I must retract most of this post. Although I do feel that I am somewhat less jittery after giving up aspartame, the main symptoms (throbbing in my ear a la pulsatile tinnitus) are back. Still trying to find the cause…echocardiogram and MRI/MRA both came back clean, so the search continues.
Aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in most diet drinks and sugarfree gum, has long been the subject of controversy, with plenty of websites dedicated to exposing the dangers of this man-made chemical food additive.
Although the FDA and other government food regulatory agencies stand by their ruling of aspartame as safe in the quantities found in food, in my personal experience I believe the risks outweigh the benefits. This may not be true for everyone, and I ingest far less of it than those who drink diet soda everyday without any serious side effects, but I recently concluded that I do in fact respond to aspartame in a bad way.