Do you get sugar cravings and IBS symptoms? I’m here to explain why all of these things are connected and what the drivers are.
Sugar Cravings: Why Do They Happen?
There are a LOT of reasons why sugar cravings happen. Here are my top 3 causes:
- Diabetes/insulin resistance
- High stress
In this post, the focus will be on dysbiosis and how this drives sugar cravings and IBS.
Dysbiosis: What is it?
Click here for some killer background information on what dysbiosis is. The basic breakdown is this: Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the body’s healthy and unhealthy flora.
How Does This Connect With Sugar?
The main imbalance that can drive sugar cravings is yeast dominance. This could be a fungal growth on the skin (toenail fungus, anyone?), a “yeast infection” in the vagina, oral thrush or SIBO driven by Candida species.
So how does yeast make you crave sugar? There’s a feedback loop that can occur with the dominance of this fungus:
- Yeast becomes dominant
- Yeast sends messages to the brain for sugar
- We crave sugar
- We eat sugar
- Yeast is fed by the sugar we eat
- Yeast grows and continues to dominate even more
- Yeast sends more messages to the brain for more sugar, leading to more sugar cravings!
The Major Issue With This Feedback Loop
As you can now see, feeding your dominant yeast with sugar is a major issue if you have IBS. It perpetuates dysbiosis, which is what causes IBS symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. This all feeds back to more sugar cravings and IBS exacerbation!
The worst thing is that sugar makes our energy levels peak and drop throughout the day and can cause other problems such as:
- Brain fog/lack of focus
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Being overweight
Feeding sugar to a yeasty gut is definitely not a fun time.
What Can You Do About It?
If you’re craving sugar and getting IBS symptoms, it’s time for you to break up with sugar.
There are already programs out there that can help you with this, such as the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program, which can kick-start your new relationship with the sugar-free life.
Here are some simple changes you can make:
- Ban sugar from your house because if the temptation isn’t there, you can’t give in to it!
- Keep fresh, whole fruit on hand so that it’s easier to access than refined-sugar options.
- Eat protein with every meal to balance your blood sugar which will reduce cravings.
Here are some natural sweeteners that also need to be avoided:
- Rice Malt Syrup
- Maple syrup
Before you remove the natural sweeteners, though, the refined sugar in cakes, lollies and other junk foods is what needs to come out of the diet first and foremost!
What I Can Do To Help
If you’re craving sugar and getting IBS symptoms, the first step will be to book your FREE 15-Minute Gut Health Assessment with me!
We’ll discuss where you’re at currently and where you want to be when it comes to your gut (and your overall) health. I’ll get to know how it’s impacting your everyday life and we can begin to work together to make a plan that helps you to get your balance back!
Nutritionist & Naturopath