Formication and Splenda

Formication (also known as speed bumps, meth sores, crank bugs): A common symptom in diseases of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves involving the illusion or hallucination (also called delusions of parasitosisDP for short) that ants, snakes or other insects are creeping on or under the skin causing itching. Formication is associated with psychotic states, drug and alcohol abuse (crystal meth, cocaine, amphetamines, heroine, alcohol), certain prescription medication (Ritalin, Adderall and Lunesta), menopause, allergies, diabetic neuropathy, skin cancer and with herpes zoster (shingles).

Heavy stimulant use causes a rise in body temperature and increased blood flow to the skin (to counteract the hyperthermia).  Sweat is produced that contains an enzyme which further increases blood flow. As the sweat evaporates, it removes the protective oils on the skin. This scenario, combined with the toxins released from the skin, also dehydrates the dermal layer creating an itchy sensation on the nerve endings.

If the person picks at, scrapes or digs at their skin with fingernails or some kind of instrument, these areas can become infected, scabbed over and eventually produce permanent scars if the scabs are then picked or become infected. Occasionally the bacteria from these types of sores can enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis within the body requiring strong antibiotics and/or surgical debridement.

There have been some cases where people have commit suicide over this notion, as well as cases where people maimed themselves trying to rid themselves of “bugs.”

There are some homeopathic drops for Morgellon’s disease which is commonly associated with this symptom but I personally thing formication is caused by the use of Splenda. So, I’m including some of the splenda information from my Splenda handout. If you want to read more about artificial sweeteners, there are some links at the bottom of this handout that will give you more education on the hazards of using such things.

Splenda — Products featuring Splenda are perceived as “natural” because even the FDA’s press release about sucralose parrots the claim that “it is made from sugar.” Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation.  Gee, and now we are eating and drinking thousands of products containing it? I even saw it listed in a diet pill the other day (Xenadrine).

At least 15% of the Splenda we eat is not excreted by the body. OK them, where does this go? I think it varies from individual to individual.  It seems to sequester in the nervous system, gut, sensory apparatuses, muscles or in the circulatory systems (see chart below).

The degree to which we experience side effects just depends on our individual biochemistry. Scientists are calling Splenda a mild mutagen, based on how much is absorbed. The healthier your intestine, but better the Splenda absorbs! Yikes.

We need sugar for our brain and muscles. We don’t need sugar substitutes and other food additives! Sugar addiction is born from quick raises and falls of blood sugar and supplying sugar to our body in concentrated form. Sugar also increases serotonin in the brain which is a mood-elevating neurotransmitter. If we constantly bombard out systems with sweeter and sweeter substances, be get addicted that much faster, then naturally sweet items just don’t taste that sweet to us. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s MUCH healthier to get our sugars from whole-food, unprocessed food sources.

Food additives—including artificial sweeteners—are not subject to the same gauntlet of FDA safety trials as pharmaceuticals. In addition, most of the testing is funded by the food industry, which has a vested interest in the outcome. This is a real bummer and can lead to misleading claims.  And it looks as though there are some dangers with ingesting Splenda. Read on.

Splenda side effects which happen immediately and up to eleven hours after ingestion:

Brain and Neurological possibly related to Splenda:

  • Almost like having mini strokes or Transient Ischemic Accidents (TIA’s)
  • Anxiety (feeling overwhelmed and scared, unable to cope)
  • Brain lesion signs
  • Can’t follow-through on tasks in a logical order
  • Can’t sleep
  • Drowsiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Formication (*See below)
  • Groggy and unable to stay awake during the day
  • Headaches
  • Impending doom thoughts (like going to die)
  • Inability to concentrate and focus
  • Lost interest in doing our favorite things
  • Lowered motivation
  • Memory loss
  • Mild seizure-like reactions
  • MS signs affecting both sides of the body, lips and face (numbness and tingles)
  • Panic-like agitation
  • Arms and legs completely numb

Digestive symptoms possibly associated with Splenda:

  • Constipation then diarrhea
  • Diarrhea
  • Esophageal reflux
  • Horrible stomach problems
  • IBS
  • Indigestion
  • Intestinal cramping,
  • Laryngitis
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps and pain
  • Sudden urge to defecate but then can’t get it all out
  • Terrible cramping for several hours
  • Throat constriction

Skin symptoms possibly associated with Splenda use:

  • Covered in a rash
  • Face and sides of my neck broke out in red itchy hives of varying sizes
  • Face flushed
  • Itchy skin (under my armpits and also my scalp)
  • Lips itch
  • Neck welts (looks like a sunburn)
  • Rash (hairline, back of neck, neck, armpits and chest)
  • Red streaks running up sides of neck
  • Scalp was so itchy, I felt like an animal with fleas (formication)
  • Skin feels like you’re standing in front of a 4th of July sparkler and getting hit by the sparks
  • Skin rashes/flushing

Heart, Lung and Circulation symptoms possibly associated with Splenda use:

  • Can hardly breathe
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness and numbness
  • Edema-severe
  • Felt like a heart attack
  • Felt like coronary artery spasms
  • Heart arrhythmia (racing or tachycardia)
  • High blood pressure (acute and raises quickly)
  • Recent high blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath

Sensory symptoms possibly associated with Splenda use:

  • Eye flashes
  • Heightened sensitivity to noises (smallest sounds are irritating)
  • Irritable and uncomfortable most of the time
  • Marked hearing impairment
  • Tired eyes
  • Vision was impaired

Musculoskeletal symptoms possibly associated with Splenda use:

  • Continual pain
  • Difficulty walking because of the pain
  • Joints aching
  • Muscles ache horribly
  • Numbing of limbs
  • Unusual episodes of unexplained pain
  • Weak legs and arms

Other symptoms possibly associated with Splenda use:

  • Bladder issues (incontinence, feeling like beginning urinary tract infection)
  • Breast pain
  • Depression
  • Diet Pepsi addiction and extreme carb cravings
  • Dry mouth
  • Eyes swollen
  • Feels like I am about to die
  • Mild impotence
  • NutraSweet (Aspartame) like reactions
  • Severe thirst
  • Sexual dysfunction (decreased libido)
  • Unable to lose weight
  • Weight gain (30 lbs in last few years)

Helpful Links and References:

Related Handouts on this Site: