The Great Splenda Experiment

I use it, and have for years.. I generally like it. I started using it when I was almost diagnosed as almost having borderline gestational diabetes (Yup, a lot of almosts there, as I was borderline for their borderline), and I continued using it since for my coffee, tea, etc., ever since. I wasn’t the biggest of fans for Equal or anything aspartame, never liked their aftertaste, and so I thought Splenda was a great fit for me, in my quest to cut out sugar and be healthy (or so I thought).

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of negative reports about Splenda, and I dismissed them, as I felt they were just finger pointing because of all of the reports about aspartame that came out back then. You know, the art of distraction? Look over here, look over here, you don’t want to look at me doing bad things, they’re just as bad. Whatever.

I gotta tell ya, though. I wonder if there isn’t something to this, now.

I’m usually one to slough things like this off, but honestly, the what-if is clanging loudly in my ear right now, and getting louder. I can’t ignore it.

Back when the speculation surfaced, I didn’t experience any of the horrible things these people were claiming – I was drinking maybe a cup of coffee a day, or a cup of tea here and there. That was it. I guess it wasn’t enough for me to notice, or somethin’.

Now, however, I’m drinking more coffee now than I ever have, so obviously my intake of Splenda is more, too. So I have to wonder, is Splenda my problem?

What is my problem? I get headaches, horribly, debilitating headaches and migraines. I ache a lot, all the time. I’m weaker and getting weaker. I’m just not ok. Overwhelming tiredness, yet I hardly sleep. Back pain. Inexplicable stomach pain we thought was onion-related but appears after I eat, we just can’t nail down what it is or why. Wrist pain and numbness. Leg aches (restless leg syndrome). Inability to concentrate

Let’s break these down, though, because each of these has something else that could very well be causing it, hence why I hadn’t ever considered it before:

Tiredness – uh, hello? Got a four-month-old and six kids. ‘Nuff said.
Hardly sleep – see above.
Aching constantly – again, see above.
Back pain - was in a car accident, suffered whiplash, and so, back pain is my middle name.
Stomach pain – that, well, I’ve just always had it, and so, even though it does aggravate the snot out of me, it’s just always been there, so I’ve learned to live with it. And a cocktail of Pepto and gas meds.
Headaches/Migraines – again, something I’ve always had, but they have grown in frequency as of late.
Wrist pain and numbness – this, I gotta tell ya, scares the ever-loving @#$@#$@ out of me. I need hubby to help me hold a sauce pan if I’m trying to drain something and holding it with one hand, as it’s weak. I went to sign my name today and could barely grip the pen, and my hand-writing is atrocious. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they’re fine. Sometimes it’s just one. All of this has happened within the past month or so.
Leg aches/Restless leg syndrome – since my pregnancy with my two-year-old. I take Hylands Restful Legs and the stuff is gold. I had it again with my most recent pregnancy, but strangely enough, I’ve had a few episodes since giving birth, too. So it isn’t just pregnancy related for me anymore.
Inability to concentrate – I have six kids. It’s called mommy brain times six, mmm k?

So, as you can see, each of these can be explained by something else. Heck, each of them can even be explained in my ever-changing hormonal state, having given birth 4 1/2 months ago. Or my many kids. Or sucktastic location. Ya know?

But.. could they also be explained and linked by my sudden increase in my Splenda intake?

I don’t know. But I’m willing to find out, with my Great Splenda Experiment.

As of two days ago, I stopped using it. I began to use organic sugar again.

I know some of you must be reading this and thinking I’m a total whack job for having used Splenda in the first place, when I’m such an organic/natural nut. I know, it’s ok. I know. I’m there, especially now. But I really wanted to cut back on sugar in take, and honestly didn’t think Splenda was that bad. Now? I read, and re read and read some more that Splenda is CHOLORINATED SUGAR. Whoa, like seriously.. WHOA! What the heck was I thinking!?!

Here I am, avoiding using bleach in my home, avoiding going to chlorinated pools, freakin’ out over the levels of chlorine in the water in our home, and I’ve been ingesting it, not only for years, but increased by double or triple in the recent months.

I seriously just want to throw. up. right. now. all. over.

I think the combination of Splenda and the water in our house is making me sick. I really do. And I’m gonna get to the bottom of it, too. Needless to say, whether Splenda is or isn’t my problem, the fact that there’s chlorine in it has just sealed the deal – I will not use it again.

But, for the sake of argument, and my own curiousity, I will be documenting how I feel, having gone off the Great Yellow Chlorinatorâ„¢, to see if this was, in fact, my issue. I am, after all, trying to fix my brokin’ self here.

So, on the first day that I stopped, I noticed I didn’t seem to be as tired as I probably should’ve been, having hardly slept, and all. In fact, I don’t believe I even made coffee right away. That’s kind of huge. I’m usually on that faster than a fly on crap.

Day two was much of the same. Oh, and day two – I had half as much coffee. Alert the media!! That’s some serious business right there, considering I make coffee in the morning, and then usually again in the afternoon to keep myself running. I’m not kidding when I tell you I’ve been powered by coffee alone lately. No joke.

Both days – no headache. Less achiness. More aware. Okay, maybe not that aware, as my toddler still got into the toilet paper, ground her granola bar into the carpet, but not before hiding my car keys and stripping down countless times, to include while outside jumping on the trampoline.

Definitely not that aware.

But, definitely not feelin’ like a hot pile of dog doo, either, as I had been lately.

So what do you think? Do you think I’m a nutjob, or have you experienced something similar, whether it be one of my ailments above, or something related to Splenda, or both? I’d definitely like to hear what you have to say.

*EDIT* My update here.

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