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What is Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ?  

Chinese restaurant syndrome is an allergic reaction to Chinese food. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a common food additive in Chinese food, is reported to be the cause, although not proven.

Cause(s) :  
  • Monosodium Glutamate, commonly known as Chinese salt, is a possible cause, although not proven.
Symptoms :  
    Common symptoms
  • Skin flushing
  • Numbness or burning in mouth or throat
  • Numbness or burning at the back of neck, forearms and chest
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Less commonly occurring symptoms:
  • Abnormal or rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in face
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Swelling in throat


  • Diagnosis and Tests :  
  • Check whether Chinese food was taken within past 2 hours
  • Consumption of food containing MSG
  • ECG


  • Category :  Environmental Causes

    Specialist to consult :  Internal Medicine / General Practitioner / Family Physician

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