Sugar & Your Brain

In my podcast interview with Andrea (see yesterdays post for access), we spoke a little on how sugar affects the way we think & feel. Andrea told me of a friend that notices a link between her eating sugar & feeling self doubt / impostor syndrome, & asked if that was something I could explain.

On listening, I realised I didn’t give the best explanation, so decided to do a lil expansion on my answer here! 🦋

Sugar is like a bomb to the endocrine system, which works in a very beautiful, intricate & synergistic dance.

Simplifying, the pancreas dishes out insulin to deal with the excess blood sugar, the adrenals blow out some cortisol to raise blood sugar back up once the inevitable ‘drop’ happens. 🦋

The immune system also marks excess sugar as a ‘stressor’ so the adrenals also pump out some epinephrine, triggering the sympathetic nervous system & therefor our ‘flight or fight’ response. 🦋

Having excess stress hormones from the adrenals circulating, has a negative feedback loop to the chemicals in the brain (serotonin & dopamine) & our sex hormones (testosterone, oestrogen etc).

Our flight or fight state, causes the brain to determine it must be in a dangerous situation, that our body needs to be in survival mode. 🦋

In this state, the brains negativity bias kicks into hyperdrive. This bias is a hangover from our prehistoric survival traits, where we needed to be extra cautious & critical, see everything as a danger, stay with the tribe etc. 🦋

These days, due to diet & lifestyle, our sympathetic NS is pretty much always triggered somewhat, but we don’t live the same high impact physical lives, so these hormones just keep building up. 🦋

The negativity bias in our brains now works a little different, in keeping with the times. It finds a way for us to see everything as an anxiety trigger, an impending danger, & to berate ourselves with brutal self talk; we are not good enough, our work & creativity suck, we shouldn’t upset the ‘norm’, who the hell do we think we are, etc. 🦋

Sugar also encourages the overgrowth of candida fungus, which responds like oestrogen in the body, disrupting hormones even more. This ‘false’ oestrogen heightens mood swings, sugar cravings & more critical self talk. 🦋

Long term, this leads to blood sugar imbalance & diabetes, weight gain, immune issues, gut problems, cardiovascular disease, fertility issues, liver problems, chronic anxiety & depression.

Coming off processed sugar is an empowering move for your overall health. 🦋

I recommend looking up the book ‘I Quit Sugar’ by Sarah Wilson, & learning ways to manage your stress.

I hope this helps explain the process a little better! If you wish to know more, you can also book a Tea by the Cauldron with me, much love 💖💖

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