Why Do Recovering Alcoholics Crave Sugar?

When someone is an alcoholic, their body can become depleted of important nutrients, including minerals, vitamins and electrolytes. Eating sugar can help to replenish these nutrients and help to restore balance in the body. Sugar is also high in calories, which can be helpful for people who have lost weight due to their drinking. Finally, a robust aftercare program can indeed include nutritional guidance and set the individual on course.

  • However, the same was found to be true with non-carbohydrate substitutes, which have also been shown to suppress voluntary alcohol intake.
  • To avoid the long-term implications of sugar addiction, it is important for alcoholics to seek professional help and to find alternative sources of energy and comfort.
  • Drinking alcohol also causes your pancreas to produce more insulin.
  • “Any time people change a behavior, our natural gut reaction — literally — is to experience more hunger,” she said.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects our bodies is crucial when trying to overcome addiction as well as managing related symptoms such as intense sugar cravings.
  • Consequently, this leads to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and may cause further sugar cravings.

It’s a form of self-care that helps you improve your self-esteem. This is because your brain is used to the dopamine rush of alcohol, and sugar provides a similar rush. Alcohol initially boosts dopamine levels, which produces a feeling of relaxation and happiness. However, as a person drinks more and more over time, the brain adapts to the dopamine rush. Besides inducing similar sensations, the two substances can also lead to overloading the liver when taken in excess.

Sugar Can Help to Satisfy Cravings

Let Southeast Addiction Center put our decades of combined experience to work for you. NIDA finds that 37.9% of adults with SUDs also have mental illnesses, and https://ecosoberhouse.com/ that 18.2% of adults with a mental illness also have an SUD. The latter factor explains, in part, why heavy drinkers are much more susceptible to hypoglycemia.

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. Even in recovery, you may still crave sugar often because hypoglycemia takes time to reverse. Unfortunately, sugar is only a temporary fix and doesn’t serve as a healthy, long-term solution to what you’re going through in recovery. To keep your blood sugar levels balanced and avoid sugar cravings, you need to maintain a healthy diet like the pro-recovery diet.

Trading Alcohol for Sugar

Moreover, excessive alcohol intake can damage the liver’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels by reducing insulin sensitivity. Consequently, this leads to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and may cause further sugar cravings. Seeking treatment for alcohol addiction is crucial in order to achieve long-term recovery and improve overall well being. Another interesting fact found in another study by Colditz et al. (1991) is that consumption of sweets may possibly suppress alcohol intake. This study showed a negative correlation between sugar intake and alcohol consumption.

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  • As your tolerance increased, your cravings and need for alcohol to function normally also increased.
  • During the early days of addiction recovery, people often battle intense drug cravings and may be calorically deficient.
  • Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction also suffer from low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia.
  • Many factors can contribute to the development of alcoholism, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences and personal experiences.
  • But lately you’ve noticed a new behavior, and a different kind of craving.

Why this matters is, simply, that such cases are particularly prone to addiction transfer. As recovering alcoholics crave sugar, and especially if they’re facing severe psychological symptoms, they may turn to sugar to cope. But, having established that sugar addiction can indeed occur, this can simply lead to one addiction being replaced with another. So, in the context of alcohol addiction, recovering alcoholics tend to subconsciously turn to “rewarding” substances like sugar. As withdrawal symptoms from alcohol abstinence come into effect, the brain seeks euphoria elsewhere.

What Are Other Side Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal?

The most common eating schedule in a rehab center is three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with snacks in between. But for those trying recovery at do alcoholics crave sugar home, you can break it up however you like. The key component here is not to go too long without eating to the point where you are past a normal hunger level.

We know that addiction and substance dependence like to shape-shift. Our brain is super intelligent, and it knows how to find alternatives to pathways it used to follow. If a brain hooked on heroin can follow similar paths with sugar, it will. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of Sober Recovery’s “Terms of Use”,
“Privacy Policy”,
“Cookie Policy”, and
“Health Disclaimer”. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.

Exploring the Connection Between Bipolar and Addiction

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. Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility.

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