Restless Legs Syndrome
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Someone wrote recently about aspartame making RLS worse. I think they may be right.

I came out of hospital three years ago, very thin because of cancer.

Coke was the only thing I could drink, and as I needed to gain weight the sugar didn't matter.

I've now got up to 9st. and thought I'd try to stay that weight, so I changed to diet coke, and my RLS has gone crazy, just as it was before i was ill.

I had thought it was the pramipexole controlling my legs, and the change caused by augmentation, but it is such a coincidence I'm going back to sugary coke to see what happens.

16 Replies

First Patchwork, let me say im sorry, about your hospital trouble, and i hope your over it now.

I dont drink any sort of fizzy drinks so cant anything about them, but i do know that a lot of people say the same thing about aspartame, it aggravates their rls, hope your calms down when you change your drinks


Sorry, but I'm gonna go with pramipexole as the culprit... but I sincerely hope switching drinks works. Let us know how it goes. Good luck!


I just slept over four hours. Wonderful.

Probably coincidence.

I might even go to sleep again now.


Hey patchwork, I was commenting about the aspartame recently and I too have found a link between aspartame and restless leg syndrome. I think it's a significant trigger for me, but not the only one.

I wonder if we could so some research? I wonder how many users would be interested in trying 1 can of diet coke a day for a week, and keep a diary of the RSL symptoms for that week.. Not sure if its been done before on this site, but then we could go on to other potential triggers and share our findings here.


Hi lendvay77, I'd be happy to join in your research, drinking diet coke, but not this week.

This week I'm going to avoid aspartame completely.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if it worked? But it sounds too good to be true.

I'll let you know what happens.

What other potential triggers are you thinking of?


my completely unscientific yet vehemently perceptive opinion is as follows-- i never consumed much aspartane, however have noticed a huge issue with MSG

i long suspected that rls and other neurological diseases are environmental in nature and am convinced that avoiding any such "man- made" chemicals is in our best interest.


well im not a fizzy drink user, but if you do experiment, keep us updated :)


There can be lots of triggers, it depends on the individual on what triggers their RLS.

I am not a fizzy drinker either. so wont join in that experiment.

I havent found any food or drink (maybe alcohol might set mine off) that triggers my RLS off.

Also, some OTC medications can trigger RLS off, you have to be aware of cough meds. Anti-histamines. And most of the anti-depressants are a no no for MOST RLSers.


The reason I drink Coke is since I had my esophagus and most of my stomach removed because of cancer, I can't eat or drink anything hot without feeling very ill .So no tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and I don't like orange or lemon etc. So I drink watered down Coke, known in my house as 50/50. And occasionally ginger beer.

I must check if the ginger beer has aspartame in it.

I'm not on antidepressants or anti histamines, but I am prescribed a dopamine antagonist to help my food go down, which I only take when I must.

So sometimes it's a matter of choosing between eating and sleeping.

Pramipexole makes it difficult to swallow, so I eat first.


Hi, patchworker, i am sorry to hear of your cancer, i certainly hope you are on the mend...

I mentioned the anti-depressant and antihistamines, in case anyone who was reading this thread MIGHT be wondering what there trigger could be. So, it was for everyone... :)

I hope the non drinking of the diet coke continues to help with you sleeping at night... :)


Patchwork, you are quite the person. =)

Thank Heavens the hospital thing is behind you.

Coke is yummy. I love it too.


I don`t eat or drink sugary foods or drinks if I can avoid it, so if i have something sweet it usually contains Aspartame. I don`t want to gain weight or rot my teeth, so where can I find an alternative?


If i want something sweet to eat, i have been baking low fat fruit cake, it does use sugar, but so far i havent put any weight on. Are you saying that Aspartame is a trigger for your RLS...??


well now your just tempting people arent you :(


I have a recipe for fruit cake where you soak the fruit in Guiness first ...


oo, more tempting !!


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