Finally Stay at Home Momma

Family, Home, Life

What can we change?

on July 11, 2013

This was the question Tink asked me as soon as the news sunk in to her EEG coming back normal.  (I still smile every time I think about it.)

 I know she is tired of reading food labels over and over again.  There are times I forget to check when I am at the store so she has to check and double-check at home.  Just becasue a product didn’t contain artificial sweetners before doesn’t mean it stays that way. I know when a friend offers her candy, gum, and/or treats she just wants to eat it.

Aspertame is a trigger for her seizures.  We found this out the hard way, but at least we found out.  

When researching epilepsy, I tried to stick to medical sites and not message boards.  Every case is different and everyone has differing opinions.  At the time, there were no medical studies on the effects of seizures and aspertame.  I had to venture to message boards.  I learned Tink is not alone with this connection.  Hubby and I decided to cut out aspertame in her diet (I love, love, love Diet Dr. Pepper so it isn’t out of mine even though she gives me a look every time I drink it).  

I never realized how many products contain aspertame.  I was so overwhelmed at first.  Tink was 8 when we started looking at labels.  I taught her what word to look for and had her practice in front of me reading labels.  I knew she had to take ownership of this so I wouldn’t worry (as much) when she wasn’t with me.  She did and continues to take ownership.  She has been known to ask her teachers to read the ingredient list if they pass out fruit snacks.  She reads the syrup lables when she goes out to breakfast, and if there aren’t any labels present, she asks if there is any way she can see the label.  To her no label means no syrup.

Tink was out to breakfst with my sister one morning and ready the syrup label.  It had aspertame.  She told my sister and the waitress, “I can’t have this syrup.  It has this word, and I can’t have it,” as she was pointing to aspertame.  They were both amazed, and my sister called me later on to wonder why I didn’t tell her about this.  Oops!

How did I answer Tink’s question?  Nothing.  We can change nothing right now because it is working. 


7 responses to “What can we change?

  1. Thank you for sharing this article. My friend and his daughter have epilepsy and seizures. I will forward it to him. You daughter sounds very responsible. I wish you all the best.

  2. Gretchen says:

    Sad how these “safe” food ingredients can affect so many people so horribly. Aspartame triggers migraines for me.

  3. Thanks for sharing this – I also found out the hard way how Azperteme is a trigger for my epilespy. My fits have gone down in number since I stopped drinking drinks with it in. People just don’t know at all the damage it does – scientists in the UK proved it caused brain tumours, but the government withdrew their funding, as of course banning it would cost too much financially.

    I have so much respect for Tink – she is really taking responsibility for her epilepsy, absolutely brilliant. Praying for her and your family.

    • Thank you. I am proud of her–she is almost 11 now. I knew I had to give her the responsibllity so she could have a “normal” life. I can’t always be around–although I wanted nothing more than to quit my job and homeschool her as soon as she was diagnosed with epilepsy.

  4. chrismorriswrites says:

    I am the friend Pamela mentioned above. I am anxious to see if an aspartame-free diet brings change for me and/or my daughter. We are at our wits end in many ways with the seizures we experience, and this sounds like a good thing to try out.

    Thanks for sharing

    • I didn’t notice it was a trigger for her until she was a few months seizure-free and then had a seizure. Hubby and I went out of town and she was with a family member that she hadn’t been with in a quite a while. She had sugar-free things and my mom made the suggestion about it.

      Aspertame is also in non-food items. It’s insane! Oh, and sacchrin is in lip gloss.

      • chrismorriswrites says:

        My daughter does have a TON of other allergy-type things, so this might make sense for her. I’m also hoping it works for me, as I am basically at a dead end with my own seizures

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