharing and researching. I’ve only read a few blogs but I will be spending more time here. Food allergies are newer to me aso it’s only been a couple years and I’m still having problems with my supposed safe foods causing reactions. Your information on soy lethicin and MSG in cereal has been quite helpful to steer me away from a few future reactions. I still have some much to learn so again I say thank you for sharing and caring. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you Lara!! I’m still amazed by just how many people around the world write in to say exactly what you’re saying! It is just amazing that I just discovered my allergy so much later in life…and STILL find more things everyday that are no good. I wish you an absolutely amazing 2017!! Thank you for reading my blog!!

      Best regards,

      1. Please help me out and tell me what I can eat. My MSG allergy has gotten worse and worse, and I was confused when I started to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and had the same kind of reaction… when I found out they’re spraying them with MSG. Yikes, what do I do? Please help me out, I’d really appreciate it,

      2. I found that I was repeatedly being exposed to MSG over and over again during the first year I discovered my allergy. First, cut out all packaged snack foods. Secondly, read your labels!! See my earlier blog entry called, The MSG Watch List for a list of the ingredients to watch out for on the labels. Also avoid anything with Soy. It’s trial and error, but eventually you will know exactly what to watch out for.

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