Fibromyalgia, a whole body muscular pain condition often accompanied by chronic exhaustion and immune system dysfunction, affects up to 5 percent of the U.S. population. It is a complex condition that doctors often find hard to treat and some patients are let down by the medical profession and left to suffer unacceptable amounts of pain. Around a quarter of fibromyalgia sufferers are so disabled by their condition that they cannot work.
It has been discovered through scientific research that many cases of fibromyalgia may actually be due to additives in food. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is one such additive. Known as an excitotoxin, it is a deeply addictive substance that is added to many foods such as potato chips, microwave meals and frozen foods. It makes the consumer want to eat more foods containing it, but has no benefit to their health whatsoever and is actually harmful.
In a study in 2001, it was found that when patients with long standing fibromyalgia eliminated MSG from their diet, their illness was cured or greatly improved.
The study authors wrote "Excitotoxins are molecules, such as MSG and aspartate that act as excitatory neurotransmitters, and can lead to neurotoxicity when used in excess. Four patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome for two to 17 years are described. All had undergone multiple treatment modalities with limited success. All had complete, or nearly complete, resolution of their symptoms within months after eliminating monosodium glutamate (MSG) or MSG plus aspartame from their diet. All patients were women with multiple comorbidities prior to elimination of MSG. All have had recurrence of symptoms whenever MSG is ingested. The elimination of MSG and other excitotoxins from the diets of patients with fibromyalgia offers a benign treatment option that has the potential for dramatic results in a subset of patients."
A 2010 review found that MSG can damage the immune system, which may explain why some fibromyalgia sufferers also have immune system disorders.