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Are you a sugar addict? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Food processors add 140 to 150 pounds of sugar per person to our diets each year. Another 18 percent of our calories come from white flour (which acts a lot like sugar in our bodies). Itfs not surprising that we have become a nation of sugar addicts. Like many other addictive substances, sugar may leave you feeling a bit better for a few hours, but then wreaks havoc on your body.

In this book, we will teach you about the four main types of sugar addicts. In each type, there are different forces driving the addiction, and in all four types the excess sugar leaves people feeling much worse overall. By treating the underlying causes that are active in your type of addiction, you will find that not only do your sugar cravings go away, but you also feel dramatically better overall.

Here's more good news. Once you have broken your sugar addiction, your body will usually be able to handle sugar in moderation. This means saving sugar for dessert or snacks where it belongs, and going for quality, not quantity. Dark chocolate is especially good.

We will also discuss how to "have your cake and eat it too"—how to use natural sugar substitutes to get the pleasure without paying the cost. It is not our goal to eliminate things you love. Our goal instead is to teach you how to get the most pleasure you can, in a way that is healthy for your body and leaves you feeling better. In medicine, we have a simple rule. Never take away something pleasurable from a person's diet without substituting something equally pleasurable.

Why Is Sugar Addictive?
For thousands of years, humans ate sugar found naturally in their food. Sugar was not a problem; it was a treat. But now more than one-third of the calories we consume come from sugar and white flour added during food processing. Our bodies simply were not designed to handle this massive load.

Many of you have already noticed that although sugar gives you an initial high, you crash several hours later, and this leaves you wanting more sugar. In fact, sugar acts as an energy loan shark, taking away more energy than it gives. Eventually, your "credit line" runs out and you find yourself exhausted, anxious, and moody.

The Long-term Consequences of Sugar Addiction
In addition to the immediate fatigue and emotional problems, sugar also causes many long-term health problems. For example, our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup has risen 250 percent in the past 15 years—and our rate of diabetes has increased approximately 45 percent during the same time period. Although the sugar industry sometimes tries to confuse the public by claiming that corn syrup is not sugar, it is a form of sugar as far as your body is concerned—and more toxic than cane sugar.

Some chronic medical problems associated with excess sugar in our diet include:
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
  • Pain of many kinds
  • Decreased immune function
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome and spastic colon
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic syndrome with high cholesterol and hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Hormonal problems
  • Schizophrenia
  • Candida and yeast infections
  • ADHD

This is the short list. The actual list could go on for pages! Sugar is also a mood-altering substance, which is no surprise to anyone with a sweet tooth. For all these reasons, it's likely that if sugar growers tried to win FDA approval today, they'd have a tough time getting permission to sell their product.

But the fact is, sugar is everywhere in our diet, and it is dumped into what we eat and drink during food processing. With one-third of our calories coming from sugar and white flour, and the stress of modern life increasing, we are seeing the makings of the "perfect storm" of medical problems. Eating sugar causes blood sugar to surge, insulin to spike, and fat to get deposited throughout your body. Obesity, often accompanied by diabetes and heart disease, is just one more consequence of our high-sugar diet.

The Value of Sugar Detox
I know the value of ridding the body of excess sugar. For more than thirty years I have incorporated sugar detox into treatments for countless patients suffering from chronic health problems. I have also seen thousands of people whose chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia were aggravated by their sweet teeth.

I also understand the problem firsthand. A former sugar addict myself, I came down with chronic fatigue syndrome in 1975. Eliminating my sugar addiction was an important part of my recovery.

Sugar addiction is the canary in the coal mine. It usually points to a larger problem that is also dragging you down. We don't have anything against sugar. We simply donft want you feeling poorly and getting sick because of it. In fact, we want you to feel great! And most of you will when you treat the problems accompanying your sugar addiction. Ready to get off the "sugar roller coaster"? We're happy to guide the way.

The basics of sugar detox are, of course, diet related—the standard method used to overcome sugar addiction. But an even deeper level of treatment is necessary to produce wellness. If you have tried the “cold turkey” approach to sugar addiction without nutritional strategies, treatment guidelines, and support, you probably found success elusive. That’s because getting rid of the sugar is but one step in an overall comprehensive approach that must address the mind, body, and spirit.

The most successful way to treat sugar addition is through a process called medical triage. This means addressing the relative severity of each problem and then organizing treatment in order of priority. The problem with many medical self-help books is that they pick off a little corner of the problem and miss the big picture, so often you get frustrated and stop your program without getting well. My goal in writing Beat Sugar Addiction Now! is to give you an organized approach, so you can effectively kick sugar addiction—along with the hidden problems driving your addiction.

Beat Sugar Addiction Now! gives you a step-by-step approach for each type of sugar addiction that encourages you to change from a sugar-laden to a low-sugar diet without sacrificing the pleasures of food and eating. Although I will offer suggestions, I believe in personalized medicine; therefore, this book takes a flexible, real-life approach to becoming sugar healthy. Although we will offer guidelines for healthy eating, sugar substitution, and treatments to aid withdrawal and heal the body, we encourage you most of all to listen to your body as you recover, and see what makes you feel the best. To this end, we’ll present up-to-date information and valuable resources in an easy-to-understand and -use format, so you can boost your health and improve how you feel quickly.

The Four Types of Sugar Addiction
To beat sugar addiction, first you’ll need to figure out which type of sugar addict you are. Think of it like a road trip. The initial step is to decide the best way to get to your destination: being sugar free. Next, you follow the signposts along the way to get to where you want to be: free of sugar addiction and feeling great. Consider this book as your road map to wellness.

We include directions for your inner journey, a journey that will heal not only your body but also your mind and spirit. A journey that will change your life.

Different kinds of sugar addiction have different underlying causes and require different treatments. Here are the four key types of sugar addiction:

Type 1: The Energy Loan Shark. Chronically exhausted and hooked on quick hits of caffeine and sugar

When daily fatigue causes sugar (and caffeine) cravings, sometimes all you need is to improve nutrition, sleep, and exercise. When your energy increases, you won’t need sugar and caffeine for an energy boost. In chapter one we will teach you how to turbocharge your energy in an easy and healthy way.

Type 2: Feed Me Now or I’ll Kill You. When life’s stress has exhausted your adrenal glands

For those of you who get irritable when you’re hungry and crash under stress, it is important to treat your adrenal exhaustion. We’ll discuss this type of sugar addiction in chapter two.

Type 3: The Happy Ho-Ho Hunter. Sugar cravings caused by yeast/candida overgrowth

For those of you with chronic nasal congestion, sinusitis, spastic colon, or irritable bowel syndrome, treating yeast overgrowth is critical. We’ll discuss this type of sugar addiction in chapter three.

Type 4: Depressed and Craving Carbs. Sugar cravings caused by your period, menopause, or andropause.

For women who feel worse around their menstrual cycle, or whose problems increased when they entered perimenopause in their forties, estrogen and progesterone deficiency may be driving your sugar craving. In a woman’s earlier years, this is likely to reflect as premenstrual syndrome (PMS, with associated progesterone deficiency), with severe irritability around your periods. In your mid-forties, as estrogen deficiency begins, estrogen or progesterone deficiency often produces increased sugar cravings, fatigue, moodiness, and insomnia around your periods, as well as decreased vaginal lubrication.

For men, testosterone deficiency associated with andropause can also cause sugar craving along with other severe problems. Depression, decreased libido, decreased erectile function, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, or high cholesterol can suggest testosterone deficiency. Interestingly, supplementing with bioidentical natural testosterone (by prescription) has been shown to help all of these problems.

Standard blood testing for hormonal deficiencies will not reveal the problems until they are very severe, sometimes leaving people deficient for decades. Eliminating the sugar addiction and other problems caused by low estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone is essential. We’ll discuss this type of sugar addiction in chapter four.

How to Use This Book
To make it easy, we have structured this book as a workbook, so that when you’re done reading it you will have a treatment protocol tailored to your specific problems.

Part I consists of four chapters that will help you learn about the four types of sugar addiction. Each chapter is devoted to a specific type. To find out which type of sugar addict you are, the first step is to take the quiz at the beginning of each chapter. Your score will tell you which type of sugar addiction you have. You may have more than one. In this case, follow treatment protocols for each type.

Part II features five chapters that focus on healing strategies for all sugar addicts as well as treatments for each of the four types of sugar addiction. You will create a treatment protocol tailored to your individual type of sugar addiction by checking off the treatments you need in appendix A. When you get to the end of the book, you will have a treatment protocol tailored to your own addiction type.

Part III offers concise guidance for treating specific problems associated with sugar addiction, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, spastic colon, sinusitis, diabetes, and more.

Ready to get a life you love? Read on to find out how..

Jacob E Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity. He is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z," and author of the best-selling books

Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/fibromyalgia as an insider — he contracted CFS when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. In the ensuing 25 years, he has dedicated his career to finding effective treatments.