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Chinese restaurant syndrome is a type of food allergy, the symptoms of which appear after eating the so-called Chinese food. The exact causes of the Chinese cuisine syndrome are not fully known, but monosodium glutamate is the most commonly suspected - a flavor enhancer often used in Asian cuisine. How to recognize the symptoms of Chinese restaurant syndrome? What is its treatment?

Chinese restaurant syndrome , otherwiseChinese restaurant syndrome , Chinese cuisine syndrome orKwok's disease, is a term for a set of symptoms that some people experience after eating Chinese food.

An abnormal reaction may appear in those people who are particularly sensitive to additives and spices in Asian cuisine. However, research shows that only a small percentage of people react badly to these substances.

Chinese restaurant syndrome - causes

Suspected Chinese restaurant syndrome is caused by hypersensitivity to monosodium glutamate (MSG) or simply excessive consumption of the substance.

Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer willingly used in Chinese cuisine (especially in soy sauces), which gives food a specific mushroom and meat flavor, referred to as "umami".

However, the European Food Information Council says the supplement is safe because scientific studies conducted so far have not confirmed a link between monosodium glutamate and the symptoms of Chinese restaurant syndrome.

It's good to know that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes monosodium glutamate in the category of food additives generally considered safe (GRAS, Generally Recognized As Safe). S alt and sugar fall into the same category by the FDA.

Therefore, it is suspected that other spices and additives used in Asian cuisine to enhance the flavor of the dishes are responsible for the symptoms.

Nuts, seaweed, mushrooms and herbs are mentioned most often. Many of them can cause allergic reactions, and their combination and too many can cause various disease states.

Chinese restaurant syndrome - symptoms

The symptoms of the Chinese restaurant team usually appear within a few hours of eating the so-called Chinese food and persist for a fewhours to even several days:

  • headaches
  • muscle and joint cramps and weakness
  • sweating
  • facial baking
  • feeling of numbness or burning around the mouth
  • swelling or a feeling of pressure on the face
  • stomach aches, nausea and other digestive ailments

There are fewer severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms resembling an allergic reaction after eating foods that contain MSG:

  • chest pain
  • palpitations
  • throat swelling
  • difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and cough (also calledChinese restaurant asthma )

Chinese restaurant syndrome - treatment

The symptoms of the mild form of Chinese cuisine syndrome usually go away on their own.

You can take a pain reliever to help ease your headaches. Drinking a few glasses of water can help flush MSG from the body and, as a result, reduce the duration of symptoms.

People who have the above mentioned medical interventions require medical intervention. potentially life-threatening symptoms.

Chinese restaurant syndrome - diet

If your allergy symptoms are mild, it may not always be necessary to avoid Chinese and monosodium glutamate foods. Ask your doctor if it is safe to eat foods that contain MSG. It is possible that you can rule out the risk of allergy symptoms by eating a small amount of food containing this substance.


Under what names can monosodium glutamate be hiding?

However, if it is necessary to remove products containing monosodium glutamate from the diet, it is worth knowing that it may be hidden under the names of, among others E621, MSG, Textured Plant Proteins, Yeast Extract or Autolyzed Yeast, Sodium Caseinate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Proteins, Hydrolyzed Corn, Glutamic Acid. Therefore, read labels carefully when shopping in the store.

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