The Evils of Sugar


I dont contibute to the forums very often but I thought it was worth sharing my experiences of cutting down radically on sugar.

To set the scene I am 40 (41 next week) and on 125mg Madopar 4 times a day and 10mg Ropinerole XL. I work full-time as a project manager. For the last year I have been constantly battling exhaustion and have had absolutely no stamina and had a terrible sleeping pattern.

Recently around Easter I noticed things getting markedly worse. Having thought about this a little I realised that I have been eating rather too many chocolates. To add to this I was starting to take sugar in my tea.

Anyway having made this association I have stopped eating chocolates, cut sugar out of my tea and try to avoid direct sugars.

And I can honestly say that my PD symptoms have receded but more importantly my energy levels have shot up and my sleep pattern is much better.

Anyway I have hunted around a little for some justification for this and found the article below - I hope this helps other people.

Archive for the 'adrenal exhaustion' Category

Dec 03 2008

Sugar and Fatigue

Published by admin under adrenal exhaustion, sugar cravings

The holiday season is upon us.
Are your sugar cravings up?
The holidays are a great excuse
for indulging yourself in sweats
and other pleasurable pastimes.

I always think so anyway. But
of course, sugar is just as deadly
to your neural networks during the
holidays as it is on your birthday
(unless your birthday falls on the
holidays. Then it is deadlier).

In most cases sugar cravings are
not eating disorders but rather a signal
of hormonal imbalances. If you regularly
answer the body’s call for more sugar,
your symptoms will worsen and you will
feel increasingly lousy.

Let me be clear about the logic here.

Sugar cravings are triggered by hormonal

The symptoms of Parkinson’s are triggered
by hormonal imbalances.

There is very likely a connection between
the intensity of your cravings for sugar and
the severity of your symptoms.

Sugar cravings suggest that the signaling
system in the body has been short circuited.
When we are tired or depressed — sounds
like the holidays, eh? – our blood sugar
and serotonin levels are too low.

Serotonin is the perfect quick fix for
feeling warm and cozy again. The body
lets us know it needs an immediate
serotonin boast. Sugars and carbohydrates
are the perfect quick fix. They release a
brief burst of serotonin.

Unfortunately, the burst of euphoria is
short lived. Sugar cravings always return.
We eat more sweets to get a serotonin hit.
Remember, this is a sure bet to fix the
problem of being down in the dumps.

Over time, larger doses of sugar are needed
to sustain a tolerable level of serotonin
in the body. It is a downward slope headed
for the valley of depression, disease and

Why does this happen? The body begins to
produce more and more insulin in response
to the artificially high level of sugar
that is mainlined into the body from the
sweet cravings. As levels of insulin
rise, the body’s resistance to the effects
of insulin increases.

A vicious cycle is born. Increased insulin
resistance causes insulin levels to rise
higher and higher which in turn trigger
stronger and more frequent cravings for

Another cause of sweet cravings is adrenal
fatigue which is created by sustained levels
of stress and trauma. Most people with the
symptoms of Parkinson’s have adrenal fatigue.
For some it is a chronic condition. Adrenal
fatigue also signals to the body that it
needs a sugar hit.

I suspect that anyone with the symptoms of
Parkinson’s is especially susceptible to the
seductiveness of sugar and the attraction of
sweets during the holidays.

So you say, so what? What in the world do
I do about it? I have the answer, really.

Sugar cravings are a tough addition
to break. It is not a question of
exerting will over desire. It is a
problem rooted in hormonal imbalances
in the body The solution involves
bringing the body back into balance.

Before I say more, I must first eat my
pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
After all, it is the holidays. Check in
tomorrow for the answer since I
already know I will be too tired
and depressed after eating my pie
to write the second part of this article.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery
1 Like
Thankyou Andrew for a thought-provoking post. I will certainly look at the effect of sugar and products containing it on my husband's energy levels.
All the best
Thank you Andrew. Your observations are well worth knowing.
There appears to be so many different types of food that will have a detrimental effect on us one way or the other.
When I think about it, some times I do have a hard time regarding Parkinson's symptoms if I eat chocolate or some thing similar. But not always, a fact which makes it all the more difficult for me to determine what I ought not eat if I want a good day.
I find that bacon, fish, eggs and nuts etc..., (high protein food) will often mean am in for a difficult time a few hours later.

I can confirm these comments about sugar. I’ve had Parkinson’s for 16 years with slowly worsening conditions when I cut out sugar three months ago my symptoms got radically better. I can walk normally almost all day long and I have much more energy and I sleep much better. It took about two or three weeks before it started working. Is highly restrictive in that you have to look at all labels when you buy groceries and it’s very difficult to eat out and less you just eat salad but it was worth it! I’m in the US so it’s probably worse here than the UK as far as sugar being in everything. I know Eliminating foods to which I am sensitive to see if that makes it further difference.

Hi Jayfisch!
We just noted this was your first post so we wanted to take a moment to say hello and welcome to the forum. As you’ve already learned this is a warm and supportive and curious group, and we hope you’ll enjoy having a look around. Along with the medical advice and shared experience you’ll find art, joy, and no shortage of good humor. Please be aware of the resources on the attached website, and of course you can call and speak with an adviser, free and confidentially, at 0808 800 0303.
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