I’m type 1 / LADA and have been using Splenda as my sweetener of choice for a long time with no ill effects as far as I can tell but recently I decided to run an experiment. I wanted to see if I could detect any effect on my BGs if I stopped using it or cut way back.
Prior to the experiment I used about 5 or 6 packets a day in coffee and/or my breakfast cereal.
The beginning of last week (May 4th, 2015) I stopped using any in my cereal and reduced the amount in my coffee to approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of a packet. This reduced my daily intake to less than 1 packet, actually closer to 2/3 a packet due to a reduction in the amount of coffee I’ve been drinking (doesn’t taste as good with less sweetener). I was drinking 2 or 3 cups a day, now it’s 1 1/2.
Before the adjustments I hadn’t experienced a hypo in months, last week I had 3, 2 of which I was down to the low 50s and today before lunch I was down to 64 so that makes 4 total in 8 days.
During the experiment I wore a Medtronics Enlite CGM sensor so I wasn’t caught totally off guard but obviously let things go too far before correcting. These things sometimes sneak up on me and I’m really low before I notice it.
Has anyone else run an experiment like this or eliminated use of one of the available artificial sweeteners and noticed a similar reaction?
Any thoughts on why I had the reaction I did?
I’ve seen posts asking whether Splenda raise BGs, which I never noticed, but haven’t seen anybody commenting on whether it reduces the effectiveness of insulin.
I’ve had some spikes from Splenda. I don’t use any now or any aspartame etc. I do use some mouth wetting lozenges made by a dentist which have a tiny amount of sucralose- I wasn’t aware of it until recently but I hardly ever use them. I had some during the flu this week to help my cough and I don’t think they spiked me. As far as insulin resistance I had some bouncy bg coming out of the flu but nothing unusual for me. It happens all the time. I have noticed the flu seems to have dulled my feeling of a low/high, not “noticing” it but reacting to it, I didn’t seem to have as much of an emotional reaction, due to dealing with being ill I guess.
My immediate reaction is you may have had a higher BGs from the coffee, instead of the Splenda.
Are there any other variables over the last few days that might account for the increased hypos, like a new vial of insulin, a bit more exercise/activity, lowered stress, etc?
If not, you could try a few experiments, like keeping the coffee @ 1 1/2, but using the 5 or 6 packets a day, like before (just mix in water and drink). Another would be to drink the coffee (choke it down without the sweetener for the sake of the experiment, okay?) and see if that makes a change.
I have used various artificials over the years and my glucose is pretty unaffected by any of them.
I had thought it might be the coffee and considered exactly what you suggest, just haven’t decided to move forward with it yet. I did adjust my morning and afternoon basal by 1 increment which seems to have helped but doesn’t seem to have been quite enough. I’m gonna give it one more day before making another adjustment.
I hesitate to perform the experiments with the 2 variable combinations you suggest because other than the hypos I’ve felt better than I did before I made the change.
Yes, if it sounds the only reason to do the experiment, is to satisfy your curiosity, then leave the experiment behind!
I find I am periodically adjusting my pump basal rates because some unknown change has occurred in the way my body handles insulin and glucose.
i use splenda in my morning tea. no spike.
That was my first thought too.
Coffee does a number on me – I bolus 30g carb equivalent for 20oz coffee in the morning.
Too many variables in this experiment to draw the conclusions drawn. The only valid result from this experiment is that reducing Splenda and coffee resulted in an apparent increase in insulin sensitivity.
At this point, the next step would be to hold the coffee constant, and add the Splenda back to the cereal, then see what happens. That was the largest source of Splenda in your diet, so with the coffee variable held constant, this should give you a pretty strong signal from the Splenda.
Is it possible to use Stevia or Natvia instead of Splenda?
You’re correct, there are too many variables to be able to draw good conclusions. When I started the experiment I hadn’t intended to reduce the amount of coffee I consume but I realized I couldn’t drink as much no matter how badly I wanted to, so I didn’t.
Based on several responses it sounds like it wasn’t the Splenda but the coffee that produced the change I noticed.
I’ve stopped the experiment and use Splenda in my breakfast like I was before but haven’t gone back to drinking as much coffee.
I ended up reducing my basal by 2 increments during the day and seem to have hit the sweet spot. Haven’t experienced a hypo all week and my numbers are looking really good.
I can’t say I’ve seen any BG impact from aspartame or sucralose, even in larger amounts. I have heard many people say that the caffeine in coffee seems to spike them (adrenaline maybe?).