Five Health Side Effects of Splenda (Sucralose)

Since coming to market, Splenda has faced mounting criticism. The product is made from the artificial sugar substitute sucralose and has many potential side effects. Though Splenda was approved by the FDA, there have been many warnings and appeals to the FDA from consumers to include a warning on Splenda packaging so that those people buying the product will be aware of the risks. Some of the side effects of Splenda include:

Abdominal Cramping

One of the most common complaints from Splenda is abdominal cramping, bloating and pain that often resembles a pulled muscle, foodborne illness or more serious gastronomical problems. It often takes awhile for most people to form a connection to something they ate with Splenda. But once they realize that is the culprit, people with this reaction are more diligent about checking labels and avoiding the sweetener altogether.


With symptoms ranging from mild headaches to migraines, Splenda has long been blamed for headaches in many people. For most people experiencing this symptom, the results begin within minutes of drinking a beverage or other product containing Splenda and can last for hours. For most people, the symptoms stop within 24 hours after Splenda is cut from their diet.

Mood Swings

Many people who eat Splenda regularly have suffered from immense mood swings, but have had a tough time putting the connection between the mood swings and Splenda together. Because many people using Splenda are dieting and trying to lose weight, they often attribute the mood swings to other influences. But once they cut Splenda from their diet, they realize that the mood swings are alleviated altogether.

Weight Gain

Though Splenda was developed as an alternative to sugar with fewer calories, for many Splenda has caused weight gain. Whether it is a combination of bloating, overindulgence, or a direct result of ingesting sucralose, many people have found that it is easier to lose weight when cutting out sweets altogether instead of just replacing the natural sugar with an artificial one.


There have been many reports of people experiencing chronic fatigue after consuming products made with sucralose. In most cases, this fatigue and overall sleepiness is alleviated within a day or two of ceasing to eat products made with Splenda. The fatigue has been characterized by many symptoms, ranging from an overall sleepiness, to an inability to concentrate or focus, to a tingling and weakness in the limbs for hours after eating something containing sucralose. 

With so many potential side effects, it is no wonder that many are leery about using Splenda. Everyone’s body is different though, and many people experience no symptoms. At any rate, it is a good idea to keep track of when you ingest Splenda to determine if some of the side effects you may be experiencing are from Splenda, and if so, cut it from your diet.



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Posts By Sequoia
  • Audrey Taylor

    I saw your comments about the side effects of sucralose and felt compelled to respond. Since joining the Calorie Control Council – a non-profit trade association that represents the light food and beverage industry – I’ve spent a lot of time researching low-calorie sweeteners and fat replacers. Despite the online claims of some critics, the safety of sucralose (marketed as Splenda) is documented by one of the most extensive and thorough safety testing programs ever conducted on a new food additive. More than 100 studies of humans and animals, conducted across a broad range of areas, clearly indicate that sucralose does not cause any adverse health effects including tooth decay, gastrointestinal issues and weight gain. A recent paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 224 professional studies on the effects of non-nutritive sweeteners on appetite, food intake and weight. The study concluded that low-calorie sweeteners “have the potential to aid in weight management.” It’s important to remember that Splenda is not a magic bullet for weight loss, but rather a tool to help people reduce and control their caloric intake. For more information, visit, and

  • George Raymond

    I don’t know how many people might be paying attention, but the above message by Audrey Taylor is literally a “stock” response. “I saw your comments on the side effects…” Really, because as far as I can tell you’re responding to an article, not to comments. Gee, that’s funny. Whether that message was generated automatically, or whether it was simply cut-and-pasted by a shill, I cannot be sure. But I can be sure that we should listen to our bodies. Starting in 2005 it took me over six months to isolate the cause of my gastrointestinal distress (symptom #1). I was in denial that sucralose could be the culprit; I had believed the hype AND it was in every health supplement I had purchased. To this day there are people in my life that don’t believe me because of the garbage propaganda that exists in favor of sucralose, and yet to this day I slip up and accidentally eat the stuff every few months and suffer serious consequences for about 4 days (and not so serious ones for about a week after). I could rant for hours about this because yesterday I was poisoned with sucralose by a friend (doctor, doesn’t believe me, my guard was down) so I am hunched over with abdominal distress right now. But my rant isn’t going to help. Instead I can offer an example or two…

    Remember when Vioxx was deemed perfectly safe by the FDA?

    How about cigarettes. I’m sure I could show you a few studies touting their safety. In fact, once upon a time they were promoted as healthy, because they stimulate your “T” zones. That’s “T” for taste, and “T” for throat.

    Make up your own minds and listen to your own bodies, don’t listen to me, and certainly don’t listen to the shill that posted before me (I hope the paycheck is worth it)

  • Charles

    I have been using Splenda ever since it came out on the market. About 8 months ago I have been getting muscle cramps in my legs, arms neck and also my throat. I thought maybe that I just turned 40 that this is what suppose to happen. The muscle pain got worse!!! My brother said that he also was having problems in is kidneys and stomache. He told me that he heard that Splenda was causing these symptoms. I didn’t belive him…. He stopped using splenda and now he said the pain was going away. I still didn’t beleive, until my muscle pain got worse and I couldn’t pick up my 5 year old daughter.
    I stopped using splenda just to see what would happen. After a month I felt a little better, but still wasn’t convinced it was the Splenda causing the problem. Then a about 2 months my muscle pain in my neck and throat went away. Now after 3 months of not using Splenda the pain in my arms and legs were getting about 80% back to the way they used to be before I had the symptoms.

    Now I’m just sticking to no sugar or Stevia.

  • Carilee

    I was researching some symptoms of things I have been going through compared to newish items in my diet and came across this article on sucralose. I have all of the eleven symptoms listed in this article, of biggest concern for me is the sleepiness, i.e, going to sleep driving or just sitting in a chair. Then my body was starting to feel heavy. Yes, I weigh too much, but this was a different feeling. Just heavy, like I did not want to move or moving was just tiring. This has been going on for about 3 months.
    I knew previously that splenda was a problem for me and did not connect splenda and sucralose. So, I tried the stuff with sucralose listed as an ingredient. Silly me. I won’t do this again.

  • Janis

    My daughter who has had many problems with her kidneys, told me she had problems with Splenda. I have used small amounts for cookies and cereal and wasn’t paying attention to “problems”. But, today I made fresh cocoa with unsweetened Hersheys and Splenda. I have had a problem for years with MSG that causes uncontrollable diarrhea and now I have the same problem with Splenda. This is FYI, anyone with one problem might just have another chemical that causes any of the many side effects previously mentioned.

  • Ruby A Knight

    I use Splenda from time to time and have never had any side effects from it. As with everything else I think moderation is the key. Do not over use.

  • Mary

    The last few days, I’ve been researching trying to figure out what might be causing a rash, itchy blister-like bumps on my forearm. I was thinking that it might be a reaction to high blood pressure medication, which I have taken for a number of years without any problems. But, as I continued checking symptoms I also began to realize that maybe the occasional sharp pain in my head, insomnia, joint pain and stiffness, stomach pain and constantly being hungry (mainly for sweeties) might all be due to Splenda.

    Usually I drink four cups of coffee sweetened with a pack of Splenda each morning. Then during the day, I usually drink six or seven 16oz. glasses of ice tea, each with a couple packs of Splenda. So I am well aware that I consume at least 16 to 18 packs of Splenda each day. That is the amount I can account for, but who knows how much I am getting from other products.

    After reading many articles on the internet about the side effects of Splenda or any artificial sweetener, I am giving up Splenda!!! I am very anxious now to see if any of the symptoms disappears.

  • Gillian Chapman

    I am so glad and relieved that I just found out from these pages about the dangers of Sucralose, In the past 10 months I have been getting through bottles and bottles of VIMTO drink ,, my excruciating symptoms have been escalating at a speed , I have never experienced such regular agonising pain in my life, I was starting to believe that I had Fybromyalgia or something worse ,, I am NOW going to pour the rest of my Vimto into a dark corner of my garden, cant pour it down the sink as it goes back into the water system ,,,,, I truly hope MORE people will find this site so they can find this very eye opening advice ,,,,,,,

  • Nancy Reano

    I say take it off the market. My hair was falling out in bunches, my joints hurt, anxiety/couldn’t sleep, stomach issues, hot flashes, acne. Docs tried to say it was hormones, I’m 45, hello. I work out everyday, eat low fat, my weight is where it should be. It was the sucralose, in my yogurt, in my juice, in my creamer and anything else that said reduced sugar. I have taken it all out over the course of 6 months, I’ve never felt better. All those issues are clearing up.

  • Nancy Reano

    So I say why even take it in moderation?? It’s not worth it, I’m not gambling with my life anymore.

  • Sean Rigter

    I’ve been drinking and eating products sweetened with sucralose for years, no ill effects.

  • Bonnie

    I want Sucralose to go away. I’m Diabetic and EVERYTHING I’m allowed to eat has Sucralose in it. Im allergic to it. It shuts my throat. It taints every diabetic option out there. I hate EVERY company who adds it to their recipe!!!
    Please help me fight against it being the go to sweetener.