It’s all about Blood Sugar Control and Brain Chemistry!
You can learn more about how sugar gets us hooked if you keep reading my full article. In my next blog I’ll look at the other negative health consequences of a sugar laden diet to give you some real motivation to change.
Breaking the cycle can be a challenge and most people need some guidance and support through the process. We can work with you to find other ways to support you with blood sugar stabilization and healthy brain chemistry.
So here are the addictive aspects of sugar that plague us. Maybe you identify with some of the symptoms of situations I talk about.
Many people are feasting throughout the whole day on sugar (and white processed foods) that turn to blood sugar quickly. When they wake in the morning their blood sugar is low. The grab their sugar laden morning coffee and muffin which causes their blood sugar to shoot through the roof. There is a temporary good feeling and a burst of energy.
The blood sugar spike is a warning signal to the body that causes it to pump out adrenaline. When this is going on throughout the day the adrenals can become over worked and a consequence can be adrenal fatigue.
But back to the coffee and muffin story….Soon after the high, the blood sugar crashes back down again quickly. Someone who is affected by low blood sugar may experience tiredness, restlessness, confusion, forgetfulness, poor concentration, irritability and anger. Low blood sugar is a danger situation for the body and triggers it to look for their next sugary carb fix. And so the pattern continues.
This is the feel good chemical that our body produces. People low in serotonin are often fretful, anxious, depressed, short in attention span, scattered, angry or aggressive.
Blood sugar assists with driving tryptophan across the blood brain barrier to make serotonin. Of course we need serotonin and we want to have some glucose in our system to do that. But the reason doctors prescribe so many SSRI anti-depressants is not because people are lacking in sugar intake! The trouble comes with too much sugar which gives a temporary serotonin rush but stresses the adrenals as we said before and so ultimately depletes us. It’s one of the reasons we get hooked to sugar.
Beta-endorphins are the body’s pain killer. Those with low levels experience self esteem issues, poor coping skills, feelings of inadequacy and isolation, a sense of being stuck, have a victim mentality and an extreme response to criticism. Heroin is a beta endorphin and addicts can take up to six months to deal with their feelings of low self esteem which is why recovery rates are low.
Sugar can also affect beta-endorphin levels. Not surprisingly people who have low levels of beta-endorphins reach for sugar. It is actually just the taste of the sugar that activates the beta-endorphins, not it’s effect on the body, so eating other foods that give pleasure will produce the same affect.
Sugar’s taste ultimately leads to dopamine being released, which provides us with motivation, concentration, alertness, euphoria – the long term planning chemical that allows us to work hard now for something that will benefit us later.
Let us know how you relate to this and what worked for you if you managed to get off your sugar habit.