Aspartame Withdrawal Symptoms, Are They Real?

By now most folks who have visited my site have realized that I had a huge addiction to Diet Coke and struggled with quitting for so long, but could never do it because the withdrawal symptoms were just too much to take and I always ended up drinking it again.  The real sad part to my story is, every time I tried to quit and couldn’t do it, the more addicted I became.  If you haven’t read my whole story, stop and read through the pages on the left side navigation bar and then come back to this post and I will share more information about the addiction to aspartame and the withdrawal symptoms that most experience when they try to quit.

If you read my entire story then you know that I am going to start with the punch line first in this post.  When I finally quit drinking Diet Coke almost 4 weeks ago, I experienced NO WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS at all!!  The catch is, this time was different from all the other times that I tried to quit and experienced a ton of withdrawal symptoms that always brought me back to drinking it.

The first time I tried to quit drinking Diet Coke, was about two years ago.  At that time, my side effects were just starting to arise.  For the first time ever, I experienced a migraine.  For those folks who have had migraines, you know what I am talking about, migraines are different from a regular headache.  In fact, I went to a neurosurgeon, who did all the scans and didn’t find anything and then prescribed Imitrex.  The medication was great, it usually took care of the migraine with one dose, but a year later, one pill just wouldn’t do it.  This past year, the migraines became more frequent and typically when one set in, one Imitrex was not enough to knock it out.  I remember times when a migraine would set it and it got so bad I had to go home early from work, would usually down a can of diet coke, take a couple Imitrex, put a hot towel over my face and crawl into my bed to try and sleep it off.  This is not how a young, active 40 year old wanted to live his life.

Shortly after the migraines and headaches began, I started to notice problems in both my knees.  I would wake up in the morning and feel pain in my knees that made it hard to just stand up at times.  The joint pain would come and go, but most of this last year, it increasingly became worse.  One of my hobbies is go-karting.  I race at two local tracks, travel to other tracks around Iowa and race at the countries largest street race, the Rock Island Grand Prix.  When you are at the track your go-kart sits on a stand and when you are ready to go out to race you and your pit person have to lift it off the stand onto the ground.  My knees pain was so bad at times, I could no longer put the weight on my knees to lift my own kart off its stand.  Realize, I am a pretty healthy individual, very active and to have this kind of problem effect my life this way, was not how I wanted to live.

Near the beginning of 2008 I went to my doctor one day and asked him about all the problems I was having.  After talking, my addiction to Diet Coke came up.  As I shared in my story, my doctor was not too happy to find out how much I was drinking daily and for how long I had been doing this.  He didn’t come out and say, Mike, the Diet Coke is causing your problems, but I could tell in voice that he knew my addiction could be the cause.  Of course, me being naive, I couldn’t see how a soda could cause that many side effects, but at that time, I had no clue what Aspartame was or the effects it could have on the body.  I continued to drink my normal 7-8 cans plus a day and kind of just wrote off what my doctor seemed to urge me to do, it just didn’t seem to make sense to me at that time.

Well, here is the final punch line and how my Diet Coke addiction ended, or new chapter in my life began, however you want to look at it.  As I share in my story, a very good friend of mine came to my office one day and wanted to share a product with me that he had been trying, he thought I might like it, knew I had a pretty stressful job and thought I might like some extra energy.  He gave me a couple samples and said drink one in the morning and one later in the afternoon and see what you think.  I won’t share the ending here, you can read it on my Diet Coke Addiction Busted!! page, but what I want to get across to all of the people who struggle with the same type of side effects and symptoms associated with Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, is that with the help of a healthy replacement, I was able to break my addiction in 5 DAYS, and not experience one withdrawal symptom at all.  NONE.  I know that there are people who can ween themselves off, or stop cold turkey but can everyone, I couldn’t.  The truth is there are many people who can’t because the addiction is too strong and the side effects are too much to handle.

I know that the side effects of artificial sweeteners is real, I experienced them.  To this date, nearly 5 weeks after my last Diet Coke, every side effect that I shared above or on my other posts has gone.  I have not had one headache, not one migraine, no more joint pain, and finally I feel like a healthy 40 year old should.  If you haven’t checked out Drink ACT, then do it.  Maybe you don’t have a diet drink addiction, maybe it’s coffee, tea, un-healthy energy drinks or your third run to Starbucks for a double late espresso.  Whatever the addiction, I recommend you take the ACT three day challenge.

If you are ready to break that diet drink addiction, give Drink ACT a try, I think you will start to see a much healthier life begin to form!!  Email me, wittmc@msn.com if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help out.

Thanks again to all those that have visited my site, read my story and give Drink ACT a shot.  Watch for a new page coming soon with all the testimonials of people who have had great results with ACT.

Mike Witt
Davenport, Iowa

103 comments

  1. Cline says:

    I’ve used artificial sweeteners for 30 years. I stopped all use cold turkey 23 days ago. I haven’t lost any weight! At day 19, I started swelling up, but my weight has not changed. I am in extreme pain. My joints and muscles are inflamed to the point where the skin is actually warm to the touch in these areas. My skin feels tight, like it’s being stretched. My clothes don’t fit. I am at a complete loss. Does anyone know how long this is going to last, if these are normal withdrawal symptoms, and do you have any advice on how to alleviate the pain?

  2. Sara says:

    Day 6 of no Diet Coke. Headaches, neck ache. Mood swings. Determined after a year and a half of drinking diet coke I am not going to crack.

  3. Marsha Mercier says:

    I’ve been drinking at least four liters of diet coke or crystal light per day for years now. I’ve always been obese, so my parents started me on diet drinks as a child. I went from being in the gifted program in school from an IQ of over 150,to having to go on disability from work from the brain fog that would act like small seizures. And the pain, oh my god, the pain in my neck, back and legs is disabling!!! A co-worker of mine gave me an article about aspartame poisoning and out of the 92 Symptoms, I have about 90% of them. I’m on 23 medications a day, some multiple times daily and they include morphine and Percocet for the debilitating pain! My hair is falling out, I have trouble seeing, I have chest pain, high blood pressure, severe fibromyalgia, cancer twice, the list goes on and on. I’ve been off aspartame for about five days. My mother bought me a Sodastream so I can make my own pop. It has succrolose rather than aspartame in it. I don’t know if that’s any better, but I’m going to see if it helps. I did have a couple migraines after stopping the aspartame and I’m having trouble sleeping, but otherwise I haven’t noticed any other withdrawal symptoms. Good luck to everyone. I wish you all the best on your road to recovery.

  4. Moe Abon says:

    Dear Mike,

    I’m also a Diet Coke addict, and I was reading thru your stories and see myself in them. Thru the last 5 years, I was drinking 2 bottles of 2 liters of Diet Coke everyday.
    In January of this year, I had a major migraine and it was so powerful that I threw up twice because I stoppped cold turkey for 3 days. I didn’t even realize of how much of the Diet Coke has affected my body and my shoulder joints last year.Now, for the first time in a long time,
    Today, I’m happy to say that I free from and and I’m not alone in this kind of problem.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Lori says:

    Hi Everyone! I am on Day Four of no Diet Coke and very little caffeine. I have drank Diet Coke like water for years – since I was approx. 13-14 yrs old, and I am now 42 yrs. old. I drank around two 2-liter bottles per day, to keep from drinking sugar drinks and gaining weight. However, I do have a weight problem and now realize it’s probably due to the aspartame in Diet Coke. Side effects of this are awful, I went to the doctor yesterday because I thought I had the flu: chills, nausea, muscle pain and weakness (like I can barely walk to the car weakness), violent migraine headaches and feeling a general “fuzziness”. I work in the mortgage business and on Monday I couldn’t even do my calculations. The doctor prescribed some meds to help with the headaches and nausea and wrote me out of work for the rest of the week. I KNOW it will be worth it but right now it’s HARD. However, we all need to stick with it – the aspartame is deadly to our bodies and tricks our blood sugar levels. I have a feeling I will lose a few pounds when all is done. My doc said to expect these symptoms to last 7-10 days and then it should get a lot easier. Good luck to everyone else who is on this path. Think of the end results = better health, and less chance of developing type 2 diabetes! :-)

  6. Sheila Hittner says:

    I have been addicted to diet sunkist for years. I was even hospitalized 8 years ago and they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I thought I was having a heart attack. I am 48 and I feel like I shouldn’t have to “have” a nap every day. When I am stressed (most of the time as real estate is very stressful) and I have that 5th bottle i would immediately get neck pain -my husband thinks I’m crazy. So I am on my 4th day and feeling worse then I did on my first. I went to the act site and registered, but I can’t seem to order. I am willing to try anything. Can you help me get on the site and order? Thanks – Sheila from MN

  7. Laura says:

    I stopped diet coke 5 days ago after many years. On my 3rd day I have spells with lower back all around lower front & down I my legs. It is like a cramp
    But a constant hurt & works up into my shoulders across the back. It is so bad I can’t hardly stand it. I have to take ibuprofen for the pain to stop. I
    Also have horrible headaches, are these symptoms of withdrawals. Please help me it is horrible!!!!

  8. Jan says:

    I am so glad I found this site….Today is my 4th day off diet soda after a 30 year addiction, I am 44…. I am experiencing the worst muscle cramps and joint pains….I hope this wont last too long… Starting to get head ache and I get sudden fatigue…I also thought it was age related. Diet Coke was my drug of choice. In the last year my hormones are out of wack, I’ve had weight gain, and poor vision….I am convinced that it’s from the soda… all my blood tests were normal…. lets see if removing this toxic cocktail makes a difference. Good luck to all of you on your journeys as well…

  9. Megan says:

    you are all telling my story. I went on weight watchers about 8 years ago. Diet Sodas and tea with splenda were no points so I became hooked. I started having unusual symptoms… Unexplained back pain, colon problems, migraines, and then in 2010 I was hospitalized with a rare condition known as pseudotumot cerebri where fluid was collecting on my brain and they couldn’t ever figure out why. About 6 months ago, it got really serious, I started having these attacks usually while driving where I would get dizzy, have chest pains, numbness and tingling in my arms and legs, shortness of breath, I thought I was dying (I’m only 27 by the way) every time everything checks out normal at the er. I finally started watching a documentary on netflix about the toxins we consume so I did some research and decided to quit all artificial sweeteners and processed foods. Im on day 5 and feel awful, knee pain, migraines, no energy, my face is even breaking out but there is no way I am going back to that poison. I have faith that I will feel normal again soon and it will be the first time in years.

  10. Michelle says:

    I’m a 100% raw fooder complete with a minimum of 64 oz green smoothies daily, spirulina, and other super foods –ALL live food intake with abundant enzymes…oh, and a pack or 2 of gum daily. I was supposed to be feeling abundant energy and clarity, but i am dazed and confused. I’m 30 hours into my withdrawl and it SUCKS! My head feels clogged–not sinuses, but my temple and prefrontal area and even into my face, there is a heaviness. I slept 8 hours last night and just awoke from a 2 hour nap where i dreamt of gum–no sh*t! My intuition shared previously that the gum had to go, but i wasn’t ready and tried to rationalize it away thinking i was still detoxing. People LISTEN to your intuition for your well being. Peace + Blessings to all who walk this path.

  11. Laura says:

    Day 2 – no more Coke Zero. I’ve had a headache mostly left side now for 24hrs. And last night (after day 1 no aspartame) I could NOT sleep. However, my mind was racing and I was so restless that I could’ve probably ran a marathon at 3am. Only been drinking water and Perrier (Perrier gives me the bubbles and false sense of pop drinking). Right now I want to scream because of the headache. But this happened the last time I did a pop-stop 2yrs ago. I caved and fell back into the addiction. Staying strong this time! I lost 10lbs after quitting the aspartame because I wasn’t as hungry and was No longer craving sweets constantly.
    :)

  12. Kim says:

    I stopped drinking sodas with two aspartame five days ago and I have very strange symptoms. When I listen to favorite music it doesn’t sound the same and doesn’t include the highest feelings I used to remember. Also I watch TV about conversations between people on TV and what they talk about doesn’t make sense. Also I received a TV phone call and what a my boss asked me questions about didn’t make sense to me. I’m frightened with the things that are happening and I’m concerned these problems won’t get better. I am afraid.

  13. Darts says:

    I’m 23 years old and on day 5 of no Pepsi Max after having 2-6 500ml cans per day (rarely going more than one day per week without having any) for the last year and after 3 days of headaches and tiredness, today is the worst. Headaches are back, I’m so tired I can barely keep awake even though I had over 8 hours’ sleep, I’ve been feeling really shaky for the last few hours and got an intense dizziness/light-headedness.

    I just want to crawl into bed and sleep it off :(

    This has only increased my resolve to kick the habit though.

  14. Lois says:

    WOW!! I stopped aspartame a little over a week ago… not intentionally but because the store I frequent on my way to work was out. (I normally drank about a 2 liter a day of diet soda) I have since been to the ER twice and they kept me overnight the 2nd time. Symptoms:: pain that started in my shoulder blades and move to my left shoulder and neck, nausea, fatigue, chest pains, shortness of breath, fluctuating blood pressure which became elevated with activity, joint pain and headaches. I was terrified that I was, at 47, having heart disease issues. They have done CT of head and neck: no problems, Chest X-Ray:: no problems, CT with contrast of chest:: no problem, Sonogram of abdomen:: no problems, Exercise Stress Test:: no problems. Today I sat down with a nurse friend and the lack of aspartame is the only thing I have done different in the last 2-3 weeks. This is bad but that is ok I will get through it and then never ever have this poison in my system again! Good luck everyone!!

  15. syd3 says:

    Have been drinking ~12 cans diet soda/day for ~15 years; quit two days ago. Bad HA today (not like migraine; no photophobia); however, am having the worst thigh/calf cramps. All my life have been a nondrinker, nonsmoker, etc. Have had foot cramps for ~11 years; however, these new onset intense thigh cramps radiating to ankles are unbelievable. I have taken two Skelaxin and two Vicodin without any relief. I RARELY even take a Tylenol, let alone Vicodin (my spouse’s). It’s 3:28 in the morning on 23 Oct. 2012; am going to try to lie (sic?) back down on my heating pad — pain is same, although head is a wee bit cloudy. I have been taking calcium and magnesium supplements, in addition to a regular multivit., for ~six months now. No other symptoms thus far — but this is enough. I pray that these cramps are due to the aspartame; that way I have hope that this will not become a chronic condition. No soreness on my spinal cord. Thx. for this site — it takes my mind off my cramping somewhat. Best to everyone else.

  16. Tina says:

    I have been a drank diet coke sice age 20…that was 30 years ago. 5 years prior I drank Tab… I started drinking diet drinks to keep sugar intake low, thinking I was helping my body.

    A few years ago some friends that had medical back ground thought they were becoming stupid…They quit drinking diet coke. I had been in a car crash that resulted in 8 leg surgeries. I atributted my feeling like a “Mack truck hit me every morning” to the former injuries.

    I have felt like my brain isn’t there and not focusing. I got off all pain and anti inflamatory medicines…still feeling like no brain.

    Feeling bloated and sudden urinaton episodes several times a day with no control.

    After watching Dr. Oz cople of weeks ago on sugar substitutes and dementia I haven’t had any since….I stepped on scale not feeling as bloated and lost 6lbs. I am feeling better…No side effects…Tina

  17. LuAnn says:

    I have been off aspartame products for 7 months now. It made a world of difference in my Fibromyalgia, headaches gone, My chemical sensitivities have decreased dramatically. I urge anyone using artificial sweetners of any kind to stop as soon as possible. I realized that all my illnesses may have been being caused by artificial sweeteners. I have candidiasis which makes me not eat sugar, and I developed numerous illnesses 7 years ago, that I feel nearly killed me, literally. I took a step by step approach and researched all my illness, and came to a realization that I had been using artificial sweetners since age 9 at 54 I nearly died. As my knowlege inceased about the connections from one illness to the next, I put 2 and 2 together. Aspartame was poisioning me. Now I am working on my husband to try to convince him that his use of artificial sweetners may be very well affecting his health as well.

    I can not believe the difference in 7 months. My FMS symptoms nearly un-noticeable. No more headaches, pain in my joint almost totally gone. Spread the word about this horendous food additive. My chemical sensitivities from MCS very much improved. I kringe when I see people using artificial sweetners.

  18. Angela says:

    So awaesome to read all the articles, I have been struggling with depression off and on for years. I felt in my spirit it was related to aspartame.. I too have been an addict of diet coke, at least 2 or 3 a day for many years..I read the small article from a guy named Mac, that God told his wife it was the aspartame…I believe her, because I feel the same…With the strength of God , I will start today!.. A lot of people think it is harmless, but some things affect some people worse than others. It is a man made chemical, it doesen’t come from natural sources. I do believe it is the source of a lot of symptoms when too much of it is consumed..I would choose to stop using it and see what happens instead of stand up for it…With gas prices, I could put that money in my gas tank…I think if someone has it occasionally it may or may not affect them ,,,with so many positive responses from peope that have stopped it…I am gonna do my best to join you.

  19. Eunice says:

    I am a 55 yr old woman who since 2008 has been experiencing dizziness, confusion, vision loss, numbing in my arm and fatigue. Its about the time I started chewing gum and using artificial sweetners in my coffee each day, atleast twice per day. I have experience thousands of dollars in massive test and visits to ER and everything checks out normal. Im thinking menopause is something else. Just yesterday after hearing from my doc that my eeg is normal, I went on line and discovered ‘sweet poisoning’ something related to artificial sweetners. The symptoms checked out. I couldnt believe it. Im being poisoned. Its amazing this stuff is being sold as a consumer product.

  20. Phil says:

    Interesting website – glad to see it! Starting to finally get it that aspartame is nothing but poison. I have easily been drinking a gallon of Crystal Light everyday for a couple of years – plus frequent Diet Dews. It’s ironic now to think I was “being good” by drinking zero cal drink that was mostly water. I drank this stuff from morning til night.
    Started feeling run-down and fuzzy today so looked up aspartame withdrawals (didn’t know there would be any). This must be the reason why I’m not feeling so hot – on day two of no aspartame. Thanks to all for sharing. I’ll be so glad to have this behind me.

  21. Shelley says:

    I am 26 years old and I have been drinking sugar substitutes since I was a little kid. I never liked the taste of real sugar. I probably consumed around 3 or 4 diet cokes a day and rarely drank water. I stopped drinking diet coke about 3 weeks ago. I may have had 2 or 3 the first week because I started feeling really bad after day 3. Now I’m down to 1 or 2 a week. I have noticed a little energy boost and have been getting a little more exercise. What I’ve noticed the most is how much more I sweat. The sweating is what prompted me to post here. I have always sweated during exercise but now I pour the sweat even when doing low intensity activities like cleaning. I guess the sodium I consumed everyday is not there anymore so that might have something to do with it. Has anyone else experienced this?

  22. lisa l says:

    Oh boy, well I just turned 46 3 days ago. I am on day 2 of no Diet Mt Dew. I like to affectionately refer to it as my “Liquid Cocaine”. I have attempted many times before to stop this stuff. I quit smoking cold turkey 5 years ago and have never picked up another cigarette. If I could figure out a way to walk around with a Diet Mt Dew IV Drip, I would! It is the worst thing in the world to try to give up. I purchased some caffeine pills and it is helping with the headaches, but like I said, it is only day 2. I know I have a lot of things(bad things) to look forward to before it gets better. I felt fine yesterday, but today I am feeling sick to my stomach. It is a REAL addiction. It is NOT fabricated and quite frankly, I am not amused by someone discounting other people’s experiences. I hope that I do not have the symtpoms that some other folks have had, but I don’t poo poo them away as not being real. Good luck to everyone who is trying to rid themselves of this POISON! If you see someone on the national news who went postal in virginia, it was ,me! Regards, Lisa

  23. Denise says:

    Ive been drinking diet pepsi for 25 yrs about 8 plus cans a day (i know its terrible but i got addicted). Stopped yesterday as i read it can cause weight gain, cancer, etc. Today is day 2 and I’ve had a headache all day. it sucks . i never get headaches, but I’m gonna fight throughout the withdrawal period. i know its only temporary. I can do it. Nice site. Googled this subject bc i thought i couldn’t be the only one. good luck to all quitting this nasty stuff!

  24. jeanne says:

    Just quit diet coke 3 days ago. Am newly retired, so lots more time to drink the stuff. Consumed more in past year as a result. Was getting weird headaches, starting several months ago on top of head, back of neck, thought was sinus. Headaches gone morning after first day of no aspertame. I quit (3 days ago). Now, sinuses seem to be draining and I feel a little nauseous though nothing bad so far. I was also chewing alot of sugar free (meaning aspertame) gum, quit that too. Found safe gum at food coop. I have been drinking diet coke since mid 1990′s. My daughter has lupus in remission, she is diet coke drinker. Am going to encourage her to quit diet coke.

  25. Dann says:

    I have quit diet drinks for 6 days and upper legs and lower back having extreme aches and soreness to touch. No headaches only muscle and joint discomfort.I quit smoking 30 yrs ago and quit drinking alchol 20 yrs ago. I have quit dringing or eating aspartame one day at a time

  26. Patty says:

    Oh my goodness, I am so glad I found this site!!! You guys are telling my story. I’m 52 years old & having been drinking Diet Coke & Diet Dr. Pepper for at least 30 years. I decided to do a 21 day detox to reset my metabolism and just clean out my colon from years of eating horrible foods. I went through aweful headaches, the first 2 days was almost unbareable. Then I got this surge of hyper/ crazy panic feeling on the 3rd day and now it’s been 5 days off the diet soda & coffee. I’m having a horrible time with severe joint & muscle pain. I thought it was the Detox supplements but after reading this, I’m thinking it is just withdrawal from the aspertame. I feel horrible! I had stopped the detox about 2 days ago and I was getting even worse so I decided to look on the internet for some answers & I’m pretty sure I’ve found what I needed to see. I am so mad at myself for beleiving the lies that this stuff is ok to consume.. I agree with Tara Lynn, we DO need to do something to get this crap removed.. can you imagine all of the poor innocent people who just like us are going to have paid thousands of $$$ to the medical profession to tell us we are NUTS & need a phyco evaluation concerning the horrible pain and aweful side effects of the garbage we were told is ok to consume. This is total B. S. I am so mad & I will never put this crap in my body ever again. Good Luck to All of you who are taking a stand against buying this poison. Maybe we should ALL write a letter to the FDA and ask them to band this poison!!

  27. Mark says:

    I’m 23 years old, from the Netherlands and working out a lot. I love energy drinks, but since I’m on a healthy diet with almost no sugar and fat in it, I switched to the ones without sugar.

    Drinking about 5-6 a day for a while. Slowly I started to feel like I was having less energy and headaches started to develop. At first I thought it was the caffeine that was giving me an energy crash or something like that, but deep down I knew it wasn’t the caffeine because I had been drinking energy drinks with sugar in it before and never had this problems.

    Anyways I switched back to good old coffee, just black with nothing in it. Energy went up a lot and all headaches are gone after 3 days with just some minor withdrawal symptons. I´m just slightly on edge that´s all, but it´s already getting better.

  28. Linda says:

    I’m 46 and was almost crippled by aches and pains int legs.y only bad habit was 4-5 cans of diet coke. I had multiple test done, all negative. I did research on aspartame. I gave up drinking diet coke. I’m back to normal.

  29. Tara Lynn says:

    Anyone who has been addicted to any type of diet soda (and if you are not in great physical shape anyway) when you quit there certainly are withdrawl symptoms and to Val Rose that pretty much said it’s in our heads… well I am happy she didn’t go through it. Funny though that’s the only one I saw here that said they had absolutely no withdrawl symptoms. I have tried ot quit for years after having started with drinking diet drinks in about 1981 (after having a child and trying to drop calories). I have not had migraines but have had some nasty headaches now and then. The biggest problem I have is within one day of stopping I have such horrible pains starting in the upper abdominal area going all the way down the middle of my chest and even having extreme pain through my shoulder blades in my back an even across my back near my kidneys.

    We need to get organized and stop the FDA from allowing this crap on the market!!!!

  30. Kimberly Whitaker says:

    It’s day 8 for me of no Diet Coke or Splenda in my tea. The first 5 days weren’t too bad ( maybe I was just in denial!) except for the insane craving I had for a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke each day which is my average consumption. But on day 6 through today I have a headache bordering on migraine, I feel foggy in the head and dizzy upon standing, my eyes hurt at the back and front and are sensitive to light, and I feel slightly nauseous like I have the flu, but no other flu symptoms. I have things to do today and I just want to go back to sleep because I feel so “out of it”. I have been trying to drink 1 cup of coffee and several cups of iced Earl Grey tea to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches, so I think this is the aspartame (Diet Coke) withdrawal. I have been having some neurological symptoms in my right leg and hip for six months and have been afraid of Parkinson’s. A friend did some research about aspartame poisoning creating Parkinson’s Syndrome, which is reversible once the person stops the aspartame. So I’m committed, but I feel like absolute hell today. Who knew that stopping this stuff could be so horrible? Good luck to all of us who are trying. I have had one regular coke in 8 days when I couldn’t stand it anymore, but at 240 calories…I almost fainted!

  31. Val Rose says:

    After going on a diet and losing 5 stones, I took aspartame sweetener for 8 years, 4 spoonfuls in every cup of tea, and at least 10 cups of tea a day, with no effect other than gaining back a stone in weight over the last year which my doctor put down to my age (65) and slower metabolism. My friend had read about the dangers of aspartame and wanted me to stop using it, but after research on the internet, I found that, for every website crying about the dangers, I could find another that said it was perfectly safe. My only reason for giving it up was, I read an article on weight gain, and found several others that backed it up, so decided to stop taking it. It took 4 days to stop, I’ve had no side effects and I’m back to using sugar (not good for you either!). I can only say, from my own experience, aspartame is not addictive, but if you expect to have syptoms of withdrawal, you probably will.

  32. Jenell says:

    I agree I don’t know if it was the aspartame or the caffiene, but been a drinker of dt soda since I was 14 now I am 24, every time I try to quit I get horrible headaches. It must be the aspartame, because I do not get headaches with coffee, but it could be both. I usually have 1 to 2 pops a day 3 if it has been really stressful and didn’t sleep much the night before. I really want to give up the stuff HECK smoking was easier to quit cold turkey than POP.

  33. Linda says:

    I quit diet coke and the packets of aspartame 4 wks. ago and finally after years of having staph and yeast problems. Joint pain that burned and just a weak bad feeling all around it’s gone ! Thank God ! I really thought I was dying. No antibiotics helped no doctors could help me. It was my addition to diet coke and artificial sweetners that were actually killing me.
    The with draw was pretty bad the last 2 wks. I pretty much could not do anything
    headaches and a flu feeling. But it’s 4 wks. and I feel totally different. I can think clearer now. that stuff is poisen. I had been doing that stuff since the 70′s.

  34. nancy says:

    At least 15 years ago, my friends at work and I read some articles about how awful Aspartame was….how the govt wouldn’t stop it and make them use Stevia, instead. I stopped diet coke for a short time and then went back to it. After reading about it on different sites and watching videos, I’m scared to death….blindness, strokes, numbness! Yikes! I’ve had so many unusual symptoms over the last few years, and now I’m wondering if much of it is from my daily diet coke drinking…20 to 60 ounces EVERY day, at least! I had my gall bladder removed because of “stones”. Above my knees, the skin has been numb for a few years….and I get a numbness in the whole top of my leg…sometimes right sometimes left. The neurologist tested me and said I must have a pinched nerve somewere…that was it. The other day, it felt as though my left ear was “clogged” and I could hear a high pitched sound. The worst thing is my memory!! I’ve been realizing for about 4 years, that it’s getting worse and worse. I do crosswords every day, and it’s infuriating when I can’t get a word that I KNOW, out of my head and onto the boxes. I forget something that I heard 2 minutes later….I think of something I want to get up and do, and then forget what it was. No…I’m not suffering from Altzheimer or other memory ailments. I had my last diet coke 2 dfays ago — bought flavored sparkling water to drink instead — after one bottle, I read the ingredients….yep, ASPARTAME was in the water!!! I’ll stick with regular water and watch ingredients in things I eat from now on. I’m so glad I came across this site….I will ditch this addiction….good luck to all of you!

  35. Cheryl L says:

    I’ve been drinking diet soda since TAB came out. While I didn’t drink more than 20 oz a day, I barely went a day without drinking it. Of course my New Year’s resolution was to get back into being healthy. Diet Coke had to go – replaced by water. I also had seen Stevia on sale so bought that instead of Equal for my coffee. It wasn’t an “I’m giving up aspertame” decision so I really didn’t give much thought to the fact that my body was no longer taking in this chemical. I suddenly got migraines, nausea, dull headaches daily and sensitivity to light. It took two months to realize that it might be because of the aspertame withdrawal. Interestingly enough, my knees had started bothering me. I wrote it off as getting back to exercise pains, but found it interesting that Mike had experienced knee pain. Thank you for this website. It feels good to have an answer.

  36. PartyMarty says:

    I knew there had to be a lot of other people just like me. Addicted to Diet Soda, knowing that it isn’t good for me, but needing, wanting it all the same. I am going to, for the first time, try to give it up. In addition to the fact that Diet Soda causes the calcium to leach from our bones, it is also linked to a very long list of ailments. One has to ask the question…..if aspartame is the cause of all of this……why is it still on the market? I remember years ago when all of the low fat products switched from saccharine to aspartame because it was suppose to be a healthier choice. Maybe the FDA should take another look at the effects of this stuff. Anyway, I am going to give detox a try.

  37. amanda says:

    I am 35 ,very healthy and active and have just recently stopped all artifical sweetners.to say the least I feel awful!no energy,headaches, and on and off nausea!this has been a concern of mine for some time to stop using!I used splenda every single day,and drsnk coke zero and d.dew for many many years.its been about a week or so since I stopped all cold turkey!feeling sick has eased up but have had a headache everyday!its not from no caffeine because I have had coffee everyday,I know its from the artifical sweetners!I will never put that poison in my body ever again!I am teaching my children to read labels,it is in so many products!im ashamed the government doesn’t do anything about it in all our food supply!I wanna add if you are reading this with any doubts just remember it is man made and there is nothing natural about it!God intended for our body to function healthy on REAL not artifical!

  38. ruth says:

    I am in my first week of quitting diet coke and all aspartame produces. I am experiencing the anxiety/panic attacks and my heart skipping beats like Catherine experiences. I seem to get them when going for a walk and once my heart starts pumping the attacks start but I am not going to stop walking as I think in the long run it will help me but for now I am going to take it slow. I am just glad to find out someone else is having these. The rest of the symptoms mentioned I have not experienced yet. But it is good to have these posts up so it will be less frightening. I am in my late 50s and have drank diet coke for about 24 years. I drank at least 6 cans a day

  39. sheila wensil says:

    hi i am 47 years i have been consuming 6-7 diet dr peppers a day . i started on this med that made diet sodas taste like crap. after day four i started feeling really bad ,i had flu like symptoms i even went to the doctor…….he said i was having with drawls from the not having caffeine……but if i get through this never again. It has made me feel alot better reading everyone’s stories..

    thanks again
    sheila

  40. rachael says:

    I have been addicted to diet coke for as long as I can remember. I think I used it to curb my appetite so that I wouldnt eat- but that never works. I can go through 2-5 small bottles of diet coke a day (if not more). Today is my first day going cold turkey. The migraine that I have now is excruciating and I am at work and I can’t leave. I also feel completely exhausted, I feel like I could fall asleep at my desk. I think it has taken me this long to really appreciate how far gone my addiction is. I really need to stop drinking this rubbish- it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. If anyone has any advice on how I can reduce the side effects please let me know.

    thank you.

  41. Ann Rogers says:

    I’m so glad to see this website and to see so many eyes are being opened. One gal commented on a metal taste in her mouth might I suggest checking into all the information about mercury in silver fillings? My husband and I are in our early 50′s and just stopped aspartame a week ago. My husband is experiencing cravings and headaches, I just miss chewing gum. We are using a pro biotic and have sent our hair in to do a hair analysis to see what we have done to our body and what we need to do to detox. We have silver fillings which we will get taken care of in January. 2012 will be a new life style for us as we embark on cleansing, purifying and trying to become chemical free. Blessings to all of you…. take it one day at a time….one hour or one minute.

  42. dawn says:

    I have been addicted to diet soda for 35 years . when I try to give it up I become very ill…nausia, vomiting,head aches nerviousness. . I am diabetic and the diet sodaS ARE AFFECTING MY HEALTH

  43. dawn says:

    I have been addicted to diet soda for 35 years. When I try to give it up I become very ill.. Nausia,vomiting, migrains and, mood swings. On top of spending every free dime I get on soda, I am diabetic and the caffine and aspartame raise my sugar to dangerously high levels. I want to stop, but I need help.

  44. Marie says:

    I have stopped consuming Diet Pepsi 2 weeks ago, which I’ve been addicted to for the best part of the last 25 years or so (I am 39). I used to drink liters of the stuff daily. Add to that the other products containing aspartame, that I consumed every day.

    I’ve been a migraine sufferer pretty much since I was 12 yrs old. Lately, they have been occuring pretty much daily and getting more painful. Last year, I saw a neurologist because my migraines had been getting worse and I’ve been having other symptoms that scared me: numbness in my lips, vertigo, sharp pain in my fingers. After all the tests, the neurologist didn’t find anything conclusive. I was back at square one, with my symptoms getting worse all the time. I was taking loads of Ibuprofen daily for the pain, with some decongestant, which seemed to help a bit.

    Then, last may, I had to quit working after suffering through 2 weeks of severe abdominal pain. I was also totally out of it, without energy. My doc suggested I suffered from depression but I kept telling him that I had no reason to be depressed, to the contrary. He didn’t want to listen to me. Concerning my migraines, which my doc didn’t seem to want to do anything about, I suggested that it might come from inflammed sinuses. He put me on antibiotics for that. I had to quit the treatment, cause it was making me real sick.

    I spent the whole summer barely surviving this all. Then, I had a hunch I might be allergic to something and that it might cause my migraines and all the rest. I went to see an allergist, who diagnosed me with many respiratory allergies. I was so happy! I thought I had FINALLY found what caused my ailments. The allergist prescribed me some nasal spray that was supposed to help me. I couldn’t take it for more than 2 days, it made me so sick. Since I had gotten rid of all the allergens I could in my environment, I toughed it up and waited until I started feeling better, which I was certain I would, at some point. But it kept getting worse…

    I didn’t know what to do. That is when I hit the web to find some answers… To make the story short, I quit drinking Diet Pepsi and everything with aspartame in it 2 weeks ago. At the same time, I quit all dairy products. Since I am a vegetarian, dairy was a huge part of my daily menus… I found replacement foods for the dairy and started drinking huge quantities of water and green tea. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so well hydrated in my whole life!

    In short, I felt like sh*t for the first 4 days after quitting Aspartame and dairy (horrendous migraine, severe fatigue, diarrhea). On the fifth day, things got better… First hint that things were turning around was that I spent a whole day without taking any kind of medication for pain or for sinus congestion. I was happy about it, but it would take me more than that before I would claim victory… Then, I had a second “perfect” day. It had been years since I had been off the meds for 2 days in a row. I still didn’t want to be TOO happy about it, thinking that the pain might come back any moment. On the 3rd day, I woke up feeling refreshed, pain free and well rested. This had not happened to me in… actually, I don’t remember ever waking up feeling so good. Also, that day, I felt more energy throughout the day that I had… ever! I really started thinking that I was onto something interesting…

    It is on that 3rd day that I realized that the swollen glands, in my neck, were gone! They’ve ALWAYS been there, as far as I can remember. Even my family practionner had noticed them. Since he didn’t seem too concerned about it, I thought it was normal…

    Now, I am at the end of my 8th day WITHOUT pain. That’s 8 days WITHOUT medication AT ALL. And I feel WONDERFUL!!! I don’t think that I have ever felt this good in my whole life! Not only am I pain free, but my fatigue has left me, I seem to be thinking much more clearly. I feel, overall, like a new person!!! I am realizing now just how bad I was feeling before… I was used to live with chronic pain and I just felt like it was pretty normal. IT IS NOT!!! Had I known before what I know now, I would of been DONE with Aspartame and dairy a long, long time ago…

    I don’t know exactly which, from Aspartame or the dairy was making me sick the most. In a few weeks, I’ll try a slice of pizza, to see how I feel after. It should help me pinpoint how sick it was making me. But I won’t be having any Aspartame ever. That’s for sure… I am not risking it!

    People! I know that getting off the stuff can be real tough. I, like may of you, had a hard time leaving that poison behind. I had been warmed by friends and family about it, but never really listened to what they were saying. I could not imagine my life without my DP. Since I’ve realized that it probably caused most of my ailments, let me tell you that I am not even craving that sh*t AT ALL! Actually, when I see it in the store, I just take a deep breath, through my now healthy sinuses, and I smile, thinking to myself how great I feel. Not going back there for a million bucks!

    Hang on, people, and rest assured: if you quit this, you’ll be sooooo much better. Also, if you suffer from any inflammatory disease, try avoiding all dairy products for a week. If you feel better after that week, go on for another one. 70% of North Americans are lactose intolerant (add to that those who are allergic to casein, an other componant found in dairy). Most of those people don’t know they are. A great way to know if you are is to remove it from your diet for a little while and note how your symptoms progress.

    I feel like I am ranting a little bit, but I feel so good and I am so excited by my new found pain free existence that I wanna scream about it for all to hear! And I figured that this forum would be a good place to let you know, you who are on this forum to find some answers for yourself, that it is possible to get better naturally, with just a little dedication.

    You can do it, you’re WORTH IT!!!

    Good luck to all!

  45. MAC says:

    I’m 70 years old and in 2001 I was dianosed with SEASONAL AFFECTED DISORDER. The doctor said I was lacking serotonin in my brain.Recently I found out he was wrong. God told my wife the culprit was ASPARTAME. Goodbye LAXAPRO hello ASPARTAME detoxacation. I’m now on my 11th day and holding.

  46. Catherine says:

    I have been drinking diet pepsi for the last 20+ years at least 4-6 cans a day, maybe more. I decided to quit cold turkey in August. For about the first week I craved diet pepsi like none other. The only thing that could satisfy me was sweets and not for long. I had no adverse symptoms until about the second week and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I woke up screaming with charlie horses in my calf muscles almost everyday for two weeks. These were not any typical charlie horse either, they hit me with a vengance and would last 2-3 minutes. I am surprised my neighbors did not call 911 from all the screaming. I usually got one in each leg daily. After 2 weeks my knees and my ankles were swollen and it was very difficult to walk. I was also having a lot of muscle twitches too. I was starting to think mabe I had MS or Parkinson’s. After two weeks of this I started taking potassium and magnesium and the charles horses subsided. I might add that during the these two weeks I also had flu like symtoms, body aches, fever, sweating, nausea.

    It has been two months since I quit the diet pepsi and I wish I could say I feel better. I am now dealing with a whole new set of symptoms that have forced me to the emergancy room twice. I have had anxiety/panic attacks, fatigue , heart skipping beats frequently, very high blood pressure, high pulse rate and back pain between my shoulder blades. The ER doctors can’t find anything wrong. They have checked my electrolites, thyroid and EKG, both times they have come back normal.

    I need help and all the doctors I have talked to so far look at me like I am crazy. One ER doctor actually suggested I see a psychologist. I told her nothing has changed in my life besides the diet pepsi. I feel like a hypochondriac and am embarrassed.

  47. Warren says:

    Best of luck to all.

    I am 46 years old and drank about 4 cans of Dt. Dr. Pepper a day for about 20 years. About 5 years ago, I started having issues with dizziness, confusion, fatigue, etc. My excuse was, it sucks to get older. Went thruogh some doc tests and they found nothing. I quit several times before but always came back to it.

    I am on day three of no dt. soda. Doing okay. Some headaches, tiredness but not too bad. I pray that I can kick this horrible habit. I do not smoke, drink very little and do not use drugs. Eating a little too much and dt. soda were my vices.

    I am drinking some water and decaffinated iced tea. I will allow myself two regular sodas a week. Either a mexican coke or a Dublin Dr. Pepper. Both of those are made with cane sugar. I just want to feel normal. I am fine with 46 year old normal, just normal.

  48. Angela says:

    Hello there everyone,
    Iam so glad i found this site!! I really thought i was going out of my mind.
    Around 4 years ago i stopped taking sugar in my tea and started using aspartame,(artificial sweeteners, candarel,equal and splenda). During those 4 years i have been consuming around 4 to 8 mugs of tea(de-caf) in one day with 4 sweeteners per time. I have never really been a fizzy juice drinker, however when i do it always has been diet coke or pepsi.
    Over the last 4 years despite going to the gym religiously, dieting and really watching my weight i have still managed to pile on almost 2 stone(28 pounds). As well as this i have had breast pain, sore heads, joint pain(knees) extreme dizziness and trouble conceiving a child. In the first 2 years i did fall pregnant, however, i lost both babies at 9 and then almost 13 weeks.
    I have never truly felt myself for years!! We all go thru troubles and heartache, nonetheless, i have found life pretty difficult in recent years.
    To cut to the chase around 5 days ago i started to read up on the problems and side effects caused by aspartame. Oh my goodness!! I can’t believe how and why this is still being used in diet products, or any food and/or drink for that matter.
    Iam so amazed at the positive results people have been experiencing since stopping taking diet coke etc…..(aspartame) Iam aware that the withdrawal of this can be difficult, however, iam sure that it will be all worth it in the end. I have been a little on edge and dont seem to have alot of patience at the moment but iam hoping that this will improve with time. I dont seem to feel as bloated either, which is also a bonus. Fingers crossed my success continues.
    I will never go back to using artificial sweeteners and i will try to the best of my ability to ensure that i dont consume any in the future.
    I wish everyone good health and happiness.
    P.S Lots of water,water, water and more water!!!!

  49. julie says:

    Been off diet drinks,sweetners,chewing gum, mints, carbonated drinks for 5 days and feel like crap today…was bad enough the past few days/nights but today i feel worse. Im tired,i cant get to sleep, i ache,my throat hurts, and ive got that massive headache we have all had. My eyes have been sore/clouding over for no reason for years now, so much so that i had laser surgery last november thinking my contact lenses were no good for me anymore, Ive had stomach problems for years and ive had every test you can think of and they cant find anything wrong with me but im in paid every day, either aching joints or my stomach, im listless,i cant concentrate for long, i just dont want to do anything when i get home from work, which i wouldnt go to if i didnt need to. For so many years ive had nothing but sweeteners and diet foods, every day chew gum or have mint sweets, more the gum though as i found it helped stop me picking at foods all day! For me, 5 days in, im having a bad day, i dont feel right, i want to just go to sleep, ive got stomach pains, ive got a sore in my throat why i have no idea, and im constantly thinking of chewing gum or diet drink…when i know i should never touch it again…i know tonight im going to just lay there not being able to sleep again..i feel like crap!! The going hot and cold is getting me down as well, one minute i put on a jacket, the next im too hot. I thought all this was because ive hit my 50′s and its what you go through !! Having a under active thyroid i thought that was why…i just want to know how long does this detox go on for and how can i make it go away faster ?

  50. Lindsay says:

    My second day off diet coke – thought I was getting sick but I guess I am having withdrawal symptoms! Started last night- foggy, dizzy, chills, headaches, eyes hurt, light sensitivity, off and on nausea. Wow had no idea this was effecting my body. I am officially DONE with this shit! I only drank about 2 a day. Crazy. Thanks for this website – keep up the good work.

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