I went to the grocery store and bought Sherbert for what I thought would be a nice treat. I bought the one which read "No SUGAR Added". BIG MISTAKE!! My husband (who is healthy) and I both had Abdominal pain & diarrhea and lots of gas! Then I read the ingredients. Sorbitol was the second ingredient.
--What is Sorbitol?
The other name of sorbitol is ‘glucitol’. It is actually a sugar alcohol, which is slowly metabolized by the human body.
Uses of Sorbitol
Sorbitol is a sugar substitute, often found in diet food like ice creams, colas, sugar free chewing gums, cough syrups, etc.
***Sorbitol is also used as a nutritive sweetener, as it is a source of dietary energy.
****There are sorbitol gums, sorbitol toothpaste, sorbitol ice creams and sorbitol sweets, which are available. Some of the cake mixes, diet drinks also contain sorbitol. Sorbitol is also used in some medications. It is used as a laxative to cure constipation. When you are using a sorbitol laxative do no use any other laxative. It is also an emulsifier. These days sorbitol is also used in cosmetics to thicken it. A glycerin sorbitol combination is used to make soaps as well. These soaps do not dry the skin like alcohol soaps do.
Side Effects of Sorbitol
Although considered healthy, there are sorbitol side effects present too.
Sorbitol laxative effect is quite well known. It is not well absorbed in the small intestine though.
One of the sorbitol effects is diarrhea.
*** While studying the side effects of sorbitol, it was found that sorbitol chewing gum caused diarrhea in many patients. Since sorbitol is a laxative, there is excessive water, which enters the gastrointestinal tract and causes diarrhea. Due to constant diarrhea, there is unintended weight loss.
**** Abdominal pain is another common sorbitol effect.
If you observe stomach cramps after consumption of sorbitol, understand it is an emergency and seek medical help immediately.
Sorbitol toxicity can also give rise to abdominal bloating.
Sorbitol solution can cause increased or decreased urination. It can also cause dry mouth.
*********Extended sorbitol use causes nausea.
*********Excessive usage of liquid sorbitol can cause anal irritation.
*********Rectal bleeding is another side effect of sorbitol.
Along with diarrhea, sorbitol also causes vomiting. Vomiting is caused, in people who are very sensitive to this product though.
One of the very serious side effect of sorbitol is black, tarry stools.
In very rare cases, sorbitol can also cause allergies, such as a skin rash, itching and swelling.
Sorbitol can cause dizziness, if used for an extended period of time.
Some patients have also recorded trouble in breathing after use of sorbitol.
********Sorbitol is also known to aggravate irritable bowel syndrome.
From sorbitol usage, in some severe cases, there are can be swelling of the face and body.
In severe cases, sorbitol can also cause seizures.
If you notice any of the side effects of sorbitol, talk to your health care professional or your physician, without wasting any time. In case of suspected overdose call the emergency or local poison control department, immediately.
You can buy sorbitol over the counter. If you buy it from your regular pharmacist, he would know the sorbitol side effects along with the other drugs you are using. Sorbitol dangers increase, if you are not taking it under your doctor's supervision. With all the mentioned sorbitol side effects, I will only say ‘Prevention is better than cure’, hence, use it in a prescribed dose only.
By Bhakti Satalkar
I hope this info prevents you from suffering the way we did. NO MORE "No Sugar Added" for us.