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Just Don't 'Dew It!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


John has been addicted to Diet Mountain Dew for ages now (and before that it was Diet Pepsi), but over the past few years I've watched his 'Dew intake increase to a frankly alarming amount. He couldn't go anywhere without a liter bottle in hand, and he'd go through at least two liters a day. I'm pretty sure if you cut him, he'd bleed lemon-lime. Not to mention he'd only stop in the evenings when the heart palpitations started. Seriously.

Also during the past year or so, John has been increasingly concerned about his memory. Not just in remembering names or dates, but in remembering the right words he needs while talking to me or anyone else. He gets frustrated, and ends up using words that are similar to the ones he wants, but not quite right. Like this time in the car recently, when he kept asking me for "instructions"- which baffled me - and after a few rounds that would have made a great Laurel & Hardy routine I finally figured out he meant "directions."

Most of us have this problem from time to time, of course, but it's become a real obstacle and concern for John. It's more than a momentary lapse; it's actually preventing him from expressing himself. And when I can't immediately figure out what he's trying to say, it causes these prickly moments of frustration and stress in our marriage. (He thinks I'm being deliberately difficult, *I* think he's being deliberately confusing. Heh.)

John's asked me several times if I thought the soda might be to blame - and I've always said that it certainly couldn't be helping - but it wasn't until that episode in the car two weeks ago that he finally decided to try cutting back.

And because this is all-or-nothing John we're talking about, he decided to just up and quit cold turkey. (No matter how much his wife told him to ease off gradually, I might add.)

The first four days were pure agony; he had constant migraines that pain pills couldn't touch, and he almost slept more than he was awake. Which, considering the headaches, was probably a good thing.

On the fifth day I managed to convince him to take some Excedrin (he'd been resisting because it has a little caffeine in it, the stubborn ox) (she said lovingly) and almost immediately he was a new man.

Since then John tells me he's clearer, sleeping better, less hungry, and just generally feeling better. (Woot!)

Also since then we've learned some disturbing things about soda in general, and Diet Mountain Dew in particular.  In fact, the other day Anne Wheaton (Wil's wife) tweeted this article which includes this chilling snippet:

 "An ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink (Mountain Dew), is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities."

John's also been reading up on the known issues aspartame - the sweetener used in many diet sodas - has with memory loss. None of it is very encouraging.
I've been off caffeine and soda for nearly five years now due to my anxiety and adrenal issues, so fortunately I'm already used to drinking almost nothing but water. After over ten years of drinking almost nothing but soda, though, that's a huge leap for John - and yet somehow he's managing it. He found a lemonade mix that uses Stevia for a sweetener, too, but mostly? Just plain ol' water.

I'm so proud of John, and one of the reasons I'm posting this is just to brag on him a little. I also want to let John's fellow 'Dew addicts out there know about these memory concerns, and see if any of you have had similar symptoms. There's a lot of controversy and debate over just how bad these chemicals are for you, of course, but I think John at least is convinced to stay off soda for good.

Also, John's read that any memory problems *should* reverse themselves once you stop drinking the soda, since your brain will flush out the neurotoxin on its own, but I'm curious if any of you know how long that process should take. Weeks? Months? Longer? Any brain doctors out there care to weigh in?

Feel free to share your thoughts/experiences in the comments, and I'd also welcome any relevant links you guys might recommend, since there's just so much information to sift through when it comes to debating the toxicity of this stuff.

Oh, and maybe tell John you're proud of him, since I think he deserves a little positive feedback. And maybe a medal or two. :)

Posted by Jen at 2:53 PM Labels: ,

267 comments:

  1. Wow - my Hubby drinks a Mt Dew almost every day (regular, not diet - at least he's not getting the aspartame)... but he was a bit forgetful well before he was drinking that... but I know all about aspartame and what it can do to you. I was having horrible migraines in high school - doctors couldn't figure anything out (even giving me a brain scan) and all I got was some really good drugs, until a friend heard about possible side effects of Nutrasweet (this was early 1990s) - I eliminated the daily Diet Coke/Pepsi I was drinking and the problems went away. I had something else with aspartame months later on my doctor's advice (to see it was the aspartame and not just diet soda) and sure enough, I got a migraine. I stay away now and try to not drink soda... but once in a while, a Classic Coke is just so tasty!

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  2. Very proud of him. He should fill a pitcher with water and slice citrus fruit and soak it in the water. It would give him similar tastes, but fresher and more healthy. :)

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  3. Definitely proud of John! I certainly understand the migraine issue though. I have migraines when I drink caffeine, and I have withdrawal migraines when I go off caffeine, even if I've only been on it for a day or two.

    Way to go John, keep it up!

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  4. yay for you John!! I've severely cut back on my soda intake over the past several months, so I feel your pain. don't be afraid of caffeine, though-- try tea! It helps! And it helps me to drink more water.

    I never drank the diet soda because (a) it's so terribly bad for you and (b) I can taste aspartame like a princess can feel a pea and I hate the taste.

    Super, super proud of you!! :)

    Thanks for sharing this, Jen! :)

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  5. Good for you, John! I've been trying to get my husband to do the same thing. Perhaps this article will help in that endeavor. Good luck!

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  6. I used to drink diet soda constantly. For probably 10 years, I had at least 6 cans of a diet soda a day. Then I got all financially broke and had to give it up. I went through the same withdrawl that John did. It was agonizing. What I realized once I gave up the diet soda was that it was what was causing me to have horrible headaches, bad memory, muscle pains, and general poo-feeling. For years. I did some research and talked with some family members, came to the conclusion that aspartame is bad for you, yo. I've been off the diet soda for 11 years now, and if I even get one good swallow of a drink with aspartame, the headaches, nausea, and muscle cramps put me out of commission for 2 or 3 days.

    I've recently given up all soda, and instead have one or two cups of coffee a day (before noon, never after), I drink tons of water and occasionally juice. What has really endeared water to me is a product called MiO. One good squirt into a 20 oz water bottle gives you 20 oz of heaven! I'm particularly fond of the lemonade and peach tea flavors. The best part about MiO is that there isn't any aspartame in it! I can drink as much as I want and I don't feel awful. It is also zero calories. It gives me the sweet taste that soda did, and helps to calm my cravings for a sweet, sweet can of Dr. Pepper.

    Did you know that drinking one soda a day for an entire year can cause you to put on as much as 15 pounds?

    So bully for John for giving up that stuff! It's a hard thing to do, but he'll feel better (once he is done feeling worse). Even better...he won't be prone to Mountain Dew mouth!

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  7. Way to go John! As a hard core Diet Pepsi drinker I know how hard it is to do. You do deserve a medal or something!

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  8. Congrats to him! Soda can be such a tough habit to kick! I kicked my 4-can-a-day diet coke habit about a year ago. I wasn't experiencing such bad symptoms, but after weighing the stuff I'd read about sodas, I figured even if it was all total BS, it probably wouldn't be a bad thing if I quit. It's such a relief not feeling that need now! Just regular ole thirst, how fancy!

    For me, sparkling water really helped. I realized that it wasn't the taste or the caffeine I missed, it was just that sparkling feeling on my tongue. And when my husband and I built a bar (we're homebrewers), I demanded that a keg for sparkling water be kept in there at all times. Sometimes I'll add frozen berries or other fruit to it, if I really want something sweet.

    Congrats again!

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  9. Good for John! That has been something I have struggled with as well. But I would want to warn about Excedrin...
    As a chronic migraine sufferer, I would suggest using it as little as possible and ony when absolutely necessary. It causes major rebound headaches! Not fun. But it is useful to help wean off the caffiene. My headache doctor suggests Tylenol for headaches. Hope he makes it through!

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  10. My addiction was diet coke, but I gave up all soda just over a year ago. I still get some caffeine but having no soda has given me so much more energy. I am proud of you John!

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  11. Good for you, John!! My husband has been a soda-holic for a long, long time as well. We finally got him off the caffeinated stuff, now I'm trying to convince him to quit the diet/caffeine stuff as well.

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  12. I have nothing useful to add. I'm just here to wave metaphysical pom-poms for John. Oh, and throw in a Kermit-flail. Yay John!

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  13. been thinking about kicking my own soda habit for a while now, thanks for the inspiration and motivation to do so! :)

    also congrats john!! yaay!

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  14. Thank you for posting this! While I'm not a soda "addict" per se, I do drink a lot of cherry Pepsi (one to two a day usually). I'm thinking after reading this and the post you linked from Anne Wheaton, I'm going to cut way back. I've noticed the memory thing over the last year and a half or so where sometimes the word or idea I want to express just won't come out properly. Granted, I'm scatterbrained sometimes but I've never really had trouble expressing myself like that until like I said, over the last year and a half or so.

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  15. Yep. No articles for you, just personal experience. My vice was diet coke. I drank roughly 1 – 2 liters a day. I got a cold bug and was nasty sick for a few days. During those days, I started twitching and would get god awful cramps in my legs. After the cold went away, the twitching and cramping stayed. Over the next month or two I started to lose words and stutter, couldn’t stand for long periods of time, and begin having trouble using my hands. I saw all kinds of doctors and had some really really scary tests at the neurologist. They kept telling me that I was healthy, which I was glad to hear, but didn’t believe. I went back to my regular doctor and she suggested dropping the caffeine. I, of course, dismissed her because I know everything. I decided to prove her wrong and give up the soda, what could I possibly have to lose?? It only took about 12 hours for me to get through the “withdrawls” and two days to shake the habit. Within one week – most of the symptoms were cleared. Yes, cleared.

    I’ve had all kinds of nay-sayers tell me aspartame is safe, FDA, blah, blah, blah, but my experience tells me otherwise. As far as I’m concerned it is poison and I’m so glad John let it go! I hope his results are as good as mine were, it’s really easy to put the stuff down when you realize what it is doing to you.

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  16. Way to go, John!

    I've mostly cut out sodas the past several years due to heart palpitations. I've been known to have a Dr. Pepper or other caffeinated beverage when driving long distances or when I just need to function on no sleep, but I'm generally miserable for a day or two after!

    Something that I have found helps with the whole "ugh, more water?! again?!" thing is putting fruit in my water. I found an infuser ball at the grocery store, but you could probably just drop slices of fruit in directly. I usually do lemon and something else. Lemon and strawberry or blueberry is quite tasty. No sugar needed. I WILL say, don't let the fruit stay in there for more than a day or so without adding more water (I keep a pitcher in the fridge). The taste is overdone if you let it stay in TOO long.

    Good luck to you both with the transition! Sounds like it's going well though.

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  17. Congratulations John!

    When I gave up Pepsi I placed a ticker on my blog "XX days without Pepsi" This bothered my husband as he said it made it seem there was something wrong with Pepsi. The ticker helped me to not drink it though because I didn't want to go back and change the bugger to zero!

    Hubby hasn't had any issues that are visible from drinking soda so much but I know it leaches calcium out of your blood (the phosphoric acid) and then there's the other bad stuff too.

    Stay strong!

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  18. AWESOME. Awesome, awesome. Way to go, John! :)

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  19. Go, John!

    I didn't drink nearly that much, but recently chose to give up soda, and it's been HAAAARRRRRRRRRRD. But so worth it.


    (and then I had to go to caffeine supplements anyway, b/c my brain sucks, but that's an entirely different issue.)

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  20. I have not had aspartame in at least a decade because it triggered HORRIBLE migraines. As soon as I figured it out, I stopped, and I haven't touched the stuff since.

    My doc says it's not an uncommon reaction at all..

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  21. I'm proud of him!!

    But seriously, the chemicals they put in comercial drinks....sheesh. It's a concern what some of us put in our body because it tastes nice.

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  22. Great job, John! Keep it up!

    My uncle lost 25 lbs just from stopping Mountain Dew (no clue if he was having memory problems and etc.).

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  23. Congrats, John! I'm impressed that he went cold turkey. Those caffeine withdrawals headaches are a bitch. I did it the easy way by cutting down gradually so I never got a withdrawal headache.

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  24. Really interesting post! I have been reading for years about the side effects of caffeine and aspartame...unfortunately I serve the Dark Master (diet Coke) to the tune of 64-128 ounces a day. I switched to the caffeine free version but can't bring myself to give it up altogether. I have noticed some memory loss this year since I began working from home and am probably drinking more soda. I thought it was just age! More research required...

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  25. Congratulations John! Nice work. It isn't easy. I did the cold turkey thing about 10 years ago and I don't miss it! I can honestly say that the more I know about soda, the more concerned I get when I see loved ones imbibing.

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  26. Eeep! That's a little scary! I would definitely say retaining your memory is probably worth giving up pop for - good luck! You can do it! And you're less likely to get osteoporosis and diabetes and a whole host of other things...

    There is a kind of pop you can get that is sweetend with stevia - it's insanely expensive, but from time to time for a treat, it might be worth looking into!

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  27. my husband just did the same thing! i'm so proud of him, i'm sure i know how you must feel. my Jon (no kidding) quit his 2liters of regular mountain dew a day habit at the same time as quitting smoking (he is 32, and has smoked since he was 14)and generally god-awfully poor diet while simultaneously adding in two sessions of exercise a day. since he never exercised regularly before and works 12 hour night shifts, this was nothing short of miraculous to me. he has tried to quite smoking and the dew habit by themselves without success and just told me he needed to go whole hog this time. 1 month later, he weighs 20lbs less and has doubled his workout rep numbers while adding a slight obsession with bicycles. the key was having someone else (me) shop and cook all of his meals for him while he made the transition. we took out all red meats, starches, dairy, and sugars (stevia is our preferred sweetener, too), and i did it with him so he wasn't alone in the endeavor. his cravings went away quickly as we focused on dark greens and lean proteins, but he definitely needed nicotine patches. his personality has changed; fewer and less intense mood swings, more energy, and more interest in trying new things. i'm so happy for him and very happy for you guys as well. congrats and keep at it!

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  29. Way to go John! You can do it! I've attempted to kick the soda habit many times, but I think now may be the time to kick it for good. Thanks for the good (and yet scary) info Jen.

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  30. Awww, poor John! I haven't been able to kick Diet Coke, but perhaps someday soon... I did give up caffeine for a short time in college because I had a similar-sized habit that was giving me panic attacks (I started up again, but I ration it carefully, and mostly drink things that are naturally caffeinated like coffee or tea.)

    Those headaches are killer, though - it's withdrawal, plain and simple, and Excedrin is a really good way to step down your caffeine intake in a controlled way. Switching to iced tea cut with progressively more and more lemonade is another.

    Hope you feel better, John - and good for you!

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  31. I've been up and down the soda bandwagon a long time. I quit cold turkey a few years ago, and I still remember the headaches.

    It's a long haul, especially for serious addicts. I still get cravings, especially when I am stressed or have migraines from other things. Weirdly enough, soda helps those more then Excedrin.

    But I wish him the best, just don't replace the Dew with another stimulant drink like coffee.

    All the best,
    Viki

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  32. Serious kudos to John! My dude is addicted to caffeine and I've seen how hard it is on him when he hits withdrawl so making it through that is huge! I wish I could get him to cut back or quit but he counters that he should be allowed one vice and that's it. We'll see. But taking charge of your health and making positive changes is wonderful!

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  33. Kudos to him for giving up the soda cold turkey. I've tried many times, and have failed (my migraine medication needs at least a little caffeine to work).

    He's got fantastic willpower, and should be very proud of himself for the accomplishment!

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  34. Hey Jen and John! Way to go on quitting the soda, you made an excellent choice. I'm a PhD Neuroscience student and did a little digging on the memory condidtions, and the BVO chemical is actually causing a form of Bromism - too much Bromine in the system leads to many of the symptoms you described, as well as others.

    Here's a search snippit and a research article:
    Bromism Medical Definition
    Research Article on Bromism from Cola

    Depending on the severity it looks like it can take a few months for the bromine to clear out of the system entirely. Keep up with the water, and you might want to consult a doctor if it doesn't change or gets worse.

    Soda has tons of other nasty stuff in it anyway - try getting a fruit infuser for your water, or make smoothies with soy milk and fresh berries!

    Either way, I love following your blogs and wish you both the best :)

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  35. You are one brave woman!!!! Thanks for posting about John (and your) journey with diet sodas!

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  36. Nice job John~! congratulations!

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  37. Good for you John!!! I would love to hear about his progress every once in a while.

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  38. Congratulations! It is so hard to do and good on you for doing it!

    I have been Coke free for almost 8 years. I noticed a correlation between drinking Coke and bladder problems. It was so hard in the beginning. But now 8 years later, I couldn't be happier.

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  39. Way to go John! Kicking any habit is hard, especially when food or drink is involved. Just think of all the money you'll be saving! I stopped drinking soda a few years back, when I thought about all the chemicals involved. Now, save for the occasional "lemonade" from the fountain, I only drink things found in nature.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  40. Wonderful John!!! I would love to hear about your progress throughout the year! Congratulations!

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  41. I cut out all forms artificial sweeteners altogether after I had a few moths of nothing but straight migraine type headaches and anxiety type symptoms from taking too much naproxen to help with the headaches. Now I'm down to only one or two headaches a month that go away (and stay away) with a few Excedrine.

    I've switched form Crystal Light (I wasn't much of a soda person to begin with) to unsweetened sparkling water like Mendota, or Klarbrunn (both come in plain, lemon or raspberry flavors). It's been a good substitute when plain flat water doesn't do the trick.

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  42. Way to go John! He's lucky he hasn't had liver problems from it also. Because of the High fructose corn syrup- your liver is the only thing that can process it, so it works in over drive and all the excess is immediately stored as fat. That might be something to continue watching out for.

    And I recently read how they are using less formaldehyde to embalm because Aspartame, when hot turns into methanol which converts to formaldehyde. So basically we are embalming ourselves our whole lives on that stuff.

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  43. Yea! Way To Go John!

    Keep it up. I did much the same thing with corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Made a world of difference in my energy levels and I'm no longer pre-diabetic!

    Keep it up!

    ~E

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  44. Congrats John!! I quit drinking dark pop cold turkey a couple of years ago and the headaches were insane, so I'm glad that you've made it through that patch. Unfortunately due to my recently discovered anxiety issues, it looks like I might have to cut out my coffee too - that's not going to be pretty!

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  45. Congrats Jon!

    I too have recently given up on carbonated beverages (Dr. Pepper was my choice).
    I drink tea (hot or iced)in the mornings and switch to water afternoon. The only time I have missed it was on a road trip, because I can't stand commercially bottled tea.
    -Julie

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  46. I'm another "My husband did the same thing" story! Except my husband drank Coke then Sprite. But when you drink 88 oz a day- it doesn't matter which kind it is, it's still not good for you! He quit cold turkey as well (& I *maybe might have* offered to go buy him a Coke if he would just quit being such a bear). We are to the point that we hardly touch soda & I figure that's probably great for our kids who shouldn't be drinking it anyhow! Even "non-caffeinated" sodas tend to have a lot of citric acid which is really bad for your teeth!

    I'm proud of John for quitting! Especially cold turkey is impressive (& miserable!). Pretty soon he'll be a regular ol' water drinker! :)

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  47. Good for you!

    I had to give up any diet anything about 2 years ago due to both aspartame and saccharine causing debilitating migraines. Took what seemed forever to track down the cause. I still have to use all natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup, raw sugar, or honey, I even have to be careful about Stevia unless it is the ACTUAL dried Stevia leaves and not the processed stuff. (Reb A or Truvia both are FAKE and not the true Stevia extract - no matter what they try to tell you.)

    Anyway, good for you, Jon! The headaches are indeed horrible, but you'll feel much better over all very soon. Thanks for sharing! I hope more people will make the same decision and kick the habit for good.

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  48. CONGRATS JOHN!!!!!!

    i gave up caffeine *cold turkey* like you 15 years ago, and i never looked back!

    i know it sucks a bit right now, but trust me, you will feel like a whole new (happier, healthier, and less grumpy) person very soon!!!

    Keep us posted on the progress! =)

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  49. Good job John!

    When I was in college one of my work study bosses had a serious Dew addiction. He carried a two liter bottle with him everywhere I think he went through several a day. Being students sometimes he didn't have money for the Dew. The rest of his employees and I would have to pool our change to buy him some because he was intolerable without it! Terrible to be so dependent on something to feel "normal".

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  50. Good for him!

    I stopped drinking soda for the most part (I do occasionally have a drink a couple times a month, when we're out) but I feel a lot better. For me, mostly it's the calorie thing. Two cans of mountain dew have as many as a meal, and drinking so many a day... well, I gained a lot of weight! I drink mostly water now because I'm watching my calories, and to be honest if I had to choose between that 170cal soda and a 180cal muffin, I'd rather have the muffin!

    My memory has been crap, but that happened *after* I stopped drinking soda... I think it's because I just had a baby around Christmas. It would be interesting to know if it was related to the soda though. I have issues like John does, I say the wrong word all the time and it feels awful.

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  51. While growing up in Spain I had a lot of online friends in both Canada and the US. We were all on our teens and did a lot of online gaming.

    Back then (mid to late nineties), Mountain Dew didn't exist in Spain, all I knew is that my American friends would guzzle it like their life depended on it.

    Later on I ended up living in the US, the first time I had mountain dew I was expecting it to be like mana from heaven, I took one gulp and I was so disgusted I couldn't believe it. You could taste the coloring! My head started to hurt after half the bottle was gone (I had bought it and by George I was gonna finish it!).

    After i was done my heart was palpitating and I felt awful. I had never had so much caffeine and sugar combined. Mind you I like strong coffee, but this was insane!

    I know in the UK it was pulled, either because of bad sales or health concerns, maybe both. One of the ingredients is actually banned there if I remember correctly.

    I find that when I don't drink any sodas at all I feel less bloated, more focused and alert than when I do... mind you I thought that the American consulate employee that attended me while getting a visa once in Madrid was crazy because he was drinking a can of coke and eating a snickers bar at 8 am for breakfast... now I don't even find it odd when I see my co-workers do the same in the states.

    Maybe I just have low tolerance to it since I grew up mostly drinking water and fresh squeezed orange juice.

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  52. Very proud of John. It's no small thing to give up something like that cold turkey. I had to give up coffee last year because I figured out it was the trigger for my migraines. I had to drink a constant amount or more otherwise I'd have a migraine. It took two days of blinding migraines and a week of not feeling quite right before some clarity hit. I didn't ever want to feel that way again. It's been almost a year and I still miss coffee but I don't miss the pain.

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  53. John, I am really, really proud of you! You're doing such a fantastic job, and kudos to Jen for telling us all about it!

    Some people might not think an "addiction" to something like diet soda is a real problem when there are so many variations of the disease that are so very damaging, but anything that takes away your agency in any form is something to free yourself from. It takes a LOT of guts to acknowledge a problem and even more to do something about it.

    What an excellent example you are, John! Keep up the good work!!

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  54. Way to go, John! I am trying to quit Dr. Pepper. It isn't easy! You can do it!

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  55. I think that's awesome! I gave up sodas cold turkey when I was preparing to get pregnant with my first...then I had a relapse when he was around 18 months old. Gave them up again (almost completely - I'm not totally all-or-nothing) when I got pregnant again in January. My husband has always been concerned with the chemicals in soda, and he also has them only on a rare occasion.

    Way to go, John! You made it through the hardest part! You should definitely be proud.

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  56. Well it takes something like 6 months for anxiety/depression drugs to get totally out of your system, so I would expect a couple months for the brain to regenerate. I never found caffeine made that much of a difference in my anxiety but everyone is different. I back up what someone else said about citrus fruits in water and maybe a few mint leaves. It's very tasty.

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  57. Way to go John!! My husband and I gave up soda earlier this year. It was hard but we really need to lose weight. Just cutting out the soda and switching to water and I lost 15 lbs and my husband lost about 20 lbs. We do have a glass of iced tea with dinner now but the rest of the day we have water and we both feel much better.

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  58. Good for ya! Quitting any strong habit is so hard. My dad used to drink tons of the 'Dew like that until he got bad kidney stones. At least you didn't have to go through that (hopefully).

    I'll probably never write off my Coke Zero completely because Ah Luvs It, but I try to have no more than two cans a day (usually just one). I REALLY like fizzy cold drinks though so lately I've been buying unflavored soda water (no sodium, no nothin) and flavoring it with a bit of OJ or something like that. It cuts that fizzy craving. :D

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  59. Thank you so much for sharing this, as I am sure it will help others. I had noticed some people who seemed literally addicted to diet soda drinks, and then a friend of mine who is a brilliant scientist getting his PhD did a study about the caffeine in conjunction with the artificial sweetner and what havoc that wreaks in the brain. It was chilling. There are plenty of treats out there that we say, well, ok, in moderation, right? And then there's stuff out there like what John was drinking and we go, "never again. That stuff is so toxic." John, you are to be commended. Way to go. I hope getting lots of rest, exercise and eating healthful nutrient dense foods aka super foods will help you detox and heal you neurologically. All the best to you both!

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  60. Congrats! Trust me you'll be happier in the long run. I used to have a serious diet coke addiction, which I gave up about 5 yrs ago. I went a good two years not drinking anything except water and unsweetened ice tea (I'd long since cut back coffee to two cups max) and aside from feeling better I managed to lose 30 pounds! Now I do occasionally have a soft drink, but stick to ginger ale or Sierra Mist, regular not diet. I find I drink less, don't crave it and because I am drinking regular I take in account those calories and am less likely to indulge in other snacks.

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  61. Congrats, John! I'm still trying to cut out soda. My husband switches to ice tea in the summer (we make sun tea on the porch, tres cheap)and that seems to keep his headaches away.

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  62. John - fantastic job and what a healthful decision you've made. It may be difficult, but just keep remembering how great you've been feeling and continue to feel.

    I stopped drinking soda in college because the soda fountain was THERE and it was so easy to just fill up cup after cup. It took me awhile - I didn't stop cold turkey - but gradually I transitioned to water, watered-juice (regular juice is too sweet for me), and watered-gatorade (I'm an athlete - need to keep up the electrolytes). I occasionally will treat myself to soda - especially when I'm on an airplane (something about ginger ale at 30,000 feet) or when I pick up fresh-made sandwich at the grocery store (all-natural soda).

    I have no problem drinking plain 'ol water, but remember that you can use fruits to give it a little kick (without going to Crystal Light - although Crystal Light, in moderation, is so yummy). My favorite is to put some crushed mint and cucumbers into a pitchet and stir it around. Also strawberries, raspberries, even blueberries.... get creative! :) Water is what makes up most of our bodies - keep hydrating yourself!!! :)

    Way to go and keep it up!

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  63. GO JOHN GO! I love hearing this! And folks, be careful with the Stevia too. I hear people calling it the "safe sweetener" - yeah, that's what they called aspertame and all the other fake ones, too, when they came out. :)

    Good for all of you dropping the pop!!! I was lucky, I hate carbonation so haven't gotten hooked on sodas (oh, I have plenty of OTHER vices, though!).

    Keep up the good work, EVERYONE!!!

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  64. Way to go, John! I have a serious addiction to Coke Zero that I'm trying to quit - perhaps cold turkey like John is the way to go.

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  65. WAY TO GO JOHN!!!! Poor thing; the migraines were from the caffeine withdrawal! My hubby gets headaches on the weekends if we don't drink enough tea in the morning.

    The hubby and I have EXACTLY the same problem you described where he will substitute a word and he thinks I'm being difficult and deliberately not understanding him. We're at the point now where he knows I try but sometimes I really have no idea what he's talking about. I have not let him drink anything with aspartame in it virtually since it came out because I read about the memory issues (and he naturally has them, anyway, and always has). He does still drink sodas with Splenda (sucralose)...I haven't heard of that exacerbating memory issues. Publix has quite a few house-brand sodas that use Splenda.

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  66. Way to go, John! I've been trying to give up Coke Zero - maybe John will be my inspiration to go cold turkey.

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  67. Go John!!!

    When I moved in with my boyfriend I began to drink a lot more soda (diet drinks and regular Dew) and eat more processed food. Along with the weight gain (AHH!) I became more lethargic and forgetful - so I can completely believe that John's symptoms were related to the diet Dew.

    My goal for the summer is to cut out soda entirely and really cut down on the processed foods. It's really great that John is making this change, you can brag on him all you want! Woot!

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  68. Kudos to you, John! I was never a Dew fan (mainly because of the amount of caffeine that I'd heard was in it), but I have recently stopped drinking diet soda myself because I have been concerned about the effects it may be having on me. I do drink coffee or tea (in moderation), but otherwise it's water or flavored seltzer now. Polar Orange Vanilla seltzer is particularly yummy, tastes just like creamsicles.

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  69. Congratulations to John! That is a BIG step! The headaches suuuuuuck, but *will* go away, eventually. My husband used Excedrin to step down, too, and it helped immensely. SO proud of John!

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  70. Listen up peeps, I've researched this subject for YEARS because of a willing slavery to my coffee, obesity in the family, and my own son having an allergy. Aspartame can cause an allergic reaction in your body that can take years to culminate. Having the migraines when cold turkey-ing is one of the symptoms, but the migraine while still using it is also a symptom of the reaction, and frequently people confuse the 'lack of aspartame' symptoms and 'caffeine withdrawal'. Like anything, too much caffeine is bad for you, but in moderation, you're golden. Much to my joy, researchers have found that drinking 18- 24 oz of coffee daily will actually stave off, and in some cases, completely reverse Alzheimers disease! Other issues with soda are the carbonation process leaves a chemical that blocks vitamin D absorption so your bones get brittle. Soda= bad, coffee/ tea= good!

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  71. Way to go! Definitely recommend the fruit in water suggestion.

    I find it funny that so many people go on and on about stevia when it gives me dizziness and horrible headaches that nothing cures. Found out after some research that the plant from which stevia is extracted is related to ragweed. Some people with ragweed allergies have the same reaction I did.

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  72. You may want to have him look into a product called "Zipfizz" It's all natural and chockfull of vitamins and does WONDERS for your energy and stamina. They sell it at Wal-Mart and Costco. Check it out! I love the orange flavor best. I was a MD addict too and this helped out a lot!

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  73. Yeah John!! i quite sodas (mostly) shortly after high school when i had to start paying for them myself. Since then, I've come to regard them as candy - an occasional calorie-packed treat. But all in all, i'd rather reserve that sort of treat for chocolate, so I don't drink them much at all. :-) Once you get used to it, water is truly the most refreshing beverage you could ever ask for. So Good for you JOHN! Very proud of you. I know many folks couldn't do it.

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  74. Way to go John. Keep up the good work!

    So many Diet Coke addicts out there! I can't stand the taste of Diet Coke - my weakness is Coke Zero. It's just as bad for you, but doesn't taste like pure aspartame.

    One thing that helped me really cut back was my decision to start riding my bike to the supermarket. Carrying a case of Coke on a bike just wasn't worth the hassle. Now I only buy milk and sometimes drink crystals to flavor water. Liquids are too bulky to bike with!

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  75. Way to go John!! Stopping anything is really hard and cold turkey is the hardest. I'm glad you are feeling better. Stick with all natural ingredients, you can't go wrong there :)

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  76. I quite drinking soda 5.5 years ago. When really stressed, I still crave it. Google EFT (emotional freedom technique) if John has cravings. EFT works miraculously on cravings.
    My applause to both of you. People think giving up soda seems like a simple thing, but like anything else, the friendships we develop with our vises are hard to give up.

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  77. That is scary. Caffeine is also a major vasoconstrictor which results in the blood flow to the brain being severely depleted. And vasoconstriction can lead to all kinds of other things like high blood pressure. Not fun. And considering Mt. Dew probably has the highest caffeine content of all the sodas, it's a good thing he quit now.

    We are a country obsessed with junk food and I think it's showing in our level of disease and prescription drug use.

    Congrats, John. Good for you for taking this major step toward a healthier and happier you!

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  78. Artificial sweeteners aside, even regular non-diet sodas aren't good for you in large quantities as you get older. Especially for men, so I'm glad John quit. =) My brother-in-law in his late 30s and my dad when he was in his late 50s both had kidney stones requiring trips to the emergency room because it was so painful. Doctors for both of them attributed it to them drinking soda (not diet, just regular soda) instead of water throughout the day. Like, a 6-pack or more a day.

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  79. That is awesome. There is so much scary stuff out there. Keep going! I really need to get my husband off of the Dr. Pepper...

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  80. I had to give up diet sodas 27 years ago because of aspartame. I had horrid headaches and my vision started to get really bad. I was 12 or 13 at the time. Fast forward to 2009, and my husband, a huge Diet Coke addict at the time, was getting headaches, to the point that appeared he was having strokes.

    There is some speculation that the fact I have lupus is connected back to aspartame.

    His memory will get better, and he may lose a few pounds. (Aspartame causes weight gain.) I'm just glad he quit now before any permanent neurological damage is done.

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  81. It actually took me a few weeks to clear out the gunk. I was having the same memory and focusing issues early this year. It wasn't until my grandmother had a TIA (mini-stroke) that I started to look into what was causing my migraines. I cut out the soda (except for the occasional *real* ginger ale for my stomach (not the artificially flavored/sweetened crap.) I haven't had a migraine in 3 months. (They tend to be hormonal for me, but the soda was definitely adversely affecting them. It used to be monthly.) Since then I've cut out most sugar (using agave and fruit juice sparingly) and found I'm feeling even better. Even my allergies and seasonal headaches feel like they've been cut down. Hang in there, John!

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  82. I really, REALLY don't want to alarm you, but that exact symptom - forgetting common words and having trouble expressing yourself - can be a sign of something a bit more serious than just caffeine overuse. If John is having headaches as well, then you should definitely see a doctor about it. My dad had a tumor in the part of his brain that controls speech, and that was the first symptom he had. Don't worry, it probably IS about the caffeine, but you might want to talk to your doctor, just in case.

    Sorry to alarm,but it's something I'm VERY aware of having gone through it with my dad, and catching something like that early is of vital importance.

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  83. Way to go John! I gave up all cokes (southern term meaning any soft drink) in favor of sparkling water a few years ago. And I once had a doctor tell me that while people drink diet drinks with aspartame with the idea that they will have that instead of food when they're hungry, aspartame tends to make you hungrier than before you had the diet drink!

    Now I drink a Coke (the real thing) when I get a migraine for the caffeine and the nausea.

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  84. Way to go, John! It's really hard to do. I've been a life-long diet soda addict (seriously, started drinking Tab when I was 9), and recently decided I needed to cut back. What a surprise--found out that it wasn't the caffeine but the aspartame that has caused my daily headaches!

    There are some other stevia-sweetened soft drinks out there. Virgil's makes a few WONDERFUL sodas, called Virgil's Zero made with nothing but stevia. Zevia is a blended soda using stevia and erythritol--I don't get headaches with either of those and no memory problems either. But they're pricey, so I don't drink as much either.

    I drink lots of water, too, but sometimes you just want something different, you know?

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  85. Way to go John! I know first hand how hard it was. My husband quit Mountain Dew cold turkey back in 1989 after our first child was born. He realized that he would get the shakes if he didn't have it and he does not like to feel addicted to anything so he too quit cold turkey. It was a horrible few days but once it was out of his system he was much better. He still does not drink any form of soda regularly. He didn't have the added diet chemicals to deal with so I don't recall him having any memory loss. that and he was only 23 at the time. :)

    Good luck and GOOD FOR YOU! You will start to lose weight too even though it was diet. Toxins like to hide in our fat cells and once they flush out you will notice a loss. :)

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  86. Congrats to John - a step in the right direction! If you ever have cravings for the 'Dew, but don't want the caffeine - I can send some from Canada... Our 'Dew doesn't have caffeine (illegal to ADD caffeine to something, it has to be naturally occurring as in colas). All the flavour, none of the caffeine :) LOL (but you shouldn't be drinking soda so much at all anyways)

    Allie

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  87. Ugh, Mt. Dew...! I am so glad that you found the gumption to let it go! My sister gave up soda (pepsi was her choice) one spring and it was so hard for about a week (she was basically detoxing- headaches, shakes, generally crabbiness, she was even slightly nauseous). She didn't give it up forever, but her rate of consumption is WAY down (maybe 1 a week or less) and she feels so much better! Keep up the hard work, it gets easier. Also, as a bunch of people mentioned already, sun tea, or just iced tea, can be made so cheaply (and as a preggo I do the caffeine free version)! I will use flavored tea bags or add honey to the plain stuff (a teaspoon or less goes a long way to adding just a touch of sweetness). I have also made "tea" from lemon balm that we grow in our garden - it's so yummy - lemony and minty and slightly sweet!

    Good luck (to both of you!) and keep up the dew-avoidance!

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  88. Way to go John!!! I kicked a dew habit several years ago, although I never had symptoms like yours,and I can't do artificial sweeteners, so I was drinking the regular stuff. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it. It's a lot cheaper too!

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  89. Yay, John!

    I had no idea Mt. Dew was so horrible. My husband and I have been off sugar/highfructosegrossness-sweetened soda for a while now (though I remember when we first started dating, he used to drink 2 liters of Cherry Coke...), but we've recently found some that is Stevia sweetened. It's called Zevia and they have a Mt. Dew flavor (!), among lots of other flavors. Every now and then it's nice to enjoy something fizzy :)

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  90. I have the same memory issues as John, and it has been a total pain in the butt getting doctors to take it seriously. Hard to write for a living when you cannot remember simple words. It turns out mine was Fibromyalgia causing the dumbs. That is being treated now (though the dumb hasn't gone away- one doctor told me that until my IQ was well under 100 -from a start in the 150s- he wouldn't bother with me), but along with that, I have now developed some bladder issue where I cannot drink water or juices at all, because it makes me wake up, up to 12 times a night, to pee. Not a drop of regular water. And I can't imbibe artificial sweeteners (other than stevia) or teas or coffee (allergies to anything brewed) and my doctors have (can't remember the word for told me I can't have- ah) banned caffeine, so I can only have caffeine-free soda that has no actual citrus in it, and it is driving me mad. My point is, if you can drink things, be glad. Be really glad.
    And I am glad that John's memory issues were just stupid soda and not something long term!

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  91. Way to go John (THOJ)!

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  92. Way to go, John!

    Try putting a little bit of fruit juice in your water. Fruit juice is good for you in moderation, and I find that when I am sick of water, adding just an ounce or two of juice to it gives it enough taste to make it yummy.

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  93. Congratulations John. That is a huge undertaking. You will probably become more sensitive to caffeine and will learn pretty quickly the things it is hidden in.

    If you want to research chelation therapy (done by IV), that might help your system clear out the chemicals.

    I have never been a soda drinker, one root beer a year, maybe. Water works for me. There is a product called ConcenTrace (made in Utah), it is mineral drops you can add to your water, might help replenish your system.

    I have aphasia problems (memory difficulties, losing words etc) from other health concerns and yep, it is a bitch to deal with.

    Skip products like Gatorade, very very bad for you. If you get sick and need to rehydrate, you can make your own rehydration fluid at home.

    Boil 2 cups water, steep 2 herbal tea bags for 6 minutes. I use Passion Tea from Tazo.
    While hot dissolve 8 tsp of sugar or 2 tbsp hone in the water.

    In a jar pour 2 cups cold water, dissolve 2 tsp salt in it. Pour the hot into the cold and refrigerate. Only drink it cold!!!

    Yes, this tastes like salty ice tea but great for rehydration with no chemicals. 4 oz, every half hour when really sick. 4 oz every 2 hours when getting better.

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  94. Wow. I really admire him for going cold turkey.

    As someone who works in the field, the FDA seal of approval doesn´t mean much. You have to remember that even if we made clinical studies and try to prevent possible harm effects, many of them are only obvious after a while. So, even if the FDA or any other agency approves something, it doesn´t mean that is completely safe, it only means that we haven´t found anything wrong yet. That´s why, in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, we consider the risk/benefit factor.

    I never drink diet sodas (I find the taste horrible) but I do drink regular Cola-Cola. If you ask my mother, I´m addicted to it. However, this is the woman that told me that I was addicted as it was a bad thing, so I don´t think we should paid much attention to her addiction definition. I do drink it maybe once or twice a week but I don´t have to and I try to drink at least the same amount of milk and the double of water. I choose restaurants based on which cola they serve (Coke or Pepsi) and I don´t get how is possible for my country to consume more Pepsi than Coke. My country has issues.

    I do feel his pain regarding the migraine. I suffer from them (my whole paternal family does) and we have a cocktail for it. Maybe John will give it a try if he doesn´t want to take something as strong as Exedrin.

    First, you drink 1/2 cup of warm water with 2 tablespoon of sugar. The water should be as hot as you can take it. Second, you take 500mg of acetaminofen/paracetamol (1 Tylenol) with 1 alka-setlzer. Third, you laid down with a wet towel in your forehead or whatever to feel the pain (my pain tends to concentrate around my eye). The towel could be hot or cold. For example, when my pain is strees-induced, the hot towel is more helpful.

    One friend of mine developed migraines this year and she didn´t want to take any strong medications. She tried our family method and she swears that it worked wonderfully. Maybe you can tried that.

    Keep up John!!

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  95. yay, john! that's HARD, and it's got to be so difficult to feel like you're being deprived, so congrats on having the courage to make it happen!

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  96. After years of migraines I finally realized that my growing habit of coffee was the culprit. I needed more caffeine especially coffee to make it through the day without a headache. So last August I quit coffee cold turkey. I had blinding migraines for two or three days and felt ill for about a week but I haven't had the migraines or coffee since then so I suppose it was worth it. Soda is next. Very proud of John since this was not an easy thing to do.

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  97. I know the struggle of quitting soda, and I have to say I'm proud of anyone who can do it! Way to go John! This will have so many positive effects on your life. I drink the very occasional Diet Coke, but I've read terrible things about the artificial-ness of them so I'm quitting them altogether. Here's to living healthier!

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  98. I have to say, John, I am honestly in awe. I've had to break off a soda addiction before (Coke was my drug of choice) and going cold turkey is incredibly hard. And even when I did do my detox, I was never doing the sheer volumes that you were consuming. The fact that your brain didn't spontaneously combust is amazing, and that you didn't immediately run back to the Dew to make the headaches stop is a testament to your strength. Color me really, really impressed.

    I've found that I personally don't necessarily need the sugar or the caffeine (now that I'm off the stuff- clean since August of last year, and I think I deserve a 9 month chip), but I miss the fizz. I find La Croix or some other brand of seltzer water is incredibly helpful. And La Croix has a coconut flavor that is the BOMB!

    Congrats on breaking free, dude. That is really a major accomplishment, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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  99. Sodium nitrite in meats cause this too. I've had to swear off processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, etc., because I wasn't able to function mentally. It's really embarrassing when you're talking to someone and forget the simplest words. All I could do was try to define the word I meant until they figured it out.
    I'm not sure what it is, but a chemical used to keep shredded cheese from caking has an almost debilitating effect on me. I accidentally ate some one day and basically had to sit down and let my husband take care of me.
    I have a lot of food sensitivities and have to know the ingredients before eating something. You wouldn't believe the disgusting chemicals that could be slowly killing us in so many processed and pre-packaged foods. I'd eat purely organic if it weren't for the high cost of healthy foods.

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  100. Woo! Congratulations, John! I'm always a little leery of studies on soda, but switching to something like water is definitely a healthier choice. Go you!

    I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant and although I was never a big soda drinker, I did also give up iced tea (caffeine) and artificial sweeteners. I haven't had a headache my entire pregnancy, and I just feel a little clearer (although, now that I'm at the end I don't sleep much). I don't think I'm ever going back.

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  101. Great job, John! Your teeth, liver, stomach, brain, and heart will thank you! And your wallet will, too. Good for you!

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  102. John and I had the same idea- my memory has been slowly going rusty too. I'd walk into a room and have no idea why I got up to go there. I'd forget close friend's last names or nicknames and just stammer out similar sounds until someone corrected me.

    Unlike your heroic John, I'm cutting it down slowly- first no caffeine, then slow down the consumption to just a treat when eating out. The caffeine withdrawal was/is horrible. I'm over the headache portion, but I still find myself getting sleepy by 5/6pm and sleeping in til almost 9.

    My biggest hurdle is that I hate drinking plain water. I need flavor or bubbles, but it seems that it's hard to get either of those cheaply without adding dangerous chemicals. I'm hoping some lemon water with lots of ice will keep me from reaching for a Diet Dr. Pepper.

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  103. Way to go, John! I stopped drinking them for about 9 months a couple of years ago, but started back. I've been wanting to get back off of them for a while. After reading this, I think I'm done today. :)

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  104. Yay for John! Holy cow, cold turkey? (how many more animals could I have fit in that sentence?)

    My diet Coke addition had to go when I was pregnant, and I'm glad to say that even when I drink it now, it's not the same. I don't need it anymore. Hopefully, the same will be true for you!

    Best wishes for you health. :)

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  105. Congratulations to John and everyone else who's successfully kicked any dangerous habit. I was a compulsive soda drinker for most of my life (my parents used to send me to school with soda in my lunch, then I'd come home and have several more cans). I tried for years to quit, and it was only the loss of a tooth (possibly unrelated to the soda) that made me stop completely. I haven't had a soda since November 2010, and I limit caffeine. I feel much calmer and healthier, I sleep better, and I'm not as wound up. It's not easy, so I congratulate you.

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  106. Read at your own discretion - but it will make you never want to drink soda, specifically Mountain Dew, again.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/mice-no-match-for-mountain-dew/

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  107. Regarding drinking crap *raises hand guiltily* I've recently found this 'recipe' that I'm going to try since I am trying to avoid all sweeteners. I've heard a lot of recommendations for it.

    Here's hoping to staying hydrated and healthy. Best of luck to Jon!

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  108. That can be a tough one...Go John!

    I gave up on all soda about 4 years ago after first my brother got heart failure(around 12 Diet Pepsi's a day) and then a year later my dad got heart failure (around 5 Diet Pepsi's a day). The doctors didn't say that the sodas were the issue, but they said that in the least it aggrivated the situation. They never found out how this happened to both of them so close together.

    Anyway they are both in the acceptable range for their ages now, and both soda free. The doctors can't beleive how quickly their hearts are recovering. I do believe that the soda was in the least a contributng factor.

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  109. So proud! Anytime you can cold turkey yourself healthier should be rewarded with chocolate...err, sorry. Hope he feels like himself again soon!

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  110. Way to go, John! It's hard and I'm really happy for both you and Jen. If you guys happen upon statistically significant case studies or lab studies, can you share them? Thanks! My husband drinks a fair amount of diet soda, but refuses to rely on anecdotal evidence for information on health hazards or benefits.

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  111. holy crap. THANK YOU for sharing. I'm sending this link to my John. I guess I wasn't far off when I referred to his diet dew as "Toxic waste".

    and PS- Way To Go John!

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  112. Jen,
    I love your posts. I have long been against sodas, though I do imbibe from time to time. I know they are evil, and often wonder what all the chemicals in our food and beverages can do to our bodies, over the long and short term. Thank you for the reminder of why I should continue to stay away.

    John,

    I am so proud of you! I hope your memory problems diminish and you are back to having the vocabulary of a doctoral candidate! Great job!

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  113. Way to go, John! Cold turkey, especially from soda, is a right bitch and it's very impressive you're doing this.

    I'm back to weaning myself off the one Coke a day I've been drinking (2+ liters a day at my highest point). That crap is addictive.

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  114. My husband stopped drinking soda last year around this time. He drank Coke, and a lot of it. He even drank it instead of water while working out in the heat which led to a scary episode, which in turn led to him quitting soda. I'm just really glad he hadn't begun suffering from anything super scary like John did. And, way to go, John!

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  115. Congratulations, John! I love a glass of about 1/4 orange juice and 3/4 Arrowhead sparkling water (no aspartame) on ice.

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  116. Congrats John! As a Dr. Pepper addict, I know how hard it is to give up your favorite beverage.

    I switched to caffeine-free root beer many years ago, to see if I'd sleep any better or be any more focused, but I didn't notice any difference after 3 months and I went back on the DP. 100 pounds later, it's time to come off again. Just spending too many calories on it. Sadly, I'm a super-taster so coffee and tea are uber-disgusting to me, as are pretty much all artificial sweeteners and even most stevia products. And (it figures) I despise water, even more so with fruit or fruit flavorings (tastes like watered down juice). Which just leaves fruit juice, but that's more calories than the DP! Perhaps I can just inject myself with fluids like they do for sick cats...

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  117. My brother-in-law is a Mt.Dew addict too - he had trouble with a racing heart when he was drinking huge amounts in the past. I don't think he ever experienced memory problems, but he doesn't drink diet.

    I have migraines occasionally but caffine & vitamin B6 seems to be the combination that helps for me, so I love Excedrin. I mostly drink water but sometimes soda (usually Dr. Pepper) but never diet.

    Sounds like John needs to learn to like iced tea with a little sugar - that's how my husband has really cut back on soft drinks. I make him a pitcher for the fridge.

    Hope John keeps up the new habit! =)

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  118. My husband drank 6-10 cans of Diet Coke a day...it was AWFUL... He decided it wasn't working for him, and after 15 years - stopped cold turkey.

    Um, it was painful. PAINFUL. And I think he didn't enjoy the process either. He spent almost 5 days curled up in bed saying his neck and legs hurt and that he couldn't even let the light touch the outside of his eyelid or his brain might explode.

    The good news is that now that he's free of the beverage (and drinking water!), he has no desire to ever go back!

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  119. Congrats, John! You have done yourself, and Jen, a great favour.

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  120. Yikes! So glad to read of so many people getting healthier. And I'm so thankful to my parents for keeping sodas out of the house when I was growing up, because I never developed a taste for them.

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  121. I had a pretty serious Dew habit in college. I started to develop migraines and then rashes. The dr told me I had triggered an adult-onset allery to caffeine. I had to cut out all soda, tea, coffee, and CHOCOLATE. He said the large amounts I had been drinking while studying, etc, had caused it. Since then, any time I have more than a couple bites of choc, I get hives and migraines. I stay away from the soda completely, and I've never cared for tea and coffee.
    Hang in there, Jon!! You stay away from Dew, and I'll stay away from chocolate. ;-)

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  122. Kudos for braving the withdrawal effects and doing the homework! Here's to healthier minds and bodies! I went cold turkey off of Coke awhile back. I was drinking 3 - 4 a day. I feel so much better and the change has helped me lose about 70 pounds!

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  123. So proud of John! My husband quit cold turkey about a year and a half ago, and I think the best part for us has been the easing in our grocery bill! We didn't realize how much we were spending on soda until we weren't anymore!

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  124. Good for you, John!!! I've been off soda for a few years now. I had a hell of a time getting off it, migraines and such.

    If you get a craving for soda, try mixing some carbonated soda with orange juice! I love that combination!

    Also, keep it up even when it gets hard! It'll only get easier. And your body won't crave it anymore. You'll eventually get to the point where you feel icky when you drink it.

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  125. Way to go, John!!!! That is truly amazing!! :)
    As a few others mentioned, I get migraines from ALL sugar substitutes. Even Splenda and stevia and whatever else is out there. Just be aware that it's not always just aspartame. GOOD LUCK and Congrats again!!

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  126. I have always been SO profoundly grateful that neither my husband or I are soda fans. We drink it occasionally at parties, but usually go for punch, lemonade, or even just water.

    I firmly believe that that stuff is the devil for many people, and I cannot IMAGINE giving it up when you love it so much. Congratulations John! You have accomplished something amazing! I know it must be rough, but who knows what worse things could have happened if you'd stayed on the stuff.

    You know what else creeps me out? Rockstars, Monsters, and that "5-Hour Energy" crap. Yich.

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  127. @Texpenguin

    I don't know if you wanna hear this, but I HATED water...until I started drinking 8 glasses a day. Once I was able to maintain that minimum recommended amount...water became my favorite drink. Try it! Who knows what could happen :)

    (And I agree, diet flavors are as yucky as they are frightening)

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  128. I found that the aspartame makes my joints hurt all over & I feel nauseous. Takes about 30 minutes of feeling like I'm dying before it wears off. Interestingly enough, wine does the same thing.

    I had tried using the Splenda for my sweet iced tea habit. After marinating myself in it for a week or so (3/4 cup to 3 quarts of tea daily), my lips turned numb. Sacred me to death & haven't touched the stuff since.

    So, I stick to "regular" Coke - just as bad for you, but no artificial sweeteners. My mom is one of those that reads of foods/additives to avoid & I told her I was going to cut back on high-fructose corn syrup. She asked, "What does that do to you?" I said, "It makes you fat!!" LOL

    I also have to avoid the nitrates/nitrites in bacon, hot dogs, ham, etc. for the migraines. And we all know the migraines from MSG. :(

    For water, there's a bottle with a carbon filter called a "Bobble". Can't praise this little device enough!! Took it with us to Disney & all the water fountain water was drinkable. LOL. I've got the 16 oz. size & have recently seen a pitcher size one (at WalMart - the personal sized ones can be found in Office Depot or GNC). The bottle is clear, but the filters are pretty colors. LOL. Mine's green & my daughter's is pink. There's also a blue & a black & possibly some other color. Have to go find a link now. LOL.

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  129. http://www.waterbobble.com/

    Here's the Bobble. :) Helps to drink water when it tastes clean. :P

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  130. And even though he's been drinking diet, he'll still probably lose weight, because artificial sweetener messes with your tastebuds and stuff.

    Y'know, when I was in high school my mom bet me $50 that I couldn't go a month without soda. So I did, and ever since then I really haven't drunk a lot. It makes it more of a treat when I do. Although I've never been a Dew fan, getting off caffeine has been a HUGE plus.

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  131. Yay John!

    I'm slowly getting my own "stubborn as an ox" boyfriend off the soda.

    We're working on his 19 year old who drinks up to 2L per day.

    Very proud. Doing anything cold turkey can be so incredibly hard. After a few months he likely won't even miss it.

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  132. Another "woot" and I'll throw in a a "hoo-rah" for good measure.
    I'm not a Mountain Dew Person, but I used to have a serious addiction to those little tin cans of artificial crap + sugar + hydrogenated fats known as International Coffees.

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  133. I'm seriously amazed by John. I've been trying to quit soda for a year and finding it harder than quitting smoking was.

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  134. My husband drinks a lot of Diet Mountain Dew. Not all day long, but it is not uncommon for him to crack open a can right before bed. He occasionally struggles to come up with words or to remember things. I never really thought about it before now, but there could be a connection.

    Very proud of you, John. I quit sodas a few years ago, and it is not a pleasant experience. Don't go back to it! I did, and it's very disappointing.

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  135. Oh, BTW, aspertame gives me horrible migraines if I drink too much of it. I can have one diet soda per day, but any more and I definitely get migraines. It is nasty stuff!

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  136. Congrats to John and good luck keeping it up.

    Thank you for this post. My boyfriend has a serious problem with drinking Mt Dew. Maybe I can use this to convince him to reduce his intake.

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  137. Proud of you for Dewing the right thing, John!!!!

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  138. Oh my. Well done Jhon! Very proud right now :)

    I'm not sure if those chemicals are in drinks over here in the UK, but I'm going to have to check - my brother drinks a lot of fizzy pop :-/

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  139. I hope he gets better soon. Jon is one of my favorite guys on the internet and he's not even here as often as you.
    I know getting away from that kind of things is hard, but I'm sure he'll manage.

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  140. GOOD FOR YOU, JOHN! We're cutting waaaaay back on our soda intake. I can't drink diet stuff because it tends to be a migraine trigger for me. I have my coffee in the morning for the caffeine, and then that's it for me. Pop's a treat now, and we're mostly drinking water. I'm so happy for you that you're doing this - and I'm sure that you will feel SO MUCH BETTER once you've flushed all that ick out of your system! *high fives*

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  141. Wow, John(thoJ)-sorry Cake Wrecks habit-that is stupendous! Way to go!

    When I gave up regular soda (EACH TIME-apparently, I am one of those that cannot have JUST ONE), I had two or three days of terrible headaches and feeling exhausted. It might help to drink some black tea or coffee so you are not de-toxing everything at the same time.

    Fruit in the water is an excellent alternative for me. I also love cranberry juice, but it's hard to find straight cranberry without all the other added juices (and sugar).

    My BIL drinks sparkling water, but isn't carbonation bad for you, too? NOTE: I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, so that may be incorrect. Also, that was a question, not a statement. : - ]

    Andrea

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  142. Good for John!! Keep up the good work and there are lots of people rooting for ya!

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  143. Good on you John! I quit drinking pop about two weeks ago. I really didn't drink a lot of pop anyway, but now I drink none. 27

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  144. Proud of you, John! I gave up diet soda a few years ago bc of headaches due to aspartame. I used to get a headache daily and only sleep about 4 hours a night. My life changed after a few weeks without soda. Keep up the good work!

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  145. I used to drink 6 to 8 cans of regular Mt Dew a day as a teenager. The doctor thinks that all that caffiene is part of the reason I had gallstones at only 18. They made me quit the Dew cold turkey and it was horrible.

    Way to go John for quitting! I know it was tough.

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  146. I just saw this idea for making your own water....I know it sounds silly but the idea is to make plain ol' water more appealing to someone who wants just a bit of flavour. http://www.theyummylife.com/Flavored_Water

    The jars look beautiful and I suppose taste great.....I haven't had the chance to try it yet. Just thought I would pass it along. Good job on giving up the soda! Keep it up :)

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  147. Congrats, John!

    I gave up Dr. Pepper and limit myself to 1 cup of coffee a day. I know it's hard...

    Kudos to you. :)

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  148. WTG John!! :) Aspartame is the devil!! Glad he's cleansing himself from the neuro toxins. If he MUST have a soda, ZEVIA is awesome.

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  149. Three cheers for John! That is awesome.

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  150. Way to go, John!

    Have you guys ever tried La Croix sparkling water? My husband and I chain-drink it. It comes in flavors (my favorites are lime and orange), doesn't have any calories or sweeteners, is super refreshing and works well when you want something carbonated.

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  151. Good for John! I went through two weeks of the worst headaches imaginable (plus one reoccurrence when I took Excederin for a different issue) when I cut out my soda and caffeine dependence (two energy drinks, multiple sodas, and one or two caffeine tablets every day). Making the decision to give it up is a difficult enough, but it's even worse when your body and brain fight the attempt. You have every reason to be proud of him for making it through the process.

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  152. Wouldn't hurt for him to start taking Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg) - it's good for your brain, and nervous system. Good job on giving up the Dew. Until recently Mountain Dew in Canada was caffeine free - that's no longer the case. :(

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  153. Very brave man to go cold turkey. the headache alone would have me running for more.
    I have that problem of not having the right word. It's so bad that I knew that I had lost a job opportunity because during an interview I resorted to charades to get my point across. "You know, the box about so big, that does this ..." people were throwing out words and finally someone said what I was trying to think of. "ding, ding we have a winner."
    I was surprised when they offered mne a job. They said it was the funnest interview they did.

    I gave up soda a few years ago when they said diet soda triggers you taste buds to do something, I forget, and the chemical in all soda does something to tooth ename

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  154. Congrats John,

    Over a year ago I quit my mountain dew habit. I'm a school teacher and my first year of teaching had me living off of chipotle and mountain (about 1-3 liters a day). I tried quitting for about 3 years off and on (with no success) But April of 2011 I was able to stop drinking it. I definitely had the migraines and I know if I even have a sip of it I'll be back on it. But its been over a year and I haven't touched a drop. Prayers for your endurance. Soda truly can be an addiction.

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  155. Way to go John!! Keep up the hard work!

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  156. I'm not *100%* sure, but I think quitting the Dew is harder than quitting smoking. Awesome accomplishment... hoping the headaches peter out soon for John.

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  157. Congratulations John! That is a huge leap.

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  158. I think of drinking that much of a chemical cocktail a day is like bathing your body in a pickle solution. Well not really but that is an insane amount of chemicals. I stopped drinking any type of artificial sweetener in 1990. Yes, that long ago. It made my blood sugar do weird things and I never felt good after even one soda. I am so glad your husband has realized this is causing him problems. This is the second s tory I have heard of almost a aspartame poisoning. I say stick to water- easy for me to say because I love the away water tastes and drink it al day long. I have a cup of coffee or two at most. Sugar is safer- although in the amount of soda he was drinking he would have gained a lot of weight- also bad. Don't fool yourself though = I would avoid Stevia in large amounts as well. Stick to a glass or two of a naturally sweetened product- sweetened with juices, or cane or beet sugar. Drink only water in large amounts. Make fruit water with cut up fruits-make a big batch in am and drink it all day long. Yummy.

    Congratulations to you both. This is a big deal.

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  159. Go John!

    But I have one word for you if you still want fizzy tasty goodness without all the crap: SodaStream. This thing is a god-send. For me, I quit caffeine when I got pregnant and have only recently started allowing myself coffee as a treat, but I couldn't give up the fizz. I LOVE a good seltzer water. We bought this SodaStream thing and they have all different flavors, including a whole line of 100% natural syrups. Plus, you can just make the fizzy water and add your own fruit juice to it. It's SO awesome and really quite inexpensive if you get the store-shelf model. Seriously. Best thing ever for soda-holics.

    Definitely stay away from that unnatural stuff though. Good for you for that!

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  160. You or he might want to look into iodine therapy if you think his problems might be more bromine (brominated oil) related than aspartame... high-dose iodine may help to detox bromides more quickly.

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  161. I really should get back off the diet cola. When we took our cruise back in October, we got completely off the stuff (because I was probably paying $6 per day on the land to buy pop, but dagnabbit, I wasn't about to pay that much to drink it on a cruise).

    We have the SodaStream, which fizzes up plain water beautifully. You can throw in some plain old lemon or lime juice and have a fantastic fizzy beverage. I'll just have to stop using their Splenda-rific syrup mixes.

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  162. Way to go, John! I remember giving up soda cold turkey several years ago and oh man the headaches! But they did go away, and after not too long a time, if I remember right. Keep calm and water on :) You've got lots of cheerleaders here on the web!

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  163. John, John
    He's our man
    If he can't 'DEW it
    No one can!!

    :D Sorry, I could not resist. But seriously, way to go John!

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  164. Soda is bad because of the BVO, diet sodas are worse because of the artificial sweetener but Mtn Dew is one of the worst, with the neon food coloring. One can also easily get addicted to caffeine at the rate you were drinking it. If you get sick of water, Propel sells little packets that you pour into water to flavor it. It also adds vitamins and minerals. My kids love them so they must be good! Skip Crystal Lite etc - they have artificial sweeteners

    CONGRATULATIONS on making a decision that will add years to your life!!.

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  165. Jazz hands, jazz hands, goooooo, John! That is not easy, so big kudos to him. I'm really glad you posted this. Soda is crap for you and is better looked at as an occasional treat for those who love it. (I love chocolate chip cookies, but if I ate a dozen or more every day, I'd have some unhealthy side affects.) Soda addicts will stab you in the eye if you say anything about how awful it is, so I'm glad you shared John's experience --maybe eye opening for some.
    I recently heard that the caramel coloring in colas cause cancer in lab rats. nice...

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  166. I don't know if you'll read this is or not but I definately want to say how proud I am of John stopping his soda intake. It is very difficult to quit any addiction, caffeine, especially.
    I do want to impart some knowledge I have by way of knowing someone else who had the same symptoms with the memory. She recently had a fist sized tumor removed from her brain. If at any point Jon starts having those troubles return he needs to have his doctor order an MRI of the brain. Unfortunately, meningioma, a tumor of the brain, can also be a cause. If you have insurance that will cover it, go for it. Sherryl Crow interestingly enough was diagnosed only recently with this same problem. Not trying to freak anyone out or cause undue panic.
    Enough preaching now and I hope for and wish nothing but the best for you & Jon.

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  167. Hang in there John! I have yet to eschew my soda drinking habits completely, but I'm at least drinking far less than I used to and trying to pick caffeine free options. I don't think I've made it two weeks yet without a fizzy fix... A supportive spouse sure does wonders though, that I can vouch for.

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  168. In case no one has mentioned it, Isi makes a do-dad called a Twist and Sparkle that carbonates a liter of anything non-dairy. Soda Streams are nice, but they only carbonate water. I can carbonate juice, tea, alchohol, it's super fun. My kids' favorite recipe is 1part cranberry juice, 3 parts water, lemon juice to taste and stevia to taste. Soda that is actually nutritious!! It can be stored in a drawer too.

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  169. Wow, thanks for posting this. I've had some problems with memory loss and aphasia over the last couple of years that have gradually been getting worse and worse. It's been troubling me, my 17 year old daughter and it's been more than annoying. I'm a nurse, and just yesterday I completely forgot what a very potent IV blood pressure medicine was for. I thought I was having problems and was considering going to a doctor. I'm going to try eliminating aspartame in general and Mt. Dew in particular first. Way to go John, and again, thank you guys so much for this post!

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  170. You definitely should be so proud! I used to drink probably a couple bottles worth of Mt. Dew at a sitting (never diet, because I hate artificial sweeteners). When my college cafeteria switched from Mt. Dew to something else, I would buy a bottle at the snack bar to take with me to dinner. I was livid when they switched.

    But then a few years later, I ended up quitting almost entirely by accident (long story short, I ended up very busy for about a month after I got married and I ran out of soda and didn't have a chance to go to the grocery store, and the withdrawal got tied up in the stress). When I realized I'd been without caffeine for two weeks, I decided to never go back. It still is one of the best decisions I've ever made, and good for both of you! I find that I much prefer drinking juice anyway.

    I've never thought about how it may or may not have affected my memory because I'm also an insomniac so the lack of sleep causes a lot of the same problems, most of which haven't gone away. But I did notice that I no longer wake up every hour like I used to (seriously, it was like clockwork) and now once I can manage to fall asleep, I'll usually stay asleep.

    All in all, it's just a much healthier decision and it's a hard one to make! Sometimes I'm still tempted, six years later! And people will always think you're crazy, but it's SO worth it.

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  171. Wow- it does take a lot to give it up. My husband was addicted to diet coke for a long time- thankfully we only get it in the house when he has throat infection (cause it kills the throat germs! or so he says).

    We do drink a lot of sparkling water as a result- San Pellegrino for preference, but whatever the bargain of the week is.
    I have found that drinking through a straw makes it easier to consume more water.
    On a side note- espresso coffe has less caffiene per millilitre of water than drip or plunger coffee- the longer the water stays in contact with the bean, the more caffiene leaks in.

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  172. Go John! Getting rid of the chemicals is good, but getting the caffeine out of your life will be a big help too. You will be so glad you did this.

    A few years back, I gave up a lifelong caffeine habit, only my poison was coffee. I started drinking it when I was in high school, and by the time I was 35 my daily habit went something like this: a pot of coffee before leaving the house in the morning, a triple latte on the way into work, a double latte at mid-morning, then another double in the middle of the afternoon.

    I'd been drinking almost that much coffee for most of my life. I'd been struggling with insomnia for years, and I guessed that there was a correlation. I'd also been fighting depression and anxiety for decades, but however obvious it may seem, it never dawned on me that there was a relationship there as well. I was drinking so much coffee every day that I was starting to experience the symptoms of caffeine toxicity - mania, hysteria.

    When I finally quit, it was because I was taking a long plane trip and didn't want to be nervous on the flight, so I went cold turkey for a day. Almost immediately, I felt my everyday anxiety start to ease. It didn't take long after that for my depression to lift, and that was the biggest thing - I'm not saying that quitting caffeine immediately ended my struggles with depression, but it lifted the sense of hopelessness and I finally felt like I could do something about it. That hopelessness has never returned. It was so worth a few weeks of migraines.

    Sorry for being so wordy - I tell this story to anyone who will listen. :) My story's pretty extreme, I know, I just can't say enough good things about cutting out caffeine.

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  173. I am proud of him, and I know how hard it is to go cold turkey. I was having some memory issues like you described, but attributed it to some stress (according to a speech/language pathologist at my school) and big amounts of Benedryl for some skin issues related to chlorine in the water pipes. However, this summer I decided to go cold turkey and get off the soda pop. I was having a couple Cokes a week. This makes week 5 with no Coke. I wasn't drinking diet because of the Aspertame issues, but I did decide to get off the Coke for my general health since there is so much sugar. Still have skin issues and taking Benedryl daily, so can't give any insight on how well memory issues reverse. Keep it up, John!

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  174. Congratulations, John! Been there and done that. You deserve a medal (maybe a nice steampunky one for a con costume?).

    I called it my "mental stutter" when I couldn't get the right word. Not fun when it gets frequent.

    Nothing scientific to support it but stay off caffeine for a while in addition to the aspartame; they can have similar effects on some people and the only way to tell is to quit both for awhile & add one back in small quantities. Caffeine is my issue rather than aspartame and it caused me severe mood swings, periodic mental confusion and my pulse would pound in my ears like a bass soundtrack. It eased off within a few weeks (under a month).

    -Barbara Anne

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  175. Way to go, John!!

    I quit soda a few years ago, and I've never regretted the decision. Ever since I've quit, I feel like I have more energy and less mood swings. (Even more so when I cut out the simple carbs!) I've been a much happier person for it, and I hope you start feeling that way too. =) Again, awesome job!

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  176. Props to John! My mom was a serious diet coke addict for years (she would carry a 2-liter bottle around and drink from it the way most people carry a 20 oz) and when she kicked the habit her long-standing muscle aches and mental fuzziness greatly improved. We are proud of you! I would totally send you a medal if I had one.

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  177. John,
    You're awesome. I had to give up coffee about six years ago; it's so tough to suddenly go without, but it feels so much better. Even a mouthful today will give me a stomachache for hours. I miss it sometimes, but it entirely worth it. Keep going. (It gets easier.)

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  178. Fantastic! Bravo on making a decision to improve your health, even if it does suck trying to get there.
    My husband stopped drinking the Dew after he experienced palpitations at work one evening. While working on the ambulance. As a paramedic. Yup. He actually put himself on the cardiac monitor and watched his heart rate wig out.
    To your future health, for both of you, all the best!

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  179. Oops, not six years, just four... but, um, typo? Even with just four, that's almost a quarter of my life.

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  180. I know what he went through, I had a soda problem myself; I was drinking 12-14 cases (yes, the 24-12oz can, cases) per day. I had to drink the diet stuff because I was dianosed with type 1 diabeties some 20+ years ago. Initally, my intent was to pull back and gradually reduce my intake, but in all honesty it was less of a hassle to go cold turkey. It's not a eaay thing to do, I woke up in cold sweats for over 6 months, just craving a pepsi (that was my soda of choice, but I would drink whatever was availible)

    It has been almost 12 years since I drank my last soda, and I'm still sort of afraid that if I were to pick one up and drink it, I would go back to my old habit.

    Best wishes!

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  181. Congrats to John! A couple of years ago (2009, I think?) I realized that I had a headache nearly constantly. I knew I could do one of two things, I could go to the doctor and have them run expensive tests and then say they didn't know what was wrong with me, or I could give up my diet Pepsi (and most other caffeine) and see if it went away. After the headache getting briefly worse for about 24 hours it went away entirely. And I haven't touched caffeine since. My dad can't have it either. I do still occasionally have a soda though...not very often, and the article that Ann posted makes me even less likely.

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  182. Way to go, John! I definitely know how you feel having to go without it - I've just recently started a new diet which means I cannot have all of the junk food I normally love. It's tough, but it will be worth it in the end for your health. Good job!!

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  183. WOOHOOO any thing to be healthier is great. Congrats and good job!

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  184. Thank you for posting! My husband is two weeks into giving up diet dr. Pepper and he's really having a hard time. I can't find any info on dealing with withdrawal! Everyone seems to get over it within a few days, but hes got years of build up I think. Thank you for posting about this topic!

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  185. A friend of mine is pretty much addicted to Irn Bru, the Scottish equivalent of Mountain Dew. He was getting through about as much as John, if not more, and one day decided to go cold turkey as well. He started to get genuine withdrawal symptoms. He was shaking, sleepless, headachy and generally foul to be around because he was in such an awful mood. After a week he drank two litres of Irn Bru and immediately felt better.

    You should be proud of John. This stuff is addictive, and he conquered that addiction. Woo!

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  186. I think Shawnette mentioned it above, but I love my Soda Stream. And you can use it to carbonate more than just water! Personally, I mostly make carbonated water with it because that's what I like - but if I'm feeling fancy I add concentrated fruit syrups (all natural of course, can stand me no aspartame). I buy them from the Polish section of our grocery store and right now I'm rocking raspberry (and if you add a little white vinegar to it, it makes it go *pop*)!

    I cannot also recommend enough the Camelbak insulated water bottle. I got one at Christmas and I use it every day - it has definitely upped my water intake when I'm out and about.

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  187. Wow John! It's great to be giving up the soda! My parents wouldn't let me drink Mountain Dew, as it apparently was all things evil combined. Right mom... I get migraines if I don't have my daily Diet Coke with ice, so I won't be giving it up anytime soon!

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  188. Kicking an addiction/bad habit is so awesome :)

    When I was pregnant the first time and had my prenatal life-style check with my midwife she asked me about my soda habits - not because I should avoid sugar, but because I should avoid light products. I was told I should rather have a glass of ordinary sugared soda, than light, because small amounts of sugar in a balanced diet are not harmful, but aspartam/other artificial sweeteners potentially are, even in small amounts. I don't like light products, so it luckily wasn't an issue. But I was really surprised, because we're constantly told how bad sugar is

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  189. Another cool side effect *haha* of the Bromine is that it ties up your body's ability to absorb iodine and iodide from your food. I just read an article about it because my FIL has age- and diet-related thyroid issues. Bromine, fluorine, and chlorine in the stuff around us (new car smell, toothpaste, and city water, in that order) build up in our systems and lock onto the places in our cells that iodine would normally latch onto. Good for you, John. You made an awesome decision for yourself.

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  190. Two thumbs up for John! You will feel so much better without all that chemicals!

    I am a Flybaby (go to www.flylady.net to find out more if you are interested) and they sell the most amazing stainless steal water bottle. It keeps the water cold for ages (even if you live in hot areas) and refilling is so easy. I never had the habit of drinking sodas since I was brought up mainly on sparkling water and homemade fruit juices but since I have the Flylady bottles I basically drink only plain water. I sometimes add a piece of fruit (raspberries for example, sooo good!) or a sprig of mint to the water to give it some flavour.
    Actually you don't need a fancy water bottle for that. You can fill up a pitcher, add some fruits and put that in the fridge. Refill with water whenever you take out a glass of it. At the end of the day through out the fruits (or eat them). You can even make fancy mixes like strawberries and basil.

    Drinking water will also help you to detox. If you'd like to do a little more than that there are herbal teas that help you. Maybe ask a competent person at a pharmacy or such. There are also spices that you can use in your cooking that support the detox process. I am sure a little research will bring up a lot of ideas. But in any case water is essential.

    Way to go, John!
    Smiles from Austria,
    Jutta

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  191. John, you are inspirational. You've provided the nudge I needed; I am cutting back on my substance of choice as of today. (I'm not a crack addict or anything. It's just coffee!) If you'll pardon my language, addiction is a b*tch. It has been my experience that as soon as you kick one habit another one is right there waiting to fill it's place. So, my tidbit of unsolicited advice is to look out for that.
    I'm so glad you are going to get to keep all of you words! Can I send a hug of support?
    ((((hug for John))))

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  192. I have a Sodastream, and I love it. Not just for sodas, but I like having the fizz sometimes. I don't have a problem with aspartame; in fact, Splenda gives me heartburn, so I prefer aspartame if I have to have a fake sweetener. They have a Diet Fountain Mist syrup (Splenda) that as far as I can tell, doesn't have BVO, but it does have the glycerol ester of wood rosin. Not sure if that causes any problems or not.

    If he wanted a citrusy fizzy beverage: soda water and juice. I also like SweetLeaf's flavored stevia drops. I like to add a squirt of lime juice and a few drops of Lemon Drop stevia to heavily-carbonated water.

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  193. Good for John for giving it up. My hubby drinks way too much regular Pepsi and I wish he could stop, but it's seriously an addiction. I also had to comment that I found it just slightly funny that at the bottom of your blog post in my Google Reader was an ad for Free Soda coupons.

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  194. Whoo-hoo! Congrats John. Not an easy feat. I'm trying to get my SO to quit soda and this is some good leverage.

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  195. YAY so proud of John, I remeber when my Hubbin gave up smoking and the hell it was at first, and now 5 years later he is healthier then ever. Never easy always worth it, good job to both of you for kicken the Dew habit and supporting each other

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  196. I am extremely proud of John! I guy I used to work with drank so much Mountain Dew that he went to the ER thinking he was having a heart attack. Luckily they figured out it was the Mountain Dew. They told him that he COULD NOT stop drinking cold turkey and gave him a step down program to follow. That's some bad stuff right there.

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  197. Way to go, John! Those withdrawl symptoms sound like sheer hell, so good for you for enduring them.

    Once you get used to drinking water, you might actually develop a taste for it. I started drinking lots of water in high school because I read it helps with acne--it didn't for me, but I got used to drinking it instead of pop, and now I really enjoy the taste (or non-taste, if you will) of plain, cold water.

    Good luck!

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  198. First off - Congratulations to John.

    It is so hard to kick the caffeine habit. I used to drink 5-7 extra large double double Tim Horton coffees every day (Canuck here).

    I had to cut out something - I was over weight, irritable, and had memory issues. My husband and I decided to do a cleanse - six weeks of no caffeine, sugar, starches etc. It was the best thing we have ever done. Now - there is no sugar in the house - only stevia or natural sweeteners, gluten free pasta, no soda. It gets better, trust me. Stick with it.

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