I don’t know about you, but throughout my life, there were times of the month when I craved sugar much more than I normally would. I always put it down to hormones. I think the whole world probably puts the monthly sugar cravings of women down to hormones.
While I do believe that the hormonal changes in the body are part of the reason, there are other hormones that also play a key part and they are the stress hormones.
When you are stressed, your body triggers off the sympathetic nervous system which prepares you for flight, fight or freeze. One of the key parts of this process is for the pancreas to get stimulated to release energy fast so you can fight and run away as fast as you can.
When you are triggering this response automatically in your body and all the time – you are over stimulating your pancreas and it gets fatigued. The pancreas also runs out of energy, so it starts looking for more energy fast. Here comes the need to get sugar in fast.
Sugar Treats in Childhood Wired The Brain
If you, like me, grew up getting sugar treats on special occasions, you developed this fascination and love of these treats. Such treats were a rare thing in our house. We were a family of 10, with one salary, so treats were scarce. I think this made them even more attractive. When I got it I scoffed it!
I Didn’t Care What Sugar Did I Just Wanted It
When I craved sugar I wasn’t interested in the energy and sugar content, that was not something I really thought about. But, thanks to my own wellness journey, it is something I think about a lot now.
While sugar may tickle my tastebuds and give me that initial rush of pleasure, it can leave me exhausted, achey, with pretty sore spots on my body. Worse, my sleep gets disrupted, my energy disappears and I feel exhausted.
How Sugar Affects Me
I tend not to eat sugar very often. When I do, I can get a real sugar high which is followed by a sugar hangover. I do think sugar increases my menopause symptoms. I will have more hot flushes and not just when I eat chocolate, but also when I drink alcohol. I will have more aches and pains in my joints and muscles and I can get headaches, which I don’t normally suffer from because I don’t take any dairy.
It Is All To Do Sith Stress.
Stress triggers a certain hormonal response in your body. When you eat processed sugar it puts your pancreas under stress and triggers a stress response. When you think negative thoughts about your ability to cope, you trigger a stress response. When you over exercise or don’t drink enough water in your day, you will also trigger a stress response!
Stress Hormones + Menopause Hormones = Stressed Experiences
There can be a lot of stress responses going on in your natural and normal day sending stress hormones into the body. Add menopause hormonal changes into the mix and you will probably tip your ability to cope even further over the edge.
Then it is a vicious circle of the body wanting more energy in, so it can regulate the stress response. Your subconscious memory offering sugar as the answer because you have these strong neural pathways that contain the memories and thoughts of how good it was to eat those sugary bars that time when you were younger and probably also stressed (but not always).
When you are overstressed you will exhibit symptoms like:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Many Hot sweats
- Be easily irritated
- become very emotional, even angry
How Do You Turn This All Around
The first step is to calm the stress response. For this I use a new two-point Tapping System that helps to regulate the energy pathways in the body called meridians. It works really effectively with the many women aged 40+ who attend my clinic.
You also need to calm the over stimulating of the pancreas and you can do this by letting go of processed sugars and trans-fats. That bar of chocolate is pretty packed with both processed sugars and trans-fats. The body cannot deal with this combination – hence the stress response.
The Best Sugars Are Natural
The best form of sugar with the lowest glycemic release is fruit. Yes fruit contains sugars but these natural sugars we can eat, digest and use much more efficiently than say chocolate. Water Melon and Pineapple can cause your blood sugar levels to peak more so than other fruits, but they are still better than processed sugar.
Here’s a Little Tip
When you are eating fruit take some protein with it. Nuts and seeds are a good protein source. This will help you to regulate your glycemic load even more and get a longer lasting energy boost from your fruit.
The ‘Big Sugar’ Challenge
I don’t need to tell you about how tasty sugary treats are. ‘Big Sugar’ has worked for many years to make their products more tasty than fruit. The challenge is to get the processed sugar intake down and the fruit and water intake up. We are water beings, we evolved from the sea.
Lack of Water Can Be The Greatest Cause of Stress
We need water to hydrate our body all of the time, not just some of the time. Lack of water can be one of the greatest causes of stress. This is especially true for women in the menopause, as water helps the body to eliminate the excess hormones and to bring balance to your whole electro-magnetic energy.
Your menopause journey will be improved by cutting out as much process sugar as you can. You may need to also calm the stress response and Tapping can help with this. Fruit is our natural source of sugar. When combined with a little protein that natural sugar can last much longer as an energy source. Water is another energy source for your body.
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