Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Have you just been diagnosed with rosacea ? This is the forum for you. You can walk out of the doctor's office with a head full of questions and feeling overwhelmed. Well settle in here and see that you head in the right direction to get some good relief from your symptoms.
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FRS
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Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Post by FRS »

Hi. Thought I’d share my experiences with you.

Today is May 5, 2016.

I am a 49 yr old male and I live in Toronto. Cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

My flushing started spontaneously in January, 2015. The first time it happened was at a friend’s home. I recall getting extremely hot all over my head and my face becoming very red. Then, the same thing happened a few weeks later when we had friends over to our house. Then with more frequency over the next number of weeks. No idea what the trigger was. It got to a point that come one week in April, I was flushing and getting red splotchy patches on my face, neck, nose that would come and go in completely different spots hour by hour…..to the point that by the Sunday I was in, what I would call, distress. My wife was a bit nonplussed and said maybe I should stop drinking coffee (on average, I would have 3 to 4 cups per day at that point). I stopped and started drinking decaf…..seemed to help a bit. I now haven’t had caffeine in a year. Feel better! But it hasn’t too much for the flushing.

So, anyway, I made an appointment to see my doctor, which, of course, took a few weeks. A brutal amount of time when this is going on…as you all know.

He took blood samples for the obvious. Was concerned mostly about carcinoid (especially since I don’t sweat with it), diabetes and lupus.

I tell him I feel great other than this flushing thing that is getting realllllly annoying.

All negative. But, other tests did reveal an incomplete right bundle branch block in my heart. This is not related to anything in his opinion or mine.

Also went to my dermatologist. He said Rosacea. I said, bullshit. Rosacea is a catch-all phrase for the outward manifestation of a billion things that could be wrong. I wasn’t convinced it was simple “rosacea”. He prescribes Onreltea. Ya, ya, throw a drug at something you have zero understanding of. Works great! But only for a few hours. Who wants to slather that all over your face for the next 40 years? Not me. Pitched the samples he gave me in the garbage.

So this is sometime in late May or early June 2015

My cheeks and nose are now starting to show the effects of a lot of flushing. Starting to be permanently red. Especially a “stripe” on my left cheek and basically all of my right cheek. And stripes of red down either side of my neck. Chin and forehead unaffected.

By this time I am starting to really zero in on the fact that I am FLUSHING (I call it the “ka-zing” feeling) about once a day in the afternoon and associated with that is a red ear…only on the right side. Red Ear Syndrome….only 100 cases of it in the history of mankind? Oh please. More bullshit.

Over the summer and fall I do a LOT of reading…on this website and many others. Try digestive enzymes and HCL. Doesn’t do anything. Try aspirin to alleviate inflammation. Doesn’t seem to help. Try B vitamins. Doesn’t seem to help. On and on it goes.

Go back to my doctor in the fall…appointment related to the heart thing….I poke at him about the flushing…he just kinda stares at me and shrugs. UGH!

Make another appointment with my dermatologist. Is one of the TOP guys in Toronto so can’t get an appointment until only recently. UGH!

Struggle through the winter with this….researching, researching, researching. Flushing after lunch EVERY day. But the interesting part is not every day….somedays when I don’t eat lunch I don’t flush until after I eat supper. (very very rarely I would not flush at all…couldn’t put my finger on why exactly) And the flushing in both instances is about 1 to 2 hours after eating. And I don’t flush at all if I am active (working around the house or whatever. I have a desk job), until I go and sit. It seems to be a blood sugar thing….or so I convince myself.

A few other things to keep in mind. I am very fair….blue eyes and my hair was very blonde as a child. I got an extreme amount of sun as a young person. Many, many bad burns. And paying the price now. A lot of actinic keratosis that I have to have zapped yearly. Also, since 2008, I lost my job twice previous to the flushing. First time out of work for 1 year, second time out of work for 2 years. I was only in the new job 3 months before the flushing started and the job was extremely stressful. So, there’s an element of stress to all of this too I thought. So I think stress and damaged skin (and being of English and Irish heritage), and living in a cold climate are the underpinnings of my issue. And there definitely is an underlying vascular issue…I do have varicose veins and have had bouts of hemorrhoids.

Fast forward to 3rd week of April this year. My mother died on the 20th. Very stressful week.

Not once did I flush. Not once. Haven’t since.

Well, I shouldn’t say that…I do flush a bit….what I would call ordinary background flushing that I think has always existed with me…just really never noticed. And I think we all flush a bit everyday. And when I do, if I have a scotch mint or something and it seems to alleviate things. So, at least for me, it’s a bit of a blood sugar thing.

So why none of the intense bullshit red hot one ear red face stupidness over that stressful time?

Well,,,,,,I realized I hadn’t had a diet pop (soda) all that week because I had been busy at the hospital and my parents didn’t have any at their house. And previously, I had at least one per day, somedays 2 or 3….for years and years.
Aspartame.

And I haven’t had any since April 18.

I think what it was doing to my body (and I suspect it will take awhile for my body to learn that when it receives something sweet it really is receiving something sweet.) is this; The chemical make-up of the stuff aside (although it likely doesn’t do you any good), when you ingest it, you are telling your brain that you’ve eaten something sweet. Your brain then tells your body, via hormone release, “Hey guys! Good sweet stuff is on its way! Get ready!” Except the sweet stuff (sugar) never arrives. The body gets confused. Then, when you actually do load up with sugars at lunch, the body isn’t sure what to do and ends up either over or under-reacting. (I’m not an endocrinologist so not sure on the degree of reaction...and also not sure why it doesn't happen in the morning after breakfast or after supper...only flush after lunch).

Anyway, if you’re flushing and eating anything with diet sweeteners, stop immediately and see if you have the good luck I seem to be having.

That being said, I am still flushing a bit but is not the kind I used to have. Those that have those intense flushes will know exactly what I am talking about. You know you're going to flush even before you do, right? Like I said, I think my body is going to take some time to heal and retrain itself. But, I think I will always flush a bit from now on because of the damage done to my vascular system and I now have permanent redness. I have just undergone an IPL treatment. It has really reduced some of the obvious redness. I am going back for a few more treatments.

All I can say is I believe rosacea due to flushing is caused by many many things. For me it seems to be a blood sugar thing and my body’s overreaction to not receiving sweets when it thought it was….after being exhausted by many years of ingesting diet sweeteners.

I think it's going to take some time to get back to normal but so far so good.
FRS
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Re: Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Post by FRS »

So just a bit of an update.

Today is May 30. I have been off aspartame for a month.

I have also been on an extremely low carb diet since May 9. No bread, no cereal, no sugar, no candies, no cookies, no pop, no beer...basically, meat, eggs, cheese, veggies, fruit, granola, yogurt. Have had a glass of white wine a couple of times...doesn't affect me other than the bit of redness you would ordinarily expect from alcohol.

I haven't flushed once. Not once.

I have got a bit red and a bit hot a few times, but it's not flushing. (and even the incidence of that is declining rapidly). I think anyone reading this understands the difference, right? It's the background highs and lows of the day that contribute to the redness and hotness...this has always existed and that exist for a good percentage of the population I believe.

And the redness is a hold-over from my extreme flushing over the past year and a half.

The IPL is helping clear up the permanent redness. I have been in twice and am going back for a third in a couple of weeks. $400 a session in case you are wondering. The first session helped my nose a bit but not much else. The second session I got a fair bit of bruising on my left cheek that had a red "stripe" across the cheekbone. Bruising lasted for about 5 days....no big deal. Left cheekbone looks much like my right now. And after that second session, my cheeks were somewhat swollen for 2 or 3 days. Also, my cheeks were pretty sensitive. It felt like I had a mild sunburn for those 2 or 3 days. The second session definitely calmed my skin down in terms of the redness.

Also, not FLUSHING is helping and I think my skin is healing.

I think I will always have a bit of redness just from the damage inflicted not only by the flushing but because I'm fair (am pink anyway!), too much sun, my age (49), etc. People constantly ask me if I've been in the sun. Annoying, but I can live with being somewhat pink.

Again, for me, this rosacea thing is, first, vascular, second, because I am fair, and third, a sugar and insulin intolerance brought on by too much aspartame, too much sugar and too much stress. I have cut all three of those things and voila! flushing has disappeared.

So far so good. I firmly believe Rosacea is a different thing to different people. Kind of like saying you have cancer. Well, that begs the question then.....what kind of cancer? Right? Doctors and dermatologists have ZERO idea what this is. All they want to do is push Metro on you. ...push Onrealtea onto you...push IPL onto you...push laser onto you....and send you on your way.....treat your symptoms and not the CAUSE.

Do your research and try different things. Be patient.

I'll keep you up to date.
FRS
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Re: Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Post by FRS »

ok, so today is June 17.

Went for a third IPL on the 15th. All good. No bruising, save for a little spot on the side of my nose. A bit of swelling that evening but no big deal. I didn't know this, but apparently they increase the voltage (lol) on the machine every time you go. Therefore, it makes sense when my Derm said that I wouldn't see much change until the 2nd or 3rd session. Anyway complexion is about back to normal...say 90%...ok with that!. Skin seems smoother too...but it might have always been that way and I'm just not beating the shit out of it anymore through the flushing. I would get so hot and red sometimes that the next day my entire face would be flaky....the intense heat was killing my skin. It was awful.

Anyway, I would say the $1200 has been worth it. I do have another session scheduled for the end of July....not sure I will keep the appointment.

Like I mentioned in my other posts I still get a bit warm and red on occasion (maybe once a week) but the serious bullshit flushing has gone away. Cheeks are generally cool to the touch, nose isn't freaking PURPLE anymore. I believe my body is starting to relax and re-learn how to deal with things normally.

All I can say is, try giving up the aspartame, bread and carbs if you've got a flushing problem and hour or two after eating. It's clearly an insulin intolerance (or other associated hormones...again, an endocrinologist would know more than I!) and you've got to get your body back to being able to deal with a sugar load. Get some exercise too.
FRS
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Re: Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Post by FRS »

July 18, 2016.

I have a 4th IPL on the 25. Cancelling it. My skin is pretty well back to normal. I haven't FLUSHED since my original post. I have, and do, flush occasionally from drinking beer after not eating, getting hot, etc., normal stuff.

All done. Case solved. Aspartame and artificial sweeteners are banned from our house.

There is a root cause of everything. It took me over a year to find my problem....and then somewhat by accident.

Don't give up your research. I have read all kinds of forums and posts and the complete junk people are ingesting and slathering on themselves is crazy. And the drugs! Oh my. Throw all that shit in the garbage. One, go get some exercise, and two, don't pin your hopes on some silly root herb or cream or such. There is a physiological issue with your body that is causing your problem. Only you know your body and what your are doing to it. What's your secret?
FRS
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Re: Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Post by FRS »

Aug 4

No flushing for months. Back to normal. And completely back to normal too. No lingering effects. But it did take a couple of months to get here.

Never believed it, but in most instances I have come to the conclusion that you are what you eat. I have said to friends and family for years that a lot of our health issues are environmental and dietary (especially plastics)....who knew I would be the poster child for those statements.

PLEASE ditch the diet chemical manufactured bullshit. Have a glass of water or full-on fat cookie. There's nothing wrong with eating butter or ice cream or cake. In moderation.

Good luck to you. Don't give up looking for your cure...it's out there.
Elizabeth2285
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Re: Rosacea and aspartame and flushing.

Post by Elizabeth2285 »

Hey FRS,
Thanks for sharing this. Your thread was the first thing I read when I googled "rosacea aspartame" just now to see if there was a connection. I'm pretty shocked that I'm just discovering this. I have suffered from rosacea for many years but the flare-ups have gotten significantly worse in the last 5-6 years I'd say. I just moved apartments and my skin has been so much better! I do take antibiotic and use Mirovosa and Finecea, etc. which isn't ideal but I'll do anything to keep symptoms under control. Well anyway, so I'd say since I moved apartments three months ago I just find it awesome that I don't flare up, hardly ever. In fact just last week I noticed a eye mask in the freezer that I used to have to use during bad flare-up's and realized I hadn't touched it in months. I have cut back on caffeine and thought maybe that that was it?
Well.
Then this week really randomly and annoyingly, the flare-ups and bumps came back. I was so shocked and sad. I was racking my brain trying to think what was different... like I did have a candy bar one day and I have snuck coffee back in.. then BINGO! I freaking have been drinking Diet 7-Up again! I used to drink it allll the time, for years, and then for some reason since I've moved apartments I know I haven't bought it once. Last week I picked up a 12 pack and am back in the habit of drinking one can a day and the flare-ups returned!
I'm so excited to have learned this, I promptly dumped my cup and will never touch the stuff again. I just know that that's what did it. Unbelievable.
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