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I love to chew gum.
In the early months of withdrawal, I chewed my way through a dozen pieces of Double Bubble every day. It helped me cope with the I’ve-got-my-finger-in-the-wall-socket feeling. It’s hard to believe a body can produce that much fear and anxiety. As time passed, my CNS calmed down. I didn’t have to punish a piece of gum for hours on end.

Four years off and the pounds pile on.
I’m not sure if my weight gain was from my forced inactivity due to benzo withdrawal, my age, my eating habits, or all of the above. Maybe all three were at play. I gained 20 pounds! I’m only 5’3″ so every pound showed. I felt old and frumpy. When my oldest son got married June 27, I felt embarrassed in the dress I wore to the wedding. I decided enough was enough. Hell, I’d survived benzo withdrawal. I could lose weight and firm up. I could get my sexy back! I joined a gym, and I’m down 11 pounds. Yeah! “What does that have to do with chewing gum?” you ask.

I bought sugarless gum to cut carbs/calories. 
The health food store I love to shop at has all kinds of yummy sugarless candies and gum. I bought an expensive jar of gum sweetened with Xylitol. No more Double Bubble and all of its sugar. Immediately after I started chewing the gum, I had stomach cramps. I thought maybe it was from something I ate. The days wore on, and my cramps got worse than ever. Was I back in a wave of gastro symptoms? One afternoon I was doubled over, the pain was so bad. The gum was the only new thing in my diet, so I googled Xylitol. Bingo! It can cause cramps and digestive upset in some people. Since I am sensitive to most medicines, it made sense that I was “some people.” Rats. There went the sugarless gum!

I’m chewing old fashioned Juicy Fruit now.
It doesn’t seem to be as sugary as bubble gum. The cramps are gone. I’m losing weight. All is right in my world again. If you have digestive issues, you may want to double check every ingredient you are putting into your body. Who would have thought that a piece of sugarless gum could have me doubled over in pain?

Keep healing! 

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