Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Public Service Announcement: Is What You're Drinking Killing You?
In the beginning I thought this was a very positive change since I was visiting the gym, watching what I ate, and had cut down hundreds of calories from switching to sugar free drinks from soda. As a mom of five, and someone with a desk job so to speak, it was easy to put on some extra pounds. What I'm about to reveal, I can't base on medical research, just my own opinions concerning my body.
These changes did very well for me for about six months. I was feeling great, looking awesome, and had so much energy I felt like bouncing off the roof. Then something changed. I don't think it was a sudden change, but over a month I started to feel really tired. I barely had the energy to do a daily walk, much less have the stamina to work out for a few hours at the gym. I made an appointment with my doctor and discovered that my blood pressure was elevated and was put on medication for that. As far as I was concerned that was the problem and I started the medication regimen and continued to try to eat well, exercised when I could find some energy. All the while, I continued doing my sugar free drink mix in my water.
A few weeks ago things really got to the point where I knew another visit to the doctor was in order. Numbness in my hip, leg pains, dizziness, memory issues, migraines, needless to say I wasn't feeling like writing and I also noticed myself getting angry. Since I've always been a glass half full kind of person the emotions meant more than the physical symptoms. I'd put off the office visit trying to get my kids back in school and take care of things for our upcoming trip. Out of the blue my mother sent me an article on Aspartame Poisoning. You can read that article here .
I was floored as I read through the symptoms which fit many of what I was experiencing myself. It was like a light bulb going off in my head. Without a second thought I went into my cabinets and threw away every box of sugar free mix into the garbage. I was drinking 8-9 bottles of water with this added in on a daily basis. Everywhere I went I had this with me, preferring my water to even diet cokes when we ate out. Like I said I don't have a medical basis for my findings (even though I practiced Respiratory Therapy for seven years prior to becoming an author), but I can give you some personal results.
The first 24 hours without this drink I had the worst migraine that lasted two hours. It was so bad that I thought a trip to the emergency room was going to come from it. I managed to suffer through that and the next day I suffered with shooting pains down my leg but lessening of the hip numbness that had plagued me. Day three and headaches were completely gone, the leg pains erased, and the numbness in my hip? It was completely gone. Day four, which is today? I actually got a great night of sleep, no headaches, dizziness, my mind is clear, and I feel like a new person.
Drinking sugar again is taking a little getting used to since I've stayed away from it so long. Anyone that's ever switched to diet drinks can attest to that fact. It's almost like putting syrup in your mouth when you try to change back over, but considering the things I've dealt with, this is something I'm willing to deal with. The physical differences in my body are amazing but what's even more incredible is the ability to remember things again. As a writer, my mind is my biggest tool so you can imagine how hard it has been when I couldn't remember what the plot was for a story without re-reading the story from the beginning every time I decided to write.
My conclusion, and like I said I can't base this on medical observation, is that my drinks were killing me. What I thought was this great idea to get healthier was doing just the opposite. Sugar free products are banned in my home now. It's only been four days but I have great hopes that things will continually get better and when I get back from my trip in Nashville this week I plan on making the appointment with my doctor and hopefully work on getting off the blood pressure medication as well. In closing let me say that sometimes we do things with the best intentions, but have we really researched the consequences of the changes we are making? I for one will do nothing again that involves pulling chemicals into my body.