Refined Sugar, Inflammation and Depression

I’m fairly certain my sugar addiction is related to decades of suffering from depression. They’re connected, but it’s a chicken and egg problem: Which came first?

Yeah, I had childhood trauma, but that was decades ago. Why has depression stuck with me for many trauma-free decades? Sure, I have problems, as we all do, but it doesn’t make sense for me to I feel relentlessly depressed when for years there’s been little reason for it.

And it made me mad. I tried exercise and dietary changes, as well as natural treatments like SAM-e, probiotics,  5-htp and cod liver oil, but depression stuck with me. Finally, two years ago, I started taking anti-depressants, and the depression lifted.

I hate taking medication of any kind, but taking medication for depression really depresses me. It feels like a Band-Aid that covers up the problem, but fails to address the underlying issue.

But what’s been making me feel depressed? Aside from the vagaries of life?

It wasn’t until I had children that I discovered I have food allergies as well as chemical sensitivities. I had hay fever when I was a child, but I outgrew it at around 13 years of age. It never occurred to me that I had food or environmental allergies as an adult.

But when an allergist diagnosed my five-year-old child with severe allergies, he told me I was the source of my child’s allergies. After testing, I discovered I have numerous allergies and chemical sensitivities. Fortunately, my allergies aren’t life-threatening, but they are serious.

I suspect my food allergies play a role in my depression that has to do with inflammation. I’m not a scientist, but I think this messy ball of sugar, allergies, and inflammation is the main reason I’ve been depressed for decades.

An article in the Washington Post a year ago made the connection between inflammation and depression.  I took from the article the basic premise that anything you can do to reduce inflammation in your body will (or might) help reduce or eliminate your depression.

I’ve been off most refined sugar for less than a couple months. Do I feel less depressed? Hmmm. At times, yes. I’ve cut my meds in half, and I still feel OK. I feel crummy about not eating sugar, though. I miss it. But until I’ve been off refined sugar for at least a year, I won’t have a good idea. I’ll explore this connection in future posts.

Until then, here’s an old recipe for chocolate mousse that’s made without refined sugar. You can up the dates or swap in a different sweetener for the maple syrup, if you wish. I allow maple syrup in my made-up rules for quitting refined sugar, so it’s OK for me as is. And it tastes great!

By the way, most of the recipes on this blog are made with little or no refined sugar. Look around and try a few!

Springhouse Turtle



You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply