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Splenda® Case History - BL's story

Dear Dr. Hull,

Thank you so much for your work. I stopped drinking diet sodas with aspartame over a year ago and my morning migraines disappeared!!

However, I soon after began drinking Ice Drinks, a flavored water product with Splenda® and I used Splenda copiously in cooking and tea. I was sure that the Splenda was all right and that the migraines were: acetaminiphen rebound, ibuprofen rebound, hotdog headaches, or even onion headaches.

When I couldn't get Ice Drinks for several months, the headaches ceased. Then I got back home where I go to Costco all the time and stocked up! I started wondering, could it be the Ice Drinks? I stopped, and lo and behold my headaches stopped!! I've been eating MSG in small doses, hotdogs at Costco, onions, acetaminophen---still no headaches!!

During the whole aspartame and Splenda period my blood pressure elevated to 145 over 100 and I was taking depressing blood pressure meds. I went to an expensive migraine doctor and he gave me medication which caused diarrhea for 6 months without knowing what caused it! What a joy!! I now have blood pressure 120/80, no diarrhea, no headaches!

Please ask your readers for their experiences!! Please let me know if there's more evidence on Splenda!!

Much love and thanks,


Posted on January 10, 2006 in Splenda Toxicity | Link To This Entry | Comments (26)


Posted by: Frank Smith on February 3, 2006 1:05 PM

I find this very interesting.....I've stopped drinking coffee at work because of the amount of sugar and creamer the stuff takes to make it taste good. I have since started drinking Green Tea with splenda...and I usually drink it all day...(8 cups or so, 2 packets of splenda in each). Well about 2 months ago I was donating blood to bonfils and they do a courtesy blood pressure check and out of the blue I was 159 over 98. I was in shock...I consider myself as healthy as they get...never sick and never had any signs of High blood pressure. Then I started getting headaches and thinking all of this was brought on by the stress of expecting my first child.....I kept drinking green tea and splenda....because my girlfriend says it's healthier than sugar. Well my pounding head and curiosity brought me her.....I'm done with splenda starting today....I will report back the results in about a week.


Posted by: Sandra on February 16, 2006 12:55 PM

I have only just become aware of the possible dangers of Splenda. Here is my story.
In the summer of 2004, a friend remarked to me that aspartame was "bad for you". I was using Sweet N Low at the time and while that does not have aspartame, I felt it prudent to switch to the new sugar substitute touted as being from "sugar" and natural. This new substitute was Splenda.
I will try to document health issues I have had since using Splenda.
1. Skin rash
Rash does not itch, appears on both arms
and chest, some on thighs. Rash does not respond to antihistimines. It only mildly responds to topical steriod creams in that they appear less red but do not go away. The only thing that makes them go away is a full shot of medrol or some other steroid combination. I have had at least 4 of these shots the last year and a half. Skin biopsy showed "lymphocyte" attaching to red blood cells.
As of Feb 2006, rash is still present.
2. Weight gain
I have put on at least 16 pounds and very quickly during the last year and a half. This while continuing to eat very little and following the Zone diet. While I was a huge fan of the Zone diet and was a size 4 back in the Sping of 2004, I incorporated other forms of foods and am now a size 10. I have been exercising heavily three times a week in a Interval cardio/weight training class since November of 2005. Weight did not budge. Felt better...but weight still the same. All the while I continued to use Splenda.

3. Hematuria
Micropscpic blood and small amounts of protein found in my urine. Went to Urologist and had a cat scan of well as a cystoscopy. Currently waiting on test results for cancer screening....but fully expect it to be negative. Hematuria and protein amounts are not longer in my urine (as of Feb 2006). Kidney stone discovered in my kidneys.

4. Thyroid
TSH levels low, T3 and T4 also borderline low. Strange combination. One would expect low TSH levels would result in high T# and T4.
Ultrasound of thyroid indicated mild goiter with a small colloid cyst on isthmus.
I would often have a slight gag if something was lodged in my throat. As of Febe 2005, gag response seems to have gone away. My doctor thinks my thyroid was/is sick and is responding to something going on in my body as oppose to any clinical hyper/hypo thryroidism. I think she is right.

5. Gallium scan performed to see if there was any infection or inflammation in my body. There was none that showed up on scan.

6. Bloating
Just very very bloated..........
7. Diarhea
Excessive.....but to date this has been resolved.
8. Stool anaylysis
Showed hyperactive pancreas.........
9. Ph of blood is slightly acidic
10. Heavy metals test showed elevated levels of Aluminum and Arsenic!!! Good minerals depleted.
Currently in the middle of a heavy metals challenge test. Arsenic could be "fish arsenic".

11. Fatigue.
I went thru a period of time when I could have slept all day.
12. Vision
Blurry vision ...but so subtle that at first I did not notice it.
13. General puffiness all over, especially in face and below eyes.
14. Irritable....mental fogginess......
15. Hormones
Very high testosterone........light hair growth on arms and face that started suddenly in the summer of 2004. AFter starting Splenda.
16. Elisa test indicates strong lymphocytic reactions to nitrates and sulphites. Test was performed to see what my lymphocytes are reacting to.

17. Blood food and metal allergy test did not indicated anything other than egg whites......and pineapple....
18. Never seem to experiece "hunger pain" per se. Loss of real appetite but with weight gain. So very strange!

19. Immune system compromised....IGA low.
All of that said...and I am sure there are some things I have forgotten to write down....I went thru a period of time where I urinated all the least 24 times a day. Then it was as if I was not eliminating much at all. Kidney function seems to have changed somewhat. Kidney enzymes seem to be normal but still......

My doctor is wonderful and we have eliminated most everything else from my diet that could be the culprit
Last Saturday...Feb. 11, 2006, I decided to get off of all Splenda. Within 24 hours I no longer felt as bloated. That was enough for me to think that all of my problems have been caused by Splenda. I still have the rash....and have resisted taking another steroid shot since that can depress the thyroid....but am anxious to see if topical steroid creams will be effective since I have eliminated the Splenda.
ALL of my endeavors above were to figure out what was/is causing my rash/bloating and weight gain and lack of energy....etc.

I called request their MSDS. They immediately patched me thru to their medical review board. I thought it odd....that they had a medical review board on a toll free customer service number. I spoke with a pharmacist...who took my history. This person verified that others had called in about rashes. ....LOTS of people.

I can link my problems to the time frame that I "switched" to Splenda. Coincidence? Don't know yet.....but if things clear up I will let you know.
I used about 10 packets a drinking aspartame in my Diet Coke, which I have also eliminated. Could Splenda and aspartame have caused all of this.


Posted by: Anna on March 6, 2006 12:14 PM

I was convinced that Splenda was the best sugar substitute ever invented. I used it in everything. I drink about 5 cups of coffee daily and uses 4 packs in each cup(thats a lot). Also I would buy diet coke sweetened with Splenda. Would drink water with lemon and Splenda. There are even receipes on how to make desserts sweetened with splenda to cut calories which I would also use.Been using Splenda for about a year now. All of a sudden I start hurting in the kidney area. thought I had kidney stones(had it before pain was the same)I went to my doctor had all kinds of test blood test, ct scan, urine test everything came out normal. I'm in constant pain. Lower back lower stomach like a rope tied around my waist and being pulled very tight. All test I have had came out normal, they can't find a thing wrong with me despite the fact I'm in severe pain most of the time.A friend of mine told me about the dangers of splenda so I stopped using it. It's been 2 days now but I'm still the same. Does anyone know how long does it take to get out of your body before you start to feel any change? Keep in mind that I used a lot of the stuff in just one day. I don't know what to do anymore. I've been missing work without a doctors excuse because he says I'm fine.Don't know what to do anymore or who to turn to for help and answers.


Posted by: Aimee on March 11, 2006 2:10 PM

Has anyone experienced weight gain in correlation with using more Slenda in their diet?
I have gained 10 extra pounds in the last few months and the only thing I have done different is start using Splenda in my coffee. I stopped today and am going back to regular sugar.


Posted by: Robert Pinkus on March 16, 2006 11:02 AM

Why do these stories sound like "old wives tales'?


Posted by: Anonymous on March 22, 2006 11:11 PM


I hope your kidneys are back to normal. I have sensitive kidneys, because I had several kidney infections and basically if I eat the wrong stuff my right kidney aches. It took only one Atkins bar with sucralose to make it hurt severely in less than an hour.

A good recipie is to soak Adzuki beans overnight with plenty of filtered or mineral water and boil them in that water and then drink the water. According to the chinese and Japanese Adzuki beans strengthen the kidneys and in my experience this helps me a lot. It has been three days and I still have the pain, though...I started today on the Adzuki bean water, and hoping it will go away soon.


Posted by: Margaret on March 26, 2006 12:06 AM

I too thought SPLENDA was a Godsend. NO calories and SO delicious--I was dumping it in everything: oatmeal, cereal, coffee, lemon water, tea, etc, etc...all day!

I recently went to see a homeopathic doctor because I had this funny skin rash on my face that did not get better after traditional medical treatment (i.e. antibiotics). He ran a series of allergy tests on me: when tested on SPLENDA, my body's adverse reaction to it was off the charts (on a scale of 0-100 (0=no allergy, and 100=extreme allergy) the only two substances I reacted to were cow milk (72) and SPLENDA (100!!!)).

I used to be glad when I noticed more and more products being introduced/reintroduced incorporating SPLENDA. Now I cringe! Buyer beware!

Best of life and health to all!


Posted by: Lucy Parker Watkins on March 26, 2006 8:01 AM

Dear Sandra,

It's hard to say if Splenda caused all your issues, however you were clearly using more than the amount listed as safe by the FDA (read the back of your Splenda box.)

Many of your complaints are common to both Splenda and aspartame. We are eager to hear how your health has changed since you quit using chemical sweeteners.



Posted by: Lucy Parker Watkins on March 26, 2006 8:04 AM

Dear Anna,

The fact that your doctors didn't find anything in the tests tells us you are on the right path. What Dr. Hull has seen over the last 15 years is that those people with undiagnosable health symptoms are usually the ones who are having reactions to chemical sweeteners.

The good news is, if they doctors haven't found anything specific that means it is not likely there is permanent damage.

How are your symptoms now that you've stopped using Splenda?



Posted by: Lucy Parker Watkins on March 26, 2006 8:11 AM

Dear Robert,

An "Old Wives' Tale" is a superstitious belief based on folklore. These stories are nothing close to that. People are truly experiencing health challenges in relation to consuming artificial sweeteners.

We receive emails every day from people who lose health while using artificial sweeteners only to regain their health when they stop consuming them.

It is frustrating for many consumers because their doctors can't find anything diagnosable and they usually have little info about these chemicals. So, while people are pursuing what they are told are healthy alternatives, they often see a decline in their health. Overall, there is clear improvement when these people stop consuming chemical sweeteners.

Additionally, old wives' tales don't usually have independent research to back it up.



Posted by: Cheryl on March 27, 2006 3:15 PM

Here's my story:
Had Splenda with tea (twice a day) for a year, no problem. Then started drinking Splenda laced flavored water...the trouble began.
1. heart palpitations
2. breathlessness
3. panic attacks
4. hot flashes (severe)- skin felt hot to the touch.
5. insomnia
6. lost period completely
7. weight gain.

I noticed the heart palpitations got worse after drinking the Splenda water and finally (after several months) put it together. I stopped Splenda, and in about a week ALL of the above symptoms went away.
I believe it affected my Thyroid, although I should have lost weight, but my appetite increased, so I ate more and put weight on.
The funny thing is I JUST went to the gyno and the nurse was complaining how hot she was, and I told her my ordeal. She told me that this is exactly what she is now going thru and will now stop with the Splenda. I also have a friend who told me that she can't drink the flavored water b/c she gets palpitations. Hmmmmm. I think something is up with this stuff. I have since switched to Stevia (read about this all natural sweetener).


Posted by: Brad on March 27, 2006 8:05 PM

You may also want to consider cutting back on your caffeine intake. 5 cups of coffee plus and additional Coke products would definitely have an effect on your kidneys, caffeine is a diuretic. In response to the site in general I am a food science major (everyone can boo) and I think that there are definitely some interesting points here regarding the effects that Splenda MAY be having on health, but like Sandra, most of the other "case studies" have other identifiable problems, either with nutrition or product usage. I am not saying that I entirely discredit what is written, I am in no position to disagree with anyone's personal experience. But to the person doing research on this product and its health effects, you should probably consider actual scientific evidence. I would be just as skeptical reading something written by Tate and Lyle or Monsanto if it could not supported with objective, repeatable scientific data.


Posted by: AnnShahin on April 24, 2006 6:01 AM

Oh my God! I can't believe the comments about the rash that won't go away and Splenda may be the cause. I have had a rash in my private area now for about a year and a half, none of the doctors could diagnose what was wrong with me (I've been to 4). I went to my gynecologist first who sent me to a dermatologist, she also could not figure out what was wrong so I went to another with no success. I was given one cream treatment after another, sometimes the symptoms would get slightly better but they always came back. My primary care physician tested for every possible venereal disease under the sun and they all came back negative. It truly has been a frustrating journey not to know what could possibly be wrong. I am a healthy 46 year old and now that you mention it I have also noticed rapid weight gain since starting to use Splenda. Getting back to the rash for some reason yesterday it came to me that I have been using Splenda for about as long as my symptoms have been around, so I decided this morning to research it. The rash symptoms that one of the ladies described sound like exactly what I have. I will stop using Splenda today and see if finally my rash will go away. I will come back and post in 30 Days. Thank you for opening my eyes.


Posted by: Cathy on July 5, 2006 1:29 PM

For the last 2 years I have been having muscle pains and doctors do not know what it is. Pressure points for fibromyalgia do not correlate with me. After reading everybody's comments I'm wondering if Splenda is causing my body pains.


Posted by: Brenda on July 7, 2006 7:00 AM

I suddenly have had lots of inflammation and muscle stiffness. Doctors say they can find nothing wrong with me. It has been a year and I have been wondering if splenda could be the culprit. I had a metals test done and my arsenic level is off the charts. I've been trying to determine where I came in contact with arsenic. I just started a detox which will last for 2 months. Any one else have stiffness and inflammation?


Posted by: Ryan on July 8, 2006 11:44 PM

Hi: I cut soft drinks from my diet in Sept. '05 after growing up on them, and switched to flavoured water that contains Splenda. I thought nothing of it. In around October I developed an itchy scab on the back of my neck. I scratched it and soon it spread into a rash about an inch in diameter. I tried using various creams, which worked temporarily, but the rash never went away. I left it without consulting a doctor throughout the winter and spring because it didn't grow. Then a couple months ago the same rash developed on my lower back. Both rashes would go through cycles of clearing up and inflamming. That's when I came online, typed in "neck rash" and found this site and others connected with the dangers of Splenda. Another symptom I read was constipation, which I frequently have, but didn't connect it with Splenda. I am very upset that a something advertised as safe would give me this reaction. I stopped drinking the flavoured water yesterday and I'm going to hope the rashes clear up. Thanks for the input from everyone.


Posted by: Peggy Miller on July 9, 2006 6:09 PM

I have been having terrible joint pain and not being able to sleep because I could not lay on my sides. Also just couldn't sleep. I read the aritcle about Splenda in the First magazine. The brain fogginess and irritablity were just starting to get to me. I had all the other symptoms and was seriously scared because I thought I was having heart problems. I have eliminated all artificial sweetners from my diet. I had gastric bypass surgery last October, and I have not lost any weight for the last 2 months. Thank you for the information.


Posted by: Lucy Watkins on July 10, 2006 9:14 AM

Dear Peggy,

Thank you for your comment. I'm thrilled to hear that someone got something from the First For Women article. For whatever reason, the editors chose to switch my story around. While we are thrilled they included it in the magazine, I also wanted to set the record straight. You can find the real story at

Some of the differences in the stories include the fact I was never diagnosed with endometriosis (they never found proof of it), I wasn't trying to lose weight, etc.

Good luck to you. I hope you feel better soon!



Posted by: Jaclyn on July 14, 2006 9:16 AM

I recommend doing a oxygen based colon cleanse, and Candida sweep, then a liver cleanse. This will help clear out the built up chemical toxins which has slowed the phase 2 process of liver toxin filtration. This is the first step in cleaning out and repairing your digestive system and strengthening your immune system as well. I recommend oxypowder, and three lac to start, and a heavy metal cleans wouldn't hurt, as a prevention mechanism for memory loss. If you're worried about heart trouble due to imbalance of sodium and potasium or overall cellular mineral balance I would recomend reading about and suplementation with cell salts (tissue remidies). Are you eating at least 75% organic?


Posted by: fred koenig on July 29, 2006 7:23 PM

I ate about 1/3 of a small 22 oz frozen pie that says "sweetened with splenda" on the box. that was approx. 1 hour ago and finally I think my vision is returning after getting VERY blurry!
I am healthy, not overweight and have always had excellent vision. I hope all products that contain this stuff have the splenda label promenently on them so I can avoid it in the future


Posted by: Lisa on September 8, 2006 1:36 AM

I just began using SPLENDA this week, started on Monday and today is Thursday, so only 4 days total!! And I only used 2 teaspoons each day. After only 3 days I began to notice the roof of my mouth is irritated, my tongue is slightly swollen and the inside of my mouth around my lips is irritated as well. Today is the fourth day and the irritation has increased. I am definitely stopping the use of SPLENDA tomorrow morning!! Sugar may have the calories and carbs.. but at least it is safe in moderation!!


Posted by: NOELA on October 2, 2006 3:02 PM

I have been drinking sodas with Splenda. After I eat and drink a diet soda... I experience dizziness, blurred vision, heart palpations, stomach pain and my throat closing. I thought it was the food I was eating. But I have discovered that if I eat with just water, I'm fine. I need to know if I have made the right connection


Posted by: Pam C. on October 4, 2006 4:44 PM

Hi, Thank you for this site. I have been violently ill for many months really. To make a long story short, here is a quick brief past history of my Splenda and aspartame consumption. I am 43 years old and have always been an avid consumer of Diet Coke in particular. As a matter of fact, I am the type who has to have something in my hand to drink, basically all the time. Since my late teens I have drank diet sodas, and have eaten every new "low cal" food on the market in hopes of maintaining a slimmer "me". I must admit for years I have suffered from constant headaches, very severe body aches, severe depression, panic and anxiety attacks, that have been absolutely debillitating, amongst other symptoms of which seem minor in comparison to my myriad of many syptoms. Recently, I switched from drinking quite a large consumption of diet sodas (maybe at times 6-8 cans per day to Propel Fitness water. For about 2 months I have drank 4-5 Propel water per day and loved the taste. About 3-4 weeks ago, I found myself at the hospital and after approximately 5-6 different doctors later-- very ill with symptoms of profuse sweating, kidney and lower stomach(lower around the groin area)pain,nausea, some occasional vomiting, headache, and severe--severe itching, especially on the arms, stomach, and pelvic area and a HUUUGE bloated stomach. Upon the initial exam after a routine set of x-rays, MRI, lab tests, I was diagnosed with having kidney stones(about 10+ in each kidney). About a week went by, and I had been referred to a Urologist, Gyn, etc. for repeat scans, lab tests, and the list goes on an on forever, I was found to have passed the tiny stones spotted on scan prior. he urologist was so puzzled along with the medical doctors because I really had nothing quote "on paper" wrong with me. I did not even have evidence of any blood in the urine. Well, after this I still continued to have absolutely astounding pain in the lower kidney area, and the itching on my upper arms and below my breasts on my trunk had become much much worse. I was itching so bad that I thought I was going insane and my arms had scar like tissue from the scrating in my sleep(that is when I could sleep).Also,without a doubt my bone, joint pain was so severe that I found myself bed ridden for days at a time and would be crying in agonzing pain to my husband. My husband was goind crazy I do believe, and in my opinion thought I was really going crazy, or was making all this up and being paranoid. I had been to maybe 6 different doctors by this time, and the only thing they could find wrong with me on paper,like I say, was that I had extremely elevated liver enzymes and that I had a little hydronephrosis of the kidneys. No one knew what to do, nor did I. All I knew is that I have never been sicker in my entire life ,nor had I ever felt pain to even compare to the bone and joint pain I was experiencing and that I needed to do something. I have to say the pain was more severe that the stones or were as severe as child birth honestly. My lower abdominal pain felt like labor contractions. I had become increasingly upset, and really felt like giving up. I felt discouraged and helpless. Then the old light clicked on in my stubborn head and I remembered my dad always telling me that all that "artificial stuff" was going to kill me one day. He finally got through to me I guess after all this time. I started remembering and thinking on this and to research the potential ill effects of them. I decided to stop them completely for a period of time. I went 12 days without what I think was no consumption of them. I finally started to feel better that I have in years. No one could believe how distended my stomach was. I was so severely bloated I and those around me were highly concerned. I was even pregnancy tested 3 times and found to be not pregnant obviously. My stomach was so swollen that I was very winded and short of breath and could hardly walk around without feeling like I needed to support my stomach. Honestly, I felt like I was dying. ANYWAY-- Needless to say, I finally started feeling better gradually, and started to get enery back, my body aches were so much better, I did not feel any of the previous anxiety attack like symptoms of the past, and just generally felt better than I have felt in years. I even went camping and trail riding a week ago I felt so good. Well-- I did something really dumb 2 nights ago. After feeling as good as I did, I went into a fast food restaurant and filled up a extra large diet drink and wanted to "see what it would do" "just to see"--That's me alright!!. I am the kind of person to had to see for myself if this was the culprit. I loved my diet drinks so much I could not imagine my life without them. Well let me tell you,about 2 hours after consunsming only about one third of the drink, my body began to get excruciating pain in the same areas as before, my headaches started coming, my nausea began, I got a rash on my upper arms with severe itching and have been in bed since with horrible debillitating symptoms. I immediately dumped the soda and will never touch it again. I am feeling better slowly though, and vow to NEVER-EVER use Splenda or aspartame again. If all this sounds a little vague and like it could be from something else, I promise you that I know me and what I put in my body and it is undoubtably nothing but the aspartame/Splenda I promise you!! I have been sick for so long and have spent so much time and money on doctors, tests,psychiatrists, you name the doctor that it would blow your mind. I have this huge ray of hope in my mind and body that if I do not consume these "sweet poisons" that I could live a happy and "free" life again. Thanks to all whom have shared their personal stories. I believe you have come to save my life by making me aware of the dangers you have experienced. Thanks so much. P.S. I would like to know if anyone knows approximately how long it may take for the "chemical" to leave your body once you stop cold turkey. I am just curious and know there is no cure but to quit completely. I am still very ill from the consumption 2 days ago and would like to know. Many thanks and I hope I can help someone possibly, like they have helped me! I really have hope and the will to live again!! Pam


Posted by: crystal on October 13, 2006 9:26 PM

Who knows if we will ever get this stuff out of our systems, or what long term effects it will have on us. I know one thing it really messes with your head. I went to a doctor thinking I was going insane, and was put on anxiety medication. But since I haven't been consuming these man made sweetners I have been so much better. I am just slowly nursing my health back, and hope one day I will be as healthy as I was before I started using these awful poisons.


Posted by: Cece on October 27, 2006 11:37 AM

I use splenda daily and have noticed no changes whatsoever in my health or skin.


Posted by: Vicki on December 4, 2006 2:23 PM

This is very interesting reading....I have been wondering if the way I feel has anything to do with Splenda....I gave up Aspertame years ago, but replaced it with Splenda. I think with my thyroid issues (Graves) I need to cut splenda free. I can do without the sodas, I would use some sugar (maybe raw sugar) in my cooking instead of the splenda....I am to young (53) to be feeling this damn old. Sure hope to read more soon.


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