Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reasons for Recovering Alcoholics to Avoid Sugar

Alcoholic / Addict or not, sugar is not healthy for any of us based on the many health reasons to avoid sugar. “Living Sober” and some of the other AA literature actually encourages the newly recovering alcoholic to utilize sugar (candy, cookies) in times of physical cravings for alcohol. This alternative - sugar - is obviously a better choice than picking up a drink! However, many of us recovering alcoholics and addicts develop a habit of continuous sugar use and abuse well beyond those early days in sobriety, when the physical cravings have long since passed.

More follow up articles will cover the crucial sugar / alcoholism connection and what we can do to address issues related to it. In the meantime, take two minutes to read the list below about how sugar affects our health and wellbeing. When we educate ourselves to understand WHY something is unhealthy for us, we are much more likely to avoid the unhealthy substance!

The following list of reasons to avoid sugar is from Dr. Victor Frank, founder/creator of Total Body Modification. Read the 78 reasons to avoid sugar:

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar can upset the body's mineral balance.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
5. Sugar can adversely affect children's school grades.
6. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
7. Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
8. Sugar can cause kidney damage.
9. Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol.
10. Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol.
11. Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
12. Sugar may cause copper deficiency.
13. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
14. Sugar may lead to cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, and rectum.
15. Sugar can cause colon cancer with an increased risk in women.
16. Sugar can be a risk factor in gall bladder cancer.
17. Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
18. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
19. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which can narrow blood vessels.
20. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
21. Sugar can produce acidic stomach.
22. Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
23. Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
24. Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and gray hair.
25. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
26. Sugar can produce tooth decay.
27. Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
28. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
29. Sugar can case a raw, inflamed intestinal tract in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
30. Sugar can cause arthritis.
31. Sugar can cause asthma.
32. Sugar can cause candidiasis (yeast infection).
33. Sugar can lead to the formation of gallstones.
34. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
35. Sugar can cause ischemic heart disease.
36. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
37. Sugar can exacerbate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
38. Sugar can indirectly cause hemorrhoids.
39. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
40. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraception users.
41. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
42. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
43. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
44. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
45. Sugar leads to a decreased glucose tolerance.
46. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
47. Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
48. Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
49. Sugar can change the structure of protein causing interference with protein absorption.
50. Sugar causes food allergies.
51. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
52. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
53. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
54. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
55. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA.
56. Sugar can cause cataracts.
57. Sugar can cause emphysema.
58. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
59. Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
60. Sugar lowers the enzymes' abilities to function.
61. Sugar can cause the loss of tissue elasticity and function.
62. Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
63. Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
65. Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
66. Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
67. Sugar can cause constipation.
68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
70. Sugar can cause hypertension.
71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
72. Sugar can cause an increase in certain brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.
73. Sugar can cause depression.
74. Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low-sugar diets.
75. Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.
76. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
77. Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness, which increases risk of blood clots.
78. Sugar can increase the risk of Alzheimer's Disease.

Clearly, sugar has a wide array of adverse effects on our health. Recovering alcoholics and addicts in particular need to be educated on the influence of this substance so commonly consumed inside and outside the rooms of 12 step meetings and rehabs. Look for follow up articles coming soon on the topic of sugar and its role in alcoholism / addiction, and how and why to avoid sugar in recovery.