Quite a few people in the support group I have joined swear that aspertaime is a big trigger for them. Aspataime is the sweetener used in Diet Coke and many oter things like Sweet 'n' Low. The list goes on. Tthe only reason I ask, is because I haven't seen anything about it on this site. Does anybody know antying about this?
I'm on a cortisol research kick at the moment, and I'm sure it could easily be related to other reactions, but what the hay.. I found a possible connection here, too...
According to many studies, folks with fibromyalgia have lower cortisol levels than normal, which leads to a lot of different issues. Here's one study I was looking at earlier today and posted in conjunction with something else I was writing about: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20458566
According to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2923074 , the amount of aspartame equivalent to one large aspartame sweetened drink results in a slight drop in cortisol and insulin, and a slight increase in glucose. They concluded that this shouldn't mess with normal people. We're not normal. We already have low cortisol, so when we do something that makes it go down even further, we're hurting ourselves.
When the blood sugar goes up, the body makes insulin to bring it back down. The cortisol helps keep it on an even keel, preventing the insulin from causing a dive in the blood sugar. When there's not enough cortisol, there's not enough to keep that dive from happening.
A common result of that is "reactive hypoglycemia", to which it seems we would logically be prone.
Cortisol also helps keep inflammation down, so the lower it is, the more poofy our innards (and skin etc) wind up getting, and of course when we're poofy, it hurts. If we have something that makes us more poofy, it hurts more.
Theoretically, it's the low glucose that causes the aspartame headaches, but that's just a theory on my part, but here's something that shows the side-effects of aspartame. You may notice that the highest percentages on the list coincide greatly with the symptoms of blood sugar issues:
It also specifically states that it's known to worsen fibromyalgia (and other inflammatory diseases, etc)
I've found other good articles, too, but I prefer to stick with citing only articles from places that are known to be credible.
Maybe it's just because I'm thinking about the blood sugar-cortisol connection lately, but it seems to make sense to me!