Sugar is sneaky and it can be addictive in the same way as drugs like nicotine, cocaine, and heroin. This is because when you eat sugar, the brain lights up and causes dopamine (the so-called reward chemical) to spike and increase your desire to have more. Like drug addiction, sugar addiction can lead to tolerance (needing more to attain the same “sugar high) and withdrawal. What are the signs of sugar withdrawal?
An addiction to sugar can happen fairly easy, especially if you tend to reach for sweets to quell any cravings for your former drug of abuse. And giving up the sweet stuff isn’t always easy – added sugars are everywhere in processed and prepared foods for flavor and preservation. In fact, experts recommended that Americans limit their intake of added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories.
CNN recently ran an article, “What Happens to Your Brain When You Give up Sugar,” and the results are pretty astounding. While the piece is directed at those who decide to give up the white stuff for Lent, the takeaway message sure can help you if you’re simply looking to clean up your diet as part of your new sober lifestyle.
What Are the Signs Of Sugar Addiction?
Perhaps the most surprising part of the article was that, according to several studies of sugar-treated rats, giving up sugar resulted in a slew of physical and mental withdrawal signs, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Teeth chattering
- Paw tremors
- Head shaking
- Impulsive behavior
- Feelings of helplessness
The good news: Experts also say that swearing off the sweet stuff can result in boundless energy and newfound happiness, according to the article. How long it will take to reap the positive effects, however, is different for everyone.
Our Food Philosophy at Red Oak Recovery
Our nutritional therapy program, as part of our drug and alcohol treatment, approaches food and eating holistically. The food we prepare is designed to heal the body from the malnutrition and dehydration that substance use can cause.
Sadly, while the signs of sugar addiction appear around the country, they are not the only addictions to plague Americans. According to SAMHSA, over 14.7 million people struggled with alcohol addiction in 2018. Moreover, an estimated 8 million people had an illicit drug addiction in the same year. In other words, millions of Americans battled addictions besides sugar addiction within the past two years. We provide treatment for many of those addictions, including:
At Red Oak Recovery, we want to help the people around the country who struggle with these addictions. Therefore, we provide many therapy programs that can assist in treating addiction. Some of these, like our nutritional therapy program, are holistic therapies; in other words, they are therapy options that treat your mind, body, and soul. Conversely, others are evidence-based. That means that medical professionals and psychologists have done research to ensure that they can effectively treat addiction. Our therapy options include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Meditation therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
To learn more about the signs of sugar withdrawal or other addiction treatment programs, call 828.382.9699 today.