At Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center we know and understand that in the short-term eating too much sugar may contribute to weight gain and fatigue. In the long-term too much sugar can increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
No matter if you are struggling with a one-time glucose binge or are repeatedly consuming too much glucose, the impact of glucose overload can leave you feeling more sour than sweet.
To be distinct, there’s nothing wrong with sugar, actually, the human body utilizes glucose, a simple type of glucose, as part of its most important sources of fuel.
But when glucose is consumed in excess, it can sometimes have negative effects on the body.
Addiction to Sugar
Sugar addiction is quite easy to identify. It is characterized by excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages. The person may eat to avoid boredom, and become hyper and crash as a result of high glucose energy in the body.
Additional research on brain activity has bolstered the theory that overeating affects our brain’s reward system, which in turn drives overeating. A similar process is also thought to be responsible for addiction’s tolerance.
As time passes, more and more of the drug is needed to get the same high. In studies, it’s been shown that eating too much leads to a decreased reward response and an increasing dependence on high-calorie, low-nutrient foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat.
Symptoms of eating too much sugar
Some people experience the following symptoms after eating sugar:
- Low energy levels: A study found that 1 hour after sugar consumption, participants felt tired and less alert.
- Low mood
- Trusted Source: found that higher sugar intake increased rates of depression and mood disorder in males.
- Bloating: certain types of sugar may cause bloating and gas in people who have digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
- Fatigue and difficulty concentrating
- Feeling jittery or anxious
- Feeling shaky or dizzy
Long term effects of eating too much sugar
The occasional sugar overload is one thing, but eating too much sugar on a regular basis can create long term effects and increase the likelihood that you will have certain conditions.
Where can sugar be found in your everyday foods?
Don’t feel guilty for eating too much sugar every once in a while, or if you regularly eat too much sugar.
We are here to provide you with the tools you need to avoid the consumption of too much sugar, if that is your goal. The best way to do that is to cut down on added sugars, and the best way to do that is to familiarize yourself with the many types of sugar and common foods that are high in added sugar.
Common types of sugars
- High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- Agave nectar
- Cane sugar
- Invert sugar
- Maple syrup
- Refiner’s syrup
- Brown sugar
Keep in mind that these are just some of the most common names. But there are over 50 types of sugar.
Common foods high in added sugars
- Sodas/soft drinks
- Fruit juice
- Chocolate milk
- Pre-made sauces
- Sports drinks
- Granola and cereal
- Canned fruit
- Canned soups
- Energy drinks
Diabetes and insulin resistance
Note that many of these foods are not actually foods, but drinks. In fact, one of the best things you can do to reduce your intake of added sugars is to drink water in place of other types of popular drinks.
Risks of eating too much sugar
Consuming too much sugar can also contribute to long-term health problems.
- Tooth decay
- Weight gain and obesity
- Diabetes and insulin resistance
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Aging skin
When to see a doctor
People should see their doctor if they experience the symptoms of high blood sugar. Symptoms include:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Unexplained weight loss
- Sores that do not heal
These symptoms may indicate a person has diabetes. One of our specialists at Atlantic Endocrinology & Diabetes Center can test for diabetes by taking a urine sample.