So many of us joke about our sugar addiction but it is not a laughing matter. Sugar addiction is a very real thing and detrimental to our physical and emotional health. It is reported that it is the most common addiction in present day history. More common than marijuana and coffee. According to the American Health Association, the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day and, even more shocking, the average child consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. That converts to more than 135 pounds of sugar per year per person!
What Makes Sugar Addictive:
- Even though we want to stop consuming it, we have a compulsive need to do so.
- Sugar, like other addictive drugs, requires more and more of the same substance to cause the same feelings.
- It affects neurotransmitters in the brain in the same way that street drugs such as cocaine.
- If the substance is removed, the person has withdrawal symptoms. In the case of sugar, those symptoms may be headache, nausea, insomnia, moodiness, nervousness, anxiety, as well as other symptoms.
Are Food Intolerances Making You Fat?
When you were a kid you could eat anything and not gain an ounce. Now that you are an adult, the weight does not come off quite as easily. You eat the same. You are the same person on the outside but your insides are not the same. Why is that?
Let’s Talk Bugs…
Before we get in to that, let’s talk about bugs. The over 500 different types of bugs, also known as bacteria, that live in your digestive system. Before you start thinking that you need to do something to get rid of the over 3 pounds of bacteria, realize that they are supposed to be there. They help with digestion; they aid in breaking down your food; they create vitamins that you need to function optimally and, maybe most importantly, they are part of your intestinal immune system that keeps the bad stuff out of your body and breaks down the stuff that you need into teeny, tiny molecules that are used in various chemical reactions throughout your body. These different bacteria are in a combination that is unique to each individual. New research shows that the appendix, once thought to be a useless little appendage, actually stores the information for the right ratio of bacteria in our guts.
When my son, Joshua, was 8 years old we discovered that he was lactose intolerant. As it turns out, he had been lactose intolerant probably since birth but we didn’t recognize the signs. He had chronic ear infections as an infant and toddler that led to prescription on top of prescription of antibiotics that destroyed his gut flora which led to more food intolerances. (More on that later.) He had trouble sleeping through the night as a toddler and wouldn’t settle down until he had a glass of milk. He alternated between being constipated and having diarrhea. When he was in elementary school, he would come home from school and drink two and sometimes even three glasses of milk. Joshua and I later learned that our bodies frequently crave the things that are not necessarily healthy for us to consume. It was severe nightly stomach cramps that finally made us realize that there was something truly wrong. After a year and a half of visits to a pediatric gastroenterologist that we discovered through the guidance of a health coach that Joshua, and I, were lactose intolerant.
It was many years later that I learned that over 2/3rd of the general population is lactose intolerant and many of those people are unaware of it. Dairy products may make them lethargic and sleep, bloated, give them gas, cause aches and pains, give them headaches or migraines and cause other symptoms. Lactose intolerance can also cause moodiness and difficulty concentrating.
Joshua also discovered, through trial and error, that school lunches are not an option to someone who has a gluten or dairy allergy or sensitivity.
Have you ever been to the doctor and been told that “everything is fine” but you don’t feel “fine.” Perhaps your blood pressure is slightly elevated or there is some blood work that is creeping into an unhealthy range but is still normal. You may have had symptoms for quite some time – headaches, achy joints, stiff knees when you get up from sitting, blurry vision, congestion. You know what I am talking about. Those annoying symptoms that you cover with a pill and continue on.
Those symptoms, my friends, should NOT be ignored.