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Adrienne Dellwo

Aspartame & Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By May 13, 2010

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Food of the Week -- One to Avoid: Aspartame

You've probably heard a lot of claims about how aspartame, the artificial sweetener sold as NutraSweet and Equal, is bad for your health.  A lot of it is rumor and hype with no scientific backing, and some of it is directly refuted by research.  However, for those of us with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, this could be a food substance to avoid.

We do have some credible research showing potentially detrimental effects of aspartame that have special significance for us. According to studies, aspartame:

  • May activate NMDA receptors (pain receptors) in the spinal cord and contribute to central sensitization. (Ironically, aspartame is being studied in conjunction with certain drugs as a pain killer because of this effect;)
  • May lower dopamine levels, which are already reduced in many people with these conditions;
  • May be implicated in some mental disorders, compromised learning and emotional function. We don't have evidence suggesting this is worse for us than for healthy people, but we have enough problems in those areas already. (Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are not mental conditions, but some common co-morbidities are;)
  • May contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms in a subset of patients with allergies. In one small study, removing aspartame and monosodium glutamate from the diet improved symptoms greatly.

Many people with these conditions and also many doctors say they've seen big improvements from eliminating aspartame. I decided several years ago to avoid it, but I didn't eat much of it to begin with so I didn't notice any changes.

Aspartame can be hard to avoid, especially if you eat "light," "reduced-calorie" or "sugar-free" products. It's in things like diet sodas, sugar-free breath mints, low-cal ice cream, and a wealth of other processed foods. Fortunately, it's easy to spot on a label.

Have you cut aspartame out of your diet? Did it help alleviate your symptoms? What sources of aspartame have been the hardest to avoid? Leave your comments below!

Note for commenters: This is a highly controversial topic and there's a lot of misinformation out there. Please stick to the topic at hand, and if you comment on health effects of aspartame not mentioned here, please site your sources. For a look at factual information on aspartame and also urban legends associated with it, see these articles from About.com: Aspartame, by Nutrition Guide Shereen Jegtvig, and Aspartame Warning, by Urban Legends Guide David Emory.

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Comments
May 13, 2010 at 9:07 am
(1) Dean Collier says:

100% correct. Aspartame and even Xylitol affect me badly. I used to drink Coke until i decided to drink either Coke lite or Coke Zero to try and avoid sugar and fizzy drinks totally. However, i encountered various different and aggrevated symptoms with the latter drinks which contained Aspartame. I have stopped Coke and all other related soft drinks and can say that i am much better off without them. Various preservatives and colourants in fruit juices etc also effect me badly of which i have to avoid. Most of the juices you buy boxed do not contain any of those harsh chemicals.

May 13, 2010 at 3:26 pm
(2) Marco says:

La CFS/ME č una patologia terribile, dai sintomi molteplici ed estremamente limitanti.

Mi auguro con tutto il cuore che questa malattia possa ricevere il giusto riconoscimento in ogni nazione del mondo e che i malati siano assistiti e aiutati secondo le loro necessitą.

May 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm
(3) DrCPainMD says:

This topic is very interesting. Aspartame is the name of a sweetener made from Aspartate and Phenylalanine. Aspartate is one of the main excitatory amino acids in the central nervous system. The other is glutamate-the chief ingredient in Monosodium glutamate(MSG). MSG has been shown to be neurotoxic based on research dating back to the 1970′s. Aspartate has not been conclusively demonstrated to be toxic, but it is an excicatory amino acid like glutamate and has the theoretical potential to cause excitotoxicity in large doses. What exactly is a large dose? That part is unknown. If you are concerned, you might be wise to avoid it all together.
The comment about mental disorders is actually relevant. The brain exerts a great deal of control over how we perceive pain-some of it is voluntary and some of it is involuntary. Chemicals that may interfere with pain processing could certainly interfere with mood and emotional function as well.

May 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm
(4) TonyD says:

I have been running for 35 years and struggle with aches and pains inconsistent with my healthy lifestyle. I have been diagnosed with depression and believe I also have chronic fatigue syndrome. However, I can say for certain that my health improves with exercise and diet.

Years ago I quit chewing Care-Free gum with aspartame, and unexplained headaches disappeared. Today I avoid anything with aspartame and am on the verge of quitting sodas as well.

The research may be inconclusive, but depression and fatigue are intertwined. I believe some of us are short on dopamine and other healthy chemicals our bodies produce making it all the more important to eat right, rest and exercise.

It doesn’t hurt to laugh a lot, too.

May 14, 2010 at 12:50 am
(5) Ken says:

I have had CFS for 19 years. Last fall I started drinking 2 or 3 cans of diet Dr. Pepper each night. By Jan. 2010 my head was aching 24 hrs. a day, and my stomach had sharp pains all the time, and I felt extremely sick. My head felt ‘sick’, and it felt like poison was in my arms. I was convinced I had stomach cancer, and didn’t have long to live. Then I found some information on aspartame, and quit drinking it. All those symptoms rapidly vanished. It was poisonous to me.

May 14, 2010 at 2:00 am
(6) Rich Murray says:

Woodrow C Monte, PhD, Emiritus Prof. Nutrition gives many PDFs of reseach — methanol (11% of aspartame) puts formaldehyde into brain and body — multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, cancers, birth defects, headaches: Rich Murray 2010.05.13
http://rmforall.blogspot.com/2010_05_01_archive.htm
Thursday, May 13, 2010
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aspartameNM/message/1601

[ Other formaldehyde sources include alcohol drinks and
tobacco and wood smoke, while adequate folic acid levels protect most people. ]

May 14, 2010 at 2:54 am
(7) Courtney says:

Be careful! Aspartame is now being marketed under a different name. Read more about the history and the name change to AminoSweet here:

http://www.naturalnews.com/028151_aspartame_sweeteners.html

I truly believe that aspartame was part of what triggered CFS is my body. There are other factors for sure, but aspartame shouldn’t be part of any human’s consumption.

May 14, 2010 at 11:43 am
(8) Lisa Hellen Bates says:

What about Splenda?
Any info on that being bad for us as well?

I cut sugar out of my diet completely, (except for natural fruits, etc), and use splenda in my morning coffee for 3 years now.

I have lost weight by doing this, but can’t tell if its affecting my FMS at all.

Any thoughts?
~Lisa

May 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm
(9) Mummylady says:

Even very small amounts of Aspartame gave me dreadful migraine-like headaches, so I avoid it as much as possible and use saccharine or Splenda. (Splenda is made from sugar, by the way) Now it has no effect on my husband at all, but both of us have trouble with any of the artificial sweetenres which end in “tol” (e.g., mannito, xylotol) Those tend to really aggravate my irritable bowel syndrome.

The brand names do change so you have to really read the ingredients panels on things.

Also, many Low-sugar food have higher amounts of fat in them (to compensate for the loss of sweetness)

May 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(10) Judith says:

I find that three things really aggravate two of my most annoying fibro symptoms: dizziness and IBS. One of those things is carbonation in beverages (I only drank full sugar type, and up to 3 cans per week), Splenda (I stopped using the one packet / day in my morning decaf tea and was much less dizzy) and caffeine (even a small amount early in the day messes with my sleep, and makes me dizzy.) These were small changes for me because I used such little amounts, but had a huge impact on how I felt. I never could use Aspertame due to immediate IBS symptoms. I knnnow it’s not a scientific study – but it works for me.

May 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm
(11) Alice Campbell says:

No I haven’t cut aspartame from my diet. I’ve seen no real research that says aspartame actually does anything detrimental. Research that says something may happen isn’t research. I may push you out in the street in front of a car. Research can prove that statement is true. I’m physically capable of doing it. But I won’t, and I probably can’t because I don’t know where you live and have never met you and have no reason to do it. You have to watch research carefully and see what it really says. Perhaps aspartame is the worse thing in the world for you, but nobody’s proven it. Everytime society comes out with a new and better whatever, somebody cries doom & destruction. I will presonally wait until either I have a bad reaction that I can prove was from ingesting aspartame, or scientific proof shows me it causes bad effects in other people and why it does that.

If aspartame doesn’t agree with you, by all means don’t eat it. I don’t like turnip greens. I don’t eat them. But to assume that because something does not agree with you it does not agree with everybody is false reasoning. Some people do well with aspartame. Many people thrive eating turnip greens. Perhaps using peanuts for an example would be good. some people die when they are exposed to peanuts. That does not mean peanuts are bad for everybody, just bad for those people who are allergic.

But I actually prefer Splenda, so the question is moot. And for those who think Splenda is as bad as aspartame, well my argument is the same. Prove it, then I’ll listen. Until then I think the dangers of diabetes beat the dangers of artificial sweeteners any day.

May 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm
(12) Michelle says:

I eliminated aspartame a number of years ago and saw no marked changes in FM/ME/CFS symptoms. I also eliminated sucralose and can’t say that I’ve noticed any changes from that, either. To be safe, however, I have switched almost exclusively to stevia, which is an all natural sweetner. I have to admit, though, that I still crave a sugar-free soda on a rare occasion!=^)

May 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm
(13) Tammie says:

Michelle, there is a sugar free soda made with stevia. It’s called Zevia. Some of the flavors taste a bit interesting, but most are really good.

May 14, 2010 at 10:54 pm
(14) Margo says:

Years ago – maybe 20 years ago – I was at a picnic or something and had 2 diet sodas (I rarely drink sodas as I generally don’t like them, with the possible exception of cream soda), and I got a headache afterward. I attributed the headache to the aspartame in the sodas and to this day I can smell aspartame a mile away. One time 3 or 4 years ago I stopped in at a fast food place (which I also rarely do) and got an ice tea from the soda dispenser. I could taste the aspartame right away and asked one of the workers about it, but they didn’t know, but I think it must have had aspartame in it. Now I have a little herb garden, which includes stevia, and I make a syrup from it (water and stevia) and freeze it as ice cubes. So I try to use that instead of sugar, but I’m still experimenting with it. It’s green, though, which might not always be desirable in some foods.

May 15, 2010 at 9:06 am
(15) Shelly says:

Yep, I have to agree! I had cut out diet coke from my diet when I passed a kidney stone and was told that soft drinks could be a culprit. I recently started drinking them again and began feeling awful. So, back to water and natural juice for me!

May 15, 2010 at 11:47 am
(16) Nitalynn says:

Luckily this in a no brainer for me. I am actively allergic to the stuff. I drink it and mouth breaks out in ulcers.

May 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm
(17) alittlebitfoggy says:

Several years ago I switched from Aspartame to Splenda and the Splenda was worse. It has its own issues. I went without both for awhile and then got hooked on Aspartame sodas again. Now I am trying to at least reduce my consumption to an occasional one and maybe even quit altogether. No matter what though, I’ll still have the disease and still struggle with so many issues normal people breeze thru every day.

May 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm
(18) Lisa says:

I used to consume a lot of aspartame. I read an article about how it breaks down in the body and I decided not to use it anymore. In 2 weeks time I noticed that I was not hurting as much as I used to. It was very noticeable. I convinced my husband to stop using it ( he drank a lot of diet coke). He does not have fibromyalgia but he had a lot of shoulder pain. He also noticed that his pain went away. This is bad stuff for anyone, I make sure my kids don’t ingest it either.

May 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm
(19) Rebecca says:

There was a time in my life that my Dr.s thought that I was taking strokes & or had M.S. After cleaning out my kitchen cupboards I found ice tea drink mixes that I (at the time) was largely consuming. Just out of interest I read the ingredients. It listed Aspatame as the sweetener. I also remembered that the yogurt that I prefered at he time was also sweetened by Aspartame. As I researched the internet for Aspartame I learned that if you have Fibromyalgia the side affects from Aspartame are crippling. The side affects that I noticed were huge. During the time of my Aspartame consumption I pulled into my driveway & unloaded my grocerys only to have forgotten my baby. Over an hour later I couldn’t figure out where she was. My heart sunk when I realized that she had been left in the car. Luckily it happened in the evening & the windows were 1/2 way down. Now I avoid Aspartame like it’s the plague. My Dr.s no longer feel that I have M.S. or that I have taken any strokes.

May 17, 2010 at 10:46 am
(20) Laurie says:

I never consumed a lot of Aspartame, because from the start it gave me a headache, every single time I tried it. At the time I was disappointed. Looks like maybe that was lucky – I knew what the culprit was.

May 26, 2010 at 1:32 am
(21) pain in the knees says:

i used to be addicted to drinking diet coke…i would say i drank it with both lunch and dinner if it was available and i would drink it on and off through the day. i started having all of these bad pains in my knees, so bad that i went to the doctor for it. they gave me a CAT scan and couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from. so i was back to square one. i thought about it and came to the conclusion that i should start to try adjusting things in my diet to see if that could be the problem since there was nothing visibly wrong with my knees. the first thing i gave up was the diet coke. believe it or not, within 2 days ALL pain in my knees was gone. GONE. i completely gave up drinking anything with aspartame since then…and guess what…no more problems. that stuff is poison! don’t put it into your body and NEVER give it to your kids!!!!

June 2, 2010 at 5:52 pm
(22) Venus says:

I can’t use artificial sweetners anymore. I have experienced migraines, body aches, memory problems and spasms, strong and painful spasms. If you are using artificial sweetners and also suffering from any pain or memory problem, try going without it for a while to see if you notice a difference. I understand that some people may feel that their diabetes outweigh the other risk and that may be true but even some of the pain you feel may be coming from diabetes is actually coming from the sweetners. I have had to switch from soda and punch to water. I am trying to find ways of making beverages that won’t harm me. For those people who feel it doesn’t affect you, that is wonderful but just be careful because some people that are now suffering from FMS didn’t have any symptoms until consuming a low calorie diet pack full of artificial sweetners and now they will suffer for the rest of their lives. Just be watchful and careful in your daily food and drink consumption!

June 4, 2010 at 2:44 am
(23) Nancy says:

I stopped using aspartame several years ago when my doctor warned me of some of their side effects.I had to go to health food store to buy stevia back then.Has just been on the market in grocery stores recently.She also approved of Endulzante or Splenda which they now use in some drinks and foods.I just wish the food industries would use more of those sweeteners and leave out the aspartame! I have had fibro -diagnosed for 2 years,Before that the pain was all in my head!

September 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm
(24) Cindy Phillips says:

I have a friend who goes into noticeable depression after consuming aspartame.

after he figured this out he stayed away from it. Then one time noticed that a soda he had been able to drink, he went into the depression. they had changed the sweetener to aspartame.

so it’s good to always check the ingredients of a product even if you have been eating/drinking it a lot.

January 9, 2011 at 12:31 am
(25) Carrigon says:

Aspartame is one hundred percent the cause of my Fibromyalgia. I got sick immediately after my first ingestion of aspartame in the mid 80′s at a diner. Deathly sick, it hit every organ system in my body. I have permanent eye problems from it, neurological problems, central nervous system problems. The list goes on. It was the aspartame. Once it has done its damage, it is permanent damage in many cases. Cutting it out of the diet will not give you back the health it took away. It is a poison that can and will trigger Fibromyalgia and many other diseases.

April 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm
(26) gosharks says:

After having a particularly bad weekend, I did some research on PubMed to see if there was ANYTHING I could do to try to help my fibromyalgia. Basically, the only thing I thought looked interesting was the elimination of glutamate (MSG) and/or aspartame. (Other diet changes that had no effect were vitamins, vegetarianism, veganism and more.) The glutamate and aspartame theory was only a hypothesis-no definitive studies have been done. Don’t believe everything you read-there are a TON of whacky, way-out-there, unsupported anti-aspartame sites that are over the top. The studies that are there are anecdotal and/or extremely small (one had 2 the other 4 patients) and all of those patients were purposely taking aspartame for some reason. For fibro patients, the basic theory is that fibro is caused by an overly excited immune system and that aspartame and glutamine (MSG) can excite the immune system. I, a TAB cola lover (yes, they still make TAB), decided to try to give up aspartame (I don’t have a problem with MSG, but avoided it anyway). Nothing. Nada. Nil. Not a damn thing. So there MAY be a subset of fibro patients who are sensitive to aspartame, but I, unfortunately, am not one of them.

June 29, 2011 at 6:31 am
(27) Kellie says:

I read about a study indicating an increased risk of stroke from diet coke (American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference earlier this year). It was correlational, so the cause is uncertain, but that was enough to make me quit aspartame. A lot of us with FMS have hypercoagulation disorders which implies a potential increased stroke risk, and I am one. My Mom and several of her relatives had strokes as well, so I want to reduce my risk where I can. I was a heavy Diet Coke drinker. I quit 2 months ago and since I am doing several things to improve my diet it is hard to say how much that helped me, but I think it has reduced my symptoms quite a lot.

July 27, 2011 at 8:06 am
(28) Kellie Snider says:

I quit aspartame a few months ago after years of heavy use. Last week I decided to drink a Diet Coke. Within a short time I went into a severe flare up which has not resolved yet. I can’t be 100% sure it was the drink, but it seems like it was, and I wont be making that choice again.

August 16, 2011 at 11:36 am
(29) Fergie says:

I have definitely noticed a relationship between my use of aspartame and an increase in fibromyalgia symptoms.

August 16, 2011 at 11:39 am
(30) Fergie says:

I have definitely noticed a relationship between my use of aspartame and an increase in fibromyalgia symptoms.

I was diagnosed with FM about 14 years ago but had symptoms prior to that which were diagnosed as non-specific arthritis (in my 20s).

October 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm
(31) Denise says:

Hi everyone. I googled fibromyalgia and aspartame and came across this post. Thanks for all your comments. I was diagnosed in 1993. I drank Pepsi for years (a glass or two a day) and then switched to Diet about 5 years ago as I didn’t want to consume so much sugar. Then I was hearing about the link between aspartame and fibro so began to think that I should switch back, which I did a year and a half ago – no change whatsoever (except in my weight – gained some). I haven’t noticed one iota of difference. In face, this last year hasn’t been a great one for me with my fibro. So this personal research proved that aspartame doesn’t seem to make a difference for me.

December 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm
(32) Janice says:

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a year ago. I have always been a heavy diet soda drinker, and in the last couple of years have been drinking almost 4 liters a day of aspartame-sweetened diet soda. As a part of my switch to a vegan, whole foods diet I cut off the diet soda cold turkey four days ago. I got what I assume is a caffeine-restriction headache within 12 hours that hasn’t left yet and within 24 hours had a flare of my FMS which also hasn’t ended yet. I plan to keep off the aspartame but hope the symptoms die off soon, as they’re affecting my ability to work. Has anyone else experienced a flare when going *off* aspartame?

February 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(33) mel says:

I know the comment is way old, but Alice’s comment where “the danger of diabetes beats the danger of artificial sweeteners any day” is a tad hypocritical… You’re claiming that consuming sugar directly causes diabetes when that is not proven either. But it’s okay for you to believe those unproven suggestions but not that a CHEMICAL might not be very good for you?

Um, okay!

It’s a great idea to be skeptical, but the way you worded that comment sounds like you just have a hate against sugar.

April 12, 2012 at 8:37 am
(34) Jennifer Carillio-Biggin says:

I decided several months ago to ‘give up soda pop.’ I use to drink 12 ounces of Diet Coke on a daily basis. After giving up diet drinks, I gradually noticed that my Fibromyalgia symptoms vanished!! I suffered from Fibromyalgia for over 14 years!!! I am so very convinced that Aspartame is a neurotoxin and I am so happy that my Fibromyalgia has vanished!!

June 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm
(35) Mike says:

Fibromyalgia may indeed be a disorder of the brain. On Youtube videos uploaded by OFFERutah, they find greatly decreased dopamine levels in fibromyalgia patients.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL4pMWa351M&list=FLYB_niYG1ir–uTNg10y6zQ&index=4&feature=plpp_video

July 1, 2012 at 9:26 am
(36) Renee says:

Actually, there is research AND proof that aspartame is harmful even if you don’t actually feel the affects right away! It in fact made national news “Today” on NBC some months back. AND the FDA issued it’s own warning as well. So to say there is no research and/or proof is absolutely incorrect. Some ppl it affects & other’s it doesn’t. I have FMS so I try to avoid it not only for that but for the increased cancer risk as well. Do your research it’s there.

http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/Jan03/012203/02P-0317_emc-000196.txt?utm_campaign=Google2&utm_source=fdaSearch&utm_medium=website&utm_term=aspartame%20research&utm_content=1

July 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm
(37) Dianna says:

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 9 years ago but I had it for several years before that my doctor just took a while to figure out what was wrong. One sip of diet coke is all it takes to make me feel fatigued, get a headache, and extreme body wide pain. Several times I’ve been served diet coke by mistake and I find it very upsetting since I don’t know until I taste itwent which is then too late. I really wish more people were aware of how much this can affect SOME people. I am not saying it’s bad for everyone. I have a friend who can’t eat dairy and everywhere we go people are understanding and very careful to accommodate her needs. I just want the same respect.

September 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(38) Molly says:

This is so true, i have tried it several times and have had to give it up. The side effects are horrible.

October 31, 2012 at 12:53 am
(39) Maxine says:

I refuse to use artificial sweeteners at all. Several people I know, who used a lot of artificial sweeteners, have either died of or been stricken for life with some form of cancer. I know people will say that without proof, they’re not going to believe it, but since when is the public informed about health risks? After cyclomates were banned, the government started approving alternatives much too quickly. As for fibromyalgia and aspartame, I’m going to spread the word to my friends with fibro who use aspartame, to see if they can find some relief.

February 14, 2013 at 2:04 am
(40) Deborah says:

I have never been able to tolerate artificial sweetners. They give me migrains.I also wonder if this has contributed to Fibromyalgis. I suffer depression and have bursitis in the hip.The hip is painful just on its own. I wonder if some people who have other ailments are more likely to get fibromyalia symptoms. I had the depression before the fibromyalgia set in.I have a very low seratonin uptake. I am also diabetic.So again problems with sugar. I try to stay off as muzh sugar as possible. If I want a fizzy drink, I have soda water and fresh lime juice. You can get it almost anywhere and it does not seem to affect much. It is refreshing. I do believe different people react to different substances.I am also intolerant to too much iodine. As a diabetic I respond differenty to different foods than my father does.He is also diabetic. I think we have to find what works for us as individuals and that is a lot of trial and error. What works for me doesn’t always work for others.Just as some days are worse than others we are all afficted by different lives.

February 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm
(41) sal says:

I used to diet and therefore digest a lot of aspartame, I was diagnosed with M.E & fibromyalgia and was looking for anything to help ease symptoms…quit all aspartame and improved considerably.

February 26, 2013 at 4:01 am
(42) Debra says:

I, too, have experienced FM flare especially related to Diet Coke. I had drunk up to a gallon a day in my thirties. I had tapered off to one a day but was drinking iced tea sweetened with aspartame and saccharine, which had eased my pain somewhat. I am now 59, and in an effort to regain some vitality recently changed my diet to include almost no processed foods. Twenty years ago I had a tremendous pain flare with body-wide hives & paralysis in reaction to an overload of MSG. I did not know aspartame was in any way chemically related, or I would have avoided it then. Obviously, I am one of those people who is tremendously sensitive to aspartame. Recently I tried a Diet Coke after six months of abstinence, and the next day I was crippled. I also experienced tremendous brain fog. I may have lost parts of my memory permanently to the side effects of aspartame, which is tragic, as I once had an eidetic memory! With what I know today, I would never let someone I loved poison their nervous system with aspartame.

March 7, 2013 at 5:12 am
(43) polly says:

Hello
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 4 years ago (I’m 42) and I had recently two retinal detachments.
I made an intensive use of aspartamen during 8 years (when I was 17 – 25 years old) so I strongly believe that my FM has been caused by aspartame.
Is there anybody else who can prove the same?
Thanks

May 5, 2013 at 1:04 am
(44) Laura says:

I have narcolepsy (day time sleepiness) and chronic head aches(sometimes migrain head aches) and stomach problems since I was little, I didn’t start using sweet&low and diet pop until my late 20′s when I was told I had low blood sugar so in my case I can NOT blame it on aspartame. Now about a year and a half ago I went threw radiation and chemo and I don’t get head aches like I use to.

May 15, 2013 at 9:13 am
(45) Leah says:

I found this article this morning as I began my research because I felt like I had been having flares from aspartame. For me it was very simple. I had headaches as a teenager from the stuff so I avoid it whenever I can. I recently realized I had begun having bad flares after having managable symptoms for 2-3 weeks prior. A look over my diet and 4 hours after every light yogurt that I ate would cause a nasty flare. By the time 12 hours passes it’s like all of the nerves are being turned on. I roll over in the night and feel achiness I didn’t have when I went to sleep. By morning, I’ve got full pain, headaches, full body aches, tightness, and incredibly tired. Looks like I’ll be resisting the urge for that light Boston Creme yogurt afterall!

July 26, 2013 at 7:35 am
(46) Shari says:

I have drank strictly diet pop for almost 30 years, at least 90% of the time. The rest is coffee. Rarely milk. NEVER water. Well, for financial reasons, I had to cut way down on the diet pop and start drinking water. After a few weeks, I noticed I was able to work a full 8-hour shift without a nap – the first time in almost 10 years. I also noticed I was able to back off 25% of my FM medicine, and am trying to work my way down. My depression also isnt as bad. I hate to say it – but, I think this was absolutely poisoning me. I was drinking 2L or more of diet pop a day.

December 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm
(47) Beth N. says:

Asparatame caused me to have kidney problems. I was able to prove that myself. I never used it again and do not have any problems now..

December 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm
(48) Pamela says:

I got seriously ill about two years ago after inadvertently consuming aspartame via a chewing gum. I had avoided all artificial sweeteners prior to that. What happened was that after one and a half months of chewing a few pieces a day, I began to experience numbness in my face and hands, ringing in ears, muscle weakness and loss of vision. The eye doctors initially were unable to detect that I was rapidly developing cataracts of a form usually seen in steroid abusers. I take no drugs at all other than an occasional vitamin D when I remember to take it and generally eat a lot of vegetables and a moderate amount of meat, cheese and bread. Don’t drink soda – just water, iced tea, and an occasional coffee. Only use real sugar in coffee, otherwise don’t sweeten anything. I got to the point of only being able to come to work a few days before getting exhausted, then would rest at home and start feeling better. After two days at work I’d get weak again. This went on for almost three months before I connected the gum (which I only chewed at work) with my episodes of weakness, burning in my face, headaches, etc. I stopped the gum chewing and after about a month I was almost back to normal. It took another couple of months before I felt “clear” but by then the damage to my eyes was permanent and I underwent double cataract surgery. Haven’t had a speck of aspartame since and haven’t been sick (other than a cold) since either.

January 2, 2014 at 10:05 pm
(49) debbie says:

I have been struggling with Fibromyalgia for years. I finally got a diagnosis 1 year ago. The past two months I have been having horrible migraines. I would wake up with them or get one an hour or two after being up. I couldn’t figure out why I suddenly had this worsening of headaches. I used to only get one or two a month and now daily. Well I had stopped drinking soda, but I was drinking Crystal lite, 3 or 4 glasses a day. I only had 1 glass of soda but now having all that. I have just stopslices. I am hoping that not only will my headaches go, but maybe I can reduce my fibro mere. I am on a high dose of lyrica and cymbalta. I struggle with profound depression lately as well. But for the first time in a long time I have hope. Even if my relief is anecdotal, no migraines will be measurable.

January 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm
(50) debbie says:

Computer messed up my comment. I went from 1 to 2 servings of diet pepsi a day to 4-5 glasses of crystal lite lemonade a day. I had given up soda. Then suddenly I started having severe headaches every day. Ended up getting a shot just to keep from going insane! Couldn’t figure out why I had this dramatic change. My doctor told me to avoid all normal trigger foods. I was thinking about my diet and it just suddenly occurred to me all the lemonade. Started doing research and saw all the connections. So now its just water with lemon slices and no other aspertame foods. I am hoping the headaches will go away. I still had one today but I imagine it has to work itself out of my system.

January 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm
(51) Chuck says:

Conspiracy theorists and health advocates on the internet and elsewhere claim bad effects for everyone from anything you can eat, drink or inhale. Most food, drinks, and even the air we breath affect our health in proportion to the amounts ingested.

As a diabetic, I must avoid carbohydrates, including sugar, to a large extent. This doesn’t mean that I must consume no sugar, but I must control the amount. I can’t drink much fruit juice, and water is boring. Controlling carbs is vital, so I use diet drinks. I’ve managed to survive type 2 diabetes for 20 years.

Some people can’t consume some things at all. Peanuts, for example, can kill people who are allergic to them. Avoiding peanuts isn’t an issue for most people. Because I have a problem with sugar doesn’t make it bad for everyone in moderate amounts. Rumors of dire consequences for all can be safely ignored.

We must pay attention to what our bodies tell us, and moderation in all things is a good thing. Diabetics avoid most sugar intake, but actually need some sugar in their diets. Extreme low sugar levels can be just as lethal as extreme highs.

In reading these posts, one must distinguish between those that tell of personal experiences and identify them as such and those that advise avoidance of a thing by EVERYONE because they had a bad reaction.

February 17, 2014 at 11:02 am
(52) Suzanne says:

I am a 53 years old and I too am a victim of aspertame poisioning. My problems started a few years ago (after years and years of aspertame use). After getting a blood test I found out that my growth hormone was way too high. That was just the start. Two years of endless blood tests and nuclear tests, tag red blood cell test, 3 MRI to tests to see if I had a brain tumor, 2 Ultra sounds. Finally after seeing 3 endocrinologists, who all had conflicting diagnoses, One said I absolutely didn’t have acromegaly, one said I absolutley did have acromegaly and the third said maybe. Then I developed Myasthenia Gravis. So I was reading on-line about how to treat Myasthenia Gravis when I saw that Asperatame could excerbate symptoms and THAT IT CAUSED THE GROWTH HORMONE TO RISE! I got off aspertame completely and when I went to the Mayo clinc to have my growth hormone tested and it came up on the low side of normal. Also some of my myasthenia Gravis symptoms disappeared or gradually improved after I had my thymus gland removed. My lid sag disappeared completely (this was before my surgery) as soon as I got off aspertame.
So for anyone who is suffering from myasthenia Gravis or high growth hormone get off aspertame, give yourself a few weeks to “detoxify” and get tested again. You maybe pleasantly surprised with the results!

March 17, 2014 at 10:09 pm
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April 11, 2014 at 8:05 am
(54) Charles Pledge says:

I am recovering from what been diagnosed as aspartame poisoning. A lot of research has been done and most of it turns up extremely negative consequences in those who use aspartame. I almost lost a leg and my mind. Hopefully recovery will be near complete but that is a remaining question. My experience was hard ridges on the calf of my legs, severe headaches for six years, a sudden hardening of my upper lip which has lasted for several months making talking and drinking liquids difficult, but is slowly easing as I continue work at eliminating the formaldehyde from my system. Also a weeping leg with no sores to explain the weeping, extreme irritability contrary to my disposition and is also almost gone after several years of suffering. In short many years of suffering more than forty different significant symptoms and several minor ones is finally ending. My life is returning to normal and my body feels better than it has in many, many years.

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