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Sugar addiction and anxiety please help!

(5 Posts)
Saloire Thu 26-Jan-17 23:28:30

I know this sounds really trivial, but it really isn't. I have a really bad sugar habit, and it's getting worse. I don't quite know how all this works, but basically if I eat sugar during the day I can sleep at night. If I decide I don't want any during the day, I won't be able to sleep, my anxiety will skyrocket and I will have digestive issues to. I'm pregnant and I really don't want to be bombarding my little unborn baby with sugar, plus I want to get off it for myself as I don't want to put on too much weight or risk any health problems, but everytime I try and quit I have to face really crippling insomnia, as well as mood swings, thoughts of you know what (don't want to mention the word in case it triggers somebody), and basically what amounts to severe anxiety and depression. I've tried tapering off, but it doesn't seem to work either, I just end up eating more again. Anybody ever had this problem, and does anybody have any advice or suggestions? I know it sounds so ridiculous, but I promise it really is horrendous, and I want to get off thisrollercoasterfor good.

knittingwithnettles Thu 26-Jan-17 23:56:55

Didn't want to read and run, and I'm not a dietician, but if you think about what your sugary snacks are - chocolate, frosties with milk, biscuits, sweets, could you try and replace them with versions of themselves which are slower release?

Breakfast could be porridge which is slow release carb, but with maple syrup or honey on it too. Much better than a cereal bar or very sugary muesli or sugared cereal. I know because cornflakes with sugar and milk is my nemesis.

So for example a health food cookbook might have a recipe for flapjacks with sugar which might also have slow release carb - oats in it. Or a recipe for date wholemeal teabread. Another thing that might give you a feeling of a treat but be lower in sugar would be dark chocolate, or bitter chocolate. I now make hot chocolate with plain high quality cocoa powder and milk and hot water, and no sugar in it at all. The milk is actually quite sugary you will find - or you could slowly reduce the amount of sugar you put in the cocoa, so that it is nothing like as sugary as a normal hot chocolate made with drinking chocolate.

Similarly if you try making soups with things like butternut squash and red peppers, it will taste sweet (and savoury) but not be sending your insulin levels into confusion.

Would it be worth going to see the doctor and explain that you are very anxious AND worried about the possibility of gestational diabetes, could he give you some advice and reassurance. Don't hold back mentioning the insomnia and the bad thoughts, it may be that he needs to help you with the anxiety rather than you feeling so guilty about the sugar. I suppose what I mean is, the sugar consumption is a symptom of your anxiety. There is a new book out called the Happy Kitchen which also addresses the way food can affect our mental health - a friend has mentioned it to me.

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and keep well. thanks

Rainatnight Fri 27-Jan-17 18:40:41

I sort of know what you mean. I have anxiety, and when I have sugar, it seems to give me some relief from it. I'm sure there's a chemical explanation though I don't know what it is!

In the long run, I recognised it wasn't very good for me, because I would have sugar crashes which exacerbated the feeling of anxiety. So I've been cutting back.

The ideas described above are really good. And going to the doctor is a great idea, so you can discuss treatment for the anxiety instead of self-medicating with sugar...

Very best of luck

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sat 28-Jan-17 06:31:27

The term sugar rush is not for nothing.

When you overload on sugar your body produces huge amounts of insulin to put it into fat storage. If you suddenly cut it out, your pancreas doesn't know about it yet and your blood sugar will drop... That causes huge mood swings. As said above you need to wean yourself off it.

Changing your diet for a savoury one rather than based on fat and sugar will have two effects. Health and food actually tastes better.

knittingwithnettles Mon 30-Jan-17 20:16:20

btw, I do know how sugar can instantly calm your nerves when you are desperate (which is why we give hot sugared tea to people in shock) - but it is a bit like taking painkillers day after day, not recommended as a solution for chronic anxiety. I do hope you are feeling a bit better today. Early pregnancy is a tough time, often people feel v depressed and anxious as well as sick.

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