I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have faced an addict across my desk as the first light bulb of recognition that they are addicted to a drug crosses their face. The drug I am talking about affects people from every walk of life, and most don’t even notice that this insidious addiction has such a powerful grip on them until it is pointed out to them.
The conversation starts simply enough. As soon as I utter the words “We need to eliminate sugar from your diet” I watch the panic set in. The first stage, denial, is “I don’t really do it that much”. Once we pick out where people are subconsciously sneaking this horrible drug into their everyday lives the next stage is bargaining. “maybe there is a generic that isn’t as bad” “can I substitute another drug (honey, stevia, Splenda, anything sweet?!?!?) that does the same thing without the side effects?”. This desperate attempt to negotiate a way of keeping the sugar in your life solidifies the proof of addiction. All of these substitutes have a negative chemical effect on your body in some way or another. If we are looking at your symptoms and your labs and I am having this conversation with you, you are definitely an addict.
This drug “Sugar” has side effects including increase of pain, fatigue, weight gain, hormone imbalance, brain fog, mood, sleep disturbances, and feeds cancer cells. It’s primary effect…the flavor sweet… is so hard wired into the desire centers of our brain that we lie to ourselves about its horrifying long term effects. Human beings in the times of the Paleolithic human were rarely treated with finding anything sweet. If you came across a beehive it was rare and you had to climb a tree and get past a bunch of stinging bees to reach your goal, even fruit was rarely as sweet as our cultivated store bought gems.
If you have a chronic disease or pain and you consume simple sugars or sugar substitutes you are very likely compounding your problem. Don’t worry!!! There is help!!!
Those of you who have sat across from me having this conversation and have gotten through the final phases of detox almost always say “I don’t miss it that much”. But the initial thought that crosses the minds of most sugar addicts is “NOTHING WILL EVER TASTE GOOD AGAIN!!!!” This simply isn’t true and we are here to guide you through the process. For some of you who are hard core addicts this article may keep you from seeking my help. This is even more proof that you need it. Sugar is never the only element contributing to pain and disease, but it is a big part of it.
You can do this. And we are here for you when you are ready.
Dr. Michele Raithel, ND