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How I Quit Diet Coke: Kicking Aspartame to the Curb

Updated on June 13, 2008

Drowning in Diet Soda

I've been drinking diet soda since I was about 12 years old. My mother is a chronic dieter - basically, she's been on a diet for 30 years. When I was younger she made us drink healthy things like milk and juice, but as I got older, she began to transfer her anxiety about her weight problems onto her children, especially to me, her only daughter. She warned me against the three glasses of grape juice I liked to drink when I came hme from school. They had too much sugar, she said, and too many calories. She was right about the sugar, but I developed afterwards a fear of taking in excessive calories.

The solution was, of course, diet coke. Or diet pepsi. Whatever was in the fridge. Due to the miracle of a little chemical called aspartame, I could drink as much of these bubbly substances as I wanted without ingesting a single solitary calorie. I also found the wonder of calorie-less beverages like Crystal Light and Fresca. But really, I was a Diet Coke addict. I drank at least three a day, usually more.

In college, my friends used to joke with me about the trail of diet coke cans that I left in my wake. They knew that whenever my parents would come to visit they wouldn't bring me fresh baked cookies, but they would bring me cases of diet coke.

I had heard the rumors that aspartame caused cancer. When I was 12 years old, though, I felt like I was immune to things to cancer. Plus, my biology teacher (also a diet coke addict) told me that I would have to drink 18 diet cokes a day for 20 years to match the amount of aspartame that they had fed the lab rats who had gotten cancer in the trials. So I relaxed a little.

Everything went along without a hitch - I graduated college, got married, and was very happy. My husband warned me occasionally that he thought my diet coke addiction was out of control, but I always brushed him off, concerned that he was more concerned with the monetary cost of my addiction than with the cost of my health.

When I was 25 years old (two years ago), I came down with a sudden illness. I woke up one morning with a bad sore throat. I went in to the office and realized very quickly that my knees were also bothering me. By the time lunch rolled around, the pain in my knees was so intense I could barely walk. I rolled up my pants to see if there was bruising or swelling on my knees and saw instead that I developed hives around the spot where my knees were hurting.

I went home from work in excruciating pain. The hives had spread all over my legs. That night a friend came over and told me that I would laugh about all this next week when I was feeling better. I wish that had happened. The sore throat and accompanying fever that had started that day was gone within a week, but the joint pains and the hives remained. I am still suffering from both now, two years later.

I can still do a lot - the knee pain has really toned down, but I still get aches in my joints including my fingers, shoulders, wrists, and ankles. X-rays of these spots show that I have joint erosion in my hands. I also have hives every single day in some spot on my body.

After a long journey through the maze of the medical system, I was diagnosed with chronic urticaria (urticaria is the fancy name for hives) with juvenile arthritis. The doctors believe that my disease is autoimmune - which basically means that my body is allergic to itself.

I started shifting things around to try to get better - all the usual things. Changed my detergent, monitered my diet, got every allergy test known to man, started in on multi-vitamins, took every anti-histamine in the book. I even took anti-depressants, thinking that it might all be caused by stress. (The anti-depressants made me much happier, but didn't take away the hives).

To make a long story short (too late!), I tried to remove all bad chemicals from my diet. And one of those things was diet coke. There is a LOT of hype on the internet about the dangers of aspartame. I'm skeptical of a lot of it, but most of it claims that aspartame can cause every disease from fibromyalgia to polio.

Despite my doubts, I figured I would give quitting diet coke a try. It couldn't hurt, right? So I quit in early March. I was surprised to find that after the first few days I was irritable, headachy, and extremely despondent. I felt as if I had gone into a withdrawal of sorts. I also had extreme cravings for diet coke. Perhaps the most surprisingly side effect was that I went into a semi-mourning for diet products with aspartame, much the way that you hear that smokers go into mourning when they quit. They don't know how to live their lives without it.

Diet coke isn't the kind of substance which one would categorize as "addictive". Yet for me, it was. I went to my parents house for Easter and found myself binging on my Mom's diet coke and aspartame related products. I could not get enough. I felt as if I had fallen off the wagon.

My weekend binge scared me a little bit so I came back home more determined than ever to quit aspartame. I substituted my lunch diet soda with a glass of grapefruit juice - vitamin C is good for the body - and I substituted my dinner diet soda with water. It was very, very difficult, but I have been aspartame free since March 24th. (Golf claps)

As my autoimmune disease, it has not gone away. I have absolutely no idea if it was caused by the aspartame or not. Actually, my instinct is to say that it probably wasn't, because it seems like quitting would have done something if the two were related. But I do know that how hard it was for me to quit aspartame. I know that I had extreme and lasting physical symptoms for at least a month after I quit both times (before and after the binge). And I feel like that can't be good.

I may post a later hub with tips for quitting, but for now this is my story. Links below to books and movies that sound the alarm on aspartame.


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      sophia 5 years ago

      I got off Diet Coke after I met My Love. She flat out told me that she would not date me if I did. I quit in just a few weeks. I drink coffee instead. I know realize my memory isn't what it was, just the tail end of my memoriesjust fade away. Diet coke is to blame.

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      Danielscottnu 5 years ago

      This linc will take you to the Senomyx patent in US patent office. Once there scroll down left side and open first set of numbers. Now do a ctrl-f for find and type Adenovirus. Wow the Adenovirus. Human Adenovirus and there are 57 of them. Now ask yourself why would the US patent office OK the use of Adenovirus in your food for flavor. The more you read about this stuff the more crazy it gets. All the symptoms of rash bone pain fevors all coming from the Adenovirus. Is it getting clearer now can you see the truth yet. Depopulation is what's going on. Those pains in your stomach when your hungry are Virus pains. AD-36 is the one that is making all of America fat. It's all up to you now to learn the truth about all your food you are eating. Only eat fruit veggies and meat and nuts and water. Not water in the bottle. Arrowhead is made by Nesle North America just to show what you don't know. Chicken of the sea tuna is Raston Purina owned by Nesle. You have so much to learn. Google is now you best friend. Once you get this stuff out of your system and you make one misstake you get so sick with fevor, Rash, Chest pains. Your spine gets all mushy and you feel so bad. Your vission gets all blurry. And this last about 30 days. I know more than anyone does and I still make misstakes and that is how I learned all this. I hope you learn all I did and more. If you have never heard of Senomyx this is your first day of getting better. Remember you have to heal from the inside out and it take time. This stuff has you all rashed inside your body. Good luck and eat only pure food no processed food.

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      Danielscottnu 5 years ago

      The issue is with Senomyx. Sustance 951. Its in all Nestle, Kraft, Pepsico, Coke, Products. This stuff is making all of America sick. Check out the patent and see that it all starts with the Human Adenovirus. They are taking out the DNA from AD-36 the part that makes people fat. Once you read all that is true about this company you will freak out. This stuff is even killing the dogs. Ralston Purina is owned by Nestle and is putting 951 in the dog food. They are blaiming it on China.Aspartame is bad but 951 is the killer. Once you figure out what I know you will not touch any of the products made from any of the company's that have contracts with Senomyx.

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      No more diet coke 5 years ago

      I am diet coke free for 2 weeks now. My scare was an abnormal cat scan( it was taken because of an accident) that showed I had at some point had a stroke. I had been having stress attacks less severe than anxiety attacks intermittently for. 5 years. I dark 6 to 16 cans depending on the day. I had tried on many occasions to cut back but the ice cold bubbly elixir called my name overe and over. The day the I saw the results of the cat scan and my almost high blood pressure I stopped. To avoid caffeine withdrawal I allowed my self one cup of coffee with skim milk...for the first week. I am now caffeine free and diet coke free. I like other bloggers found the carbonated water a help but only allow my self two cans a day. For those. Worried about bone health it is the phosphoric acid that leaches bones..not the diet coke so all carbonation in excess is bad for bones. I know I can't even have one diet coke as it would be a slippery slope. I feel so much better! Like my old self. Note to all trivia will not be the answer..a stevia derivitate it has been processed and stripped of the value of stevia sweetener, time will tell if it will present the same problems of aspartame. Good luck to us all

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      Barb 5 years ago

      Diet coke is liquid evil!! I am convinced that it is responsible for my autoimmune disease.. DON'T DRINK IT!

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      Karen 5 years ago

      I have drank Diet Pepsi for the last 30 years. I was drinking huge amounts a day (a couple of 7-11 large cups) and then when that ran out would drink from the can... I was teased for leaving trail of cans. My stomach began really hurting for months, if I drank coffee on top of that it would make my stomach sick. So I decided to try to figure out why I felt so horrible. I quit Diet Pepsi 3 weeks ago and went through the withdrawal and headaches. I have replaced all soda drinks with unsweetened ice tea with lemon and water. I feel so much better. My appetite has really changed also, I notice I am not hungry all of the time. I do think that aspartame is to blame for my stomach problems and I am staying away from all diet soda drinks!

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      Ista 6 years ago

      I was searching around the internet today, just to see if I was the only one. A few years back, I started having stomach and chest pains combined with headache and trouble thinking, that had me running to the doctor thinking heart attack. They ran a zillion tests, made me wear heart monitor for 3 days found nothing. They thought maybe it was spicy food and heartburn, but things were not coinciding, and I was freaking out because it kept reoccurring. When I started noticing the pattern, it still took several tests to get me to accept that the Diet Dr Pepper I had been drinking over the years was now the culprit. I even went back to drinking regularly sweetened version of those just to see if it was just the caffeine and not the artificial sweetener, but never had the same problems occur. Each diet drink I tried had the same negative effects, though for some reason I have had no problem yet with Coke Zero, but then again, I now try never to drink any diet drinks (I tried Coke Zero when it was the only drink available during a working lunch at my place of business). I now primarily drink tea, flavored waters, milk, and an occasional mixed coffee drink, but never diet soda, and have only had the same scary event reoccur, when I thought.. "Well maybe afew sips of diet soda won't hurt me".

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      Dee 6 years ago

      I was drinking diet coke for years and then switch to Diet Dr. Pepper. God do I love Dr. Pepper. I would buy two liters and sip all day long. In a day or two I buy another two liter and this went on for months, to a year. I began suffering with leg cramps, feet cramps and every once in a while cramps in my thigh. That is the worse feeling in the world. It had me calling Jesus. I went to the doctors to see if I had any vitamin deficiencies. But, before I went to the Doctors I read on line magnesium deficiency and one thing I read is that constant soda drinking strips your magnesium. I immediately stopped the sodas all together. Then it dawned on me that when I was in my 20's. I went through this same thing because I was drinking Dr. Pepper. Well, it has been over a week and I am not experiencing cramping in my legs and feet and my legs feel great. I can go to bed and relax now. Because before I was getting anxiety attacks because I was afraid of laying down and cramping. Cramps are no joke. Whatever is in Dr. Pepper makes me cramp and have leg pains. I can drink the other products, but I am giving it up. I am feeling better all the way around. Also, I am loosing some weight, too. Diet sodas put the weight on. They swell you up. I have been in denial for a long, long time about the sodas. My husband said I drank entirely too much soda and that is why every night I am ailing from one thing to another. I am looking forward to see what other ailments disappear as I continue to drink my water and fruit juices. Good luck to you all and to myself, because this is an addiction and I will pray that we all make it through. To tell you the truth when I see Dr. Pepper my eyes shine and my teeth grit, but the pain I remember I will never forget.

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      Charles 6 years ago

      I have to say that after drinking Diet Dr. pepper (almost and sometimes 8 a day) for 12 years I knew I had to make a change. I stopped 5 weeks ago today and have never looked back. After week 2 I had terrible pain in my neck that ibuprophen could not ease. After a week, it subsided and I felt better. I have found a carbonated beverage at SAMs club "Ice" that is fruit flavored (lime, orange or black cherry) and I find myself absolutely fine with drinking a single 16oz a day. No calories are a plus. The reduction of so much sodium had an immediate affect as I wasn't thirsty for more soda-from the soda I was currently drinking. I promised my kids I would take better care of myself as I too had joint pain and was irritable too many times. I figure that if I don't take better care of my body than I have for the first 42 years, I won't make it another 42. My son opened a diet dr pepper in the garage and I had him pour it out. It's terrible that we make these so easy for kids to get their hands on. I'm happy to say that our entire family has stopped soda and found that a) we feel great b) we have about $50 extra cash each month ($600/year) by putting the soda away. Keep at it everyone, the quick and easy soda just isn't worth it. You'll feel great when you quit!

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      Christopher 6 years ago

      Okay people, I know this article is old, but anyone who comes across it as I did may want to know this. I am at 2 weeks from quitting diet pop after 10 years of diet, 10 of regular pop beforehand. The way I am doing it with almost NO effort is by drinking multiple things, some more important than others. One, tea. There is a lot of different kinds of tea, so don't knock it if you think you don't like tea. I enjoy chamomile tea personally. Two, water of course. Three, Pure Crystal light. It is 30 calories and make sure you get the "pure," it has no aspartame. Four, juice every other day or so. Juice is high in calories, so good to avoid it as much as possible. Don't fill your cup all the way. Five, most importantly, seltzer water. I get them in 8 fl. oz. bottles, have one a day. It is simply water with CO2 in it, nothing else. Make sure you do not get the stuff with sodium added. Drinking it is like drinking a pop. It even tricks you into thinking the taste of pop is coming, but it just never does. It is so weird. It literally cures my cravings. Good luck everyone.

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      Meemereem 6 years ago

      sounds like you may seahave celiac disease, my kids and husband have it, typically comes with joint pain and a skin rash different from yours, but my kids get if they eat gluten.

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      Debs 6 years ago

      Thank you for the postings and sharing of info. I am convinced that diet coke and coke zero are at the forefront of my aches and pains. I am going to try and stop drinking this garbage but sadly I love it. After reading what everyone has experienced it really doesn't take a brainiac to know that this stuff is killing many of us

      Seriously let's get off it. For the fizzyness I love I will try to have soda water with lemon. Any other suggestions would be welcome


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      Chad Humphrey 6 years ago

      Thanks for your publish. I have continually observed that the majority of people are desirous to lose weight simply because they wish to appear slim and also attractive. Even so, they do not continually realize that there are more benefits so that you can losing weight as well. Doctors declare that over weight people come across a variety of disorders that can be directly attributed to their own excess weight. The good thing is that people who definitely are overweight and suffering from a variety of diseases can reduce the severity of their particular illnesses through losing weight. You are able to see a gradual but noticeable improvement with health if even a moderate amount of weight reduction is accomplished.

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      kerry 6 years ago

      i started drinking sugar free cruisers got severe joint paint resembling rhumatoid artharitis saw a rhumatoligist was put on so much medication has stopped drinking it 4 days ago hope i get better..have also had memory loss hair loss itchy skin never had any of this befor consuming sugar free drinks ??

    • profile image

      Also the gum you chew 6 years ago

      I also was addicted to diet coke and gum containing aspartame - once I quit both my aches and pains were elminated

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      Charlotte 6 years ago

      I always knew that i was not addicted to the caffeine and recently had an amino acid test, which showed that I have a huge phenylalanine and slight aspartic acid deficiency. Together they form aspartame. When my levels normalize, I am hoping that my diet drink craving will dissappear. It is early days on ny customised amino acid compound and already I am consuming a lesser amount. I intend to post back with the outcome. I suffer from a type of depression that involves low levels of dopamine.

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      NowImFree 6 years ago

      How to Quit Diet Sodas: buy some good quality green (or white) tea. Doesn't have to be expensive, just a fresh box of a good brand (NOT decaf - REGULAR green tea).

      The day you quit the diet sodas, start drinking the green tea. Try for 3 cups a day, the last not too close to bedtime. You can have more if desired. Be brave and drink it without any sweetener (or only use a natural sweetener like agave nectar).

      This should really ease the transition. You may experience little or no withdrawals from the diet soda. You can continue with the green tea infinitely, since it has major health benefits, or if you want to have no caffeine in you at all, gradually taper off of the green tea. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day since most 'diet soda' people will feel dehydrated without their old sodas. It's also helpful to add as many fresh fruits and veggies to your meals as possible. They contain naturally-occurring plant compounds that will ease withdrawal.

      Good luck! You CAN do it! And you will feel free and healthy!!

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      addicted 6 years ago

      I also consume a heck of a lot of diet coke. I started drinking it when i was about 14 (25 now) and it's grown from a can every now and then into quite a few more. I get through 8 cans a day, minimum. It's not that unusual for me to drink 16 cans in a day. I am actually kind of embarassed by how much I drink, I do all the tell tale things drug addicts do...lying about how much I spend on it, not wanting to admit to anyone how much I really drink...I am only half joking, I really do havea problem with it. So anyway, I have noticed I get abdominal pains, cramping and such like, almost daily. I go through a big high where I am hyper and find everything great and not an hour later feel totally depressed. I have been experiencing big highs and lows for quite a while now. To begin with, I thought it was hormonal, and tried a ton of different birth control methods to see if they helped....but since I haven't had any form of hormonal birth control in for well over 6 months now I am starting to look at where else it could be coming from. The biggest thing that glared at me after looking at aspartame issues was the diet coke. So I am cutting down. I would go cold turkey but tbh, I have tried quitting before and I remember the terrible headaches from going cold turkey and now I have a toddler to look after I'm not keen on going that route this time, so am cutting back to a can a day for now. I drank it continuosly yesterday (as I usually do!) and finished at about 10pm. I have had one can today and I feel pretty crappy, a nagging headache, not bda but annoying, a bit pukey, quite tired. DOn't know if it's the caffeine or aspartame that's causing it, but it's not much fun. I'm determined though, I am sure it's the immense amounts of coke I drink making me feel crap! FIngers crossed the quit goes well.....

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      Anna 6 years ago

      I've had a few sips of Diet Coke in my whole 30 years. Well, okay. Maybe a cup. But by a couple straw sips, I feel my worst. Whether it was Diet Coke or Pepsi that made me feel this way, I don't know, but no other drink I can think of has made me feel this hot and weak.

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      Janie 6 years ago

      I drank diet pop for over 25 years. For the past couple of years I've had terrible headaches that would last for days. Pain relievers wouldn't help. Thought it was the caffeine in the soda so I gradually switched over to caffeine-free diet soda. I've been off the caffeine for over a year and still have terrible headaches. Finally decided it was time to give up the diet pop to see if that would help. Guess what?? No more headaches!! Is it hard giving up the diet soda? Most definitely, but worth it to not suffer the terrible headaches any more. I also have anxiety issues, panic attacks, osteopenia, GERD and weight problems. Could these be from the aspartame too?? Will have to see if any of these improve with time and no aspartame too.

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      Heather 6 years ago

      I have been trying to kick my Diet Dr. Pepper habit (and I loooove fountain pop like Diet Coke) for a long time. I had hives for 3 mos. several yrs ago after severe heartburn from a few kg size Diet Cokes. Now I've had hives for 3 yrs (they were 24/7 for over a year) after another diet pop binge and severe heartburn. Sometimes I have just one lg glass and I get a few hives on my arms. If I drink too much in one day they are really bad. I also get bad pains in the top of my head. My hair has thinned but I chalked that up to my up & down thyroid and age (43). I also have a lot of aches and pains like RA which have been linked to my thyroid but I still have this when my levels are OK. Today I'm REALLY going to give up pop and artificial sweeteners but it's SO hard, even when I know I'd probably feel so much better without it! I did buy lemon and lime juice to put in water which is good but I'll probably get bored with that. I don't know if the acid is also a factor with the heartburn leading to hives.

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      Texas 7 years ago

      i had a bad habit of Diet coke for about 7-8 years. Many a day, many many a day. I actually managed to quit recently by substituting unsweet iced tea whenever I found myself wanting one. Or, i'll split a regular coke with my girlfriend. I think that the chemicals in these diet drinks aren't fully understood or appreciated.

      There are studies out there that suggest "metabolic syndrome" being a result of diet drinks, consumed in great quantities. My energy level is definitely improved since kicking the habit, and my appetite is curbed a bit.

      Substituting instant iced tea worked for me, as I think it still provides some caffeine and flavor.

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      Gary  7 years ago

      I have been an aspartame addict from the start! Denial is what I always thought?

      all my problems High Blood Pressure, Panic Attacks, Headaches Killer!!!!! When you

      miss your Fix of Aspartame!!! Heart Rhythm Problems! A Fib! Missed Beats, I thought

      I was close to Death! Chronic Fatigue, Lack of sleep, Insomnia! Pain in Knees, The Doctors, could not find anything wrong? But when your heart is out of Rhythm it gets

      your attention! A few times, It lasted for hours! right after ingesting my second 44 oz

      large drink FIX of Diet Coke!!! This Aspartame, will kill you if you drink enough!

      I finally made my mind up! Quit before I DIE! That was 6 weeks ago! My Life

      My Heart My Prayers Answered! Healt on the Mend! Heart much better! Flutter and

      AFIB 90 Percent GONE!!!!!!!!!!! Praise GOD! i needed help! And I finally did it! QUIT!

      Imagine the money I will save! I always said Diet Coke is my only VIse, Why should

      I quit? Well I came close! Let me tell you! Think!!!!!!!!!!!! And listen to others! Read

      the Blogs!! We are all helping each other here! And you can quit to! It is worth the

      sacrifice of Diet Coke! PS I lost weight! Aspartame makes you FAT!!!!!!! I have lost

      20 lbs! The craving for sweets is less! And your body will process sugar in a different way? It seems to normalize your blood sugar after quitting You will start feeling better in a week! And get better over time!! God Bless & Good Luck!

      You can still have a great cup of coffee! Gary in Park Rapids Minnesota

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      LaDawn 7 years ago

      I just wanted to let you know that I started to drink Crystal Light to replace my terrible cola habit. What I found was bruising all over my body, hives, and terrible headaches. The worst part is I had two aneurysms 2 years ago in my brain and my bipolar has gotten worse! Now I have just been told I may have another aneursym! The reason why I know it's from asprimatine

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      Chris 7 years ago

      This is not the same as caffeine withdrawal. In giving up Diet soda, I have not given up caffeine. I switched to Iced Tea I brew myself. I once gave up diet coke and switched to Crystal Light and did not get headaches. Only since giving up aspatame have I experienced nightly hellish migraines, that leave me huddled in a ball crying for hours. I have also been experiencing the ache pain and thought it was simply due to exerting myself on vacation, but it hasn't stopped since I've been home.

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      R Daniel 7 years ago

      My story is much the same. I was losing the use of my legs, severe pain, which spread from legs to abdomen. I was tested for everything and doctors were baffled. I discovered aspartame poisoning and immediately cleaned out all products containing this substance: diet drinks, diet foods, light foods, chewing gum, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc. Within 5 five days of complete withdrawal and drinking gallons of water, the pain ceased, the walking cane was put away, and a new pain free life was begun. I had used diet drinks and food since 1983, in 2008 I stopped - It is now 2011 - I do not eat or drink anything that contains aspartame - if I accidentally ingest it while eating out, I know it within a matter of hours, I have to drink several quarts of water to detox.

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      Ernest Breau 7 years ago

      I have been drinking Diet Coke for so long, and now my family drinks cool-aid type products with aspartame in it. We are going to stop today! Damn its gonna be hard to do!

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      Dlite 7 years ago

      For those of u experiencing pain, it's because the aspartame sucks all the calcium out of your bones, which in turn causes joint pain, osteoporosis, etc....... There's nothing good about it. It actually can cause u to gain weight because it increases your desire/cravings for carbohydrates. I have knee pain too and know it's from dt soda. I've been trying lemon lime carbonated water, with NO calories or Aspartame and it seems to help a bit. I love the carbonation so that's a biggie for me. Take it one day at a time and you'll persevere. You'll get

      there! Good luck & w/Gods help you'll be aspartame free!!!!!!! Peace & God Bless :D

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 7 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Thanks for a really good article. I'm going to link it to one of mine. And i do agree with H above. Thinning hair (and actually going bald) can be results of aspartame. Research has been done on that.

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      Mike 7 years ago

      I'm guessing your withdrawals had more to do with the caffeine than with the aspertame. I quit caffeinated drinks a few years ago (regular, not diet) when I discovered I'd get really bad headaches and other symptoms on days I didn't have my morning Coke.

      I do get sore throats from aspertame, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was indeed causing at least some of your problems.

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      Michelle 7 years ago

      How long did your headaches last after you quit diet coke?

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      7 years ago


      Did you consider that your addiction may have been the caffeine in the soda? The withdrawal symptoms you described made me think it was probably the caffeine. I get the same symptoms if I go without coffee for a few days.

      Not that I don't share your fear of aspartame...I've been drinking a lot of diet soda lately, and have just started to notice that my hair is thinning. Baldness does not run in my family, so I can only assume it's being caused by the diet soda. No more for me, as of today! I really hope my hair goes back to normal...

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      cravingDPsobad 7 years ago

      This is my first day of no diet pepsi and I am craving it so bad.... I have been addicted to it for around seven years. Just reading this article makes me crave it even though I know it is so bad for me. I have gained fifty++ pounds in the seven years and have developed extreme memory loss. Everyone say a prayer for me and wish me luck!!

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      sleepless in England 8 years ago

      Hello, Im thinking after reading all of the above comment that the diet pepsi I drink every day(and I thought I was being healthy) could be the cause of my itchy legs, mood swings, really bad hair loss etc, im going to start drinking water today and cut out the pepsi and see whether my health improves.

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      Kenneth Caggiano 8 years ago

      I Hear ya Ive Been Aspartame Free for 3 maybe 4 weeks now. and i still feel sick randomly, Aspartame Is Absolutely Horrible For You And Anyone Who Reads This Article should take THe advice Given here. Aspartame Is Bad. Dont Drink It

    • profile image

      danielle Cairns 8 years ago

      Try Zevia...a natural herb sweetened diet soda...saving me!!

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      cindy 8 years ago

      iIsaw a short piece on aspartame and it said it could cause memory problems and other neurological problems. Now I was about 33 at the time and drank diet coke all the time. I was starting to have problems like crazy with my memory. You could tell me something, like when my son would tell me Mom, I work on Monday and get off at 4pm. I could turn from him and could not remember a single thing he had just told me. I live with post it notes to things that I should have remembered. So when I saw this piece on TV I stopped taking in any Aspartame. I was taking college course at this time so after 2 weeks I did a mini test on my self to see if I was on the right track. I bought me a diet coke and drank it during class. Well the teacher asked us to read a chapter, I must say that after 15 mins. that was the hardest thing to do. I could read a couple of lines and could not understand or comprehend any thing I had just read, I had to concentrate so hard to take in anything I was reading. So for me, I watch everything, gum, candy, drinks etc. I was so much better and so will everyone who gets off this very dangerous stuff. I feel bad for the children that are given this stuff by their parent that do not know. Spread the word.

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      Joan L 9 years ago

      I am not addicted to Aspartame, but for convenience ( I am a diabetic) I sometimes drink Diet soft drinks. I have just returned from a 3 month vacation and consumed more than usual (when others are drinking alcohal etc). I haven't slept well for many nights due to leg aches and cramps. I am also a gum chewer. I will certainly be putting these all to rest and hoping for good results. Thanks for all the information. Good luck to all

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      emma 9 years ago

      and to the person above me- if i accidently consume any aspartame (any at all!!) i get a horrible headache, its like relapsing. i recently had headaches and realized i had been chewing gum with aspartame in it

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      emma 9 years ago

      good for you that you finally quit! i was a diet coke addict too, suffering from migraines every day, joint pain, sleeplessness, depression, the whole shebang. it all stopped when i quit in december. and im STILL craving the shit. keep on truckin'

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      runs with scissors 9 years ago

      Interesting. I really, really don't like running out of sugar free chewing gum. I will go out of my way to get it in a similar way that I did to get cigarettes when I used to smoke years ago. I get through a packet of gum a day. And it's full of aspartame. Think I might see what happens if I give it up. Thanks for the heads up.

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      Blight 9 years ago

      Dam i need help me this addiction diet coke with in 1 day i can drink 6L of diet coke

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      Peter 9 years ago

      Wow, thanks for posting your account.

      I used to be addicted to Diet Coke for approximately 10 years, I managed to stop 3 years ago, mainly because I wanted to stop consuming caffeine, but I also started developing hives which I had all over my back, my arms, legs.

      About 3 months ago I drank 1 can of coke and immediately my whole body came up in hives today. I also had the worst hang-over feeling, it was horrible.

      Since then, I have found that if I drink any drinks with aspartame in them particularly flavoured juice drinks (where you dilute them with water) I get hives all over my body.

      I am going to stop consuming any aspartame whatsoeveer and see what happens, I am sure the hives will, once again, dissapear. Hopefully this time for good.

      I can't believe how bad aspartame is!!!

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      mary 9 years ago

      to cut a really long story short, after falling really ill, thyroid, osteoporosis, heart complications, fuzzy thinking, memory loss, amnesia, panic attacks, bowel disorders, ammeorhea for 2 years, pure aspartame addiction, headaches, moodiness(SEVERE), constant lieng to keep diet pepsi in the firdge, bad skin, severe hair loss and thinning, yellow skin colour, depression(SEVERE), marked personality change-have become stupid, inability to think adn concentrate, general bluriness. at the age of 31, i think thats a real waste. have spent the last 12 months being an unsociable freak coming home every night and researching the web to find out more about aspartame. anyway, still on 3 litres of diet coke a day PLUS many many canderel tablets in coffee and tea and lots of sugar free gum sweets yoghurt and ice cream. when is this gona end? major problem to quit the soft drink thou. it has the carbon adn a guilt free taste. Somebody help me.

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      Richard 9 years ago

      I drink about 3L of diet coke per day and have done so for the past 25 years. I am 35 now. I also tried to quit but found it so hard. I can last a few days but always end up giving in. This past year my knees have been in pain also. seems that when i lie down or sit, i have to turn my toes in a certain direction to get the pain to stop. Not sure if this condition is related.

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      Jennifer H 9 years ago

      JoReilly - i had a similar illness as a teen, and was diagnosed with rheumatic fever. The fact that you had a sore throat and fever makes me wonder if your illness was also caused by strep. Have you ever been prescribed prednisone? I was on a course of prednisone for several months and it cleared up my rash. If you have not already done so, schedule a visit with an internalist. It took me MONTHS and several doctors to reach my diagnosis so I understand first-hand the frustration. God bless and I hope you have a full recovery.

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      dave 9 years ago

      I have never been a sick person but when I gave up normal coke last year and started drinking the diet stuff that changed. My knees became very sore after a year and during the night I would stretch them out and wake myself up with the pain. It was like my knees where mis aligned and the only way I could actually straighten them was by turning my toes inward, first 1 leg then a few weeks later the other.

      Then last month my knees became extremely itchy but with no visible redness or skin problems.

      Not only that I started becoming very anxious for no reason I had a panic attack in the hair dressers. I've always been a very confident person and this freaked me out.

      ANyway I've stopped drinking the stuff and feel much better, time will tell whether my knees will get better but your symptoms sound just too close to my own.

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      Lisa 9 years ago

      Can anyone tell me about a useful website on how to get off of the apartame? I never realized it was in so many things we consume everyday!!! Thanks!

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      Ann Martin 9 years ago

      Fascinating hub. Its funny cuz i try to stay away from apartame, but i allow myself to slip up every once in while in the form of diet coke or sprite. I only drink the stuff about once a week or so, ut its scary to think how out of control things can potentially get!

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      GoogleCashMoney 9 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Good Job. I will ask my brother in law to read your article. He drinks 15-20 can of diet coke every day.

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      my-hair-tools 9 years ago from Ohio

      great job! i used to chew a lot of orbit gum when I was younger and after awhile, I started getting headaches from it. I layed off and practically stopped and noticed it was from the gum, and I'm assuming the aspartame in the gum. Even diet sodas with those artificial sweetners can trigger one if I have just a couple cans, so it definitely does something.

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      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      Wow - this is very eye-opening. I drink a lot of diet coke. In fact, now I think I am going to refill my trusty water bottle instead of reaching for a soda with my lunch. Thanks for this important article.

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      cvaughn570 9 years ago

      Kudos to you for quitting! Keep up the good work:-)