Aspartame- The culprit (for me, so far)

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.]
KBear
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Postby KBear » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:22 pm

I just discovered that aspartame contains the amino acid phenylalanine which is a stimulant, especially when you combine it with caffiene. Amino acids have a direct influence on brain chemistry which once again confirms the connection between brain chemistry and RLS.

Also of interest 75% of complaints to the FDA regarding negative food reactions are about aspartame.
Kathy

Link to the Mayo Clinic Algorithm:

http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com/pd ... 907Crc.pdf

Oboewan
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Postby Oboewan » Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:27 pm

Hi everyone! I'm new to the boards and hope I'll get around to the "new members" section soon enough to introduce myself properly. I'm so glad to have found this discussion board! As a "diet beverage" drinker myself, I've been trying to cut down on the aspartame too. There are both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi products that use Splenda but I've found that some of the "Zeros" have a combination of Sucralose and Aspartame. My favorite diet drink of choice these days is Arizona Diet Green Tea with Ginseg sweetend with Splenda. No aspartame, no caffeine yet quenches the thirst (and Ginseg for those who care). The Diet Rite sodas also use sucralose and are caffeine free.

Good luck to us all and I look forward to reading and contributing to the boards!

Jeff

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jen13
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Postby jen13 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:56 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome! You're right...aspartame hasn't been friendly to a lot of us. If you like peach, Arizona also makes a diet peach tea sweetened with Splenda. It's pretty good, too.

You may have seen it on previous posts, but another trick I do a lot to get the "feeling" of enjoying a carbonated beverage without the guilt is to put a little bit (a few tablespoonfulls) of natural fruit juice or nectar in the bottom of a glass and then filling it the rest of the way with sparkling water. This combo has really "grown" on me...I love it!

You'll find a lot of great information here, and there are so many great folks (who know a lot more than me!) who can provide great insight and feedback.

FYI, there is a chat room here; those who can join in at 10:00 pm Eastern Time on Monday evenings.

Best of luck to you as well and have a great day!
Jen

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ctravel12
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aspartame - The culprit (for me, so far)

Postby ctravel12 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:34 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome to the group. I cannot contribute any feedback on the aspartame as I drink mostly water. Once in awhile I will indulge in a pop.

With being new to the group it is good to read lot of the old and new posts and go to th forum New To RLS as there is a sticky post "Managing RLS" there may be some good info that will be of some help to you.

Jan13 gave you a nice welcome and we are so glad to have her join this family and once you are here you will see what I mean. It is one of the best support groups here and we are all here to help one another. Like Jan13 said about the chat room. It is fun and we get to know one another and discuss all kinds of subjects and if you have a particular question you want to know about rls, please do not hesitate to ask.

Hope to hear from you often, and again welcome.
Charlene
Taking one day at a time

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SquirmingSusan
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Postby SquirmingSusan » Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:57 am

Hi Jeff, and welcome to the forum.

Funny people should mention aspartame today... I was sick to my stomach all day today and was so, so thirsty for a Diet Coke. Drank half a bottle with my dinner, oh tasted so good. I'm going to have to remember to buy some of the Splenda sweetened stuff for "emergencies." I almost never drink pop. Fortunately it doesn't seem to bother my RLS, though.

Well, I obviously just popped in to ramble incoherently. :roll: Again, welcome.
Susan

lambchop
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It's been 6 months now without Nutrasweet/Aspartame

Postby lambchop » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:39 am

In case anyone out there is interested, I have not ingested any aspartame/Nutrasweet since my first post back in June 21, 2007. My RLS has gone from years and years of daily (usually nightly) RLS episodes to two brief incidences in the past six months, with those episodes being short-lived. Both of those brief RLS episodes were, in my opinion, not as much full blown RLS like I used to have, but more of an anxiety thing. I was so worried I would get an RLS episode that I triggered some sort of psycho-somatic RLS. Both of those times, as soon as I was mentally distracted, the symptoms were gone (unlike the full-blown RSL I used to have). I'm completely convinced that aspartame is the trigger for me but not necessarily for everyone. I used to drink multiple diet sodas on a daily basis. On a side note, I've also noticed a small patch of eczema on my face has disappeared. I've had this spot for at least 15 years and now it's been gone since about two weeks after I stopped aspartame. Personally, I believe the eczema was also being triggered by the aspartame. Anyway, I've replaced diet sodas with seltzer water. No sugar. No aspartame. No sweeteners of any kind. I'm sleeping through the night!! I still continue to drink 2 cups of coffee in the am (no sweetener) and will not ingest any caffeine after 1pm. The absence of RLS symptoms has been an incredible relief for me. I had never really known what it is like to sleep well on a nightly basis until last June. I hope this helps someone else out there.

mackjergens
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Postby mackjergens » Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:43 am

I became diabetic last year and have started drinking diet drinks, so far I have not noticed any change in my RLS.

Sojourner
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Postby Sojourner » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:08 am

Jeff, Welcome to the family. Thanks for your first contribution and look forward to more posts.

Was never a big artificial sweetener fan and, for all practical purposes, gave up diet soft drinks quite more than a year ago. Unfortunately, really did not seem to make a difference in my rls/plm. But, for others maybe so.

Jeff, make a note that we love chat on Monday's about 8 pm EST at the main rls.org site. Join us if you can. Best wishes.

M.
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ViewsAskew
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Postby ViewsAskew » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:02 am

That is so excellent! I hope it stays that way forever.

I have know clue as to why, but maybe aspartame for some people causes a form of "secondary" RLS. For those without a family connection, this might be one of the things to look at first. Like you said, it probably doesn't work for everyone, but it definitely works for some!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

cornelia

Postby cornelia » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:39 am

Don't know if saccharine is the same thing asaspartame, but this is what research has found:

1: Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd. 2007 Jun;114(6):263-6.Links
[Restless legs due to ingestion of 'light' beverages containing saccharine. Results of an N-of-1 trial][Article in Dutch]


de Groot S.
siepdegroot@planet.nl

To determine whether there was a connection between the complaint of restless legs and the ingestion of artificial sweeteners in a patient with these symptoms after drinking certain 'light' beverages, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled N-of-1 trial with a crossover design was used. During a period of 48 days, the patient took 4 capsules per day containing either 150 mg of cyclamate, 22.5 mg of saccharine, both sweeteners, or placebo on two successive days. Between each of these 2-day periods there was a 2-day rest period during which no capsules were taken. The hospital pharmacist had prepared the capsules and determined the sequence of the 2-day periods on a random basis. The patient did not know which capsules he was taking. Every day on arising, starting 3 weeks before the trial period, the patient noted the intensity and duration of the symptoms in the late evening and previous night. For this notation he used an 11-point scale, from 0 (= no restless legs) to 10 (= almost total inability to sleep because of restless legs). A score of 1-3 corresponded to mild symptoms that had no effect on the patient's sleep; at a score of 4-6 his sleep was disturbed and at a score of 7-10 the patient hardly slept at all.The patient had symptoms more often while using saccharine or the combination of saccharine and cyclamate than when taking the placebo (4 and 4 versus 2 of the 6 nights); moreover, the average score was then statistically significantly higher (5.2 and 5.8 versus 3-3). It was concluded that there was a connection between the patient's complaints of restless legs and the use of saccharine, but not the use of cyclamate.

Corrie

Sojourner
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Postby Sojourner » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:07 pm

C, Great find. How do you guys (gals) do that!

M.
This post simply reflects opinion. Quantities are limited while supplies last. Some assembly required.

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SquirmingSusan
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Postby SquirmingSusan » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:47 pm

Very interesting. Thanks Corrie. In the US, saccharine is not used in beverages to my knowledge, and cyclamates were banned years ago. The only place I've seen saccharine is in little packets to sweeten coffee, but it might be elsewhere. It's not the same as aspartame - it would be interesting if someone would study aspartame and RLS.
Susan

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ctravel12
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Postby ctravel12 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:39 am

Hi Jeff I have welcomed you before but please keep us posted on how you are doing. We certainly welcome to hear from you at anytime. Have a wonderful year in 2008.
Charlene

Taking one day at a time


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