It started about 6 years ago when I had to stop using Equal cold turkey due to some pretty serious side effects. I was a heavy Equal user. I thought it was the best thing ever created! I have a major sweet tooth and it demanded to be fed. I put lots of Equal in everything I drank and ate. Why not... no calories. :)
I'm not one of those rabid anti-aspartame people because I don't like them... and I didn't listen to them. After all, I was perfectly fine and I used more Equal than the average person. If any of these scary side effects would occur, I was the #1 potential person to display such side effects and I was fine. So leave me alone!
Until one day I wasn't fine.
I started having ocular migraines. I would lose vision in one eye or lose the ability to focus. It really freaked me out, but then, I found out what it was and since I get migraines, the ocular wasn't so scary and bonus... little to no pain (for me anyway). Way easier to deal with than a traditional migraine.
Then I started getting these sharp pains and really bad headaches; then these headaches were combined with vision loss. I would get vision disturbances. Then my vision started going. Let me tell you... when you start having eye problems; everything comes to a screeching halt!
What was happening to me?!!!
I booked an appointment with a neurologist (but had to wait a week for my appointment).
My vision got worse, I started losing my field of vision and it was freaking me out. The headaches were bad. I wasn't feeling well and I'm sure the stress didn't help.
So... I turned to my best friend Google.
typed in: sudden onset headache with vision issue (or something like that) and every single entry had to do with aspartame.
I've since done that search and you get results all over the place.
So I thought... what have I got to lose? I stopped aspartame that day and within 3 days all my symptoms were gone!!
I've tested this "diagnosis" a few times myself and each time aspartame is added back in I get the headache back within an hour. That is enough for me.
So, I don't use aspartame anymore.
I switched to "real" sugar (you know the white processed stuff).
Amazingly... my desire for sweets DECREASED! I just don't understand that!
Maybe it has something to do with eating something real or caloric and processing that vs. pretend sugar?
So... I won't go around shouting from the rooftops that aspartame is the embodiment of evil. But... if you are having headaches all the time, you might want to look at this as a cause and make some changes. :)