Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel

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Is Your Favorite Chewing Gum Causing Your Mystery Symptoms?

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) Millions of people live with chronic pain and autoimmune disease. Some have had the benefit of a diagnosis, while others are still dragging themselves from doctor to doctor trying to find answers. If you fall into the latter category, you’re not alone.

When you’re living with mystery symptoms, it’s a good idea to go on an elimination diet to see if food sensitivities are causing them.

It’s also very important to take a careful inventory of any cosmetics or household cleaning products that could be triggering an allergic or inflammatory response.

Wait. Did we miss anything? Oh, yes. Chewing gum.

It seems harmless enough. You may have a pack in your pocket or purse and reach for a stick after a garlicky lunch, a strong cup of coffee, or to stave off hunger pangs between meals.

What you may not know is that most commercial chewing gum is filled with toxic chemicals that may cause or worsen your mystery symptoms.


Here is a short list of synthetic chemicals in your favorite gum that could be making you sick:

  • Aspartame

According to research published by the FDA, this artificial sweetener has been linked to a list of chronic illnesses that may be caused and/or worsened by its long-term consumption.

This list includes, but is not limited to:



Attention Deficit Disorder

Birth Defects

Brain Tumors

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Cognitive Impairment





Parkinson’s Disease

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Multiple Sclerosis*


*Note: In the case of MS, aspartame toxicity mimics the illness or exacerbates the existing condition. However, it is not known to cause the disease itself.

Aspartame contains three neurotoxins believed to be the cause of some wide and varying symptoms.

    • Methanol – Symptoms of methanol poisoning include drowsiness, headache, ataxia (inability to coordinate muscle movements), and mental confusion.

    • Phenylalanine – This neurotoxic chemical has been shown to cause anxiety, jitteriness, and hyperactivity in children.

    • Aspartic Acid – This amino acid raises the blood levels of aspartate and glutamate in the body, which kills off your nerve cells.

BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)

This synthetic chemical, designed to keep oils from becoming rancid, has been shown to increase hyperactivity in children. It has also been shown to cause dizziness, disorientation, and hives in some individuals.

Titanium Dioxide

This chemical, which is often used as a whitening agent in chewing gum, has been linked to asthma and Crohn’s disease. It is also a potential carcinogen.

Acesulfame-K (ACE-K)

This artificial sweetener contains a cancer-causing compound called methylene chloride. Research has shown that long-term exposure to this compound can cause headaches, depression, nausea, cognitive impairment, liver problems, kidney problems, and visual abnormalities.

Since the chemicals in gum can potentially cause a whole host of health problems and symptoms, it is best to cut it out of your diet completely for a month. Don’t change anything else, just avoid gum.

If your health improves, you’ll know it was likely something in the gum that triggered your symptoms.

Safer Brands of Gum to Chew

Good news! You can still get that satisfying chew without a side order of cancer.

For example:

  • Train Gum – Contains chicle, natural oils, simple syrup (sugar and water), and rice flour.

  • Chicza Organic Rainforest Gum – This USDA organic gum is made with evaporated cane juice, chicle, glucose, agave syrup, and natural flavors.

  • Glee Gum – This non-GMO verified gum is made with Fair Trade cane sugar and brown rice syrup. The sugar-free flavors are made with xylitol.

  • Simply Gum – This organic, biodegradable gum is made with chicle, raw cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, rice flour, and all-natural flavor.

Give them a try!

See also:

Is Flavored Water Bad for You?

Are You Still Eating These Energy-Draining Foods?

Is Your Favorite Drink Dissolving Your Skeleton?



About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness and she is also the author of Life Beyond Chronic Pain: The Step-by-Step Guide to Healing Chronic Illness Naturally. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.

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