Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oh, My Aching Head...

I've been dealing with chronic headache pain for about two months now. At times, an advil or two can dull or even wipe out the ache in a matter of minutes.

Then are the times when no matter what I take it's simply no use and I am quite sure I could put a hammer through my head and it would only feel better.

Thankfully, I've misplaced my hammer... Also, that such moments are fairly few and far between.

Years ago, I had a friend drive me to the ER for a headache which might have been classified as a migraine. The pain was debilitating ~ and to this day, I've never felt anything quite like it again. I could not move my head without it feeling as if there was some sort of twisted metal grinding in my brains. The doctor looked at me as if I were some sort of hypochondriac and all but told me to suck it up. I burst into tears right then and there and walked out. Needless to say, I haven't been in any big hurry to repeat that experience.

Until today, I have attributed my headaches to minor stress related issues, or perhaps a change in sleep patterns and/or pillows. I've also taken into consideration that I am always "stuffed up" and have been trying out different allergy meds to see if there's a connection. All to no avail.

I arrived at my weekend job this afternoon and my boss asked me how I was feeling (she knew of my recent illnesses and was concerned ~ couldn't ask for a better boss, to be honest). We chatted a bit and she brought up something that I hadn't even considered, and it was as if the culprit himself walked right up and slapped me upside the head.

Artificial sweeteners.

I've been dieting for a couple months. Trying a few different things and working hard to get back down to the weight I was when I'd lost the most, and hopefully continuing on from there. Interestingly enough, I realized that other than coffee and tea, I've consumed nothing BUT artificially sweetened beverages (flavored water, "tea to go", crystal light, etc...) for the past two months! Even in my coffee and tea, I've used mostly Splenda with an occasional sugar splurge here and there.

So perhaps I have an answer. Or, at the very least, another possibility. So starting now, it's 100% fruit juice and, my personal favorite of all bottled drinks ~ Diet Fuze, which is all natural.

I'm pretty sure my readership has dwindled to one or two loyal friends, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences with headaches or side effects from artificial sweeteners. If not you (which I sincerely hope is the case), perhaps someone you know?

Will continue posting.... Again, it's been far too long.