Can you tolerate sugar free stuff?

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Aimee =)
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Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 9/10/2010 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was flaring a few years ago, I was hospitalized and given some prep that was mixed with Crystal Light. GI saw me drinking it and was frustrated they mix the prep with a sugar free beverage and actually called to see if they had it in anything else. He said to 'be prepared to spend some time in the bathroom' as most of his Crohns patients have issues with sugar free.
I'm not a fan of artificial flavors so I hadn't had much sugar free stuff before.
Sure enough, straight to the bathroom (and I do not get the big D with my disease).
Since then, I attempt every so often to drink a "skinny" latte at Starbucks in order to save myself lots of calories and it goes right through me. I'm back trying to diet and I figured that I can save 150 calories if I go with a sugar free syrup in my beloved iced coffee. I'm halfway through it and already feeling the ramifications.
How do you react?

Becoming undone
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 9/10/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorbital, a substitute sugar in many "sugar-free" drinks is used as a laxitive in many hospitals, I find that most others have a similar affect...I am pretty much okay with the "Saccarine" type sweetners (ie sweet n low), but many companies fear cancer(study was later found to have been faulty), so have stopped using it is not surprising...I stay away from most "artificial sweeteners"...opting instead for the full sugar version, and just cut back on calories other ways(ie, lessen the portion size, not go for the desert...that kinda thing)

Lori M
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 9/10/2010 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
My sister, who has also been dx with CD, cannot tolerate anything with Splenda. She seems to start flaring pretty quickly after ingesting anything that has it in it. I was talking to her the other day and she was feeling a small flare coming on and realized that she had eaten a couple of sugar free mints the day before. I drink a lot of zero calorie gatorade and zero calorie vitamin water. Not sure what sweeteners are in those but they don't seem to bother me. I really should just stick to water - all those artificial sweetners can't be good for you, whether you're healthy or not.
46 years old. Diagnosed with Crohn's August 3, 2010

Well the first round of drugs didn't work. Back up to 40 mg of pred, 150 mg of Aza and 3600 mg Asacol per day. Hoping this is the combo that works!

Started prednisone on 8/4/10 for 4 weeks (40 mg 1st week, 30 mg 2nd week, 20 mg 3rd week and 10 mg final week) Asacol 1200 mg 3 times a day

Lots O D3, Calcium, Probiotic, Folic Acid

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 9/10/2010 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
When I'm flaring, ANYTHING with artificial sweetner will send me running to the bathroom. Only thing i can tolerate is sugarfree gum, but I can only chew 1 -2 pieces a coke, crystal light, light yogurt, etc is out of the question for me. shakehead

If I try to diet, it's all unsweetened everything.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 9/10/2010 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
the only sugar substitute my stomach is ok with is splenda sucroloase is ok but Nutrasweet is the worst cant even chew gum with that as a sweetener without severe abd pain

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 9/11/2010 1:34 AM (GMT -6)   
None of them bother me. I drink Diet Coke all the time. My GI had me stop drinking it for a while, but it made no difference with me. I tend to get C more than D though...

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 9/11/2010 6:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I find this really interesting because at times I cannot tolerate sweetener, whilst at other times the same sweetener can go down fine.

Generally though, I am with the rest of you - Sorbitol is the DEVIL in my book, and causes me immense cramping and pain to the point where I am unable to stand up straight. It has such an adverse reaction, as I understand it this is because it is a compound which goes through undigested and cannot be properly broken down by the body?

I can handle saccharin, the sweetener I use in my tea - (legal on the SCD) - but the links to cancer to worry me, I wonder if they are doing further studies to come up with some more conclusive evidence?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1810
   Posted 9/11/2010 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
For me, the sweeteners ending with -OL can give me trouble. The pink stuff, saccharin seems to work ok with me. I think I am ok with Splenda too but would avoid them just in case during a flare.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well
IBS, high BP, fibromyalgia, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
claritin, diovan, progesterone, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, colazal, omeprazole for reflux.
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA
Positive ANA.
Currently on flagyl and it is helping. Have apt with surgeon soon

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8417
   Posted 9/11/2010 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   
It's hard to tell, since by and large I won't eat 'lite' products; it's usually the full-sugar, full-fat version for me or nothing at all.

I do drink diet Coke occasionally and that doesn't seem to cause any issues. But I noticed a while ago that eating too many sugar-free mints/boiled sweets did seem to send me running to the toilet. And yeah, they contained sorbitol, whereas diet Coke only contains aspartame (I think).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/11/2010 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
absolutely no art. sweetner here ....major d, bleeding, and heartburn
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders: All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 9/11/2010 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Conversely, I think sugary stuff tends to give me D. I've drank tons of Powerade Zero, which has sucralose, and never had any problems.
Cimzia, Asacol
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