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The story of Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure) is interesting in how it was discovered, how it was approved for use, and how it remains on the market. Because of the many different reports of adverse reactions, we do not recommend its use, especially if you have any of the symptoms or conditions it has been linked to. It often takes at least sixty days without any aspartame to see a significant improvement in any conditions it may be contributing to. Improvement in health is also often accompanied by weight loss. Check all labels very carefully (including vitamins and pharmaceuticals). Look for the word "aspartame" on the label and avoid it. (Also, it is a good idea to avoid "acesulfame-k" or "sunette.") Finally, avoid getting nutrition information from junk food industry PR organizations such as IFIC or organizations that accept large sums of money from the junk and chemical food industry such as the American Dietetic Association.

Adverse effects reported from short-term and/or long-term use
Seizures and convulsions, dizziness, tremors, migraines and severe headaches (triggered or caused by chronic intake), memory loss (common toxicity effect), slurring of speech, confusion, numbness or tingling of extremities, chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, irritability, panic attacks (common aspartame toxicity reaction), marked personality changes, phobias, rapid heart beat (tachycardia - another frequent reaction), asthma, chest pains, hypertension (high blood pressure), nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swallowing pain, itching, hives / urticaria, other allergic reactions, blood sugar control problems (e.g. hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia), menstrual cramps and other menstrual problems or changes, impotency and sexual problems, food cravings, weight gain, hair loss / baldness or thinning of hair, burning urination & other urination problems, excessive thirst or excessive hunger, bloating, edema (fluid retention), infection susceptibility, joint pain, brain cancer (in pre-approval studies on animals), death.

Aspartame Disease may mimic symptoms of, or worsen…
Fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, lupus, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), diabetes and diabetic Complications, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, birth defects, chronic fatigue syndrome, lymphoma, Lyme's disease, attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD), panic disorder, depression and other psychological disorders.

Products containing Aspartame
Instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, desserts, candies, juice beverages, laxatives, multivitamins, milk drinks, pharmaceuticals and supplements, shake mixes, soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers, and yogurt amongst other things. Always read the label.

A documentary, Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, thoroughly examines the toxicity of aspartame. Sweet Misery starts with filmmaker and narrator Cory Brackett's moving story about how she discovered aspartame's effect on her health was affecting her fight with multiple sclerosis. Once she stopped using aspartame-sweetened products, her symptoms went away almost by magic. [News with Views July 6, 2004]

However, a sweeping review of research studies of aspartame says there is no evidence that the non-nutritive sweetener causes cancer, neurological damage or other health problems in humans

Looking at more than 500 reports, including toxicological, clinical and epidemiological studies dating from 1970's preclinical work to the latest studies on the high-intensity sweetener, along with use levels and regulations data, an international expert panel from 10 universities and medical schools evaluated the safety of aspartame for people of all ages and with a variety of health conditions. Their study is published in the September 2007 issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

"There have been continued questions in the media and on the internet about the safety of aspartame," said panel member and University of Maryland food and nutrition professor Bernadene Magnuson. "Our study is a very comprehensive review of all of the research that's been done on aspartame. Never before has a group with the breadth of experience of this panel looked at this question."

Aspartame Consumption
The panel used the latest data -- 2001-02 -- from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to determine the most current levels of aspartame consumption.

"Even the very highest consumers of aspartame are well below the acceptable daily intake (ADI) and well below the amounts used in animal testing," said Magnuson.

Evaluation Findings

The team reviewed studies that tested a number of health effects of varying levels of aspartame, including amounts that far exceed the acceptable daily intake, on animals and humans. In addition to healthy adults and children, studies also looked at effects on adults and children with diabetes, hyperactive and sugar-sensitive children, and people with Parkinson's disease and depression.

The Expert Panel's evaluation concluded the following:

Overall:

Aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption, which remain well below established ADI levels, even among high user sub-populations. No credible evidence was found that aspartame is carcinogenic, neurotoxic or has or any other adverse effects when consumed even at levels many times the established ADI levels.

Specifically:

* Based on results of several long term studies, aspartame does not have carcinogenic or cancer-promoting activity.

* Results of extensive investigation in studies that mimic human exposure do not show any evidence of neurological effects, such as memory and learning problems, of aspartame consumption.

* Overall the weight of the evidence indicates that aspartame has no effect on behavior, cognitive function, neural function or seizures in any of the groups studied.

* Aspartame has not been shown to have adverse effects on reproductive activity or lactation.

* Studies conclude that aspartame is safe for use by diabetics and may aid diabetics in adhering to a sugar-free diet.

* There is no evidence to support an association between aspartame consumption and obesity. On the contrary, when used in multidisciplinary weight control programs, aspartame may actually aid in long-term weight control.

* The studies provide no evidence to support an association between aspartame and brain or hematopoietic tumor development.

Products featuring Splenda can be labeled “natural” because of the FDA-approved claim that Splenda is made from sugar (an assertion disputed by the Sugar Association, which is suing Splenda's manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson). Splenda is the trade name for a new synthetic compound called sucralose, comprised of two molecules of sucrose (sugar) and three molecules of chlorine. While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to salt, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides.

There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. But the manufacturer's own short-term studies showed that sucralose, the chemical name for Splenda, caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents.

Observational evidence shows that there are side effects of Splenda, including skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, stomach pain, bloating and gas (flatulence).

Splenda wants to shortcut any free speech or backlash to their product by registering all the negative domains. It all started back in the 90’s when AOLsucks.com successfully defended its use of the Trademark of “AOL” in its name and established the legal precedent (BTW, AOL bought AOLsucks years later). Courts have found that the sucks appended domain names do not confuse the consumer, and their registrants have a right to voice criticism. To proactively combated this, companies with big brands now find it common to register the domains before critics do. But when reading the list of domains that Johnson & Johnson registered it looks like they predict bad side effects or that their product may be dangerous. Creative names like Splenda Side Effects.com, Splenda Dangers.com, Splenda is not Safe.com, and Victims Of Splenda.com are thought up by the marketing team at Johnson & Johnson. It looks like J&J was late to the game because the more obvious negative domains are owned by critics like sucks and kills. However J&J decided to register the .NET versions instead. The cost of the domains is nothing compared to the legal or PR battles that could take place if a critic successfully uses the domain name. Large companies should make it a proactive practice to register negative domains while they are still in the branding phase of their product.

Johnson & Johnson owns:

Splenda Sucks.net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Kills.net, .org, biz .info
Splenda Truth.com , .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Poison.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
The Dangers of Splenda.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
The Facts About Splenda.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
The Splenda Dangers.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
The Splenda Facts.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Victims of Splenda.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
The Truth about Splenda.net, .org, .biz, .info
The Splenda Truth.com, .net, .org, ,biz, .info
Splenda Toxicity.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Toxicity Center.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Victims.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Health.com
Splenda and your Health.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda and your Family.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz
Splenda Myths.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Alert.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Facts.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Safety.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Truth about Splenda.info, .biz
Splenda Side Effects.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
About Splenda.com
All about Splenda.net
Banon Splenda.com
Bitter truth about Splenda.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Facts about Splenda.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Myths about Splenda.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Official Splenda Site.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Dangers.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Diabetes.com
Splenda is not Safe.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda is not so Sweet.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info
Splenda Sucralose.com
The Truth about Splenda Safety.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info [from http://blog.domaintools.com/2007/03/splenda-registers-hundreds-of-negative-domains/]
 

 
 

Artificial Sweetener Avoidance can help with the following:
 
 
Aging  Alzheimer's Disease
 Aspartame use has been reported to trigger symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

  Parkinson's Disease / Risk
 Parkinson's disease can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame according to researchers studying its possible adverse effects.

Autoimmune

  Multiple Sclerosis / Risk

Circulation

  Anemia (Iron deficiency)
 Splenda (sucralose) use has been linked to a reduced red blood cell count.

  Increased Risk of Stroke
 While artificially sweetened soft drinks lack calories and thus may be a seemingly attractive alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remains unclear. Hannah Gardener, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Florida, USA), and colleagues examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (or heart attack), and vascular death. Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study.

The team found that those subjects who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43% more likely to have suffered a vascular event, as compared to those who drank none, after adjusting for confounding factors. People who drank between one diet soft drink a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks, were not found to be at increased risks for vascular events. The study authors conclude that: “Daily diet soft drink consumption was associated with several vascular risk factors and with an increased risk for vascular events.”

[Gardener H, Rundek T, Markert M, Wright CB, Elkind MS, Sacco RL. “Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study.” J Gen Intern Med., January 27, 2012.]

  Mitral Valve Prolapse
  Arrhythmias/Dysrhythmias

Digestion

  Flatulence / Gas
 Sucralose (Splenda) causes severe bloating and gas in some people. If you suspect this, avoid all sources and see if there is a reduction.

  Nausea, Vomiting
 Some people have experienced nausea and vomiting from exposure to Splenda (Sucralose).

  Diarrhea
  Heartburn / GERD

Immunity

  Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome
 According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia among other conditions can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame.

  Weakened Immune System
 Splenda has been demonstrated to reduce thymus size, suggesting a poorer immune response potential.

Infections

  Lyme Disease
  Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
 Aspartame use has been reported to trigger or mimic symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection.

  Post-Polio Syndrome
 Aspartame use has been reported to trigger or mimic symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome.

Mental

  Anxiety
  Panic Attacks
  Depression

Metabolic

  Problem Caused By Being Overweight
 It would be logical to think that the use of no-calorie artificial sweeteners would reduce weight gain, since less calories would be consumed. Right? It turns out that just the opposite is true. Don't mess with what God has created!

This failed attempt to satisfy the sweet tooth while bypassing the negative consequences seems to work by:
  • 1. making you consume more calories in the long run
  • 2. lowering your metabolic rate
And the motive behind it is to get you attracted / addicted to a manufacturers particular product. Don't look to anyone but yourself, when it comes to choosing what you consume. Regardless of the advertising and government endorsement, you are responsible for what you eat. Just because 'everyone else is doing it', doesn't make it right.

Foods and beverages that contain no-calorie artificial sweeteners may be ruining your ability to control your food intake and body weight, according to new research by psychologists at Purdue University’s Ingestive Behavior Research Center.

In their study, when compared with rats that ate yogurt sweetened with glucose (a simple sugar), rats that ate yogurt sweetened with the zero-calorie artificial sweetener saccharin:

Consumed more calories (and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later)
Gained more weight
Put on more body fat

It’s thought that consuming artificial sweeteners breaks the connection between a sweet sensation and a high-calorie food, thereby changing your body’s ability to regulate intake.

The researchers also measured the rats’ core body temperatures, which typically rise after eating. However, after eating a sweet, high-calorie meal, rats that ate saccharin had a lower rise in body temperature than rats that ate glucose.

The researchers believe that this blunted biological response led the rats to overeat, and made it harder to burn off the calories later.

They concluded that consuming foods sweetened with saccharin would lead to greater weight gain and body fat than eating the same foods sweetened with sugar.

Although further research needs to be done, the researchers believe that consuming other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame K would have similar effects. [Behavioral Neuroscience February 2008, Vol. 122, No. 1, 161-173]

“Several large scale prospective cohort studies found positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain. The San Antonio Heart Study examined 3,682 adults over a seven to eight year period in the 1980s.

When matched for initial body mass index (BMI), gender, ethnicity, and diet, drinkers of artificially sweetened beverages consistently had higher BMIs at the follow-up, with dose dependence on the amount of consumption… Saccharin use was also associated with eight-year weight gain in 31,940 women from the Nurses’ Health Study conducted in the 1970s.

Similar observations have been reported in children.

A two-year prospective study involving 166 school children found that increased diet soda consumption was associated with higher BMI Z-scores at follow-up, indicating weight gain. The Growing Up Today Study, involving 11,654 children aged 9 to 14 also reported positive association between diet soda and weight gain for boys. For each daily serving of diet beverage, BMI increased by 0.16 kg/m2… A cross-sectional study looking at 3,111 children and youth found diet soda drinkers had significantly elevated BMI.”
[Gain Weight by “Going Diet?” Artificial Sweeteners and the Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine June 2010; 83(2): pp.101–108]

  Aspartame Intolerance
  Headaches, Migraine/Tension
  Meniere's Disease
 Aspartame use has been reported to trigger or mimic symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
 Aspartame use has been reported to trigger Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

Nervous System

  Seizure Disorder
 In 1984, there were 3 reports about large amounts of Aspartame causing a lowering of the seizure threshold and therefore increasing seizure activity. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta did a review of this and were unable to find any cause or effect relationship at normal doses. More recently, Aspartame has been found to be unsuitable for some children with generalized absence Epilepsy. A Queen's University study looked at the brain-wave patterns in 10 children and the effects of the artificial sweetener "NutraSweet". A 40% increase in abnormal brain-wave activity associated with absence seizures was found in this study. However, there was no effect on the actual number of seizures. Research on this topic is continuing.

Organ Health

  Diabetes Type II
 The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is actually recommending this chemical poison to persons with diabetes. According to research conducted by H.J. Roberts, a diabetes specialist, a member of the ADA, and an authority on artificial sweeteners, aspartame:

1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.
2) Causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral drugs.
3) Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis.
4) Causes convulsions.

In a statement concerning the use of products containing aspartame by persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia, Roberts says: "Unfortunately, many patients in my practice, and others seen in consultation, developed serious metabolic, neurologic and other complications that could be specifically attributed to using aspartame products. This was evidenced by:

"The loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia, the occurrence of presumed 'insulin reactions' (including convulsions) that proved to be aspartame reactions, and the precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these products.

"…dramatic improvement of such features after avoiding aspartame, and the prompt predictable recurrence of these problems when the patient resumed aspartame products, knowingly or inadvertently."

Roberts goes on to say:
"I regret the failure of other physicians and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to sound appropriate warnings to patients and consumers based on these repeated findings which have been described in my corporate-neutral studies and publications."

  Increased Risk of Diabetes ll
 Excitotoxins such as that found in aspartame can precipitate diabetes in persons who are genetically susceptible to the disease. [Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills]

Risks

  Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack
 While artificially sweetened soft drinks lack calories and thus may be a seemingly attractive alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remains unclear. Hannah Gardener, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Florida, USA), and colleagues examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (or heart attack), and vascular death. Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study.

The team found that those subjects who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43% more likely to have suffered a vascular event, as compared to those who drank none, after adjusting for confounding factors. People who drank between one diet soft drink a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks, were not found to be at increased risks for vascular events. The study authors conclude that: “Daily diet soft drink consumption was associated with several vascular risk factors and with an increased risk for vascular events.”

[Gardener H, Rundek T, Markert M, Wright CB, Elkind MS, Sacco RL. “Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study.” J Gen Intern Med., January 27, 2012.]

  Increased Risk of Brain Cancer
 In 1981 Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician, stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so "worrisome" that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet. In a two-year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, twelve of the 320 rats fed a normal diet and aspartame developed brain tumors while none of the control rats had tumors. Five of the twelve tumors were in rats given a low dose of aspartame. The approval of aspartame was a violation of the Delaney Amendment which was supposed to prevent cancer-causing substances such as methanol (formaldehyde) and DKP from entering our food supply.

The late Dr Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, testified before the US Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors. This made it illegal for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level. He stated in his testimony that Searle's studies were "to a large extent unreliable" and that "at least one of those studies has established beyond any reasonable doubt that aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals...." He concluded his testimony by asking, "What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? .... And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the public?"

In the mid-1970s it was discovered that the manufacturer of aspartame falsified studies in several ways. One of the techniques used was to cut tumors out of test animals and put them back in the study. Another technique used to falsify the studies was to list animals that had actually died as surviving the study. Thus, the data on brain tumors was likely worse than discussed above. In addition, a former employee of the manufacturer of aspartame, Raymond Schroeder, told the FDA on July 13, 1977 that the particles of DKP were so large that the rats could discriminate between the DKP and their normal diet.

It is interesting to note that the incidence of brain tumors in persons over 65 years of age has increased 67% between the years 1973 and 1990. Brain tumors in all age groups has jumped 10%. The greatest increase has come during the years 1985-1987.

In his book, Aspartame (NutraSweet). Is it Safe?, Roberts gives evidence that aspartame can cause a particularly dangerous form of cancer - primary lymphoma of the brain.

  Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia
 Aspartame use has been reported to trigger symptoms of Alzheimer's.

  Increased Risk of Lymphoma

Tumors, Malignant

  Brain Cancer
 According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, brain tumors can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame.

  Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Uro-Genital

  Interstitial Cystitis
 Sugar substitutes like aspartame and saccharin may cause bladder irritation. The most difficult soda to tolerate appears to be diet cola, which is a quadruple whammy of carbonation, caffeine, aspartame and cocoa derivatives, four known bladder irritants.

  Nocturia
 Sugar substitutes like aspartame and saccharin may cause bladder irritation. The most difficult soda to tolerate appears to be diet cola, which is a quadruple whammy of carbonation, caffeine, aspartame and cocoa derivatives, four known bladder irritants.

  Increased Urinary Frequency
 Sugar substitutes like aspartame and saccharin may cause bladder irritation. The most difficult soda to tolerate appears to be diet cola, which is a quadruple whammy of carbonation, caffeine, aspartame and cocoa derivatives, four known bladder irritants.

  Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues
 Dr Diana Dow Edwards, a researcher, was funded by Monsanto to study possible birth defects caused by the ingestion of aspartame. After preliminary data showed damaging information about aspartame, funding for the study was cut off. A separate genetic pediatrician at Emory University has testified that aspartame is causing birth defects.

In the book, While Waiting: A Prenatal Guidebook by George R. Verrilli, M.D. and Anne Marie Mueser, it is stated that aspartame is suspected of causing brain damage in sensitive individuals: a fetus may be at risk for these effects. Some researchers have suggested that high doses of aspartame may be associated with problems ranging from dizziness and subtle brain changes to mental retardation.

  Urinary Stress/Overactive Bladder
 Artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes such as NutraSweet may increase urinary urgency.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Alzheimer's Disease:  A progressive disease of the middle-aged and elderly, characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Arthritis:  Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.

Aspartame:  A low-calorie sweetener used in a variety of foods and drinks and as a tabletop sweetener. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and is commonly known by names such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful or Equal-Measure.

Asthma:  A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Carcinogen:  Any agent that is cancer-causing.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:  CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a disorder of unknown cause that lasts for prolonged periods and causes extreme and debilitating exhaustion as well as a wide range of other symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache and joint pain, often resembling flu and other viral infections. Also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus (CEBV), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), "Yuppy Flu" and other names, it is frequently misdiagnosed as hypochondria, psychosomatic illness, or depression, because routine medical tests do not detect any problems.

Diabetes Mellitus:  A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.

Diarrhea:  Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Edema:  Abnormal accumulation of fluids within tissues resulting in swelling.

Fibromyalgia:  (FMS): Originally named fibrositis, it is a mysteriously debilitating syndrome that attacks women more often than men. It is not physically damaging to the body in any way, but is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain that often moves about the body. Fibromyalgia can be so severe that it is often incapacitating.

Flatulence:  Abnormal amount of gas in the stomach and intestines.

Hypertension:  High blood pressure. Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure because it adds to the workload of the heart, causing it to enlarge and, over time, to weaken; in addition, it may damage the walls of the arteries.

Hypoglycemia:  A condition characterized by an abnormally low blood glucose level. Severe hypoglycemia is rare and dangerous. It can be caused by medications such as insulin (diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia), severe physical exhaustion, and some illnesses.

Lactation:  Production of milk; period after giving birth during which milk is secreted in the breasts.

Laxative:  A substance (food, herb, chemical) that stimulates evacuation of the bowels. Examples include cascara sagrada, senna, castor oil, aloe vera, bisacodyl, phenolphthalein and many others.

Lymphoma:  Any tumor of the lymphatic tissues.

Migraine:  Not just a headache, but a disorder affecting the whole body, characterized by clearly defined attacks lasting from about 4 to 72 hours, separated by headache-free periods; progresses through five distinct phases. Prodrome: experienced by about 50% of migraineurs and starting up to 24 hours before the headache - changes in mood, sensory perception, food craving, excessive yawning, or speech or memory problems. Aura: experienced by about 15% and starting within an hour before the headache - disruption of vision (flashing lights, shimmering zigzag lines, blind spot) or sensation (numbness or 'pins and needles' around the lips or hand), or difficulty speaking. Headache: usually pulsating and occurring on one side of the head, it may occur on both sides of the head and alternate from side to side. Muscles in the neck and scalp may be tender; there may be nausea and the desire not to eat, move, see or hear. Resolution: the headache disappears and the body returns to normal. Resolution may occur over several hours during sleep or rest; an intense emotional experience or vomiting may also end the headache. Postdrome: After the headache stops, the sufferer feels drained, fatigued and tired. Muscles ache, emotions are volatile and thinking is slow.

Multiple Sclerosis:  Demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system, causing patches of sclerosis (plaques) in the brain and spinal cord, manifested by loss of normal neurological functions, e.g., muscle weakness, loss of vision, and mood alterations.

Nausea:  Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.

Neurotoxic:  Poisonous to the nerves.

Panic Attack:  A brief, irrational episode of fear that is perceived as so real that an individual may be driven to escape from the place or situation where it occurs. The attack is sudden and increases in severity until it leaves, usually within ten minutes. Panic attack symptoms are numerous and involve both mental and physical signs and symptoms. A panic attack can occur in other anxiety states such as agoraphobia and with certain activities and places. It may occur spontaneously without an apparent cause.

Panic Disorder:  A condition whereby an affected individual has recurrent and unexpected panic attacks and worries a great deal of the time about having another. The individual may also have persistent concern or fear that a panic attack might cause unrelated health problems or a demonstrable change in usual behavior. The symptoms of panic disorder must be present for at least one month to confirm the diagnosis.

Parkinson's Disease:  A chronic, slowly-progressing disease of the nervous system characterized clinically by the combination of tremor, rigidity, extreme slowness of movement, and stooped posture. It is characterized pathologically by loss of dopamine in the substantia nigra.

Seizure:  While there are over 40 types of seizure, most are classed as either partial seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain is limited to one area or generalized seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain encompasses the entire organ. Although there is a wide range of signs, they mainly include such things as falling to the ground; muscle stiffening; jerking and twitching; loss of consciousness; an empty stare; rapid chewing/blinking/breathing. Usually lasting from between a couple of seconds and several minutes, recovery may be immediate or take up to several days.

Stomach:  A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.

Tachycardia:  Excessively rapid heart rate.

Urticaria:  Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.