Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Reflections on quitting sugar (fructose)

a fructose molecule. image via bigstockphoto.com
When I started out on this journey of quitting fructose, I did so because my skin had returned to its former acneic glory. I don't want to go down the route of Accutane, or more antibiotics. I don't want perfect skin, just skin that doesn't trouble me so much. And before I admit defeat and consult a dermatologist, I want to make sure that my lifestyle and what I put in and on my body are as wholesome and good as they can possibly be.

So with that goal in mind, I thought it would be good to reflect a little on how the last 6 weeks has been as a whole, and what I have learned from it, physically, and behaviourally. I'll do each one in a separate post.


 As I have mentioned in my weekly updates, I have become less bloated, my cheekbones and face in particular have more definition, and my fingers are less prone to swelling. My weight hasn't really dropped, but my size has - difficult to wrap your head around how you can lose inches but not pounds, but there you go. Clothes fit much better, I get less pre menstrual bloating etc.

Actually that is another thing I have noticed. When I started having periods again after 8 years of hormonal contraception, I got the worst PMS. Particularly my breasts, which in the days running up to my period would become swollen and uncomfortable. Not the last time (my experiment has straddled a couple of cycles, so we're heading towards the end of cycle 2 post quitting sugar), and what is more, my period did a complete change up - all of them post copper coil have been average flow and around 7 days in length, much like when I was a teenager. The last was incredibly heavy for the first day, average for the second, and very light for the third. And that was the end. Amazing. It might be a one off. I hope it isn't!

My skin, as mentioned has become better. Not quite where I want it, but the quitting sugar has made me reassess everything (I'll come to that in a minute), and I realised that there were other irritants that were basically not helping. So I've stripped my skincare down to a good clean regime, and removed known irritants, and that has helped a lot.

One thing that I've noticed that only really occurred to me as I was typing my final weekly update, is that I have had less latent joint pain since quitting sugar. If you don't know, I have joint hypermobility syndrome, or Type 3 Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I suffer from regular, constant joint pain, with added shooting pains for good measure. Since quitting sugar the background pain seems to have lessened, although overworking ligaments remains a problem as the condition is incurable. One of the most noticeable things is the fact that my feet don't hurt as much in the morning when I get up! I'd been having trouble in the mornings when I get up, or if I'd been sat on the sofa with my feet up for too long. I seem to be able to get up much better and not have to hobble around, which makes such a difference in the mornings!

Finally, I'd been struggling with being tired, and when I got tired I got uncoordinated. I'm still tired, but that's what happens when you are working long challenging weeks! But I'm not getting the shaky hands and lack of strength that I was getting before. Much more manageable!

So physically I've seen quite a few improvements, which is great. They might not be the wholesale improvements I'd hoped for, but I'll take any improvements to my quality of life!

Next time:Behaviour

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