Life in General

My Battle with Diet Coke and Aspartame

January 6, 2015

Diet Coke contains aspartame.This month marks the 1 year anniversary of me giving up Diet Coke (as well as any other diet pop or anything with aspartame in it) and I am so glad I did.

Before I gave it up, I would wake up 3 to 4 times a night not being able to breathe because I was holding my breath while I slept. That went on for many, many years. But I never once associated it with aspartame. And, despite knowing all the horrible side effects of aspartame, I continued to drink Diet Coke. In fact, it was what I drunk 99-percent of the time. It wasn’t until January of of 2014 that I decided enough was enough.

What was the final straw?

Well, for several weeks I was having heart palpitations and shortness of breath. And it wasn’t just happening every once in a while. It was occurring multiple times every minute for several hours, every single day.

And after experiencing for over a week, I knew I had to do something. Now, I’m not too stupid. I know that aspartame is a horrible thing that causes all kinds of unpleasant and potentially deadly side effects. But I was addicted to Diet Coke. No matter what I drank (including water) I still felt completely thirsty, unless I was consuming Diet Coke.

Now, I haven’t been completely Diet Coke free this whole time. In May of 2014, I ordered a Diet Coke with my chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A. After consuming less than half of the drink, I started to feel dizzy, sick to my stomach and my vision became weird (like when you step into the sunlight after being in the dark for an extended period of time). That experience solidified the fact that I would (God willing) never go back to diet soda again.

I honestly don’t know how I did it. How I mustered up the willpower to give it up cold turkey. I admit, it was extremely hard. But what I miss most is the fizz on my throat. That carbonation felt so good going down, especially when my throat was dry or scratchy.

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  • Reply Carolynne January 6, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    OMG I totally agree about the fizziness on the throat! I LOVE that feeling! I wish I could give up the diet pop like you. For me, it’s diet dr. pepper that is my weakness. I drink way too much of the stuff, but I don’t seem to have any side effects. I can’t stand the taste of club soda so that isn’t even a good replacement option. Maybe I should make a goal to only have 1 a day and then 1 a week and then 1 a month and maybe be off it by next year!

  • Reply Jamie January 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Drinking any kind of soda is considered bad for you. Be it diet or non. I really need to quit cold turkey myself. Because of drinking soda daily, I gained the privilege of having diabetes. Of course, it lasted from 2004 – 2010 as Pre-Diabetes, but then in 2012 is when I gained Type 2. I started to eat healthier on my own in my apartment and it was thanks to my landlady and boyfriend Tristan. in 2013, I was able to reverse the type 2 diabetes and after quitting weight watchers, I noticed that I’m starting to pig out on things again and one of them being soda. I really need to stay away as I keep telling myself that I don’t want diabetes (which I may or may not have at the moment due to all the soda I’ve been drinking — 1 a day), or anything else wrong. Seeing this post made me realize that I really need to stop with the sugar intake before I kill myself. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  • Reply Sam January 7, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Yup, heart palpitations and super duper headaches were the cause for me to stop drinking things containing aspartame! It was horrendous. I’m glad you’ve stopped, too, aspartame is no good for anyone! I still drink Coca Cola at times, the non-diet type and I don’t feel like I felt when I drank diet sodas or anything like that. But anyway, good for you for giving it up, like I said, that’s awesome to be able to give something up just cold turkey. That’s never easy!

  • Reply Traci January 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Whoah! That is truly scary stuff. I am thankful that I have never been addicted to any sort of soda, but especially after reading this. Stay strong!

  • Reply Agent Q February 5, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Congrats on giving up diet pops for such a long period at a time! I was only conceptually aware of the nasty side effects, but reading people’s accounts of such experience is different. It’s more personalized. I personally never liked carbonated drinks because I remember HATING that fizzly texture since I was young, so you could say I evaded the addiction phase. :/

    Keep up the good work and healthy lifestyle! 🙂

  • Reply Terry Pounds May 23, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Hi Manda Sue! OMG this statement of yours gives me chills up and down my spine “Well, for several weeks I was having heart palpitations and shortness of breath. And it wasn’t just happening every once in a while. It was occurring multiple times every minute for several hours, every single day.”

    I can totally 100% relate to this. I am so pissed off I have live with the daily heart palpation’s for 7+ years. I was having palpitations daily off and on for 7 years. Hourly, every few minutes, and sometime days in between. I could never figure out why even after having multiple stress tests, ekg’s, and heart monitor that you take home. Nothing ever was found wrong with my heart. The doctors put me on Metoprol to make the palpitations less noticed. The whole thing that threw me off is I use aspartame for a few years before the palpitations started so as a result I never thought that would be why I was having them. I lived the 7 years horrified I was going to die thinking my heart would just stop or something leaving me afraid to go places by myself. I was told by doctors to cut all caffeine and did so for seven years until about a year ago I decided to stop using artificial sweeteners when I did I noticed after about a couple of weeks that my palpation’s almost stopped completely going from daily to almost never and only a skipped beat or two. I now have none after one year and I have now went back to having caffeine in which I was horrified of a year ago. I believe that some of the sweetener gets stored in the fat tissue and that is why it takes a while for them to go away completely.

    My guess is that thousand of people have the same problem as me a use cause by aspartame.  I have also developed hypo thyroid condition is all of this which I can almost bet was cause by the sweetener.

    We should form a group of people with this problems and hold aspartame company accountable for this. Please let me know what you think. Thank you. 

    • Reply Terry Pounds May 23, 2015 at 2:56 am

      I also wanted to say that I too would found myself holding my breath in my sleep as well which no longer occurs now that I stopped using aspartame. OMG Manda I can’t believe I actually found someone that was able to express my same conditions. This tells me there is a lot of people that have no clue why this is happening to them. Manda this article confirms with me that I am not crazy and this makes me more brave to stop using metoprol since I was only taking it because I had heart palpation’s. I have done a lot of research on Google for my symptoms and you are the only one that has discribed my symptoms to a Tee.

      I hope to hear some feedback from you. Again thank you!

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