When scientific tests were first run on aspartame (which is now known by the brand names: NutraSweet, Equal, etc.), it caused holes in the brains of rats.  It would seem logical that such a substance would not be something a human should take internally.

However, knowing that tobacco is legal, it should not be surprising that the profits of large corporations are far more important to society than the health of individual human beings.  The politics behind the approval of aspartame is beyond the scope of this article, suffice it to say that massive corruption in government was needed to get this poison approved by the FDA.

Virtually everything a person drinks that is “diet” contains aspartame.  Many diet foods also contain aspartame.  Things that are “sugar free” may also contain aspartame.

Even skinny people frequently take aspartame in order to stay skinny.  In fact, it is hard to find a person who does not routinely take aspartame.

You have probably heard that there is no scientific evidence that aspartame is bad for you.  Let me introduce you to the corruption among “science.”

Dr. Ralph G. Walton, M.D., did a study of 166 published studies on the safety of aspartame. The funding of these studies were from the following sources:

1) The pharmaceutical industry funded 74 of the studies
2) The FDA funded 7 studies
3) There were 85 studies that were not funded by the pharmaceutical industry or the FDA

Which of the three groups of studies do you think didn't find anything wrong with aspartame?

Of the 74 pharmaceutical funded studies, not a single one of them found any health problems caused by aspartame.  However, of the 85 studies that were not funded by the pharmaceutical industry (i.e. Big Pharma) or the FDA, 84 of the 85 found health problems caused by aspartame. Do you see a pattern here?

Where do you think the 7 FDA studies landed?  6 of the 7 found no health problems caused by aspartame.

This kind of "science" sounds strangely like what happened with the tobacco industry.  During a 42-year period, an organization controlled by the tobacco industry funded 1,500 studies.  Not a single one of these studies could find a major health problem caused by tobacco.  It seems that scientists are far more loyal to their funding source than they are to the truth.

When I tell someone that aspartame causes brain cancer, birth defects, etc. (actually over 90 different documented health problems), people just look at me and laugh. They will say there is "no scientific evidence" that aspartame causes any health problems.  They will say that a person has to drink 800 Diet Cokes to have any bad effects.  Unfortunately, it is all a lie that was started by well-paid scientists.

Getting back to real science, aspartame is one of many substances that is called an “excitotoxin.”  Excitotoxins, when they get into the brain, cause brain cells to get so “excited” that they literally die or their DNA is damaged.  In other words, every time a person drinks a diet Coke some of their brain cells die.

But for the purposes of this article, the side-effects of aspartame can also lead to migraine headaches, depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental problems.

Aspartame’s long-term effects can be even more significant.  Aspartame is known to cause brain cancer, leading to a rash of brain cancer among younger and younger people.  It can cause dementia and the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  It can cause the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, and so on and so on.

Someone who is experiencing depression, anxiety, migraines, bipolar behavior, etc. should first and foremost get aspartame completely out of their system.

Unfortunately, even if aspartame is a major part of the problem, stopping the ingestion of aspartame will not solve the problem immediately. Aspartame is stored by the body and will continue to cause symptoms long after the victim quits taking it.

It gets worse.  Aspartame and Neotame can cause brain damage to an unborn fetus.  This brain damage can be manifest as mental retardation, Cerebral Palsy, autism, ADD, ADHD, brain tumors, and a myriad of other brain related disorders!

There are other things that are also excitotoxins that can cause the same mental problems as aspartame.  Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is especially bad if it is taken with aspartame.  Other things include hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) and cysteine,

Step one in isolating why a person frequently gets depressed or suffers from anxiety is to remove all artificial sweeteners out of their body, plus MSG, HVP and cysteine.

Food Allergies

Many people suffer mental illnesses due to food allergies.  The interesting thing about food allergies is that a person craves the foods they are allergic to!!  Let me say that again: a person craves the foods they are allergic to!!

I spoke to a doctor once who described a patient who happened to be allergic to bananas.  He described that the person was perfectly normal, with perfectly normal behavior, but when the person was given a banana he (or she, I don’t remember) immediately went into a psychotic rage.

Most food allergies are not that dramatic, however.  Foods that people are allergic to include dairy products (e.g. milk and cheese), which are probably the number one cause, plus wheat, food colorings, food additives, and just about any other food.

During World War II, the people of Holland suffered great hardships and extreme mental stress.  However, mental illness in Holland decreased during World War II!!  Why?  Because the people basically lived on potatoes and could not get the foods they may have been allergic to.

There are two basic ways a person can isolate food allergies.  First, go to a medical doctor who specializes in isolating food allergies.

Another way is to simply stop taking all foods that a person normally takes, especially the ones they crave and eat frequently, and instead eat foods they would rarely eat and avoid the foods that are related to the foods they normally eat!!

This should go on this diet for at least 3 weeks.  If this gives some relief to the person there is a pretty good chance food allergies are a contributing factor, if not a major cause.  After three weeks foods can be reintroduced into the diet, one food per day, to isolate what might be causing the problem.

Many cases of autism, ADHD, ADD, and many other mental disorders, can also be traced to food allergies, sometimes called brain allergies. And by far the number one cause of these types of allergies is dairy products.

My guess is that food allergies cause an inflammation in the brain that is what actually causes the problem.  Migraines can also be caused by food allergies.

A worthwhile book to read on this subject is:
Brain Allergies: The Psychonutrient and Magnetic Connections, by Willam H. Philpott

Heavy Metals (plus aluminum)

The body is a very interesting entity.  At times it attacks itself.  In an “auto-immune” disease the body mistakes something for an attacking invader and destroys itself in an attempt to kill what it mistakes as an invader.

For example, Type I diabetes is a disease known as an “auto-immune” disease.  The body mistakes something for a foreign invader and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas.  That “something” may be dairy products, heavy metals (especially mercury from vaccinations) or other foreign items.  (Note: there have been recent scientific studies - which were controlled by the pharmaceutical industry - that claim there is no connection between autism and vaccinations, but these studies are a giant lie.

There are many other auto-immune diseases, such as arthritis, MS, and others.

The question is this: "Can mental illnesses ever be caused by an “auto-immune” reaction?"

Well, let’s be logical.  It has been known since World War II that heavy metals (e.g. the mercury in dental amalgam or the combination of aluminum pots and fluoride) were the major cause of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  In this case, however, it may not be an auto-immune disease as much as the heavy metals simply blocking the functions of the brain.

However, heavy metals are also known to be causes of auto-immune diseases, such as Type I diabetes.

If someone is having mental problems it may be wise (actually it would be wise for anyone to do this) to throw away all aluminum cookware. Aluminum, combined with the fluoride in tap water, creates massive problems, similar to those caused by "heavy metals," even though aluminum is technically not a heavy metal.

In some cases it would be wise to have the dental amalgam removed.  However, prior to having this done the mercury level in the blood should be checked to see if this might be a problem.   Reduction in the amount of fish that is eaten would also help.  If the amalgam is removed, flood you stomach with chlorella prior to going to the dentist.

Another thing is to avoid vaccinations, except for life-threatening situations.  Flu shots should be avoided unless the person's life would be jeopardized by catching the flu.

The way to get rid of heavy metals is with "chelation."  There are two kinds of chelation: "EDTA chelation," which is an I.V. that must be administered by a medical doctor, and "oral chelation," which is a combination of nutrients.  There are numerous nutrients that will "chelate" heavy metals.  A discussion of these is beyond the scope of this article.  However, I will say that chlorella may be the best chelating food.

Trans-Fatty Acids

Trans-fatty acids are a little more complicated.  Trans-fatty acids are rigid molecules that attach to cell walls, in place of the pliable cholesterol.  If enough trans-fatty acids attach to a cell wall, significant damage can be done because large molecules, such as the insulin molecule and oxygen clusters, cannot get into the cell.  If enough cells become like this the person will likely develop Type II diabetes.  It is highly likely that trans-fatty acids, found in margarine, fried foods, peanut butter, etc. are the leading cause of Type II diabetes.

So what does this have to do with depression?  Trans-fatty acids interfere with the absorption by the body of EFAs As will be seen below, omega-3 EFAs are a major help to those with depression or anxiety.  In other words, the effect of trans-fatty acids on depression or anxiety is an indirect effect that blocks one of the necessary nutrients needed for good mental health.

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterized most commonly by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to a serious disease, such as cancer. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and prescribed medications. For some people, however, IBS can be disabling. They may be unable to work, attend social events, or even travel short distances.
As many as 20 percent of the adult population, or one in five Americans, have symptoms of IBS, making it one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. It occurs more often in women than in men, and it begins before the age of 35 in about 50 percent of people.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort are the main symptoms of IBS. However, symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have constipation, which means hard, difficult-to-pass, or infrequent bowel movements. Often these people report straining and cramping when trying to have a bowel movement but cannot eliminate any stool, or they are able to eliminate only a small amount. If they are able to have a bowel movement, there may be mucus in it, which is a fluid that moistens and protect passages in the digestive system. Some people with IBS experience diarrhea, which is frequent, loose, watery, stools. People with diarrhea frequently feel an urgent and uncontrollable need to have a bowel movement. Other people with IBS alternate between constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes people find that their symptoms subside for a few months and then return, while others report a constant worsening of symptoms over time.

What causes IBS?

Researchers have yet to discover any specific cause for IBS. One theory is that people who suffer from IBS have a colon, or large intestine, that is particularly sensitive and reactive to certain foods and stress. The immune system, which fights infection, may also be involved

·         Normal motility, or movement, may not be present in the colon of a person who has IBS. It can be spasmodic or can even stop working temporarily. Spasms are sudden strong muscle contractions that come and go.
·         The lining of the colon called the epithelium, which is affected by the immune and nervous systems, regulates the flow of fluids in and out of the colon. In IBS, the epithelium appears to work properly. However, when the contents inside the colon move too quickly, the colon loses its ability to absorb fluids. The result is too much fluid in the stool. In other people, the movement inside the colon is too slow, which causes extra fluid to be absorbed. As a result, a person develops constipation.
·         A person’s colon may respond strongly to stimuli such as certain foods or stress that would not bother most people.
·         Recent research has reported that serotonin is linked with normal gastrointestinal (GI) functioning. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical, that delivers messages from one part of your body to another. Ninety-five percent of the serotonin in your body is located in the GI tract, and the other 5 percent is found in the brain. Cells that line the inside of the bowel work as transporters and carry the serotonin out of the GI tract. People with IBS, however, have diminished receptor activity, causing abnormal levels of serotonin to exist in the GI tract. As a result, they experience problems with bowel movement, motility, and sensation—having more sensitive pain receptors in their GI tract.
·         Researchers have reported that IBS may be caused by a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies show that people who have had gastroenteritis sometimes develop IBS, otherwise called post-infectious IBS.
·         Researchers have also found very mild celiac disease in some people with symptoms similar to IBS. People with celiac disease cannot digest gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, and barley. People with celiac disease cannot eat these foods without becoming very sick because their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. A blood test can determine whether celiac disease may be present. (For information about celiac disease, see the NIDDK’s Celiac Disease fact sheet.)

How is IBS diagnosed?

If you think you have IBS, seeing your doctor is the first step. IBS is generally diagnosed on the basis of a complete medical history that includes a careful description of symptoms and a physical examination.
There is no specific test for IBS, although diagnostic tests may be performed to rule out other problems. These tests may include stool sample testing, blood tests, and x rays. Typically, a doctor will perform a sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy, which allows the doctor to look inside the colon. This is done by inserting a small, flexible tube with a camera on the end of it through the anus. The camera then transfers the images of your colon onto a large screen for the doctor to see well.
If your test results are negative, the doctor may diagnose IBS based on your symptoms, including how often you have had abdominal pain or discomfort during the past year, when the pain starts and stops in relation to bowel function, and how your bowel frequency and stool consistency have changed. Many doctors refer to a list of specific symptoms that must be present to make a diagnosis of IBS.
Symptoms include
·         Abdominal pain or discomfort for at least 12 weeks out of the previous 12 months. These 12 weeks do not have to be consecutive.
·         The abdominal pain or discomfort has two of the following three features:
    • It is relieved by having a bowel movement.
    • When it starts, there is a change in how often you have a bowel movement.
    • When it starts, there is a change in the form of the stool or the way it looks.

·         Certain symptoms must also be present, such as
    • a change in frequency of bowel movements
    • a change in appearance of bowel movements
    • feelings of uncontrollable urgency to have a bowel movement
    • difficulty or inability to pass stool
    • mucus in the stool
    • bloating

·         Bleeding, fever, weight loss, and persistent severe pain are not symptoms of IBS and may indicate other problems such as inflammation, or rarely, cancer.
The following have been associated with a worsening of IBS symptoms
  • large meals
  • bloating from gas in the colon
  • medicines
  • wheat, rye, barley, chocolate, milk products, or alcohol
  • drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, or colas
  • stress, conflict, or emotional upsets
Researchers have found that women with IBS may have more symptoms during their menstrual periods, suggesting that reproductive hormones can worsen IBS problems.
In addition, people with IBS frequently suffer from depression and anxiety, which can worsen symptoms. Similarly, the symptoms associated with IBS can cause a person to feel depressed and anxious.

What is the treatment for IBS?

Unfortunately, many people suffer from IBS for a long time before seeking medical treatment. Up to 70 percent of people suffering from IBS are not receiving medical care for their symptoms. No cure has been found for IBS, but many options are available to treat the symptoms. Your doctor will give you the best treatments for your particular symptoms and encourage you to manage stress and make changes to your diet.
Medications are an important part of relieving symptoms. Your doctor may suggest fiber supplements or laxatives for constipation or medicines to decrease diarrhea, such as Lomotil or loperamide (Imodium). An antispasmodic is commonly prescribed, which helps to control colon muscle spasms and reduce abdominal pain. Antidepressants may relieve some symptoms. However, both antispasmodics and antidepressants can worsen constipation, so some doctors will also prescribe medications that relax muscles in the bladder and intestines, such as Donnapine and Librax. These medications contain a mild sedative, which can be habit forming, so they need to be used under the guidance of a physician.
A medication available specifically to treat IBS is alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex). Lotronex has been re-approved with significant restrictions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women with severe IBS who have not responded to conventional therapy and whose primary symptom is diarrhea. However, even in these patients, Lotronex should be used with great caution because it can have serious side effects such as severe constipation or decreased blood flow to the colon.
With any medication, even over-the-counter medications such as laxatives and fiber supplements, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Some people report a worsening in abdominal bloating and gas from increased fiber intake, and laxatives can be habit forming if they are used too frequently.
Medications affect people differently, and no one medication or combination of medications will work for everyone with IBS. You will need to work with your doctor to find the best combination of medicine, diet, counseling, and support to control your symptoms.

How does stress affect IBS?

Stress—feeling mentally or emotionally tense, troubled, angry, or overwhelmed—can stimulate colon spasms in people with IBS. The colon has many nerves that connect it to the brain. Like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to stress. These nerves control the normal contractions of the colon and cause abdominal discomfort at stressful times. People often experience cramps or “butterflies” when they are nervous or upset. In people with IBS, the colon can be overly responsive to even slight conflict or stress. Stress makes the mind more aware of the sensations that arise in the colon, making the person perceive these sensations as unpleasant.
Some evidence suggests that IBS is affected by the immune system, which fights infection in the body. The immune system is affected by stress. For all these reasons, stress management is an important part of treatment for IBS. Stress management options include
  • stress reduction (relaxation) training and relaxation therapies such as meditation
  • counseling and support
  • regular exercise such as walking or yoga
  • changes to the stressful situations in your life
  • adequate sleep

What does the colon do?

The colon, which is about 5 feet long, connects the small intestine to the rectum and anus. The major function of the colon is to absorb water, nutrients, and salts from the partially digested food that enters from the small intestine. Two pints of liquid matter enter the colon from the small intestine each day. Stool volume is a third of a pint. The difference between the amount of fluid entering the colon from the small intestine and the amount of stool in the colon is what the colon absorbs each day.
Colon motility—the contraction of the colon muscles and the movement of its contents—is controlled by nerves, hormones, and impulses in the colon muscles. These contractions move the contents inside the colon toward the rectum. During this passage, water and nutrients are absorbed into the body, and what is left over is stool. A few times each day contractions push the stool down the colon, resulting in a bowel movement. However, if the muscles of the colon, sphincters, and pelvis do not contract in the right way, the contents inside the colon do not move correctly, resulting in abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, a sense of incomplete stool movement, or diarrhea.

Can changes in diet help IBS?

For many people, careful eating reduces IBS symptoms. Before changing your diet, keep journals noting the foods that seem to cause distress. Then discuss your findings with your doctor. You may want to consult a registered dietitian who can help you make changes to your diet. For instance, if dairy products cause your symptoms to flare up, you can try eating less of those foods. You might be able to tolerate yogurt better than other dairy products because it contains bacteria that supply the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk products. Dairy products are an important source of calcium and other nutrients. If you need to avoid dairy products, be sure to get adequate nutrients in the foods you substitute, or take supplements.
In many cases, dietary fiber may lessen IBS symptoms, particularly constipation. However, it may not help with lowering pain or decreasing diarrhea. Whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables are good sources of fiber. High-fiber diets keep the colon mildly distended, which may help prevent spasms. Some forms of fiber keep water in the stool, thereby preventing hard stools that are difficult to pass. Doctors usually recommend a diet with enough fiber to produce soft, painless bowel movements. High-fiber diets may cause gas and bloating, although some people report that these symptoms go away within a few weeks. (For information about diets for people with celiac disease, please see the NIDDK’s Celiac Disease fact sheet.) Increasing fiber intake by 2 to 3 grams per day will help reduce the risk of increased gas and bloating.
Drinking six to eight glasses of plain water a day is important, especially if you have diarrhea. Drinking carbonated beverages, such as sodas, may result in gas and cause discomfort. Chewing gum and eating too quickly can lead to swallowing air, which also leads to gas.
Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea, so eating smaller meals more often, or eating smaller portions, may help IBS symptoms. Eating meals that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, whole-grain breads and cereals (unless you have celiac disease), fruits, and vegetables may help.

Is IBS linked to other health problems?

As its name indicates, IBS is a syndrome—a combination of signs and symptoms. IBS has not been shown to lead to a serious disease, including cancer. Through the years, IBS has been called by many names, among them colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, or spastic bowel. However, no link has been established between IBS and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Points to Remember

·         IBS is a disorder that interferes with the normal functions of the colon. The symptoms are crampy abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
·         IBS is a common disorder found more often in women than men.
·         People with IBS have colons that are more sensitive and reactive to things that might not bother other people, such as stress, large meals, gas, medicines, certain foods, caffeine, or alcohol.
·         IBS is diagnosed by its signs and symptoms and by the absence of other diseases.
·         Most people can control their symptoms by taking medicines such as laxatives, antidiarrhea medicines, antispasmodics, or antidepressants; reducing stress; and changing their diet.
·         IBS does not harm the intestines and does not lead to cancer. It is not related to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

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