Case Study: Uncontrollable Sugar Cravings

Nov 15, 2020

In functional nutrition, we empower people to understand and honor the needs of their bodies. Rather than feeling like there is no reason or cause, and no solution, I help my clients see exactly what can be done to help their bodies heal.

While good food is essential to living a healthy, happy, thriving life, in functional nutrition, we look beyond food and into the much deeper healing needs of the body. 

Case Study: Uncontrollable Sugar Cravings

I had a client named Charlotte who came to me because she was experiencing uncontrollable sugar cravings and binge eating. Each night she would consume massive amounts of cookies, ice cream or other high sugar foods. Charlotte woke up every morning with a belly ache, a puffy face and feeling sluggish. She had a professional job which she said she loved but was feeling unable to concentrate and find joy in her work. 

Charlotte had read about how bad sugar was for the body and was scared of getting diabetes or fatty liver disease. She also could tell that her brain function just wasn't where she wanted it to be, and she felt dizzy sometimes when standing up. She was a normal weight but still felt that someone was wrong. 

Charlotte had tried to will herself away from her nighttime binges but it just stressed her out to fail night after night. She was exhausted, frazzled, angry and ashamed. 

In our initial investigation we discovered that Charlotte did not eat breakfast but she did rely on caffeine to help her feel better and less inflamed in the mornings. Her lunches were hectic. She might have a salad with chicken or salmon or just grab a bar or two on the run. For dinner, Charlotte might go out for dinner with friends and eat a big meal, or she might cook something for herself at home. 

We discovered that Charlotte felt nauseous on long car rides and boat rides and that she avoided red meat because it made her stomach hurt. This led us to look at her liver and gallbladder function as well as digestive function in general. We found that because of a history of stress, too much sugar, and a history of a low fat diet, that Charlotte just wasn't digesting her food correctly. 

Because Charlotte wasn't digesting her protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. her body craved sugar for quick energy because it wasn't getting energy from other foods.

We supported Charlotte's digestion from top to bottom with both digestive supplements and mindfulness techniques like putting her fork down between bites. We also got Charlotte eating a big hardy breakfast and lunch every day. 

Within two months Charlotte was thrilled that she felt so much calmer at night and not compelled to binge on sweets. She was eating so much more food during the day AND digesting it better. She now woke up each morning without a belly ache and feeling so much more energetic and less inflamed. After six months, Charlotte was able to let go of the feelings of shame that she had carried with her for so many years. 

Why it Worked

Rather than wait for a full-blown disease to develop, I helped Charlotte become better nourished earlier in the day to calm down the sugar cravings. As her body healed, related symptoms like dizziness, anger, brain fog and nausea dissipated as well. Charlotte was now waking up with energy and was better able to concentrate at work. She felt joy in her life and enjoyed her work again. Instead of feeling shame around food, Charlotte was now feeling empowered because she knew how to operate her body and brain so that they would serve her well. 

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