Recovery Why Are Sugar Cravings Common in Addiction Recovery?

Drinking alcohol also causes your pancreas to produce more insulin. Drinking a lot over time also reduces the overall effectiveness of insulin in the body. A chocolate bar is far less harmful than returning to active addiction. In addition, alcohol has a substantial impact on blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol creates a yo-yo effect with blood sugar, causing an initial spike followed by a dramatic crash. This is because alcohol inhibits your body’s response to insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

People with diabetes can carry glucose tabs in case of an emergency, and they should check their blood sugar levels regularly. They should also remember that some diabetes medications may not work if they consume too much alcohol. Sugar cravings are normal on their own and don’t indicate an underlying health problem.

Dual Diagnosis 101: How Mental Health Disorders and Substance Use Disorder Often go Hand in Hand

We’ve compiled a list of the mental, physical and dietary changes that will help you fend off sugar cravings and help you manage your eating habits. Many people believe that the body craving sugar after addiction is simply a natural response to the sugar content in alcohol, but there’s more to the story. They start with the brain and, in the case of a recovering addict, can be a sign of addictive behaviors.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

Now that you’ve made the courageous decision to quit drinking, the future looks brighter. The truth is, it’s common for people who quit drinking to, out of nowhere, start craving sugar or sweets. I see many people quit the booze, but then pick up another addition- sugar, cigarettes, caffeine, social media, sex, shopping, gambling, codependent relationships.

Other problems related to alcohol and diabetes

But if you’ve quit and are on the road to recovery, it’s important to be aware of the addiction shift from alcohol to sugar. However, it can contribute to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. Of particular concern for those in recovery is that a replacement addiction can hinder the process of getting and staying sober and potentially lead to a relapse. A registered dietitian explains why sugar can be so addictive — and what to do if you feel like your cravings are out of control.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

After quitting drinking, there are a number of reasons why sugar hits the ‘sweet spot’ and cravings for sugar can be at all time high. Personally, I know this to be true because when I quit drinking, I substituted the glass of wine for a bowl of ice cream… every night. And it took me a long time to break that cycle of craving ice cream. Today I’m going share what worked for me, and tips I have picked up from clients. And I want to let you know it is possible to quit alcohol without picking up a different addiction.

How Can Sugar Impact Recovery?

Fortunately, understanding why you’re craving sweets after quitting alcohol and finding ways to avoid sugar can help you maintain a healthy recovery. We spoke to registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, LD, about what sugar addiction is — and what to do if you feel like your sugar cravings are out of control. Reducing your sugar intake can be a positive step toward improving your overall health. It can help with digestive issues like irritable bowel and acid reflux, but that’s not all.

  • If you’re trying to lose weight, you might benefit from swapping sugar alcohols for sugar and other higher-calorie sweeteners.
  • Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction also suffer from low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia.
  • Over time, alcohol can reduce your overall serotonin levels, causing you to search for another pick-me-up.
  • Sugar and alcohol also are known to affect serotonin, another one of your body’s feel-good chemicals.
  • But not nearly enough of us realize how connected our sleep habits are to our sugar cravings.

BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. These activities encourage dopamine production from behaviors that don’t bring about the terrible consequences of returning to active addiction. It is also important to mention that due to the growing popularity of craft beers, the alcohol content of some beers is now higher than 5%. Beverages such as beer and wine can have an alcohol content of 2–20%. If you’re worried you’re going to relapse or if you’ve already relapsed, remember that it doesn’t mean you’ve failed at recovery.

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