aspartame again

Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for RLS/WED (methods of relief that don't involve swallowing or injecting anything), including compression, heat, light, stretches, acupuncture, etc. Also under this heading, medical interventions that don't involve the administration of a medicine to the body (eg. varicose-vein operations, deep-brain stimulation). [This forum contains Topics started prior to 2009 that deal with Non-prescription Medicines, Supplements, & Diet.]
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aspartame again

Post by caviator »

Hi all,

Thank you for this discussion board. I know that aspartame has come up in several posts, but I wanted to tell you about my experience.

I've had RLS symptoms as long as I can remember, but they started getting worse a few years ago. (I'm now 32). About one year ago, they got way out of control and crept into the middle of the day. A twitch started in my left arm that got out of control, too.

I went to the doc and he had me try Sinemet first. No good. Had the augmentation that so many have described. So, he had me try Requip next. I didn't like the side effects of that either, and they started right away. I was having very shallow sleep and getting up several times a night. The legs weren't bothering me, but what does it matter if I can't sleep?

The doc asked me to recount everything that had changed in the last year. I started exercising more regularly, and eating better. I lost weight because of that. And I started drinking diet soda. There it was. :shock: I don't think there is any solid connection that has been clinically proven, but several people have said that taking aspartame coincides with worse RLS symptoms. Add me to that list!

I stopped taking anything with Aspartame (that I know of) about two weeks ago. I've already had a drastic improvement. I still twitch a little while trying to get to sleep, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was even two weeks ago. Everything feels less tense, less twitchy, and so on.

Anecdotal evidence? You bet. Will I ever drink diet soda again? Never.

While I'm here, I'd also like to share two things that always help me. Swimming and sitting in a sauna. Even better: both in the same day. My legs are never as still and calm as they are after 15 minutes in a hot sauna, especially in the evening.

Thanks again for this resource, and get some sleep everyone! :)


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Post by trevb »

great to hear youve got it sorted, well done for your detective work, and thanks for the time taken to post.

it never ceases to amaze me how we are all so different even though we have the same condition... you find saunas help vs i cant cope with saunas very well as the heat makes my rls worse!!!!!

welcome to the forum!!

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aspartame and just about anything else

Post by SJ »

My experience with Requip is pretty much the same as yours. But it was the only drug that the DR found that did anything. He added valium to it and I got shallow sleep and woke up several times a night. I was grateful that I did not have to spend the night pacing the floor. I have noticed that it doesn’t take much to up set the brains chemical balance. A few weeks ago I cut back on my meds because I found a nutritional supplement (that I now sell, so don’t even ask) that helped ME tremendously. HOWEVER, I recently tried Tension Tamer Tea. I woke up 5 times that night and it has taken me a week to start sleeping even nearly as well as I had been. The same thing happened with a new multi-vitamin. I do believe we are all so very different. I gave up aspartame on the advice of this message board or at least because some declared it a possible problem. I haven’t noticed any improvement probably I am still getting over the Tension tamer tea. Keep trying and only make one change at a time so you can maybe have a reason for your reaction.

"Health is worth more than learning."
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
If you never try anything new, nothing will ever change"

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Post by LadyLarke »

rats! I couldn't do without my aspertame lol. I am an avid coffee drinker, perhaps my last really bad habit (quit smoking last april). I use sugar twin or equal as a sweetner. I'm sure caffiene can't be good for RLS, but aspertame too? *cry* I like to drink diet sodas the odd time. And with the new coke zero, that's no caleries or fat. If you can tolerate the aspertame.

I too recently changed diet and started going to a gym 2-3 times a week. But that was to try to strengthen my back and stomach muscles. I have a mild scoliosis and until I started going to that gym, it was seriously difficult for me to stand long enough to do the dishes, let alone anything else. The weight loss is bonus!

Taking aspartame out of my diet will have to be a last resort for me. But thank you for the info, it has definately been *noted* by me.
Warm Regards,

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Post by jrowley »

Shannon, if it were me I would give it for sure basiclly if you look it up aspartame can kill you after periods of time of using it. Here is a list of things it can cause for symtoms and a list of diseases it mimics:

Abdominal Pain
Anxiety attacks
Asthmatic Reactions
Bloating, Edema (Fluid Retention)
Blood Sugar Control Problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia)
Brain Cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals)
Breathing difficulties
burning eyes or throat
Burning Urination
can't think straight
Chest Pains
chronic cough
Chronic Fatigue
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
feel unreal
flushing of face
Hair Loss (Baldness) or Thinning of Hair
Headaches/Migraines dizziness
Hearing Loss
Heart palpitations
Hives (Urticaria)
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Impotency and Sexual Problems
inability to concentrate
Infection Susceptibility
Joint Pains
"like thinking in a fog"
Marked Personality Changes
Memory loss
Menstrual Problems or Changes
Migraines and Severe Headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake)
Muscle spasms
Nausea or Vomiting
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Other Allergic-Like Reactions
Panic Attacks
poor memory
Rapid Heart Beat
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Swallowing Pain
Vision Loss
Weight gain

Aspartame Disease Mimics Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Parkinson's Disease
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Alzheimer's Disease
Birth Defects
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Panic Disorder
Depression and other Psychological Disorders

Knowing this I think that would be enough for me. fortunetly I don't drink or eat anything with it as I used it with my son when he was little and he developed the seizure type symptoms so I quit giving it to him and the symptoms went away. At that point I told myself if I have to drink diet pop then I will not drink pop at all.

Aspartame turns to poison when heated to 86 degrees F. Which means it instantly turns to poison when it goes into your body as your internal body temp is that of 86 or higher at most times.

How it happens:

Methanol, from aspartame, is released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin (Stegink 1984, page 143). Free methanol begins to form in liquid aspartame-containing products at temperatures above 86 degrees F.. also within the human body.

The methanol is then converted to formaldehyde. The formaldehyde converts to formic acid, ant sting poison. Toxic formic acid is used as an activator to strip epoxy and urethane coatings. Imagine what it does to your tissues!

Phenylalanine and aspartic acid, 90% of aspartame, are amino acids normally used in synthesis of protoplasm when supplied by the foods we eat. But when unaccompanied by other amino acids we use [there are 20], they are neurotoxic.

That is why a warning for Phenylketonurics is found on EQUAL and other aspartame products. Phenylketenurics are 2% of the population with extreme sensitivity to this chemical unless it's present in food. It gets you too, causing brain disorders and birth defects! Finally, the phenyalanine breaks down into DKP, a brain tumor agent.

In other words: Aspartame converts to dangerous byproducts that have no natural countermeasures. A dieter's empty stomach accelerates these conversions and amplifies the damage. Components of aspartame go straight to the brain, damage that causes headaches, mental confusion, seizures and faulty balance. Lab rats and other test animals died of brain tumors.

Very interesting to me if I dont say so. I'm with caviator in you might want to think twice on how much aspartame you take into your body. RLS or not.
Jan :roll: Can't wait to sleep!


Post by Guest »

good grief! I had no idea. The in-laws claimed they'd heard that sugar twin had carconogenic (sp?) properties. But I figured you had to have a good amount of it. What doesn't now days anyway? And what isn't considered bad for you either. Everything seems bad for you.

I use aspertame as a sugar replacement. I guess maybe sugar isn't such a bad thing when you list all those symptoms. So maybe I'll start using sugar again instead... geesh.

Thanks for the info. Really!

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Post by jrowley »

also they say that a lot of ppl will do a diet coke ect... because they are on a diet but according to studies aspartame will make you gain weight. goofy I have always been a firm believer that if it is man made it cant possibly be good for you. So I try to avoid any food that is man made. Eat only foods that come from the ground or tree or barn yard (well not so much anymore) I even worry sometimes about the hot house foods but I guess if that is as close to natural we can get cause of the poisons being put into our land then we go that route. But if a man made it in a labortory no way stay far away from it. lol Anyway good luck to you
Jan :roll: Can't wait to sleep!

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sugar substitute

Post by SJ »

That is a very informative posting. I will send it on to many people. Do you know about xylitol? It is the sweetner used in some chewing gums because it is good for your teeth. It costs about $25.00 for 4 1/2 lbs. I also understand there is a less expensive sweetner called stevia available in health food stores. You will have to Google to find these products. I have tried xylitol at a friends house but I don't sell it. Any one know about these sugar substitutes?

If you never try anything new, nothing will ever change"

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Post by jrowley »

Sj here is a web site you might find interesting according to it stevia is a very natural safe substatute.

Good on this link they are compairing the two.
Jan :roll: Can't wait to sleep!

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Post by Heronak »

I've had the same experience with aspertame worsening my daytime RLS. I never have used it much, but some days I'll have a diet coke in the afternoon to stay awake. Bad news, symptoms will start almost immediately. Sometimes even gum with aspertame will trigger symptoms. Ahh, but if only that were the only trigger, life would be so much better! Best,



Post by Guest »

My initial reaction to aspertame was negative when it first came out, long before anyone had any stats on it being bad for you. I'm thankful now that it made me feel "funny" so I never got in the habit of consuming it. I believe that it's a very unhealthy substance, not just for RLS. My own personal research (and anecdotal evidence from people I know personally) supports the type of list Jan Rowley (hi, Jan) posted earlier.

I think that we might all be wise to be wary of sucralose (Splenda) as well. Preliminary research (by other than the company manufacturing it) looks problematic, and I'm especially concerned because not only is it being "hidden" in many "health" foods, it's being marketed directly to parents for children, whose small bodies and long-time exposure could put them at greater risk if sucralose turns out to have dangers.

With artificial sweeteners, fat replacements, etc. (and even some medications) seems like "if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is." It seems like a good idea to at least make conscious decisions about these things.



My two cents

Post by jumpy »

Hi there,

I just joined the discussion board in hopes of finding a 'natural' cure for my 'jumpy legs'. I'm 34 and have had rls since I was a kid...yes, everyone just thought I was an itch too! I am still looking into alternatives to going on meds for the rls, but I would like to offer what i have learned over the years. Going on Paxil made my RLS go through the roof! I mean I literally went from mild RLS to feeling like sawing my legs off at night...sleeping was impossible until I got off of the Paxil. I have to take a hot bath every single night of my life...sometimes twice a night...or I won't sleep. I live a very healthy lifestyle and make sure I get a long walk/light jog just about every day. Thanks to the person who offered his/her thoughts on the soda is my only vice and I'm thinking the days I drink it might make the rls worse...will let you know what I find. Thanks to everyone who posts their suggestions.

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Post by becat »

Hi and Welcome,
You may really like to look at Jill Gunzel's website THe RLS REBEL.
She got tons of alternative ideas.


Post by Jumpy »

Thanks Becat...loved the RLS Rebel website...never really thought about it being more of a mental thing. What a great site...thanks again! BTW, tonight I'm trying a test: drank more aspartame than usual today, but I also painted all day and feel so physically tired...but a good healthy, worked-the-body-hard kind of tired. I don't feel jumpy yet now that I'm sitting at the computer (which is rare), so I'm thinking this may rule out the aspartame theory and further confirm the benefits of both being physically and mentally tired. Every night is a test. Sleep well everyone and love that this site and discussion board exists!


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