21 Nov Poison…The Sweet Truth
A friend recently posted a blog about aspartame poisoning, and being a health professional I read it. While reading it, a light went off, I have artificial sweetener poisoning! Let me backtrack a little bit. January 1, 2013 I decided to change my diet and started eating very clean. I have always been health conscious, and ate healthy but I decided to eliminate processed foods (as much as I could) from my diet. I changed my protein powder I used, my supplements, and stopped eating crackers (my vice). When I say it made a huge difference is a understatement. I was putting on muscle mass faster, I felt better, my energy level was through the roof. I also stopped using Splenda and switched to using Truvia or Stevia in my coffee.
Let’s jump to the summer. I was on a nationwide tour, driving long crazy hours and working 16+ hour days. I started drinking diet sodas and energy drinks to keep me up and alert. I started having these dizzy spells and light headed episodes when I would stand up and work out. I went to the doctor, and they tested my blood pressure and blood sugar, which were both incredibly low. Blood pressure was 90/60 (normal is about 120/80) and my blood sugar was 60 mg/dl (normal is 70-130 mg/dl). I have never been diagnosed with diabetes, nor have I ever had a history of blood sugar issues. My doctor wanted me to keep a diet journal to see if it was my diet that was causing the dizzy episodes. I tend to go through phases, and when I have access to coffee and my Stevia that is what I drink, but when I do not have access to these I go for a diet soda or energy drink, and yes it is the sugar free versions. I do not have a sweet tooth, so I do not like sugary drinks. My symptoms got better, not realizing it was because I had stopped drinking the sodas and energy drinks.
I came home from my tour for 3 weeks and started back with the energy drinks and diet sodas, they were readily available. My mom stocks diet Mt. Dew for me, she doesn’t drink coffee so she does not keep it in the house. My symptoms started back, the dizzy spells and light headedness. My mom said I needed to go to see the doctor. I became really ill, swollen lymph nodes in my armpit, sore throat, trouble swallowing, extreme exhaustion. I literally slept for 3 days, I had to postpone a photo shoot and cancel several appointments. I finally started feeling better, now it could have been a combination of the sweetener and a virus, but while I was sick I did not consume any artificial sweeteners, and therefore flushed it out of my system. I went back on tour, and started consuming diet sodas again. The dizzy spells and light headedness came back. To the point where I had to cut my workouts short. My asthma started acting up, and I was having horrible headaches. It got so bad that when I would take 5 steps I would be dizzy and lightheaded. I was so tired and my lumps in my armpit came back, my sore throat was back as well. I hardly ever get sick, so now I was concerned. My vision was getting blurry, and I have perfect vision. I was experiencing numbness in my fingers and arms, but I reasoned that it was from my shoulder. I have had 3 surgeries on my left shoulder and it would dislocate multiple times a day, I chalked the numbness to nerve damage from that injury. I was starting to think I was going crazy. Then I read this article A Killer In Your Fridge and realized I had a lot of the same symptoms! It wasn’t so much as aspartame poisoning but sucralose poisoning. I was drinking “all natural” energy drinks that contained sucralose, and Coke Zero (which is sweetened with Splenda). I wanted to share my story because it might help someone, just like the article I read helped me determine my “disease.” The problem with these artificial sweetener poisonings is that they mimic other diseases. Many people have been diagnosed with MS, and it turns out it was an artificial sweetener poisoning.
Symptoms of Artificial Sweetener Poisoning:
blindness in one or both eyes
decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision*
pain in one or both eyes
trouble with contact lenses
tinnitus – ringing or buzzing sound*
severe intolerance of noise*
marked hearing impairment
headaches, migraines and (some severe)*
dizziness, unsteadiness, both*
confusion, memory loss, both*
severe drowsiness and sleepiness*
paresthesia or numbness of the limbs*
severe slurring of speech
severe hyperactivity and restless legs
atypical facial pain
shortness of breath*
recent high blood pressure
diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
pain when swallowing*
Skin and Allergies
itching without a rash
lip and mouth reactions*
aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma*
Endocrine and Metabolic
loss of control of diabetes
marked thinning or loss of hair
marked weight loss
gradual weight gain
aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)*
frequency of voiding and burning during urination
excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
increased susceptibility to infection
Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all
irreversible brain damage
birth defects, including mental retardation
aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets*
hyperactivity in children
Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
All of this information can be found at Sweet Poison
* denotes symptoms I had.
All the research I have read states that if you cease using artificial sweeteners you will see changes and symptoms decrease within 26-48 hours, with full recovery in 30 days. Remember water is your friend! Drink lots of it, it will help flush all those nasty chemicals out of your body. Read labels! I cannot stress this enough! I went to eat a yogurt this morning (Light ‘N Fit) and it is sweetened with sucralose.
It’s very important to realize that Splenda (sucralose) is actually NOT sugar, despite its marketing slogan “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar.” Rather it’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, and with detrimental health effects to match. It is a chemical, they all are. Sucralose (Splenda) bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar. Sucralose is a synthetic chemical that was originally made in a laboratory. It starts off as a sugar molecule, then, in a five-step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose (sugar) molecule. The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature, and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize (break down, absorb, and use) it. As a result of this “unique” biochemical make-up, it makes its claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, hence it has zero calories.
But, if you look at the research (which is primarily extrapolated from animal studies), you will see that in fact an average of 15 percent of sucralose IS absorbed into your digestive system, and according to this latest study, it is also absorbed into your fat cells. If you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at HIGHER risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines! (This was ME!!!)
Aspartame’s Chemical Make Up
Table Sugar (Sucrose) Chemical Make Up
Here is a great detox for aspartame/sucralose poisoning: Detox
Do your research. I am by no means a doctor, but my symptoms were real and so was my illness. Consult with your doctor, get tests and eliminate things from your diet. A lot of diagnoses are determined by trial and error, take control of your body and health. The only way we can make changes is if enough people report their symptoms and voice their opinions.