Sugar Withdrawal

Well, whodathunkit? Sugar withdrawal is a real thing.

I’ve been indulging in chocolate candy daily for a while now, and expanding, alas, accordingly. I took a good hard sideways look at myself in the mirror a few days ago and said that’s it. No more excuses, no more just this once, no more just a little. Out, damned chocolate!

Other than a tiny splash of agave in my coffee once, maybe twice a day, or a sweetened yogurt once in a while, the chocolate has been my main source of sugar for quite a while. So other than beating off temptation, this should be a breeze, right?

Wrong. I feel mildly lousy, like a low-grade cold or flu. I get shaky, especially first thing in the morning before my breakfast banana (oh, yeh, that’s a sugar, too, but I’m not giving that up). I’m even getting hot flashes and bouts of dizziness. The dizziness could be from an inner-ear thing I get now and then, but who knows whether the sugar withdrawal is contributing?

Sigh. I know it will dwindle away, and that it will all be worth it eventually, but this is not fun. I’m going to give myself frequent small noshes of healthy food and hope that helps.


After sharing my woes with some friends, I learn that agave is a bad, bad sugar, too; if I'm going to sweeten my coffee I should use stevia.  Maybe I'll forget about any sweetener and just go with the half and half.  Or convert to tea sans anything; there are a lot of good herbal teas out there, since I avoid caffeine.  There's rooibos, for example, and tons of others.  Also heard that other friends have gone through withdrawal symptoms, too, when they whacked back their sugar consumption.

Of course, I know there's lots of sugar hidden in all kinds of prepared foods, and it's not possible to avoid it entirely, but just cutting out the visible stuff is bound to help.  I'm on day three now of the exodus, and feeling a whole lot better than the first two days.

In mid-March I stopped using sugar, and have reduced carbohydrate intake as much as practical. So far, I’ve lost 25 pounds. (I’ve also started walking.)

You say your symptoms include fatigue, shakiness, and hot flashes. The Mayo Clinic includes fatigue, shakiness, and sweating in their list of symptoms for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Google results when ‘dizziness’ is included indicate that dizziness is also a symptom of low blood sugar.

You may need to increase your carbohydrate intake. But IANAD. See your doctor or nutritionist.

Sounds like you might have a touch of caffeine withdrawal, too, from the choco.

Low blood sugar hurts. As a diabetic since childhood I have fought swinging blood sugar levels for decades. I can have some chocolate, but I am careful about when during the day I can. Get your sugar tested. Dizziness is scary.
ETA low blood sugar can and does kill.

A friend today pointed out the likelihood of caffeine withdrawal – good point, since the daily mug of coffee I do have is decaf. I get a complete fasting blood panel done during my annual checkups and it’s never shown diabetes, fortunately; I think my low blood sugar swings are from just not eating for too long, as the problem goes away when I have a meal.

'm planning to switch from my daily breakfast banana, then nothing till a late lunch, to a more substantial breakfast – say, a couple of eggs, scrambled, with a bit of sausage. That should carry me till lunch more smoothly.

I do feel a lot better today, and the coffee with half and half but no sweetener was fine. Progress!

Its not sugar, its CHOCOLATE.

At least for me. If I dont have chocolate sometime in the day, I just have no ambition at all!

I agree with that statement.

I eat dark chocolate bars containing 85% cacao. Very little sugar. And delicious!

Hey** EddyTeddyFreddy**, come on over to the low-carb diet thread. We’re about to embark on a 4-week challenge starting Monday.


She said beating off.