Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is it ok to drink Diet [fill in the blank soda]? I miss it!

This is the question posed by a low-carber recently. I know there are constantly new low-carb friends coming aboard, but my response now is the response I am going to give 10 years from now. It’s the same response I began giving a year ago.

Aspartame is not ok. At least not for me and many others. Read on.

I drank Diet Coke for 24 years. I loved Diet Coke. I coveted diet Coke. As a second generation Atkineer, I began my Atkins journey at the age of 14. I drank Diet Coke for over two decades, certain that I was doing well for myself, staying away from all of that terrible sugar regular sodas contained.

I drank Diet Coke through four pregnancies. I drank Diet Coke until I was 38.

Along the way, some weird things began happening.

Half of my face started to go numb and twitch. I lost my balance and fell a lot. I started to notice tingling in my legs and in my arms. After years as a writer, I was losing words in my head. I couldn’t carry on a conversation without some stuttering or frustration because a word I knew I had wasn’t there in my head anymore.

I saw my Dr. who gave me an MRI. While tests were not conclusive, he intimated the possible beginnings of Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disease.

Symptoms continued, worsened. I came across–thanks to LCF– a documentary discussing aspartame called Sweet Misery (a free download from Netflix). I was shocked and startled to see the symptoms I suffered were the same as those caused by neurotoxins–that which aspartame is likened to.

I threw out every single thing in my home that contained aspartame or any aspects of it.

Within two weeks, the facial numbness I had been experiencing constantly for years was gone. The leg numbness. Gone. The pins and needles. Gone. My slurred speech. Gone. Lost words. Gone. My lack of balance. Gone.

As an interesting side note, my husband had been suffering severe anxiety and mood swings. Within two weeks of stopping aspartame–gone.

Now, one could say this is anecdotal, but I would smile. I can, you know. I can feel my face to do it.

I would ask that anyone at all who thinks aspartame is not harmful in any way watch the documentary and then continue to feed their children sugar-free chewing gum with a clean conscience. I was appalled in the amount of stuff aspartame can be found in.

I also want to add that my four children all suffer from various severity of autism…

… a neurological condition.