I will tell you my experience with Diet Coke and aspartame. For years I drank diet coke, probably a can a day and more on weekends, without any side effects. I too used to have terrible stomach pains, bloating, etc. after eating but never thought anything of it. Then I started to get really achy joints, especially my knees, it felt like I had fluid around my knee joints and it was difficult to get up from a kneeling or even a sitting position. About this time I read/heard about side effects from aspartame and one of those being stiff joints, so I decided to quit diet coke. Wow, not an easy thing to do, that stuff is really addictive. Most people would say it's the caffeine in the drink, but I was still drinking lots of coffee, so that wasn't it.
Long story short, without diet coke in my life, the stomach pains and the stiffness and pain in my knees went away. Never thought about the damage it was doing to my organs.
I went without diet coke for years and then like most addicts I gave in one day when I was craving a soda and had one. I love the taste of Diet Coke, not pepsi or any other drink, just diet coke. A Diet Coke once a week when I went for groceries turned into more, especially during hot summer months. I was on the train again, and soon the knee stiffness and pain returned. I am once again weaning myself off of Diet Coke,
I think the chemicals build up in your system over time and that's when the problems arise.
I also used to use Splenda as a sweetener but have given that up as well.
Maybe some people can drink this stuff without side effects but I can't.
Will be interested to see the comments on your blog.
Another thing I've noticed, and Cliff, the hard-core Diet Coke drinker (he does try to hold it down to one or two a day) agrees: There seems to be something addictive about Diet Coke, whether it's the aspartame or something else. People who drink Diet Coke seem to go around with a can in their hands all the time.
Just so you know, when I drink pop, it's Pepsi Throwback, because I like the taste. I buy a twelve-pack and it lasts one to two months. Usually the 12-ounce can is more than I want and I pour some of it down the drain.
If any of you have had a similar experience, email me and I might share your story here. No, this is not going to become an anti-Coke blog. I'll get back to the chickens and cows tomorrow.