Chinese restaurant syndrome
IMMUNOLOGY, PUBLIC HEALTH
Definition A popular term for an abrupt allergic reaction, the susceptibility to which is autosomal recessive (OMIM:231630), and caused by sensitivity to monosodium glutamate–MSG, a seasoning used in Chinese restaurants and in soy sauce
Clinical findings Abrupt onset of severe headaches, heartburn, numbness, palpitations, vertigo–especially with chronic MSG exposure, thirst, abdominal and chest pains/heartburn, sweating, and flushing, which develops one-half hour after exposure, and lasts up to 12 hours.
Management None is generally required, as the response is usually self-limited; antihistamines may be given as needed.
Synonym Monosodium glutamate allergy, MSG allergy