Two years later....
I will join the list of people who have suffered from aspartame. Luckily my story isn't as severe as many of you, but it could have been!
By the time I removed aspartame from my diet I was living with motion and car sickness so bad that I could no longer be a passenger in a car or on a bus (and I had to take the bus to work). There were many times I had got off the bus several stops early just to throw up.
I realized that over the course of several years my bowels had changed from being regular and substantial to becoming watery and explosive - so much so that I was truly frightened each morning, lying in bed wondering if I would make it to the toilet before my bowels gave up their hold on the fluids.
After having decades with a consistent menstrual cycle, I was now bleeding anytime and for any length of time - more than I did when younger.
My sinuses were congested and were leaking out the tear ducts of my eyes, not to mention the ridiculous amount of nose-blowing I would have to do each morning! At one point I had what I thought was a head cold for over a year. All the wiping left my eyes bloodshot and bleary looking and my skin irritated from all the Kleenex. I was constantly coughing up phlem to clear my throat.
I had a fluttering ear drum that would beat loudly like a drum. I had high-pitched ear ringing. I had piercing breast pain. I developed anal leakage. I had a loss of appetite that I would describe as my stomach was hungry but my mouth wasn't. But I did not have a loss of weight. Blood tests, other lab work, colonoscopy, turned up nothing.
About 2.5 years ago I was at the doctor once again "not feeling good". Her response was "well, you're 52". I was upset at the thought that I would have another 30 years of "not feeling good", which would only get worse, I was sure.
The next day I began to review EVERYTHING that went into my mouth. I already ate fairly well with lots of fresh produce, lean protein and little processed foods, and I didn't know if my problems were caused by my diet, but I knew I had to try to do SOMETHING.
Starting with breakfast, I swapped out my Equal tablets (aspartame) for real sugar in my morning cups of tea (6 tablets total). And I stopped drinking Crystal Light drink beverage (made with aspartame) in the afternoon. I do not drink diet sodas. I didn't know anything about aspartame poisoning at the time - I was just trying to remove artificial foods from my diet, but within a few DAYS my body was expressing its gratitude and was starting to heal. And I was regaining control over my bowels. I was amazed at the changes that happened in the first week alone.
Now, two+ years later, my bowels are under complete control. My appetite is back. I get hungry and I eat full meals now, yet I'm losing a pound or two each month. I finally stopped bleeding and am in menopause (probably a few years later than it should have happened). The ear ringing, ear drum fluttering, anal leakage and breast pain are all gone.
I am still struggling with nausea and motion sickness and cannot be a vehicle passenger for long. My sinuses are much better but still need work. I hope each condition will continue to improve. But all in all, I think I managed to stop the damage before really serious conditions developed.
That's my story!
Louise in Calgary, Canada