Every once in awhile, someone asks me to list the top foods to avoid to be well and stay well. "Sugar" is always part of my response. There is "sugar" on labels to avoid but I also mean fructose, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, etc. Sometimes a person can be so sensitive to natural carbohydrates in food that they experience a sugar overload even from a healthy meal. Sugar's ability to throw hormone levels into disarray will affect both children and adults, and as we age and undergo stress, our bodies' ability to balance sugar may become more compromised. It is, more often than not, a sugar issue behind fatigue or emotional meltdowns as much as it is behind chronic disease.
The effect sugar has on hormone levels and the corresponding loss of vitamins and minerals following sugar consumption are perhaps un-paralleled by any other food. Once eaten, sugar has a cascade effect, by raising blood glucose levels, then insulin levels, then triglycerides, cholesterol, and small particle LDL. As a result our protective HDL cholesterol drops. For women, this shift in hormones causes estrogen and progesterone to shift. For men, the intake in sugar may ultimately lead to dropping testosterone levels. This means that the simple rise in glucose from consuming sugar can ultimately lead to hormonal conditions such as anorgasma, low libido, PCOS, and menstrual flooding. The simple act of eating sugar also leads to diabetes, Alzheimer's (now called Type 3 Diabetes by some), heart disease, and cancer. Sugar accelerates aging and disease.
As if it's effects on hormones and lipids weren't enough, sugar can have a profound negative effect on the microbiome in the gut and throughout the body. Sugar tends to feed an overgrowth of Candida, unhealthy bacteria, and parasites in weakened digestive systems. Refined sugars are very acidic due to their processed nature. They lack the vitamins and minerals naturally found in the food the sugar is extracted from (such as sugar cane, and beets). Because of their lack of minerals, they tend to leach minerals and vitamins out of the body as they are digested and excreted. You can track this yourself with Vitamin C strips and pH paper (we sell these inexpensively at our office). This leaching of vital nutrients and feeding of unhealthy overgrowths in the digestive system will make one susceptible to leaky gut, auto-immunity and immune system deficiencies like cancer.
Sugar also creates fatigue for many people with adrenal dysregulation (this is when cortisol and other adrenal hormone levels are suboptimal). After consuming sugar, the glandular system must work "extra hard" to balance the glucose in the body. This can be exhausting to a person with adrenal issues and will feel like a mild hangover the next day or even get sick due to digestive and immune system issues related to the sugar. People that are more vulnerable to this tend to have electrolyte imbalances that need to be addressed before they can get to optimal health.
You can get sugar out of your diet. Or in the cases where you don't eat sugar anymore but still suffer blood sugar, hormone problems, gut or immune problems, we can help. You may not be perfect at the beginning but if you persist in making changes and taking care of yourself, you can do it. We carry supplements like Fenugreek Plus and Glysen that help curb sugar cravings and balance insulin and other hormone levels We offer consultations to help address your individual chemistry to develop a nutrition plan that will work to get you off sugar. This is one of the best investments you can make in yourself for your livelihood and overall wellness.