Sugar Cravings Causes: Know What Causes Irresistible Urge to Eat Sinful Sweets
In this post, we will talk about the main causes of sugar cravings.
Sugar cravings have bothered all of us at some time or the other.
Sugar is one of the simplest pleasures we can treat ourselves to. Recent researches have proved that sugar helps release endorphins or happiness causing and pain relieving hormones in the body.
Excessive sugar intake is bad for the body, and can cause us serious health problems.
Read this to know why you need to curb your sugar cravings/ cut down on sugar intake.
Inspite of it, there comes a time when we realize that we are giving in to the cravings too frequently and that we need to cut down on sugar intake, for health reasons or otherwise. More so because it has now been proved that sugar cravings are in many ways similar to cravings for other addictive chemicals like drugs and alcohol.
Read our next post in this category to know if you are addicted to sugar.
Craving for sugar
I have a major sweet tooth myself and I talked to my endocrinologist to know about the possible causes of my sugar cravings.
The Main Causes of Sugar Cravings
Here are the various sugar cravings causes, as explained by him to me:
Low adrenal function:
Our body contains many endocrine glands which secrete hormones. One of these is the pair of adrenal glands located above the kidneys on either side of the body. The main functions of adrenal glands include:
Secreting epinephrine/ adrenaline which is the hormone that helps the body deal with stressful situations by releasing instant energy.
Secreting cortisone when there is an inflammation in the body
Producing the female hormones estrogen and progesterone in women as they approach their menopausal age. The production of these hormones which was earlier being looked after by the ovaries is taken over by the adrenal glands. In most women, this transition takes place without any hitch IF the system is functioning properly.
The proper functioning of adrenal glands is essential to regulate the metabolism of sugar in our body. Any disturbance in their functioning can cause sugar cravings.
What, then, are the factors that can cause a disturbance in adrenal function?
Increased production of adrenaline:
This is the MOST important factor that can interfere with the normal functioning of our adrenal glands.
Whenever we face a stressful situation, our adrenal glands secrete adrenaline to equip our body to deal with the situation. The problem is that the glands do not know the difference between the stress before an exam, the stress of putting up with a short tempered spouse, the stress of having to meet deadlines and the stress of reaching office on time.
Unable to differentiate between the different types of stress, these glands simply start secreting more of adrenaline whenever they get a STRESSED-OUT signal.
Inflammation in the body is usually the result of injuries or diseases/infections. A lesser known fact is that inflammation might be caused by food allergies as well. If the allergy has been caused by a food we eat frequently (like wheat, dairy, etc.), the body might have a constant low grade inflammation at all times. In such circumstances, the body will have to increase its production of cortisone to keep the inflammation under control. Such food allergies can become major triggers for sugar cravings.
As the progesterone and estrogen producing functions of the ovaries are taken up by the adrenal glands in the pre-menopausal stage, adrenal function slows down further. If you have a low grade allergy to a particular food (which, in most cases, you will not even realize because your body handles it so efficiently) and facing a stressful situation, the energy reserves of your body get depleted. When this happens, the body craves for sugar to get instant energy to be able to perform its day to day functions efficiently. This explains sugar cravings in most of us.
The sugar cravings become more intense among females in their late thirties and early forties ( as they are approaching menopause) because the depleted energy reserves of the body (due to everyday stress and food allergies) fall down even further as the adrenal glands are required to produce adequate amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The extremely low level of endorphins in the body immediately before the monthly period or their menopause is one of the main causes of sugar cravings among women.
Sweets- I just can’t seem to have enough of them!
We will tell you how to curb sugar cravings in our next post, now that you know about sugar cravings causes.