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Sheila's Case History

I am 46 and have always struggled to lose weight, but I was always against drinking diet soda because it had aspartame in it and I thought it was poison. I would just drink regular Pepsi on occasion. Then when Splenda® came out and said it was made from sugar and tasted like sugar. I thought finally, a no calorie sweetener that tasted good and wasn't bad for you so I started drinking alot of diet A & W rootbeer in January 2005 when someone left one in my fridge after a Christmas party.

By spring I was having alot of pain in my hips and legs, mainly at night when I went to bed. It felt like nothing I had ever experienced. I could hardly lay on my side to sleep (I only sleep on my side). I was having horrible pains in my legs that would feel really deep in my tissues (could my bones really hurt?) and they would start and increase in intensity for about 30 seconds and stop, and then start
somewhere else.

If I got up to use the bathroom, I could hardly walk. I felt stiff and it was very painful. I thought it was my old mattress, so I got a select comfort bed. That wasn't any better. So I tried a Tempurpedic memory foam bed, which seemed to hurt me just to lay on it. So then I got a latex mattress. Still, nothing helped. I would just lay there saying ow, ow, ow, ow until the pain stopped. I was getting worried that I had something terribly wrong.

I had a CRP test at my regular doctor visit last summer and it was almost 10, which said I had alot of immflamation in my body but they didn't know where it was or why. Around November, I was getting really tired of going to bed and being in such pain, almost to the point of tears, so I started taking 3 aleve and sometimes a vicodin.

In January 2006, I decided I wasn't going to buy any more Pepsi for my family or Root Beer for myself because I was tired of dealing with all the pop cans. I have to rinse them, store them, then haul them to the store for my nickel deposit. My garage was overflowing with pop cans because I hated taking them to the stinky automated bottle return machines. In December, I finally returned all the cans and got back over $50. That also told me I was spending alot of money on pop. A few weeks ago, I realized my leg pains weren't bothering me and stopped taking the Aleve before bed.

At the first of the year, when I quit buying pop, I started drinking water with lemon juice and a tablespoon or so of sugar. The holidays got me going on a sugar binge so I wanted real sugar in it. I was having several a day. After a couple weeks of that, I had to get myself back on tract so I bought a box of Splenda to use in my lemon water.

My legs started to hurt again. I still didn't think there was a connection. My husband saw the box of Splenda on my desk and asked me if I was using that and he said it was really bad for me. I told him no, its made from sugar. So I looked it up and started reading about what it was and how it was made and some of the case histories, and now feel that is why my legs were bothering me so much. When I got to thinking about it and realized that the pains went away shortly after I quit drinking the diet pop and came back when I added the Splenda to my lemon water and stopped again when I realized I was being poisoned and went back to using a small amount of sugar in my lemon water.

It is now the end of January. My hips don't bother me at all and I haven't had the leg pains except for the few days that I used the Splenda in my lemon water.

Now, I'm trying to get my sister-in-law to quit drinking diet sprite. She drinks several cans a day (for years) and has just been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She was just diagnosed after seeing a doctor because she has had diarreah (another side effect of Splenda) for the past year. I think the diet pop has caused immflammation in her intestines and screwed things up a bit and I'm hoping it will go away if she stops drinking the pop. If she has a miracle recovery, I will let you know.

Posted on February 15, 2006 in | Link To This Entry | Comments (18)


Posted by: Shirley Downs on March 22, 2006 1:24 PM

I am so flabbergasted reading about your experience! I have been using Splenda every since I was diagnosed as a diabetic last year. I too was having pain in my hips so bad that I had to sleep on my stomach. I dared not lay on either hip. The pain was excruciating. Sometimes waking me in the middle of the night. I also had to have two or three pain relievers before going to bed, and could hardly walk when I got up out of the bed. I told my doctor about it, because I thought it was the beginning of osteoprorosis. I started having bowel problems and could not figure out what was wrong there. I thought because I am over 50 and am a diabetic, that it had something to do with osteoporosis or the diabetes I would have never associated my problems with the Splenda.

What began my research, is that me and a co-worker just started talking about Splenda and she said her mother stopped taking it because of a bad report about it. Instead of waiting for her to bring me the article, I came back to my office and immediately did a search and came across your website.

Thank you so much for this information. I really must run and tell all the people that I suggested to buy Splenda. That's it for me.


Posted by: Lucy Parker Watkins on March 26, 2006 7:41 AM

Dear Shirley,

You are not alone. Many people are finding themselves facing frightening and painful symptoms associated with Splenda use. We are receiving emails regularly from diabetics who are unable to control their blood sugar levels while using Splenda and many other people suffering joint pain, bowel pain and gas pain.

While Splenda does not cross the blood brain barrier like aspartame does, it still seems to be the cause of many health issues for consumers.

I would suggest that your reaction to Splenda may not just be an allergic reaction. There is a disagreement between researchers, the manufacturers and the FDA about how much of the chlorine in Splenda is absorbed into the system. Of course, the manufacturers say "none" is absorbed, but the FDA suggests 14% or more is absorbed and Japanese research indicates about 40% is absorbed into the system. Chlorine is a known carcinogen and it's abrasive affects very well could cause damage to the intestinal system.

Congratulations on finding a way to improve your health, Shirley!



Posted by: Andrea on April 1, 2006 11:36 PM

I am in shock, I have had the same complaints of deep muscle pain and achiness. I feel like and old women and have started to think I was becoming a cripple . It dawned on me that all this started when I started drinking soda with splenda and has gotten so bad that I thought I was dying, The wierd part is that I was diagnosed with Graves several years ago and wound up having an ablation and now have hypothyroidism and it makes it even worse,,I am off splenda and am waiting to see how things progress


Posted by: Yvonne Salcido on April 4, 2006 7:54 PM

About four years ago, I started using Splenda. I had been hearing all these great things about it, and was glad to find it in the store. I used it in my coffee every morning. I began to feel very weak and tired, but whenever I mentioned this to the doctor, he suggested it was because of my age (over 55) and said I was in good health.
One day I came to work, and I was so weak, one of my co-workers asked me if I was OK, and I said I didn't know. She took me to emergency, and they admitted me and for 3 days ran all kinds of tests. They couldn't find anything wrong with me, and after 3 days on hospital food I began feeling better. When I got home, I went back to the Splenda, and noticed a difference right away. My legs felt like Jello, like they wouldn't hold me up. Any time I have used a product with Splenda in it I feel the same way. I feel like I have to hold on to something to support myself. I will never use Splenda again.


Posted by: Barb Hammond on April 4, 2006 9:15 PM

I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, but none of the anitinflamatories help the pain. I had a gift certificate for a massage, so I went 3-31-06. The young woman was very informative when I explained all the sore spots she was finding. She questioned me on my artificial sweetner intake. I told her I drink a lrg. diet coke every day, and diet A&W at home. I didn't even realize it had Splenda in it until I read this web site. I decided to take her advise, and haven't had any sweeteners since. The swelling I have in my hands all the time is gone, and my knees and elbows stopped hurting! I firmly believe alot of my pain was from the sweetners! I won't go back to those habits!


Posted by: Judy on April 25, 2006 10:06 PM

My mother was telling me about splenda so I looked it up.What Shelia wrote about is what I have been going through..I have no insurance so I was worried something terrible was wrong with me.So I pray to God, me not using Splenda or any others will improve my health.


Posted by: Sylvia White on May 21, 2006 6:42 PM

I am 50 years old and I am diabetic,controlled by oral meds. My hips,thighs,shoulders,and legs bother me 60% of my daily living. I figure that the hard work that I have done [a nurse's aid} for the past 15yrs, has taken its toll.

But for the last apprx. 2 years my stomach has really been bothering me. My stomach is not upset,or pain but I discribe the feeling as stomach distress.

I happen to read an article in our local paper about splenda and how some people complain of respirtory problems and stomach pain.

I have been using Splenda usually every morning on my cereal. When I read that I threw the rest of the bag away. I sincerely hope that could be my problem. I stoped yesterday. No distress yesterday or today.


Posted by: Sue on June 2, 2006 2:28 AM

I have been using splenda and other sugar substitutes for 5-6 years when about 18 months ago i started to get acne, i've never had it in my life...was 32 when it started. After trying different face cleansers to no avail and a natropath who said it was hormonal. Also being a bodybuilder i found i could never get as lean as i wanted, always bloated. Anyway 2 weeks ago I cut out all sugar substitites and now my face has cleared about 80%, bloating has gone down. I am so thankful I stumbled across this site :o)


Posted by: eddie on June 3, 2006 6:00 PM

i started drinking ice tea with splenda . just casue it was good. about 2 months ago. then 1 month started not sleeping right. then 4 weeks later went to the emergency room with heart problems or so i thought. ekg all good. full blood work all good. doctor gave me xanax. said it was my nerves. did have some dental work done and was a little stressed at work. also was having car problems. he said it was stress. i never had stress before. well the other problems i have are chest pains over the right side and down in the ribs when you sit a certain way. also i get nervous and jittery . have not a racing heart but faster then i think it should be. sometimes wake up that way. dont feel like my normal self. dont care about much. i could go on and on. i found this info here. nad just stopped drinking it. i was drinking about 1 gallon every 2 days. will it take a while to leave my body? will i feel better again? my doctor said i shouuld see a physciatrist (spelling not sure ) anyway i know im not going crazy. will i feel better in a week or 2 or does it ake longer ?
thanks for any help



Posted by: Bobbie on June 16, 2006 8:02 AM

I started using Diet Coke with Splenda 2 months ago and began to have stomach problems within 2 weeks. I thought it was related to other things at the time. I also started experiencing twitching and aching in my legs and assumed it was "restless leg syndrome". This morning I was awakened with terrible bloating in my upper abdomen. I have been drinking approximately 3-4 canned diet drinks per day, but will stop now after reading other peoples reports.


Posted by: Brenda on July 7, 2006 7:39 AM

I too have had muscle stiffness, pain, aches, trouble walking, sleeping on my sides, muscle atrophy, etc. Doctors have found nothing wrong. I found a holistic doctor who did a metals test. Arsenic was off the charts. Where did I come in contact with so much arsenic? I have been wondering for the last 6 months if Splenda could have anything to do with it. Prescription anti-inflammatories have helped, but those things are terrible for the body.


Posted by: Lucy Watkins on July 8, 2006 5:21 PM

Here is a link to Dr. Hull's list of heavy metals and their sources, specifically arsenic.

Please keep in mind, the arsenic in your system can also block your body from absorbing healthy nutrients it really needs for proper functioning.

Good luck to you!



Posted by: Tim Holt on July 12, 2006 12:34 PM

I used splenda to sweeten my coffee/tea at work for the past 3 years. I have always had acne but it was not bad 3 years ago. I am 47. Over the past 3 years my facial acne got far worse over the work week and much better even in 2 days on the weekend. I have about 8 cups of coffee/tea a day at work and 1 or none at home. I blamed the acne production and accompanying skin irritation on work stress (I am in technical support). Another problem was a phlegminess of the lungs/throat that caused a need to clear my throat a lot. I took this for something in the workplace air system. This too got better on the weekends or on vacation. About 2 weeks ago I saw something on the web that indicated that Splenda might not be so safe. I stopped using it. My skin is more scarred from the past 3 years than the past 30 years before it. But my face and skin are OK now as far as new acne is concerned and it is feeling as well as I can remember in the past (after age 13 or so). I do not feel as though something is filling my lungs and needing to clear my throat up any more either. I believe that Splenda is to blame. Nothing has changed in my other diet items, work patterns or habits. I thought Splenda was just made of sugar. Why does the label not say "Chlorinated". I know enough of science to know that Chlorinated Hydrocarbons can be very very dangerous, but I did not know. I thought it could not be digested by bacteria or absorbed by my body. I think this product is going to turn out to be far worse than apartame. It is sad to see our government, which we pay to protect us, letting such things happen while suppressing Stevia (which I am using now). I believe the FDA is corrupted badly. Shame on them.


Posted by: S. Schoepel on July 31, 2006 2:29 PM

Sort of two case histories.

When I got pregnant with my son six years ago I found I couldn't eat or drink anything with an artificial sweetener in it. No, I did not get sick. My son, in utero, had a fit! Within five minutes of ingesting it, he would kick and jerk violently for a long time. My mother said it was just the carbonation. I told her it happened with the no-sugar hot chocolate, too. To prove it to her I drank a whole can of regular cola. We wait four hours and nothing. I then drank about half of a diet cola. Within five minutes my unborn baby was completely agitated. She never mentioned it again. ;)

Fast forward to this past Thanksgiving. I was at a relatives house and one person there had started using Splenda and extolled its virtues and how it was so safe since it was made from sugar. So, right then I switched to Splenda in my tea and coffee. (I drink a LOT of tea.) I continued drinking whatever diet soda was around (not looking for Splenda). In the beginning of December I started having horrible pain in my stomach. It felt like it was in one spot and was really irritated when I ate certain foods. Plus my stomach was distended even though all I started eating was crackers and tea (herbal even, but yes, with Splenda). I had black stools indicative of an ulcer and all the symptoms.

However, I continued having pain. I got sent for an ultrasound after having excruitating pain one night. I wasn't sleeping well all this time, either, due to my stomach upset and heartburn. Bad enough to wake me up. I did have a lot of stress in my life, but it had been there for a few month. Well, they thought perhaps I had gallstones. However, an ultrasound showed nothing at all.

My doctor then ordered a contrast CT. Again nothing. All this time I was on prescription Zantac and Prilosec. Plus I was taking Tylenol and any/all hearburn OTC things to kill some of the pain.

The month of February was horrible. I had explosive diarhhea for an entire month. So bad that I spent most of my time in the bathroom at work.

All of these months I had flashes of pain behind my breastbone, weird pains in my abdomen like parts of my colon were spasming or inflammed. Nausea like I've never had before and I have an iron stomach (or had had an iron stomach).

I got sent to a GI specialist. I had to keep a food diary and stay on the meds, plus I was given a small dose of some anti-depressant since it's been found that people with IBS respond to very low doses. Nothing helped except to get some of the gas-producing and irritant foods out of my diet. (Beans, onions, coffee, real tea.) Oh, and did I mention the gas? I'm surprised the government didn't come to me for it for use in chemical warfare.

Still not sleeping well unless I took Tylenol for the pain. Still having headaches and attributing them to lack of sleep. Unhappy with my incredibly reduced diet. Still nauseous, still feeling like my heart was racing even though it wasn't, still having heartburn, still alternating between diarhhea and constipation, still having weird, sharp pains in my stomach and abdomen.

This summer I decided just to drink more water since I felt dehydrated, didn't like the metallic taste of the Tums, and figured I had been spending too much money on Propel water (since I'd given up soda, I started drinking Propel, with, you guessed it, Splenda). I also decided just not to use Splenda anymore and use real sugar because it was getting expensive.

I feel so much better in just three weeks. While I still need to cut out some of the gas-producing foods since my body must be sensitive, all the other symptoms are gone. I look better (no more awful dark circles), I feel better, I have more energy.

If anyone challenged me, I'd do a controlled diet and use Splenda just to prove to them the symptoms are related to Splenda. And, the only reason I'd be willing is because I know I could feel better the minute I stopped.


Posted by: Troy on August 5, 2006 11:11 PM

I am a 35 year old male, who has had a year of hell! I too switched to Splenda.

I have experienced Chronic Fatigue Syndorm, Sleep problems, weakness, shakey and jerky legs, major pain in my calves, abdominal pain, abnormal bowel movements and rashes at night.

I used Splenda in my Coffee, Iced Tea, Cerel, Oatmeal, etc.

I finally (after almost feeling like I was going pass out) decide to go to Japanse Doctor who specializes in Acupunture.

The first thing she said GET OFF SPLENDA and all artifical sweetners. (That includes those healthy yogurts and Cranberry juice laced with Splenda)

Update==============5 weeks off Splenda, all of the symptoms are gone, except the fatigue is still there, but, getting better each day.

I now use natural honey or a little sugar and have cut out all Splenda and products that contain it!

Pass on the word to all your family and friends..........Splenda is not Sugar!


Posted by: jean on August 20, 2006 1:35 PM

I was searching the net for information on Splenda after starting atkins. I used to drink at least 3 cans of the dietrite soda everyday and started to feel pretty weak. I figured it was just my body adjusting to the new diet or that i needed more vitamins. I never made the connection until i told my mom about the dangers of aspartame and told her to start drinking splenda. She began to drink it everyday at lunch with her tea. After about an hour she started to feel a tightness in her chest. After a couple of days, she figured that it was the splenda and stopped drinking it.
Thanks so much everyone for the information.
I now know that everything that is happening to me as far as the muscle aches and weakness is linked to the splenda.
I guess i'll just have to buckle down and drink water only.


Posted by: Dee on September 29, 2006 9:23 AM

I haven't had any side effects as the ones listed such as aches and pains but...I drink splenda in my coffee in the mornings, but I also love diet coke (with aspartame) which i know is bad for me. I've been trying everything for my face to clear up and nothing has worked! I am going to cut splenda out (it's gonna be hard). Thanks for all your tips!


Posted by: Tom on December 4, 2006 2:39 PM

I recently had one of those flavored waters and about 30 minutes later I had the worst pain in the upper right side of my chest. I was short of breath too. The pain started out dull then got worse. I had my wife drive me to the ER simply because I thought it was time to settle with my maker. They ran a bunch of tests on me EKG, Xrays, Blood Work. The doc thought that I might have passed a gallstone but after the ultrasound they didn't think that was the case. The pain subsided while I was in the ER. I would say that it lasted about 2 hours. After I got home I looked at the bottle of water and sure enough it had Splenda in it. I have avoided everything with splenda in it since and have not had a reoccurance.

I believe that Splenda is Rat Poison.


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