The last post Sugar - Proceed with Caution, looked at the detrimental effects of a high-carb diet and how it can contribute to many chronic diseases. But have you ever wondered what the underlying reason for your sugar cravings are?
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the Spleen may have a lot to do with it.
Of course one aspect of sugar cravings is that a diet high in simple carbs causes those very sugar cravings. When our body is used to the quick easy access to sugar that a high-sugar diet provides, it will always want more of that type of fuel. Because simple sugars are broken down so fast, we require more frequent 'refueling' because our body doesn't have access to slower burning forms of energy. I have found that when I reduce my simple carb intake, my sugar cravings decrease, too. The more balanced and healthy my diet becomes, the more I crave those healthy foods.
Having said all that, it is also true that (from a TCM perspective) each organ is associated with a particular flavor and that of the Spleen is sweetness. Very often when there is an imbalance or weakness in the Spleen system, one of the symptoms will be a craving for sweet foods. Other symptoms include fatigue, weakness in the limbs, bloating and loose stools. We may think of the first two symptoms as a sign that there may be some insulin resistance (as described in the previous post) and that even in the presence of all that sugar in our blood stream, our cells are having trouble absorbing and storing that sugar and using it to fuel our body.
So, in addition to making some changes in your diet to decrease your sugar cravings, you may also want to consider some acupuncture to address the imbalances in your Spleen system that underlie your cravings. A series of treatments designed to support the digestive system, will re-balance what is out of synch and will allow your body to heal and your Spleen to function more efficiently again.
Call me for a complimentary phone consultation if you have more questions about this and if you need some acupuncture to get your Spleen back on track. 720-432-7073