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Old 06-21-2007, 05:13 AM   #1
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MS and diet drinks

Is there any truth to the rumor that drinking diet sodas is a cause for MS.
I have a well meaning, but often delusional family member telling me that drinking diet drinks and any aspartame product increases the chance for MS.

I have never heard that before, but she says that she's read about it.

I used to drink quite a bit of diet soda, but now only drink water or herbal tea with no sweetners.

I know you guys have a pretty vast knowledge here so was wondering if you had ever heard this before?

Thanks,
CJ

 
Old 06-21-2007, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: MS and diet drinks

CJRT,

If it were only that easy.

MS has been around way before diet drinks and artificial sweetners.

Todays medical community has no clue the cause of MS.

But as in all things moderation is always good,and I've read the articles on sweetners and all.If its artificial its not the greatest.

My family members gave me this 5 page print out off the net on artificial crap in drinks and demanded that I not drink them and all.

I eat pretty healthy and try to stay active as much as I can.

But my family don't look at all the synthetic meds I take just to function with this disease.Go figure.

I'm sure some react with the artificial sweeteners,as we all can have adverse reactions to substances,but the cause of MS,I don't think,it may cause symptoms to exculate.

 
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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Re: MS and diet drinks

CJRT, I'm with nuffs. Not as causation but personally, do I believe that aspartame can contribute to a breaking down in the body or be bad for one that IS broken down? Yup. Not a fan.

You won't find any hard facts on this but if you search enough, what you WILL find is plenty of testimony by people who feel that their symptoms are exacerbated by certain dietary elements, aspartame being one of them. If you decide to try an alternative, you might want to look into Stevia but note that it's very, very strong and not a 1:1 substitute for artificial sweetener. You just need (literally) a tiny, tiny bit -- the bottle I have even now has lasted me 2 years (at least)!

 
Old 06-21-2007, 12:36 PM   #4
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Hi CJ
My husbands friend gave him an article for me to read about diet soda and ms. I don't know where he got it from but he was trying to be helpful. I don't drink any diet drinks of any kind and I don't eat diet food of any kind and I still have ms. My husband on the other hand drinks diet soda all the time and he has absolutly no neuro problems at all. I believe that in today's time everyone is quick to blame everything under the sun on all our problems. Pretty soon we will all die of malnutrition or dehydration if we all follow these signs the studies try to pitch us. Just don't freak yourself out and modify your diet if that will make you feel more comfortable.
hotflash

 
Old 06-21-2007, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Hotflash, and CJ,
Im going to agree with hotflash on this one. Having done intensive research on my own, having visited many MS specialists as well as specialists in nutrition, I have come to the conclusion that everything in moderation is what is best. Sure, its a very good idea to follow a heart healthy diet...easy on the fats, the red meats..up the veggies and fruits...stay away from trans-fat compltely if you can. Stick with Brown Rice, and Whole Wheat Pastas...but dont go nuts with eliminating favorite foods or everything which falls into a certain food group. Some people do eliminate dairy, or red meat- however, you need that calcium and iron and protein in your system, so if you eliminate dairy or red meat, you have to supplement in other ways....unless you are really ready to go all out with supplements (many of which are dangerous to MS patients) you really need to know what you are doing with this...

As for the diet soda, there has been talk of diet soda linking everything from MS to cancer to birth defects to anemia...if you search diet sodas, youll find everything under the sun. There is some truth that Aspartamine isnt good for you...if you are a lab rat, or eating lbs of it a day! However, again, in moderation....it hasnt been proven to hurt you. Now, Stevia, which is an all natural sweetner is a very good idea- if you can hack it. It upsets my digestive track something awful and gives me urinary infections. This much, i have determined from the few times Ive tried to stick with a Stevia sweetening diet....now a days, they are pushing Splenda again...saying it is the safest sweetner to use. I use it, one of these days I figure a study will come out saying it also causes cancer, MS or Parkinsons.....you really cant win. If you arent eating bug spray in your veggies, or inhaling too much toxic fumes from living near a city- if you arent drinking 100% purified water, youre bound to get something into your system which isnt healthy....

Do yourself a favor, stick with what makes YOU feel good. Eliminate as much bad stuff as you can....increase your exercise, stick with prescribed meds from your neuro, and try as hard as you can NOT to stress, which is the number one factor in relapses! And, if chocolate is your thing, enjoy a candy bar now and then....eat a bowl of ice cream or a hot fudge sundae now and then..pig out on a pizza now and then....but dont forget to take a long leisurely walk to burn off the calories afterwards! You have to remember that MS isnt going to kill you, but your diet does affect many things besides MS symptoms....be smart, and follow the guidelines which are set out to be healthy...but by all means, dont give up living for MS! That includes indulgences now and then!
Be well..
Nikki

 
Old 06-21-2007, 02:19 PM   #6
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Do Your Own Research

As I just posed in the other thread, if you're interested in these things, it's best to do your own research. There's a lot out there on this, just a few clicks away. Anything you're going to get here is just an opinion. You have to read, research and see what resonates and makes sense to you. I believe nothing just because one source "told me so".

Re: Stevia, I have never seen any negative side effects documented so Nikki, that's a new one on me and I am prone to UTIs myself. It does sometimes come cut with other stuff but I always go for the pure Stevia.

Last edited by Bearygood; 06-21-2007 at 02:29 PM.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 04:36 AM   #7
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Thanks guys. I had just never heard this and was curious. And had already had half a mind that it was probably BS due to the source it came from, but you never know I guess until you do more research. I had looked some stuff up on the internet, but it all claims the link between MS and diet soda. I found nothing that said it wasn't true. However, the links I found were also from sites that had that "extreme conspiracy about everything" feel to them, so I knew not to trust them 100%.

I had gastric bypass surgery, so my diet is one that is healthy for me as a bypass patient. I do use splenda in the mornings with a cup of coffee, and I eat a fairly healthy diet, just can't eat a lot of anything.

I had quit drinking diet sodas a while ago just because you're not supposed to have carbonated drinks following this surgery.

This particular family member is always so quick to tell me what's wrong with me based on absolutely no information as I have learned NOT to tell her anything, but she still tries to be my mother. She learned about the "possible" MS from my brother. I still don't have a Dx yet. But of course, now she's sending me all kinds of stuff and this was one of those things.

I appreciate all the responses.

I really am not stressing over the "possibility" of having MS too much. I have a friend that got Dx in 2 months! (I can't believe she got a Dx so quickly and I have been 4 years trying to find out) and she's a wreck. Me, I haven't worried about it overly much. I lost my parents and several friends in the past few years. One friend to suicide, and a couple more to cancer. All were young. I have watched those I love suffer and suffer and die, so my thoughts on the possibility of having MS are: It could be much worse. I may be delusional, but it works for me. And if it is MS, then there's not a lot I can do about it but accept it and move on with it. I mean, what are the other options? None that I can see. You either come to terms with it and try to live as normally as possible or you don't come to terms with it and be like my friend and go into a funk and ask why me and carry on like the world has come to an end.

My world is not going to come to an end. Oh, I'm not looking forward to having MS if that is the Dx. Who does? But my attitude about a lot of things has changed in recent years and most of that was lessons learned about living and dying that I got from my parents and friends. And several years in therapy.
For me, it all boils down to choice. You don't have a choice sometimes about what happens to you, but you DO have a choice in how you react to it. I choose to try to be positive as much as possible. I do have times when I'm angry or sad, but all in all, I try to stay positive because as I said earlier: it could be worse.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 05:21 AM   #8
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Re: MS and diet drinks

CJRT, well, I've seen a lot on this that doesn't come from "conspiracy" sources. The main potential culprit (medically/scientifically proven to be harmful in some specific conditions already) seems to be an aspartame component called phenylalanine and I believe there is an FDA dictated warning on any products that contain it.

But more than anything, I truly do believe that each of us come to our own conclusions so I think it's great that you did your own research. At the end of the day, we all can only take responsibility for ourselves -- and feel good about it!

Last edited by Bearygood; 06-22-2007 at 05:22 AM.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Thanks Bearygood. It's hard to find what I consider "good" information sometimes and we all know that on the internet are a variety of things that may or may not be true, so weeding through some of that can at times be daunting.

I am a history student and I've learned that research often needs to be verified in my field of study. So I may have a bit of a prejudice about reading things that are not necessicarily confirmed. I can't help it.

And some of the sites I read as I delved deeper into them really had some off the wall information that the more I read the more I found was unconfirmed and just peoples opinions and not based on any studies or facts.

That's why I asked you guys as you all seem to have a wealth of information and experience and are able to steer people to places they can get good info and this is all still a bit new to me.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJRT View Post
I am a history student and I've learned that research often needs to be verified in my field of study. So I may have a bit of a prejudice about reading things that are not necessicarily confirmed. I can't help it.
I actually think that's great! IMHO, starting off as skeptical is a better way to begin, as long as you also keep an open mind. For those like myself who do believe that what we put into our bodies and environmental factors can contribute negatively (and positively) to health, those sites don't do us any favors, either! The fact that I DO believe it actually makes me more skeptical and crtical of what I see -- too many "snake oil salesmen" out there.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearygood View Post
I actually think that's great! IMHO, starting off as skeptical is a better way to begin, as long as you also keep an open mind. For those like myself who do believe that what we put into our bodies and environmental factors can contribute negatively (and positively) to health, those sites don't do us any favors, either! The fact that I DO believe it actually makes me more skeptical and crtical of what I see -- too many "snake oil salesmen" out there.
Well, I try to keep an open mind, but some things you read, you just know they sound a little farfetched. The "snake oil salesmen" are definetly out there. One cure I heard for Fibromyalgia was to take massive quantities of Musinex. Now, before I go out and buy out all the Musinex that Walgreens has in stock, I want a little more proof that its not going to be harmful and is actually going to work.

But I also believe that enviroment and things we put in our bodies do affect us. Do they cause disease? Maybe in some cases. Definetly in cigerette smoking and probably in other things as well, just can't think of anything right of the top of my head, but I know there are others. Smoking is just one example.
And the harmful vs helpful has to be taken into consideration I think too.
That was why I had a question about taking steroids. I had seen the harmful side effects of long term steriod use and I was concerned about it.

And I'd want to know more about the harmful effects of taking large quantities of Musinex vs how helpful its going to be.

But I've been off diet sodas for over a year now and my symptoms continue to escalate, so do I think the diet sodas I used to drink caused me to have MS if that is indeed what I have? I'd have to say no on this one as the reports I read said that once the soda drinker quit, they got better. I quit and I got worse. But again, who knows for sure?

I don't know. I seem to hear and say that a lot lately. I guess its all a crapshoot, but you can help yourself by trying to eat healthy and exercise. We KNOW that is beneficial to ANYONE, no matter if they are sick or not.

I guess I'll keep looking and reading and asking and get my own picture about all this. And I guess that's all we can do in the education of ourselves.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #12
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Re: MS and diet drinks

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJRT View Post
I guess I'll keep looking and reading and asking and get my own picture about all this. And I guess that's all we can do in the education of ourselves.
That, my friend, is a very smart comment indeed.

 
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