“Do I challenge my daughter’s addiction or ignore it?”

Ask Bitten Jonsson

Should you challenge someone’s addiction or ignore it? Do I need carbs for serotonin production? And how do I combat my cravings for carbs?

These and other questions are answered this week by our food-addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:

Do I challenge my daughter’s addiction or ignore it?

Adult daughter addicted to carbs with beautiful type 1 diabetic who adjusts insulin to carbs she eats (dr says so).

Tremendous fluctuations and frequent problems. Do I challenge my daughter’s addiction or ignore it? Do I encourage my granddaughter or ignore it?


Margaret, this is one the toughest, most painful things for us, watching loved ones being very unhealthy, we “know” the tools, but will they listen?

The thing we can do is what I call a “care frontation” versus a “con frontation”, they do not work. But telling her and her mother how much you love and care for them/her health is the way to start. Then just say that you have learned some new exciting things about eating that can improve and stabilize her diabetes and ask her if she is willing to start looking at it.

I suggest this page http://hannaboethius.com, she is young and has type 1 diabetes. There is a lot of information there. I just referred a young woman there. But a 14-year old needs lots of support from parents, school and hopefully an MD that understands this.

I think you should do it but if they show no interest, back off for a while. To keep nagging if they are negative makes things worse, wait a few months and try this method again and hopefully one day they start listening.

I really wish you the best,

Serotonin and carbs?

I have read that certain types of carbohydrates are needed for serotonin production. Is that true and can one remain on a long-term ketogenic diet without rebounding on carbs?

I’ve succeeded on low carb many times, losing weight nicely, but usually within 3-4 mos cravings become intolerable, even when I’m keeping within my carb range.

I enjoy all the positive effects of the diet but end up crashing and bingeing out of control. I went from 176 to 218 lbs (80 to 99 kg) in 4 months. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been.

What is the solution in my case? I did use stevia, xylitol or erythritol on occasion and only berries for fruit. Can someone like me who has suffered with depression succeed on LCHF and just how?


Dear Janice,

The knowledge about carbohydrates needed for serotonin production is revised. Today we know that the most important is to eat good protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs) from that we get the very important amino acids that then become serotonin and all other very important neuro transmitters.

Dopamine is very important for us. Low dopamine from binging on sugar/grains creates cravings and loss of energy. It is very important to have good levels of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in our stomach and sugar/carb loading decreases HCL. Most clients I help detox from sugar need them as a supplement for a while in order to break down protein. Here is a test to see if you need them and how many.

Hydrochloric acid, HCL supplements, should be found in a good health store.

Day 1, take one tablet on an empty stomach. If it “stings/burns” within 10-20 minutes, drink 1-2 dl (0.5-1 cup) milk to take away the pain. This means you do not need them, you produce enough HCL. Stop testing here for now. BUT, if you do not feel anything, keep going.

Day 2, take two tablets on an empty stomach. See above if it “stings/burns”. If you feelt nothing from 1 tablet but from 2, it indicates a mild temporary deficiency. Then you can try to take 1 supplement right before meals to see if your upset stomach/ bloating/constipation/diarrhea is relieved. If you feel nothing from 2 tablets, proceed.

Day 3, take 3 tablets on an empty stomach. See above if it stings/burns. If you can take 3 and feel nothing after 10-20 minutes you do need them very much.

Take 1-2 before meals for 4-6 weeks to see how you feel. Some people take them now and then as needed.

The next important thing to increase/balance neurotransmittors is to have a good intestinal flora which sugar addicts do not have due to the way they eat. I advise you to join our support group on Facebook, “Sugarbomb in your brain” to learn more about how to improve intestinal flora. Serotonin is mainly created in our intestines. I also think you need a support group for other reasons, trying to quit sugar/grain alone is like holding a pilates ball under water. Eventually, your arms will get weak and it will fly up in your face. You need many more tools then just a new meal plan in order to make it.

And please read Dr. Vera Tarman’s book Food Junkies to learn about the addictive brain. Very important knowledge for us.

Good luck with your new tools,

Craving for biscuits


I’m only starting the keto diet today. After my dinner I’m sitting in front of the TV to watch the soaps with my wife. I’ll pull out a back of chocolate biscuits or fig rolls or something along those lines, and could have the whole packet gone before I even realise.

Thinking on it, I don’t really savour the flavour, just put it in my mouth, take a cup of tea and swallow it. Any advice on helping with my cravings or a general advice please?


Hi Will,

It is not an easy road to start, going sugar/flour free. First of all, we cannot have any type of sugar/flour at home. An alcoholic would not keep alcohol in the house so please create a drug-free zone in your home.

Start with reading the book Food Junkies by Dr. Vera Tarman. The first three weeks are the worst, so I advice you to keep organic coconut oil and glutamine powder close by during the day. Stick to your planned meals no matter what.

Nobody has died from starvation between meals is something we jokingly say to ourselves when craving hit us. Try taking 1 tablespoon coconut oil in coffee or tea between meals and 1 teaspoon glutamine powder in a glass of water, room temperature and drink.

Plan ahead so you take one day at a time with your new food plan. You are welcome to join our support group on facebook, Sugarbomb in your brain.

Take care,


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