Just Naturally Healthy

The Sugar Addiction Quiz Everyone Keeps Failing. Can YOU Pass it?

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Type 4 Sugar Addiction: Depressed and Craving Carbs

Sugar cravings caused by your period, menopause, or andropause

Hormones are a critical part of your body’s communication and control system. For this reason, hormone deficiencies––or even imbalances––can wreak havoc with your physical and emotional well-being. If you have a deficiency of estrogen, progesterone, and/or testosterone (if you’re a woman) or testosterone (if you’re a man), you’re likely to crave sugar. That’s because when these hormone levels are low, you become sad, even depressed. You start craving sugar as your body tries to raise its level of serotonin, “the happiness molecule.” Anxiety can also occur from low progesterone, causing a drop in your body’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) or “natural Valium” levels. This can produce adrenal fatigue and type 2 sugar cravings (see chapters 2 and 6). In some cases, your sugar cravings may be due to insulin resistance or diabetes.

Take This Quiz

Your total score will tell you whether you fit the type 4 profile. Do you?

Women

PMS

_____Do you have a history of PMS (premenstrual syndrome)? (30 points)

Or, in the week before your period, do you have increased and severe:

_____Irritability? (15 points)

_____Anxiety? (15 points)

_____Unhappiness or depression? (15 points)

_____Bloating? (15 points)

_____Your total score

Score

If you scored 30 or higher, read the section on PMS below.

Menopause or Perimenopause

Are you older than thirty-eight or have you had a hysterectomy or ovarian surgery? If so:

_____Do you have decreased vaginal lubrication? (25 points)

_____Do you have decreased sex drive (libido)? (15 points)

_____Have your periods been getting irregular or changing in other ways? (15 points)

In the week before and around your period, do you experience noticeably worse:

_____Insomnia? (15 points)

_____Headaches? (15 points)

_____Fatigue? (15 points)

_____Hot flashes or sweats? (20 points)

_____Your total score

Score

If you scored 30 or higher, you likely have symptoms from estrogen or progesterone deficiency; read the section on perimenopause and menopause below.

Are you older than forty-seven and have your periods stopped or have you had a hysterectomy? If so, do you have:

_____Depression? (15 points)

_____Vaginal dryness? (15 points)

_____Fatigue? (15 points)

_____Insomnia? (15 points)

_____Loss of libido? (15 points)

_____Your total score

Score

If you scored 30 or higher, you likely have symptoms from hormone deficiency associated with menopause; read the section on perimenopause and menopause below.

Men

_____Are you older than forty-five? (15 points)

_____Do you have decreased libido? (20 points)

_____Do you have erectile dysfunction or decrease in erections? (20 points)

_____Do you have hypertension? (20 points)

_____Do you have diabetes? (20 points)

_____Do you have high cholesterol? (20 points)

_____Are you overweight with a “spare tire” around your waist? (20 points)

_____Your total score

Score

If you scored 50 or higher, these symptoms may be the result of an inadequate testosterone level. Ignore the “normal range” for testosterone levels on the lab result (even if your doctor uses it) and instead use the ranges we supply in chapter 9.

What Does a Type 4 Sugar Addict Look Like?

Thanks to hormonal fluctuations, women can have more difficulty controlling their emotions at certain times during their menstrual cycle. You may feel tired, irritable, and cranky—and you crave sugar. If you are in perimenopause or menopause, you have hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, headaches, and intense sugar cravings when estrogen, progesterone, and even testosterone levels plummet during the four to seven days around your period. If you are a man older than forty-five, you may experience a hormonal imbalance called andropause, when testosterone levels decline, causing you to crave sugar. Sound like you? Then, you’re probably a type 4 sugar addict.

Sugar Cravings Linked with PMS

PMS is a mix of symptoms, including irritability and sugar cravings, that worsen around a woman’s menstrual cycle. The cause of PMS is controversial, but holistic doctors have found that PMS is usually associated with inadequate progesterone and prostaglandin levels––two hormones that are critical to how you feel.

Progesterone deficiency often triggers sugar cravings and causes you to reach for sugar to ease the symptoms. It works, initially. Unfortunately, after the “sugar high” wears off, your blood sugar plummets, leaving you feeling even more anxious and hyper.

Sugar Cravings Linked with Perimenopause and Menopause

During menopause, the production of estrogen and progesterone decline as the ovaries wear out. This decline impacts the body profoundly. This is not a sudden event, but rather occurs gradually over a period of five to twelve years, known as perimenopause. Menopause and perimenopause can trigger symptoms of fatigue and depression, which many women try to treat by eating sugar. Low estrogen in menopause also causes brain fog, fatigue, achiness, headache/migraine, lower libido, insomnia, and hot flashes. This can be especially prominent in people who have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. The low progesterone levels also cause insomnia and anxiety. Menopause symptoms include the following:

  • Menstrual cycles become irregular (becoming either heavier or lighter)
  • Weight gain may occur
  • Fatigue
  • Low libido
  • Worsening headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings, irritability, or feelings of depression

Although testosterone deficiency is a larger problem in men, it also is a significant issue for women. Even though a woman’s testosterone levels do not drop as quickly as her estrogen and progesterone levels do during menopause (because the adrenal glands make half of a woman’s testosterone), most menopausal women are testosterone deficient––despite the testosterone being too high relative to the low estrogen. This low testosterone can also contribute to loss of libido as well as muscle wasting, depression, and fatigue, which can lead to sugar cravings. Once the estrogen and progesterone deficiencies have been corrected, then a very low dose of natural bio-identical testosterone can also be safely added to help restore libido and energy. You can learn more about this in chapter 9.

Many conventional doctors do not diagnose menopause until there is total failure of your ovaries and total cessation of your periods. This means that you must be estrogen deficient for five to twelve years before a doctor will diagnose menopause and consider support with estrogen. We’ll also talk more about this in chapter 9.

Sugar Cravings Linked with Andropause

In men, testosterone deficiency associated with andropause, or male menopause, can also cause sugar cravings along with insulin resistance and fatigue. Other problems caused by testosterone deficiency in men include depression, decreased libido, decreased erectile function, loss of drive and stamina, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Supplementation with bio-identical natural testosterone can decrease and sometimes eliminate metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol), even in men with borderline low but technically “normal” levels of testosterone.

Fortunately, a host of natural therapies as well as bioidentical hormone replacement will not only help eliminate type 4 sugar cravings, but can also help you die very young …. Very late in life!

 

Excerpted from The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015) by Jacob Teitelbaum M.D.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and nationally known expert in the fields of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, sleep and pain. Dr. Teitelbaum does frequent media appearances including Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News Channel, the Dr. Oz Show and Oprah & Friends. He lives in Kona, Hawaii. He has published several books including his latest book The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction.

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