Sugar is Addictive!

Submitted by on Thursday, August 3, 20066 Comments

Sugar is Addictive

Sugar is Addictive (How I Got Off Sugar)

I am a sugar addict disposed to anorexia behavior. This means that when I am eating sugar I eat little else. In my quest for help and in thinking I was somewhat normal but just lacked a little willpower, I found results and studies that suggest not only am I not alone but that sugar is an addiction across the board.

An excerpt on Evidence for Motivated Relapse in an Animal Model of Sugar Addiction from the Society of NeuroScience:

Researchers withheld food for 12 hours and then gave rats food plus sugar water. This created a cycle of binging where the animals increased their daily sugar intake until it doubled. When researchers either stopped the diet or administered an opioid blocker the rats showed signs common to drug withdrawal, such as teeth-chattering and the shakes. Early findings also indicate signs of relapse. Rats weaned off sugar repeatedly pressed a lever that previously dispensed the sweet solution.

If you are not convinced sugar is addictive try to give it up. I’m an expert on giving it up so I can tell you what I go through in withdrawing. It used to be I would not read a label or two and my cravings would come back with a vengeance after introducing sugar back into my system. My withdrawal was severe as far as cravings go. I would become very cranky and lethargic. Sometimes I would have headaches. A normal inconvenience of life would become a life-threatening calamity.

I have begun noticing this phenomenon in other people who eat more than just a little sugar. Most recently witnessed in a 3 year old child, who I’ll reference later. This child, on this date, was cranky, ill-tempered, selfish and was not playing well. She had had sugar and her body was in a crash. First, there’s a high – a buzz; She was all about playing and having fun! And then the crash – the foul moods, crabbiness, lethargy, or what I call withdrawal.

An excerpt from The Natural Causes of Sugar Addiction:

When a substance such as alcohol, heroin or sugar is physically addictive, you know it when you try to give it up. These withdrawal symptoms are mild when you give up sugar, slightly painful when you give up caffeine, very dramatic when you give up heroin, and are possibly life-threatening when a long-term alcoholic gives up alcohol. If it’s difficult for you to stop eating sugar and highly refined carbohydrates, it’s probably because of the withdrawal symptoms.

  • A friend I spoke with recently who shared that she had a banana split one night from some place and never being really big on sweets, is surprised to find herself wanting that same banana split at around the same time every night.

  • A little girl had a birthday recently – her 3rd. Her grandparents allowed her to have two scoops of ice-cream before bed. Not only did she not fall asleep until much later than she would have, but she “slept” for well over 10 hours. When she woke up she asked for ice-cream for breakfast. Her grandparents gave her jello instead.

  • Thinking a cereal looked as if it would be good for me, I bought it without reading the label. Wondering why it was I was eating nothing but GoLean for all of my meals I discovered it’s sugar content, which was clearly too much for my body. I dumped the remaining boxes out.

I began trying to discover what was wrong with me when I began noticing I was tired all the time. I had just given up alcohol and was sleeping every day from about 2:00pm to 4:00pm. It took talking to somebody who knew what I was eating for lunch for it to be pointed out to me: “You’re eating a blueberry compote Belgian Waffle with whipped cream and syrup around 1:00pm every day.” When I got up from my naps I was cranky and mad. It began occurring to me I had replaced the sugar from alcohol with the sugar from food. Then I discovered I had systemic Candida. I used a Garden of Life’s Fungal Defense and that was when it started. I realized I had to maintain my defense from a sugar poisoned body and that required research. Research on why I needed to not have sugar and an understanding of exactly how it affected me.

Now following Dr. Kathleen DesMaison’s Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Plan after a long journey and adventure of investigating the affects and symptoms of sugar on my body and in my life I have found a new way to live I did not know existed. I was often moody, lacked impulse control, felt pain very easily and just chalked it up to life. Kathleen DesMaisons, with her Ph.D. in Addictive Nutrition, does make causative links between alcoholics who relapse and their diet.

Like the rats I cited earlier, people need to “feel good” and most people do. Most people have adequate beta-endorphins but Kathleen would say that the alcoholic or the sugar addict or anorexic for that matter, lacks appropriate manufacturing of them. So we seek alternative means of production. One is alcohol. Another is heroin. And then, of course, sugar. So when the alcoholic quits drinking and picks up sugar – like I did – she will still go through withdrawals [from sugar] and being depleted evermore of the already scant beta-endorphins she was holding on to by stopping drinking, the sugar withdrawals lead to lack of impulse control and she drinks again. Kathleen’s solution, as cited earlier, is eating the right kinds of foods in order to perk up our beta-endorphins on a permanent – rather than dangerously using sugar – basis.

As much as I know this sounds like another radical theory. As much as I know what I sound like I still have to sound this way. I have lived it and I have seen it. I have lived it in my life and have seen it in the lives of other people, particularly kids. Kids are as honest as they can be and haven’t learned how to make excuses for their moodiness so when they are – they just are. I know two boys both under the age of 6 – alcoholics in training I call them – who eat sugar for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They refuse to eat well-balanced food and there is their life’s foundation. Their Mom won’t make them and she keeps the sugar in the house. They pretty much do what they want to do and that means they’re running wild.

I wonder how many A.D.D. cases could righteously be attributed to sugar addiction in the young one’s? I wonder how many cases of depression could be solved with the removal of sugar from one’s diet. I wonder if what could be characterized as bipolar is exacerbated by or maybe could even be masking sugar addiction? Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia, I do believe, is really Sugar Addiction induced. I have many theories based on my research but I am not a doctor. All I have are my own experiences from which I tailor my solutions.

It took Candida. Then eventually trying to stop eating sugar – as to not negate the effects of my cleansing. Then the realization I had no appetite for anything but sugar and dropping weight quickly, I went into a 12 Step program for eating disorders. There I discovered I was not alone and learned from others how they stopped eating sugar and how they began eating healthily. I would not have continued eating had it not been working for me but I discovered a world of sanity and impulse control and enjoyment! It was amazing when I could concentrate on something else besides the pain in my stomach. It was freeing when I could pass by candy and not have to wonder what meal I’d have to lie about in order to get out of eating.

I think the best thing that happened when I got off of sugar was waking up not angry at the world.



  • Mon said:

    My addiction is Carbs. Whenever I try to give them up, and replace them with ‘good carbs’ I turn into the biggest bitch. I have headaches, and I know that’s what it is. But after giving them up, if I have just a small amount again, I want LOADS. So, I have to always have some, bad or not. It’s better than binging on them, at least in my book!

  • samsara (author) said:

    Oh definitely! I so understand that. For me, simple sugars and highly refined carbs are the pits – same effects. I’m hungry shortly after and even if I’ve had bread only, I’ll end up wanting simple straight sugar. And I, too Mon, believe that deprivation leads to binging so if one can’t [or doesn’t want to give them up] much better to allow for it than an outright denial that leads to a binge.

  • Harold Roush said:

    I know carbohydrates are an addiction for me.The more I eat,the more I wantBut if I go on the Dr. Atkins diet,within a couple of days,I have no craving for them at all.I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t experienced it myself.

  • Amy said:

    I know I am for sure addicted to sugar. I have great intentions & truly do want to cut it out of my diet… but the withdrawal symptoms are so bad, that I don’t see how I can function for the week and be as productive as I need to be. Any advice on how to just get through these symptoms and have energy, clarity and a good nights sleep???


  • samsara (author) said:

    Amy –

    According to Dr. DesMaisons [of whom I do trust to be an expert on Sugar Addiction and particularly how it affects us emotionally, mentally, physically] there will be a detox period.

    When I have accidentally lapsed back onto sugar I know a couple of things will happen when I am ready to detox.

    #1 I am going to crave sugar at exactly the same time every 24 hour period that I was previously consuming it.

    #2 I am going to be grumpy

    #3 I may have headaches depending upon how much I have relapsed back to.

    Here’s what I do.

    1) Protein, protein protein. For my weight I will go for 23 grams of protein per meal. [Particularly when coming off sugar.]
    2) Water. Water. Water. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.
    3) Ibuprofin for headaches.
    4) Accountability from friends.
    5) Don’t keep it in the house.
    6) Eat breakfast – with protein. [Cottage cheese, eggs.]

    For me, once I mentally and physically detox from sugar […and for me it is usally 3 to 5 days] it’s very easy to stay away from it. As long as I can personally remember that for me there is no such thing as a one piece of cake or one slice of pie..or one blueberry muffin.

    If I ever start to think that way [as I have done before] it’s only a matter of time before I start skipping meals and replacing them with sugar.

    Just remember that that first week is the hardest. You may lack energy, feel lethargic or even depressed. [But keep in mind those steps up there to make the transition easier. And sleep when you need to.]

    AFTER that – it is so EASY if you can just remember and try to stay away from the first dose.

    You can totally do it!

    You can!

  • samsara (author) said:

    Hey LeoP! If you’re trying to get some play for your various internet addresses, I wanted to let you know that the rel=nofollow is invoked. :)

    [This means that putting links in the comments won’t help!]


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