Sugar Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Categories: Food Addiction

sugar Addiction withdrawal symptomsSugar addiction withdrawal symptoms arise from a number of reasons; the feelings of happiness and calm associated with the release of serotonin and dopamine that occurs when sugar is eaten can be  addictive. People turn to sugar as a support in hard or sad times, and also for an energy boost if they are flagging. The problem is that the high is followed by a crash, which leads to more cravings and the cycle starts again.

Breaking the cycle of high and crash, and weaning yourself off the sugar addiction can be difficult but not impossible with the proper help. A good start is to identify the reasons for your cravings; are they at times of stress, when you feel tired or even at a certain point in your menstrual cycle (if you are a woman). If you can fix the reason behind your cravings they will be easier to anticipate and control. Learn some breathing exercises and calming mind tricks of you binge when stressed, and get more sleep or relaxation if you get tired and crave sugar.


Stopping a sugar habit can be difficult; there are physical sugar addiction withdrawal symptoms that will make your feel even worse initially.


Sugar Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Skin eruptions
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Throat discomfort and mucus
  • Mood Swings

You will only suffer these side effects for a few days, so accept that they will occur and you will be better equipped to deal with them. Plan to quit sugar just before the weekend so that you can have the time off work to get over the worst of your sugar addiction withdrawal symptoms without having to do anything too stressful or strenuous

Once you have decided to give up sugar, you need to make yourself aware of all the hidden sources of refined sugar that can sneak into your diet. It is recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) that an average adult consumes just six teaspoons of sugar each day, which is the equivalent of a regular sized glazed donut. This may seem like quite a lot, but as there is sugar hidden in so many things including ketchup, yoghurt and breakfast cereals it can be difficult to keep to this level. Malt, cane juice, sucrose, dextrose, and barley malt are all names that sugar goes under, and these are found in many, many different foods.

Once you have learnt what sugar may be masquerading as, you can begin to limit your intake. Initially you will need to read the labels on everything when you are food shopping, but after a short while you will learn which foods have hidden nasties and which are truly healthy and good to eat. Stock your cupboards with healthy foods and snacks; keep the sugary things out of your house so that they are not easily reached in the event of a weak moment. Fruit is full of sugar, but has loads of other goodies in it so you should keep this in your diet, but fruit juice is out; it has all of the sugars without the fiber of whole fruit so is not worth the bad sugar.

Once you have your house stocked with good foods, you can make changes to your diet. Start the day with a healthy sugar free cereal, and use chopped up fruit or berries as a natural sweetener. Snack on fruit, or a handful of nuts which will provide loads of protein and curb your hunger. Check the labels on ‘healthy’ processed snack bars; they are often packed with sugars and additives. Try to drink sugar free or low calorie drinks such as herbal teas and water, and if you feel hungry then imagine eating something healthy, if this does not seem like it would satisfy you then you are probably craving sugar, not hungry and should distract yourself.

If you have trouble ignoring the cravings then replace the hit you used to get from the sugar with something else. Exercise produces a similar high, so find something you enjoy doing and take yourself out of the house and into the fresh air if you begin to crave sugar. If you don’t fancy exercise then anything that you enjoy can take the edge off the cravings; lose yourself in a good book or take a hot bubble bath and you will soon forget about sugar. You can treat yourself every now and again, go for a small piece of really good dark chocolate which will hit the spot and satisfy you.

Sugar addiction withdrawal symptoms can be tough, so get help and support from friends and family as well as professionals; the more people you have urging you on, the easier it will be to kick the sweet tooth and get yourself back onto a healthier lifestyle that doesn’t depend on sugar.


Doriet von Fircks

About the author

Doriet von Fircks is a health practitioner and a nutrition expert.
She specializes in food related problems, such as food addiction.
After reading many articles about food addiction, especially lots of scientific journals, she realized that there was hardly any discussion about food addiction from a scientific perspective.
She updates the site frequently, ensuring that the latest scientific findings are always featured on If you have questions about this site or suggestions for improvement, please feel free to contact her.