Splenda – migraine trigger?

Splenda is a newer artificial sweetener also known as Altern.  Along with thousands of other food and beverage products, Splenda contains sucralose.  It was approved as a food product in many countries through the 1990s.

Being newer, it hasn’t taken the beating the aspertame has, when it comes to questions about its safety.  And, being newer, that’s part of the problem – there aren’t a lot of long term studies showing just how safe it is.  To get in on the controversy, check out Splenda’s site (pro-Splenda), the discoverers of sucralose (pro-Splenda), website from the Sugar Association (anti-Spenda).

Of course Spenda isn’t just sucralose – it also contains maltodextrin and dextrose.  There’s only a small amount of sucralose per teaspoon of Splenda because sucralose is incredibly sweet, and needs to be "diluted".  Most of the calories in Splenda come from these added ingredients.

A report last September in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain indicated that sucralose may trigger migraine attacks.  What I want to know is, has this been a problem for you?  Do you avoid Splenda?

And is this just about Splenda?  Sucralose is in an increasing number of products – not all are "sugar free", and some even contain sucralose and aspertame.

What contains sucralose?  Thousands of products including Diet RC Cola, Arm & Hammer Dental Gum for Kids, Atkins Diet shakes, Pedialyte Pops and Whitey’s Ice Cream.  Everything from milk products to juices to sauces to baked goods to formed meat chunks – and the number of products is growing.

Do you avoid Splenda?  Why or why not?

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73 comments… add one
  • Betsy Blondin Jul 24, 2007

    Hi, James!

    I’ve been using Splenda for everything for the last one to two years and haven’t noticed any difference with migraine attacks.
    But I try to do everything in moderation, so I probably don’t use more than a couple of teaspoons of sweeteners a day. I use Splenda for baking and cooking, also, but again don’t really bake or eat that many sweets these days!
    I, too, wonder what time will tell us for the new, seemingly healthier sweeteners… Another new one out is Stevia (I think that’s the correct spelling), which comes from a natural root, I believe.
    I’ve just been eating more healthy food – more fresh fruits and veggies and less processed foods in general.

    • g. Larravide May 6, 2011

      I discovered while doing a research on Splenda that the body is different for all of us, there are types. (we all have types of blood and other body types that put us in categories of “same”)
      Well, in researching, the body has different reactions to everything and it does for Splenda sucralose.
      Some have headaches, some have rash, some have symptoms that are like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Lupus, some get arthritis-like pains but it is made from a poison chlorine.
      And it shrinks ALL of our thyroids and spleens by 45%. This means the organs that are essential to your immune system are being destroyed.

  • Anonymous Jul 27, 2007

    Actually the article doesn’t report on a study and says one hasn’t been done yet. It gives one story of a physician who realized that sucralose triggered his migraines. The article then goes on to say
    “websites devoted to revealing the harmful effects of sucralose explain that it may contribute in triggering migraine headaches”
    “These websites are easily found by looking up sucralose on internet search engines. However, scientific evidence-based research is still lacking concerning this topic.”

  • James Jul 28, 2007

    Yes, looks like I misread that one. What we have are observed cases where there seems to be a clear connection between migraine and sucralose.

    Triggers will always be a difficult thing to study. Our limited understanding of migraine makes it difficult to understand the cause and effect, and why certain things are triggers for one person and not another.

    Betsy, I certainly think you’re on the right track – moderation and a healthy diet will cover a multitude of sins!

  • Bill Mar 15, 2008

    I had recently started using protein bars for snacks. These bars taste incredibly sweet and I noticed Sucralose on the ingredients. Then, today, after not having a migraine for 20 years, I got a severe visual migraine (jazzy lights) within 20 minutes of consuming one. I think perhaps the level in my system increased over the last week to tipping point. All other food I consumed today was completely natural (eg frozen veg, chicken breast etc)

  • arlene May 4, 2008

    Yes!!! Splenda triggers migraines in me. I used to chew sugar free gum and after about 5 minutes, I’d get this nauseous sick, kind of headache. I read an article about a top doctor in the area who treats migraines by helping patients avoid headache triggers. So I started making a mental note. My triggers are Splenda, red onions, some wines, swiss cheese(sometimes) and going without eating for more than 5 hours.

  • Ian May 12, 2008

    A guest brought a delicious homemade cherry pie made from splenda for our after dinner desert. He is diabetic and has began substituting splenda for sugar when baking deserts. Dinner was good. We had some wine with chicken and a salad. Nothing new or different. When the pie was served, within about 20 minutes my head began to ache. This was odd as I don’t usually get headaches. I lost my ability to concentrate and needed to go lay down. The top of my head and upper neck area were tender to the touch. I was in agony. I was having a migraine headache. My vision was blurry. I asked my guest to go home early. I took 2000 mg of acetomenophen and that made the pain feel somewhat better but the pain continued.
    The next day my gut feeling said it was the pie, so I had another another slice. And with that I had the same progressin from headache to migraine as the night before.
    I did some internet searching to find out that this sort of thing is a not uncommon side-effect. This is just wrong and I think that Spenda should warm their potential customers of the side-effects of their product using labels or the media.

    • g. Larravide May 6, 2011

      Ian, splenda causes brain fog. It did for me, instantly and it did for a co-worker the next day, she had to leave work right after her morning yogurt with splenda in it. I asked her if she had yogurt and if it was diet, with sucralose. Sure enough. She was shocked that I knew. But I had had the same experience the day before.

      It is a poison. Chlorine, the tiny amount they put in the large and vast quantity that fills a pool! will irritate your eyes. (burn them) and we are eating it in a relatively larger quantity than that! and daily! Chlorine in the liquid form creates a green gas that can kill a person just from inhalation. It is a legit poison!

  • Lili Chen May 16, 2008

    I can categorically state without hesitation that Splenda is indeed a trigger for migraine in some people. It seems to be metabolised differently or I should say slower than other food triggers; it may not show until 36 to 48 hours after ingestion. The migraine resulting from it will likewise go on for longer than usual. So yes, Splenda can bring on mirgraine. Stay away from it!

  • Paul C May 21, 2008

    Yes – I can provide another data point, Sucralose triggers migraines with aura for me, and I have migraines otherwise very rarely (1 or 2 a year).

    At first I thought it was caffeine, as the migraines stopped abruptly once I stopped taking caffeine, but further self-testing made it clear it was the Splenda I took in the coffee that triggered the migraines, not the caffeine itself – I’m now on 1-2 cups of coffee and “full fat” Pepsi per day with normal sugar and I’m fine.

  • James May 22, 2008

    Thanks for sharing these examples! It certainly sounds suspect, doesn’t it?

  • Leigh Jun 6, 2008

    Wow, makes me wonder. I’m (hopefully) on the down side of a seveer migraine (pain day 3, last night the occular experience). I’ve been using Splenda for about 1 year now I like their coffee flavor/sweetner. I haven’t had a migraine like this in a few years I thought since I’ve started thru menopause over 12yrs ago that I was done with them both. But… I don’t think Splenda is affecting me though but I can’t put my finger on the trigger, I’ve discovered from a friend, also a sufferer, that the barametric pressure is one. I read that having an ionizer helps and I’m believing that because I have a clean air machine and I actually sell them too. This past week we’ve had lots of weather happening in our area. I’m going to test this machine out, we’ve had it for years now and its been on & off lately…

    Anyway I just wanted to put my 2 cents in for Splenda. And thanks for this site, its very helpful.

    • g. Larravide May 6, 2011

      Leigh, are you having any arthritis? Joint Pains? or perhaps welts/ rashes?
      If so, stop eating the Splenda, (sucralose is the same thing, so stop ALL sucralose products, read your labels) and see if in a month or actually a few weeks, all of those symptoms don’t just disappear.
      It causes MS and Lupus symptoms also.

      btw, anyone who is eating it to reduce, it only makes you eat more, gain more weight. Because it teases your body, so it never gets what it is teased with, so it wants more. It is highly addictive also, so even if you don’t want more you will struggle with letting it go.

      It has been observed in studies to have shrunken the spleens and thyorids of mice by 45%. The spleen works to supply the thyorid with material to make what the body defends itself with, T Cells. Both organs are essential to health and the immune system.

  • Rene Jun 19, 2008

    I’ve been using Splenda for over a year now – 2 packets with a coffee in the morning. My migraines issues worsened in the past 9-10 months when I started taking note. My migraines increased in frequency & intensity. In the last month I had a migraine that lasted almost 3 solid weeks. I tried Imitrex, Treximet, Naproxen, Maxualt & nothing worked. The final day I was so bad I almost went to the ER. I came home instead & laid down for hours. When my husband came home from work, he mentioned a conversation with a coworker who said she stopped using Splenda due to headaches. The next morning I had no Splenda & my migraine reduced to at least half, the following day w/o Splenda my migraine reduced to almost nothing. I’ve been nearly migraine free for a week. (Note: I always have a low grade headache everyday, but this has been an ongoing issue for years.)

  • Donna Aug 21, 2008

    Holy smokes does Splenda ever trigger migraines for me! Same with aspartame… I have 1-2 migraines/month, so obviously I haven’t found all my triggers yet, but red wine, barometric pressure and hormones are big for me – the foods/drinks i can stay away from, but the hormones are killing me hahaha

  • Maryann Aug 21, 2008

    I had been having an increase in the number of migraines as well as their intensity was getting worse. I didn’t even suspect it could be the splenda. After speaking with a nutritionist, she recommended an eating plan that has not only eliminated my migraines but also reduces LDL cholesterol and I have lost 10 pounds in the last month. It is drastic though but so were my last few migraines. I eat 1/2 cup beans along with a palm-sized piece of protein such as eggs, poultry, beef, pork, or seafood/fish 3 times a day. I also need to eat 7 -1/2 cup servings of vegetables per day but NO corn or potatoes. I drink about 96 oz. purified water a day ( she said that some spring water can actually cause migraines). For the time being I can’t eat anything sweet, no fruit no artificial sweeteners of any type, no beverages other than purified water, tomato juice or vegetable juice. I also cannot have any grains or grain products, no bread crackers, tortillas, etc. Like I said, it is extreme but I feel so great after just a month. Eventually you can add things back such as fruit but never artificial sweeteners.

  • Larry Aug 21, 2008

    I haven’t noticed a problem with Splenda, but Aspartame is a problem for me for sure. I had to stop drinking Diet Coke, chewing Trident sugarless gum or putting Equal in my coffee. They made me very tired during the day, I felt like I had to take a nap as soon as I got home from work and I had a dull headache every night which would turn into a migraine headache if I didn’t take Tylenol or Zomig when needed. The symptoms stopped when I stopped the Aspartame. I do have other triggers as well that I am discovering all too frequently.

  • Lydia Aug 21, 2008

    I have used Splenda for the past 4 years and haven’t noticed any decrease/increase in either my migraine or cluster headeaches. I do avoid Sweet-n-Low though, because it makes my hands swell up after excercising. I’m 50 years old now and I’ve had headaches since I was 11 years old. I know my triggers, and mercifully I only have the clusters every 9 yrs. I’m going to stop with the Splenda for 2 weeks and see if there is a difference. I’ll let you know.

  • Valerie Aug 21, 2008

    Nutrasweet triggers my migraines. That meant no diet soda for me. I was glad to see both Coke and Pepsi come out with diet colas that use Splenda instead of NutraSweet. Fortunately Splenda does not trigger a migraine for me so I can enjoy my guilty pleasure of cola. Another case of how different we migraine sufferers are!

  • Marti Aug 21, 2008

    Hi –
    Splenda doesn’t trigger migraines for me – thank goodness, since I’ve had gastric bypass surgery and I can’t eat sugar. (I’ve lost 150 pounds) However, my mother says Splenda does cause migraines for her; so do Aspartame and sugar. She uses Stevia as a sweetener.

    • g. Larravide May 7, 2011

      Your mother is smart! Stevia has medicinal properties. It stimulates the pancreas and balances the blood sugar. It is 0 in Glycemic Index so it is the best thing a diabetic can use.

      Another excellent “sugar” is Blue Agave. It is a syrup from the Tequila plant and it is delicious. It can be incorporated into recipes and used as syrup on pancakes. It can be measured out like honey. (less liquids in recipes when using liquid sugar)

      Your mom is a smart cookie. Get off splenda and aspartame. Both are poisons.
      Aspartame is made with an amino acid which should have its companion amino acids (typically found naturally). But man isolated this particular amino acid and so it allows too much calcium into the brain and there it results in an “excitotoxin”. It burns the brain cells by allowing too much calcium into the brain.
      It will cause brain tumors, hydration, flu symptoms, loss of vision, black outs, ringing in the ears and more.
      Because we are all different you may not suffer all of the side effects, but a few or even new side effects for your body type.
      There are three main types of symptoms for Sucralose /Splenda. But there may be more. Each body type will have its own set of symptoms to a malady. (or combinations of symptoms.) Just because you get those, in this case headaches, doesn’t mean that you are not being affected. You are, because when something is bad for one person it is bad for all of them.
      The same thing happened with the Gardasil shot. ( the HPV vaccine, that they are now trying to offer to boys and older women.) When it came out, for 9-18 yr old girls, some girls seemed unaffected, others died of thrombosis and tachycardia, others were attacked with Guillian Barr and other degenerative diseases like Celiac’s Disease, juvenile Arthritis, incessant seizing, causing thousands to become home bound for years and having to be taken to the Dr. / ER daily for an array of symptoms, mostly those that come with menopause. It was found out later that some who had no pheno-typical symptoms had become sterile, unable to birth babies.

      Poison, although in small quantities can kill.
      Poison in vaccines, (gardasil, flu shots, Hep B, H1N1, MMRll, Most made by MERCK or Glaxosmithkline) can be eliminated from the body, but nuerological damage has occured from the intoxication of these heavy metals (mercury or aluminum) or from the Polysorbate 80 (in the adjuvant, medium, of the shots listed above) the latter associated to infertility.
      The point is that just because you are not experiencing one of the symptoms does not mean it is not damaging your body/ brain. You may be experiencing rotting from the inside out and when you feel that symptoms it will be too late. A poison is a poison, if it is bad for one it is bad for all and you can fool yourself and say it is not going to hurt you but that is all it is, fooling yourself.

  • Carlina Aug 21, 2008

    I love Splenda and use it regularly in baking (cutting sugar in half) and sweetening. Aspartame is a trigger for me, Splenda is not. Caffeine, chocolate, hormonal fluctuations, weather patterns and coffee (even decaf) all give me problems. I’m glad I can still have something that tastes like sugar and doesn’t give me the calories or the blood sugar bounce. But, as we’ve probably all noticed before, each of us is different to some degree in what triggers us.

  • James Aug 22, 2008

    Thanks for all the great responses! Yes, Valerie, we sure are all different! 🙂

    I do try to avoid aspartame. I have had Splenda, but not enough to really know if it’s a problem personally.

  • Melissa Aug 24, 2008

    Splenda also triggers my migraines. Nutrasweet also makes me sick, but not with headaches. There are so many people that put it into food they offer to other people that just don’t understand that artificial sweetener is poison to so many. The same goes for products that do not put on their labels that they include artificial sweeteners. I’m noticing that more and more lately. I actually know a family who go temporarily blind if they eat anything with Nutrasweet in it. If that isn’t a warning off of artificial sweetener, then I don’t know what is!

    • g. Larravide May 7, 2011

      Nutrasweet is Aspartame and it is cited in the book Splenda: Is It Safe or Not. In fact the case history citing Nutrasweet, is about the death of a girl who became hooked to Soda sweetened with Aspartame. She was found dead after having gone to the ER who said she just had flu symptoms and to drink plenty of liquids. She did, more nutrasweet sweetened soda. She was found with her tongue bitten and on the floor, Gran Mal seizure had killed her.

      The Air Force prohibits their pilots from drinking the aspartame because they know it causes Gran Mal or Tonic seizures. They do not want the pilot in flight /cockpit seizing.

      The aspartame when cooked turns into wood alcohol, which is lethal. (it is in the jello you cook on the stove top too.)

      before you put a chemical in your body (read food labels) google that name and side effects and see what it is likely to give you. Then you know what may come and what gave it to you. Medicines too.

  • Hollie Sep 11, 2008

    Yep, Yep,
    It’s all a trigger to me! I think my favorite sweetner is plain sugar in moderation. Splenda gets me, aspartame gets me, and MSG is a huge trigger to me. (Along with autolized yeast extract, hydrogenized oils, etc etc etc). I have been able to control my migraines with out any medication now for 8 years. It all depends on my diet, fresh and natural is the way to go (for me). Sometimes I want to be bad and have some cheetos and in moderation I can usually handle it, it’s when I get greedy that it gets me! Good luck to all of you and your pain!

    • g. Larravide May 7, 2011

      Hollie, you are brilliant!

      You have listed a huge number of foods that cause enormous issues in the body.
      A huge number not because you listed so many but because what you did list is in MOST foods. I commend you on the work you do to stay healthy. Today with the boxed foods, frozen foods, microwaveable foods, the hormone injected foods, and the fake ripened methods for our produce, what in the dickens can we eat that is good for us?
      All disease is related to what we do and do not eat.
      Super foods can heal us from our diseases.
      Juicers are a terrific investment – the stronger the juicer the better. Juice your carrots and apples, combined (6:2) and drink health.
      Buy from your local farmer and buy what he picks out of his garden, ask where his stuff comes from. Ask if the corn is GMO or if the soy is GMO and if it is, tell him to grow his own. (when you buy GMO you are supporting the farms who use Monsanto seed and Monsanto is a company who is trying to do away with the fresh foods / non-GMO farmers who we want to keep. So – boycott Monsanto: Round Up, their GMO seed, and those who use it. Tell them what you will and won’t buy and let them know how to stay in business. That way they too avoid the GMO seed and avoid giving their money to Monsanto, and if you do not know who they are, learn about them.
      We want our real foods, not our boxed, processed, frozen, or hormone-induced foods- and no chemicals that do not come out of the ground naturally. It is it the only way to stay healthy and avoid the medical insurance fraud game. (if you are on FB see over a hundred discussions on foods, vaccines, and which companies are but bringing us down. “Say NO to Aspartame, Sucralose /Splenda, Gardasil and dangerous ‘Foods” you do that with your wallet!
      GMO is poison. It is plant whose DNA has been hybrid with pesticide; as a result it contributes to: asthma, allergies, gastrointestinal issues. Read whole articles about it on the above FB group.

  • Lora Nov 14, 2008

    I used to be a big user of Splenda, but I began having very severe digestive problems. I also suffer from Migraines. I started trying eliminating different things from my diet, to see what was making me so sick. It was Splenda. If I use it one time, my symptoms come back for a week. I also stay away from Nutrasweet, because it also causes some digestive problems. I feel so much better since I quit sweetners.
    My migraines have also decreased. I do feel they were poisoning my bocy.

  • James Nov 17, 2008

    Thanks again for the comments – Melissa, Hollie and Lora! Don’t miss my follow-up post to this one, Splenda and Migraine revisited. I agree – sugar in moderation is a great sweetener. Also, depending on the recipe, there are things like honey, fruit juice, etc. which have more nutritional value.

  • Yadi Jan 10, 2009

    I’m a 42 year old women who has suffered from migraines for over 30 years. The best advice I’ve ever heard about triggers – “One persons food is another persons poison.” I noticed a correlation between my use of Splenda on a daily basis and frequency of migraines. After a few months, I stopped using it. Frequency of migraine attacks reduced dramatically. My sister however, noticed no change what so ever in her migraines after she stopped using Splenda. Poison for me – simply a sweetner for her.

  • James Jan 13, 2009

    That’s pretty much the case, Yadi. Everyone’s different! And even if it does have some impact on everyone’s health, it certainly seems to hit some harder than others. Glad you noticed it, though – many people don’t!

  • Gloria Jun 26, 2009

    I am not surprised to find new forums with streams of testimonials about negative side effects from the consumption of Splenda.

    I am aware of three combinations of side effects, because people are all different inside. But I am sure there is more. The more I browse the more I find. These side effects include: a red rash all over the body which is painful; achy joints debilitating the person where they cannot go to work and have even been diagnosed incorrectly with MS or fybromyalgia; blurred vision or dizzy and headaches, light headedness, having to also leave work or lay down ( my own symptoms and those of countless others); the feeling of a tight fist in their lower left rib causing incessant annoyance to them, this is the spleen which Splenda shrinks by 45%; and now a migraine headache trigger.
    ALL the people I have recorded have the same remark- in stopping the consumption of Splenda or Sucralose it is better, leaves or does not continue but many lives have been shattered by Splenda users and the constant consumption made for the gradual chronic illnesses to come over them- thus, just because you feel great now doesn’t mean that is going to continue- find an alternative ASAP (Stevia or Agave=natural and low GIs., 0 and 11 respectively) and stop poisoning your body- if others are getting sick – you will too, remember Rust eats from the inside out and you have no idea what it is doing to your body until it is too late- see Sucralose Chlorine: A comparison on youtube channel glarstout for the truth in what Splenda IS or buy the book Splenda:Is it safe or not? by Dr. Hull, a chemist and previous HAZMAT engineer!

  • Kristi Jul 1, 2009

    I noticed Splenda was the reason from my migranes about 4 years ago. I NEVER has as much as a headache prior to that. But even knowing the cause of my migraines is not always a cure for them. I can still get triggers from Splenda because I don’t always now it is used to prepare my food. So many companies are using it, thinking it is a safe sugar alternative. It has gotten to the point that I have to ask if Splenda is used when I go out to eat. When I tell people Splenda causes migraines in some, they are shocked. Some people even look at me like I’m making it up. I’m not crazy…I only get migraines when Splenda sneaks it’s way into my food. Restaurants please advertise you use the product! We need to know if our candied pecans in our salad are going to cause us pain.(Like mine did tonight.)

  • Ellen Jul 6, 2009

    What a relevation! I’m 54 and have had headaches, several monthly, since 11. These last 2 weeks I’ve had long, intense miserable headaches that were very different. That’s what drove me to my internet search and this wonderful website. Now I realize…I started using splenda. At first I thought it was hormonal, which is a difficult trigger I don’t know what to do with. Thank you for helping me discover another trigger. I’m going to avoid all sucralose and MSG. Now if I can only find help for this trigger point in my right shoulder!
    Be well 🙂

  • Mellissa Jul 15, 2009

    I get excructiating migraines after eating anything with Splenda. I’ve switched to Truvia, a sweeteneer made from a plant, with no problems.

    It’s horrible because all kinds of things that are “sugar-free” have Splenda — Coke, syrup, iced coffees.

  • Gloria Larravide Jul 15, 2009

    Politics got it on and politics can get it off:

  • PRMan Jul 18, 2009

    I get migraines from aspartame (among many other things) but not Splenda. Splenda does give my daughter, wife and I gas, though.

    I’ll eat a little in a single piece of gum, but that’s it for me. My daughter actually gets bad stomachaches from it. My other daughter can tolerate it fine 100% with no side effects.

  • HarryC Aug 30, 2009

    Our teenage son will have a migraine within half an hour after any amount of splenda, even one splenda gummy bear. Doesn’t matter – jello, pop, gum, even those painkiller fentantyl lollipops — they have splenda so they kill the pain then cause another migraine!!!

  • Melissa Aug 31, 2009

    I have also found that yellow no. 5 is an equally bad trigger for me. Little did I know it was in a lemonade powder and I was just as sick as I used to get from Splenda…

  • Ellen Aug 31, 2009

    Splenda causes behind the eye stabbing headaches for me. I tried it in coffee for 4 days in a row while staying at a hotel. I had terrible and intense pain.

  • Marti Sep 1, 2009

    I posted a while back and said that Splenda didn’t affect my migraines. Well, after reading about so many people who say it’s a trigger for them, I decided to cut it out of my diet for a while to see what happened. After only two days without Splenda, my head didn’t hurt. My three times a week severe migraines and mild daily migraines have turned into moderate twice a month migraines with no more daily migraines. Rainy weather is still a trigger, and unfortunately I can’t do anything about that one.

    • Natasha Jul 2, 2014

      Wow, that is so awesome! I used to have 3-5 crippling migraines a week. I cut out artificial sweeteners and now I get maybe 1 every month or two–any those are usually because I have accidentally ingested an artificial sweetener.

  • Pam Sep 5, 2009

    I’ve really struggled with my weight this past three years because of debiliating migraines. Preventative meds, Atenolol, Prozac contributed to lethargy, and Maxalt wiped me out for 24 hours. I’ve gained about 20 pounds from eating every two hours, and missing so much physical activity. The migraines have subsided considerably over this past year – thank heaven. Now, trying to recover and shed the excess weight, I’ve been eating Weight Watchers yogurt that contains sucralose. I’ve noticed an increase in migraines this past few weeks. Hmmm. Thanks for confirming my suspisions.

  • Eric Nov 3, 2009

    Im in the gym and started consuming protein shakes and I noticed I would get this head throb and slight dizziness and I realized all my shakes had Sucralose in them. I have never had Migraines before and these probably are not Migraines, but Im sorely convinced that Sucralose gives me this throbbing headache.

  • julie Dec 14, 2009

    I haven’t had a migraine in years. (My trigger is clorinated water and stress and I had been getting them for 30+ years.)

    Earlier in the year, I assisted with a Dining with Diabetes class by helping prepare food for the participants. Splenda and other sugar substitutes are, of course, used. Later – had a headache – but not a full blown migraine. I figured it was because of the artificial sweeteners and the fact that I am not used to them.

    This time, however, full blown migraine. The only different thing that I ingested (and I wasn’t under any stress) was “light” cranberry drink that had splenda/sucralose in it. I try not to ingest any of these “GRAS” chemicals (only cook from scratch) but I was at a party, and this was the beverage served.

    I do believe that the migraine was caused by the sucralose/Splenda and I will definitely stay away from the product.

  • Jamie Feb 4, 2010

    This is an interesting thread, I am fairly new to the headache research and am not sure if I suffer migraines. They have been labeled migraines, chronic daily headaches and most recently switched to post traumatic stress headache. I have suffered a headache all day every day since December 2008, with no relief from medications. Following a second sinus surgery for chronic sinititus.
    However I have been on a low carb diet for the last 3 years and use no real sugar, Splenda has been a staple in my diet the entire time. Prior to the surgery I had no constant headaches, just in frequent ones so I dont see a connection between Splenda and my headaches.

  • marti Feb 4, 2010

    Hi Jamie,
    Splenda never bothered me until I had gastric bypass surgery. After the surgery it became the only sweetener I used and the migraines got worse and more frequent. I posted several months ago that Splenda was not a trigger for me, but the more I read, the more I suspected that maybe it was. So I stopped using it and the migraines got much better. I don’t know why all of a sudden it became a trigger; I figure it may have been the increased amount I used. Perhaps my body got sensitized. Now I use Truvia and – so far at least – its not a trigger.

  • Madeline Feb 13, 2010

    Yep… I switched to Splenda, because my daughter and everyone else said Equal was bad for me… but I have had two migraines in the past two days… changing nothing but the type of sweetner… I thought it was caffiene at first, but that just doesn’t make sense, as caffiene occurs in most migraine remedies. I will definitely go back to using Equal, or even (ew) real sugar.

  • Gloria Feb 14, 2010

    When people say “I only use a few teaspoons a day” it seems to me that they think that is very little. But if I put a can of rat poison in front of you and said “I dare you to use the same amount of this as you use Sucralose or Splenda” you would be horrified and rightly so. But it is the same thing- if you don’t believe me – for the sake of your heslth- read or buy Dr. JS Hull’s book Splenda: Is it Safe or Not? Because:1. she is a chemist, diabetic, and was poisoned – as are hundreds of thousands each day from this product Sucralose, owned by Johnson and Johnson who receives countless calls each dsy by victims but refuses to recall Sucralose; 2. is a HAZMAT rngineer= poison expert and 3. dedicated two yrs. of her life examining Sucralose and Aspartame and writes case studies on them in her book.
    I am not exaggerating when I relay to you that people have died from comsuming both products- and those who have not suffer ringing in ears and seizures from Aspartame- a known brain excitatory drug even though the amino acid is found in nature – the other amino acids where it is found in nature prohibit it from doing the damage it does alone in your brain as well as cause eventual brain death, and brain tumors and MS symptoms from Sucralose (neurological damage).
    This is NO game. It is out there because sugar -as in colonial times- is a multi-billion dollar business. It is poison in any quantity and will destroy your organs- as it did in the lab animsls of the studies. STOP or READ and TEACH. The govt will never pull it because kry players in thst are company loyals- same as Gardasil, poison as well- taken thousands down and has sterilized. READ everthing you can find- then decide. Big Business owns our key govt players, little beknowest to our innocent American population- $$$ rules and our rights have been compromised as have our bodies- LEARN, live healthy and multiply. Love

  • Christy Feb 15, 2010

    I am 31 years old and had never had a migraine until I tried splenda. I had two cans of diet soda sweetened with splenda, one with lunch and another at an afternoon meeting. Before I finished the meeting, I saw a zig zag white light that was in the upper right corner of my field of vision. This lasted for 20 minutes, and made me think I was going to go blind. A friend drove me home, I slept for 10 hours and was fine. I went to an opthomomogist the next day who did a dialated eye exam and then said that I had the healthiest eyes that he had seen in a month. He said that I had had a “migraine event.”. He asked if I had changed anything in my diet or had any recent stress. The only thing that was different was the soda with splenda. So, I believe that splenda absolutely caused this “migraine event” for me. Be an informed consumer, that’s my advice. As for me, I’m sticking with drinking hot tea!

  • Betsy Jun 1, 2010

    I recently discovered that my “intractable migraines” were the result of my eating Splenda in pretty large quantities. I’ve had migraines most of my life, but they got FAR worse and more frequent in the last 11 years. I’ve gone to 3 different neurologists, had multiple tests, and tried 3 pages of different anti-migraine drugs and therapies. I’ve had periods of status migrainosus that lasted up to 1 1/2 YEARS – I’ve been hospitalized for IV DHE treatment. When I was doing “well”, my migraine frequency was 2 days a week – doing badly meant daily migraines. I was the patient that was just impossible to find the answer for…until 6 weeks ago. I’d given up Nutrasweet years ago and switched over to Splenda because my neurologist warned that Nutrasweet was a migraine trigger. Six weeks ago, after several months of daily migraines, I was told to just get off ALL artificial sweeteners – just use sugar if I needed to. Within 3 days of coming off the Splenda, my several month-long migraine was gone. Since quitting the Splenda, I’ve had one weather-triggered migraine and it was very easily treated with Imitrex. I’m still stunned that the answer was so simple – quitting the Splenda has given me back my healthy lifestyle! I’m actually looking forward to social events again because I know that I won’t be miserable due to a migraine. It’s a huge change for me. If you haven’t just *tried* going off all artificial sweeteners, give it a shot – it’s worth trying….it may not be your answer, but after all the time and money I spent, to find out that my answer was so simple? I just wish I hadn’t wasted so much time and money…

  • Karen Jul 11, 2010

    I discovered aspartame was one of my migraine triggers about 10 years ago, so I stopped using it. I was fine with sucralose until about 4 years ago, when I started getting more headaches. I was able to identify the sucralose in the sugarless gum I was consuming as the culprit. I would get a headache the day after I had a couple pieces of gum…you can develop sensitivity to these chemicals at any time, so just because you can consume it safety now, doesn’t mean you won’t at some point develop a sensitivity to it.

  • Shelley May 4, 2011

    I completely 100% believe that splenda has caused me to have massive and debilitating migraines. If I eat something and realize after the fact that it contained splenda, I will inevitably have a migraine within 48 hours. Several years ago before I realized that splenda was a trigger, I was having multiple migraines a week–the kind where all I could do was lie in a dark room, completely miserable. I firmly believe this isn’t a good product.

  • Ellen May 5, 2011

    Splenda causes me very painful long lasting migraines, consistently. I won’t go near it and always check ingredients. It must have something in it that is damaging.

  • g. Larravide May 6, 2011

    Yes, it is poison

    1. read “Splenda is it safe or not” by JS Hull, HAZ MAT engineer and chemist. (full of case histories about both Splenda (scuralose) and Aspartame [acesulfame K (potassium) ]

    2. Watch this video from a series on YouTube

    Johnson and johnson own it – they also own the pain killers people use to cure a headache!

    I have stopped buying ANYthing from J&J, because I called them and they are not the least bit interested. ( it is in Lunchables by Oscar Mayer, Rice Cakes for kids by Quaker, Fiber One yogurt, Jello, Pedialyte for sick babies, children’s vitamins, etc…

    There have been three congressional hearings to remove Aspartame and no go; Monsanto used to own it.

    Both are dangerous and pass the placenta wall, to baby. The latter has been associated to ADD, ADHD, Brain tumors. (it burns brain cells, JS Hull explains how.)
    The former is associated to all of the symptoms you see in the video above. Pretty life altering indeed.

  • Loretta May 11, 2011

    Hi! So, yeah, I’d been trying to slim down, so I started drinking diet sodas, diet Snapples and for the first time I began waking up in the morning with the worst headaches I’ve ever had. I though, “how weird is it to WAKE up with a headache? Then I started having them all the time, but I never made the connection. Then I started experiencing what are called “Ice-pick” headaches… HORRIBLE! They were so debilitating that I finally googled my symptoms, and made the connection between Splenda / sucralose and my headaches. I stopped eating or drinking anything with Splenda in it and my headaches went away. I always check labels now. I’ve experimented since, and I always get a after consuming sucralose.

    • Robbin Apr 9, 2017

      this is what has been happening to me! Who wakes up after a good night’s sleep from a migraine? It started out with stevia, and I thought I would be ok with splenda, but nope. There is not much research on waking up with headaches but this has to be the problem.

  • Aspen May 23, 2011

    I get horrible migraines (and have for seven years) ten miinutes after ingesting even trace amounts of sucralose. Interestingly, it also happens after aspartame, neotame, asulfame-k, and any other fake sugar. Excedrin extra strength helps get rid of the migraine if I take it soon enough. Even reading ingredient labels of everything I eat and avoiding the fake sugars, there are small amounts of it in so many things. I still get 3-4 migraines a month, possibly hormonally related?

    Good to see I’m not alone!

  • Celeste Jun 5, 2011

    OMG I am not alone, a couple years ago my mom made a cheesecake with splendia and I had a medium sized piece it was good but I couldn’t definitely tell the difference but I thought hey gotta try new things. Well within the hour I started to feel nauseous and then out of nowhere bloomed this into this crushing pain in my temples It was horrible I started to not be able to think straight and went to lay on my bed and hours later it was still there!!! Scared my mom half to death she said since then I have avoided fake sweeteners and have been headache free!!Although I slipped up I was trying this new thing and started drinking slimfast shakes. After an hour I felt it coming on and just to be sure I looked at the can (which I should have done before I drank the thing) and sure enough sucralose and I am now paying the price. My Ibuprophen isn’t doing a thing against it guess I just have to wait it out….

  • Suzanne Jarvis Oct 11, 2011

    I have been avoiding artificial sweeteners for years because of the correclation between ingesting them and having SEVERE migraine attacks following ingestion. Also, the migraines that normally accompanied my periods were 10 times worse if I had ingested aspartame or sucralose by mistake earlier in the month.

  • clare Jul 30, 2012

    I get migraines and could never figure out how tesco’s fizzy flavoured water gives me migraines but other flavoured waters don’t. Today I figured out all the others that don’t give me migraines have aspartame and tesco’s water uses sucralose

  • Patty Aug 20, 2012

    I did a challenge test w Splenda using regular sugar and raw sugar ( 2 separate tests ). Found no problems, however if I am out and just Aspartame if offered, I get mild to moderate headaches and major rot gut. I use the Splenda sparingly with 2 cups of decaf tea a day, and for unsweetened ice tea when I’m dining out.
    Sorry for the spelling errors and terrible grammar, but the migraines stole my ability to write.
    Best of luck to all my comrades in pain.

  • Megan Aug 20, 2012

    Yes I avoid all artificial sugars. I survived 2 brain surgery’s to remove a cyst and a brain tumor, it’s not worth all the pain and therapy I had to go through.

  • Jen Begeal Aug 20, 2012

    The first time I had a migraine was because of Splenda, figured it out because I was trying a new “sugar free” hot cocoa in the office, had in twice and both times got the ripping pain, nausea and vertigo. Spoke to a rep a year later and asked him if they had people with the same response, he told me flat out NO, that it wasn’t possible because Splenda was “all natural” funny, I said, as it’s made using chlorine. Come to find out later I’m also hypersensitive to, guess what? Chlorine.
    By the way, I’m with the Migraine Project, we are creating a film called Out Of My Head which examines the Myth and History behind migraine in an effort to educated the public and medical community on the importance of migraine research.

  • Melissa Aug 20, 2012

    I want to forewarn you ladies, especially since I learned the hard way. Sucralose is in tons of stuff. Almost all reduced-calorie products, (if you’re wanting a calorie-free sweetener, Truvia as worked for me) mouthwashes (like most favors if Listerine except original and cool mint) and energy drinks have it,too. And you get migraines from it, it can also impact you in other ways.

    Splenda/sucralose gives me cripling migrianes, but recently, I bought a sugar scrub, not even dreaming it would have sucralose in it instead. I ended up with hives/a cystic acne that left scars on my legs. Now, I check everything from face washes to food.

  • Brianna Dec 8, 2012

    I have had migraines since I was a child. The last few years my number of attacks have been getting progressively worse. At the time I did not look at packaging to see what was in the food I was eating. I did how drink at least 6 Diet Coke cans a day (ew). My attacks eventually got to a number where it was just one big massive migraine 24/7. I would take medicine and then 4-6 hours later it came back. I went to several doctors, one of which being my neurologist. He started out by telling me to avoid about 30 everyday foods including all superficial sugar. I did and they improved to above 2 migraines a week. Then I added everything back in except artificial sugar. No change. Then everything except Diet Coke and that gave me a slight increase to about 3 migraines a week. Since then I have had a few different weeks and cheated. If I have 2-3 Diet Cokes in a 48 hour span I will get migraines everyday several times a day for 3 additional days. I think it’s like a hangover in that I feel horrible until the toxin leaves my body. I would love more research on this. I don’t know how much Splenda is in Diet Coke so maybe they just use a lot but there have been a few times I out 1-3 Splenda packets in coffee and did not notice a change. I think it could be possible that it’s the chemical reaction of Splenda with something else in Diet Coke.

    • Tasha Jan 16, 2013

      Diet Coke has Aspartame in it. Aspartame triggers my migraines. The verdict is still out on Splenda.

  • vmf Dec 10, 2012

    I may be wrong, but the last time I checked, Diet Coke used Nutrasweet rather than Splenda. I get migraines if I ingest NutraSweet, but Splenda doesn’t affect me. I stay away from almost all diet sodas because most of them use Nutrasweet. (There are a few that use Splenda.) We are all different. I don’t have any Diet Coke in the house to check a current label, but I would suggest doing that. Aspartame on the label — NutraSweet. Sucralose on the label – Splenda.

  • Sarah Jun 5, 2014

    All artificial sweeteners give me migraines. Sometimes functional, sometime crippling, but the worst I ever had (and the way I found out that Splenda was among the culprits) was after making sugar-free hot cocoa mix for my grandmother. I didn’t taste any of the ingredients, just followed the recipe. When I poured the Splenda into a measuring cup, a small cloud of dust blew up into my face. An hour later, I really thought I was dying!
    Years later, my doctor gave me a sample of a new allergy drug, exact same pain–crippling migraine. It too had sucralose.
    Now, I’m the woman standing with the door open at the gas station reading the back of every bottle until I find one that still contains good old fashioned sugar. I read everything. And thank goodness I have a loving husband who takes the time to do the same thing. Splenda may say this isn’t a migraine trigger but just look at the list of people who have commented so far not just here, but on any google search. There must be some correlation, if only someone would take the time to study it!

  • Natasha Jul 2, 2014

    The think about Splenda is the it had some amazing marketing. People believe that it is better for you than sugar and other artificial sweeteners. I actually thought maybe I could have Splenda. I got a Sodastream a couple years. All their regular syrups are made with Splenda. I got terrible migraines from them. It bothers me that Splenda is added to so many things–not just sugar free. It is in yogurt, breads, snack bars, regular drinks–you name it. I have to look at labels of everything I buy. Not only that, I have to be careful when eating out or going to potlucks or friends for dinner. People use it so much and are ignorant that some people can have it.

  • vmf Jul 2, 2014

    I had to stop drinking diet cola when the local store stopped carrying the only one I could find that used Splenda. All the others use aspartame which always triggers a migraine in me. I have no migraine reaction with Splenda. I use zolmitriptan (Zomig) for migraine relief and was surprised that the orally disintegrating version did not relieve my migraine at all, yet the tablets that you swallow and the nasal spray are both miracle workers for me. Turns out the type that disintegrates in you mouth contains aspartame. That was a shock.

    • Natasha Jul 22, 2014

      Try Zevia Diet soda. It uses Stevia.

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