We all know sugar is terrible for us — sugar is The New White Devil — and yet we can’t seem to escape its granular grasp.  We live in a sugary circle of feeling low, boosting our blood sugar with sugar and then crashing again.  How can we escape this treacherous roundabout?

On June 30, 2005, I wrote an article — Women and Hypoglycemia — that shared some curious details about some of my female students:

I also wonder if women like them may have their hypoglycemia misdiagnosed as depression or PMS or some other more common anomaly that shares the same indicators with hypoglycemia. None of the women were bone-thin and that’s a good thing because the first cause for hypoglycemia that crosses your mind is that the women were not eating and that lack of food was lowering their glucose levels and making them groggy. All the women were well-built and healthy looking.

They were obviously eating something but perhaps not the right food? Perhaps they were eating carbohydrates that were simple and not complex? When I saw the women in the hall, or chatted with them after class, I always asked how they were doing with their hypoglycemia. When I asked when they last ate, few could tell me. I asked when they planned to eat again and their answers were vague and non-committal.

Today, I wonder if sugar is the new self-medication for Bipolarism because the effects on the body so closely mimic the highs and lows of the disorder.

Bipolarism is defined by manic highs and severe lows and medication can help keep that under control, but there is the silent danger of the over consumption of sugar to help retain those dramatic highs and valley lows — but few patients and doctors are prescient enough to also prescribe a “no sugar” diet to Bipolar patients in addition to medication.

If you suffer from Bipolarism, and if you crave sugar to unwittingly help replicate the emotional highs and lows of your disease — try carving sugar out of your diet, and that includes alcohol, too — and see if you don’t immediately start feeling warm and neutral and safe again.


  1. I have had friends with bipolar disorder that cut sugar out of their lives on the guidance of holistic healers and noted huge improvements in mood stability.

      1. They were also taking medication.

        There is no diet I have ever heard of that resolves bipolarism. All bipolarism, of which I am familiar, is a simple chemical imbalance. Only proper medication corrects this imbalance.

        I have seen people decide for themselves that a better diet would resolve the issue and end up in jail, hospitalized, and screaming on the floor. Diet changes cannot, that I can tell, remove the need for the corrective balancing medicine.

        1. I think that’s right, Gordon. Bipolarism requires medication and I’m thrilled that your friends, while medicated, also searched for holistic help that included the removal of sugar from their diet!

          I agree the there is a delicate chemical imbalance in the brain that causes mania and diet alone cannot heal or manage the condition.

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