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Old 09-21-2004, 07:35 AM   #1
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Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

I have been drinking Diet Coke nonstop for about 18 years. And when I say nonstop, I mean it. I pretty much drink only that, with water occasionally, and iced tea sometimes if I'm out at a restaurant. It's almost to the point of being embarrassing. I have to have it in the morning. I don't drink coffee. If we go to a party I bring it with me in case they don't have it. I drink about a 2 liter bottle a day. I spend at least $10 a week just on soda.

I must admit, it's my only vice. I thought that was pretty good...I don't drink hardly ever, don't smoke, no drugs, nothing. I guess it's better than those...but I have read about the dangers of aspartame. I have had so many minor health problems over the years, and I wonder if it could be related. Seems I always have stomach issues, get colds a lot, have back pain, irritable, depressed, nausea, etc. Now of course it could just be from getting older, but....

I have tried to stop a couple of times and once I even made it a whole day but I was SO cranky. When I was pregnant I had no trouble stopping both times, for the health of the babies. So why did I pick it back up again? I don't think it's necessarily the caffeine. I've tried cutting it out before for a couple of weeks, just drinking caffeine free. It was the same. I still wanted it. I'm now drinking caffeine free about half the time.

Not only that but it has to be a certain temperature, with lots of ice, but not too melted or I feel sick, and if it's even the slightest bit flat I toss it. The 2 liter bottles seem to get flat when they are near the bottom so I always pour it out and start a new one.

Why is this such a problem for me??? I hate it. I want to be healthy, and I want to just go a couple of weeks without it and see if my symptoms go away. But the thought of doing it makes me ill. I really don't want to stop. I enjoy it way too much. What on earth would I drink? It's getting to the point now that if my mouth is really dry and I drink water, it doesn't quench my thirst at all, my mouth is still dry. I need like a coating or something. Have I ruined my mouth?

I would really like some advice from someone who has been there. I don't mean to offend anyone trying to quit a real addiction to a drug or alcohol, etc. I do know this is mild. But it is really bugging me that I can't shake it. Thanks so much.

 
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Old 09-21-2004, 07:37 AM   #2
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windysan HB User
Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Pretty simple....caffeine addiction....just like the rest of the country. That stuff is rotgut. Quit, go through the headaches, and be done with it. Good luck with your "coke addiction"....LOL.

 
Old 09-21-2004, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

simple..don't let the devil take over...drink water, juice, or milk, food fro the angels...hehe

 
Old 09-21-2004, 08:49 AM   #4
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

You sound like I did about 20 years ago. Dr. Pepper was my drink. It had to be in a 16oz GLASS bottle. I would put it in the freezer just til it started to get slushy. I would drink about 4-5 a day. When they switched to plastic bottles, that took care of it for me.

 
Old 09-21-2004, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

i am really sorry that this has been such a trauma for you. I know what you mean about not wanting to offend people with so called 'real' problems, but i know what it is like to really want to kick something and just not be able to (mine is knuckle cracking... but that is another story and another board!).

As for your problem, why not try to deal with it like many people who are trying to eat less, or vegitarians that would like to add meat back to their diets, start slow and work your way to your goal. You could cut it off cold turkey, like the previous posters recomended, but I think that if you wanted to do that, you would have already, since it's a pretty obvious choice.

Anyway, the way I would go about it would be to cut down slowly. If you usually drink two two-liter bottles in a day, start by alowing yourself only one. then only a half (and dump it when you have finished a half so you dont drink the rest) Keep them warm in your house so that they arent easily accessable. Or you could keep a chart with the number of glasses you have and try to your daily number down by one each week. there are so many options, and despite what some of the more strict people on these boards would say, i dont think that one or two glasses of soda every day (even if it is diet) is going to hurt you.

Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2004, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

You really need to get away from that stuff. It's pure chemicals. I drink it occasionally, but not nearly everyday. It stains your teeth, has tons of caffeine, has aspartame, and zero nutritional value. If it's the soda you crave, try switchin to diet 7up or something while weaning yourself. It's light colored and has no caffeine. GOOD LUCK!!!

 
Old 09-21-2004, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

My mom has a similar problem only hers is Diet Pepsi and she drinks cans, about 8-10 per day. She has been doing this for the last 8 years or so, she basically switched from coffee to the Diet Pepsi. She has had countless health problems and I keep telling her its related to the soda. Especially problems with her teeth. I would at least try to switch to one that has Splenda instead of aspartame and then slowly wean yourself off this devils spit. I drink maybe one diet soda every 3 weeks and I can taste all of the chemicals. I really think dark colas are the source of alot of the health problems we have in this country. I think once you get off the soda, you will feel 100% better. Good luck

 
Old 09-22-2004, 05:52 AM   #8
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

There's a LOT more in a Diet Coke than aspartame. Drinking a couple quarts a day is giving you a large dose of phosphoric acid (hence teeth erosion), potassium benzoate, citric acid (more tooth erosion) and caffeine (coffee nerves and REAL addiction with withdrawal pains.) THe WORST pot of ingredients falls under the sweet name: NATURAL FLAVORS...what "natural" means in this case is precisely "UNNATURAL." These flavors are lab made to DUPLICATE flavors found in nature but believe me, they are made in stainless steel vats at Monsanto and duPont. God knows what some of them are.

Even a little poison is generally tolerated (or we'd drop dead with every breath we take) but pouring 4 gallons of these concoctions into ourselves every week is not a good idea.

twin,
Why not try weening to one liter a day and then to 2 cans...maybe you'll enjoy them more. If you get headaches from the caffeine withdrawal have a cup of coffeee or tea.

 
Old 09-22-2004, 11:52 AM   #9
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Thanks everyone. I really do want to try to kick this, I just need a plan. I think that I have to either quit it altogether (maybe gradually) or not at all. I think it would be too tempting to just cut down to one a day or something...eventually I would make excuses as to why I needed more.

I really think that the caffeine is not the problem. I have had periods where I would only drink the caffeine free, and after initial crankiness, I was fine. I just really like the taste, the bubbles, etc.

Sorry to have posted this here...looks like it was moved. I hope no one was offended. I certainly have it much better off than most of the people on this board, and I wish you all luck in kicking your addictions. Does anyone know of a good message board where I could talk to others with this problem?

 
Old 09-22-2004, 01:48 PM   #10
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viver HB User
Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twins2sets
I really do want to try to kick this, I just need a plan. I think that I have to either quit it altogether (maybe gradually) or not at all. I think it would be too tempting to just cut down to one a day or something...eventually I would make excuses as to why I needed more. .... Does anyone know of a good message board where I could talk to others with this problem?
Twin2sets,

Quite a few people have contacted me over the years about diet soda (aspartame) addiction. Most of these people have that addiction whether using caffeinated or caffeine-free versions. The addictive quality is likely due to the phenylalanine part of aspartame which can act, for some, as an anti-depressant and an analgestic. The toxic parts seem to be comprised of the formaldeyde metabolite, the excitotoxin and perhaps the DKP breakdown product.

What seems to help quite a few people is to *not* try to eliminate caffeine at the same time as aspartame. The "withdrawl symptoms" can be much worse. If the aspartame-containing drink contains caffeine as well, one can just replace it with a caffeine-containing drink for a time until one is more stable being away from aspartame.

Also, most people I talk to eliminate aspartame completely from the start (including when found in gum, candy, supplements, OTC and prescription drugs, etc.). Some have cut down gradually, but most I've talk to cut it out completely all at once.

Some people take a L-phenylalanine supplement while coming off aspartame in hopes of getting off of it without withdrawl symptoms. One person emailed and said that he tried several times unsuccessfully to get off diet sodas and was able to eliminate the addiction by drinking lemon balm tea. Haven't heard of anyone else trying that, though.

Dr. Russell Blaylock has written articles on coming off diet sodas and various supplements that can be taken. Also, don't forget that there are other healthier sweeteners you may be able to use, both caloric and low carb (e.g., stevia, evaporated cane juice, honey, lo han concentrate, ki-sweet, etc.). There are a wide variety of drinks you can experiment with to find what you like, e.g., spring water, herbal teas, coffee substitutes, juices. I'm sure that information is on the web somewhere. There may be a message board as well.

Good luck!

Twoggle

 
Old 09-22-2004, 01:58 PM   #11
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Why not switch to green tea? that contains caffeine right.

 
Old 09-23-2004, 05:56 AM   #12
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Thanks for all your suggestions. Today is my 37th birthday. I want to be healthy and live a long time. I'm making a plan today that I will stick to. By the way, is there ANYONE here that shares my problem? I don't know anyone at all in my life that is as addicted as I am. I feel like a freak or something. People don't get why I can't just stop. Force myself to drink something else. But it's like my thirst isn't quenched unless I have it. Like my taste buds are ruined or something? Everything else makes my throat dry. Maybe I should try to switch to regular soda for a while (even though it's grossly sweet). Maybe only allow myself to drink regular soda, then I will just give it up because I really don't like it that much. I am underweight so the calories won't bother me. What do you think? I would still get the caffeine and bubbles. But the thought of it makes me cringe!!!

 
Old 09-23-2004, 06:18 AM   #13
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

As for phenylalanine addiction:
Quote:
Foods high in phenylalanine include:

∑ Cottage cheese (dry) 2,300 mg/cup

∑ Cottage cheese (crmd) 1,647 mg/cup

∑ Fish & other seafoods 3,000-4,500 mg/lb

∑ Meats 1,000-4,500 mg/lb

∑ Poultry 2,000-4,500 mg/lb

∑ Peanuts, roasted w skin 3,500 mg/cup

∑ Sesame seeds 3,000 mg/cup

∑ Dry, whole lentils 2,500 mg/cup
Phenylalanine is an ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID that is necessary for life. It is not addictive and is present as a breakdown product from aspartame in such minute quantities as to be almost unnoticeable to the body. Perhaps several hundred cans of soda equals a cup of cottage cheese. Remember, aspartame is 180 times as sweet as sugar and it takes mighty little to sweeten a LOT. If you saw the pile of aspartame used to sweeten a soda it would be a nearly invisible "pile."

 
Old 09-23-2004, 11:56 AM   #14
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viver HB User
Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zip2play
Phenylalanine is an ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID that is necessary for life. It is not addictive and is present as a breakdown product from aspartame in such minute quantities as to be almost unnoticeable to the body.
Most amino acids in food are bound to protein and digested/broken down very slowly. This allows the liver to keep amino acid levels *relatively* stable after ingestion of foods. In the 1970's there was a considerable amount of independent research demonstrating that normal meals only slightly raise plasma amino acid levels.

With aspartame, the phenylalanine is absorbed immediately, often causing a spike in plasma phenylalanine levels. This is especially the case when ingested in liquid form. Such a sudden influx of amino acids does not happen when ingesting foods -- even foods high in phenylalanine.

Phenylalanine is a large neutral amino acid (LNAA). It competes for receptors along the blood brain barrier with other LNAA's. A number of independent researchers have shown that an imbalance of phenylalanine to other LNAA's can cause a significant change in brain chemistry. There are also many studies related to taking free-form (unbound-to-protein) phenylalanine
as a treatment for depression. The results from these studies are mixed. However, it is clear that ingestion of amino acids in free-form is quite different than ingestion amino acids in foods.

This information has been available since the mid-1980's and presented in a summary of the "Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function" conference on May 8-10, 1987:

"Compelling evidence has been presented that the consumption of aspartame or phenylalanine raises the plasma phenylalanine concentration and the plasma phenylalanine ratio (Phe/LNAA), and thereby elevates brain phenylalanine levels. Moreover, this rise in brain phenylalanine can suppress the synthesis and release of dopamine and perhaps other monoamine neurotransmitters. .... "Administration of aspartame or phenylalanine has been found in some studies but not all to affect cognitive and attentive behaviors or electroencephalographic patterns in apparently normal people."

They were referring to ingesting phenylalanine in free-form from aspartame or as a supplement. The formaldehyde metabolite exposure/accumulation and excitotoxin are likely the cause of aspartame toxicity, but it is the phenylalanine that has been shown in at least some studies to chain brain chemistry and be an anti-depressant and analgesic. That is why I believe it is the likely reason for addiction to aspartame that is often reported. Hope that clears it up.

Twoggle.

 
Old 09-24-2004, 06:05 AM   #15
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Re: Diet Coke addiction....sounds silly, but it's uncontrollable!!!!!

Twoggle,
Quote:
COMMERCIAL SUPPLEMENTS
Phenylalanine supplements generally contain a combination of the "L" form and "D" form as DL- phenylalanine. Phenylalanine daily supplements range from about 250 mg to 1,500 mg. Supplements should be taken 1 to 2 hours before or after meals.
This amount of supplementation of FREE-FORM phenylalanine is quite common and many people benefit from supplementation. The amount of diet soda to get the same gram or more of phenylalanine out of aspartame would bust the bank of anybody but Bill Gates...it would be a RIVER of soda.
Only phenylketoneurics need avoid aspartame (as they must meat, cheese and almost all protein foods.)

As for the oft repeated methanol/formalin internet "poison", you get more from a piece of ripe fruit than a can of diet soda.

 
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