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aspartame/acesulfame K
My son is extremely sensitive to aspartame as a migraine trigger. We just had an incident were he was using a flavored lip balm which did not have aspartame listed as an ingredient but after having 3 migraines 72 hours apart while using the lip balm, we did a little research and found that such things that are not considered edible do not need to list each and every ingredient. Instead they list "flavor oil". In the flavor oil we found that they used aspartame to sweeten it so your brain is tricked into thinking that you are tasting the flavor as well.

I also just did a little research on acesulfame Potassium or acesulfame K which I notice is often in low calorie drinks and foods when aspartame is not. I found several articles that say that acesulfame K is often blended with other sweeteners such as apartame. (see below). For my son, this is probably enough to trigger a migraine.
Posts: 3 | Registered: 03-16-2010Report This Post
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I haven't ever had any issues with acesulfame K or with sucralose. Aspartame is usually a biggie trigger for me, and triggers me fairly quickly, when it does. I'd say about ten percent of the time I can get away with aspartame, but generally, I just avoid it altogether. I've never triggered off of it from chewing sugar-free gums with aspartame, though I can trigger off of the fumes of someone else chewing it near me, which is odd and quirky. I'm sure it's probably been in other things unedible that I've used, such as maybe lip balms, and I've not had a problem. It's still good to know about this kind of thing, in a back-pocket sort of way.

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Posts: 6478 | Location: Montana | Registered: 01-11-2007Report This Post
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Interesting information. I had no idea manufacturers could get away with putting this junk in things you don't so much consume, though still ingest. As long as they keep making a profit from unsuspecting customers, who cares? Nice.

I've just looked at my chapstick (made in Berkshire, England) and the ingredients read like a chemistry set, but at least they're all listed. It includes another dubious artificial sweetener, saccharin. I feel terrible all the time so can't tell if this is having any effect. I'll give it a miss from now on in any case.
Posts: 109 | Location: Manchester, England | Registered: 01-07-2010Report This Post
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Hi Pearl,

Thanks so much for your post and information. I'm extremely sensitive to aspartame and all artificial sweetners.


Wishing you a HM-free day,

Living With HM:
Migraine Step By Step
Posts: 504 | Location: Two Rivers, WI | Registered: 10-03-2008Report This Post
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I am definitely sensitive to aspartame and acesulfame K but I am ok with sucralose (Splenda). I haven't tried Truvia/stevia yet because of nervousness with how sensitive I am with aspartame and acesulfame K. Immediately after finding out about the sensitivity a lot of my treats, particularly one of the Blue Bunny Freedom popsicles switched from being made with Splenda to being made with truvia--it would be my luck! All the chewing gums have stopped being made with splenda too. I'm having enough problems with headaches at the moment that I'm not going to take the time to figure out if I can tolerate it or not. I'm just going to avoid it.

Posts: 93 | Registered: 10-23-2009Report This Post
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