Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sugar Addiction

Sugar Addiction

I am a bonafide sugar addict.  Some people scoff and say sugar is not a drug and consequently there can be no addiction.  Research has shown that sugar is indeed an addiction inducing substance which is perfectly legal and readily available to all age groups. 

When stress is overwhelming, coping mechanisms must be developed.   It is human nature to abuse substances in response to that need for coping mechanisms.  Some abuse alcohol, some abuse prescription pain-killers, some use tobacco or a combination of all of the above.  

There is another group of people who abuse comfort food.  They may or may not belong to some of the other substance abuse groups as well.  It all comes down to the drug of choice and because sugar is so easy to obtain, this makes it even more dangerous.

Clinical research has shown chemical responses in the brain to rival those of cocaine and heroin.  I struggle daily with sugar.  I crave it constantly.  Being hypoglycemic predisposes me to the roller-coaster effects of sugar consumption, leading to greater dependency with each binge.  Periodically I resist and resist before falling off the wagon in response to some emotional stimuli and then riding the demonic wave to exhaustion, until I regain control.  All the while, swearing off the toxic poison for the rest of my days.

I come by it honestly; my mother is an elite member of the sugar addicts association and freely admits to feeding me Hershey bars and Coca-cola at six months of age.    She and my grandmother thought it was just ever-so-cute that the baby waved her hands and squealed for the candy bars and soda.  At that time, the general population had no inkling of the dangers of sugar or the potential for addiction and long-term, negative health consequences.  No one had answers for why I was such a small fragile child growing up, weak, pale and exhausted, unable to keep up with the other children and useless to play sports.

In more recent times, research has shown that sugar abuse along with other unhealthy nutrition habits can lead to diabetes and a plethora of degenerative diseases.

My husband and I have been steadily eliminating unhealthy choices from our food supply for some time now and it really is amazing how much better we feel when we are successful in avoiding processed foods.