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Why Do I Always Crave Sweets When I Give Up Alcohol? MDs Explain

Why Do I Always Crave Sweets When I Give Up Alcohol? MDs Explain

Deciding to stop drinking alcohol and pursue a sober life begins a lifelong journey. You face many hurdles along the way to a happier and more fulfilling life. Finding coping mechanisms that prevent you from going from one compulsive behavior to another is the key to sobriety and avoiding behaviors that threaten your overall health. While it might be a relief to crave something else after quitting alcohol, sugar cravings must also be managed.

Additionally, sugary alcohol drinks increase dehydration compared to standard alcohol flavors. There were no differences between groups for other measures of drinking, such as cravings. In fact, everyone in the study reduced their drinking, both people on active medication and in the placebo group.

Tolerance to Sugar from Alcohol Intake

We need to ensure current medication treatments are accessible and health providers know how to prescribe them. Overall, GLP-1 agonists have been shown to be relatively safe in healthy adults, and in people with diabetes or obesity. However side effects do include nausea, digestive troubles and headaches. Only one large randomised controlled trial has been conducted so far on alcohol.

  • Sugar is also rewarding to the brain and is a quick fix, just like alcohol was.
  • She works to create content that inspires clients and families to advocate for the support they deserve.
  • When alcohol is cut off, the brain – now conditioned to the quick fix and reward from alcohol – panics.

However, there are strategies that can help alcoholics manage their sugar cravings such as eating balanced meals, staying hydrated, or engaging in regular exercise. Additionally, seeking support from loved ones or professionals is crucial in overcoming addiction and living a healthy life. It’s important for recovering alcoholics to be aware of these links between their addiction and sugar cravings as they work towards sobriety. By managing their diet carefully they might reduce sugar binges during abstinence from drinking thus decreasing chances of relapse due to unhealthy eating habits. This is why having a drink, or eating something sweet, can take the edge off feelings of stress or depression.

Addiction Treatment at the Right Step Houston

When someone quits drinking alcohol (chronic use), the body will search for dopamine in other ways. Addictions are physically and mentally consuming and I recommend working with different behavioral health practitioners to get to the root of your individual addiction patterns. Cravings are response patterns that can be induced by these and other triggers. Although sometimes cravings may appear to simply come out of nowhere, they are usually the result of a situation, feeling, or memory that one has about former alcohol use. If your sugar cravings are frequent, it’s best to opt for natural, whole foods options over highly processed sugars. Think banana “nice cream,” healthy chocolate mousse, dark chocolate, and homemade granola, to name a few.

Excessive caffeine intake can actually increase sugar cravings due to fluctuations in blood sugars and dehydration. That is the most important step towards getting healthy and addressing any mental health issues. Fine tuning your eating habits and lowering your sugar intake is secondary. Outpatient treatment and alcohol aftercare programs are both ideal options for those who are looking to strengthen their ability to effectively manage alcohol cravings, among many other things. Research has shown that continuing care is an important component of effective treatment for substance use disorders, especially for those individuals with severe cases.

Animal studies show positive results

These changes can lead to tolerance, or a need to drink more in order to feel the same effects. They can also leave you more sensitive to alcohol’s effects and raise your risk of withdrawal symptoms. Still, they’re pretty common, especially if you drink regularly or your alcohol use falls into the “heavy drinking” category (binge drinking 5 or more days in the last month). Below, we’ll explore why cravings happen and offer a few tips to manage them, from in-the-moment techniques to long-term coping strategies. As mentioned above, cravings result from either a withdrawal or the presence of a trigger. For those of us with sustained recoveries, the cues and triggers are typically the cause of our cravings.

  • So, eating sweets has already become part of our culture and regular life.
  • Therapists can instruct individuals in progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing that can be learned rather rapidly, and these can become tools to deal with cravings.
  • Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce cravings for sugar.
  • Your care team might recommend this approach if you experience symptoms of anxiety and depression along with cravings.

Alcoholics often crave sugar because of how alcohol affects their bodies. When you consume alcohol, your body’s blood sugar levels drop rapidly. In addition to causing physical harm such as liver damage and increased risk for certain cancers, alcoholism can also have devastating effects on relationships, finances and overall quality of life.

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