Do I need to worry about sugar if I’m not diabetic?

Even if you don’t have diabetes, too much sugar is like poison in your system, and for this reason you should know the “alias” terms that are sugar in disguise: agave nectar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, maltose, muscavado, turbinado, molasses, rapadura, sucrose—and the list goes on!

In the early 1900s the average American consumed 25 lbs of sugar per year. Today, the average yearly intake of sugar is roughly 160 lbs!

Sugars do several things to your body:

  • Is Sugar a Concern if you Don't Have Diabetes?It sets you up to slowly, over 10-20, years develop diabetes from a condition called metabolic syndrome or “pre-diabetes,” causing burning, tingling and numbness beginning of neuropathy.

  • It replaces healthy foods in your diet, so you may lack of important nutrients.

  • It gives you too many calories, stored as fat, so you gain weight.

  • It can increase inflammation in your vessels, making the linings like Velcro rather than Teflon (a process called glycation) and increasing your blood pressure, with all the attendant problems that causes.

  • It promotes tooth decay.

  • It raises your triglyceride levels, which is bad for your entire body.

  • It increases inflammation throughout your body, which is bad for nerves, causing them to swell in respective tunnels such as carpel tunnel in the hand and tarsal tunnel in the foot.

  • It raises insulin levels, the absolute worst effect, increasing risk for not only nerve damage but damaging important muscle that control your vital organs as well.

  • It impairs your immune system.

  • It lowers your energy levels, especially after the hypoglycemic crash, which drives your system to crave even more sugar while the insulin remains high in your system…disaster!

Of these issues, the ones that affect your feet most directly are the raised glucose levels, which lead to all the above mentioned conditions of poor circulation, and the increase in inflammation—this can damage peripheral nerves and increase incidence of the “itis” conditions like Achilles tendonitis, bursitis, and plantar fasciitis.

At Parker Foot & Ankle, we see these conditions often; Dr. Parker is one of the country’s leading peripheral nerve surgeons, and we also provide care for a wide range of inflammatory foot conditions. We can also counsel you on healthy eating to build up your feet and head off painful problems. If you are ready to give sugar a break, call our Houston, TX office at (281) 497-2850 for help.
Dr. Robert Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.