Everything here is 100% true. Years ago, when diet Coke was first introduced, I was sampled a liter at my local store. The next day, after working in my yard on a very hot day I drank about half a glass on an empty stomach. Within 5 minutes I called for my husband to help me down the hall to my bedroom. I had lost the ability to walk alone. He helped me to bed and I told him, "I think I'm getting the worst flu of my life." The entire day, I stayed in bed, feeling MISERABLE and did not eat anything else. I drank filtered water all day.
The next day, I went outside to finish the work I'd not been able to complete. Per my usual, I went out very early before the heat. Again, I'd not eaten anything. And, again, I came in around 10AM, thirsty and picked up another glass of the diet Coke. Within ONE SIP, the room started to spin and I began to pass out. I spit it into the sink and washed my mouth out. I started drinking as much filtered water as I could tolerate without going into water toxicity. Immediately it came to me that this drink was the problem. I poured the remainder into the sink.
When I was at a party that night with several doctors and research folk (this was in San Diego - many worked at Scripps Clinic or UCSD medical center) I described my reaction to this drink and that I thought it was from this new sweetner, Aspertame.
I was laughed at. Told that a sweetner had been thoroughly researched and approved by the FDA.
Long story, but I FOUGHT to have this listed as an official allergy on my medical chart. Years later, after moving away from SD and returning for a visit I ran into one of my researcher friends. He said to me, "I've never forgotten the story you told about your first experience with aspertame years ago. Were you ever correct. You are known to us as the first person who exhibited such a toxic reaction to that substance and now it's well documented."