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 didnโ€™t give the best explanation, so decided to do a lil expansion on my answer here! ๐Ÿฆ‹

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 โ€˜dropโ€™ happens. ๐Ÿฆ‹

The immune system also marks excess sugar as a โ€˜stressorโ€™ so the adrenals also pump out some epinephrine, triggering the sympathetic nervous system & therefor our โ€˜flight or fightโ€™ response. ๐Ÿฆ‹

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. ๐Ÿฆ‹

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. ๐Ÿฆ‹

These days, due to diet & lifestyle, our sympathetic NS is pretty much always triggered somewhat, but we donโ€™t live the same high impact physical lives, so these hormones just keep building up. ๐Ÿฆ‹

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 shouldnโ€™t upset the โ€˜normโ€™, who the hell do we think we are, etc. ๐Ÿฆ‹

Sugar also encourages the overgrowth of candida fungus, which responds like oestrogen in the body, disrupting hormones even more. This โ€˜falseโ€™ oestrogen heightens mood swings, sugar cravings & more critical self talk. ๐Ÿฆ‹

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. ๐Ÿฆ‹

I recommend looking up the book โ€˜I Quit Sugarโ€™ 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 ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

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