I find myself craving sugar alot … so I began research in the possible connection between Depression & Sugar.
Excessive sugar consumption, when converted to glucose, can expose the body to free radical attack upon the immune system and DNA. Glucose is easily oxidized into peroxides and other toxins. The body has a defense mechanism against excess sugar consumption: it shuts down receptors for insulin that controls the amount of glucose (and other nutrients) getting across cell membranes into cells. This is called Insulin Resistance, which may result in hypoglycemic symptoms.
With insulin resistance blood sugar levels tend to rise, triggering more release of insulin – called hyperinsulinism – and this may provoke a sudden descent in blood sugar level called hypoglycemia. Thus the brain tends to be exposed to wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels, responsible for many ‘psychological’ symptoms.
When the brain is starved of energy it could lead to the death of brain cells in a matter of minutes. In reaction to this threat, the brain triggers the release of stress hormones – such as adrenaline and cortisol – that function to convert sugar stores in the body (glycogen and amino acids) back into glucose so as to feed the brain again.
But these stress hormones, generated within the body are also responsible for the varied symptoms of mental illness, from depression, anxiety attacks, phobias, delusions, insomnia, compulsive behaviors and thoughts, alcoholism, drug addiction, …
Thus hypoglycemia is characterized by unstable blood sugar levels feeding the brain, causing excess stress hormones to flood the system and is one of the major factors playing a role in depression. In his studies of twelve hundred hypoglycemic patients, Stephen Gyland, M.D., found that 86 percent were depressed.
The non-drug treatment for hypoglycemia is the adoption of the Hypoglycemic Diet – a natural diet specifically designed to regulate blood sugar levels, stress hormones and insulin levels.
Please read the original article that contains many links to studies and original data.
Quoted from Source: hypoglycemia.asn.au – Depression: A Nutritional Disorder
Featured Image Artist: sxc.hu – mckenna71