Hi all - I've been eating paleo for over a year and a half. I've also been avoiding sugar. Over the past few months, two incidents have made me a little uneasy - in both cases, I overdid it with some higher sugar content foods (10 dates on one occasion, and then 4 blocks of 86% dark chocolate on the other). Each time, I experienced an extreme sugar high (feeling euphoric, silly, etc) followed a few hours later by the following symptoms: dizzy/lightheaded, flushed, weak, tingly fingers/hands, heavy-feeling limbs, strong heartbeat in my stomach, anxiety. These symptoms persisted for over an hour and were really uncomfortable. Wondering if my body is just reacting more intensely to sugar now that I'm abstaining from it, or if there's something else amiss. Let me know if you have any thoughts or similar experiences, o great hivemind!
When you eat a very low-carb diet, your body becomes somewhat insulin resistant just to spare the glucose derived from the few carbohydrates you eat for your brain and force your body to use other sources of fuel, such as fat and ketones.
This form of insulin resistance is not harmful for your health, unlike the kind of insulin resistance that happens in type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and PCOS, and is totally reversible.
If you suddenly eat a larger amount of carbs than usual, this can rapidly lead to high blood sugar levels since your body is in this insulin resistance mode. You can prevent this problem by increasing your carb intake more gradually over a few days to reverse that insulin resistance.
You can try measuring your blood sugar levels next time you want to eat a large amounts of sugar/carbs to see how your body react.
Many of us have sugar sensitively. It if I have it must be like taking cocaine or other drugs. I can achieve huge amounts after it. Work goes into over drive. it's incredible but not ultimately good for me. It is certainly not a placebo effect in any way. Radiantrecovery.com has a lot on the topic. Not everyone reacts to sugar in the same way. For me like you if I am off sugar and then have some it has a major effet. If I get back on to it and have it every day I need more and more and gradually the effect wears off. That is just like so many other drugs too. If I eat cacao blocks raw too it is the same - and they have the same effect on parts of the brain as speed (taste awful too as not sweet).
There's no such thing as a "sugar high", not even from the massive sugar binge you undertook when you ate a whopping 4 squares of Lindt 86% dark.