Ever think you could be addicted to sugar?
Here’s what could be driving your cravings for sweets:
HANGRY = Hungry and Angry!!
Dips and spikes in blood sugar can wreak havoc on your moods. When you have a sugary drink or sweet it spikes your blood sugar and then the body rushes to put that sugar into the cells, resulting a drop in blood sugar and – you guessed it – craving for more sweets to bring the blood sugar back up again.
Let’s face it, we are pleasure seeking beings and when we use sweet treats to reward ourselves for a job well done, it changes our brain so that we look for sugar as a reward. Dopamine is a reward chemical that gets affected in sugar addiction as well as cocaine addiction.
Bacteria and Yeasts
The microbes in your GI tract can preferentially feed themselves by communicating to your enteric nervous system by sending signals for “more carbs please” or specific foods to provide the nourishment they require. Candida is a yeast that occurs naturally in our intestinal flora but overgrows during periods of stress, long term use of birth control pills or use of antibiotics. An imbalance of Candida can increase cravings for carbohydrates (sugar) – driving them from yeast to fungal form which can cause things like headaches, sinus problems, skin rashes, bloating and indigestion.
Effects of Too Much Sugar
Blood sugar dysregulation can lead to mood swings, weight gain and lack of energy. Long term it can lead to diabetes type II, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, yeast overgrowth and non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Help to Kick the Habit
Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND has tools to help you kick you sugar cravings, loose weight, avoid or even reverse type II diabetes.
Book for your free 15 minute consult to learn more on how Dr. Laura may be able to help you or get started right away. Call (519)-826-7973 to set up your appointment.
Blood sugar control is not just for diabetics! Maintain steady blood sugar and it can help you loose weight, sleep better, balance your mood, increase your mental focus, and fend off chronic illness like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Get help now from Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND
5 Reasons to Regulate Your Blood Sugar
- Levels out Anxiety
- Helps with Weight Loss – Encourages Fat Burning
- Increases Mental Focus
- Reduces Chronic Inflammation
- Regulates Sleep
Blood Glucose Control
- Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Every carbohydrate will be broken down to the smallest of sugars – sucrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, galactose.
- Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar that your body makes from the food you eat. Glucose is carried through the blood to provide energy to your body’s cells.
- When you take in more glucose than required it is stored as glycogen in muscles and liver and then as body fat (triglycerides)
- Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar or glucose. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose into your cells to give them energy. Hyperglycemia happens when your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it the right way.
- Hypoglycemia is when there is low blood sugar. This happens after prolonged absence of energy intake or insulin dysregulation.
- Anxiety – When your blood glucose rises quickly from a sugary drink or snack or high glycemic load meal, insulin is released to shuttle the sugar into cells, then you are left just as quickly with a low level of blood sugar. This rise and fall can affect your mood. A new word was added to the dictionary this year. “Hangry” is now a word. It means you are hungry and angry when your blood sugar is out of balance. The concept of anxiety and low blood sugar is real. The physiology of the body in both circumstances is very similar and the brain sometimes cannot tell the difference. It’s that same reason why a diabetic might have angry outbursts – their sugars are not well regulated. Help regulate the release of sugar into your blood stream with protein in your meal or fibre with your carbohydrates. That means eating whole grains, legumes or some type of soluble or insoluble fibre.
- Encourages fat burning. If you only take in a little carbohydrate at a time, your body has a just-in-time delivery of sugar, or energy to fuel your activity. If it needs a little boost, it will pull the extra from your cells – and result in weight loss. It’s a careful balance, however. Starve your body and it will go into a mode of preservation and shuttle any energy it gets into cells for safe storage – just like a squirrel hiding its nuts for winter. Give your body too much energy, and it will also store it in the cells as fat.
- Increases Mental Focus. Your brain has only one source of energy – glucose. If your blood sugar is going up and down like a roller coaster, so too will your ability to focus. Also your brain experiences sugar as a reward – it enhances the dopamine system. So sugar can be addictive if you use it as your only reward. You have 5 senses – taste is only one of them. Enhance your reward system with more than just food, try music, massage, theatre, aromatherapy, or intimate pleasures.
- Reduces Chronic Inflammation. Inflammation leads to cortisol release which over time can lead to insulin resistance which leads to inflammation… a bit of a dog chasing its tail. Reduce stress to regulate cortisol release. Cortisol is released every time you encounter a stressful situation – it was meant to stimulate the physiological mechanism that pulls glucose (energy) from storage so you can go chase the tiger. Problem is if the tiger is a deadline at work and your are madly typing away…it just doesn’t burn the same energy as running and huffing and puffing. So… when you don’t use that glucose the blood sugar remains high and – for reasons we are not entirely sure – will get re-deposited right around your waist line. These not so lovely love handles are a contributor to metabolic syndrome and pose diabetic risk. Chronic inflammation also is a precursor to cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Regulates Sleep. If your blood sugar is regulated, you will sleep better because you will not be so restless at night. Sleep time is a time of rest and rejuvenation. Too little sleep and your appetite increases, and this may put you at risk of disrupting your blood sugar balance. Eat your bigger meal at least 2 hours before bed and have a light snack with a little protein in it before you go to bed.
General over all tips to help regulate your blood sugar:
- Physical activity to counteract the extra energy release
- Eat only small amounts that meet your activity level, but don’t go below 50g of carbs per day – your brain and thyroid need it.
- Eat carbs with fibre and protein to prolong release of glucose into blood stream and promote satiety.
- Pay attention to the glycemic load of foods.
- Mindful meditation, focused breath to deal with stress response.
- Get a good night’s rest
- Support blood glucose regulation with botanical medicines. Check with your health practitioner for the best fit for you with the right dose & duration.
From the heart and mind of your local naturopathic doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND. email@example.com