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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here I am again seeking advice from the best of the best. I am very glad this forum exists. Here's my dilemma:

I am a type 2 diabetic. No longer on meds (off all meds for close to 2 years). My diabetes was only severe at diagnoses ... my fault for ignoring the signs (mom and bro are diabetic). I have always had more problems with my BG getting too low, than too high once I was diagnosed. Anyway, I lost weight, try to eat right, and exercise regularly. I had been having problems with stuttering and spasms in my body so I sought a new neurologist. She told me that the spasms were from the artificial sweetners I was using and to stop immediately because the spasms could ultimately become seizures. I stopped using the artificial sweetners and found stevia. I recently asked my neuro about stevia and she said that I cannot use it.

I am positive that I cannot live the remainder of my life with having something sweet (in particular a beverage). I am so upset about this. Sugar, agave, honey ... I fear these things will send back to the land of high BG readings and diabetes meds. I drink water ... but I would be lying to myself if I said that I could drink only water.

Anyone been there, done that? Suggestions .... anyone?

Thanks in advance.
~Fran
 

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One thing I discovered, once I weaned myself off sugar and sweetened foods, is that many foods are naturally sweet.

Many diabetics can eat berries without spiking. For me, that's a bit iffy, so I test afterward.

I drink black coffee, unsweetened iced tea, plain iced water and sparkling water (a.k.a. club soda or mineral water). Sometimes I squirt straight lime or lemon juice into the sparkly stuff. But I must confess that I started doing that years before diagnosis, just 'cause I wanted to. Un-sweet drinks don't mask the flavors in food.

Have you asked your neuro if there are any sweeteners you can eat? If she recommends agave, honey or the like, you may be able to take small portions. Testing of course, is vital.
 

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I was not aware that artificial sweeteners were proven to not be good for one.
 

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I would ask for references/evidence for the claim that stevia is any threat. I highly doubt it. It's probably just a generalization: artificial sweeteners -> problems, stevia = artificial sweetener -> stevia = problems.

Trouble is, stevia is NOT an artificial sweetener. It just a water extract from a plant which has been used in this way for thousands of years. It is the only one of its kind and fundamentally different from all the others.

I would try getting pure stevia (most products have chemical additives like erythritol, etc.) - my favorite brand is KAL by far - and see if the problem doesn't go away.
 

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Erythritol and Stevia both are found in nature, aka natural products.
 

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Erythritol and Stevia both are found in nature, aka natural products.
So is xylitol, I believe -- originally derived from birch trees. But the OP says she's experienced neurological complications. It's not clear if artificial or natural chemistry is to blame. The term "artificial sweetener" is often used to describe any sweetener other than sugar, maple, agave or honey.
 

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I am positive that I cannot live the remainder of my life with having something sweet (in particular a beverage).
Dunno if I can either, Fran, but a strange thing has happened along with my switch to low-carb high-fat way-of-eating. I'm using a lot more unsweetened things than ever before . . . for example: http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes-diet-nutrition/7500-surprising-development.html#post65931

And I have always used a lot of green tea, but would buy the sweetened kind flavored with citrus, or brew my own & add sweetener & a splash of lemon. Now for several weeks/months, I've been brewing a quart or two of it every day, drinking it straight & enjoying it more than ever. I sure won't insist that this might happen to you, but I HAVE been a little surprised that it happened to me!
 

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I don't use many artificial sweeteners. Even when I use stevia I only use a fraction of what the recipe calls for. I drink tea and coffee black. I have found when I bake adding things like unsweet coconut or dark chocolate tend to sweeten a little. Stevia comes from a plant called sweet leaf. You can buy pure stevia without additives. Quite frankly even a teaspoon of sugar is only 4 carbs so shouldn't drive your bgs up too much as long as you are careful. If I were you I would do some additional research on your condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for responding. It gives me hope.

@Shalynne: She recommended that I mix juices with water 50/50. That still seems like too much sugar for me. Also, I don't fear spiking as much as I do my inability to keep my 'natural' sweeteners to a minimum. I guess that will take time and much effort.

@Tim: Trust me, when my neuro told me that Crystal light was the culprit, I could not accept it as truth; surely she was mistaken. I went home and had 'one last hurrah" .... within an hour my body was in spasms. I didn't let that stop me from trying again a few weeks later ... again the spasm -- this time worse. I think i have learned my lesson (I hope). It doesn't happen to everyone, but it definitely happens to me.

@smorgan & MCS: I am going to challenge the banning of stevia. I will take documentation with me.

@shanny: I can only hope and pray that I can make it over to the "sugar free side'

@jwags: you're right patience is a virtue.
Thank you to everyone's advice.
 
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