I have been recently diagnosed with IBS (D) and GERD. The symptoms are so severe that I can no longer work or go to school and I have become socially isolated and financially devastated. I hope to get onto disability since this is definitely becoming a long term problem. It seems that I am particularly sensitve to MSG and it has been difficult to totally avoid it because manufacturers do not always lable clearly. Around the same time that I was trying to find out what was wrong with me, my two young nieces were diagnosed with MACULAR DEGENERATIVE DISEASE which is almost never found in young people. My one niece around 15 and the other is in her early 20's. This is a disease that will eventually cause blindness in both girls and supposedly there is no genetic transmission of this disease. The girl in her 20's is the daughter of one of my sisters and the girl who is in her teens is the daughter of another sister. What does this have to do with IBS? Well, I saw on a site on the net that sensitvity to MSG has been implicated in macular degenerative disease; and I have to totally avoid MSG (and many other things) because of a gut sensivity to it. I don't know enough about IBS and MSG sensitivity to figure out if there is any family predisposition to problems caused by MSG sensitivity. I would appreciate any info that people can give me on these issues.I would also appreciate any info on coping with IBS (D) and GERD with an accute MSG sensitvity.