Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Stevia sweetener warning

Warning:  all natural does not always mean something is good for you.  Sometimes “all natural” can be deadly.  Snake and spider venom are all natural but I don’t think I want any of those.  Do you?

I was so excited when I discovered stevia not long ago.  It’s an all natural sweetener.   I had seen it in the stores for maybe two or three years but it was too expensive for my budget.  When the price came down I bought myself a box.  I was especially excited when I learned it comes from a plant and I could grow the plant in my backyard garden.  Hey, I could harvest my own artificial sweetener.  What a money saver that would be!  I loved the idea.

FOODS 2013 157

I bought a book to learn about growing and harvesting the plant for home use.  The book has a resources section for places to buy the plants.  I also found out the plant is sold at our local Home Depot store every spring.

FOODS 2013 158

Well heck, I’m allergic to it.   Strange that I am allergic to it because I don’t have any other known allergies.  Oh there is an occasional itchy eyes during high pollen alert days but nothing other than that.   I had been using the store bought Stevia in the raw for only a couple of weeks.  One packet in my coffee and only one or two cups a day.  That’s it.

I didn’t think anything about it at first.  I had a raw place on the inside of my lip that was just a little uncomfortable.  As the days went by the raw feeling inside my mouth spread and became worse.  No amount of teeth brushing, mouthwash swishing, home remedy using, had helped heal it.  I also started feeling bloated and having diarrhea.  I’ve not had any digestive problems for many years.    Then I noticed my sugar levels were spiking and I was having a stronger than normal urge for sweets late at night.  I’m a sugar addict but this craving was very strange even for me.

I made an appointment with my nurse practitioner but I also tried to think what may be causing these symptoms.  I wanted to be ready to talk with her about it.  The only recent change I’ve made is the Stevia so I did some research.  It seems Stevia does have negative reactions in some people.  I’m writing this post to warn you of possible allergies to the Stevia sugars.   Be extra careful if you have a child and are thinking of using Stevia in food you plan to give them.  I felt the symptoms as a raw feeling in my mouth but who knows what it was doing to my insides.

I stopped using the Stevia as soon as I realized  it was causing my symptoms.  That was three months ago.  I finally feel back to normal.  I’m glad I chose to do some research.  Who knows what would have happened if I had kept using it.   Anyway, I’m hoping this post will reach others before they have allergic reactions like mine.

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This entry was posted on July 17, 2013 by in PINCHING PENNIES and tagged , , , .

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