Three years ago, my son who is now 11 began getting rashes, headaches, always tired, mild asthma, allergic rhinitis, even his personality changed. He had a very bad allergic reaction once to a bought breakfast, but was not hospitalised. My doctor is great and referred him to a paediatrician who specialised in allergies.

I did elimination diets (wheat and dairy) and the rest of it as suggested by the doctor, however it wasn't until I started going through all of the labels that I found this 635 number in soup which he loved, and I and the doctor thought was relatively healthy. It wasn't on my list of additives, so I searched on the internet and found your website.

I then found flavour enhancers in many different foods and just eliminated them - all of the 6XX numbers. The worst was probably chicken noodle soup/ chicken & corn soup, which my son loved. It is an ongoing process as I find it pops up everywhere in foods which you may think are ‘healthy’, I must read the label even on brands I have bought before as they change, meat and chickens etc. It is also frustrating when things are labelled plain/natural/NO MSG as it makes it difficult for my son and anyone else. I must ask when buying take away as I find they add it to chips, without you asking for it or telling you.

When he had the soup his reaction was quite evident and within a few hours of having it - rashes, headache, rolling on the floor ... He once came home sick and with a massive headache - I later found he had had chips labelled ‘natural’ but with flavour enhancers.

My son was quite happy to stop eating these foods as he was much happier without them. I think children are much more rational about this than adults. I now cook my own chickens, soup, pies and go to a butcher who is happy to give me additive free meat.

I know it is difficult to cover everything but I think it important to eliminate flavour enhancers as a first step and for doctors to suggest this, as eliminating milk and wheat (which is what we did first) is much more difficult and has nutritional consequences, while flavour enhancers provide no nutrition. It is not something that is tested for in the blood test/scratch test. – Chris, by email