View Full Version : The only time I can think clearly is after I eat Sugar.

04-02-14, 06:05 AM
Hello, I've been looking for an answer to this whole mess for awhile, finally worked up the courage to post something.

So for most of my days I have this sort of mental block in my mind that I can physically feel in my head, almost like a headache but everytime I have to think about something I have to go uhh uhh uhh... what was I thinking about, oh yeah right I remember! And that goes for everything, math, words to use in conversations, reading(have to reread sentences sometimes). I am also very socially anxious, somewhat pessimistic and easily irritated(though I keep it all to myself usually)

Now all of those symptoms vary on an hourly basis, one hour I can read through an entire paragraph and understand it all in one swoop, the next I can't bare to read it and if I try I have to physically knock myself in the forehead with my hand to try and get the information to absorb.
Everyday I wake up and I don't know how capable I am going to be.
Now take all of those symptoms and give me a pack of candies/a chocolate bar and they will all be relieved for a brief 1-4 hours, I feel smooth, I feel relaxed, I feel focused, I have confidence, my head feels clear and I feel like I can do everything I've been trying so incredibly hard to do over the years absolutely effortlessly.

And then follows a harsh crash bringing every symptom roaring back with an added bonus of lethargy.

Now I am aware that consuming sugar raises your blood sugar temporarily and what follows that is a rapid drop in blood sugar resulting in an extreme crash.

All I want to know is WHY consuming sugar is the only time in my life that I truly feel at ease, focused, clear, energetic and just downright good. Maybe I can find some answers there.
Edit: Forgot to add I've gone to the doctor for bloodwork and everything was perfect

ana futura
04-02-14, 12:29 PM
The brain runs on glucose. If you eat sugar or other simple carbs often, you are training your brain to get its glucose in junk food form. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, when it gets used to having the "good stuff" (candy!) it will only work optimally when it gets what it wants.

You can retrain your brain back out of that bad habit though. Make sure you eat balanced meals with complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins throughout the day.

Abstain from sugar and simple carbs, but also never let yourself get hungry.

Eventually your brain will adjust to this new fuel, and you will feel more focused, but without the crashes and spikes that come with simple carbs.

And when you need to do mental work, eat, and eat often.

Lots of good info here-

ana futura
04-02-14, 12:56 PM
This article is pretty interesting. Personally I think low carb diets are bunk. Low GI diets are great though- and this info would also apply to a low GI diet.

As far as food goes, the brain is a fairly picky eater. Like a young candy-craving child, it prefers simple sugar molecules — glucose to be specific — and when the brain doesn’t get glucose, it gets crabby and distracted. Since the body most easily creates glucose by metabolizing carbohydrates, it stands to reason that limiting carbohydrates could dampen cognitive function.

When consuming low-carb diets in the short term, this is certainly true. In a 2008 study, psychologists placed 19 women on either a calorie restricted low-carb diet or a calorie restricted high-carb diet for 28 days. Throughout the study, participants’ memory, reaction time, and vigilance were tested at regular intervals. While those on the low-carb diet enjoyed a slight boost in vigilance, they suffered impaired reaction time and reduced visuospatial memory.

“The brain needs glucose for energy and diets low in carbohydrates can be detrimental to learning, memory, and thinking,” lead investigator Holly A. Taylor, a psychology professor at Tufts University, explained.

But the short-term isn’t the long-term. Though the brain prefers to compute on glucose, after about four days of carbohydrate deprivation it sates about 70% of its hunger on ketone bodies, the byproducts produced when fatty acids are broken down by the liver. And by most accounts, the brain can run pretty efficiently on this fuel once it grows accustomed to it after a few weeks.

In fact, researchers have shown that low-carb diets can bring about improvements in cognitive functioning in both aged humans and rodents compared to traditional diets. Writing at Psychology Today, psychiatrist Emily Deans accounted for how this might happen.

“When we change the main fuel of the brain from glucose to ketones, we change amino acid handling,” she says. This reduces the levels of glutamate in the brain, an amino acid and neurotransmitter that can cause harm in excessive amounts. Less glutamate leads to “a lower seizure risk and a better environment for neuronal recovery and repair.”

In adults, low-carb diets have no adverse cognitive effects in the long-term. A well-executed, year-long study published to the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 found no difference in cognitive functioning for subjects consuming either a low-carb weight loss diet or a high-carb weight loss diet. Both actually enjoyed improvements to working memory and speed of processing, a result presumably attributed to weight loss.

04-02-14, 01:49 PM
Apparently sugar triggers the release of dopamine in the brain; it basically has a v similar effect to ADD-medication.

If you have unusually permeable intestinal membranes, which can be caused by chronic inflammation/illness, fatty liver disease, certain proteins which trigger openings between cell walls etc, the opioids found in gluten/wheat etc, and casein/dairy can enter undigested and reach your brain and mess those pathways up too.

... What I, a sugar-addict, ( currently gf for umpteenth time as well ) am wondering is whether in fact it is my sugar addiction, from infancy, which may have disregulated my dopamine pathways, caused my brain to switch off or shut down dopamine receptors etc, and therefore that if I can exclude all sugar for a long enough period my body will re-open them.

I totally understand your reaction to sugar though. Very often I too find I can not get through a book without getting something sweet to eat, and that includes all forms of fructose, ( the smallest purest carbohydrate that we eat ), present in table sugar/sucrose, in high-frustose corn-syrup, in honey, fruit juice, and added to many many foods.

Something dietary I read recently, which sounds like a hopeful antidote, is that the mineral *zinc* ( present particularly in animal flesh, shellfish like mussels and oysters, and dairy, seeds etc ) is an essential part of the process regulating dopamine re-uptake cell activity, for the better, ie. to prolong the presence of dopamine.