Allergies - Food Community
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1536593 tn?1292560799

Diet Soda

I get severe head aches when I drink Diet Soda, off brand or not, could it be an intolerance to the artificial sweetener or an allergy?
3 Responses
681148 tn?1437665191
Definitely stay away from diet soda and all sources of artificial sweeteners.  It's not the brand name that's important here, it's what's in the product.  Likely, you're like me and this is an intolerance.  It's still necessary to AVOID this stuff in the future.  There are a lot of bad health effects associated with artificial sweeteners--all of them.  The primary one, of course, being that they are known carcinogenics.  Remember this important fact:  Just because the FDA approves of something, doesn't mean that the product is necessarily all that safe.  Think of all the drug recalls as a reminder of this all too important fact.  As with all other things, the FDA is greatly influenced by "the bottom line" and who can line its pockets.  It's disgusting, but it's true.  So, consumer safety is just too loosely applied by the FDA.  And, it's the truth that these substances are all KNOWN carcinogenics.

Okay, then onto our food intolerances to these things...

You see, regardless of which artificial sweetener you're discussing here, they all adversely affect sensitive people.  Two good resources, so you know it isn't just me saying this, are mercola.com (use the site's search engine to look up artificial sweeteners) and then use your search engine and look up Tyramine Intolerance.  Both of these sources of information will help you understand why the stuff bothers you so much.  Also, look up high fructose corn syrup on both of these sites.  People with Tyramine Intolerance are especially sensitive to high sugar loads, too.  And, this high fructose corn syrup has a much worse adverse reaction than ordinary cane sugar.

One huge contributor to the adverse reactions we get to both the artificial sweeteners and to the high fructose corn syrup that is often overlooked and not mentioned as a primary reason on these two sites that is still worth mentioning is that these substances are HIGHLY PROCESSED.  Guess what.  This means you also will want to consider the high preservative or sulfite content that goes into the processing of both the artificial sweeteners and the high fructose corn syrup, making both kinds of sweeteners bad for sensitive people.  Beet sugar is the next bad one on the list.  Likely, you are also sensitive to high amounts of sugar in general, so if you're going to use sugar at all, the least processed and least toxic to sensitive people is ORGANIC CANE SUGAR.

Sorry, but you did ask a loaded question.  And, I do hope by my answering your question the way I did that it also helps someone else with the same question or a related question.

Oh, by the way, if you still want to drink soda, there are sodas that are less well-known brands available that don't have the high fructose corn syrup that is so much worse for people than just plain old sugar is.  The mercola.com site helps to explain why.  It's definitely worse for diabetics than ordinary sugar.  Mercola would like to discourage people from using all additional sugar, and he explains why this is so as well, but he does encourage people to stay away from the artificial sweeteners for the reasons I mentioned, plus one other important reason he and other natural doctors do talk about:  You cannot get satiated with those artificial sweeteners.  Your brain still wants the missing calories that aren't in the artificial sweeteners.  Dr. Amen (PBS), the brain doctor, was talking about this...

So, what I mean is this:  If you still want this sugar source, you want to use a sensible approach to the source (like the soda pop) and use the least toxic and the least amount.  We shouldn't drink it at all, to tell you the truth, but the stuff with cane sugar is the LEAST evil soda out there.  You won't find it in your average grocery stores, because those are stocked with the two or three top rival brands (We all know about the top two, so no need to mention names.)  Well, usually, those two top rivals are also competing with the store brand label as well.  So, your average grocery chain will not have the kind of soda that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners in them.  Unless you can find something in the natural foods section.  I don't drink the stuff any more, so I haven't seen it at the two places I'm thinking of that have large natural sections.  However, I do know that Trader Joe's does carry the sodas with natural cane sugar.  Many of them will even say so on the front label.  Be sure to read the back label in the main ingedients list for complete information--really on everything you buy, so you'll know what you're actually consuming.  (I got tired of labels, so I started eating the whole foods type of diet that looks a lot more like stuff our great grandparents and great, great grandparents recognized as food.  Much of this is in bulk foods section--no labels involved there.  It's an option that is a healthy option that actually simplifies shopping and, thus, simplifies life.  You don't have to do this all at once, but it really is worth it for folks with Tyramine Intolerance and other food intolerances.)

Remember this one last important point:  Food INTOLERANCES can become food ALLERGIES.  So, avoidance is key to your overall health and well-being.  That's why the long answer.  I know people need information about better options, so they don't feel like giving up which might mean they end up getting even sicker.  You really don't want this.
1536593 tn?1292560799
Thank you for the very informative answer. I actually do not have an intolerance to high fructose corn syrup or any large amounts of sugar. It is specifically Diet Soda, which is why I was wondering about the intolerance. This at least lets me know to keep away from Tyramine products and the other artificial sweeteners, which isn't much of a problem since I rarely indulge in my sweet tooth.
681148 tn?1437665191
I'm glad I was able to offer some useful information that will hopefully really help.  
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