Would the health care system ever advise an alcoholic to drink alcohol at least six times a day and take pills to suppress the cravings?
No, hardly. But when it comes to eating disorders the standard of care often seems to be just that sick.
I got an email from Carolina Falini, who tells her story of how she became free from her sugar addiction and eating disorder when she did the opposite of what the health care system advised her to do:
I was so happy to read another story about eating disorders. I myself have been through something similar, but with a binge-eating disorder.
I’ve sought help at several different eating-disorder clinics to get my life back, but all the doctors did was to remind me to eat six carbohydrate-rich meals daily and to take antidepressants, as they suppress hunger. They repeated time after time how my eating disorder and constant cravings were caused by a lack of carbohydrates. I didn’t eat enough processed carbohydrates and the brain can only use processed carbohydrates, so when I didn’t get enough of those I’d binge eat.
I started to increase my intake of processed carbohydrates and I just felt more and more hungry, more and more sugar craving and more and more jittery.
After I had taken a course in nutritional physiology at the University of Lund, Sweden, I realized that all the information they had fed me was false.
A few months ago I started an low-carb diet and now the sugar cravings are gone. It was a tough battle, I have to admit. I felt like a drug addict on rehab. But after two weeks my sugar cravings were gone. Thanks to LCHF I’ve regained my sense of satiety. I now feel full after eating. Something that is a normal feeling for a normal person, but that I hadn’t experienced in 10 years.
I now have a life. I don’t dream of sugar and cookies and I’m no longer locked up in my apartment eating 5 big store-bought cakes, and then just 30 minutes later opening a package of crackers. I’m not staying home in agony over having managed to stuff myself with 15,000 empty calories. And now, three months later, I can even have a piece of a “sugary cake” on festive occasions without getting sugar cravings and without binge eating.
Thank you for your wonderful blog. It has really helped me with my motivation to cope with the first horrible week of LCHF.
Congratulation, Carolina, to your successes!
It’s bizarre and a disgrace that people with eating disorders receive such bad advice from the health care system. How can you advise someone with an addiction to INCREASE the intake of the very thing the person is addicted to?
Especially as more rapidly digested carbohydrates not only feed the cravings, but also increases the risk for weight gain, more anxiety, thus worsening any eating disorder problem.
The cornerstone when it comes to recovering from addictions is to get away from what triggers the addiction. You don’t tell a gambling addict to log on to internet poker at least six times a day. This would be a disastrously bad treatment.
When it comes to the possibility of having a piece of a “sugary cake” on festive occasions: be very cautious. If you have a latent addiction this can clearly be risky. Many learn this the hard way. I myself stopped using the moist Swedish form of snuff five years ago and haven’t taken any kind of nicotine since then. None. Zero. Not because I’m good, but because I don’t dare to.
In any case, LCHF seems to be an excellent first-line treatment for addiction to all kinds of carbohydrate-rich foods. Just as with all other types of addictions, where the basic principle is to get away from what you’re addicted to.
It’s not always easy to avoid large amounts of carbohydrates and it’s not always enough to break away from a sugar addiction. But it is a necessary first step. Hopefully this will soon be realized within the health care system.
Do you have any experience in this area that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.
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