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Her Sugar Cravings Annoy her Husband

Craving sugar could be a symptom of a mineral deficiency. It could also lead to serious health consequences down the road.

Q. For the past several months I have had severe sugar cravings. I sometimes go through a 5 pound bag of sugar in four days, just eating it by the spoonful.

I have been tested for diabetes and don’t have it. I do take several medicines but my desire for sugar is much more recent.

This is making my husband a little angry. He doesn’t understand that if I try to not eat sugar, it takes over my thoughts until I do eat it.

I would appreciate any ideas on how to break this craving. I bought hard candy to substitute for sugar, but I just eat the candy and keep thinking of the sugar until I get it.

A. We have heard from people craving ice chips, buffered aspirin, carrots and tomatoes. A compulsion to eat non-food substances such as clay or laundry starch is called “pica,” and may be associated with anemia or zinc deficiency. Unusual food cravings could be due to a similar problem.

Have your doctor check for anemia. If your iron level is low, replenishing the mineral might banish your sugar craving.You may also have a zinc deficiency, so make sure your doctor does a complete blood panel including tests for low levels of minerals.

Too much sugar is hazardous to your health. You may not have diabetes now, but if you keep this up, that is a distinct risk down the road. You are creating a huge insulin spike with your sugar consumption. This could eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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