Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Stop Pain, and Reverse the Path to Diabetes
by Richard P. Jacoby, DPM and Racquel Baldelomar
I’m on a quest to reduce the amount of sugar I consume. I think it’s the next piece of the puzzle in reducing my headaches. Going gluten-free has helped my migraines (so much so that I’ve been able to go off Topamax) but I’m still not happy with the frequency of tension and sinus headaches. I think there’s more I could be doing.
The more I read about the connection with sugar and various ailments, especially headaches, the more I think I have a sugar crush. And here’s the thing: I think I eat fairly healthy foods. I gave up my Pepsi habit years ago. (I used to drink at least 6-8 cans of soda every day. Now? I can’t stand the stuff.) I stopped adding sugar to my coffee awhile ago. I’m that person at the office party who passes the cake to someone else — usually because of the gluten.
What I’m starting to realize — or, maybe I’ve known this all along but am paying more attention the older I get — is that it’s the hidden sugar that’s the real problem.
I picked up Sugar Crush at the library, intrigued by sugar’s connection to inflammation and pain.
“The link between sugar chemically causes inflammation that damages your nerves, results in excruciating pain often made worse by prescription drugs, and will inevitably kill you before your genetic timetable. Carbohydrates (sugar) + Trauma = Nerve Damage, Pain and Dysfunction. This is the sugar crush.”
Thus writes physician and Sugar Crush author Richard Jacoby, whose specialty is diabetes. His focus is on making his reader understand that
“even without an official diagnosis of diabetes, you could already be experiencing the earliest signs of neuropathy: those little zings in your wrist; the occasional burning sensation in your feet; the mild numbness in your fingers that comes and goes; and the headaches that come out of the blue. These are all harbingers of things to come.”
Headaches that come out of the blue? I’m your girl. And all the other pings and zings? Those are all the signs of life in someone who’s in her late 40s age, right?
Maybe. Or maybe not.
According to Jacoby, “each year, the average American eats 160 pounds of processed sugar. And by sugar, I mean all of the -ose and -itol words: glucose, fructose, dextrose, sorbitol, polyglycitol, galactose, and others.” (pg. 3)
This is slightly more than 7 ounces of sugar each day, he writes. “To visualize this daily amount, imagine taking the teaspoon next to your morning coffee and filling it 27 times with sugar. “
While the writing in Sugar Crush occasionally becomes laced with a bit too much medical jargon, overall it is a thought-provoking read. Jacoby seems well-intentioned, sincere, compassionate, and knowledgeable in succeeding at getting his reader to examine one’s diet more closely to discover the perhaps not-so-hidden culprit behind our everyday aches and pains.