Anything can give you an allergic reaction. It doesn't mean the product is bad for everyone.
I have used Splenda for years but decided to try stevia. First as Truvia and then Sun Crystals. I have determined that stevia has given me the appearance of rosacea. Burning hot, flushed cheeks and pimple type things on my neck and at the hairline near my temples. I have stopped it for 1 week now and the rash is gone as are the pimples. What a shame because I like stevia.
I'm so glad people took the time to write about their reactions to Stevia. I was taking it from time to time and didn't seem to have any reactions. Then I went on a weight loss program and relied completely on Stevia instead of sugar. My legs and knees hurt badly. I ached all over my body. I ended up on pain pills. When I would awake in the morning my feet were so swollen it was intensly painful to walk--but got better after a while.I wondered if it could possiably be the Stevia so I stopped taking it for a while and started getting better. I just couldn't believe that it was really the Stevia, so I reintroduced it into my diet, and sure enough I ached all over --especially in my feet and knees and hips.I can't imagine why it would affect me this way, but it does.
I have been taking the natural/pure powder form of stevia to sweeten lemon water for the past couple of months. The last two weekends i made my lemonade a little stronger - extra lemon juice, so extra stevia (about 1/4 of a tsp). last weekend, and this one as well, I had a very upset stomach (acidic feeling? it felt like the way your stomach feels when you haven't eaten for 8hrs) but i had eaten, and i'd only eaten healthy food, of the sort that i commonly eat. i got really bad gas, and felt generally weak and tired all over. my arms and legs felt weak, like when you get a bad flu. i thought i had a weird virus! now i realize it was the stevia! i felt fine in the mornings and early afternoon, but after my late lunch and stevia drink, i felt totally destroyed for the rest of the day! phew, it was great to come across this board and discover i'm not alone!
i just want to state (as some other thoughtful individuals have) that just because something is natural, does not mean it's safe! there are many varieties of deathly poisonous mushrooms out there that are completely natural.
on the other hand, of course, just because some people are allergic to a food, doesn't mean it's 'toxic' for everyone - that being the case there would be stories about peanuts that would have you raging that the FDA should ban the peanut.
but in conclusion, i have not been able to find a lot of solid research done on stevia, and certainly nothing that would show long term effects. so i see no reason why people should be jumping to its defense. the point is, we just don't know right now whether it should be in the 'poisonous mushroom' category of natural foods, or the 'peanut' category. therefore-proceed with caution!
I've been taking protein shakes with stevia for about a week and my throat and stomach started burning and my scalp has been itching. I couldn't figure it out. My stomach used to feel like this when I had an ulcer or before I stopped eating gluten. It's so wierd...it's like an ulcer that goes up into your throat. I stopped drinking the shakes and I'm starting to feel better. Thanks for sharing your experiences, now I'm going to throw that stuff out!
I felt so sick I wanted to call into work. This stuff HURTS.
This makes me feel so much better knowing I am not crazy. Everyone tells me that Stevia is safe, no side effects, safer than sugar, blah blah blah. I have Lupus & cannot have sugar so I started using Stevia. I have blamed the Lupus for swollen, painful joints, edema in my feet & ankles, and overall stiffness & feeling achy. My throat had a burning sensation that I blamed on allergies/sinuses.
Well what do you know, I quit using Stevia for 3 days after reading your post...I feel amazingly better! The swelling has decreased, joints are more flexible, and I can see my ankle bones again. My "sinus" problem is healed as well. I feel like a new person.
Thank you for posting this. I was ignorant enough to believe doctors & other professionals about the wonderful new sweetener Stevia.
I am sure Stevia may be good for some people...but the adverse reactions were extremely bad for me. Stevia...down the drain!!!
Thank God for people like you who help others like me!!!
Thank you thank you thank you!
Hey guys I have been using Cid Botanicals Stevia. The difference between the Cid Botanical Stevia and other stevia is that is filled with INULIN FIBER, derived from chicory plant, which is a soluble fiber that does not alter calories is 100% natural, and best of all for those seeking weight lossÂ IT DOES NOT AFFECT THE GLYCEMIC INDEX.Â Maltodextrin on the other hand is higher than sugar on the glycemic index making it terrible for both obese people and DIABETICS.Cid Botanicals stevia is the only stevia I've found that is from where the plant is originally from, Paraguay. May be this will cause allergic reaction or not...not sure.For more info search for Cid Botanicals in google.
yes, i have extremely, aweful fatigue every time i have a stevia sweetened drink. very discouraging. it seems toxic.
I recently started using Stevia Liquid in my iced tea - I drink a lot of iced tea - and after about 2 weeks of daily intake I broke out in between my thighs, my wrists and my mouth...also a rash developed on my eyebrows... my throat tightened, horrible stomach pain and acid reflux like problems - burning when i urinate - coughing out of nowhere and a sore, scratchy throat. I thought it was a change in my laundry detergent and a flu - wrong...after finding this site on google search I now know it to be the liquid stevia! I will never use anything that is considered "natural" again from a plant source without considering a possibility of rash and adverse side effects. My lips still burn and I hope to feel better after stopping today - this stuff is BAD NEWS!!! Be careful!
Thank you all for sharing your experiences with stevia. I started using SweetLeaf Stevia last week and yesterday I started developing a rash - timy pimples - on my right hand. Today it is spreading. Stevia is the only new item in my diet, and based on your same experiences, I am certain that it is the cause. I am returning the to real thing - sugar!
How long did these symptoms last once you stopped taking the Stevia?
I did not get a rash, but terrible heart palpitations each time I used Stevia. I did not link the two for a while, went to a cardiologist even - and everything was fine. Still it was frightening. One day it just dawned on me, the palpitations were always after a cup of herbal tea (it did not matter which sort, EVERY herbal tea) and the common factor was Stevia.
It turns out it can lower blood pressure - I already have naturally very low blood pressure.
It also has a hypoglycemic effect - lowers blood sugar.
As soon as I took it out of my diet, the months of heart palpitations disappeared overnight!
WOW. I just found some sites with the same question and came across this forum. I started using "sweet leaf" stevia 7 days ago and have been sick ever since! This morning has been horrible, and I just made the connection. I used it on a Monday, soon after that my throat became very sore and I had a tremendous amount of drainage. I have severe allergies and asthma, so I assumed(as did my doctor) that it was a summer cold going into my asthma situation...except my lungs were clear! None the less, started on prednisone and every day instead of getting better, I have gotten worse! I have not had a voice, and this morning has been horrible. I started with a terrible headache yesterday and it has followed me this morning. I also have muscle weakness, dizziness and severe stomach issues. It dawned on me the only change in my diet has been stevia every morning in my coffee! I am allergic to wheat, sulfa, ragweed, etc...so this makes perfect sense. I have been doing so well for almost three years that this "sickness" has made no sense. Now it does. I will be anxious to report how I feel and if my voice comes back in a couple of days.
Yesterday I ingested a popular brown rice protein that contains stevia and within an hour developed a headache followed by stomach discomfort and diarrhea. What a way to spend my vacation. Initially i thought my symptoms were caused by the sprouted protein powder until I investigated the possible side effects of stevia. This is day 2 and my stomach is still flipping. I feel like I have a stomach virus.
I have used steevia on and off for three years..and never really noticed any issues, but last night a friend made a dessert substituting steevia, and used way to much. I ate the dessert to be polite, but within 30 minutes, I felt ill. My throat was closing up, it was hard to breath, and I felt clammy all over. Now, I must say that I have had some reflux issues, and I ate spicy food last night, so I am not sure.
I have heard that steevia can raise your blood pressure. Last night my face was hot, all night, and thru the day today.
I felt horrible all day. Had a bad headache. My husband had the same dessert, and did not feel as sick as I did, but woke up with a bad headache and joint pain.
I will continue to do more research into this.
There is some high tech allergy testing that you can do called ALTAC. I am looking into it. Good luck
Followup- It has been 44 hours since I posted on this forum and I have went without stevia for two mornings now. I feel 99.9% better! All that remains is a raspy voice and a bit of drainage, which could just be the weather or residual of the reaction. At any rate, I am pretty well convinced that I had an allergic reaction. I am allergic to wheat, sulfa, a chemical in oasis contacts, ragweed and other grasses..so I am really not surprised. I just feel it is important for people to realize that this is possible. I checked on www.webmd.com and these reactions are listed. Of course it is a given that not everyone will be allergic to this sweetener...but glad to know it is possible before I had a number of medical tests. Maybe this forum will help someone else discover that fact as well.
I am so relieved to have found all of your comments here. I could not understand why I was having such horrible symptoms for weeks and suddenly it occurred to me this morning that the only thing different in my diet or environment is the liquid stevia I've been adding to our iced tea, so I googled "side effects of stevia", thinking it was a long-shot. Let me tell you, my symptoms have gotten so bad that I had begun thinking I was seriously ill and we don't have medical insurance or enough money for me to go to a doctor (limited income).
I will list my symptoms not to belabor my point but in case somebody else has some of these also:
swelling and stiffness in joints, particularly the fingers (so severe in the morning that some of my fingers could not be "un-bent"!)
extreme fatigue (severe enough that after being awake for only two hours, had to return to bed)
numbness in arms and legs
lower abdominal pain
itchy skin, scalp, and some rash (although we live in the country and I thought maybe it was bug bites)
occasional metallic taste in my mouth
I think the most disturbing thing is that, during all this time it NEVER occurred to me that it could be the stevia. I'm not suggesting anybody is at fault. I should be more circumspect about adding things to my diet. I had thought I was doing a good thing for my body, since I wanted to drink iced tea (summertime) without the sugar. It is true that just because something is "natural" does not mean it is necessarily good for everybody. Some will be allergic. Now I feel badly cause sometimes my husband has had a few glasses of iced tea after returning from work and has complained of headache/stomach ache and scratchy throat! Boy, do I feel dense. Thanks everybody for posting your comments, I really appreciate it!
I'm right there with the allergy victims. I was on a detox program that required an organic protein powder (with stevia) as a breakfast replacement. The first day and a half, I was fine. By the evening of the second day, I broke out in warm, raised hives at every joint of my body, had a swollen throat, raised pulse, and difficulty breathing. Ended up in the ER with 2 prescriptions. Figuring it was the detox regimen, I continued with a different organic protein powder the next morning and cut my detox oils in half - within 15 minutes my throat closed and I had difficulty breathing. The next day (call me a glutten for punishment, i.e. a scientist), I tried ONLY the organic protein powder - again, within 15 minutes my throat closed and I had difficulty breathing. I have been off all the detox oils for 4 days and off the protein powder for 3 days and my throat and breathing are about 95% back to normal.
I have NEVER experienced an allergic reaction like this in my entire life - and I'm lactose intolerant and allergic to raspberries. Even if I ingest regular milk and raspberries, I don't experience difficulty breathing. Stevia may be toxicologically "benign," but it DOES have side effects that need to be recognized as potentially lethal.
I purchased truvia to use in my ice tea. It has been so hot lately, I have been having it many times during the day. Maybe even a dozen times as I was trying to drink more fluids. A rash of hives developed as an itching, and it has become much worse. My back, arms were first covered, not it has gone to my thighs and lower leg. I am miserable with itching and the rash is hot. I went to my homeopathic doctor and he suggested to change thyroid meds which I did. The rash is small prickly hives.
I stopped taking the truvia and the doctor thought maybe I should stop all yeast products for three weeks. I have been doing this for three days now. It is now spreading to the backs of my ears and neck. Does anyone have any info on truvia allergic reactions? Tks.
Wow...I am really glad I came upon this site. I have always been against artifical sweetners, but at the end of my pregnancy to reduce some sugar intake I decided to use a "natural plant based" sweetner and started to use the liquid form of Stevia. My feet and hands have been killing me all the time....not just in the mornings anymore either, all throughout the entire day...getting worse by the day. At first I thought the joint pain was just from my pregnancy but after my son was born everything felt fine for about a week or so (when I was not taking Stevia) and all the pain came back once I began taking Stevia again. Every morning I get out of bed hardly able to walk.
Well, I am going to stop taking immediatly after finding this site and will let you know the results after a few weeks.
Just to let everyone know that allergies can happen with any food. I'm allergic to many things milk, soy, and yes sugar. Sugar gives me immediate headaches and makes me feel tired and lethargic.
Thankfully I am not allergic to Stevia. I feel badly that some people are allergic to Stevia and are having such bad reactions. I just don't want people to be bashing Stevia itself. It's not artificial, it is a food product and as is possible with any food, some people are allergic to it. People need to be aware of how their bodies react to any food, especially if they are feeling sick or getting rashes. I suffered for a long time with excema and poor health before finding out that I had food allergies. You just can't blame the food unless you want the FDA regulating apples too.
I'm really glad you posted your question on here it helps us Googlers who are looking for info outside of the perspective of people with an agenda. About 3 years ago I drank a mix of pure Stevia and lemon juice all the time (great lemonade). I even grew a stevia plant in my garden. I didn't notice any reacxtion at the time but was working shift work and was tired and sore as part of my job. I stopped drinking the mix when I got pregnant and never really got back into using it.
This week a new Diet pop came out at the health food store and its made with Erythritol and Stevia. I drank 2 cans yesterday and noticed last night my joints in my hands were inflamed and quite sore. My husband had the same pain but works on a PC all day so he thought he'd just overdone it. When we spoke and realized our symptoms were the same, we've connected it to the cola. I'm super disappointed as I hate aspartame and want to support a natural product but this inflammation is scary and I will not play guinea pig with myself or my family again.
Stevia needs much more study. The FDA allowed it in our foods becasue of huge pressure from the public and the soda makers!
No one was more pleased than me when a "natural" plant based sweetener came on the market. I didn't try it though until 2 months ago. I am diabetic and use insulin, and autoimmune. I also take a blood pressure medicine to prevent migraines.
Over the years I have occasionally experienced a partial or temporal lobe seizure ( no convulsions)which were attributed to birth injury and were not a serious problem. the most serious one I have ever had was 25 yrs ago. I had suffered a few very mild ones since then, but it had been years since I had had any! In June of this year, I had a very severe seizure. 3 days later I had another and over the past two months I have had several mild to severe ones.I have experienced many spells of severe dizziness lasting for hours. I have also experienced severe muscle and joint pain. In other words,in general Ihave felt really lousy.I have seen a neurologist who has confirmed that I am having the seizures.
Aside from some significant health issues, I was actually feeling quite well, with everything under control, until I started using this herb.
Sounds just too extreme, right? I thought so too, and then I began to research the herbal supplement thoroughly. First of all, no one on a blood pressure medication should use stevia. It has been shown to cause sharp and sudden drops in blood pressure in those who take blood pressure medication which can cause fainting, or in those so inclined, seizures!
Also, no diabetic should use stevia as it has been shown to interfere with insulin and diabetes drugs causing a sudden drop in blood glucose, which can, of course, be fatal if not quickly recognized and treated.
How did I use stevia? Only in my coffee and tea, just about exactly 1 and 1/2 packets total per day. When did my seizures occur? The seizures occurred each time within 1/2-1 hour of drinking coffee or tea. the timeline works out exactly to when I purchased and began using the stevia and the amount
of packets I still have.
I saw a little banner on a website 3 days ago, suggesting that stevia was problematic for some people, so I stopped using it and started to investigate. I have had no dizziness, no seizures, and my muscle pain has rapidly improved in just 3 days.
I know this is anecdotal evidence, but it is too much to be a coincicdence.
I see my neurologist again on Weds. and will take it along with me and see what he has to say. In the meantime, I strongly discourage those who are autoimmune, have diabetes or take a blood pressure drug in the use of this supplement. I will follow up on what happens over the next few days and weeks.
Have a great and healthy day!
I am so glad I found this forum. I have been using Stevia off and on for years. Periodically I would get burning urination. It would feel like that whole area was on fire! Just now I had a glass of tea and put stevia in it. In 10 minutes the same thing happened. I had just about given up figuring out what was causing this.
They kept telling me it could be a yeast infection...but there was no yeast to be found.
No more stevia for me.
I am glad I found this forum too...I'm not 100% sure yet, but I am itching like crazy all over and no rash or anything. Never have this before. I have so many problems, too many to list because I have fibromyalgia which causes weird things, but never before had the itching. I just starting using SweetLeaf Stevia instead of Sweet n Low. I have used SweetnLow, Saccharine for years with no problems, but was told by a nutritionist to switch to Stevia to help my fibromyalgia. After reading this...WOW, no thank you!!! The symptoms many of you are describing outside of itching are like fibro and that is scary really. Definitely quit using it right away if you have bad effects. I have had Fibro for probably 20 years and I attribute it to drinking diet sodas with Aspartame in them for many years. So, maybe stick to pure sugar if you can. I cant tolerate sugar and dont eat much with sugar, but do like to have a little sweetener in my herbal tea. Back to SweetnLow for me then. I am not 100% sure what is causing the itching, it is possibly something else, but after reading all this....I dont think I want to chance any other problems. It is a shame too, like so many others we have high hopes for natural products and want to buy more natural products, but that does not mean they are 100% safe and ok for every person. The peanut allergy is a perfect example, most people can have them, some cannot and have very severe reactions. We just all must get to know our own bodies and trust our instincts when something is wrong. Thanks everyone for your comments!! They were so helpful to this ITCHY little me in the middle of the night. Aint the internet great (sometimes)? Blessings & Peace, Dana
I just tried Stevia (Purevia) this morning in my coffee, just 1 packet, and have had Flu-like symptoms eversince. Only about 2-3 hours after drinking it, I started feeling very nautious. Began getting a headache, chills then hot flashes, mild weakness. The worst was the nausea. I was at work and couldn't leave, so one at a time over the next several hours....I slowly drank some mild diluted creamy soup, no help. I tried some Tums, no help. Then sipped on some chicken broth, no help. Tried some Peptobismol, no help. Tried some Acetaminophen, no help. I threw up (mildly) a couple times. After about 4 hours of misery, I was able to take my lunch break and layed down in my car for an hour. Couldn't sleep but rested. Finally felt a little better. I did not eat, drink or take anything that I haven't used many many times before with no problems. The only thing new in my life was the Stevia this morning in my coffee. I am convinced it was the Stevia. Don't think I'll try it again. Not worth it.
I also used truvia to satisfy my morning coffee sweet. It took me a while to figure out that it was that which caused severe muscle weakness. I go to the gym every morning after breakfast and a couple days after I started using truvia my workouts slowed down. I as unable to attain the usual heart rate and momentum in my cardiovascular exercise or weight lifting. I would come home exhausted. (Ignorantly) make more coffee with truvia but never feel the caffeine effect. It took a couple weeks of eliminating foods for me to figure it out. I did stop using it and after a week or so my endurance and strength returned. It did cross my mind that not only did it cause muscle weakness but also halted that endorphin rush I get during prolonged exercise. I tried truvia again to see if the results would be duplicated and they were. So no more truvia, purevia or stevia for me.
I posted about a month and a half ago, and since discontinuing the stevia have been feeling steadily better. However, some of my finger joints are still swollen and stiff. In the morning they are actually bent "closed" and take a lot of effort to unbend. Feel like "rubber" for lack of a better description. They had not been this way prior to drinking all that iced tea for weeks. Now I'm concerned that I have permanent damage in my joints. Even my knees, which NEVER gave me a problem before my stevia consumption occasionally get "stuck" and "click" when I walk or hike. My husband and I love the outdoors and take walks in the local mountains and nature trails and I am very discouraged that because I added one thing to my diet I may have to pay for a long time for my error in judgement. Fortunately he wasn't drinking a lot of the iced tea like me so his symptoms have disappeared (thank God)
Additionally, what I am concerned about is that millions of people could possibly end up in the same situation as all of us posters, getting sick and not necessarily being able to identify the "culprit" as the stevia product they've introduced to their diet. And children, especially! I'm not saying that I'm brilliant but a woman of reasonable intelligence and it took me many weeks of very bad symptoms to finally realize what it was that could be causing my problems. I appreciate this "Diet Board", otherwise I don't know how much longer it would have taken me to connect the dots. Thank You Diet Board and thank you fellow posters. Cassandra
Hey Cassandra. Your symptoms sound an awful lot like what I went through about 8 years ago. It began one day feeling very tired (like i'd worked out my whole body too hard at the gym the day before). Then things got progressively worse. It started with my hands, stiff, sore and swollen then slowly moved up my arms and down to my legs. I gained 20 pounds in just water weight from swelling. I went to my MD but I 'looked' normal so they didn't believe. me. I finally went for blood work and the only thing that came up was uric acid was slightly high so they thought maybe gout (hindsight...on an active 25 year old... ridiculous). I saw 3 more doctors before being sent to a rheumatologist who said I had viral arthritis. He put me on steroids which made me feel great...that is until I stopped them a week later, then my symptoms seemed even worse. He then said I must have rheumatoid arthritis and that this will last the rest of my life.I ended up taking a drug called plaquinol for over a year and finally took myself off. I began using homeopathy (they use remedies sometimes 1 dose is all you need, sometimes its more intensive but the remedies are less expensive then Naturopathic herbs)and taking 3000 mg of salmon oil every day (along with vit D, Quercitin, probiotic and a good Multi). I am symptom free and feel only slight swelling if I get too stressed so, I manage stress as well as I can. Had I know then what I know now I would have gone to a qualified Homeopath or Naturopath immediately. I hope this helps! Charlotte
Charlotte, wow, thanks for the help. I am a firm believer in the natural approach to healing. After a hospitalization a couple years ago for a serious illness which puzzled the physicians, I ended up with a specialist in gastroenterology who put me through a series of tests lasting approx. a year or so. After all that he said I had a serious case of Epstein Barr and I had had to take off work for about a year and a half. The use of stevia for me was an effort to eliminate the last bit of sugar from my diet (and thinking I was doing something "good" for my body) and when I got so sick I thought I had exacerbated my immune problem. I need to find a really good naturopath or homeopath here (we just moved across country last year), cause I despise pharmaceuticals they always come with side effects.
I have been dismayed by the strange symptoms I suffer which definitely are made worse by stress.I can feel pretty good for extended periods of time and then come down ill very quickly and have a difficult time functioning. I keep my situation largely to myself because years ago when I first got sick I was asked by one doctor if I thought I might be "under too much stress" (which I wasn't at the time), the implication being that my symptoms were imaginary. The only one who knows how ill I get is my husband, cause it's hard for him not to notice . Fortunately, he and I both believe in good nutrition and healthy living (lots of time in "nature", I don't know what I'd do without his understanding and patience.
Would you mind if I were to email you privately and ask you more questions sometime? You can email me first if you'd prefer: <email>
I'm very happy you found things that help you after all you went through and are feeling better. Thanks again for taking the time to write to me Cassandra