7 Signs of Sugar Addiction and How to Limit Your Consumption

7 Signs of Sugar Addiction and How to Limit Your Consumption

Feb 22, 2023

Many people occasionally consume sweets, fruit juices, ice-creams, sugary sodas, and cakes. Sometimes we consume too much without even realizing it. Like drugs, eating sugar activates dopamine levels, the “feel-good” hormone, making you want to keep eating and craving sugary items.

Excess sugar consumption increases your risk of developing serious health conditions like periodontal disease, tooth decay, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart problems. Our dentist near you provides routine dental exams and cleanings in Lexington, MA, to help reduce sugar addiction’s effect on your oral health.

In this article, let’s look at the signs of sugar addiction to watch out for and practical tips for cutting your sugar intake.

Seven signs that you’re addicted to sugar

  • Withdrawal symptoms

It’s common to experience sugar cravings when you skip sugar in your morning tea or coffee. Like quitting alcohol or smoking, stopping sugar addiction also comes with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. Sudden sugar withdrawal causes the blood sugars levels to plummet, distressing the body and leading to symptoms like:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bloating and diarrhea
  • Cravings
  • Chills or an involuntary shaking
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Mental fog
  • Insomnia

Experiencing these symptoms after stopping or cutting down on sugar indicates that you’re addicted to sugar. Fortunately, these symptoms are temporary and often last for a few days to weeks.

  • Sugar cravings

Like drugs and alcohol, your brain can rewire itself to crave sugar. The cravings are most intense when you’re hungry, as the blood sugars and energy are usually low. Eating releases the insulin hormone that’s responsible for regulating your blood sugars.

The more sugary or starchy foods you eat, the more insulin is released. It causes your blood sugars to rise and fall suddenly, causing cravings that will increase your blood sugar levels. It can be difficult to resist snacking on sugary items at this stage. Over time, you develop a sugar tolerance, meaning you must keep eating more to satisfy your cravings.

Sugar tolerance can promote insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes and damaging your pancreas. Other factors that can cause or worsen sugar cravings include stress, habits, emotions, and artificial sweeteners.

  • Salt cravings

Salt cravings could also indicate that you’re eating excess sugar. Since sugar doesn’t provide any nutritional value, it causes a deficiency of healthy nutrients, causing you to crave salty items like bread, biscuits, pizza, processed meat, sauces, and canned vegetables.

Unfortunately, these refined food items are also converted into simple sugars, resulting in a sudden energy spike and crash, just like sugar. Excess salt can also increase your risk of health issues like blood pressure and heart disease.

  • Poor skin health

Surprisingly, sugar can affect the health of your skin. Excess sugars in the blood attach to proteins to form new molecules known as AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) in Glycation. This process weakens your skin proteins like collagen and elastin, which helps to keep your skin supple and firm. The more Glycation happens, the faster you age.

Signs of aging can include:

  • Wrinkles
  • Dry skin
  • Facial sagging
  • Dull skin tone
  • Premature aging

Studies also show that sugar can increase sebum secretion and cause acne.

  • Constant fatigue

When the blood glucose levels fall, the brain of a sugar addict encourages them to get a sugary snack for more energy. On the contrary, sugar reduces the action of orexin, a peptide that keeps you awake. Sugar also causes a sudden spike and fall of energy, leaving you tired quickly.

  • Hiding sugar habits

When you’re conscious of excess sugar consumption but unable to cut back, you’re likely to hide the habit and make excuses when it happens. For instance, you can find yourself eating sugary items when no one is around or claiming that you’re eating sugary things because you’re stressed. Unfortunately, this will only worsen your sugar addiction and affect your mental and physical health.

  • Eating when not hungry

Eating sugary snacks when you are not hungry is a sign of sugar addiction. For instance, you may be craving a dessert after a filling meal. Since digestion consumes more energy, it could even lead to more sugar cravings. Negative moods like anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, and boredom can also trigger sugar cravings.

How to reduce sugar intake

  • Eat more proteins and healthy fats like eggs, lean meat, chicken breast, fatty fish, nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and steak. They keep you feeling full longer and don’t spike your blood sugars
  • Eat more fiber like coconut, broccoli, almonds, and cauliflower. They provide energy and keep your blood sugars stable.
  • Stay hydrated. Sometimes sugar cravings can be caused by dehydration.

Schedule an appointment today

Do you need to make an appointment with a dentist in Lexington, MA, to help reduce the effects of your sugar addiction? Contact Lexington Dental Group today.

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