Beat Sugar Addiction Now! A Review of Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum's Book

beat sugar addiction now
Cover image courtesy of Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

We all know that sugar can be inflammatory, can sabotage weight loss efforts, and in general, should be limited -- or eliminated -- from our diet as much as possible. Yet, the average American eats 150 pounds of sugar each year. We now know that excessive sugar intake can contribute to a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and may be a root cause of the inflammation that can be a factor in cancer, heart disease, and other health issues.

For several decades, integrative internist Jacob Teitelbaum, MD has worked with patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, and hormonal imbalances. In his practice, he noticed that sugar addiction was frequently a contributing factor to illness, and helping patients resolve sugar issues and reduce sugar intake was an important component of recuperation and ongoing wellness. He has put together his recommended approach in his book Beat Sugar Addiction Now!: The Cutting-Edge Program That Cures Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Puts You on the Road to Feeling Great - and Losing Weight, co-written with Chrystle Fiedler.

According to Dr. Teitelbaum, going cold turkey on sugar is not an especially successful tactic. Instead, he recommends  a step-by-step approach that addresses the particular type of sugar addict you are.  That is why Dr. Teitelbaum provides quizzes to help readers identify the four key types of sugar addiction, which include:

  • Type 1: Hooked on "Energy Loan Shark" Drinks -- where daily fatigue is causing sugar and caffeine cravings
  • Type 2: Feed Me Now or I'll Kill You -- a type of sugar addiction common in thyroid patients, as it's triggered by adrenal fatigue and adrenal imbalance
  • Type 3: The Happy Twinkie Hunter -- sugar cravers who have chronic nasal congestion, sinusitis, spastic colon, or irritable bowel syndrome, indicative of candida/yeast overgrowth
  • Type 4: Depressed and Craving Carbs -- those who crave sugar around menstrual periods, menopause and andropause, and require hormone balance.

Once you have identified your particular type, Dr. Teitelbaum offers comprehensive, type-specific solutions, which include natural therapies, dietary recommendations, lifestyle changes, and mind-body approaches. The book also features the latest integrative approaches to resolve adrenal fatigue, candidiasis/yeast overgrowth, low energy, and hormone imbalance, which are issues that are common in people with thyroid and autoimmune disease.

A few particular highlights in Beat Sugar Addiction Now that I found especially interesting include the following: 

  • The book includes a thorough and very interesting comparison of the safety of various artificial sweeteners, including Sweet n' Low (saccharin), Splenda (sucralose), and Equal (aspartame).
  • Beat Sugar Addiction Now features cutting-edge information on d-ribose, a supplement that may help curb sugar cravings, add energy, lower your blood sugar, and aid in weight loss.
  • There is a very relevant discussion of the pros and cons Cortef/bioidentical cortisol/hydrocortisone as a treatment for adrenal fatigue.
  • There is useful information on the benefits and side effects of the drug metformin (brand name Glucophage) to help with better blood sugar control.
  • The book includes some surprising information on the role that parasites play in sugar cravings and weight challenges.

The main downside of the book has nothing to do with the content, but rather, the fact that you may find it especially challenging to find doctors and practitioners who will help you take the proactive approaches recommended by Dr. Teitelbaum in the book.

About Dr. Teitelbaum

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD attended medical school at Ohio State University. While in medical school, Dr. Teitelbaum developed chronic fatigue syndrome and took a medical leave from school for a year in order to recuperate. Since becoming a physician, Dr. Teitelbaum has made chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia a special area of focus in his medical practice. Hs is currently board-certified in internal medicine, and author of a number of books on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, pain management, and fatigue management.

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