Can quitting artificial sweetener reverse autoimmune disease?

There are many, many, and many more causes of autoimmune disease. And then, too, there are none. Ultimately no one can really pin point a root cause. It’s truly a clusterf*ck.

There are factors, of course, that flare the condition. Like gluten, sugar and anxiety.

Image by Lissy Elle
Image by Lissy Elle

But one I haven’t really covered before is fake sugar. So, we’re talking saccharine (Sweet’N Low), sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet). More people are consuming these chemicals, more people are getting AIs. And what do you know, there’s now some links connecting the two phenomena.

1. Aspartame is linked to immune disorders. Aspartame is converted to formaldehyde (an embalming fluid) in your body. Your liver can’t clear this toxin normally, so it remains lodged, activates inflammation and can lead to autoimmune issues and cancer growth.

2. Sucralose is linked to IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis… according to a study in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. Sucralose has an inhibitory effect on beneficial gut bacteria, which, as we know is linked to AI (the microbiome makes up 80 per cent of our immune system). A report by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health confirms this. It was shown to halve the good bacteria in the microbiome and raise gut pH levels.

3. Sugar alcohols are, for the most part, indigestible and will rot in your gut. If they come from sorbitol, mannitol or even erythritol or xylitol (yep, even these otherwise safe ones) our bodies aren’t able to effectively break them down. They disrupt the functioning of the lining of the gut (which is already compromised if you have an autoimmune disease or gut issues) and they can trigger gastric distress, bloating and diarrhea.

But the good news…

4. Eliminating artificial sweetener can reverse – yes, reverse – Hashimotos. In this AACE study, a woman with Hashimotos removed artificial sugar substitutes from her diet and her thyroid-stimulating hormone levels returned to normal. They remained so even after discontinuing her thyroid medication.

“An overabundance of sugar-substituted beverages can pose a serious health risk if you are a thyroid patient”

said one of the scientists involved in the study. “While the issue is being studied more in-depth, thyroid patients should manage their intake of sugar substitutes”.

A short, but grim post, but one I figured you should all know about. To learn more about the other effects of fakes sugars, head on over here. And for a rundown on which are OK, check out this article on I Quit Sugar.

Hit me with your artificial sweetener experiences… 

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