Artificial Sweetners and Lupus

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1837
   Posted 3/28/2007 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I am asking for my neice and sister who have Lupus (I belong to the Lyme board because I have Lyme)
Those of us with Lyme avoid artificial sweetners except Stevia.  I told my neice about the overal dangers of artificial sweetners - especially for people that are sick or have auto-immune issues (autoimmune runs rampant in my family).  She said she checked with her Lupus Group and they said artificial sweetners are OK.
What is the general consensus here on this issue.
My twin, who was once diagnosed with MS due to her numbness in her arms and legs finally linked it to Aspartame and as long as she avoids it she doesn't get the numbness.  When she gets numb she looks at the ingredients of everything she ate recently and always finds some artificial sweetner.  They are starting to put it in more and more products.
Anyway - thanks for your input on this.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
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   Posted 3/28/2007 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
To tell you the truth I don't know. I have been using only artificial sweetners for the past couple of years but its only been sence this past july that I started getting ill with these symptoms. Gee maybe I should try real sugar and see if this goes away? Now that would be cool! I can't wait to hear what others have to say
God Bless
. Possible Lupus Nov 06. xanax X3,triam high BP, percocet, inhalers,COPD. oxygen Plaquanil400mil, . effexor. spiriva, xopenex.
 Auto-immune  diseases  run in packs. So always stay vigilant and expect the unexpected.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 3/28/2007 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
okie, what kind of sweetners have you been using? I was at a friends house the other day & her mother had printed me out the papers off the internet about this. From what I seen it is equal or aspartum & something else ( sorry I can't remember ). It was telling about people getting aspartum poisoning. If you do use one of these stop. It was telling about how many people they thought was developing lupus or ms & come to find out it was poisoning from there sweetner. So with a little luck mabe you have been poisoning yourself!! For myself I never used it until I was way on my way of being sick. You might talk to your doc about this because it could be a big hoax because it also was promoting stevia. Please don't take this wrong twinofdar I am just real suspicious of these companys promoting there products. But we would be the last to know!

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Date Joined Dec 2004
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   Posted 3/28/2007 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Twin,

  Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you popped in to ask about artificial sweetners. This is an interesting topic.

  I'm sorry to hear that you have lymes and your neice and sister have lupus...((hugs)). I hope you all are doing ok and getting the proper treatment to help you cope.

  As for the artificial sweetners. I can't drink anything with any kind of artificial sweetners. I get severe headaches everytime I try. I have never seen any documented studies that link the sweetners to any illness, but there maybe some out there, I'm just saying I haven't seen anything myself. Apparently, there is something in them that causes me to have severe headaches, but I'm sensitive to alot of meds, not usually foods or drinks though.

  I hope you will get alot of replies to this. It will be interesting to see what everyone says about this. Good luck and take care.


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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
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   Posted 3/28/2007 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
bhkhhh, thanks I use splenda mostly which is made from real sugar. but I do drink diet coke with aspertame. I checked out the web and it depending on where you look it says aspertame is bad for you and can cause lupus symptoms than I read an article by the FDA saying that it wasn't true. So who knows. I'll lay off the cokes for a while and see if it improves. It can't hurt right!

God Bless
. Possible Lupus Nov 06. xanax X3,triam high BP, percocet, inhalers,COPD. oxygen Plaquanil400mil, . effexor. spiriva, xopenex.
 Auto-immune  diseases  run in packs. So always stay vigilant and expect the unexpected.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 3/28/2007 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I use splenda also. It would be nice if it was something like sweetner that has made me ill so I could just stop & get better . I'm afraid thats not my case but it would be wonderfull if that was the case if not for myself but others. I was kindof put off by the article because my friends mother takes some kind of suppliments that is supose to cure anything & I just felt it was a way to push the suppliment. It really wouldn't surprise me if it was bad because it seems like they sell products & then later realise they are harmful. So for the time being I'll stick with splenda. It was not in the article.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 3/29/2007 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Artificial sweeteners make me ill.

This first started due to an unfortunate combination of bug spray, sun lotion, and artificial sweetener. I believe this was one of the situations that activated my lupus.

I can tell fairly quickly if I've ingested any accidentally because I get a particular kind of headache and a strange feeling to my skin, as well as a queasy stomach.

I'd suggest that anyone with questions definitely try several week sw/out the artificial stuff (stick to refined sugar (the white stuff) or raw sugar (the brown stuff)).

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
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   Posted 3/29/2007 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Many people cannot tolerate artificial sweeteners.  That being said, the link between artificial sweeteners and MS and/or Lupus is entirely bogus.  This false claim has been rolling around the internet for a number of years, and has unfortunately caused
some people to panic.  I have used artificial sweeteners for years, so I am admittedly biased, but the researcher in me investigated the claims as well.  The following website gives you a brief history on this rumor; there are probably other sources out there as well. 
Be careful about the information you encounter, especially over the internet.  Many false claims that have proven harmful to people have been needlessly perpetuated over the internet.  If I'm suspicious about some claim, I usually find it on an urbans legend website somewhere, as was the case with this one.
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
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   Posted 3/29/2007 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I've already done the test on myself when I switched from aspartame to sugar and didn't make me feel any different. I did this for a month straight because in some people with IBS, artificial sweetners can cause problems. Didn't change anything in my body either way (IBS or Lupus wise). I am now back using Equal in my coffee and drinking diet cokes. I sure wish it would have changed things so I could have got relief but I'm with elcamino on this one, the aspartame scare is an internet bogus IMO.
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   Posted 3/29/2007 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
This is an interesting topic. I don't know if there are any definitive studies, but I have read several articles that indicate that artificial sweetners may not be good for people with lupus and may aggrevate symptoms, but like Elcamino said, you have to be careful about what you read because there are is a lot of bogus info out there on the internet. And like bh said, it's definitely not as simple as stopping the artificial sweetners and then you would feel better, I just think that they make some of us feel worse, but quitting them won't make everything better. I don't use them and I'm definitely not cured. Like a lot of you, my body can't tollerate any artificial sweetners, especially since I have had lupus. THey leave me feeling ill and give me headaches ( alot like what Lynnwood described). I have found that the longer I have this illness that my body doesn't tollerate much of anything that is overly processed and that I do the best on whole foods and foods that are prepared as close to their natural state as possible. Like most things, we are all different in how our bodies respond to things.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1837
   Posted 3/29/2007 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with most of what everyone said and I thank you for your response. I'm not saying that if you stop using artificial sweetners you will be cured, but like someone mentioned many people cannot tolerate them. They do have "nasty" ingredients and they really are harmful but mostly to people who are already sick. Some healthy people can tolerate anything, it seems.

I always watch the Discovery Health Channel and once Dr. Know was testing myths about aspartamane. Myth #1 is does it contain Formadehyde (this is something my husband always said) they proved the myth false. Myth #2 was does it turn to formaldeyhde in the body and the experiment concluded that it absloutely DOES convert to Formaldeyde.

Also, all artificial sweetners and sugar are very acidic in our bodies and as sick people we have to try to stay as alkaline as possible. Stevia is the only artificial sweetner that is alkaline and considered safe by Chronic Fatigue and Fibormyagial type Dr's. Just a thought. Unfortunately I'm not allowed sweets, "white" foods or anything "processed" because "bad" carbs "feed" the Lyme. (I miss my Ice Cream!) I avoid the artificial sweetners due to my idential twin's reaction and also due to my alkaline diet requirements.

I wish you all the best of days. You probably have good days and bad like us "Lymies" do. It sucks to be sick, but I try to count my blessings everyday.

My oldest sister was diagnosed with Lupus in the 50's when it was almost unheard of. My biology teacher in the 70's said it was a super rare disease and we'd probably never know anyone who had it (I raised my hand and said one of my sisters had it and he was so surprised). Then my neice got when she was in her late teens (she's in her mid 30's now).

Take care


How things change!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 3/29/2007 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
i have been using splenda, and recently read articles about how toxic it is, and how the molecule used to replace what is taken away as it is 'derived from sugar' is the same chlor-something something as in a pesticide.

that was just some info i came across this week, so i tossed out my box!
25 years old
UC since 8/05 Remission & Med Free since 8/06
Raynaud's 2/07
Eczema 2/07
Migraines since summer of 2003

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/25/2011 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been using Natvia and i am pretty happy with it. It is all natural and almost 0 calories. Check out the page
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