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Artificial sweeteners and stomach pains

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Artificial sweeteners and stomach pains

Earlier tonight I had bad stomach pains. I also had them two days ago. I NEVER have digestive issues, no matter how badly I abuse my stomach, so this puzzled me. I finally figured out the likely culprit: on both these days I bought and ate about 10 artificially sweetened candies. As it happens, I just finished writing an article about artificial sweeteners (perhaps the reason I bought the candies), and one of the doctors I interviewed said that some people find these sweeteners give them digestive problems. I didn't pay much attention to the statement until my cramps reminded me of what he said. I guess my stomach isn't made of cast iron after all. Has anyone else reacted badly to artificial sweeteners?

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:23 PM   #2
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The only ones I find I react badly to are the ones in the Werther's sugar free candies. I've had other sugar free candies and been fine! Werther's leave me feeling bloated, gassy, and gross.

It took me a while to figure it out, and I was stubborn about it because the darn things tasted so good! I even tried just having just ONE and I still had the same issue. I've recently tossed them all to avoid having them around altogether. I only have the regular ones now (and I'm fine with those).

Not sure what the combination is in Werther's. I've had other things with sugar alcohols and/or artificial sweeteners and been completely fine.

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Old 01-07-2013, 12:20 AM   #3
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Not sure what the combination is in Werther's. I've had other things with sugar alcohols and/or artificial sweeteners and been completely fine.
As you say, it must depend on the sweetener or combination, because I'm fine with diet Coke or Pepsi.

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Old 01-07-2013, 12:32 AM   #4
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Oh, lord. $20 says it's malitol. It's notorious for digestive upset and its laxative effects.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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I avoid sugar alcohols like the plague, Malitol, Sorbitol,Xylitol anything ending with ol causes severe problems for me.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #6
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Malitol, Sorbitol,Xylitol anything ending with ol causes severe problems for me.
Here is one of my self-imposed health problems. I've got a nervous tic or psychological dependence or compulsive need to chew sugarfree gum, always peppermint, in any of several brands. I do it when I'm bored, when I'm tense, when I'm craving a taste of something or when I want something sweet. I can go through an entire pack or two packs, sometimes in less than two hours. And it makes me sick. But I do it anyway. (I try to only do this on my work-from-home days, for obvious reasons.) Now & then I go for several days without chewing. I find I eat a little more instead. So, next time gum is on sale, I buy more, and get the same results, of course.

It's only the sugar alcohols that do this to me. The yellow, blue and pink artificial sweeteners, whether brand-name or generic, do not have this same effect. Nor does Truvia or Nectresse, the newer artificial sweeteners that I've tried.

It has to be gum, weirdly enough. I don't want or crave candy sweetened in this manner. It's the chewing action.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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I can't say that I use a lot of artificial sweetners, but I do chew a piece of sugarfree gum a day, occasionally use Truvia packets, have at least 1 packet of Lipton Tea and Honey a day and I do occasionally eat those sugar free Werther's - wow - sounds like more when I type it out! Anyway, I never seem to experience any problems with using these, but I have a co-worker that has to limit her exposure of she gets digestive upsets, shall we say...
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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I have, from malitol in protein bars mainly (I don't really partake in artificial sweeteners otherwise, except for small amounts of splenda). Makes me a gassy miserable mess.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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I can't do sucralose. Not at all. Stomach pain, cramping, nausea, headache, rash, weird film on my tongue. My doctor was going to do a full GI scope and wanted to look at taking out my gall bladder, stopping the splenda stopped the symptoms. Google splenda and a couple of the symptoms - there are lots of people with the same problem. Wendalyn has trouble with it also, she was the one that said something that made the connection for me to see how much I was eating.

I have no problem with aspartame, saccharine, stevia, any of the others.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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I don't know if it's any specific sweetener so I stay away from all of them, but the ones in chocolate or hard candies are the WORST for me. Bloated and gassy and stomach pain.

The scariest part for me was when I stopped artificial sweeteners in anything I ate, and I had heart palpitations for 3 weeks straight!! I guess it was withdrawal? So I asked my friend who is an ECG technician and he said it's very common. Ugh, scary!
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
Earlier tonight I had bad stomach pains. I also had them two days ago. I NEVER have digestive issues, no matter how badly I abuse my stomach, so this puzzled me. I finally figured out the likely culprit: on both these days I bought and ate about 10 artificially sweetened candies. As it happens, I just finished writing an article about artificial sweeteners (perhaps the reason I bought the candies), and one of the doctors I interviewed said that some people find these sweeteners give them digestive problems. I didn't pay much attention to the statement until my cramps reminded me of what he said. I guess my stomach isn't made of cast iron after all. Has anyone else reacted badly to artificial sweeteners?

F.
I have ZERO problem with artifical sweeteners, drink tea with splenda, and diet cokes all day long. However, it is a very RARE person who can eat more than two or three pieces of no-sugar candy without having some stomach cramping or potty problems. THAT's the very REASON I like them. Sugar-free candy is NOT low-calorie and often as the same calories as real candy, but I often choose to eat sugar-free candy instead of regular candy BECAUSE I know that I will stop eating them after one or two in order to avoid tummy problems.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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Maltitol and Xylitol both give me bloating if I eat more than a small amount (like 2-3 pieces of candy). The other thing that really does me in is the fiber supplement/sweetener in Fiber One bars (chicory root extract). I can get so much gas from one of those things that I can fill an air balloon by myself :>)
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:38 AM   #13
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Malitol = from gas. Phew!

No problems with any of the other artificial sweeteners (and I've tried 'em all). I too experienced withdrawal symptoms when I stopped drinking diet soda. Aspartame was the culprit there.

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:51 AM   #14
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What ever is in Crystal Light tears me up! Gas, crampiness, etc.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #15
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I avoid all artificial sweeteners like the plague! It makes me sick that they put that $hit in nearly everything from toothpaste, to cold pills, breads, protein bars, etc. I steer clear of it all & my mysterious stomach pains have dissipated! I think going on 4.5 years now or so without any of that crapola in my system & I feel AMAZING!
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