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Children - Sugar and the Link to Addiction




Excerpted from
Little Sugar Addicts: End the Mood Swings, Meltdowns, Tantrums, and Low Self-Esteem in Your Child Today
By Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

Here's why this discovery was life changing for me, and why it has been life changing for thousands of other sugar sensitive people. Sugar sensitive people are born with low beta-endorphin. Low beta-endorphin produces low self-esteem. It causes you to seek things that raise your beta-endorphin so you feel better about yourself. The substances and experiences that do this quickest tend to be addictive. They include drugs like alcohol, heroin, morphine, and codeine and behaviors like gambling and debting. You remember the rush and go back for more. But after a while you no longer get a rush, and you feel terrible when withdrawal hits. Life becomes a search for ways to stave off the withdrawal. This is the cycle of addiction.

While not deadly like heroin, sugar similarly affects beta-endorphin. It impacts the same neurochemical system as heroin, though not as intensely. Opioid drugs are painkillers that cause their effect by activating beta-endorphin. Heroin, morphine, codeine, Percodan, and Oxy-Contin are all opioid drugs. Sugar acts like an opioid drug in your child's brain. A child with low beta-endorphin will naturally go for what makes her feel better: sugar And if she has very low levels of beta-endorphin, she will seek her "fix" even more. When you joke about your child being hooked on a can of soda, you are very close to the truth. And when the drug effect wears off, your child will be in opioid withdrawal.

I know it is more than refusal with my son. He gets upset and annoyed when 1 say no to him. But his reaction is so intense when I cut off his sugar supply. Two cookies with lunch turn into desperate pleas for more cookies or a Popsicle or the dreaded lollipop. The way sugar pacifies him is actually quite disturbing to me. - Marnie

What happens to a sugar sensitive child when he turns thirteen and goes into the agony of what we have always assumed to be the natural behavior of early adolescence? Either nothing is right and the world is hopeless, or the world is his oyster, full of possibility and promise. Maybe these highs and lows are simply a function of when he had his last sugar hit and how much soda he had. When you add the effect of beta-endorphin withdrawal to the wide hormonal fluctuations your child is experiencing, adolescence can be hell.

Your child can have an imbalance in any one of these three legs of the sugar sensitive stool or in all three of them. As you come to understand sugar sensitivity, you will start noticing the signs and behaviors of unbalanced brain and body chemistry in your child. You will connect the dots and see that what you thought were separate issues are actually manifestations of the same biochemical problem. What you assumed was natural and inevitable is not. You will discover patterns, see where the behavior is coming from, and most important, learn solutions to change it. The key advantage of my treatment for sugar sensitivity is that it goes beyond treating an individual leg and deals with the root cause of the leg imbalances. Treating only one leg keeps things unbalanced. If you give your child Prozac, it deals only with the serotonin piece, not the blood sugar and beta-endorphin pieces. Using food, you can treat and balance all three, at no cost, without drugs or medical intervention, and with no side effects. The food goes to the heart of the issue and balances your child, naturally, gently, safely, and dramatically.

Most important, your children's behavior is not a function of bad parenting. It is not your fault. It is not even their fault. I am not suggesting that you or they have no responsibility for their behavior, but I am suggesting it is driven by the biochemistry. Once you grasp the power of sugar sensitive biochemistry, you will no longer carry the burden of not understanding why your children act the way they do. Even more significantly, once you understand how diet affects your child's biochemistry, you will be empowered to make changes that heal the problem.

Little Sugar Addicts will give you a road map for making these changes. It will show you how food can heal your child and your family It will provide a specific series of "baby steps" that your family will not only accept but actually buy in to and truly believe in. The guidelines will help you help your family to establish new eating patterns and new behaviors, as thousands of families have already done.

You are not alone with this issue. We will work the solution together. You will have support, and the results will seem miraculous. Healing sugar sensitivity will transform how you feel about your life, how your children feel about their lives, and how you feel about each other.



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