As people with diabetes, we all know the dangers of sugar-free lollies. Whether it be through personal experience or reading the Amazon reviews of sugar-free gummi bears. I have to admit I treated myself to sugar free chocolate during the early days of my diagnosis until I discovered dark chocolate. But I’ve never had any bad experiences with artificial sweeteners. Until a few days ago.
I was invited to give talk about my career pathway to a bunch of 16 year olds. As a thank you, the organiser handed out each panelist a couple of Lindt chocolate blocks (my favourite!).
But when my turn came, they excitedly told me they prepared something special for me because of my diabetes.
Yep. Sugar free chocolate and two packets of sugar free lollies. I knew they meant well and sugar-free products are often targeted at people with diabetes. So people assume that’s they only thing we can eat. To be fair, I did receive my Lindt chocolate at the end as there was a spare gift (woohoo, two gifts!).
A couple of nights later, I’m at my computer, frantically trying to finish a chapter and looking for something to nibble on. I can’t resist gummy bears so I opened the sugar-free packet and told myself I’d just have a couple.
I’m not sure how many I ate, but it was enough for my stomach to start a war. I’m surprised I even managed to complete and send the chapter off to my supervisors. Then the real apocalypse began.
The reaction wasn’t even what I had expected. I had never quite experienced stomach spasms of this calibre, I broke out into cold sweat and my stomach was so bloated, it hurt to even touch it.
It took a whole lot of green tea, heat packs and hours of being curled in the foetus position before things started to settle and subside. And the first thing I did in the morning after the night of agony was to toss the rest of the packet into the bin. Something I should’ve done in the first place!
So if a well-meaning friend ever gifts you sugar-free lollies, return the offer. Open the packet and share it with them. And when I say share it with them, don’t eat any yourself.