How I Upset My Adrenals
When I started having health issues it made me feel like a failure. As a health coach, this health breakdown also broke my confidence in myself, which I am sure contributed to the problem.
Writing it all down gave me compassion for myself. My trauma were small traumas but they still impacted my body and health.
Health is not about what you have been through, its about what you do to recover.
And because this did not happen overnight, it cant be healed overnight. My solutions took months to finally work. Patience and consistency were key.
Huge life transition/international move/bad news
It all started when we decided to move to Argentina. My husband stopped working and was also diagnosed with a health condition at the same time. Leave my city, friends and home after 12 years broke my heart. Moving to Argentina really scared me. Transitions are stressful. This was a big one and I wasnt excited about it.
When we got to Argentina my hair began started falling out and I started having daily rashes. I thought this was stress. I found out later it was because I was living in an apartment with toxic black mold. I had mold illness, which stressed the immune system and caused leaky gut. I developed a gluten intolerance because of this.
Travel and more transition
Moving to a new country during a pandemic was pretty crazy. Zero community and could not speak German. It was a wild ride.
Overworking and diet
This was the last straw.
Coping With Food Cravings
While you might feel better at the moment, overindulging in sweets to cope with stress has long term physical consequences such as weight gain. There are also emotional consequences. Over time, a high-sugar diet may worsen symptoms of depression .
There are some ways you can learn to cope not only with cravings but what is causing them. Its important to address whats really driving you to reach for a cookie when youre upset so you can better care for your mind and body.
Depression: More Than Just A Bad Mood
Depression is a medical illness that causes feelings of sadness and often a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy. It can get in the way of how well you function at work and home, including taking care of your diabetes. When you arent able to manage your diabetes well, your risk goes up for diabetes complications like heart disease and nerve damage.
People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes. Only 25% to 50% of people with diabetes who have depression get diagnosed and treated. But treatmenttherapy, medicine, or bothis usually very effective. And without treatment, depression often gets worse, not better.
Symptoms of depression can be mild to severe, and include:
- Feeling sad or empty
- Losing interest in favorite activities
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
- Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Feeling very tired
- Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
- Having aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Having thoughts of suicide or death
If you think you might have depression, get in touch with your doctor right away for help getting treatment. The earlier depression is treated, the better for you, your quality of life, and your diabetes.
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What To Eat When Youre Depressed
Weve all been there. You arrive home from work after a particularly stressful day, or youre feeling upset after having an argument with your significant other, and you look to food for comfort. Whether its a pint of ice cream that you eat straight out of the carton or boxed macaroni and cheese that brings the comfort youre looking for, food can provide the emotional relief were looking for. But while it may make us feel good at the moment, the food choices we make can drastically impact our mood for the worse over time.
While enjoying the occasional sweet treat will not harm you and your favorite desserts should be consumed in moderation, limiting unhealthy habits and picking up a healthy diet can be a great addition to traditional depression and anxiety therapy. Not only will a healthy diet contribute to your physical well-being, but it will also play a large role in your mental health. We have included a list of some of the foods that may worsen depression and anxiety as well as some foods that you should add to your diet instead.
Excess Sugar Is A Double Whammy For Your Body And Your Mind
Sugar is everywhere in the news, and most of the news isnt good. Case in point: a new study suggesting that sugar may contribute to depression in men. The results add to a flood of findings linking sugar to a variety of both physical and mental health problems.
The study tracked the diets and medical conditions of 8,000 people over 22 years using surveys about diet and doctors visits completed every few years. By keeping tabs on what the participants ate and the sorts of conditions they were seeing doctors to treat, the researchers could analyze correlations between diet and health outcomes. The one that popped out is that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with depression in a five-year period than men who ate 40 grams or less.
None of the participants were being treated for mental illnesses at the start of the study. The connection between sugar and depression appeared relatively quickly during the first five-year survey, and remained more or less steady throughout the study. The researchers report that the effect was independent of the men’s socioeconomic status, physical activity, drinking, smoking, other eating habits, body weight or physical health. The same correlation didn’t appear for women in the study, though it’s unclear why.
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Sugar Sins: Aggressive Behavior Anxiety Fatigue
At the Brain Bio Center, a nonprofit clinic run by FoodfortheBrain.org to help people use nutrition, diet, and lifestyle recommendations to assist mental health conditions, the specialists say that poor blood sugar is often the single biggest factor in mood disorders among the people who seek their advice. In their article on depression, they write:
Eating lots of sugar is going to give you sudden peaks and troughs in the amount of glucose in your blood symptoms that this is going on include fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, excessive sweating , poor concentration and forgetfulness, excessive thirst, depression and crying spells, digestive disturbances and blurred vision. Since the brain depends on an even supply of glucose it is no surprise to find that sugar has been implicated in aggressive behavior, anxiety, and depression, and fatigue.
Sugar also messes with your thyroid, the unassuming butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that performs the responsibilities of a Grand Central Station for your body, determining how your body uses energy and makes proteins. Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. They are also critical to mood.
Create A Fun Challenge
In keeping with the positive mentality and mantra, make the changes fun when possible. Challenge yourself to kick all added sugar to the curb within two weeks .
You might find it highly challenging at first, but after about five days of being sugar-free, you will start to notice your tastes change and your energy increases! Yes, you will absolutely feel better without so much sugar in your diet, and your risk factors will decrease.
Ready for even more positive changes in your life?
Join me at the Carol Tuttle Healing Center for a community of like-minded people who want to work towards wellness and self-improvement. I offer healing tips for clinical depression and other struggles in life.
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Depression & Sugar Ku Researchers Find More Bad News:
But KU researchers say thats not the end of it,
And things get worse from there.
Because with natural-sunlight being greatly-reduced,
And 10% of the population coming-down with some kind of Seasonal-Affective-Disorder or Depression,
The natural instinct can be to crave a high-sugar food.
But according to their research, high-sugar ingestion can screw up several different parts of you,
All of which lead to feeling bad and actually Being unhealthy.
These include:2) Disruption of Gut Microbes3) Disruption of The Brains Motivation Circuit4) Increased Free-Radical Damage6) Toxic Chemical Buildup From Direct-Reaction With Sugar Itself
Into The Details I. Inflammation And Gut Microbes:
Sugar ingestion results in elevated levels of something called hs-C-Rreactive-Protein, indicating an increase in Inflammation.
Depressed people are already much more likely to have high-levels of persistent, systemic inflammation.
So sugar would only make it worse for a susceptible person, and eventually create a similar inflammatory environment for someone who didnt start out as depressed.
High sugar-intake encourages the overgrowth of harmful & disruptive microbes in your gut, that cause inflammation directly from there, and also displace & imbalance the good microbes.
Test-animals on high-sugar diets even displayed cognitive impairment.
There is also a possibility that this imbalance can result in further inflammation by letting endo-toxins escape the containment of your GI tract,
Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment For People With Stimulant Use Disorders: Counselor’s Family Education Manual W/cd
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Habits That Make Depression Worse
While habits don’t often cause depression, they can make it worse. I know, I know: this doesn’t seem like the most practical thing to say to anybody with depression. Guilting them about “making life worse for themselves” is basically just adding another spike of self-loathing to the cocktail of negative thinking in their heads. However, it doesn’t have to be like that you can avoid self-damaging behavior out of kindness and self-care, not because you need to avoid “failing” at a mood disorder. Consider this a map: if you’re in a depressive episode and seem to be unable to climb out, consider whether any of these habits might be contributing to your depression, and if stopping them would help you get out.
Unfortunately, some of these habits are insanely hard to resist if you’re in an acutely depressive period. Sleeping all day, devouring junk food, and not talking to anybody can seem like the only possible ways to remain functional. But it’s crucial to remember that these are false friends in your time of need they may offer temporary solace, but they’re actually deepening the hole. Even if you can’t kick the habit immediately, let the fact that it’s unhealthy slip into your awareness, and seriously reward yourself when you manage to stop doing any of these. It’s a massive achievement.
The Link Between Sugar And Anxiety
Just as you may eat sugar to lighten your mood when youre blue, you may also eat it to relax when you are feeling stressed or anxious.
In the short term, stress can depress appetite, but chronic stress increases appetite by raising levels of stress hormones and the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Stress also affects food preferences, making you crave sugar, fat, or both.
Thats why no one craves a big salad when theyre stressed out!
Heres how sugar affects blood sugar levels, contributing to anxiety.
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Sugar Causes A Serotonin Crash
Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter known as the happiness molecule for the important role it plays in maintaining a positive mood.
Sugar and other processed carbs are appealing when youre feeling down because they give you a serotonin boost.
But this lift is short-lived, lasting only an hour or two before your serotonin level crashes and you feel even worse.
A smarter long-term strategy for increasing serotonin is to regularly eat healthy carbohydrates.
Currently, the most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which are thought to work by increasing serotonin levels.
But now theres evidence that SSRIs are anti-inflammatory.
SSRIs dont always work but when they do, it may be for the wrong reason.
It seems that their anti-inflammatory properties may be responsible for their antidepressant effect.
Trying To Explain The Link
We are still not sure what causes depression, but some researchers believe that biological changes are at the root of it. Some of these changes could be influenced by sugar and sweet taste. For example, a study in rats found that diets high in sugar and fat can reduce a protein called BDNF that influences the growth and development of nerve cells in the brain. This protein is thought to be involved in the development of depression and anxiety.
Another possible biological cause is inflammation. High sugar diets can increase inflammation a protective reaction of the body, normally directed against microorganisms or foreign substances. While common signs of inflammation, such as redness, are far from a mood disorder, the symptoms that keep us in bed with a cold are much closer, such as low energy and being unable to concentrate. Ongoing research suggests that mood disorders could be linked with inflammation, at least in some cases.
Dopamine is another possible culprit. A study using rats earned headlines for suggesting sweet foods could be as addictive as cocaine. This might be due to affects on dopamine, a brain chemical involved in the reward system. Dopamine is also thought to influence mood. And addiction is itself associated with a higher risk of developing a mood disorder.
Finally, sugar intake could be associated with other factors, such as obesity, which itself is related to mood.
Also Check: What Happens To Your Body When You Cut Out Sugar
Being Around Toxic People
If you’re around people who put you down, disrespect your boundaries, cut at your self-worth, and generally cause stress and chaos, you’re not going to be in a position to improve your mood. Toxic people can come in many forms, from parents to friends to coworkers, but dealing with them and their associated cocktail of aggression, guilt, self-esteem damage, and frustration is never likely to improve a mood disorder.
Sugar And Anxiety: How Does Sugar Make Your Anxiety Worse
Its long been theorized that sugar causes anxiety. Studies are showing that there is a correlation and that yes, sugar can make your anxiety symptoms worse.
One way in which sugar contributes to anxiety is related to our blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels. When we eat or drink refined sugar or artificially processed sugar substitutes, this is the basic process that happens in our bodies:
- We experience a burst of energy as the body effortlessly and rapidly digests these simple carbohydrates
- The body burns fuel from simple carbohydrates quickly because theres not much to simple carbs on the molecular level
- As this happens we experience a crash because our blood sugar levels have plummeted quickly
- The crash is frequently accompanied by symptoms of anxiety
- Often, to get out of the crash or because we crave a certain food or beverage, we consume more foods that are high in refined sugars
- The cycle repeats itself
This pattern of blood sugar spikes and crashes is hard on the brain and leads to symptoms of anxiety. Further, theres a connection between sugar and anxiety attacks.
In this cycle, when blood sugar suffers extreme swings from high to low and back again, the brain tries to deal with the stress by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. The release of these hormones can make your anxiety symptoms worse as well as contribute to new anxiety and anxiety attacks. Indeed, the relationship between blood sugar and anxiety is strong.
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Not Dealing Well With Stress
Lets face it. Life is stressful for the most part. And stress can make depression way worse. The biggest problem is not handling stress well.
And also, increased stress is toxic. So when stress is not dealt with appropriately, you get more stressed and get caught up in a stress cycle with more and more things piling up.
This is dangerous to both mental and physical health. You may even end up with elevated cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue and increased depression.
Also, some people will deal with stress by drinking, and finding s
ome other escapist habits including drugs all likely to cause even more problems making depression worse.
All of these scenarios can spiral into total negativity, irritability, and anger.
To reduce and manage stress well it is best to have systems that streamline your life for the most part. It is not to say that life wont occasionally throw you a curve as it does. But you have systems that you have implemented then when lifes troubles come, all of your life is not out of control.
Here are some ideas on implementing systems to keep life smooth and less stressful.
So the key is being prepared as much as possible and simplifying and streamlining life.
Is It Time To Ditch Sugar
Its no secret that sugar can cause issues if youre indulging in a little too much of the sweet stuff. Still, most Americans are eating too much sugar.
The harmful effects it can have on your physical health are well studied, which is why we talk so much about reducing sugar intake to lower the risk of these effects, like chronic disease.
While ditching the sweet stuff can result in a physically healthier you, its the effect sugar has on our mental health thats worth taking a second look.
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