The link between sugar and anxiety

There is much written in relation to sugar and its impact on the body and our emotions.

There is even a book called I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.

Sugar is known to cause a spike and drop in our blood sugar levels which can wreck havoc on your moods. Drastic swings in blood sugar can increase cortisol and adrenaline levels which have been known to cause panic attacks.

Eating a diet high in fructose makes depression and anxiety worse, it also changes the way the brain responds to stress, according to experts.

Numerous studies have shown the damaging effects a sweet tooth can have on moods, learning and quality of life.

In addition to inflating waistlines, sugar and other sweeteners including high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses and maple syrup may contribute to a number of mental health problems.

Sugar suppresses activity of a hormone called BDNF that is low in individuals with depression.Sugar is also the cause root of chronic inflammation, which impacts the immune system and the brain.

Sugar may not primarily cause anxiety but it does worsen anxiety symptoms and impair the body’s ability to cope with stress.

Individuals who suffer from panic attacks for example, are hyper alert to signs that are triggers when under stress.

Some of these things are:

  1. blurry vision;
  2. difficulty thinking;
  3. fatigue; and
  4. higher then average heart rate.

All of these signs may be interpreted as symptoms of a panic attack, thereby increasing worry and fear.

A “sugar-high”, which people can have when they consume an excessive amount of sweet items, gives a subsequent crash that can cause shaking and tension which can make anxiety worse.

This happens when there is an excessive amount of fructose is in the body.

While dietary changes alone cannot cure anxiety they can minimise symptoms, boost energy and improve the body’s ability to cope with stress.

This is a great reason to watch how much sugar we consume daily and take responsibility for our own health through what we put in our bodies.

I have felt the changes within myself by cutting sugar out of my life!

I genuinely feel calmer and more relaxed on a daily basis, have more energy and not feel the stress that sugar puts on our hormones, liver, kidney and adrenal glands.

Hope this makes you more aware of the effects sugar has on moods, stress levels, and general wellbeing!

It can start with not adding sugar to our tea and coffee, watch how many times a week we have dessert, what sauce we add to our cooking (some sauces are very high in sugar like tomato, sweet and sour and honey soy) and how much soft drink and fruit juice we consume in a day.

It’s a journey! 🙂


Yours In Health and Wellness,