MS and RA patient advocate, Lisa Emrich, shares news and information about living with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Lisa, I did vote -- "unsure" -- but I'm wondering if there's anything you've ever written -- and I may have missed -- about such a connection between MS and aspertame. I'd be interesting in reading about it.Peace,Muff
From the evidence I've gathered from personal experience, there is definitely a relationship between what has been diagnosed as MS for me, and my past Aspartame consumption. Chris is welcome to my personal observations if he likes. They are currently in a private blog because I wanted to keep a record of what I was experiencing and thoughts at the time things were happening. I've completely avoided Aspartame for a good while and have not had a new exacerbation for a couple of years.
Although my vote was "no", I have been doing some research for a couple of weeks now on this very subject. There is a lot of controversy over the relationship of excitotoxins (MSG, aspartame) and their role in the development of neurological disorders.I have avoided both aspartame and MSG whenever possible for many years, due to the fact that they triggered my migraine attacks.I'm reading a good book on the subject; Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Dr. R. Blaylock. Anyone that is wondering about aspartame should read it.Cheers
Muff,This is a subject upon which I have NOT written. I haven't read convincing research into the subject, but to be honest I haven't looked for it. Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Diet Coke. LOLOct,Wonderful that you are doing so well after having eliminated aspartame from consumption. I used to read your blog and seem to recall that you also lost a lot of weight at some point. Do you think that these are related?Karen,MSG is one of those things which I avoid as it gives me big headaches (can't really call them migraines) and makes my hands/joints swell up. It certainly isn't worth whatever flavor enhancement it might give to food, at least not in my opinion.
Thanks Lisa,Yes, I have lost a considerable amount of weight via a low carbohydrate diet. Low carb is also a low inflammation so it's helpful with many things, including MS. I hear you about the diet soda! I drank almost nothing but diet Coke, diet Pepsi, etc since the age of 18 (once I started college and was away from the protective watch of my parents). No water for me. None at all for several years.Now I drink almost nothing but water. When I diet soda it's sweetened with Splenda or one of the other non-aspartame artificial sweeteners.I've also given up chewing gum (because most of it is sweetened with aspartame). Chewing gum can be a major crutch while losing weight and I overdid that as well.I'm sure the aspartame is a culprit in my MS flair-ups. After giving up diet soda with aspartame for so long I decided to treat myself with a case of diet root beer one week. I couldn't find diet root beer sweetened with anything else.At the end of that week my MS was flaring so strongly that I was once again thinking I'd need an IV solu-med treatment. My doctor was on vacation that week and so I wouldn't be able to get what I needed until she was back. Since diet root beer seemed to be the only differentiating factor between feeling mostly fine and feeling crippled I poured the remainder of the diet root beer down the sink. From then on I only drank Diet Rite products (no aspartame). By the time my doctor returned from vacation I no longer needed the IV solu-med treatment. I'd gone from almost needing a walker and feeling like my life might be coming to it's end to feeling strong and relatively healthy. All this in a two-week period.This clued me in to the fact that maybe my MS wasn't really MS. I'll always have to experience the residual damage (limping when I walk more than a couple of blocks, my vision will blur when I'm overheated, I have a slight tremer in my hands that never goes away, I'm a little more than clumsy) but all of that is livable and doesn't worsen unless I am in a situation where I'm overheated at length ... or if I consume aspartame for a few days. Diet soda, diet jello, sugarfree gum. Not worth it when there are a growing number of alternately sweetened products.All I can suggest is for those who are curious to find out ... give up all aspartame products for a couple of weeks or so and see if you feel any better. Two weeks isn't that long. If aspartame isn't the culprit in someone's particular case I think that would be interesting for them to learn too.
And after that wall of text I have one more thing to add. :) I said that maybe my MS wasn't really MS ... I meant that maybe my MS wasn't caused by the unknown but rather maybe it was caused by aspartame poisoning. I have brain lesions on the MRIs, I presented with Uthoff's sign and optic neuritis and was diagnosed in 2001.