Splenda Side Effects Under Scrutiny

By Jim F

i-1276b50c890ce70b10806292e3ad0a90-splenda.jpgScattered around the internet are reports of Spenda (sucralose) side effects.

Theses are often detailed stories of health conditions that miraculously disappeared once Spenda was cut from the diet.


Advocacy group Citizens for Health pushed for the FDA to revoke the artificial sweetener Splenda.

Consumers have begun to allege that they have suffered health side effects from use of the artificial sweetener. These grievances about health effects range from skin rashes, to headaches, to severe gastrointestinal problems.

Since this article was published 562 people commented and many reported side effects. Some are quite bazaar if you read through some of the entries.


Splenda (brand name for sucralose) has always been viewed as one of the ‘safer’ sweeteners (see more here). There is no way that manufacturers (Tate & Lyle) will wear this. Artificial sweeteners are a massive industry and Splenda is right up there.

According to a Reuters article

McNeil Nutritionals said more than 100 studies have found sucralose safe. But Citizens for Health said studies in people were never conducted with Splenda.

Laura Tarantino, director of the FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety, said there is a reporting system for food-related problems but it showed no evidence of a Splenda trend.

“It is very difficult to track these (problems) because when someone eats something and then has a stomach ache it’s very difficult for anybody to know what it relates back to,” she said.

Somewhere in the Middle

Food-related health complaints are very difficult to track, and generally follow a carefully controlled elimination diet in order to pinpoint the offending foods.

However, when anecdotal evidence begins to mount, then it is time to dig deeper. Just don’t expect Splenda’s owners (Johnson & Johnson / McNeil Nutritionals) to start paying for studies that show their ‘star’ product may have health risks.

Many people have allergic reactions or low-level intolerances to a number of foods; dairy, soy, wheat, nuts, eggs. When you have a problem with food – you just avoid it – but that doesn’t mean everyone else should avoid it as well.

UPDATE: See exactly which sweeteners the FDA approves here.

Have you had any suspected side effects from using Splenda?


  1. Patricia Gallo-Stenman

    Splenda caused chronic hives. I used one packet twice daily in my tea. Would go to the gym a few times a week – and developed hives after perspiring. Took me a year to discover it was the Splenda! Stopped it. Within about a month, the hives completely disappeared. Never to return.

  2. Jennifer

    I have used Splendia for about 7 years and in large amount. In the last year I have hair loss, rashes that come and go on back, Daily UTI,tingling in hands and feet, Red and blisters on my face, blurred vision,itchy, heart races , fast at times. I stopped using Splendia 4 days ago and the redness is getting better and blisters on my face are shrinking. I will never use this product ever again and hope I will get all my health back.

  3. Celine Mcmullins

    If you have an allergy, your body is reacting to something you inhaled, touched or ate. The substances that trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens. Reactions to these allergens range from annoying to life-threatening.Many people with untreated allergy symptoms aren’t aware of how much better they can feel once their symptoms are properly diagnosed and managed by an allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist.

  4. Linda

    I am 72 and had a terrible problem with incontinance, It got to the point I could not leave the house without pull-ups. I chalked it up to age until one day I heard it could be bladder spazams caused by splenda. I didn’t want to
    believe this but thought I would test it out. I have used Splender for a number of years. It was my answer to sugar when I was told I had type 2 diabetes. I stopped the Splenda and within just a couple of days my problem was COMPLETELY gone.

  5. Carol Domsicz

    I had recently chged. from Splenda to Nectresse. I had a cup of coffee, in the aft. I got heartburn which I never get. I made a cup of tea, in the evening , I got more heartburn & spasms on the left side of my chest. I called the Med. Ctr. within 15 min. & they said if it reoccurs to come right down, it didn’t. My daughter told me to take peppermint for the heartburn so, I made peppermint tea with sugar realizing that that was the only thing different, The heartburn went away & the Nectresse, in the trash!

  6. Hallie

    I had used Splenda for several years, than about 4 years ago I got hives. I could tell that certain food or medicine made me break out. Only recently did I connect Splenda to hives. I quit using Splenda and my hives went away. I had a few hives one day and figured that I ate or drank something with Splenda in it. I also think that Splenda and a sensitivity to heat or other things can really bring on a bad case of hives.

  7. Dyna

    I had my one and only attack (for lack of a better word) this morning of acid reflux. I never knew that it could be so painful. It is acid that seemed to jump into the back of my throat and it burned like fire. I poured water into glasses and swished in my mouth to rid myself of the acid.

    I had gastric bypass about 7 years ago and found that something, (Chantex was one) caused huge reactions due to gastric upset (that one caused sharp doubling over pain. I could not figure what could have caused the reaction this morning with the acid and then I remembered, I had three ice teas yesterday, each with Splenda (I have never used Splenda before).

    Is it possible that Splenda cause by acid reflux symptoms?

    • michelle

      I wanted to lose some weight. I have been using Splenda for about three weeks and started having trouble swallowing. The sensation felt something like acid reflux but the medication i took for acid reflux would not touch it.One time I took three different medications and still the strange sensation in the back of my throat. It felt almost like my throat was closing off. I started drinking water and chewing gum and my symptoms eased somewhat. This went on for days I thought I had an acid reflux attack but that was not the case. Today I got up and had no symptoms,then I had my two cups of coffee with Splenda and my symptoms came back full force. I stopped the Splenda use and I am glad to say my symptoms are totally gone. After a few hours off this stuff. Beware Splenda users!!!!!

  8. sandy

    I have a severe allergy to Splenda. I get terrible migraines and I feel like if I am going faint. One time it was so bad, I went to the ER. I hate splenda..

  9. karen

    I had gastric bypass surgery & for 7 years I blammed my problem with HORRIBLE GAS as an side effect of the surgery. I had gone to several doctors, had a colonospany & also went through allergy testing. Gave up the foods I tested positive for and tried every OTC I could find & the gas would not go away. About 2 months ago I switched from Splenda to Stevia & within a few days I noticed the Horrible Gas & loose stools disappeared. So I came to the conclusion that I have an allergic reaction to the splenda or maybe because of the surgery my digestive system cannot tolerate splenda. In either case I am so glad that the problem is solved.

  10. karen

    Bev, yes I do believe that splenda can give you gas. I had gastric bypass surgery 7 years ago and cannot have sugar. I was always dieting & used artificial sweetners but never had the problem with gas so I always blamed the problem of gas on the surgery. After the surgery I switched to splenda and had HORRIBLE GAS until about 2 months ago when I switched from splenda to stevia. The gas was so bad that one day my husband said if he knew this was going to be a side effect he wished I would of never had the surgery. Believe me, I was to the point where I would rather stay home than be around people. I had gone to several doctors, had a colonospany & had allergy testing done which I found I do have a few food allergies so I excluded the foods (dairy, wheat, corn, peanuts, potatoes) from my diet and the gas still did not go away. For some unknown reason I picked up stevia to try instead of the bag of splenda I usually bought and low & behold after a few days of not using the splenda I noticed no more gas or loose stools. I can’t begin to tell you how great it feels not having to be afraid to go out in public anymore.

  11. daydrmr

    I tried to cut my sugar intake by switching to a soda sweetened w/splenda. I noticed after drinking them for about 4-5 days that my feet felt like they were on fire!! Knowing that the soda was the only change to my diet, I switched back. It took about 4-5 wks., but the pain in my feet finally went away and hasn’t returned. No matter what anyone else says, I KNOW it was the splenda.

    • Kari

      Yes! I am having the same issue. I still have pain in feet, but I only stopped the soda a few weeks ago.

      • Kari

        PS… This started when Diet Pepsi went to Splenda. I’ve been experiencing the pain for about three months now and after going through my entire diet, the only recent change was the Diet Pepsi…It is now Sucrose instead of Aspartame.

  12. Janzy

    Well there you go Creeply. If a person is allergic to Splenda because of the Chlorine, that means they should be allergic to table salt as well??

    How about learning the difference between Chlorine (which is in the sucralose molecule) and Chloride (which is in the table salt molecule.) The body can and does use Chloride. It doesn’t use Chlorine.

  13. Patrick

    I have used SPLENDA for years. I use alot of it. I like things sweet, so for me, it is not unusual to use 4-5 packets per cup of coffee.

    I am an insulin-dependent Diabetic, and am/have had a real problem with weight-gain. Despite what I eat or don’t eat, I am unable to lose this weight.

    Is it possible that SPLENDA is the culprit here?
    Is it possible that SPLENDA is keeping me Fat ?

    I would love to hear your comments……

  14. Nancy

    You need to use digestive enzymes

  15. Nancy

    There has been a study in rats that showed it decreases the gut flora. Other results were shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, kidney disorders. FDA won’t use the studies since they weren’t done on humans even though rats metabloize sucralose more like humans. I say don’t use anything artificial. My hair was falling out, I had acne, my stomach was a mess, anxiety and loss of sleep and I only digested splenda from diet juices and yogurt and not even everyday. The only change I made was removing splenda and all those things are clearing up.

  16. Alex

    In 2004 I drank Diet Pepsi morning afternoon after my workout , after a meal well all the time never did any harm. Now I cant digest any sugar substitute. Sucralose which is Splenda is the WORST! A little will make me bloated and give me cramps and gas. It doesn’t help that im lactose intolerant, soy intolerant, caffeine intoleranted, carbonated drinks intolerant everything gets me bloated. Its annoying if it wasn’t for my bloated feeling I would weigh less than I am already, and Im already light as it is. probably a blessing in disguise as Id be downing these kinds of foods drinks if I couldnt that Id actually have to ingest real food and some calories at least

  17. Martie B

    None of the store products work for me. If you’re a lady, and you know the maddening pain, doctor visits, nasty antibiotic prescriptions, and repeat visits associated with recurrent UTI. Please note, I’m not a doctor, and UTI’s have the potential to turn into serious bladder infections, and a bladder infection cannot be gotten rid of without some hardcore antibiotics.

    The Lady Soma Detox is the only detox product on the market that prevents my UTI’s. I take as directed, and never have to experience a UTI as long as I drink a lot of water. You have to drink tons of water (and that alone is not what prevents the UTI, believe me). I don’t know how it works, I just know it does. This is totally anectodal. Always see your doctor. Good luck!

  18. Michelle

    Back in April of 2011 I began having terrible bouts of vertigo. Went to the doctor, had tests run…nothing. I continued to have bouts of vertigo. In Nov. 2011, I found a new sweetener called Ideal that I decided to try. I’ve always been a Splenda user and do not like stevia, truvia and the like. My vertigo went away. (I never thought it was because of stopping the splenda.)
    I loved the Ideal, but ran out and had some sucralose in my pantry. I started using it and low and behold…I now have vertigo again. I’m seriously thinking that I have an allergy to Splenda and will be switching back to Ideal to see what happens.
    With all the research I have done, I realized that I have a lot of the other symptoms others are talking about here too.

  19. Carolyn

    If you use too much stevia, it does have a horrible bitter aftertaste. I’ve tried Newsweet and had great success with it. It’s easy to cook with too. and it’s all natural.

  20. Imelda O. Suzara

    This is so strangely coincidental! I thought I was being paranoid or imagining my reaction about a possible heart attack, a heavy feeling pulling down on my left chest area with occassional twitching inside my heart area… it may be linked to recently indulging in flavoured Yoplait sweetened with Splenda sucralose? Not sure because this feeling or sensation should be checked with a medical doctor, but thank you for posting for others to read.

  21. Ben

    I think splenda is nasty, any drink I have with it in it all tastes the same to me. The flavor of the drink overpowered by the terrible flavor that is sucralose. Sometimes even a sip is all I can bear from an energy drink and I can always right away tell it is sweetened with sucralose. I find it is overused as well (as in they put too much in the drink). I would rather have a unsweetened drink than anything with sucralose.