Sugar Craving

belize44

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Hi all, and please forgive me if this has been written about already. I have been trying to avoid the three major problem causing foods; sugar, gluten and dairy. It's been about two weeks and I am not seeing a decrease in the cravings; on the contrary, they have gotten stronger. I know all the bad things about sugar; so why do I feel that I have increased feelings of well being and good mood when I have one or all three of those things?

The odd thing is that if I eat a healthy meal of protein and vegetables only, I crave sugar more intensely. I have watched a few videos on the evils of sugar, and have also heard that gluten and dairy contribute to leaky gut and all its attending problems. I feel worse than I did before by avoiding these things so I am not sure what to do now.

Has anyone else tried avoiding these things and eventually felt better, or did it make things worse?
 

ebethc

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a ketogenic diet has helped me.. I play around w the macros (carbs/protein/fat) a lot to find what works for me, so there's not a shortcut on that front (ie, your percentages of carbs/protein/fat could be entirely diff than mine..)

re how I got in this path in the first place:
my thinking was that if CFS has no research dollars, what can i learn from other (well-funded) neuro-immune illnesses AND self-treat? I read a lot and found a keto diet was a no-brainer... the Keto diet in the M.S. studies that I read were @ SEVENTY PERCENT fat... way too much for me, and I learned that monounsaturated fat is best for me.. saturated fat is too heavy... i eat moderate amounts of protein (vs a lot of protein, like some others..), but need it every day, and I need to take betaine HCL to digest protein... etc, etc. I can point you in the right direction, but be prepared for a lot of tweaking and don't get discouraged.

This benefit of this diet for me is more than one thing, but def helps energy.. More energy + more consistent energy... my body is using ketones for energy vs glucose, which seems to be a better fuel for me... BTW - I believe CFS (or the version of CFS that I have) is caused or partly caused by impaired glucose metabolism, prob linked to a problem on the TRP channels

I've also been taking Cod Liver Oil lately, which is rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E with good results... So, there really is something to finding the right fats.... this is the CLO that I take - no fishy taste/burps:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS1RZVB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sugar cravings def diminished over time, although my prob is carbs vs sugary things... It's all the same to your body, though, and I def had cravings and they went away after awhile... I put Brain Octane in my coffee in the morning and that helps a LOT to get me going, and it also helps my body switch metabolic states from burning carbs to burning ketones, so cravings diminish faster.. You could try that for cravings, even if it's just to kickstart your diet change and help thru the transition... It's C8, which is derived from coconut oil... Coconut Milk/Cream/Oil is too rich for me, but the C8 is just right... It gives me ketones to get my energy & brain going, ,and gives me a full filling that takes me until lunch.. It's the only expensive supplement that I take, and I really wish it were cheaper... that's the only bummer... but, like, I said, one thing you could do is just take it at the beginning to kickstart getting into ketosis, and hopefully you wouldn't have cravings once you're in ketosis..

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4709725/
 

Tammy

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Chromium picolinate really helped me with my sugar cravings.

Has anyone else tried avoiding these things and eventually felt better, or did it make things worse?
I definitely notice a difference if I have gluten, dairy or sugar. More sluggish and inflammation/pain. It took awhile before I noticed the difference. I don't remember if I felt worse before feeling better.
 

xebex

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It took 6 weeks to notice a change when cutting gluten. But once i got through that, my body aches and daily migraines were significantly reduced. Sugar affects me almost instantly. I find I can eat moderate carbs before 6pm, and be ok, but if i eat carbs after 6pm i'll wake up with a hangover like feeling and at my worst it triggered Alice in Wonderland Syndrome - a bizarre form of migraine that makes you feel like you have a giant head (or giant limbs). Added sugar makes this all the more intense.
 

belize44

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I guess I was expecting results way too soon, because I didn't feel any different after two weeks. So onward, as they say. I was thinking of adding Chlorella to absorb any toxins, and am looking into supplements for easing yeast die off, which I suspect is what is going on now.
 

xebex

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I guess I was expecting results way too soon, because I didn't feel any different after two weeks. So onward, as they say. I was thinking of adding Chlorella to absorb any toxins, and am looking into supplements for easing yeast die off, which I suspect is what is going on now.
I'd say two weeks is enough time for most food issues, but gluten, even if you aren't celiac causes a lot more long term damage and it can take a lot longer to notice positive effects. My sister is officially celiac, has been gluten free for 20 years and is still suffering from the initial effects of what it did to her even thought she is VERY strict, however her life would be a living hell if she didn't cut gluten.

I think unless you go keto, sugar cravings will nearly always be with you, try to find an alternative - i find berries are ok for me to snack on a little to dull the cravings. I did go keto and it absolutely works for cravings but i did not find any other benefits and i actually got worse on it - this doesn't mean it won't benefit you.

Whitney Defoe said something really interesting on his facebook page about there being a subset of PWME who need to listen to and serve their cravings rather than ignore them. This really rang true for me, and i do feed my sugar cravings as i said, but with healthy options.

Other things to consider - a gut cleanse/candida diet could help you with your sugar cravings- bad bacteria might be screaming for it - i have never gone down this path thought so am not able to advise really.

One last point, try not to add too many things at once because then if you have a negative effect you don't know whats causing what and you might stop doing something that was actually helpful.
 

belize44

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I think unless you go keto, sugar cravings will nearly always be with you, try to find an alternative - i find berries are ok for me to snack on a little to dull the cravings. I did go keto and it absolutely works for cravings but i did not find any other benefits and i actually got worse on it - this doesn't mean it won't benefit you.
I actually have tried to go keto several times, but ended up feeling really sick. When I added some sprouted grain bread back in, I felt immediately better. So to go completely Paleo would require a lot of adjusting.

Whitney Defoe said something really interesting on his facebook page about there being a subset of PWME who need to listen to and serve their cravings rather than ignore them. This really rang true for me, and i do feed my sugar cravings as i said, but with healthy options.
I have been thinking along those lines! While I know that refined sugar isn't good for anyone, I do find that I feel better when I give in to my sweet cravings. Things like dates, berries, dried fruits and such really help.
 

Learner1

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Chromium picolinate really helped me with my sugar cravings.
Very Good idea. High sugar diets and deplete the body of chromium.
guess I was expecting results way too soon, because I didn't feel any different after two weeks. So onward, as they say. I was thinking of adding Chlorella to absorb any toxins, and am looking into supplements for easing yeast die off, which I suspect is what is going on now.
Results happen over time It takes months to undo the damage that gluten has done in these gut and with a problem there, one can end up with malabsorption so a good look at malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies might be wise.

These things take time to get rebalanced, and sometimes making a correction and cause something else to be out of whack. I would guess that you're cravings are that you're a deficient in something, And I'm be betting it's not sugar or gluten or dairy.

There are many many many views about diets, and what they work for one person may not work for someone else. I did well on an anti-candida diet, where I gave up gluten sugar and dairy, just as you are, and I lost 35 lb eating constantly. The difference was I was given a list of foods I could eat and I ate anything on that list. Over time I learned that I needed to eat protein first, fat second, and colorful vegetables third, once I had done that for a couple of weeks, I seem to be keeping my fat at about 50% of calories (fast as much denser than any other kind of food so it doesn't take much to get there) And I never have any cravings, unless I got to eat something sweet.
This really rang true for me, and i do feed my sugar cravings as i said, but with healthy options.
I have been thinking along those lines! While I know that refined sugar isn't good for anyone, I do find that I feel better when I give in to my sweet cravings. Things like dates, berries, dried fruits and such really help.
Folks, sugar is sugar is sugar. Yes processed sugar is extremely evil, but all those sweet sticky natural sugars are sugar too. Protein and fats and vitamins and minerals build things and run processes in your body. Sugar doesn't do much except give you a quick pick me up and then a crash.

Sugar has been linked to cancer, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and a host of other chronic diseases. Giving ourselves excuses to eat it because it makes us feel better is just feeding disease, in my opinion.

People who are sick with ME/CFS haven't shown to have increased nutrient needs. Being on a nutrient dense diet and not eating junk food, even natural junk food, is wise, if we want to get better.

I used to eat a fairly high carbohydrate diet, and it was always a dance between sugar highs and crashes. I found that having a diet that's about 50% fat, 25% protein and 25% carbohydrates, I never have cravings. I get hungry for real food, but really don't have a taste for sticky sweet things with very little nutritional value
 

belize44

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Very Good idea. High sugar diets and deplete the body of chromium.

Results happen over time It takes months to undo the damage that gluten has done in these gut and with a problem there, one can end up with malabsorption so a good look at malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies might be wise.

These things take time to get rebalanced, and sometimes making a correction and cause something else to be out of whack. I would guess that you're cravings are that you're a deficient in something, And I'm be betting it's not sugar or gluten or dairy.

There are many many many views about diets, and what they work for one person may not work for someone else. I did well on an anti-candida diet, where I gave up gluten sugar and dairy, just as you are, and I lost 35 lb eating constantly. The difference was I was given a list of foods I could eat and I ate anything on that list. Over time I learned that I needed to eat protein first, fat second, and colorful vegetables third, once I had done that for a couple of weeks, I seem to be keeping my fat at about 50% of calories (fast as much denser than any other kind of food so it doesn't take much to get there) And I never have any cravings, unless I got to eat something sweet.


Folks, sugar is sugar is sugar. Yes processed sugar is extremely evil, but all those sweet sticky natural sugars are sugar too. Protein and fats and vitamins and minerals build things and run processes in your body. Sugar doesn't do much except give you a quick pick me up and then a crash.

Sugar has been linked to cancer, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and a host of other chronic diseases. Giving ourselves excuses to eat it because it makes us feel better is just feeding disease, in my opinion.

People who are sick with ME/CFS haven't shown to have increased nutrient needs. Being on a nutrient dense diet and not eating junk food, even natural junk food, is wise, if we want to get better.

I used to eat a fairly high carbohydrate diet, and it was always a dance between sugar highs and crashes. I found that having a diet that's about 50% fat, 25% protein and 25% carbohydrates, I never have cravings. I get hungry for real food, but really don't have a taste for sticky sweet things with very little nutritional value
I think I will have a look at the anti Candida diet. Any links to a food plan?
 

wabi-sabi

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Has anyone else tried avoiding these things and eventually felt better, or did it make things worse?
I felt much worse when I avoided them. In fact, if I eat a "healthy" meal of meat and veggies I will get such strong sugar cravings that I will eat a box of cookies. If I eat a meal of meat, veggies and bread, no sugar craving. Sugar cravings are my body's way of telling me I am not eating enough carbs. When I eat enough healthy carbs- bread, potatoes, brown rice- then I don't get sugar cravings.
 

belize44

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I felt much worse when I avoided them. In fact, if I eat a "healthy" meal of meat and veggies I will get such strong sugar cravings that I will eat a box of cookies. If I eat a meal of meat, veggies and bread, no sugar craving. Sugar cravings are my body's way of telling me I am not eating enough carbs. When I eat enough healthy carbs- bread, potatoes, brown rice- then I don't get sugar cravings.
I can relate to this; thanks for sharing it! So I may need to tweak with healthier carbs. I still feel better when I avoid the deadly nightshade veggies, legumes, and dairy,(although I love goat milk and cheese.) Today I had chocolate cookies and all the draggy, tired feelings from this week vanished like magic. Go figure!
 

Judee

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When I went gluten free, I had at least 4 weeks where I was always hungry. The nice part was that I initial lost some weight.

Recently, I noticed much less sugar cravings by taking things to increase dopamine. Unfortunately, though that resulted in days of migraine headaches with tightness especially around my eyes. I'm not sure why raising dopamine is so hard. It seems my brain chemistry cannot process it properly.

My sister thought the migraines were the weather but the same thing happened years ago when I tried tyrosine. It makes a pain and muscle tightness and twitching around my eyes that I don't get otherwise.

Hope you get some ideas on what to do and that you don't have any bad reactions.
 

maddietod

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Try upping fats. When I lower carbs, I have to compensate with fat. The easiest way for me to do this is by adding coconut milk. I drink about a quarter of a can of coconut milk daily, mixed with (herbal) tea in a quart jar, with some stevia. If I use the right tea, it's a bit like chai.
 

wabi-sabi

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Today I had chocolate cookies and all the draggy, tired feelings from this week vanished like magic. Go figure!
Yes, that's exactly what happens to me. I can choose to eat brown rice or quinoa or some healthy carb thing and be OK, or I can try to deprive my body of carbs and then it takes what it needs in the form of cookies.

I decided it was much better in the long run to eat enough rice and beans. Then I magically don't want all those cookies because I satisfied my body's needs in a good way.
 

belize44

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I'm glad I asked about this in this forum! I have found lots of helpful tips here. Also, has anyone heard of "die off" symptoms? If so, how can this be done as painlessly as possible? I think this is what trips me up everytime I try to kick the sugar habit. It becomes a craving to get back to a familiar status quo, because of the discomfort as things change in the gut.
 

belize44

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When I went gluten free, I had at least 4 weeks where I was always hungry. The nice part was that I initial lost some weight.

Recently, I noticed much less sugar cravings by taking things to increase dopamine. Unfortunately, though that resulted in days of migraine headaches with tightness especially around my eyes. I'm not sure why raising dopamine is so hard. It seems my brain chemistry cannot process it properly.

My sister thought the migraines were the weather but the same thing happened years ago when I tried tyrosine. It makes a pain and muscle tightness and twitching around my eyes that I don't get otherwise.

Hope you get some ideas on what to do and that you don't have any bad reactions.
I tried Tyrosine and it made me incredibly irritable, as well as raising my blood pressure. I found that a product called GABA Calm worked better because it contains the pre-cursor to dopamine and noroepinephrine.
 

Judee

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I found that a product called GABA Calm worked better because it contains the pre-cursor to dopamine and noroepinephrine.
Oh, thank you. I will look into this. I did try a GABA product once and my skull went weirdly numb. It felt like I'd put on some type of helmet but I will still see what is in the product you mentioned. I really feel like I need to raise dopamine but as I said, all the things I've tried so far give those headaches.
 

Learner1

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I'm glad I asked about this in this forum! I have found lots of helpful tips here. Also, has anyone heard of "die off" symptoms? If so, how can this be done as painlessly as possible? I think this is what trips me up everytime I try to kick the sugar habit. It becomes a craving to get back to a familiar status quo, because of the discomfort as things change in the gut.
Upping acetyl-CoA with C and B5 can help flush bad things out of you faster.

When I went through the anti-candida diet process, I quickly learned to eat protein first, healthy fats next, and then vegetables with a lot of fiber, and that helped me avoid cravings.
 

livinglighter

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@belize44 did you manage to find a way to kick your sugar/carb cravings? I have the exact same issue which I think is contributing towards immense weight gain. Every time I try to cut carbs and sugar out of my diet I crave them even more, I'm sure my body is reliant on them. I just read a few posts where other people have been diagnosed with non diabetic hypoglycemia. I had a severe crash earlier this year that had all the hallmarks of a hypoglycemia attack. Like you and @wabi-sabi I will feel terrible until I eat some form of sugar/carb.

I used to attend a NHS fatigue clinic and I was advised to eat small healthy meals regularly. Unfortunately I wasn't told why amongst other things. Since then, I've found out it keeps blood sugar levels consistent.