Are you a sugar addict? As with most addictions, by the time people ask this question, the answer is usually yes. A simple way to tell? Stay off sugar for two to four weeks, and see how you feel.
In the United States, with—18 percent of the average American
diet coming from added sugar; sugar addiction is becoming
the rule rather than the exception. Many people eat their
weight in sugar every year. And it may be why you are tired, achy,
"brain fogged," anxious, and unable to lose weight.
Some chronic medical problems associated with excess
sugar in our diet include metabolic syndrome with high cholesterol
and obesity1 and heart disease.
This is the short list. The actual list could go on for pages.
In fact, research from the American Heart Association suggests
that sugar contributes to over 180,000 deaths each year.2 Meanwhile,
in what is a remarkable example of corporate cynicism,
people who have sugar-induced irritability are being told to eat
more sugar. Candy bar ads have even coined the term "Hangry."
Eating a candy bar or drinking a sugar packed soda is the
worst thing you can do to address "hanger." Although you feel
better initially as blood sugar rises, the rebound drops in blood
sugar in response to spikes in blood sugar makes the problem
worse a half hour later, putting you on an emotional "sugar
As most people have found though, simply trying to cut out
sugar usually does not work very well.
In addition, who wants to cut out things that give you pleasure?
Put simply, if you live a long life because you’ve cut out
everything you enjoy, why bother?
The answer? As Mark Twain so beautifully put it, "Moderation
in all things, including moderation!" It is okay to enjoy
sugar, and chocolate actually is a health food.3 The trick is to do
it in small amounts instead of doing it because you are craving
Sugar cravings are driven by a number of factors, and we
find that there are four main types of Sugar Addiction. What is
critical is to address the source of the sugar cravings. When you
do this, the sugar cravings go away. And you will feel much better.
When three or four of these Sugar Addiction types are present
in the same person, I usually find that they either have, or
are on the verge of developing, fibromyalgia. Addressing these
problems can result in marked improvement in fibromyalgia
The four Sugar Addiction types are:
- Fatigue causing you to reach for sweets. Sugar is an energy loan shark. It gives a quick energy fix, but then triggers adrenaline releases that burn energy while making you anxious. The free "Energy Analysis Program" at www.EndFatigue.com can show you how to optimize your healthy energy. For supplements ribose, and the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder are good ways to begin, with marked improvement in fibromyalgia often being seen after three to six weeks.4
- Severe irritability when hungry. This reflects inadequate adrenal function. The job of the adrenal hormone cortisol is to keep sugar from dropping too low during stress. When people have "adrenal fatigue" from the stress of modern life, cortisol stress hormone response is inadequate as blood sugar plummets, allowing the drops in blood sugar. Fortunately, this can be helped dramatically with nutritional support including vitamin B5, adrenal glandulars, vitamin C, and licorice. In my patients, I recommend the supplements Adrenaplex (by EuroPharma) or Adrenal Stress End (by Enzymatic Therapy), which contain all of these in a single capsule. This offers dramatic relief within a week.
- Sugar cravings without the "hanger." A group that I call the "Happy Twinkie hunters" tends to be associated with Candida/ yeast overgrowth in the gut. Other markers of this include nasal congestion and irritable bowel syndrome. These cravings and problems also go away when the Candida overgrowth is treated.
- Anxiety and depression associated with perimenopause. People learn to reach for sugar, because this increases tryptophan moving into the brain, which raises serotonin levels. Serotonin has been called the "happiness molecule." Unfortunately, over time excess sugar causes this to get blunted (because of insulin resistance), so that the sugar actually causes excessive anxiety and depression. Using bioidentical hormone replacement can help this.
You can have your cake and eat it too!
- http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/11/1011 hypertension