I Hate Maltitol

Ironbull's Pink of Courtesy
Pink (Ironbull’s Pink of Courtesy)
2003 – 2013

My dog, Pink (Pinky), died Monday morning. She was a nine and a half year old bullmastiff who still seemed like a puppy.  She was a beautiful, gentle giant and we loved her very much.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jessica and I went on a walk, the same walk I used to take Pinky on every day. We passed by the stores I used to take her to and talked about her and our loss.

We went into one of the shops, a deli I go to often, and saw they had a poppy seed cake – “sugar free”. I looked at the ingredients and saw that the second ingredient, after flour, was maltitol.

“It’s not low carb” Jessica said while we looked at the cake.

“I know, but what the hell. Let’s try it. We deserve it,” I said referring to the bad mood we had been in since Monday. Drowning my sorrows in food, even carbs, never helps but I keep trying anyway.

So we bought the cake, went home and made some coffee. We each had a piece of the cake.  Jessica’s was very small and mine was twice as big.

I love poppy cakes and was really excited to try it but after I had a bite I realized it wasn’t the real thing (a feeling I get most times I eat food with artificial sweeteners).  This realization did not deter me from eating more. It was as if the fact that it didn’t really taste good made me want to keep eating it. It was close enough to good that it made me want more in hope that it would some how become the real thing with just a few more bites. I bolused a little for the cake and my blood sugar went up, but nowhere near what it would have if I’d eaten “real” cake.

We went to sleep early that night. When I woke up at 6:45 (Thursday is not a running day), I felt as if I’d been hit by a truck. I couldn’t wake up and my stomach didn’t feel all that well either. I didn’t think I’d had a low during the night, but that was the only explanation I could think of for the way I felt. 

I made coffee and took another piece of cake. I took the kids to school and didn’t walk the dog.  I was depressed and felt horrible but wanted to get some work done. I tried, but my mind wasn’t working.  I ended up going to bed and within seconds I was out. I slept for an hour with out moving. I felt drugged. I dragged myself out of bed and told Jess how I felt.

“It’s probably the maltitol,” she said. It always does weird things.

My blood sugar wasn’t too high, staying at around 150-180 even after bolusing a few times. I know maltitol is infamous for causing stomach issues (nausea, diarrhea…), and although my stomach was bothering me that wasn’t my main concern. I felt drugged, poisoned. And after thinking about it a while I realized this wasn’t the first time I’d felt like this after eating food with maltitol.

At about 5:00 p.m. I crashed again. I fell asleep for another half an hour.  I dragged myself out of bed to drive the boys to judo.

By dinnertime I felt a little better, and my blood sugar was finally back to normal.

“I hate maltitol,” I told Jessica. “Don’t ever let me buy anything like that again.”

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10 years ago

I’m sorry you lost your dog.

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