Sugar withdrawals re: brain chemistry?

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Sugar withdrawals re: brain chemistry? Empty Sugar withdrawals re: brain chemistry?

Post by Starkanda on Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:23 pm

So I started doing keto on the 5th this month, made it through the majority of the sugar withdrawal symptoms, like the physical ones, and the brain fog is pretty much gone. I am noticing I am still pretty moody and irritable, but tbh I have a lot of stressors going on in my life right now too. But I'm hoping some of that is sugar withdrawal, so I have some calmer days ahead LOL. So I'm about 2 1/2 weeks into this Smile

Everything I've read is about dopamine pathways and how being hooked on sugar for a long time. Also that withdrawals are supposed to be around 2 weeks. Does this also apply to the brain chemistry, receptors, etc? or does that take longer?

Thankfully my cravings are gone and eating is under control now! It is crazy how out of control that gets when eating sugar and carbs!
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Post by Meant2Move on Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:39 pm

Sugar is so dang hard to quit, so congrats!!!!

I was just complaining in my journal about the difficulty in isolating cause and effect in ourselves, so hard to say if your brain is still recovering from long-term sugar/carb addiction or if the stressors are the problem. I think an argument can be made that while the gut microbiome is very quick to rebound, even after long term neglect, it does take some time to truly come to a better balance of healthy bugs. I bring this up because the gut is the major source of neurotransmitters in the body. It might be that dopamine production is not yet up to par but will continue to improve without the sugar toxin.

I think you will have better days ahead!
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Post by Starkanda on Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:05 pm

I hope so because I've been a hot mess lol
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Post by Meant2Move on Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:53 pm

What was the reason/driving force behind your starting keto?
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Post by Starkanda on Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:20 pm

I need to lose a bunch of weight and no time to work out much. I have a bad sugar addiction and some family members started keto with great results so I have a support system. Gets insulin and other hormones in check. It just made sense. I'm already naturally wanting less food so it's been good so far.
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Post by Rig D on Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:06 am

I hope your sugar withdrawal issue is getting better. I remember when I started Primal back in 2012, I had several weeks of tough sledding with the sugar and carb withdrawal, primarily seen in my craving for Coca Colas. Hang tough with it, you should be about there given the time frame you reference, and once you can put it in the rear-view, just be super vigilant for some time that you avoid sugar or you may have a re-lapse.

Having your family on board should be a great support for you in maintaining your efforts. Be sure to figure out some way to get some exercise, the easiest and least intrusive way to go is to try and walk more, there are lots of ways to "inconvenience" yourself during the day so that you can walk just a little further than you are used to without adding a lot of time to the effort.
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Post by Starkanda on Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:32 pm

Yeah, starting to feel better. It's funny now, being so awake after lunch when my coworkers are grumbling they want naps.

I really do have a curiosity/interest in the whole brain chemistry thing, and surprised I haven't seen more about it, other than, wait 2 weeks, etc etc.

The gut connection thing is also interesting, I hope you're right about that bouncing back, I have long suspected that my gut flora was sabotaging me and worried that I wouldn't have the right strains even there to bounce back and work their magic Shocked

As for "inconveniencing," I'm going to do more of that, it's so insidious and so good. I have already noticed increased energy when I do get out and walk Very Happy
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Post by Meant2Move on Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:30 pm

Having family support makes a world of difference to any dietary/lifestyle change. My husband and I are on the Wahls Protocol - could not do it if both of us were not on board. The support is crucial, but so is not sabotaging one another with temptations.

In my experience, the gut makes gains, but I swear, the sugar loving beasties are resilient. It will take time, but I'm pretty confident that keto will starve them out more quickly than other methods, and then the new colonies will get to work.

You could always buy a bottle of probiotics for a course. No need to continue long-term, but a small bottle might offer a boost. Maybe better, just ensure that some of the produce you eat is particularly prebiotic in nature - jicama for instance. And I've come across this notion several times - do a colon cleanse as if you were prepping for a colonoscopy (a day of clear liquids and a bottle of that magnesium drink that is sold as prep) then eat only good stuff. I've never had the guts to try it!

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Post by Narrowminded on Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:00 am

I’m at that point of trying to kill the sugar beasties too. They are dang hard and man they keep a colony in there no matter what. Went a whole year w/o sugar and dang, it derailed quick with the stress.

Hang tough, you’re through the roughest spot. You got this.

M2M - Yeah you don’t want to do that prep if you don’t need too. It’s a park yourself on the commode with a dozen good books and stay there. Smile
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Post by Starkanda on Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:40 pm

Thanks for the replies! That colonoscopy prep sounds intriguing, but I don't think I can handle that right now. I'm so glad I'm thru the worst, and I do know I have to be vigilant, because my cravings come on strong if I go past, say, 1 sweet treat.
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Post by Rig D on Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:47 am

May I suggest trying to go 100% off the sweets for at least a month or so. And try to not regard them as a "sweet treat." That name puts it in a positive mental image. I like to refer to them as "fat pills" -- just a little mental gymnastics to help the game forward.
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Post by Narrowminded on Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:19 am

Rig I love your analogy. I think most of us grew up with them given that positive spin.
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