I’ve been feeling exceptionally well lately. In fact, I’ve had more energy and felt better than I have for many years. It’s been really exciting, and I want to share some of the things that I have been doing that have helped me feel this way soon. But I think I got a little over confident. At the Fourth of July party I was at, I over indulged in some gluten and dairy free but sugar rich cupcakes that a dear friend had brought.
I hadn’t eaten a refined sugar dessert in a while, and it was sooo sweet and quite good. And it was fun to munch on one (and then later, another) while talking to friends. We stayed late into the night and huge bowls of popcorn with a light sugar glaze were put out. We laughed, we talked, we got caught up with family and friends…..and we munched.
When I finally went to sleep that night in the wee hours of the morning, I was quite happy and content after a wonderful day. The next day I got sick with a bad case of mastitis. I am prone to them if I am not careful. I have been able to avoid them for the most time, this baby around. One time I got a slight one, but was able to stave off anything worse. Until last week. And I got quite sick. Between all of the extra sugar and the lack of sleep, my body wasn’t able to have the proper immune response to prevent the infection. As I lay in pain and feverish on my bed, I told my husband, “Don’t EVER let me eat sugar again!”. I couldn’t remember why in the world sugar was ever even appealing to me. Of course, not much is appealing when you have a high temperature and are in pain.
But in brought something home to me. In my case, with a propensity to get mastitis if I let my immune system get run down, the consequences of eating sugar were quickly apparent. But how often is sugar a “silent killer” so to speak? We don’t always fall ill every time we put sugar in our mouth (thank goodness), but its effects on our immune system are still there regardless.
I was flipping through my copy of Nourishing Traditions today and found a few quotes from the book Sugar Blues by William Dufty.
” Refined sugar is lethal when ingested by humans because it provides only that which nutritionists describe as empty or naked calories. In addition, sugar is worse than nothing because it drains and leeches the body of precious vitamin and minerals through the demands its digestion, detoxification, and elimination make upon one’s entire system. So essential is balance to our bodies that we have many ways to provide against the sudden shock of a heavy intake of sugar. Minerals, such as sodium (from salt, potassium and magnesium (from vegetables) and calcium (from the bones) are mobilized and used in chemical transmutation; neutralizing acids are produced which attempt to return the acid-alkaline balance factor of the blood to a more normal state. Sugar taken every day produces a continuously overacid condition and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Finally, in order to protect the blood, so much calcium is taken from the bones and teeth that decay and general weakening begin.”
That would be one way of putting, “Sugar is not good for you.” Though, he wrote a whole book on the topic, so there is definitely more than one way to say it! I’ve read somewhere (maybe one of my readers can help me out here), that the effects of sugar on your immune system last for a long time, even after your blood sugar has returned to normal.
Back to my story. I am finally feeling today almost back to normal. I was most sick for two days, but it’s taken a bit to really fully recover. And I will need to be careful for the next week to continue to build up my immune system so I don’t relapse. Was it worth a cupcake or two? I think not. Especially when I have so many sweet treats I can make that don’t have such devastating effects on my week! I will certainly rethink chowing down at the next party I am attending!
How about you? Have you noticed sugar’s effect on your immune system?
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I went off sugar 8 years ago and except for a rare occasion (kids’ wedding cake) just don’t eat it. I do on occasion use a small amount of ketchup but I do read labels carefully to avoid it. When I have in the past slipped or accidentally ingested sugar, I felt like I was walking through water and my brain was in a fog until I was able to process it out. I even run a fever when I eat it! So I avoid it as much as is humanly possible. I use xylitol or agave nectar for sweetner when I do make something that calls for sugar such as homemade bakes beans and on rare occasion an artificial sweetner. But I have to be careful there too because my body recognizes splenda as sugar and so I get the fever and aches if I eat too much of that. Good for you for going off the sugar!!
Ouch! that sounds horrible!
When the Sugar Blues came into our house we were shocked at all of the effects. Truly an amazing read. I too have recently given up sugar but festivities can be soooo hard! I totally feel your pain – and your health when on the straight & narrow! My skin goes to hell and i could sleep for Ireland when i stupidly indulge…not to mention my yo-yo emotions.
Thanks for posting – so many people still don’t really understand the effects of sugar
Kris - Health Blog
I think sugar is absolutely horrible, and it makes me feel sick almost instantly after eating it.
I think it’s incredible that the U.S. nutritional guidelines allow people to eat up to 25% of their calories as sugar. Shocking, really.
Check out David Gillespie’s website – he’s done some amazing research into this white poison………….
You might as well consider sugar a drug. It causes many of the same physiological effects on the body – including addiction. Sugar is a major contributor to food addiction in our society.
Sugar is horrible. I’ve been sugar free for almost 3 months, following a strick Paleo diet, and yesterday indulged in 3 gluten/dairy free donuts. They has sugar in them though. I didn’t feel anything right away but the day after, which is today and now, feel horrible! Low energy, feel like sleeping and feel fluish, even though flu symptoms are not there.
So yeah, sugar should be abandoned forever. I can eat as much fruit as I like instead, never had a problem with those.