About 1 month ago I was suffering from several cases of severe diarrhea with each case of it lasting for about 5-6 days. At first, I put it down to food poisoning but after consecutive incidents, I realized that it might have been something else causing this.
From my own experience with food poisoning, the symptoms only last for about 3 days, where after that, things go back to normal. Stomach viruses were another suspicion of mine. Tummy flus can last for up to 7 days but once you get over it, it is highly unlikely that you get sick again from the same type of flu strain.
This lead me to think that there was something going on with the e-liquids…
From reading up on the various e-cig forums on the web, it was quite apparent that although e-cigarettes are a much healthier alternative to smoking, there is a small percentage of the community who are sensitive to the ingredients of e-liquids, and nicotine is not one of those ingredients.
Initially, when I was doing my research, I was asking around the forums but only a few people responded to my queries, and what’s more, their symptoms were completely different from mine.
My first suspect was nicotine, as I was vaping quite heavily at the time, and I thought that I might have had a nicotine overdose. However I later realized that it wasn’t the case.
I’ve overdosed on nicotine patches before (those NRT’s kick in really hard and fast), and the first thing I noticed was dizziness, headaches and nausea, but not stomachaches or diarrhea. I eventually dismissed the fact that nicotine in the e-juice caused the chronic diarrhea symptoms.
During the course of the allergy symptoms, I was vaping a fair bit on my favorite flavor from TastyVapor (U.S.A. e-liquid manufacturer), the “Cafe Macchiato”. I vaped this through the Liquinator and my Provari e-cig mod. I had been vaping this flavor for months and had several cases of slightly loose stool but not severe diarrhea. It wasn’t until I spoke to a few fellow vapers over at the GPTV network did I realize that the TastyVapor doublers were the culprit.
Some of the folks also ordered some doublers from TastyVapor and had them sweetened – there’s an option to add extra sweeteners to the doublers at checkout. All of us had the same symptoms, so it was pretty much confirmed.
The cause was narrowed down to having too much artificial sweetener.
This caused the massive stomach cramps and hours spent sitting on the can. They are the same sweeteners I believe, that are used in artificial food flavorings, for example, chewing gum. My stomach was just over sensitive to high doses of sweeteners.
The Symptoms of Allergy
The symptoms I had started with uneasiness of the tummy, followed by rumbling (it gets pretty darn loud too). The next stage is severe gut-wrenching cramps followed by chronic diarrhea.
What I had was pretty bad and at the time, I was beginning to think that I was really sick or something. I didn’t think it was the flavoring that was causing this so I kept on vaping and started getting cold sweat followed by a mild fever.
I have always been a big fan of sweet e-juice flavors but I tested my theory out by switching over to a tobacco-only juice, that wasn’t sweetened. After a day, the symptoms subsided dramatically and after 2 days, they were completely gone and I was back to normal.
Some people are allergic to the addition of VG to their e juices but I don’t think I am, because I have vaped 50/50 PG to VG ratios before and never had any issues.
Conclusion: Preventing further allergy problems
I don’t know what TastyVapor put into their extra sweeteners but I know now to stay well away from juices that are too sweet. I’ve recently switched over to a strawberry cheesecake flavor by Juice Whore (an Australian vendor) and although the flavor is sweet, it isn’t overly so and I’ve had no problems since.
I hope this post has been helpful because I know for sure that some of you are going to come across this problem, and I don’t want to see any of you go through the hell that I went through, before discovering the cause of these allergies.
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It is important to note that the post written on this page is not to be taken as medical advice, and that I am purely writing about my own experiences with e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Always consultant your medical professional and have your symptoms checked out if they persist.