Sugar Withdrawal is Like Opioid Withdrawal

Sugar Withdrawal is Like Opioid Withdrawal


Sugar withdrawal is like opioid
withdrawal. That’s what I’m gonna talk about today. I’m Dr. Tracey Marks a
psychiatrist and this channel is about mental health education and
self-improvement today. I’m going to talk about sugar addiction. I put that in air
quotes because technically it’s not really in addiction by psychiatric
terminology, but behaviorally it’s like an addiction so I’m going to talk about
ways you can determine or recognize if you have a sugar addiction and how you
can break free of this. Why is this important from a mental health
standpoint? Because with sugar withdrawal not only do you get the physical
symptoms like headaches, bloating tiredness, but you can also get
irritability sadness even. It can even feel like depression or anxiety. If you
research this topic you’ll see that excessive sugar increases the endorphins
that your body makes. Endorphins are the body’s natural opioids. It’s what you
experience with intense exercise like a runner’s high. Your body actually
produces chemicals that are same structure as opioids. So how do you break
this cycle? It gets a little tricky here. Sugar addiction is not always about
consuming too many sweets. In fact you can get addicted to sugar even if you
don’t have what you consider to be a sweet tooth. Many foods that we consume
on a daily basis have added sugar and some examples of these would be things
like pasta sauce, soup, yogurt, salad dressing. Anything that says fat-free has
added sugar to help it taste better. Then there’s also sauces and condiments like
ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, even crackers. I mean it’s all over the place and
what’s even a shame are the prepared frozen foods like Lean Cuisine and those
types of things they also have added sugar. So it’s the presence of sugar in
these foods that can contribute to you having or developing a sugar
addiction. And here’s some signs that you’re addicted to sugar. You find it
really hard to say no to sugary treats. You regularly crave foods even when
you’re not hungry. You get a short term mood or energy boost when you eat the
food and then it quickly crashes. If you try and cut back, you get really strong
cravings or maybe even get withdrawal. And remember this can apply to starchy
foods as well like french fries because the high starchy foods have lots of
carbohydrates that break down to sugars. So let’s talk about how to reduce your
sugar. You can always try and stop cold turkey, but that probably won’t work as
it’s just too hard. What you want to do is retrain your taste buds to prefer
savory foods and you can do this by slowly eliminating the foods with the
added sugars. Now this will require you to read labels and when reading labels
you want to look for any of the following items and that will tell you
that your food has added sugar. And some of these things are agave nectar, brown
rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, lactose,
malt syrup, molasses and sucrose. Now some of these sugars are considered to be
healthier types of sugar or at least healthier than table sugar because they
have more nutrients in them and they’re less refined. Table sugar goes through a
refining process from sugar cane or sugar beets
whereas honey and agave nectar are usually consumed more in their original
form so that makes them healthier, less refined. But don’t be fooled into
thinking you’ve made a good move because you’ve switched from table sugar to
organic raw honey at least not if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake. Sugar
sugar and all you’ve done really is substitute one form of sugar to another
form of sugar even if that other form it has more nutrients in it. And remember
almost all packaged it has some type of sugar in it and this
would be things like lunch meat or the frozen meals or even breakfast sausage.
So it’ll take some discipline and work to remove these things from your diet
but just as with any habit it’ll get easier and more routine and automatic
for you the more that you do it .So how about trying this; this is a good start.
Over the next month try and substitute your high carb high sugar meal with
something closer to whole food. So for example if you’re used to eating toast
with Jam for breakfast or bagel or muffin, try adding in or even replacing
that with a boiled egg. When you add in proteins and healthy fats you get
satisfied quicker and you lose the need to want to fill up with the high sugary
meal. So the idea is if you feel full sooner you won’t need or won’t crave
more toast to feel satisfied. So a word on sugar substitutes if you’re looking
to drastically reduce your sugar intake you don’t want to substitute or use sugar
substitutes to help you do that. Why? Because sugar substitutes like
stevia, aspartame, agave for example all keep your your food still tasting swee.t
They don’t help you reset your taste buds and that’s really what you need to
do. But more importantly sugar substitutes are linked to metabolic
syndrome and I’ll have a reference to that in the description. Metabolic
syndrome is a set of symptoms that include high blood pressure, high blood
sugar, high cholesterol and abdominal fat. And if you have any or especially all of
these conditions it increases your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
So drinking several diet sodas a day doesn’t mean you’ve won the sugar war. In
fact, you’ve just switched from one poison to another one. So if you’re gonna
reduce your sugar intake, you need to go all the way. Go
full boat. Don’t rely on the sugar substitutes. So you’re gonna need to do
this gradually and you could start with the big things like the desserts and
then gradually go into eliminating the processed foods with the added sugars in
them. Now you do need to take that step because if you don’t eliminate it
eliminate the the processed foods you’ll still crave those desserts and other
sugary foods that you worked really hard to get rid of. My last point is you do
need to keep your expectations realistic. It’s not possible to consume zero sugar.
We still get fructose from fruit and glucose from the breakdown of
carbohydrates such as vegetables and grains. So what you’re trying to do or
accomplish here is reducing the added sugar sources so that you don’t over
consume sugar. And once you get accustomed to only consuming the natural
sugars that are found in fruits and vegetables, it’ll be hard to tolerate the
added sugar that you get from the processed foods. And that would be a
great place to be where things just taste too sugary and you don’t even want
them anymore. I hope you can make some headway with this. I’m still working on
it myself. It’s really hard to let go of that barbecue sauce if you liked this
video click the like button and share it with a friend who you think may benefit from it.

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82 thoughts on “Sugar Withdrawal is Like Opioid Withdrawal”

  • Thank you so much-Dr.Tracey Marks.I have been on the sugar for quite sometimes and it is time i kicked the habit.I am fully aware of the dangers including liver damage.I am drained right at this moment,but i will endure.I do believe that some of us are misled when we read packaging stating sugar content,not realizing that the content is per serving.You Dr,Tracey are a Gorgeous woman with smooth flawless skin,not to mention your kool natural hair.Take care and please continue to inform.-Peace.

  • You hit the nail on the head about it being in EVERYTHING!! Oh my gosh! I love my sweets..on so many levels. They are fun to make, they are pretty and I love photographing them. I generally make all of my own stuff from scratch using real ingredients…many of them organic. My cake or ice cream or cupcake is going to taste completely different from anything you buy ready made. Because it uses less sugar. Older recipes also use less sugar, so cooking from vintage recipes can help with this. I am not giving them up, but I do remain mindful of how much I have. I don't drink any soda or alcohol and I only have one cup of black coffee in the morning. I basically traded booze for dessert 20 years ago. Because your body will process it the same and the calories can be even higher in alcohol. I decided I'd rather have the chocolate cake than the wine. And I've never been a soda drinker. I think it's about trade offs. I am not giving up my carbs, but I do watch what I take in. You should consider a hidden salt video, because I think that's as bad or worse!! Sodium in anything packaged is insane. And anybody who thinks stopping sugar is easy should try cutting off the average toddler from their snacks and juice. Hell hath no fury like a toddler deprived of their sugar!😄

  • Excellent and very helpful. Thank you so much for making this. And yes I agree with the other comment…you are very beautiful with beautiful skin and hair!

  • Dr Tracey, thank you so much for your video I have been going only 2 days without consuming refined sugar… my only form of sugar i got was from Cassava, sweet potatoes and plantain…the feeling is not good but the results will be great in the end.

  • It amazes me to see Moms on YouTube that are raising their kids as vegans, these kid's love vegetables,they love seaweed, it's what we are exposed to and raised on,as a kid we were left on our own cuz my Mom wasn't home,so we had no meals prepared for us,so we chose junk food,and that's where my love of sugar kicked in, especially soda pop.

  • i quit eating sugar about a month ago and in the beginning my mouth would water just thinking about sugar. i craved it so much and still do sometimes, thinking about the cons of sugar helps me not eat it though.

  • Hi Dr Tracey! My husband saw your video about how video games are actually good for you, so naturally he now thinks that you are a genius!! So, I'm sending him this video, maybe he'll listen to your good advice! Thanks and have a fantastic day!!

  • That's an excellent video on the sugar concern. I also am currently stopping the sugar also. Actually I went and had a test done and the one thing that was not good was the candida overgrowth. From what the naturopath is saying most people have a candida problem and don't t know it. Which judging by all the sugar in literally all the food including bread which is already a carb. (ridiculous btw) I cannot believe how much added sugar is in literally everything processed. 6-8weeks no sugar to kill the candida. I googled candida diet and the list of food is there. After that I will take a vitamin concoction from naturopath to flush the candida and than continue a very low sugar diet. After that it's dairy, no more cheese. I am actually already almost no dairy. If you do one on dairy I will also watch it. Thanks for another great vid Dr. Tracy!

  • Before I even start the video. I am currently going through a sugar withdrawl from cutting out carbs for the past two days and It feels like what I hear heroin addicts describe they go through when they try to quit

  • Amazing its so true!, ive been sugar free for a year now and have been recording my journey on my channel. It was hard but worth it.

  • Dr. Tracey Marks, thank you this is by far the best video on what Sugar does and getting off it. I have eliminated all refined sugars and most processed foods. Now when I walk in the grocery store I can actually SMELL the sugar, it's endemic.

  • Hi, I enjoy your videos I find them as you say educational which is much appreciated! I would like to see a video that talks about binge eating disorder pls 😬

  • I quit sugar in May this year, cold turkey, and it was hard (no energy for two to three weeks) but I got through it. Now I'm on the paleo diet and it's awesome.

  • Hi Dr. 🙂 What can help with the irritability aspect of sugar withdrawal? I usually feel irritable and on edge when I detox from sugar. I have to be pleasant, so other than staying home the few weeks it takes for me to detox, are there any herbs or vitamins that can help reduce the irritability and emotional feelings?

  • Humans are not evolutionary designed to have high sugar levels over prolonged periods.

    The only foods we evolved with were fruits, berries, plants and meat…the sugar amount in these are marginal and would not keep sugar levels high over a 24h period.
    Today, your bloodsugar is always high, yes even between meals the levels do not reach natural levels. It might feel like it but thats sugar withdrawal from abnormally high levels.

  • This is a hard one! I love BBQ sauce 😞. One of the many things with sugar. With all the demans of life it had not to reach for some prepackaged items.

  • I'm in a low carb healty diet right now… 5 days in… i've headache and nausea but luckly i can stay home. i was very much addicted to sugar.

  • I'm glad I don't live in the US bc the food is actually much better and healthier than the US one. I don't need to eat sweets at all. The only thing that I drink with quite a lot of sugar is my morning coffee

  • Thank you very much Dr. Marks. I am just beginning my journey to living a sugar-free life. I am morbidly obese, diabetic type two, hypertensive and I also have high cholesterol along with major depressive disorder. You presented so much valuable information within 7m56s I am very impressed and very grateful to you. I have subscribed to your channel and will be watching more videos. Thanks again.

  • it sucks… seriously im a runner and i would have good runs but just feel like crap for the rest of the day waiting for my next high

  • Thank you for the clearest and shortest way to get this. Especially about why no sugar substitues and because of the tastebuds, that was my missing link 🙂 Love your videos 🙂

  • On day two with a killer headache but I’m disgusted about how much sugar I have been eating ….

  • I have many questions about how nutrition influence menthal health, but only 2 of them come now in my mind:
    1. Is keto diet efficient in management of pshychosis and other pshychiatric conditions? And how (why )?
    2. Starvation ( fasting) and or " insulinic shock" has also sth to do about lessening or improving menthal health conditions ( could it "reset"( restart) our brain and body?
    What is the mechanism and if/ how could we put it in practice ( if it s safe to "do it at home")?
    ( in our country smb actually tried sth similar bc the patient was not responding to /refusing to take the medication but eventually the patient died and the caregivers went to jail)

  • So you've experienced opioid withdrawal? Your outta your mind if you think they are in the same league. Not even remotely close.

  • I've always been a "chocoholic" and an ice cream addict so I'm trying to lose some weight by cutting those out. Wow, my mood is really taking a beating (dysthymia with a lovely scoop of major depression on top). Seeing my therapist tomorrow and an endocrinologist next week. It's a tough slog.

  • Hello Dr. Marks, this is an excellent video. Thank you for not only talking about sugar "addiction", but how to wean off of sugar in a healthy way. You really opened my eyes to what added sugar really means. Cheers 😉 🌷

  • Sugar does cause them. Go on keto like me for a while. Then go back on sugar a week. You will tell a huge difference with fatigue on the next clean week. On day two I really can feel it. Sleep 10 hours and still feel terriable

  • I'm sorry. This is absolutely ludicrous. It may have similar chemical reactions in the brain ect…but to compare SUGAR withdrawl… to OPIATE withdrawal. … is a 100% inane comment, I dont care if the surgeon general makes this statement. It is utterly clear to me that anyone comparing the two is looking at paperwork..and has little to no experience dealing with someone going through acute opiate withdrawal. I HATE the myriad of comparisons that are made. As far as withdrawls, the ONLY comparable withdrawls are severe Alcoholism, benzodiazepines and..rare nowadays…barbiturates. Sugar withdrawal will NOT cause you to keel over in utter agony while defecating and vomiting at the same time while the mind is in a fight or flight full panic attack, day after day. Stomach cramps and heart rate increases that can become dangerous. Its….offending to compare them

  • Sugar withdrawal is no where near opioid withdrawal lol.. I get that sugar addictions are rough, I have one too but I’ve also been thru opiate withdrawal about 100 times and is the worst thing ever. Sugar withdrawl doesn’t even touch it

  • Great video. Music is distracting. Your delivery of the content is great. Easy to understand without all the medical terms. Thank you.

  • I am 27 days sugar free. I have never gone this long. My sugar addiction is definitely dead, but I am expierencing so many withdrawal symptoms…I wont ever go back to it. I'm also detoxing from eating all processed fake foods. I wont go back to them either. How long do the withdrawals last? I used to eat 10-20 candy bars a day sometimes. Thinking maybe it takes a while hahaha especially for me

  • You cannot eleminate suger, it is in everything. Eat less suger not eleminate it. Listen to this woman and live a boring funless life. You only live once and certainly will die so enjoy your life but with moderation.

  • As always your videos are very well.. really like the graphics, however the music was a little distracting from what you had to say. Thank you so much for the positive effect you have on Cyber world

  • I’m all for lowering sugar consumption but eggs are not considered healthy based on the high amounts of cholesterol and fats in them.

  • Dr. Tracey, thanks for your wonderful videos. Can you please comment on importance of client education in therapy. Why are videos like this so important to clients in therapy? Do your clients react favorably to videos like this or has it been a struggle? Do pyschoeducational videos help empower your clients. Have you faced any criticism or resistance from clients or professional peers? Any recommendations for therapists who want to offer more video resources to their clients?

  • Dr Marks, thank you for this video! Love all your videos! You help me so much!! Will you ever go live? Would LOVE to interact with you!!❤️🙏🏼🔥molly

  • Day 2 of withdrawals for me and my head is hurting a lot , I'm feeling dizzy weak and I'm dying to go and eat a slice or two of cake

  • Well done Queen! I am detoxing my autistic sons and myself…this is not for the weak…some days it's hard – tantrums, screaming, headaches, constipation and diarrhea…but its working- meltdowns at school have decreased for one son and he has been responding appropriately to disappointment or transitions; other son is following 2-3 step directions, using more vocabulary and better attention span…some days are rough but this has better results than the adhd/antidepressant prescription drugs one son was on…

  • I’ve either been addicted to coffee or to sugar or both. Last year when I wasn’t addicted to sugar I was addicted to coffee and it hurt me in other ways. For 2020 I want to break my addiction to both coffee and sugar! I’ve already broke my coffee addiction and I’m ready to break this sugar addiction!! Here’s to clearer skin, better sleep, less GI problems!!

  • Thank you so much for a really informative vid without all the science and all the other stuff youtubers feel the need to incorporate for more viewership.

  • More than three weeks since quitting sweets and I feel like crying because I want sweets so bad. At this point I feel like giving up on this healthy diet thing.

  • I'm a vegan addicted to sugar. I want to replace my cupcake cravings for something healthier but clearly I can't eat an egg

  • I have sugar cravings. Indian sweets cookies etc trying to cut down my blood sugar is is in 80’s I’m not a diabetic so I don’t worry about it.

  • OMG I drink 4/5 teas a day so my sugar intake was huge, I replaced this with stevia which was easy on the stomach and I thought this was a healthy substitute! Great video.

  • Well said. I get nauseous just walking past the bread aisle in American stores. It smells like a cake shop..or like like my nose has been assaulted by a twinky.

  • I used to get shamed for eating a lot of sweets from my family, so I hid food and ate away from anyone (it was comfort food for my depression, but they just thought I was weird). Hiding tubs of chocolate icing in my laundry basket and overeating sweets in the basement, not my finest moments 😅
    My family found out and got really worried, so I had to reevaluate what made me crave sweets and cut WAY down on sugar. I didn't know what hangry was until I cut down on sugar, but it gets easier to limit after a while.

  • I did stop cold turkey but then I found hot turkey was better.

    I get confused on whether to focus on sugar reduction or calorie reduction. If you reduce calories you are indirectly targeting sugars. Calories are found in fats, in fact in higher density than sugar. Calories are also high in alcohol.
    Having iced tea or coffee without event a mere packet of sucralose is unthinkable to me and I think harmless. Nutrasweet (neotame) and saccharin are another matter.
    Prepared food marketers are often deceptive in describing products as No Fat when they make it less healthy in another way. The FDA rules and food labels need revisions.

  • I'm terrible with sugar, I have so darn much of it. I wish I could eliminate it but I am scared as I'm already in a pretty bad place depression wise, I'm fearful I'm too weak too.

  • Oh my god! Thank you so much for saying you struggle with this too. I literally felt like crying because it made me not feel so bad about myself and how much I struggle with this. I love your channel and think you are so wonderful.

  • I've been low/no sugar for years now. On the few occasions when I try a dessert like a donut or piece of cake I have a similar reaction as when sour sensitive people eat a warhead and then I wonder how I used to enjoy eating things like that. I am now addicted to umami flavors though lol.