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SUGAR ADDICTION, GENETICS, AND ALCOHOLISM

Saturday, December 29, 2018

I’ve wondered about this for some time. I’ve heard from some people that there are a lot of sweet treats at AA meetings because alcoholics, even if beating the alcohol addiction, have a tough time with sugar. My bio dad (whom I’ve never met or even seen a pic) was an alcoholic. In my biology classes in both high school and college, I marveled at the wonders of genetics. And, of course, they always include the “nature vs. nurture” issue. But really, if genes can dictate things like gender, hair, and eye color, imagine what they dictate when it comes to our personality traits.

All this to say that maybe my lifelong sugar addiction was not only about willpower (or lack thereof), but also due to something bigger than me; predisposition? My pondering is not to transfer blame for this issue, but provide deeper understanding as to why it has been so hard for me. To feel like less of a failure in taming the monster sooner than I have now. I’ve never been a drinker. But I’ve been a “sugarer.”

Last night I dreamt that I was with a group of people who were eating ginormous deserts. Even in my dream, I was impressed at how I didn’t even want any. No second thoughts. No tug-of-war. Nothing. Hooray if my sub-conscious has finally gotten the message.

Guess what? For those who’ve been following my blog meanderings, I heard yesterday that the gym is FINALLY doing a major revamping of the pool. Which means what? Not that I’ll ever be chlorine tolerant, but maybe a time or two a week? I miss it so much.

Wishing all a fun, happy day.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ANNIESADVENTURE
    Something to think about. None of my family is skinny. We grew up eating a typical farm family diet. Large portions but also lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I think the fresh produce may have saved us from big weight gains as well as many illnesses.
    On the other hand, it is interesting how diseases run in the family. When my sisters are diagnosed, I know to get checked as well.
    Nature and nurture seem to be contributing factors.
    551 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/4/2019 2:36:11 PM
  • HEALTHYANDFIT27
    I believe I have a genetic predisposition as well. I am not a drinker because I have such an addictive personality. But I love sugar and salt! The struggle continues...

    You are doing so well in spite of your predisposition!


    555 days ago
  • ALIHIKES
    Glad the pool is changing!
    I know that I have a harder time with sugar cravings if I indulge in an alcoholic beverage. Not sure if it is genetic -- none of my family are alcoholic (whew), but most of us LOVE dessert.
    556 days ago
  • WIZARDHOWL
    You're doing really good with sugar. I, however, am not!
    556 days ago
  • F8CONE8
    I believe it is a combo of genetics and family tradition. Habits from my childhood that I have had a hard time breaking. Same with alcohol, my sons father is an alcoholic so he abstains knowing with so much alcoholism in his family that he could be very susceptible emoticon to it.
    556 days ago
  • NANCY-
    This can be a can of worms. Learned behavior vs. genes.
    All I know is that I get choose my actions.
    556 days ago
  • no profile photo CD22518161

    I TOTALLY believe in predisposition!!!

    Great blog.
    556 days ago
  • BABYBARNEY
    What an interesting perspective linking sugar vs. alcohol addictions. Thank you for this viewpoint. Does really make you think, doesn't it. I like you don't have the inner knowledge of biological parenthood knowledge so this lack of medical background info can really link hereditary backgrounds to our current lifestyle...guess it is that nature...nurture question.

    I hope your pool dilemma is solved soon & you will feel soothing water soon! Happy New Year!
    556 days ago
  • HICKOK-HALEY
    Genetics can play a role in our personalities to a degree. Like you said, it is up to us to make better decisions.
    557 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    There are many alcoholics in my family...many in recovery.
    Several of them put on a lot of weight after they stopped drinking as they seemed to feel they could reward themselves with sweets.
    Many folks do the same thing when they quit smoking.
    Hardly anyone seems to replace those bad habits with healthy habits like walking or working out!
    I do enjoy an almost daily glass of wine but have never really cared about sweets one way or the other.
    I have gone months without alcohol but I feel deprived when I do so always pick it up again.
    emoticon

    557 days ago
  • ALEXSGIRL1
    when i went to a geneticist to see if my heart issue could be transferred to my children . he did a family background and my dad and my husbands dads were big drinkers. the geneticist told me to worry more about alcoholism in my children than heart issues, so no excuses just understanding , Hugs
    557 days ago
  • JHADZHIA
    I have read that about addictions being interchangeable and sugar is very highly addicting. The only way to break it is cold turkey, because even one little bit will trigger a binge. Genetics maybe. But maybe more epigenetic, turning on genes by what you eat and the environment you grew up in. Smoking runs in families.
    I never had a problem with sugar, my vice was salty snacks.
    I hope the improved pool works for you!
    557 days ago
  • WALLAHALLA
    I think genetics has a lot to do with everything. So does personality. My son and I both have addictive personalities. I've talked to him about this since he was young. We have to be very careful what we try to begin with, knowing what it can lead to.
    557 days ago
  • READY201811
    What a fantastic ending to 2018!!!! Back in your bathing suit again doing what you love. You fought sugar and won. And a fantastic motivator to so many of us. A truely happy ending
    557 days ago
  • MORTICIAADDAMS
    There are certainly addictive personalities and I have seen plenty of people who gave up one addiction to get another. I don't feel that I have an addictive personality. No one in my family has a problem with alcohol or drugs either so that may be a component. I have had addictive behaviors in the past, like smoking, but quit when I wanted to and never went back.
    557 days ago
  • PEZMOM1
    emoticon
    557 days ago
  • WATERMELLEN
    It would be great if your pool went salt-water . . . many many people are more comfortable with that.

    And yes: I absolutely believe that heredity plays a huge role in our predispositions of all kinds. Worth being alert about.
    557 days ago
  • NIGHTSKYSTAR
    i think there is a lot of proven wisdom in that. I know that many people who are alcoholics crave chocolate. i know that my mothers side of the family has generations of overweight alcoholics. we all have sweet tooths. and i could easily have become an alcoholic had i not nearly died one night from drinking too much, and been so scared from it i quit then and there. i have a drink once in a great while..and one is enough now. but back then? i drank far too much...
    557 days ago
  • 7STIGGYMT
    Hopefully things will be better wit the pool!
    557 days ago
  • POLSKARENIA
    The intricacies of our lives, nothing is ever easy!
    Very interesting blog!
    557 days ago
  • QUEENOTHEFOREST
    I get it that you are not trying to blame someone else. I think it helps to understand addictions because then the tools that others use to overcome their particular demons become accessible. The sugar at meetings thing has another purpose. Substitution of one less toxic addiction for another. I know recovering folks who substitute exercise or work or something like that and it works for them. Yes it is possible to over do. But for someone trying to break free of a killer addiction, worry about substituting one addiction for another is not so pressing.

    Beck uses positive habits to replace unhealthy habits. So repeating a list of advantages is a very desirable replacement. Getting mindfully "addicted" to an advantages list is a healthy substitute. Going to meetings is a healthier substitute than substance abuse, including booze and sugar. Likewise coming on line to Spark is similarly better. Much. Though some would say internet is an addiction too.

    Many years ago I read that behaviors can induce the same biochemical reaction in the brain as a drug or alcohol. That was a huge breakthrough for me in understanding. The article described the same brain reaction to drugs and to gambling. What?!!! So I realized that it might be possible to substitute healthy behaviors for unhealthy substances.

    I think that is why I take to Beck like I take to chocolate ice cream.
    557 days ago
  • LSIG14
    My doctor once commented that sugar and alcohol have the same chemical composition. He said he thought I was using sugar the same as an alcoholic uses booze - and it was a temporary fix at best, with long term consequences! I'm afraid the last few weeks I have lapsed terribly and I feel the difference. The genetic connection is interesting, but I can't use that as an excuse. I am so glad that your gym is cleaning up their pool issue - hopefully it will allow you to get back to something you enjoy (even if it's only a few times a week!) Happy New Year to you!
    557 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Yes, the same areas that light up for an alcoholic (or any substance abuser) light up when we use sugar AND salt! Those 2 things are cycled. Have on, you crave the other as well. **SIGH** Not easy.
    557 days ago
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