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iheartcats

Ramen Noodles = Hives Today. What Could Cause This?

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I know I shouldn't have caved and had Ramen Noodles, but I was hungry, tired and need the salt.

Then I got itchy red hives all over my chest/trunk area. They are getting better on their own, thankfully, as Benadryl makes me so tired during the day. But they are still uncomfortable and burning.

I paid $500 for a food allergy skin test last year and nothing came back positive. I'm allergic to the more 'normal' things - dust, pollen, etc.

Also, my stomach is acting up now (but this could be stress or disagreement with the Ramen rather than allergy).

Any advice on what I can do? You think my food tests would've shown something if there was something, but I did some research and some people are affected by MSG with allergy-like symptoms. Is that possible?

Edit: I just took a Benadryl because it has been 20 hours since my Zyrtec dose and I'm still a bit itchy/burning. Last time I had a weird reaction like this I was told by the pharmacist to skip Zyrtec that day and take a Benadryl every 6 hours (if needed) for 24 hours. So it's the same situation and I'm just doing that. I do wonder how Benadryl is better than Zyrtec for this for 24 hours? Is this pretty standard? I just hope I can avoid dose #2 until closer to bed time, though. Yawn.

I hate these reactions because it makes me POTSY.

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I've noticed sensitivity to MSG this past year. It just gives me an awful headache that makes me think I"m ready to drop. I almost had some ramen the other day but noticed the very first ingredient listed was MSG. If anyone knows a brand that doesn't have them I'd be interested.

lieze

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I feel dizzy after it, too, with a very mild headache. I want to avoid any food that makes me feel worse/gives me hives, of course!

I read online that MSG is horrible, other people saying it is safe, etc. Now. I cannot 'fake' bright red hot burning hives! And the only abnormal thing I had today is MSG...and the hives started coming out while I was eating so I am pretty certain this time it was the Ramen. :)

The good thing is I know to avoid MSG now, the bad thing is how do you know where it is hiding?

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The hives are creeping around and not going away, or coming and going. I talked to the Pharmacist and he said to take Benadryl every 4-6 hours for 24 hours and if they stay gone after that go back to Zyrtec.

If they worsen tomorrow, I should call my doctor.

They aren't worsening...just hanging around. As far as I know it isn't a food allergy. But now I have a terrible headache in addition...so I shall avoid MSG after this in case that was the culprit. :)

I've no idea what else it could be.

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Just read all your food labels.

It is in almost all Campbells soups except for one of those healthy lines they have.

I stood there in the Campbells aisle for 20 minutes trying to find a cream of mushroom free of MSG the good new was I did.

It's also in a lot of chips.

I just read all labels now because I seem to not tolerate it at all.

I am afraid to eat Chinese food too unless they advertise no MSG!

I honestly didn't realize how much it is used until now.

lieze

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Just read all your food labels.

It is in almost all Campbells soups except for one of those healthy lines they have.

I stood there in the Campbells aisle for 20 minutes trying to find a cream of mushroom free of MSG the good new was I did.

It's also in a lot of chips.

I just read all labels now because I seem to not tolerate it at all.

I am afraid to eat Chinese food too unless they advertise no MSG!

I honestly didn't realize how much it is used until now.

lieze

Thank you so much! I wish ingredient labeling had to be more prominent - especially for things that cause such awful reactions. I feel crappy now and was doing good (for me!) this morning.

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In addition to benedryl, my allergist has me take zantac too b/c it operates on the other histamine channel (benedryl address H1, and zantac and it's relatives address H2). Also, cool showers help. Might want to also consider using Sarna lotion, it's very soothing, very cooling and is just a hypoallergenic lotion w/ camphor and menthol.

Hang in there. It sometimes takes me a week or more for the hives to go all the way AWAY. Wearing warm clothing or getting over excited gets them itching and red again.

Nina

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I've been allergic to MSG since I was a kid. I have no other food allergies, but occasionally I can have reactions to other preservatives in hard core amounts. I get the hives and will get mouth and tongue numbness and tingling. I am a big fan of reading labels. Generally the "hidden" MSG (the stuff that isn't on the label) isn't in high enough amounts to cause a reaction. However, I would be careful about anything canned or frozen. Also, many sauces have it, including the barbecue sauce at applebee's (or something like it). I have always wondered how you all drink bullion, because everything but the ground meat paste (YUCK!) has lots of MSG. MSG is a fairly common allergy in my understanding and it has also been recently linked with weight gain.

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MightyMouse - I'll check out that cream. Itchiness is no fun. And I find Benadryl makes my mouth/throat really dry so I'm only trying to take just as many as I need. I'm on an H2, but this reaction was so bad I don't think it had a huge effect. I rarely eat MSG (I just assumed it was bad and try to avoid it) but the Ramen had large quantities. I just hope the hives keep improving!

Elfie - I didn't know there was an MSG allergy. Hmmm. I am fairly certain that was not tested on me. Whatever it is, I have to watch for it. I know MSG can be naturally occurring in a few things, but maybe those amounts never mattered. Like you said. I'm sure I got an overload in that Ramen packet. And my system does not like it anymore. You know how new things can pop up, too.

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You may or may not be allergic to MSG, it is a neurotransmitter labeled as a food additive. So you may have just changed the balance in your body just enough to release all that histamine. I find that the liquid benadryl is better absorbed and faster, my allergist recommends every 4 hours when my son has an allergic reaction. Hives are not fun! If you ever get the craving again, cook just the Ramen noodles and add your own seasoning and broth...I never use the packet part. If you start to read labels, you'll find that MSG is in a LOT of things! Good luck! and try not to scratch! ;)

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You may or may not be allergic to MSG, it is a neurotransmitter labeled as a food additive. So you may have just changed the balance in your body just enough to release all that histamine. I find that the liquid benadryl is better absorbed and faster, my allergist recommends every 4 hours when my son has an allergic reaction. Hives are not fun! If you ever get the craving again, cook just the Ramen noodles and add your own seasoning and broth...I never use the packet part. If you start to read labels, you'll find that MSG is in a LOT of things! Good luck! and try not to scratch! ;)

So I guess I may have reached my tipping point - I read about MSG last night and that stuff isn't friendly. I wish it were labeled like an allergen (clearly) on food.

My hives are mostly gone this morning, thank goodness. I'm hoping to avoid Benadryl today because I was so tired from it yesterday. I might take my Zyrtec a bit early as I didn't take it yesterday and now my seasonal/indoor allergies are starting (which can also make my itchy! and I do try not to itch!).

I saw the liquid Benadryl stuff (I thought it was a kids thing), I might buy some just in case. I suppose it would be good to have on hand as I get hives occasionally that are very annoying/itchy/hot. Especially if it stops them more quickly. I think I've learned to tell apart my occasional low-bothersome hives and these types of flares from something (like MSG) that are very uncomfortable.

I did wake up last night with a horrible migraine and had to take Advil every four hours, and it's much better this morning, too. I hope that stuff is out of my system!

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