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Signs You May Be Experiencing Sugar Withdrawal

By Paul Rothbart

Sugar is ubiquitous and tastes good, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Natural sugars such as fructose are present in many fruits. Many kinds of processed foods have added sugar -- and we're not just talking about desserts. Sauces, salad dressing, and other savory foods are loaded with sugar. There are some good reasons to cut back on sugar and perhaps eliminate it. It has tons of calories and tends to pack on weight. For those with diabetes, too much sugar is a big health risk. If you eat a significant amount of sugar, you should cut back gradually. If not, you may experience sugar withdrawal. Here are some signs it may be happening.


If you have a normal sleep schedule and tend to sleep well, then find things shaken up when cutting back on sugar, that could be a sign of withdrawal. As your body adjusts to a lesser amount of sugar you may find it difficult to fall asleep. You may also continually wake up throughout the night. It can be frustrating. Normal sleep patterns tend to be restored after a few weeks when the body has adjusted to not having as much sugar.

Problems Focusing

As sugar provides energy, consuming less of it can drop energy levels. This can cause you to lose endurance as well as negatively impact your concentration. Until your body adjusts, it may be very difficult to stay focused at times.

You May Crave Sweets

It stands to reason that the body tends to crave foods it is used to and is no longer getting. If you're cutting back on sugar, you may find that when you're hungry you desire cake, donuts, candy, or other sweets. This runs counter to what you are trying to accomplish and can make the task much more difficult. With a little willpower, you can hold out until your body gets used to having less sugar and the cravings stop.

You May Crave Carbs

If you find yourself wanting bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates, that's another sign that you may be experiencing sugar withdrawal. Carbs are energy food that the digestive system breaks down into sugars. They can raise blood sugar levels just as sweet foods do so diabetics must be cautious about eating carbs.

You May Feel Nauseous

A sudden change to one's diet such as cutting out sugar can throw off the digestive system. When the body is used to eating certain foods and no longer gets them, you may feel ill due to the shock it causes. The nausea generally subsides when the body gets used to the sugar-free diet.

There are many good reasons to cut back on sugar. Too much of it can have a negative impact on health. While getting used to eating less sugar, you may go through withdrawal. It passes after a short time but can be unpleasant until then.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bothell, Wash.

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