Aspartame: “Dying from terminal arthritis”

by on 14/01/2013

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For eleven of the fifteen years that I used Equal (aspartame) in my coffee 21 of 21 clueless doctors only misdiagnosed and improperly medicated me for my ever-increasing number and types of evermore crippling and painful medical conditions.

Using, at maximum, the “allowable daily intake” (ADI) for a child (one third that of an adult) my problems began with arthritis-like pains and physical limitations. However, none of the expensive medications solved the “problem”. Those pains became so bad that by 1992 (when I discovered I had terminal prostate cancer) I spent $17,000 for an addition to the back of my home that would house a new $5,500 medical grade Jacuzzi. For the next three years soaking from 2-5 times a day, at up to 108 degree F, kept me “operational” and able to work. By late 1995 my case of tinnitus (ringing in the ears that causes balance problems) made it unsafe to continue using the Jacuzzi. Indeed… by that time the benefits of a 20 minute soak at 108 degrees F lasted only until I cooled down.

Early in 1996 I visited a rheumatologist for a “second opinion”. After reviewing my CAT, bone and MRI scans and the results of his own tests he commented that the other 20 doctors seemed to have been incompetent because my minimal type of arthritis could not possibly cause my types and levels of debilitating pains. So he promptly misdiagnosed me for Fibromyalgia. When those powerful (and expensive) medications didn’t work he misdiagnosed me for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome… but those meds didn’t work, either.

Finally, his last misdiagnosis was that perhaps I was imagining all of this so he gave me a script for Prozac.

This powerful drug turned me every which way but loose over a weekend of taking the pills. I researched Prozac on an internet drug database and discovered it was for depression and “head” problems. I was NOT imagining my problems… nor was I crazy! At that point I gave up on the US medical system and resorted to extensive searches on the fledgling internet for something, anything to tell me why I seem to be the first person on earth to be dying form “terminal” arthritis.

At that time my problems were:

  • what seemed to be terminal (crippling) arthritis and getting worse
  • numb-tingling hands and feet
  • combination carpal-tunnel/tennis-elbows that made my arms almost useless
  • fibromyalgia-like hot spots (all over)
  • chronic-fatigue like exhaustion
  • sleeplessness
  • memory loss
  • depression (and getting worse)
  • a few short blackouts (just long enough to fall down stairs)
  • vision problems (and getting worse)
  • bouts of what I called burning heels that made walking impossible
  • shooting-stabbing pains in my legs (I was later told this could have been misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis).
  • tinnitus


I was so desperate that I began a family website that had a plea for any information on any substance that could serve as a “silver bullet” to kill my crippling arthritis-like pains. No takers, of course.

About the time I wondered if Dr. Jack Kevorkian had a full “dance card” I chanced upon a holistic healing website that had a newly posted article “The 92 symptoms of aspartame poisoning”. I knew nothing about “aspartame” and I thought “FDA” stood for Federal DRUG Agency… not Food and Drug Administration”. However, being so desperate I was into reading everything. Part way into the article it mentioned “Equal” and “Nutrasweet”.

That June 1996 article saved my life.

The suggestion was that if one had problems their doctors could not seem to cure… and also used products containing aspartame, to simply read labels and eliminate all aspartame for up to 60 days and observe the results.

Within five weeks I went from an old man’s shuffle (with a cane) of around 50 foot at a time (and shrinking) to walking a new Super K-Mart end to end and all around three times… with no problems.

With each passing week problems such as the burning heels, shooting pains, numb-tingling hands and feet, “carpal tunnel” and other problems evaporated.

Today, at the age of 65, I am 95% pain free and fully mobile. Over the past six years my vision has continued to improve. My legacy for trusting the FDA and using Equal is:

  • maddening tinnitus
  • massive memory loss, and
  • I am now ten years into terminal prostate cancer.

I credit one or more of the many toxins (and carcinogens) in the breakdown of Equal in my coffee with being the prime suspects in my becoming the first among my long-lived ancestors to acquire any form of cancer. I credit a lifetime (60 years) of cow’s milk and dairy (all of it with a powerful growth hormone in it) with making that cancer grow so fast it had already spread at the young age of 55… when I was diagnosed with having prostate cancer.

IGF-1 is a powerful growth hormone that happens to be identical between cows and humans. During 1997 I learned about cow’s milk and dairy. It took me a year to wean myself from my favorite cheeses and ice creams. The bonus… my cancer now grows over three times more slowly!

There is a whole lot MORE wrong with cow’s milk and dairy… and this overview should be of help to everyone wondering why they are fat, and getting fatter, sick and getting worse. (for specifics with references read the book “Milk, A to Z”).

After my discovery I attempted to warn the medical system… and was either rebuffed as an ignorant layman or never received a response.

I tried to enlist the help of the media… and was ignored. I wrote a certified letter of complaint to the FDA (1996) and to date I have yet to receive a response. A month and a half later I sent a copy of that letter, with a cover letter, by certified mail to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)… and to date I have never received any reply from them either.

200 Million were taking Aspartame

The fact that over 200 million humans (over 100 million of them Americans) were ingesting this cumulative toxic poison bothered me greatly. One day while lamenting my own predicament… with the thought that “if only someone had mentioned these facts years ago I might not have suffered so… and might not be dying well ahead of my time from terminal cancer”… an inner voice suggested that I be that “someone” for somebody else.

Today, over six years later, I have donated over 14,000 hours and about as many retirement dollars to spreading the whole truth about aspartame, MSG, and cow’s milk and dairy. I do this because it is the right thing to do. Besides, at 59 and four years into terminal cancer (1996) NOBODY considered me to be employable.

Have I been helping to make a difference?

I think so. The original three anti-aspartame websites (1996) have ballooned to over 100,000 today ( and Monsanto’s “billion dollar seller” with continued good growth projections is now a dying cash cow that Monsanto dumped on an investment firm early during 2000. Yes… aspartame is still legal, but it is no longer Monsanto’s “flagship” cash cow. By contrast it took the anti-tobacco folks over 50 years to get the “official” truth in print (we are still waiting for media/medical system/government honesty to take root in the case of aspartame, MSG and dairy). Of note is that tobacco is still LEGAL, still making the owners billions of dollars, and still hooking around 3000 new youths per day to that deadly product. Aspartame is on the way out. MSG and dairy are not too far behind it.

With your help we can get a lot more people better… or perhaps even well … and for FREE! Pass around the truth… and maybe one day the media, medical system and our government will see fit to tell the whole truth. Folks would at least have the same option as current users of tobacco… to make an informed decision.

I believe so strongly in what I am doing… that I have created and maintain several FREE consumer-aid websites… either “out-of pocket” or for expenses only.

Dave Rietz, US Navy (retired)


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