Diet Coke Side Effects!

Hopefully you have read in my story the Diet Coke side effects that I experienced during my nearly 10 year addiction. If you haven’t please stop and read my two pages on the left side navigation and then come back to this post to find out why I experienced them.

The internet is full of stories, articles, posts, and comments about Diet Coke side effects and to be honest side effects of drinking regular soda’s or other unhealthy drinks as well. Do a quick search on Google for Diet Coke Side effects and you will see all the different places you can go to view information. There are also two sides to this story because you will find those who share their addiction and what they have experienced and then you will find those that are opposed to the notion that the ingredients in Diet and other drinks are perfectly fine for you and they have had no problem. I am not here to sway you one way or another, what I am here to share is MY own experience and what my Diet Coke side effects were. If you read my story, you will remember that I struggled with this addiction for nearly 10 years. It was not an addiction that was planned; it happened over time and all of a sudden, at age 40, I noticed things happening that had not happened before. Let me list just a few of the symptoms that I experienced:

Constant headaches

Almost weekly Migraines

Joint pain in both my knees

Stiff neck

Overly dry skin and hair

What my wife would call memory loss (of course I think this is a normal guy thing)

Extreme fatigue

Lack of concentration

Sure, you can probably explain away most all of these to other things, but how my story ends is proof to me that my Diet Coke side effects were caused by my large consumption over a long period of time.

I believe that Aspartame is one of the ingredients that can cause the side effects that I list above, plus many others. Aspartame is used in many food products, including gum, and yes, it is approved by the FDA, but I think as you investigate for yourself you will find enough evidence to agree that there is something to all the claims of health problems associated with it. Caffeine, processed sugars, other artificial sweeteners and other harmful stimulants also can play a roll in affecting people’s health. Diet drinks are linked to many health situations including diabetes, obesity, blood pressure problems and a whole host of other concerns reported by folks around the globe.

Does everyone experience these problems, certainly not, but if folks play out their lives similar to mine, the long term affects of consuming so much of these harmful products might just end them up one day like I was, wondering why I felt so terrible at age 40.

If you read my last page on how I accidentally broke my addiction to Diet Coke, you hopefully have realized that there are healthy alternatives out there. In 5 days my addiction was gone and during that time and up until today, I have not had one withdrawal symptom. Do I believe that the ingredients in diet sodas are harmful over time, you bet I do, I experienced it. I will also tell you that since my addiction was busted; I have not had one headache, not one migraine, no more joint pain in my knees or neck, no more fatigue, not one Diet Coke side effect that I struggled with for so long has remained. That is the reason I believe all the negative things out there about Aspartame and artificial sweeteners, Caffeine, processed sugars and stimulants, to me they are all true.

If you are like I was and found it hard to quit on my own, find a healthier replacement for your addiction, and maybe, just maybe you will experience what I did, a life changing event.

If you are ready to break that diet drink addiction, email me, if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help out.

Mike W.

Diet Coke Drinker No More!


  1. Carolyn says:

    I drank 2 to 5 cans of Diet Coke per day, pretty much every day for over 25 years.

    I finally stopped cold turkey going on 5 years ago (September 2012) because my tolerance had built up so much that it took more and more to get that “up” feeling, but it was becoming more of a burden than a pleasure. The main thing was that I realized Diet Coke was affecting my diet which was affecting my weight.

    Think about it: when you drink a Diet Coke, does it make you want to reach for a banana, grapes or carrots to go with it? It sure didn’t for me –it made me crave something salty. Then, maybe something sweet. It had my taste buds on an unhealthy roller coaster, and I craved processed foods instead of “clean” foods. It also does weird things to your metabolism and the way you process food.

    When I stopped drinking Diet Coke, my taste buds gradually adjusted back to how nature intended. I began really enjoying fruits and vegetables as my main snacks, and I was able to cut out most of the processed/carby foods. To this day, I very seldom drink anything but water, mainly because I have the problem of using a beverage as an excuse to have some unhealthy processed treat with it. (i.e. coffee + muffin, tea + pastry, wine + garlic bread). I discovered I don’t really like to drink beverages without some treat with it! My rules are that I can eat all I want as long as it it non-processed and healthy. It works because you don’t overeat healthy non-processed food. It satisfies you, whereas junk food never does. I really started to reap results for the first time in years, and I felt and still feel so free. My skin glows, I have a nice waistline again, and people have told me I look 10 years younger! I feel better mentally too.

    It was not easy to quit, and I felt awful for the first several weeks with headaches, fatigue, brain fog, etc. Then, about two or three weeks into no Diet Coke when I was starting to feel better, I woke up one morning (when I would normally have my first Diet Coke of the day!) with a sharp pain deep in my brain. I thought for sure I had a brain tumor. It never happened again, and who knows, but I felt like it was “a last cry” from the addicted part of my brain withdrawing from the artificial sweetener in the soda.

    Similar to an alcoholic, so often at first during that withdrawal period, when I was having a bad day, or was feeling stressed, I would say to myself, “I would give anything for a Diet Coke right now!” But I knew if I took one sip, I would be hooked again, so I never did. (I had previously tried to kick Diet Coke several times over the prior few years and so this is how I knew what would happen.) I would just gulp tons of water and eat something healthy until the urge passed. During my early days of “recovery” from Diet Coke addiction, I also had a recurring dream that I was drinking Diet Coke and it tasted so wonderful and bubbly, and I would then wake up in a panic thinking that I had really had some. It seems funny to me now, but it was serious then. I stopped having any cravings at all for it about two years into giving it up, and now I am disgusted by the thought of drinking one. It really seems like such a trashy habit now.

    When I am at the grocery store, and I see people loading up their carts with Diet Coke and other sodas, I actually feel sorry for them. They usually don’t look like the picture of health, and I notice they are also buying lots of junky processed snacks too. This was me for years and years. I also think of the money I have saved by kicking these bad habits and the health benefits I’ve reaped. Healthy foods are expensive, but I realized I didn’t think a thing of buying Diet Coke by the 12 pack and all the snacks.

    If I can quit, you can too! DO IT!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi I drink at least 6-10 cans Diet Coke a day the other day I had a bed with my mum she quits smoking and I quit the Coke
    I’m 3 days in got non stop headaches very mardy and all I want to do is sleep is this part of going cold turkey? Really struggling

  3. L.A.S. says:

    I stopped drinking Diet Coke cold turkey during the last week of December 2017. I had tried before but like other commenters, I got the shakes and withdraw symptoms so bad that I could not stop.

    I was “scared straight” by seeing the results of a bone density scan with findings of severe osteoporosis in my spine. My doctor recommended that I stop drinking Diet Coke or other cola sodas as the phosphates and caffeine can leach calcium from the bone. If you are interested in looking this up, the Mayo Clinic web site and other medical sources have information on this subject.

    I knew the aspartame wasn’t so great for me BUT I did not realize that it caused joint pain. I am about 15 days into my Diet Coke free lifestyle and I have stopped having the joint and all over body aches that I previously had every day. I took the maximum amount of Tylenol each day to combat the pain.

    Now that I am drinking more water, orange juice, tea, and other juices, I am getting more hydrated which I think helps stop the overall body aches.

    When we stop drinking Diet Coke, we also cut out a lot of sodium too. I am looking forward to seeing how much better I feel. But I’m happy that I feel so much better so quickly after stopping my Diet Coke habit.

    It was the fear of the bone scan results that stopped me. I couldn’t imagine drinking more “poison.” I used to like that poison and was drinking so much Diet Coke just to get through the day at my office job. I recommend using caffeinated tea (unsweetened or sweetened with a little sugar), orange, and apple juice to transition away from Diet Coke. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought because I still got the caffeine and “sweet” that must have been my attraction to Diet Coke.

    Please don’t let this happen to you. Osteoporosis is a life long disease, once you get it. Doctors can try to use medication to slow down the damage but it can never be cured. So while you are drinking Diet Coke in your 20s,30s,40s,50s, etc…your bones most likely will be heavily effected by Diet Coke ingredients. If you are a heavy Diet Coke drinker of any age, I advise that you get a bone scan of the hips and spine to find out your status. I needed both as my hip scan showed normal healthy density but my spine scan showed severe osteoporosis.

  4. Betty says:

    I was consuming drinks with Aspartame throughout the day on a daily basis and I began losing my hair at an alarming rate ?. It was shedding and thinning all over my head and when I discovered that Aspartame could be the culprit, I immediately stopped consuming anything that had Aspartame in it. My hair loss stopped the next day!! I’m hoping that it will grow back now. If I had only known the side effects of Aspartame. The consumer is not aware of some of the adverse side effects of,this artificial sweetener until they begin to experience some of the side effects and begin to do some research.

  5. Tiffany Sofie says:

    I quit drinking alcohol in 2004, replaced it with diet coke. Suffering from neck stiffness, had a massage once my masseuse asked me your neck is so stiff how much diet coke are you drinking? I suffer from extreme fatigue, Doctors think it is from my lack of vitamin D. I keep telling them no, that’s not right. It must be something else. I use to eat a lot of chocolates, my chest would break out with broken capillaries. I would tell doctors I think it is chocolate no one believed me. I did my own research. Quit chocolate for months then ate it alot for one weak. Wow broken capillaries.

  6. Luke says:

    Hi. Ii have been and on and off Diet coke and Pepsi Max addict now for 15 years or so. I had previously quit several times but only gotten as far as a week or so as I am a non drinker so when out in social situations I always got caught out with ordering a Diet coke or other Diet carbonated drink at the bar. I am now 4 months free of the stuff and I have noticed some remarkable changes. I have a lot more energy. My mood has lifted. No more Fatigue and my complexion and once thinning hair have dramatically improved. Initially I started to have 2 cups of coffee a day but with plenty of water and moderate exercise. But I no longer feel the burden of muscular pain, fatigue and all of the above symptoms associated with aspartame laced diet sodas and fizzy drinks. I would strongly recommend watching the documentary/movie ‘Hungry for Change’ to anyone questioning the dangerous of this stuff. Good Luck Everyone.

  7. ash says:

    I’m addicted to diet coke and if I go with out I’m ill with shakes and vomiting I have tried I also drink water but only diet coke works my doctor said just keep trying

  8. Brenda says:

    Very impessed with your article.
    My friend sent it to me. I have deen it yet ,
    Always by
    I havetrême fatigue, daytime for no
    I shall let go of diet coke, and see how
    fatigue improves.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Hana says:

    I know I’m sort of young to be drinking diet coke, but I get stuck to it, and never want to get off of it. Here’s a good example: everytime we go to a resteraunt, I always drink a lot of diet coke, and I’d have to pee after, and 10 minutes after I go. I really do pee a lot though. Do any of u think it might be the caffeine in the coke? One of the reasons why I drink it, is because I wanna be like my mom. Think of it! 2 ladies drinking diet coke together!

  10. Bill Wittig says:

    Anyone experience heartburn after stopping diet coke?

  11. Linda says:

    Diet coke and Dr. Pepper have phosphoric acid and Aspartame. Anyway I binge drank it and started getting severe back pain. Then stopped it and back pain went away. Then took glucosamine and calcium. My prayers revealed to me dc and ddp are the cause. And sure enough I got better, binge drank again and the back pains came back like a vengeance.. I can only imagine what its doing to my bone marrow and spine. Also memory loss, migraines and im done. Im switching to natural drinks. Its the caffeine I like when im tired but the soda I crave.. ugh..pure canned and bottled poison

  12. Jasmine says:

    My spouse was addicted and drank 6-8 cans a day of DC for probably 20 years. After having kidney stone attacks, severe, he decided to give it up cold turkey. He said for days his head felt like it was splitting down the middle. Never had such pain in his life. Can’t prove it but he has terrible joint problems. One knee replaced already, and now both hips needs replacing. Other knee is also bone on bone and needs full replacement. If you are drinking any soda at all, please stop and consider your health long term. It really isn’t worth it.

  13. Brynie says:

    I have only been drinking dc for a few months but before i went on to dc i have drank regular coke just about everyday since i was 15. Im only 23 now but i am already having bad headaches, knee pains, trouble sleeping ay night. After reading everyones comments on this website, i am giving up the dc and rc for good. I hope for all of you who have given this up a brilliant dc free future. Thank you for making me see that dc is bad. I really had no idea how harmful it was to our health x

  14. joanne nash says:

    hi im 31 years old been drinking dc for 14 years but now it is out of controll ill go through 12 to 15 cans a day 3 cups of coffee and not a drop of water i suffer with my nevers panick attacks and deppression but now its getting worse than ever followed by headaches leg pain well all over pain i will find it VERY HARD to stop cause if there aint one here im on pins but after reading all your comment i will not be havin anther can hopefully i will have more energy less headaches no pain and no more tingle/numbnus in my arms and fingers I WILL BE DRINKING WATER ill let you know soon how im feeling

  15. sarah d says:

    I have been drinking diet coke for the last 7years and before that i drank normal coke for 8 years. It is such a deadly drink. I am only realising now the extreme effects it has had on my health. i have always been slim but my stomach bulges as there is so much gas in the drinks. I have had several kidney stones which are immensely painful and I look tired, withdrawn and depressed, i also feel tired, and at times low. My sex drive has almost vanished. I find it hard to focus and I always have awkward sleeping patterns. All this is due to diet coke and even though its not proven it is, I have quit several times before and felt a change each time. This time I am quitting for good as I know that I wnt be young for much longer and dont want to regret that I have not lived a healthy happy life. diet coke does ruin your health and even ruins your life if you consume it in large quantities. but its a shame that it took me this long to realise how much it affects every part of my mind and body. Quit Now if you can

  16. Jennifer says:

    I stopped drinking all diet soda products about a week ago. I watched the movie “Hungry for Change” and it scared the heck out of me. It is available on NETFLIX and I suggest watching it, it really opened my eyes. Thank you for this website, I have found a lot of helpful information on here.

  17. Stacie says:

    Its not just diet coke or diet sodas. I drink one, maybe two diet drinks a day but in the morning, I drink about 4-5 cups of coffee that each cup gets a little sweet n low in which contains aspartame. There have been many published reports warning about the dangers of aspartame. My aunt died from breast cancer and her oncologists said her addiction to one of the major diet drinks most likely caused her breast cancer. Since reading the the article, I have quit sweet n low and diet drinks. I drink water now. The withdrawal sucks but its only temporary. A little chocolate (and I mean like one “fun sized” candy bar for I am diabetic) will each the caffeine withdrawal headache. Good luck everyone.

  18. Manny says:

    Hi there, I have been drinking Diet Coke for the past 12 or 13 years, most of the time up to a 12 pack a day, on and off i started to feel my right hand and forearm numbed, mostly while driving or when having my arm on an upright position, for the past 3 years it got worst, when I go to bed I start to feel my right arm numbed and my my right hand and fingers tickling and some times a little pain, after a couple of hours of falling asleep the pain going from my right elbow thru my arm to my fingers was unbearable, I compare the pain to that of a leg cramp only that this pain would not go away until I get up and start moving around, regardless of the position I sleep on, as soon as I go to sleep the pain comes back, I went to see the 2 different doctors, both ran several tests but they did not find what was causing that pain, on the side, I always feel tired, no energy, both my knees hurt all the time, lately I have been feeling this pain on my shoulders and my left wrist, up until a week ago, I decided to quit drinking Diet Coke on account of my wife bugging me about the side effects and MAGIC, the very first night I was able to sleep without the right arm pain, it has been only a week and I’ve got results already, no pain whatsoever, THANKS FOR READING I hope this is useful for you.

  19. Bob Womack says:

    I have been drinking diet A&W ROOTBEER for over 25 years now. I have constant queeziness, and sometimes full blown nausea daily. I feel bloated all of the time now, with stomach pain. If I eat anything fried or high in spices, I get extremely nauseas and sick within 30 minutes. I am meserable at 61 years old. At times, I wonder how much longer I can survive like this. I am also extremely fatigued, have trouble breathing, and frequently feel constant bubbling and bowell sounds coming from my abdomen.

  20. Becky says:

    Diet Coke has been a mainstay on my diet for many years. I, like others I have read about, suffer from horrible migraines (averaging 10 or more a month), very severe Restless Leg Syndrome, knee pain and I have developed a bad skin condition due to very dry skin. Also, I had bad sinus trouble and would always cough pflem (yuck-sorry). I have other symptons as well, but chalk some of them up to my age (54). I decided to cut DC out of my life about 6 weeks ago. AMAZINGLY, I have had only 2 MINOR headaches in the last month, I have eliminated my daily meds for RLS completely!!!, my sinuses are clear and my knees are not nearly as bad as they were. I am now hoping my dry skin condition will improve.
    I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE THE ELIMINATION OF DC FROM MY DIET IMPROVED THESE CONDITIONS! Oh! And it only took about 3 days of craving before I completely forgot about the stuff! No more colas for me – of any kind!

  21. george wilson says:


  22. Julie says:

    I am a diet coke addict. However, the last 3 weeks I’ve started having non-stop migraines with auras – of which I’ve never had before. Finally figured out that it’s directly related to my increase in d. cokes – I have been drinking at least 6 a day for over a decade. Lately, it was up to min. 8/day, plus equal in my coffee/tea. Yesterday, I switched to regular sugar in my coffee, and had 2 diet cokes. Today, I will be buying a 6 pack of regular coke as a “test”. I’m done w/ diet coke forever.
    My question is will drinking regular coke eliminate the aspartime problems? I am not interested in drinking more than 2 a day (calories). ?????????

  23. Kathy says:

    I just quit Diet coke almost yesterday. I did slip and downed a half warm can one of my kids left on the table. I have been drinking DC for 15 years. I would drink about ten cans a day on average. I rarely drank water except for some short lived periods through the last 15 years. I am 68 days clean and sober from meth and any other drug that I might get offered. I’m 55 and luckily very healthy by luck. I do have dry hair, dry skin, mysterious itching in legs and feet at bed time. My dry skin has improved dramatically since I quit the meth. My sanity is also returning. So I have come to realize I was using DC like a drug. I am hoping it is to blame for my stuborn belly fat and I am suspiicious it was sabatoging my dieting. I believe DC is harmless in moderation like most legal and approved sunstances. But being an addict and doing things in an addict way I am sure it wasn’t doing me any good. I look forward to losing weight now, possibly looking less wrinkled and whatever good comes from not being dehydrated.

  24. Saba says:

    I will not say that I am addicted to diet coke but I always feel fresh and filled when I drink dc but after reading all these comments about knee and elbows pain, feeling lazy all day long, yawning and other feelings like that as I am also have all these feelings so now I will try to quit dc for good. Well I am drinking maximum 2 drinks a day but anyway I will stop now as I am going to be 40 soon and I don’t want to be sick.

  25. Joe says:

    Consumption of diet coke is equivalent to regular coke. The ingredients in the diet coke is ”fake” as it gives similar to same taste of the regular drinks. Stimulants in the diet drinks make people eat more and have sporadic negative health conditions of which the fatigue and overeating take the first place. After I quit drinking diet coke I started to feel like I could wrap my head around daily tasks. Diet drinks stimulate the brain in a negative way which causes grand scale distraction from focus factors. I know quitting diet coke cold turkey might be a challenging thing but the benefits of giving up on it made my life better than it used to be. I really do not think there is an alternative to diet coke or diet dr peppers etc.. The best and the only alternative I can tally is pure water. Water doesn’t have any stimulants inside except for the city contaminants which can be alleviated by buying filtered or purified water. I simply recommend everyone drinking just water. Coffee is also a great reason for obesity and one cup of coffee has triple more stimulants than a diet coke. So quitting diet coke and loading up on coffee is an extreme mistake ever to be made. I quit drinking coffee and diet coke and i feel way better than how i used to be .

  26. Douglas says:

    Jazzie, you have just described everything that I go thru, I just quit my DC addiction 17 days ago and already my knees feel better, I feel more calm. I hope my foggy brain and light sensitivity go away!!. I do not want to drink another soda of any kind as long as I live!. Its Pure POISON, I cannot believe how well I feel, Im 43 very active and to have robbed myself of my quality of life for so long is foolish. The addiction is very real and with so few options out there for anything other than high fructose beverages or Diet drinks that contain poison, Im gonna learn to just Choose water. Good luck to all who have made the life changing decision to stop.

  27. Rachel says:

    My boyfriend crank diet soda for 20 years, every single day. He experienced stomach pains in the morning along with many other symptoms. He’s been soda free for over 6 months now and is starting to feel better. I recently (5 months ago) quit my vice too: alcohol. Which, surprisingly, after speaking with my boyfriend I realize has a lot of the same withdraw symptoms. Mine were obviously more emotional, but that just goes to show you soda is no laughing matter.

  28. Jazzie says:

    I am addicted to diet coke and didn’t realize how powerful it was until recently I quit. I accidently stumbled upon my Diet Coke addiction and it’s long term health problems because I felt so bad all of the time and wanted try something that might help me to feel better, so in an attempt to “cleanse” my system, I went on water only diet for my fluid intake. I do not know how I ever got in the horrid habit of drinking no fluids except DC but for 10 years I drank very little water and a lot of diet coke. Sometimes I would be thirsty and if I had no DC available I would simply not drink anything. I knew I was dehydrated but I was set it my ways. Anyhow, I feel like my body is still recovering from the damage but I already feel quite a lot better. These are some of the nasty physical and emotional symptoms I experienced while giving Coca Cola Corporation MY DOLLARS in exchange for a product that made me SICK : Migraines, dry skin, high cholesterol, stubborn belly fat, severe acute chronic fatigue, insomnia, chronic sleep disruption, day time yawning (constantly), over all poor sense of wellbeing, acid reflux and heartburn, shortness of breath, joint pain especially in knees and elbows, (I am quite young and used to be super fit. After DC I would climb the 6 flights of stairs to my condo and be completely out of breath!!! Even worse, I had no energy or will in me left to workout. All I ever felt like doing was laying on the sofa watching tv!), acid reflux at night, heartburn, memory loss, tingling in hands and arms, itchy feet at night, depression, anxiety, increased sweats and random intense sweat spells, constipation, spotting between the monthly, hopelessness at times, brain fog, now I am pre diabetic in the beginning of adrenal failure. My liver readings are extremely elevated and I am getting brown spots on my face and hands because of it (age spots/liver spots!!!) In no way do I believe all of my issues are caused by diet coke, now I am sure my problems began there and then had a chain reaction and the health dominos began to fall. How do I know diet coke is to blame? I haven’t changed a bit of me except for the switching of DC to water. Already my blood labs have improved a bit, I have more energy, I have no signs of diabetes, I have lost 6 pound, my sex drive has resurfaced, I already feel 8 years younger! I quite seriously will never touch DC again, though I do still suffer withdrawals thus craving the vile liquid chemical concoction called Diet Coke.

  29. Kelly says:

    I have recently quit Diet Coke, well its only been two and one half days. I guess I can be called a hard corps because of the amount I drank 4+ litres per day. I decided to stop because of the aspertame. I hope all of the improved health effects kick in soon. I never thought of this as an addiction, untill I stopped that is. Wish me luck.

  30. Joanina says:

    I started drinking diet coke at 40 and have drank it for 20 yrs and I found out on the Dr Phip show that it was good for Schizophrenia and nerologic factors of mental illness. For me it is good because I suffer from depression ans Schizophrenia and I didn’t know that until then. I don’t want to drink it and rather quit but I want to be happy so I do until I can find something betteror they make something that wil keep me happy and bubbably yours.

  31. Michael says:

    I was drinking about 1 litre of Diet Coke a day most days. Recently I started to get this feeling of extreme fatigue and having read some of the comments I cut out diet coke completely. I drank 1 cup of coffee a day to avoid too harsh caffeine withdrawals.

    After 2 weeks the fatigue has gone but I feel 110% better it is quite extraordinary. I realise that a litre was a lot but even so I did not think that stopping would be so dramatic!!!

  32. Amy says:

    Hi Mike,
    My brother has been hooked on coke for years, but since being diagnosed as diabetic he has for the last 2 years plus been hooked on diet coke. he is always ill, has no physical strength, and its apparent how much this is affecting him. How do we help him, when he refuses to admit he has a problem?

  33. William Lomonyang says:


  34. Symphony Laskowski says:

    After reading all the comments and what side effects Aspartame can have on some people I now want to quit drinking diet drinks. I drink it because regular soda bloats my stomach and I also get stomach aches. When I drink diet I don’t get that effect. I’m addicted to the taste. I don’t drink it regularly just every now and then. I’m a middle age woman and experiencing fatigue and thinning hair, so now I don’t know if it’s a combination of both. Funny

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