Keeping Sugar Use In Check
When you or a loved one is recovering from drug addiction, its important to examine diet. The body needs plenty of nutrients to begin undoing the damage caused by drug use, and heavy sugar intake can sabotage this process. Unfortunately, sugar likes to hide in lots of places you might not expect. Processed foods and sugary drinks are both high in sugar. Watch out for these ingredients on your food and drink labels:
- Agave nectar
- Increased risk of dementia
B Intermittent Sugar Intake Alters Enkephalin Mrna Expression
Enkephalin mRNA in the striatum and the NAc is decreased in response to repeated injections of morphine . These changes within opioid systems are similar to those observed in cocaine-dependent human subjects .
Rats with intermittent sugar access also display a significant decrease in enkephalin mRNA, although it is difficult to judge its functional significance . This decrease in enkephalin mRNA is consistent with findings observed in rats with limited daily access to a sweet-fat, liquid diet . Assuming this decrease in mRNA results in less enkephalin peptide being synthesized and released, it could account for a compensatory increase in mu-opioid receptors, as cited above.
Why Is Sugar Addiction Similar To Drug Addiction
Sugar may work like a drug. That is, it affects the brain in the same way as cocaine, morphine, and heroin. Sugar triggers the release of dopamine, which gives us a sense of pleasure. Drugs of abuse like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, and all others, trigger dopamine release.
Many studies suggest that medicines used to treat drug overdose have been successful in curbing sugar cravings as well. In controlled studies, researchers have used a medication called naloxone to establish this. Naloxone is used in emergency rooms to block the effects of drugs like heroin.
If a person has taken an overdose of heroin, doctors inject naloxone, which blocks the heroin from attaching to receptors in the brain. A drug addict who has had an overdose of heroin-induced coma rapidly comes to life again with a dose of naloxone.
Researchers have tried similar research with sugary foods. It turns out that naloxone causes a noticeable drop in sugar cravings.
Normally, you might long for a cookie or piece of cake, but with a dose of naloxone, much of the craving is gone. The effect is particularly clear for foods that contain both sugar and fat: cookies, cakes and ice cream.
One thing is important to note. Unlike morphine or cocaine, sugar does not contain a drug. Rather, the taste of sugar on the tongue is what apparently triggers the release of dopamine within the brain.
Lets move on and see how eating sweet or carbohydrate-rich food can cause changes in blood sugar levels.
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Sugar Cravings In Early Recovery Are Normal Should Be Monitored
- Post last modified:December 8, 2020
- Reading time:3 min read
One of the many doctors who had the opportunity of reading this book, the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly called The Big Book write, told us that the use of sweets was often helpful, of course depending upon a doctors advice. Sweets are part of the recovery lifestyle. Sugar, a stimulant substance on its own, is created in the bloodstream by alcohol. Many addicts and alcoholics undergo severe sugar cravings in the first months of recovery as their body searches for some substance to satisfy its urges. Of course, many addicts and alcoholics oversee the depending upon a doctors advice part.
Relying heavily on sweets, many persons in recovery can put their health at risk by swapping their drug and alcohol addiction for sugar addiction. Referring to the said doctor, the authors continue, He thought all alcoholics should constantly have chocolate available for its quick energy value at times of fatigue. Sugar creates a spike in the bloodstream, which can create a powerful surge of energy. However, it is often followed by a dreadful crash or coming down, leading to emotional disturbances and extremes. Watch any child eat a plentiful amount of candy, then come off the sugar high later and be reminded of a drug addict detoxing from drugs. Emotional, craving more candy, exhausted, and sick to their stomachs, eventually they pass out to sleep it off.
Starch Can Equal Sugar
Think you don’t have a sweet tooth, but crave bagels, chips, or french fries? These starchy foods are complex carbs that the body breaks down into simple sugars. Eaten without better foods, starches can make blood sugar surge and crash like sugar. White rice and white flour do this. Highly refined starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers, and pasta are worst.
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Sugar Cravings Are The New Drug Addiction
Why am I craving sugar?
I have often heard my patients say this. Or
Desserts help me destress.
Are you one of those people who often say this? Do you also experience sweet cravings after eating meals? If no, then thats good and if yes, then there is something your body is habitual of and you need to know about it
Experiencing sugar cravings quite frequently might indicate that you have an addiction to sugar. It is important for you to work on your sugar cravings because their long term effects on health are not good.
In this blog, were going to break down how sugar is addictive, why we have to overcome it and how we can overcome it.
Tolerance Vs Opiate Dependence
Although they do not necessarily mean you have an addiction, opiate tolerance and dependence are often present when someone is struggling with a substance use disorder . Tolerance means that you need increasingly larger or more frequent amounts of the drug to achieve the same high.
Dependence may develop over time as a person takes more and more opiate drugs to overcome tolerance. Physiological dependence means that your body requires opiates in order to function at an optimal level. If you abruptly quit using opiates once youre dependent, withdrawal symptoms will emerge.
In order to alleviate these withdrawal symptoms, many people return to opiate use, thus creating a cycle of drug abuse and withdrawal symptoms that can ultimately lead to the development of an SUDmore commonly referred to as opiate addiction. Opiate addiction is a chronic and progressive condition that often requires treatment from a professional rehab.
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B Withdrawal: Anxiety And Behavioral Depression Induced By An Opioid
As described in Section 2, animals can show signs of opiate withdrawal after repeated exposure when the substance of abuse is removed, or the appropriate synaptic receptor is blocked. For example, an opioid antagonist can be used to precipitate withdrawal in the case of opiate dependency . In rats, opiate withdrawal causes severe somatic signs , decreases in body temperature , aggression , and anxiety , as well as a motivational syndrome characterized by dysphoria and depression .
These signs of opioid withdrawal have been noted after intermittent access to sugar when withdrawal is precipitated with an opioid antagonist, or when food and sugar are removed. When administered a relatively high-dose of the opioid antagonist naloxone , somatic signs of withdrawal, such as teeth chattering, forepaw tremor, and head shakes are observed . These animals are also anxious, as measured by reduced time spent on the exposed arm of an elevated plus-maze .
Time spent on the open arms of an elevated plus-maze. Four groups of rats were maintained on their respective diets for one month and then received naloxone . The Daily Intermittent Glucose and Chow group spent less time on the open arms of the maze. *p< 0.05 compared with the Ad libitum Chow group. From .
Add Some Protein To A Carb
A study that looked at MRI scans of people eating a high-protein breakfast found reduced activity in the regions of the brain associated with cravings, Cassetty says. Try adding some protein to your breakfast and see if it helps you cut down on sugar later in the day. You can serve your hot or cold cereal with some Greek yogurt, or have it with a couple of eggs on the side to boost your protein intake. If youre eating a bagel or toast, include some smoked salmon to get the benefits of protein.
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Opioid Consumption And Glycemic Control
There is compelling evidence that chronic administration of mu-opiate agonists is associated with pathology clinically similar to non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. It has been demonstrated that use of heroin in humans is associated with increased resting insulin levels, as well as delayed and increased insulin response to glucose loads . Similarly, methadone-maintained patients have clinically evident delayed insulin response to food ingestion with associated mild hyperglycemia . Furthermore, increased fasting insulin levels have been noted in both heroin addicts and methadone patients . An earlier study in healthy adults given a single dose of IV morphine demonstrated that while oral and intraduodenal glucose loads were associated with delayed insulin response, IV glucose was associated with a normal insulin response . The authors concluded that morphine has no direct impact on insulin activity, but rather the slowing of gastric motility associated with mu-agonists causes delayed absorption of glucose, and therefore a delayed insulin response . Inhibited gastric motility and delayed gastric emptying, with associated ileus and constipation, are known sequelae of mu-opiate administration .
Opioid Intake And Associated Weight Gain
The preference for sugary foods resulting from opiate administration may lead to increased consumption of such foods, and possibly accumulation of excess body fat and weight gain. In a review of the medical treatment of heroin addicts, it was noted that these patients were generally âunder-weightâ likely as a consequence of spending money on drugs rather than food . Heroin addicts who initiated methadone maintenance treatment typically demonstrated significant weight gain, possibly related to their expressed strong cravings for sweets during protracted abstinence . The rats in acute opiate withdrawal also express a similar increased craving for sweets . A study of autopsies of Swedish IV drug users recorded between 1988â2000 demonstrates that while 36% of heroin users were overweight , 43.1% of methadone users were overweight . Furthermore, when evaluating pre-obese IV drug abusers by drugs of use, 27.5% were being treated with methadone, representing the largest portion of this subgroup . And among female methadone patients, sugar accounts for > 30% of caloric intake. A recent study of methadone-maintained patients found higher BMI, and increased liking of sweet foods, over controls . Taken together, these findings suggest that opiate-dependent patients on methadone maintenance appear to develop increased BMI, with a greater proportion of them overweight and pre-obese than the average drug user.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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How Much Sugar Is Too Much
If you’re like most people in the U.S., you eat 19 teaspoons or more of added sugar a day. That adds up to 285 calories, which health experts say is way too much. How much sugar should you be eating? According to the American heart Association, no more than 6 teaspoons daily for women. That’s about 100 calories. Men should get a max of 9 teaspoons. That’s about 150 calories.
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Sugar And The Scientists Puzzle
Sugar has been around for centuries. Since it hit the market as a bulk commodity in the 16th century, its use has extended to an abundance of food products. It is pretty much everywhere, lurking where you least expect it – especially in processed foods. It is no surprise, then, that the increased use of sugar in food production has led to more Americans consuming a high sugar diet.
Studies have shown that there is a positive link between sugary food consumption and opioid abuse. This doesnt mean that one explicitly causes the other, but that there are some similarities in what they both do to our brain.
Put into the context of the opioid crisis – it is growing more important to understand the relationship between a high sugar diet and opioid use. In the long run, studying the mechanics of any misused substance contributes to the treatment of addiction.
Medications To Block Heroin Cravings
Three main medications may be prescribed to help ease heroin cravings and suppress withdrawal symptoms: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Pharmaceutical intervention for heroin addiction management is a type of medication-assisted treatment.
- Methadone is an opioid medication that activates the same brain receptors as heroin, albeit in a controlled and less powerful manner. Methadone is taken orally, producing a slow release of its effects, which decreases the chance of feeling a high.
- Buprenorphine partially activates the same brain receptors as heroin and also partially blocks the ability to feel rewarding effects from heroin and other opioid drugs. 3
- Naltrexone blocks the ability of heroin and other opioid drugs to produce a high. Naltrexone is not addictive or sedating, but people often have difficulty adhering to naltrexone treatment, so it has been less successful. 1
How Medication-Assisted Treatment Works
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Next Time When You Crave Sugar Follow These Easy Tips:
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C Craving: Enhanced Responding For Sugar Following Abstinence
As described in Section 2, craving in laboratory animals can be defined as enhanced motivation to procure an abused substance . After self-administering drugs of abuse and then being forced to abstain, animals often persist in unrewarded operant responding , and increase their responding for cues previously associated with the drug that grows with time . Additionally, if the drug becomes available again, animals will take more than they did prior to abstinence . This increase in motivation to procure a substance of abuse may contribute to relapse. The power of craving is evidenced by results showing that animals will sometimes face adverse consequences to obtain a substance of abuse such as cocaine or alcohol . These signs in laboratory animals mimic those observed with humans in which the presentation of stimuli previously associated with a drug of abuse increases self-reports of craving and the likelihood of relapse .
After 14 days of abstinence from sugar, rats that previously had 12-h daily access significantly increased lever pressing for glucose to 123% of pre-abstinence responding, indicating increased motivation for sugar. The group with 0.5-h daily access did not show increased responding after abstinence. **p< 0.01. From .
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Issues From Increased Sugar Intake
Many people in recovery report having a craving for sweets during their first phase, and often, over the course of their lives. Could it be true that sweets can actually curb the craving for alcohol? If so, is sugar a healthier substitute? Within moderation, and within reason, it seems the intake of sugar and high-carbohydrate sugar foods such as fruits, can help to curb cravings.
However, one wrong does not make a right. Sugar addiction is a real thing in many people, addicts and non-addicts alike. The impact of sugar on the brain has to do with dopamine. Substances like sugar, alcohol and opiates release dopamine into the brain, which is associated with the pleasure and reward center of the brain. Dopamine is associated with addiction due to the extra dopamine released into the brain. As the brain adjusts to the constant flood of dopamine, the constant high that results can become dangerous and addictive over time.
In essence, it is shown that sweets are a known side effect of quitting alcohol – but certainly not one of the worst ones. With moderation and attention to intake, a little sugar can be pleasurable and healthful if taken in the right amounts. The most optimal way is to stick to fruits and other natural sugars like honey, and to generally enjoy other sweets minimally.
If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit ourdirectory of treatment centers or call to speak to a treatment specialist.