Shedding Light in the Darkness

Sugar Blues Part 3

sugar addicts

In her illuminating book “Little Sugar Addicts,“ Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons, looks at the link between blood sugar, serotonin and beta-endorphins. She says with kids who are especially vulnerable to sugar, imbalances in brain and body chemistry are the cause of low serotonin, low beta-endorphin and volatile blood sugar. Blood sugar rises and falls based on what we eat, but a spike in blood sugar creates stress in the body and causes it to release adrenaline.

DesMaisons’ studies have shown that the many ups and downs over time can cause adrenaline fatigue. Adrenaline fatigue causes irritability, mood swings, impulsive behavior, tiredness and inattention. She suggests sugar sensitive children have low beta-endorphin levels and feel every hurt deeper than normal kids. They react strongly to physical and emotional pain. Beta-endorphins also are associated with self-esteem. Children with low beta-endorphin feel helpless.

“Sugar evokes beta endorphin which makes you feel better – until it wears off and then you feel depressed,” says DesMaisons. “Until I discovered this link, I never imagined that self-esteem was biochemical. I figured it was psychological. It never occurred to me that going for ice cream sundaes was biochemically causing my children’s self-esteem to skyrocket right after the sundae and plummet a few hours later.”


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