why do you crave sugar when you quit drinking

Thank you for this excellent question. P Many individuals experience an increased craving for sugar when they try to stop drinking alcohol. P A quick summary of the relationship is this. P Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that is involved in alcoholism, depression and anxiety among many other functions in thePbody. P It has been demonstrated that individuals with alcoholism have lower levels of serotonin in the brain. P Consuming either alcohol or carbohydrates (sugar and sweets) increases serotonin. P Mona Moorhouse did a study (though small, it was elegantly done) during which her group studied individuals with alcoholism that had carbohydrate cravings compared to individuals with alcoholism without carb craving compared to individuals without alcoholism.

P She measured the effect of diet on mood, alcohol craving, stress and serotonin. P The results are very interesting. P In a nutshell:
So in plain language, what is most likely going on is that when you stop drinking, your serotonin levels plummet (do you find yourself anxious and depressed also? ), and your brain knows that if you eat more carbs it will get more serotonin and you will feel better. PPSo, it makes you crave carbs so you will eat them. PP When individuals stop drinking, they should be very aware of their eating habits so they don't replace their drinking with addictive eating leading to weight gain, risk for diabetes etc. etc. P Options includePeating foods high in Serotonin, or natural supplements such as St.

John'sPWort, orPa serotonin-based antidepressant. P All under thePcare of a physician of course. Good Luck!! I m an alcoholic in recovery, so I ve stopped drinking but now crave sugar andPam having a really hard time not bingeing on sweets. Why and what can I do? , a woman asked at a recent community workshop at which I was the presenter. It was hosted by aPchemical dependency alumni association andPopen to the public. My talk was titled,. This particular powerpoint presentationPhelps attendees understand alcohol misuse, addiction, secondhand drinking (SHD)-related stress, codependency, and recovery for the family system from the brains perspective. The topics relevant to her question, included: the basics of neuroscience (including fMRI and SPECT scans) and how a persons brain develops and wires unhealthy habits, such as alcohol misuse or secondhand drinking-related coping skills; alcohol misuse (and the distinctions between binge drinking, heavy social drinking and alcoholism), which is the cause of drinking behaviors and thus SHD; and what a person who misuses alcoholPor is experiencing SHD-related stress can do to heal/re- wire their brains.

And it was the connection between alcohol and sugar and the dopamine pathways that best answered this woman s question, which is a common question for person s in recovery from alcoholism. As I stated, the common connection isPthe brain s pleasure/reward pathways, aka neural networks (which arePthe way brain cells [neurons] talk to one another), aka electro-chemical signaling process.

These neural networks rely on dopamine neurotransmitters. These are the chemical portion of the brain s electro-chemical signaling process. PThis prior post of mine helps explain this concept, , and this 1:48 minute video by NIDA is excellent, T. So to answer this woman s question more fully for BreakingTheCycles. com readers, I ve pulled two pieces. One is an article by, , and the other isP sPTedEd Video, How Sugar Affects the Brain, linked below. To understand how alcohol changesPbrain function and taps the brain s dopamine-reliant pleasure/reward pathways, check out Pand NIDA, NIAAA, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HBO s The Addiction ProjectP.

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