By Nancy Appleton
What signals is your body giving you? Are you a sugarholic? This quiz will help you determine how pervasive refined sugar is in your life-style, and what effect it's having on your body. Answer each question as truthfully as you can; you're not going to be graded, and no one is looking over your shoulder. Be honest with yourself - your health depends on it.
If you answered "false" to more than four of these statements, chances are that you are sugar-sensitive. You probably are allergic to sugar, and probably are also addicted to it - the same way an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. You crave sugar, have withdrawal symptoms when you don't get it, and probably feel better for a short time after you've eaten it. In eating sugar to feel better, you are actually making your condition worse.
If you answered "false" to four questions or fewer, that doesn't prove you don't have a problem with sugar. Perhaps you aren't addicted to it, but perhaps you don't quite realize just how much sugar you're eating. The average American consumes over 10 pounds of sugar each month, nearly 4-1/2 cups per week or 30 to 33 teaspoonfuls of sugar every day. That's over 20 percent of our daily caloric intake spent on a refined food which upsets body chemistry and has no nutritional value.
My experience is a classic example of what I've called the "degenerative disease process." All my ailments were caused by the substances I put into my body. The excess sugar that I ate so obsessively led to a disturbance of mineral relationships in my system - leading to a calcium excess so severe that it built up in my chest. This mineral imbalance made my enzymes (those chemicals in the body that help digest food) incapable of digesting food properly, and I developed classic allergic symptoms due to the undigested food. My immune system wore itself down reacting to these toxic foods, and I became extremely susceptible to disease.
The process that started with the excess consumption of sugar ended in tooth decay, pneumonia, and bronchitis. It was mainly when I removed sugar from my diet that my body was able to regain health. I realized then, for the first time, that if I stopped doing to my body what I had done to make it sick, my body would heal itself.
If you're a sugarholic, as I was, your body is telling you quite bluntly that sugar is causing problems. Addiction is closely related to allergy; the body has become so accustomed to compensating for the presence of the allergenic substance that when the substance is removed, withdrawal symptoms occur. Your sugar cravings are a direct indication that sugar is at work destroying your immune system.
It is possible to feel better - and if you really want to, chances are that you can. It is up to you. You can make yourself sick by ingesting harmful substances or, by becoming aware of what serves your health and listening to your body's signals, you can stop upsetting the body and let the body heal itself.
If, on the other hand, you ignore the signals your body is sending, you force doctors to use stronger and more dangerous techniques, and relegate yourself to the victim role. Doctors are accustomed to treating conditions that have progressed to a point that there are serious complaints (severe pain, heart palpitations, swollen joints, or rapid weight loss). They see these drastic conditions and they take drastic measures.
From the book, LICK THE SUGAR HABIT by Nancy Appleton, copyright 1988, Avery Publishing Group Inc.