Falling Off My Water Wagon

How A Food Allergy Messed Up My Health

Red wagon on green grass with blue sky and clouds above.

Do you ever say to yourself, “I’ve got this!” and then life gives you the Bruce Lee karate side kick? You’re filled with confidence and excitement to conquer a new challenge, and then something unexpected knocks the wind out of you. This happened to me last week when I fell off my water wagon form a bad reaction from a food allergy.

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Red wagon on green grass with blue sky and clouds above.

I’ve been doing so great on my Water Journey, and even impressed myself that I had made it over a month. My body has been feeling healthier, I’ve had more energy, and my migraines were less frequent. I can honestly say that I haven’t had a soda in over a month, and I’ve been drinking about 70 ounces of water a day.

If you’ve read my past Journey posts, you’ll know that I started all of this to reduce my chronic migraines and generally feel healthier and happier.

So, what was my Bruce Lee karate side kick then? It was a horribly bad evening of poor judgment with food!

What? That sounds crazy, right? But do any of you have food allergies or sensitivities that throw your body into a tailspin? I’m here to tell you that good golly they will make your life miserable!

For me, the only one that I know of is MSG, monosodium glutamate. It’s a flavor enhancer that’s commonly used in Chinese food, canned goods, processed meats, and chips.

I found out that I had the MSG sensitivity over 20 years ago after eating at a Japanese steakhouse and having a bad reaction to it. They must have used a lot, because small amounts in foods have never given me that severe reaction.

Enter my evening of stupid!

Normally I’m a pretty healthy eater. I don’t snack or eat junk food. But for some reason I made the bad decision of eating Ramen noodle soup for dinner, and later I was still hungry and saw my kids Doritos. I never eat chips, but they tasted so good that I think I ate a quarter of the bag. Big mistake!

Ramen and Doritos both have MSG in their ingredients. For me, eating both in one night was more than my body could handle.

I woke up the next morning incredibly sick! I felt like I had the flu, a hangover, and hit by a truck all at the same time. My migraine was one of the worst I have ever had, and no amount of medicine was making it better. The nausea, head pressure, facial flushing and weakness kept me in bed for 2 solid days. My third day should have been also, but I had to get back to work.

There is no easy cure for an MSG reaction except to flush it out of your system with lots and lots of water.

But anyone sick knows how hard it is to get water down when your stomach doesn’t feel well. I was trying my best to drink and flush, but I certainly didn’t meet my 60 – 80 ounces each day. I maybe made it to half of that.

I had fallen off my water wagon…

I’ll be honest, it’s been a little challenging to get back on the full day water goal. This is my 6th day after getting sick and I’m almost there. My stomach still isn’t 100%.

What frustrated me the most about this experience is that I realized it was going to take more than just adding water into my daily life to fix the health problems I have.

While I see positive changes with water, I also need to be more aware of the foods I eat. Maybe I have other food sensitivities that I’m not even aware of. I’m considering food allergy testing to identify these. If you’ve had any experience with this, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Maybe you are even MSG sensitive! Here is a list of the common reactions.

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

I had all these reactions except for chest pain. It was truly miserable and something that could have been avoided if I’d made smarter eating choices. I encourage you to pay attention your diet and how you feel. They go hand in hand.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to add another lifestyle change to my water journey… gluten free. I’m a few days in, and I’m excited to see what gluten free plus more water will offer my health. I’ll be letting you know in a month or so!

Sadly, I’m saying goodbye to packaged Ramen for good. Between the salt and MSG, it’s for the best. I got knocked down, but life is about choices, so I choose to jump back on the healthy water wagon and keep riding! … LOL sorry, it’s late.

Water often for health and happiness. xx

Written by Dayna

Hi, I'm Dayna Wilson. I live in sunny Florida surrounded by water, but I'm always thirsty. I simply just didn't drink enough water, and it was causing chronic health problems. When my mom developed Alzheimer's and osteoporosis, I decided to make a lifestyle change so that I didn't have the same future. I'm sharing my journey to a healthier lifestyle of water drinking, clean eating, and exercise. Change isn't easy, but I hope that we can prevent chronic illness and disease by living a healthier life.

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