Are stomach aches a known side-effect of aspartame?
I’ve recently decided that, mild as my soda habit is (maybe 2 a week), it’s still too much of a sugar bomb. Where diet drinks used to gag me, I forced myself to “get over the hump” and now drinks sweetened with aspartame/ace-k taste pretty damn decent to me. In fact I had a Cherry Coke Zero today and I checked the label 3 or 4 times to make sure I bought the right one because it tasted exactly like regular Cherry Coke.
The only problem is, I’ve been getting really bad stomach aches / cramps / gas for about an hour after drinking one of these sodas. I checked the Wikipedia page and it doesn’t mention it, and forget about googling it; nothing but conspiracy sites calling it “sweet poison”, saying your arm will fall off, your head will explode, all your cousins will get cancer, you’ll income taxes will get audited, etc etc.
Either this stuff is giving me stomach aches or I’ve had the dozen or so most coincidental occurrences of my life lately.
I don’t have any cites, but I can confirm that you aren’t the only one who gets an upset stomach from diet pop. I find they can give me an “acidy” feeling in my stomach, along with a general unwell feeling.
I get really bad headaches from the stuff. I can’t even chew gum with Aspartame in it. (No, I don’t have PKU)
I’m not sure how reliable this site is, but it does cover the various side effects:
I do have a high sensitivity to formaldehyde, so after reading this, it no longer surprises me that I’d get sick from aspartame.
If it’s obvious that drinking diet pop causes a stomach ache, I’d stop drinking it.
I had to stop eating my most favorite fruit in the world because I’ve apparently developed a sensitivity to it. If I eat a banana, I will get the most horrible stomach cramps/pain that will last for HOURS. I do so miss bananas. I love 'em! I can eat them cooked, it seems, but it’s not quite the same thing as peeling one and having a great snack.
Aspartame gives me both bad headaches and really bad stomach aches/cramps. A lot of artificial sweetners do, alas - though Splenda seems to be tolerable.
Then you better not drink tomato or most other vegetable or fruit juices (which cause even more methanol, thence formaldehyde, to be produced). Look here for some information you should find mighty interesting and then look at any of the references or simply do a search restricted to university or government sites (i.e. reputable and reliable ones).
People who get “stomach aches” etc., from diet sodas are probably just noticing the effect of the sorbitol and/or related sweetening substances. After all, they are laxatives.