Avatar universal

What are side effects of Aspartame?

I am a 25 y.o female.  I often have dizzy spells.  Just kinda light headed feeling.  About 2 months ago, I discovered that my birth control patch was the cause of alot of my problems:
Heart Palpitations
Chest Pain
Panic Attacks
2 trips to ER in fear of Heart Attack
Chronic sore throat and sinus "problems"
Numbness in hands and arms in morning
Shortness of breath
Well I have been off the patch and majority of my problems have diminished, well I still have dizziness often and the feeling like an anxiety attack or panic attack is coming on but I can keep myself calm and it goes away.
Well my friends and I have been on this diet and have been drinking Crystal Light, I drink several glasses a day, 8-10, which contains aspartame and my friend believes that it is associated with my dizzy moments.  They are not severe I dont think, I just feel light headed and it eventually goes away after lying down.  
So my question is:  Can aspartame in my crystal light drink be causing these problems and also I give this stuff to my kids because it is supposed to be so much better than kool-aid for them, they show no side effects but they are also only 2 and 3, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!
21 Responses
Avatar universal
also I am having a treadmill test next friday to see if there is any permanent damage to my heart.  Is it possible that heart palpitations can damage the heart?
I am not severely obese, I am 5'1 and weigh 175 pounds.  Anyone know of any other reason why I would have these problems.
Avatar universal
Aspartame is bad news...check out this website

Avatar universal
Aspertame is believed by some  to be the"Gulf War Syndrome". It can mimic symptoms of fybromyalgia, MS, and many serious illnesses. It can have crippling effects!! Once it hits a certain temperature it turns into formeldahide(not sure how to spell it) It's very dangerous stuff, known to cause neurological damage in children or seizures. READ THE WEBSITE the last person posted!! Cut down on the crystal light, there's nothing more natural than water with lemon. I have been preaching of this danger to anyone that would listen in my life. Friend with unexplained seizures ect. Way to many to list so you need to check it out.
Avatar universal
Also check out http://www.dorway.com

I suffered a LOT of effects from aspartame for over nine years altogether.  I wouldn't simply cut down on the product, I would urge you to eliminate it from your diet!

I had a man visit me a couple months ago, and he had the very same problems and my name was mentioned by some people he knew.  He stopped the aspartame, and now is feeling a lot better.. and went out of his way to speak with me.  He had seen ten doctors in ten years and none of them mentioned that diet soft drinks might be doing it to him.
Avatar universal
Just the fact that it turns into methanol inside your body is enough to not use it. Even if you heat it up it turns to it. I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'm pretty sure common sense will tell you that methanol is not good for living tissues.

I'm unsure if its causing my health problems or not, i just know I'm never consuming it ever again. Just the fact that it could of been or could be. or just could is enough for me to never touch it and warn others to not digest it as well.

Methanol is Formaldehyde and we all know what they use Formaldehyde for.
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone and their input, I threw out my crystal light this morning and am no longer using it.  I cannot believe the damage it can and has done, being something that is supposed to be so good for you is now so bad.  I am just grateful nothing happened to my kids while giving them this stuff, or at least no damage that I can tell...  I am never going to use this stuff again.
Avatar universal
You also have to check sugar free gum as well. Read the ingredients. I know Winterfresh is one to avoid, it contains Aspartame!
Avatar universal
Almost all the gum that wrigley's makes has aspartame. Even their mints! its very scary that they'd put it in regular foods.
Avatar universal
Aspartame is in a variety of products... children's chewable vitamins, OTC remedies for cold and flu, and breath strips... and definately NOT just 'sugar-free' products.  Please read labels carefully!

Aspartame breaks down into methanol, formaldehyde, and formic acid (the stuff that gives fire ants their sting) as well as other chemicals.
Avatar universal
It is also in most products that say "light". Such as yogurts and other products. It is scary, isn't it?
Avatar universal
a lot of the bad stuff about aspartame are urban myths. a weekly news letter we get at the pharmacy i work at had a big article about the aspartame controversy, i dont have it on me right now but the gist of it was that in almost all clincical studies except for a few outliers, most of which had serious flaws, aspartame is pretty safe and generally doesnt really cause too many problems

"Aspartame breaks down into methanol, formaldehyde, and formic acid (the stuff that gives fire ants their sting) as well as other chemicals."

i remember one of the arguements being debunked. that statement is true, but a serving of green veggies forms quite a bit more of those same products than the amounts of aspartame in a typical soft drink product, and the amounts formed arent significant

im not a doctor, but i would think most of the symptoms could likely be related to anxiety, which is the way it sounds since symptoms diminished after you got off the hormones
Avatar universal
Most of the de-bunking stories have also been de-bunked.  When methenol occurs naturally in foods, it isn't nearly of the concentration experienced when consuming aspartame.  Further, you will find most 'pro-aspartame' studies have been funded by Searle, Monsanto, NutraSweet, etc.  There are many links at this site: http://www.dorway.com including links regarding these 'studies'.  Could perhaps SOME of the anti-aspartame claims be exaggerated?  I suppose so, but that doesn't really matter to ME.  I just wanted to stop what was causing my problems.

I have personally dealt with about thirty people that have had aspartame-related symptoms, and they (as well as me) will tell you it's definately NOT 'an urban myth' that aspartame can cause many problems.

Speaking pragmatically, what harm does it do to try eliminating it from one's diet, since the symptoms have gone un-diagnosed for many people here?  I certainly wish someone would have suggested this to me ten years (and many many thousands of dollars) ago!
Avatar universal
Well I am going to quit using products containing aspartame and I will post in one week to let  everyone know how I feel.  To see if it is the cause of my problems.
Avatar universal
i had my last child in 98 and started drinking diet sodas and eating suger-free stuff..i bagan to have hair loss and found cysts on my ovaries. the hair loss has increased (and no i dont have thyroid problems or am losing my hair from genetics.i just recieved a abnormal mammo and pap...i am only 43 and i know age catches up with you but i have alot of the symptoms of aspartame poisoning. do some more research and you will find it is NOT a good thing AVOID it!
Avatar universal
I too like you have had an abnormal pap and mammo, I am only 25 years old, I have had surgery for the abnormal pap and as for the mammo, I now have cysts in my breast (both). I to suffered from hair loss, but since I stopped my birth control and drinking aspartame, I no longer lose hair. I believe that my birth control that I was on was the cause of a lot of my problems, but I also believe that I suffered double the problems because of the aspartame.  I would have never thought something that was supposed to be so good for me, has ended up being so bad.
Avatar universal
For what it's worth -
A few years ago, I was working in the snackbar of major chain store.  The sweetener packets came in bulk (box bigger than a shoe box, but not as tall).  That box was stored in a cabinet under the counter, and we would access it from time to time to refill countertop containers.  One day, the manager of the department decided to transfer the contents of the box into another storage container.  While I was moving the packets from the box, as I neared the bottom, I was amazed to discover the skeletal remains of what probably had been a mouse.  No hair - just white bones.... (food for thought)

(I know that sugar isn't healthy either, but I'll take my chances with the more "natural" over the great and wonderful diet aids of our modern time!)
Avatar universal
I have a spinal problem which causes various neuroligical symptoms,mainly autonomic,I know and have repeated it several times inadvertantly that if I consume anything containing aspartamine I can definitely feel the effects it has,I'm usually quite unwell for a couple of days.AVOID IT.
Avatar universal
I have been doing a lot of research over the years on artificial sweeteners. It started last year when I attended my first weight watchers meeting. I lost 30lbs in about 6-8weeks and I have kept it off for almost 2 years.
I have my masters in nursing and an ass in culinary arts.
I believe many people can experinece some side effects with artifical sweeteners when consumed in high amounts, with any thing consumed it should be in moderation. Think of what the side effects form drinking 10 cups of coffee would be, or the sugar high from 10 candy bars.
A lot of the information you find on the internet is from odd sources, websites that state "as told by a medical doctor". The most reliable resources on the internet come from .org or .gov There are millions of people who consume artificial sweeteners daily especially diabetics who have little choice, and they expeirence no side effects. I think some people are sensitive to the byproducts!
Someone has stated one of the byproducts is methanol, according to research I found at the librabry there is more methanol in one glass of wine than 6 diet sodas. The other byproducts are phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
In my research I found that Saccharin (Sweet & Low) had the fewest byproducts and yet we were quick to judge and now it is found in very few foods.
I feel that a Crystal Light is a much healthier choice for my children than a regular soda. However they almost alway choose water.
Society is not overweight from drinking diet soda rather from consuming double size portaions. I know that most are not familiar with weight watchers by I am 5'5" so my daily point allowance to maintain my weight of 125lbs is 22. A Whopper Jr with cheese, med fry and regular soda is 24!
Overall I do not promote artifical sweeteners, but they did help me with my weight loss by choosing a sugar free snack and 2 or 3 points over a 7 point regular size snickers and lets face it diabetics are not giving up sweets so rather than throw them into diabetic ketoacidosis I tell them it has to be sugar free.
Avatar universal
I am a 33 year old woman who fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a concussion, whiplash and nerve damage.  I have dealt with chronic headaches for 3 years now.  I've seen numerous doctors in every field imaginable with no luck.  I started seeing an ONDAMED specialist under recommendation & we figured out that there are two reasons why I haven't healed.  I never had headaches b/f this fall, due to bedrest I had gained some extra weight and to lose the weight I decided to use Crystal light, diet soda, snacks etc.  She asked me the one question every doctor should ask and that is..........What are you consuming?  Something is poisoning you!!  I have so many toxins in my body from that garbage that I could end up with a disease/illness such as brain tumor, cancer, etc.  That stuff in biochemical warfare!!  It's liquid poison!!    I have to detoxify my body or I will be at risk for this.  I have an article about it from my doctor, I've given a copy to everyone I know.  We should all be aware of the bad things they're allowed to put into our foods.  Go organic whenever you can.  Educate yourself, read the labels on everything!!!    
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm 28 and from Ireland. I have just read all these posts after watching the documentary on aspartame. One thing that people should be aware of is that just because the government tells you something is safe it isnt necessarily so. You have to look at the background players and  question these statements. In the past we have been told somethings are safe only to discover years later that they are not. About a year ago I was drinking about 4 cans of coke a day, I was having panic attacks, headaches, irritability, back pain and I still drink soft drinks but not as much, I have noticed that when I do drink them I come home and spend the day in pain, my nerves are irritated, my legs ache constantly. I think I'm going to cut out food with MSG, aspartame and phenelananine and see what happens. What really bothers me is the fact that food is so badly labelled. Is there any where I can get a list of foods that contain these ingredients and also what other names these additives are disguised under? We are being decieved .
Avatar universal
I have had bouts of swelling and hives most of my adult life.  I keep going to the doctors and they tell me it is stress that is causing my antibodies to react.  I have drunk 3-6 diet cokes a day since I was 16 years old.  I went to an allergist last year as the swelling was occuring every day.  So much so that I could not put on even my tennis shoes!  He tested me, no allergies to speak of, but gave me allegra to take anyhow.  I took it and it wasn't seeming to help much.  But then my husband told me about his friends brother ( an emt at that) who had been paralyzed so they diagnosed him with ms.  He had quit drinking diet (Aspartame) and soon was able to walk. I read about acetaminaphin and had said no more DIE-t soda for me.  I am amazed at all the foods with asparteme in them!  Anyhow, the swelling and hives did slow down tremendously.  I had forgotten about this though, and with age comes weight gain so I thought that diet may not be a bad choice.  We were driving out of town and stopped at a fast food joint.  Soon after I had drank the diet soda, the whole left side of my face went numb, I had shooting pains in my left arm and chest.  I started feeling all panicky.  I told my husband, and he said I thought that was why you had quit diet soda?  I had never had such an experience with the numbness like that before, the panic feeling but not the numbness.  I WILL NOT TOUCH THAT STUFF AGAIN!!  I would rather be fat and alive than skinny and dead!!!  I just hope that years of ingesting that **** hasn't ruined my body too bad!!  Doctors don't even mention it and I can't wait to tell my doctors about it.  Now I am sure it was the asparteme!  
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