Sugar Addicts and Fibromyalgia – How to Ease Symptoms

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Cutting Out Sugar to Ease Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Are you a sugar addict? As with most addictions, by the time people ask such question, the answer is mostly yes. A simple way to tell is to just stay off sugar for about a month and see how you really feel.

When you are living with FM, you may often find yourself giving in to sugar cravings when your fuel tank is low. Sugar does offer a quick burst of energy, but what if reaching for an energy drink or downing a candy bar does you more harm than good? Even though there has been no specific diet proven to improve FM pain, getting that sugar monkey off your back could make you feel better and benefit your overall health.

Sugar also causes havoc on the nerves, which can lead to numbness, severe pain or tingling associated with nerve damage. When consumed in huge amounts, sugar can cause the nerves to absorb water. As the water is absorbed, the nerves swell. At the same time, sugar makes the nerves and their protective coating, less pliable and more prone to cracking and damage. Over the long period, this combination of repeated swelling and less flexible nerves can damage the nerves, resulting in neuropathy (whose symptoms contain sharp, stabbing pains in the legs, feet, hands and arms).

Sugar can also be more than just a crutch. For some, it is a complete addiction, and it can be a big problem for those with FM, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of FMS and Fatigue Centers and writer of several books on chronic pain. Dr. Jacob says that, in some people, sugars may cause FM or make existing FM pain even worse. According to him, sugar aggravates low blood sugar and adrenal problems, yeast overgrowth, and nutritional deficiencies that worsen FM.

When Fibromyalgia Leads to a Sugar Habit

There are four main types of sugar addiction, and when people progress to having three or all four of these, it usually progresses into fibromyalgia! Treating the four addiction types not only makes your sugar cravings go away, so you can safely enjoy sweets and chocolate in moderation, but also markedly decreases the fibromyalgia symptoms.

Wanting sweets for the reason that you are fatigued.

Sugar is an energy loan shark. It offers a quick energy fix, but then initiates adrenaline releases that burn energy while making you anxious. The free Energy Analysis Program can show you how to improve your healthy energy. Daily supplementation with S.H.I.N.E. ® D-ribose and the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder are good ways to start, with marked development in FM often being seen after three to six weeks.

Extreme irritability when hungry.

This reveals inadequate adrenal function. The job of the adrenal hormone cortisol is to keep sugar from dropping too low in the course of stress. When people develop adrenal fatigue, cortisol stress hormone response is inadequate and blood sugar level can drop. Fortunately, this can be helped radically with nutritional support including vitamin C, vitamin B5, licorice, and adrenal glandulars. In his patients, Dr. T recommend the supplements Adrenal Stress End or Adrenaplex, both of which contain all of these in a single capsule. This offers dramatic relief within a week.

Nearly continuous sugar cravings, but without the “hanger.”

A group that Dr. T call the “Happy Twinkie hunters” tends to be linked with yeast overgrowth in the gut. Other signs of this include irritable bowel syndrome and nasal congestion. These cravings and problems also go away when the yeast overgrowth is cured.

Depression and anxiety linked with perimenopause.

People tend to reach for sugar because it increases tryptophan moving into the brain, which increases serotonin levels. Serotonin has also been known as the “happiness molecule.” Unfortunately, with time excess sugar causes this to get dampened (because of insulin resistance), so that the sugar in fact causes too much depression and anxiety.

According to Dr. Jacob, FMS is what occurs when first type snowballs into the next, and most people with FM have at least two types and usually they have all of them. Once treated, it takes six to twelve weeks to feel a substantial improvement in FM symptoms, but in as few as ten days after coming off sugar, most people have more energy and feel mentally sharper, he adds.

Cutting Out Sugar to Ease Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Kicking a sugar addiction can be quite challenging if you do not have a plan. Most of the people try going cold turkey. After multiple failures, they usually abandon any hope and give up completely on trying to cut sugar out. Dr. Mizelle says that there is no scientific proof that sugar or sugar addiction causes or makes FM pain worse. But anecdotally, she adds, some of her patients do say that their FM symptoms improved after cutting out refined sugars.

Dr. Mizelle points out that this could be because of a “placebo effect, which plays a vital role in FM.” Still, she says, if you believe sugar is causing your FM worse, it is worth eliminating it to see if you feel any better. Here’s her advice:

  • If it is white, do not eat it. This means sugar, pasta, white rice, white bread, and high-fructose corn syrup. Switch to whole-grain breads, brown rice, and cereals.
  • Eat “closer to the earth.” Avoid junk foods, which contain lots of refined sugars and salt. Shop the outside aisles of the grocery store where the produce, dairy, and meat are located.
  • Bulk up on veggies and fiber. Fiber will keep you full, and you won’t be needing sugar as much.

Dr. Jacob recommends switching from sugar to a sweetener made from the plant stevia. He suggests the brands SweetLeaf or Body Ecology; stevia is also sold as PureVia, Truvia, and Stevia in the Raw. There are also bottled drinks sweetened with stevia. According to him, these truly are healthy alternatives to soda.

Also, do not forget about being as active as possible. As Dr. Mizelle explains, physical activity is one of the best FM treatments. So work in exercise and try weaning off sugar to make living with FM easier.

Reference: Sugar Addiction and Fibromyalgia via Vitality101

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