The Problem with Sugar
By Dr. Janine Pulley
The Problem with Sugar
Excess sugar consumption causes out of control weight gain, systemic inflammation and a host of mood and behavioral challenges.
According to a study from UC San Francisco; eating sugar speeds aging body at the cellular level, just like cigarettes. The way sugar impacts your body is far more complex than just causing weight gain. When you eat sugar, almost every part of your body feels the strain— bad news for your health in both the short and long term.
Sugar is Addictive
Eating sugar forces a surge of “Happy” brain chemicals, neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Cocaine and other narcotics do the same thing. As with any narcotic drug, your brain craves more after the initial high. “You then become addicted to that feeling, so every time you eat it you want to eat more,” explains Gina Sam, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital.
When you’re overweight, your cells become resistant to the normal effects of insulin (for reasons that aren’t 100 percent understood). Every cell in your body struggles to absorb glucose from the blood to use for energy. Your pancreas goes into overdrive to crank out more insulin. Despite the excess insulin trying to lower blood sugar levels below toxic levels, the cells do not accept the glucose—which means excess sugar is floating around in your bloodstream, with nowhere to go. Above-normal blood glucose levels are called pre-diabetes. When blood sugar levels reach higher, you’ve got type 2 diabetes.
Because your body is creating so much insulin to combat the excess sugar, the insulin begins to damage the blood vessels all of your body – similar to Wolverine running down a hallway with his claws out, slashing the walls. To try to protect these wounds in your blood vessels, now your body needs to create more cholesterol – the body’s Band-Aid. And if you are not eating healthy oils (like olive oil, coconut oil, or fish oil), these Band-Aids are not very good – they actually start to keep the wounds open rather than cover and close them. Next plaque forms and your arteries begin to clog and close. This is why your cholesterol levels rise and your doctor starts talking about statin drugs to keep it down; but as you now know, the cholesterol is not the problem – sugar is.
These wounds in your blood vessels are similar to a cut on your hand – the area becomes irritated and inflamed as it tries to heal. And like a cut on your hand that you don’t stop picking at, the blood vessels never have a chance to heal if you do not stop eating sugar. This chronic inflammation can become long-term damage that is very dangerous – it leads to hardening of your arteries, which then causes high blood pressure that mixed with blockages and clots can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This systemic inflammation can also trigger or create inflammatory conditions such as chronic pain, thyroid issues, heart disease, migraines, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, depression, ADHD, lupus, and cancer.
So you can see why cutting out sugar is about much more than just weight loss!
Keeping your sugar intake low is critical for good health and weight loss. It is also one of the best preventative measures you can take to keep living your life to the fullest.
Changing your eating habits to a low sugar diet such as Primal or Paleo is a great first step. If you are still struggling or need an extra boost to your metabolism, herbal supplementation can help.
Dr. Pulley is always more than happy to discuss tailored recommendations for you, so call 978-237-5106 today to schedule your appointment today!