Monday, August 22, 2016

Why I Quit Diet Pop

Over a year ago I quit drinking diet pop. For most people living with diabetes diet pop is a dietary staple. It's one thing we can enjoy without having to carb count, and bolus for. It's a treat without consequence, but is it really? I don't know. 

Before I had diabetes I drank a fair share of diet pop (specifically Diet Coke) I loved it and as years went by and (I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes along the way) my love for it grew stronger when I realized literally every other drink besides water would spike my blood sugar. All my friends and family knew that Diet Coke was my vice. People would tag me in memes, buy me Diet Coke and even would purchase me novelty Diet Coke things like Christmas ornaments. It somehow became my identity like a cat to cat lady - I was hooked. 

 But over a year ago I noticed something. I noticed that when I drank Diet Coke things started happening to my body that were not normal.  Hives covering my entire body, swollen lips, joints and eyes and pain to those joints as well. It was awful and I went on for years with these symptoms on and off with little to no idea what was causing it. 

I haven't had any formal testing done BUT I can tell you that once I stopped drinking Diet Coke (cold turkey) it stopped almost immediately. Trust me, I had hives everywhere and they were far from minor - they made me hate my body to the point I didn't want to go out and feared eating the wrong "mystery" thing to make them worse.  There were times I could not go out because of a giant swollen lip - although my friends encouraged me that it just looked like extreme collagen injections. Not cute. 

I had to say goodbye to the beloved silver can and break up with something I was almost depending on. Bad day, Diet Coke. Hot day, Diet Coke. Celebration day, Diet Coke.  Now a year later I'm proud of myself that I have not touched diet pop, I'm even more excited that I haven't had any joint pain, swelling or hives.  As a person living with type 1 diabetes and being "allergic" to diet pop I'm sure my fellow diabetics can sympathize.  

Regardless it leaves me with questions about what we consume and the overall consequences of those health choices we make. I'm not shaming anyone who enjoys Diet Coke, because if it wasn't for the relief of my symptoms, I'd likely be drinking a can right now. 


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