Today I’m going to reveal the primary metabolic imbalance that triggers cravings for alcohol and causes relapse. Amazingly this information is either unknown or ignored by most treatment centers; in fact, conventional treatment programs teach protocols that aggravated and exacerbated the problem. If that sounds preposterous, consider the never-ending revolving door of business and revenue that comes from not sharing this knowledge.
The primary metabolic imbalance I’m referring to is hypoglycemia—low blood sugar, the down side of the ever-shifting blood-sugar levels many people struggle with. Hypoglycemia’s connection to alcoholism is not new information. Over half a century ago, Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, sent communications to AA physicians with studies showing 95% of alcoholics are hypoglycemic. Alcoholics Anonymous discarded the information for not reflecting their ideological psycho-spiritual beliefs of alcoholism.
Dr. John Tintera, Charter Member of the New York Commission on Alcoholism and endocrinologist stated, “ the treatment of alcoholism centers on the control of hypoglycemia.1 By far the most important part of physiologic treatment is the complete restriction of easily absorbed carbohydrates.” He went on to warn, until severe blood sugar fluctuations are stabilized, “alcoholic’s will be predisposed to depression and what only appears to be deep rooted emotional and psychiatric disorders.” That was over 40 years ago, but it’s still not taught in schools that train licensed Alcohol/Chemical Dependency Counselors.
No doubt many mental health symptoms and hyper-cravings dominate counselor/client conversations, AA meetings, and late night calls to sponsors, yet the cause of these mental distortions is never broached. That’s because the treatment industry doesn’t like interpreting mental illnesses with medical words like “hypoglycemia; instead, they prefer to express alcoholism and the many symptoms alcoholics experience in psychological terms. Therefore, instead of hypoglycemia, they give us “the dry drunk syndrome.” E. M. Jellinek, Ph.D., respected author in the treatment industry, defines the Dry-Drunk Syndrome as “a manifestation of late withdrawal symptoms: indications of insufficient adaptation on the symbolic level to an alcohol-free life.” This illustrates the nonsensical confusion that results when a psychological explanation is substituted for the true understanding of a physical disease.
Here’s a comparison of the Dry-Drunk Syndrome and Hypoglycemia:
|Desire to Drink||Desire to Drink|
Medically speaking, our brain runs on glucose, and when it’s deprived many unpleasant symptoms result. Alcoholics, not understanding this problem unknowingly sustain their symptoms for years with a lifestyle that perpetuates the hypoglycemic cycle.
Here’s the pattern:
- A blast of glucose (from a high-carbohydrate, chemically infused, junk-food diet) hits the blood stream triggering a sudden spike in glucose levels.
- The pancreas responds to this sudden glucose shift by releasing insulin (the glucose destroying hormone) to restore blood sugar levels back to a normal range.
- Repeated challenges to the pancreas with glucose-spiking foods stimulates an over-response of too much insulin, which drives blood sugar levels below normal ranges (hypoglycemia), Furthermore, this persistent pattern weakens the adrenal glands ability to restore glucose levels back to a normal range, leaving the alcoholic in a prolonged symptomatic hypoglycemic state (hypoadrenocorticalism2).
- The glucose-deficient brain automatically sends a signal for more glucose (feels like sugar/alcohol cravings and many other uncomfortable “mental” states.
- Decision to eat more sugar, junk carbohydrates, or drink alcohol, is spontaneous.
Conventional treatment programs instruct clients to cope with this unhealthy scenario by keeping candy or other sugary sweets close at hand. True, sweets will provide short-term relief by bringing blood sugar levels back up, but it will also trigger the hypoglycemia pattern to start over again. In time this repetitive pattern will cause a great weakening to the endocrine system, relapse, loss of health, and major degenerative diseases to ensue.
When Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D. started her program, over 35 years ago, one of the first problems she concentrated on stabilizing was the fluctuating blood sugar level that destroys an alcoholic’s health, and drives their desire to drink. Her results were so impressive she wrote books and published a study to share the benefits. 3 Unfortunately the treatment industry has never recognized her contributions, in spite of her book being on the bestseller list. Nevertheless a fortunate public may still enjoy Dr Joan’s many innovative ideas practiced at her pioneering orthomolecular treatment center, Health Recovery Center.
Tintera, John W., Hypoadrenocorticism, Adrenal Metabolic Research Society of the Hypoglycemia Foundation, Inc., Mt Vernon, New York, 1969.
Tintera John W. The hypoadrenal state and its management. New York State Journal of Medicine, 55:13, July 1, 1955, 1-35.
J. Mathews-Larson and B. Parker, “Alcoholism Treatment with biomedical/biochemical Restoration as a Major Component,” International Journal of Biosocial and Medical Research 9, No. 1 (1987): pp 92-100.