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 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 knee 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.

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. 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, your body may one day kick you in the butt like mine did, a rude awakening it was for sure.

If you are ready to break that diet drink addiction, email me, 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 commented.

Mike W.