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Top 10 Ways to Know if You Are Addicted to Sugar

Five years ago when I first wrote on the effects of sugar and its addictive potential, there were a lot of questions and doubts that sugar is addictive.  The Harvard Study, printed in the June 26, 2013 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, puts those questions to rest.

Twelve overweight or obese men age 18 to 35 were given a milk shake on two separate occasions.  The milkshakes were the same calories, nutrients and taste.  One caused high blood sugar and the other did not cause high blood sugar.  A functional MRI done four hours after ingestion of the shake slowed greater brain activity at the pleasure or reward center of the brain, the nucleus accumbens, in the participants who had consumed the milkshakes that caused high blood sugar.  This is the same area that lights up in persons with drug addiction or gambling addiction.

Sugar addiction does exist.  But the addiction isn’t just to sugar.  Anything that will elevate blood sugar (high glycemic index foods) does the same thing—white flour, white potatoes, refined starch.

“But I just love to eat sugar—that doesn’t mean I’m addicted.”  True.  Let’s define some terms.

Urge:  a strong need or desire to have or do something

Craving: a very strong desire for something; intense, urgent, abnormal desire or longing

Addiction: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something; compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal

So…How Do I Know if I am Addicted to Sugar?

If you answer “Yes” to most of the following statements, you are probably addicted to sugar.

1.         I consume sweets, even if I am not hungry, because of cravings.

2.         I find myself constantly eating sweets throughout the day.

3.         I have an increased desire for sweets when I reduce or stop eating them.

4.         My sugar eating causes physical problems, and yet I keep eating it.

5.         When I eat more sugar, my emotions improve.

6.         When sweets are unavailable, I will go find some.

7.         I spend a lot of time feeling sluggish or fatigued from overeating.

8.         I can’t function at my best because of needing to eat sweets.

9.         I need to eat more and more sweets to get the same emotional help I got before.

10. After the first bite, I will binge and eat the whole sack of sweets.

11. (bonus) If I don’t eat sweets, I will be an emotional wreck.

If you are addicted, or feel your cravings are getting out of control, there is help.

We will soon be releasing a highly successful program, Sweet Freedom From Sugar.  It will walk you through the 5 steps to freedom from sugar addiction.  If you would like more details, place your name on the interest list and we will keep you informed as to its release date, probably in the next month.

Dr. Stan Gardner, a Certified Nutrition Specialist, is passionate about helping people reach their peak in health.  His office is in Sandy, UT, and he can be reached at 801.302.5397.  

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Depression

Do you accept Blue cross blue shield federal? Also do you think you would be able to help my Husband? He has been depressed for most of his life but it keep s getting worse and worse. He has tried almost every type of antidepressents the current is Vybrid. None have really helped he is to the point he barely functions. He only makes it to work 1/4 of the time. He is very suicidal. He has seen numerous doctors, councilors and psychiatrist they all basically throw there hands up in the end because he is a very difficult case and they can’t seem to help him. If you could help him it would mean so much I am so afraid of loosing him and he means so much to me and our 8 children.

I consider depression a physical problem, and not strictly an emotional disorder.  Usually there are deficiencies in the neurotransmitters that conduct information to other nerves in the brain.  Serotonin and dopamine levels can be obtained with a urine test, and correction of either or both of those deficiencies can be done with precursors, substances that cross the blood brain barrier which permit the brain to make more of the deficient neurotransmitter.  Nutritional deficiencies, thyroid deficiencies, adrenal exhaustion, toxic metals (lead, mercury, aluminum) in the brain are only a few of the other possibilities that cause depression.

All of these issues need to be addressed and fixed before one can expect to see an improvement in symptoms.  Because most of my practice is outside the box of conventional insurance coverage, I do not accept any insurance.  However, many of my patients find that my costs are less than they would pay, even with insurance coverage!

The office prepares a superbill that can be sent to your insurance to reimburse you for my services as an out-of-network provider. Call Keys to Healing Medical Center, (801) 302-5397 for more information and to have a packet sent to you.

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Postpartum Depression and Other Issues

I am 5 months postpartum, and I have a lot of symptoms of hypothyroidism – severe depression (still ongoing – I’m on zoloft), aching in muscles/joints, sensitive to cold, heavy periods, inability to concentrate, occasionally I feel like I can’t breathe & there is something in my throat. I know that iodine supplementing will help, however, I’m wondering if I should seek medical professional help first, because I may have had iodine deficiency too long now. Or I may have something else I’m not pinpointing?

First, you need to know if you are hypothyroid or not.

Get lab tests:

  • free T3,
  • free T4,
  • TSH.

If the free T3 is in the lower half of the reference range, you are hypothyroid.  I prefer to treat with the thyroid extracts, Armour thyroid, Westhroid, Naturethroid.

Zoloft does not help the depression of hypothyroidism.

You can begin iodine supplementation, 12.5 mg daily.  It won’t hurt if you don’t need it, and it could help if you do need it.

If your symptoms are not hypothyroidism, you need to see an integrative health care professional, as conventional medicine does not do well with the symptoms you have described.  (I doubt you have a Zoloft deficiency.)

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Places for Healing

I have nerve pain in my legs, feet, shoulder, neck, and some around my eyes. It feels like someone is ripping the nerves out of my legs, and it has been limiting my productivity.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1997 @ Sansum Med Ctr, but my sister told me they had to diagnose something to be able to charge me.

I had attended the Pain Clinic at the U of U in 1995, and I saw every kind of doctor possible. I was referred by a psychiatrist, so all the doctors told me it was emotional and sent me back to her. She told me to keep taking anti-depressants and the pain would go away. It started in July 1994, and I had no idea it would last this long.

I eat a healthy diet, but I have gained weight from lack of exercise. I used to walk 2-3 miles/day, but I can’t do that when my legs are sore. I can’t plan to go out at night b/c I never know how I will feel, and I rarely feel good. I wait for bedtime and hope I can fall asleep. I don’t like to wake up the next day, and when I do, I don’t want to get out of bed.

I also have tinnitus, so I hear a lot of noise that echoes in my head. It has increased my anxiety and depression, and that adds to the pain.  I don’t know what I can do next.

You have need of someone with expertise in alternative medicine, with a wide range of possible options for treatment.  There will not be any easy fix for those things you describe.

  • Toxic metals need to be evaluated,
  • Weird viruses need to be assessed,
  • Frequency generators may be useful,
  • Energy work needs to be tried.

I doubt you have a Prosac deficiency 🙂 .  The emotional component of your challenges needs to be looked at, but not through medications and psychiatrists.

If you want to learn more about my Keys to Healing Medical Center, call (801) 302-5397 and request a packet or get your questions answered.

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Anxiety, Depression, and Lexapro

Our son is experiencing quite a lot of anxiety over some difficult events and has been unable to sleep more than 1-2 hrs. per night since getting this news. His physician has given him a RX for Lexapro. How do you feel about this medication?

Lexapro is an anti-depressant that interferes with serotonin reuptake into the brain cell. If there is a deficiency of serotonin at the neurotransmitter site, this category of medication of medication may be helpful for the short term. But because the serotonin is left in the gap between cells, the enzyme that breaks it down has more chance to break it down and contribute further to the deficiency of serotonin. Often the dosage needs to be increased after a few months, or another medication used or exchanged for the first one.

To quickly place a patient experiencing depression and anxiety on an anti-depressant may not sufficiently address the underlying causes of depression.  Patients need to be able to examine what they are going through with the help of compassionate professionals or caring friends and family, depending upon the severity of their experiences.  Because your son has had traumatic experiences that have triggered the depression, a nonmedical approach may be most helpful.

My medical treatment of choice is to document, through lab testing, that there is a deficiency of serotonin or dopamine and treat the deficiency with precursors that cross the blood-brain barrier. Then the cause of the problem is addressed, instead of only treating the symptoms with SSRIs.

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Antidepressants

My son is considering discontinuing his celexa (doesn’t like side effects) and taking St. Johns Wort instead. I have done some research but would appreciate your opinion. He is also working hard with behavioral modification and recognizing when he is “slipping”. He is quite functional in his work and responsibilities.
Thank you for considering this request.

Some people do very well on St. John’s Wart, so if it works, keep it up. Because of the expense, many people don’t take a high enough dosage for it to do the good it could potentially do.

There is a urine test for neurotransmitters that may be helpful in identifying if your son has serotonin or dopamine deficiencies, because they are both easily and safely correctable. Be sure he is taking plenty of B vitamins (at least 50 mg per day) and essential fatty acids, both omega 3 and omega 6. Vitamin D is vital, especially during the winter months.  Stay away from the processed food and eat plenty of vegetables.  Please keep me posted on how he is doing.

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Bi-Polar and Healthy Alternatives

Since bi-polar is not addressed on your website, does that mean there are no healthy alternatives to treat this disorder?

Alternative medicine is helpful for all neurologic disease. My lecture and power point presentation has not yet been put in a written form. Many people have requested more information on many different neurologic topics, of which bi-polar is one of them. Bi-polar (and all neurologic problems) treatment starts with strong levels of B vitamins (especially B1, B6, B12, folic acid) and essential fatty acids. Most of the time there are deficiencies of serotonin or dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain, both of which can be corrected with precursors. This requires a urine laboratory test sent to 1 of 2 specialty laboratories before initiating treatment. An assessment of toxic metals that affect the brain (mercury, lead, aluminum) through hair and a provoked urine test (not just a random catch urine test) may also demonstrate the need for chelation therapy for their removal.

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The Fluoride Controversy Rises Again

Wall Street Journal

November 4, 2008

And You Thought the Debate Over Fluoridation Was Settled

Herein lies another article in favor of fluoridation of water.  In addition to the author’s personal experience with non-fluoridated water (14 cavities before 18th birthday) and her children’s experience with fluoridated water (daughters with no cavities), this author cites esteemed organizations like Continue reading The Fluoride Controversy Rises Again