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Sugar is Addictive to Many People

You have heard of a sugar high. Sugar can act on the same brain receptors as do alcohol and most drugs. It makes you feel good by stimulating your brain to release endorphins or serotonin. Sugar has other characteristics of an addictive substance. Some people can’t think of living without it and get withdrawal symptoms if they try. They seem to need more and more to feel good.

It’s no wonder that many Americans have developed type II diabetes because of their addiction, especially to sweet liquids. In my book I tell of several types of treatment. Julia Ross, who used to run an addiction clinic for illegal drugs, gives patients high doses of certain amino acids to take away their cravings for sugar. Dr. Rivas uses a combination of supplements and amino acids but says that carbohydrate addicts should avoid these foods the rest of their lives. Dr. Schwarzbein, who had been a sugar addict herself, says to eat more protein as well as avoiding sugar. Proteins contain tryptophan that can be changed into serotonin and into melatonin for restful sleep. She says to avoid stimulants like caffeine. Artificial sweeteners can increase cravings for sweets so diet sodas are out.

In a recent article, Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, adviser to the Rodale Institute has 10 steps to get rid of a sugar addiction. He suggests carrots, cherry tomatoes, and some fruits for a little sweetness that won’t raise your insulin. He says if stress causes you to consume sweets, try alternative activities. Always get enough sleep, exercise and sunlight.

I wonder if the patients who had been on the drug Avandia that has caused heart attacks could be given high doses of certain amino acids and also try anti-stress techniques. Dr. Dean Ornish uses yoga, group therapy and meditation to prevent heart attacks in patients who already have some arterial plaque. Type II diabetes might be reversed with life style changes. Treat its causal addiction so you don’t need dangerous pills.