Chronic diarrhea and MSG

Health Q & A with Dr. Michael Jacobson, D.O.

Editor’s note: This information was published in the April 2020 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.

In response to a recent article on chronic diarrhea, a CHM member shared how he discovered a dietary trigger for his gas and diarrhea. He experienced tremendous improvement as a result of eliminating monosodium glutamate (MSG) from his diet. A second member sent a letter that highlighted a similar experience.

I really appreciate your recent article! I struggled for years with excessive flatulence and chronic diarrhea. I tried eliminating milk; that seemed to help, but only a little bit.

Finally, my wife suggested we stop eating Chinese food every Sunday after church. She noticed that, when we were away from our normal routine for two weeks, I started feeling better and my symptoms went away. (Note: MSG, present in some Chinese foods, is also an additive in many other types of foods). I cut out Chinese food with MSG as an additive and feel so much better. The gas diminished dramatically, and I also noticed rapid growth of my fingernails. It seems the chronic diarrhea was robbing me of vital nutrients.

Ten years later I am doing much better. I still have to look for all the different names of MSG: celery powder, autolyzed yeast extract and many more. If I avoid them, I feel great and my bowels are stable. I hope more Americans consider that stomach issues could be related to consuming MSG.

My purpose in sharing this communication is to emphasize how a simple process of diet monitoring, symptom observation and elimination can unlock a secret to improved health. I hope to expand upon this subject in a future article as it relates to monosodium glutamate.

Please note: My office requires a one-week turnaround for medical information. If you have an acute or emergency medical incident, please seek immediate medical attention.

If you have a health question for Dr. Jacobson, CHM Medical Director, please email it to This information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.

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