Stop Being Sweet

Symptoms of Sugar Withdrawal


You might expect:

- sweating (without physical strain)
- jitters/shaky hands
- low energy
- crankiness
- depression
- anxiousness
- loss of sleep
- lack of motivation
- strange dreams
- anticipated rituals unfulfilled
- boredom
- overspending on stuff (when you would have purchased snacks)
- gas
- bloating
- possible weight gain
- constipation or diarrhea
- strong hunger
- not feeling satisfied even after eating a lot
- frequent urination
- strong thirst
- the need for naps
- heavy deep naps that can last up to four hours if you lay down mid-day
- overeating
- transference of compulsive behavior to other areas of you life (smoking, drinking, sex, gambling, shopping or more productive things like biking, knitting, yoga, and tai chi, sex, etc.)

Also see Why Quit Sugar.

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Comments 104



I went on a terrible sugar binge last night, and am paying the price today. I am experiencing sleepiness, anxiety nausea, and lack of appetite. I will never binge like that again. It ruined my entire day!



Sorry to hear. Drink lots of water and start anew! smile



David, I did just that; I drank a lot of water. I’m fine now, but looking back to yesterday, that was the worst “hangover” I’ve ever had! I used to drink beer and have those college hangovers, but never had experienced a sugar one. The sugar one was by far the worst! I never realized until yesterday what a powerful drug sugar is!



I stopped eating sugar yesterday cold turkey.  I have been experiencing headache, nausea, vomiting, and sleepiness.  How long will this last? And, what can I expect in the days to come?



That feeling of crashing after eating too much sugar is the worst Karenlynn!

Janine, it will most likely last for a week or so. Make sure you eat healthy alternatives and drink lots of water. Take a walk and avoid hard exercise. It’s worrisome that you’re vomiting, however.



Thank you, David.  The vomiting came the first full day of cutting out the sugar.  Have not done so any more.  Drinking lots of water. Walking to help curb cravings. Just wish this headache would go away!



Gently move your spine. Also, eat replacement foods and avoid your trigger foods! Hang in there, it gets better. If you give up and go back to sweets, you have to do this all over again in the future.



Janine, I know how you feel! I am still having daily headaches and some nausea. My appetite has sharply decreased. After dinner last night, I did have some severe sugar cravings. I had no idea what sugar is capable of until recently. I’ve always stayed away from sweets; no sugar in my coffee, unsweet ice tea etc. That one binge however sent me over the edge. Experiencing low energy, but am getting back on track. Best of luck with your situation!



I am 2 days sugar free and on top of headaches, nausea, and fatigue, I feel SO bloated! I expected the other symptoms but not this!



The first few weeks are the most difficult. If you slip up and eat sweets during that time, you have to repeat the first few weeks all over again!



Have not had a sugar episode since Aug. I really learned a good lesson. How can something so “innocent” cause such harm? Sugar is definitely a drug!



One week without sugar! Oh god I feel like my head is going to explode. It’s awful, like the flu. Hope it gets better soon.



i have gone 2 days cold turkey without sugar. i have no energy at all and get killer headaches! i always feel tired but i can never sleep! This sucks!!



It gets much better, trust me! Make sure you drink lots of water and eat replacement foods. Consider joining this week’s Sugar-Free Challenge.



Day two of no sugar and it’s not a fun at all! The cravings and mood instability are overwhelming. That goes to show that that white crystalline substance called sugar is truly a drug!!



“Addictive” is certainly a good word to describe the stuff!



I am 6 days sugar free and miserable.  No headaches but stomach cramping, fatigue, weakness and diarrhea.  Anything to help?



Yes, EAT! Eat healthy foods. Drink lots of water. Fill your stomach with veggies and keep going. This will pass. smile



The headache is killing me.  So tired it’s ridiculous.  I am really striving not to cave in and have some sugar.  I love bananas and they help.  Why, oh why must it last a week or more???  I do feel like I have a mild flu.  That’s really odd.



Don’t give up! This is the place where many turn back. There is a wonderful place on the other side of these cold and dark mountains. Keep going…



I quit 3 days ago, I can’t concentrate and my brain is all blergh! I will not fail now though, I’m not starting this again! I’m shakey, nauseous, weak and SO tired!



Hang in there, Dani!



it’s day 9 and i feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. My sugar intake has been less than 26 grams a day these past nine days (i used to average 120+ grams a day). i have a lot of anxiety and am feeling depressed. I’m exercising 4 times a week and that helps but the weekends are the worst. I can’t concentrate, my body aches, and I feel like I have the flu. When will this end? I’m also having terrible mood swings. Is this what sugar withdrawal really feels like? thank god i never smoked or did drugs. this is absolutely painful.

debbie v.


I was wondering if giving up sugar can cause you to feel nauseated?
It’s only been 3 days and i feel terrible…like i have the flu.  I was also wondering how long this will last?



It can take several weeks to several months before you stabilize—depending on how much sugar you cut out, how fast you stop, and how your particular body chemistry reacts.



Hi. I have been sugar free for almost three months now. It was quite a quick transition for me but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing bowel problems, awful bloating, constipation, pain in the intestins that’s killing me. It’s so depressive. The problem is I had a bar of chocolate yesterday and my symptoms seemed to disapear. Only I’m craving sweet chocolate again and my bowel seems to “threaten” me after every meal and I can’t help thinking I should maybe grab another chocolate bar :(



I have been sugar free for 3 weeks. The first week was ok, but filled with anxiety. The 2nd week I had intense cravings for sugar, everything smelled like chocolate, the anxiety increased, and I had headaches.
This past week the anxiety has increased again to where Im over the top agitated, can’t sleep, over-reacting to EVERYthing. I’ve had diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, tons of gas.
Majda, I’m sorry to hear that you are 3 months out and having such symptoms. Does anything seem to help?
I’m just hoping I still have friends after things calm down. I’m really feeling out of control —however the one thing I will not do is eat sugar, no matter what.



Lucy, Majda, what are you eating as replacement foods?



Hi David - I eat a lot of protein, some fresh fruit. Im also gluten free and dairy free. I’ve had weight loss surgery (lap band), so there isn’t a lot of room for food; Im supposed to get a lot of protein each day, so I have to eat that first while there is still room.
Do you have suggestions for replacement foods?



Lucy, so it’s not just going off sugar that you’re dealing with—your whole system has changed! You’re being seen differently, you feel different, and everything happens so quickly. Are you in touch with other people who have gotten the same surgery? How long has it been since you got it?

Here are some replacement food suggestions.



Hi David,
Yes, my whole life has changed. I had the surgery 2.5 years ago. For the last 2 years I’ve had mystery symptoms that seem to be a complication—though western medicine cannot address it. It involved my throat and what made it feel much better was bread and butter :(
Long story short, acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage have worked a miracle and I am now feeling a lot better (not completely) and have the will power and motivation to get healthy again. Not so distracted with pain and discomfort. Thank you for the list of replacement foods! I will go read that now.
Thank you, also, for your response.



Hi Lucy, David,
Lucy, I’m sorry to hear about your symptoms, that must be hard to deal with. Having someone by your side is very important. My mom doesn’t wanna understand and keeps talking me into eating sugar again. She says you gotta be “normal”!
Thank God I have a friend who really supports me.
David, For replacement food, I eat a lot of protein, fruits, veggies, good fats and nuts, and I eat a handful of dates a day, sweet and delicious. I also drink up to 2 litters of water a day.
Unlike Lucy, I’m not dairy free. last month, I tried to go gluten free for a couple of weeks, but it didn’t seem to change anything so I’m back to eating whole wheat with moderate portions.
It could be stress, I mean it definitely is stress because I believe there is a sort of drug in sugar, and since my body is craving that drug, it’s sending signals to my brain that come out as stress. And since I’ve always had bowel problems when I stress out, it totally tells me it’s the sugar.
My diet is super balanced. I tested causality and dairy and whole grains are not what irritate my bowel.
I went to the doctor but he only gave me a bunch of medicines that made my irritation and bloating worse. My blood and stool analysis showed that everything is fine with me. It’s only when I had a chocolate bar that I understood that it was sugar so I googled withdrawal side effects and I was shocked to read all that stuff. I had no idea sugar withdrawal would get me in all that trouble!!
I have to say it was much worse when I was not able to know what was wrong with me, now once I feel my bowel I take a couple deep breaths. Yoga helps a whole lot. Since I had sugar again I’m gonna make a detox by fasting a week or so. I’ll let you know how it turns.
Thank you so much for everything.
I’m sorry my message was quite long.



Day 8 without sugar
I’ve been feeling fine but today i have been so thirsty it is ridiculous, I’ve probably been drinking at least 5-6 litres during the day and I am still thirsty.
Does anyone else have that experience?
I also feel a little confused and restless.
day 8 without sugar.
I’ve been feeling fine but today i have been so thirsty it is



Low blood sugar levels can cause dizziness, moodiness, and restlessness.  Thirst is also common. Eating complex carbs and proteins can help.



Hi Camilla
I havent especially been thirsty, but I imagine your body is signaling you to continue to flush out the toxicity of sugar. So it sounds like a good idea to flush away!
I have just finished my 4th week of being sugar free.  I’ve had quite a bit of anxiety, lack of ability to sleep, my face is breaking out; I had one where my body felt like my finger was stuck in an electrical socket - energy zinging every which way.
I have heard that if you have an abundance of yeast growth in your intestinal trac (which feed off sugar), when you stop feeding the yeast and it dies off - you can experience a lot of weird and intense symptoms.
My acupuncturist recommended a product—Im not sure naming products is allowed here, so I won’t say what it is—- but I have high hopes that it will help me.
I think everyone is different in what they can handle and in what their body needs.  Going off sugar is no small feat—so hang in there everyone who is doing this!  Let’s see whats on the other side smile



Thank you Lucy smile
The yeast growth sounds nasty, a very good reason to stay off sugar.
I’m on day 10 now and feel very proud, no added sugar at all and the thirst did calm down a bit, drinking alot of water though to “clean out ” the system



Hi Camilla
Sounds like you’re doing great!  congratulations on hanging in there smile



For a few months I’ve been having “a little sugar” after being off sugar for a couple months. The “little bit” turned into a huge 5 day binge. Now, I’m on day 5 totally sugar-free and it’s been horrible. Last night I was so depressed, having suicidal ideation (don’t worry - I will not act on it), crying, angry. I haven’t been able to function in the day and haven’t been able to sleep at night. I hope I remember this in the future so I don’t have to go through withdrawal again. I can not eat “a little sugar.” I also have Intercystial Cystitis so there’s a lot of healthy food I can’t eat, which is tough. So glad I can come to this site and read the comments; it’s very helpful.



I was so glad to see this site. Today is my 4th day off sugar, cold turkey. I am feeling so yucky. Cold chills, so very tired, fatique is getting to me, fuzzy mind, nausea, just an over all feeling of being sick. I will be soooo very glad when the light at the end of the tunnel comes. I want so much to be feeling better. Sorry that you all are going through this too. Just glad there are others out there who understand. God Bless.



Hi everyone,
I am on my 8th day of being sugar free. I have been having shakes with veggies and a little fruit. That seems to help a little. You don’t want your shakes to be too sweet though or you will use those the same way you used sugar, so stick with less sweet fruits. Also, I just recently learned that ginger tea helps with headaches. I use the Yogi brand. It is very strong, so I do add a very small amount of honey. More like a 1/4 teaspoon.
I have a question for anyone that has experience with this. Why is it that last week was easier than this week?? I am craving sugar more in week 2 and I am super tired and moody. I thought it was supposed to get better, not worse.



I’m thankful for this site!  I have started refined sugar free diet and I am on day 3.  The headache has continued since yesterday and today I’m nauseous and have no appitite plus I’m cold.

I am glad to know that this is only temporary!  I am forcing myself to eat to prevent starvation mode.  I never knew that sugar had this affect!



I am on my 5th day of being sugar free. I had a horrible headache that lasted from middle of day 1 to end of day 2. Other than that, I wasn’t experiencing many other symptoms until last night. My nose would not stop running and still hasn’t and I have this cough that does not end. I am constantly coughing up mucus and have to blow my nose within minutes of just blowing my nose. I can’t seem to find any blogs that have these symptoms listed. I also cut out most carbs from my diet. The carbs I am consuming come from veggies and nuts. I am not eating any fruit. Before my sugar cut off, I was eating a TON of sugar. I am an emotional eater and sweets were my go to.



I have been off sugar for 15 days now. This is the worst I have ever felt. I experienced, nausea, chills, muscle aches, bones ache, so very tired, can’t sleep though, fatique hits me and I have to lay down. I feel nutty, fuzzy headed. I am so hoping this will pass soon. I am not craving sugar, just feel like if I eat some sugar I will feel better, you know, caving in. I am a fighter though, so no sugar, dairy for me. I quit cold turkey. I know that the light is there, just will be so happy to see it.



I have bipolar II and am giving up sugar for my moods.  It’s day 3 and my lower stomach and back are killing me.  My head doesn’t hurt yet today, so that’s good.  My legs feel rubbery, like I need to repeatedly stretch them. 
My moods are doing great though.  Amazingly stable.  I just hope my back feels better soon.



Oh but after the first day no cravings, which is very surprising, and makes it much easier to deal with than the last time I did this a few years ago.



Hello all, Day 22 no sugar, no dairy. I still feel weak in the legs, tired every day, when I get up I’m tired and when I go to bed, I’m tired. Tired of being tired. I do feel better than when I started 22 days ago. Trying to hang in there and wake up feeling more energy and less fatique. I know this is worth it, I am so happy that I did this. Not fuzzy headed any more and mood swings are gone. Legs feel tired and achy still but I can live with that, just want the fatique to go. Patience, that’s what my husbands says to me. Good news is, I have lost 7 pounds. That’s a plus.



Given up sugar, artificial sweetners, wheat, flour and cheese almost 4 weeks ago. Still fighting fatigue. When does the fatigue pass?



That’s a lot you’ve given up. Mary. If you are eating new foods in place of all that (instead of just eating less) then figure three to six months before your body catches up.



Hi everyone
I continue to be sugar free, dairy free, and gluten free. I feel so much better! The last thing I gave up was sugar, since February.
The first month was rough. Now I feel great most of the time. However, I thought the symptoms of detox were gone—but this past week I have had severe fatigue and very thirsty (which I have read are detox symptoms).  So, it’s hard to say exactly how long this will go on.
What I can say, is that Im very glad I sugar free and have no regrets, no matter how tough it was there for a while.



Hi - I looked everywhere on the internet for answers, and found this.  I’m on day 6 of the 21-DSD.  I’ve had the usual symptoms (headaches, lethargy, cravings).  Also, as with Issa above, I’ve had a constant runny nose but claritin helps me with that.  But 3am this morning, I was violently ill.  Has this happened to anybody before?  I have an iron stomach, and never EVER get stomach bugs, even when they rip through the house.  The last time I vomited was during childbirth 13 years ago.  So I can’t explain it other than as a sugar withdrawal symptom.  I have to add that I was a true sugar-addict - I never ate breakfast, lived on nuts and cheese till the afternoon, and, often, a bag of candy for dinner.  So I was expecting severe withdrawal symptoms, but riding the Porcelain Bus for an hour last night was not what I was expecting.  I have zero appetite today, which is good - I was dreading my first weekend, sugar and alcohol-free.  Thanks in advance for any insight.  Elise



Hi Everyone,
Congrats on defeating sugar.  Day 2 for me…......soooooo tired and the runs.  Have discoved Roasted Dandelion Tea and Chai Tea….. seems to help smile



I’m on my 8th day without sugar or sweeteners of any kind. I’ve been aware of my addiction for some time, even to the point that there is an alcohol connection for me. It’s either a drink or dessert . . . and never just one. I do wake up with sugar hangovers (without alcohol). I found a wonderful book by Anne Katherine entitled ANATOMY OF A FOOD ADDICTION, which addresses the physical and emotional causes of sugar addiction. Anyway, I was doing great - some cravings but eating 2-3 whole fruits daily helps, drinking lots of water, walking, feeling less tired, no more heartburn, but lots of bowels elimination! Day 7, however, was horrible! I was a nervous wreck, anxious, emotional, snappy, wanting to crawl out of my own skin and craving a sweet fix, knowing that it would make me feel so much better. I did not give in, but I’m worried now that the worst is yet to come. It was great to discover this forum and to see that there are so many others struggling with the same affliction (not that I want anyone to suffer through this) who understand how very real this addiction is. Thank you all so much for sharing! I look forward to being part of the conversation.



I’ve been feeling nauseous for almost 3 months now, with other symptoms that come and go. I have been from doctor to doctor getting way too many tests done. Blood work, urine work, pregnancy tests, sonograms and CT scans on my pelvic and abdominal area, MRI on my head, an endoscopy and a biopsy on my stomach. Everything keeps on coming back negative/normal. Within those three months I had gas, constant headaches (like pressure in my head), bloating after every meal, heavy sick feeling in my stomach, hot/cold flashes, etc. I thought back to what happened a few weeks before this all happened and I realized I had quit sugar cold turkey and make a joke to my mom that I might have sugar withdrawal and she said that I might be right. After researching it seems like I do have it…but I don’t if I can actually get diagnosed by a doctor for it. 3 months is a pretty long time and I don’t know when my body will finally adjust…because I’ve eaten sugar for YEARS as in like I’ve been overweight basically my whole life.



Hi Michelle, it’s highly doubtful that a doctor will diagnose sugar withdrawal. Did they do blood sugar tests when doing your blood work? What are you eating to replace your sugar intake? Have you had any sugar over the past three months and felt better in your stomach as a result?



Been sugar free for about 32 days—and the first week was just absolutely terrible.  I was afraid to even leave my house because I knew I would rush into a store and gulp down a can of soda.  My desire for a cola was so intense, I just refused to eat for 48 hours because I knew that with one bite of food I would have to drink a Coke.  In the second week, I had very little desire to eat and I would sleep for about 18 hours a day.  In hindsight, make sure you have about a month of vacation lined up for the sugar detox.  Third week I felt lightheaded but with no mood swings.  I still would have the occasional intense craving for a cola.  On the fifth week—I have better control over my cravings—they last about 10 minutes—but I believe I have finally kicked my sugar habit.  I realize tho—I will always be an addict—just need to stay away.  I have lost 12 pounds—and I feel so restful and at peace with myself.



Congrats Teddy, glad to hear you made it through five weeks.  I am on my 4th day and feeling terrible.  Can anyone offer any suggestions for the severe stomach pain



Hi Kurt,

Drink lots of water. Eat veggies and borderline replacement foods.



It’s been over 4 months since I had my stomach issues and I’m starting to doubt I’m going through a sugar withdrawal because I’m not getting any better. I can’t drink anything cold it has to be either room temperature or hot. I can’t drink water at all or any fruit juices without it irritating my stomach. The only thing I can drink is room temperature iced tea, powerade, and hot tea. But only a few mouthfuls at a time. I can only eat simple foods like boiled potatoes, boiled chicken, veggies, and crackers or bread with a little jelly. I’ve lost 45 pounds since this all happened because I’m barely able to eat.



Hi Michelle, sorry to hear you’re still feeling ill. Have you tried Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture? Also, do you know if your stomach is overly acidic? There are paper strips you can get that you touch to your tongue and they tell you if you’re too acidic. It’s called PH testing tape. If it shows you’re too acidic, you can start taking steps to reduce the acid in your body by eating certain foods and drinks.



Michelle, I believe you are suffering from acid reflux.  Your stomach has been so used to coping with insane amounts of sugar and carbs that it produced and is still producing lots of acid to deal with your former way of life.  I believe your body will adjust but it will take time.  For me, I still cough after meals from my stomach acid still reaching my lower throat—but I noticed recently that it is less intense as the weeks go by.  However, my heart is full of joy that I am no longer a slave to sugar and I hope you never go back to sugar as well.



Whenever I stop eating sugar, I have symptoms so severe that no one believes me, including doctors. I go into a deep depression after a few days, which is followed by extreme anxiety. The anxiety includes episodes of tachychardia where my heart will suddenly take off and beat about 250 or more beats per minute. These episodes last about 10 or 15 minutes and are quite terrifying. They usually happen in the middle of the night and I can only hang on for dear life waiting for my heart to slow down. These symptoms last about 2 months or longer before I start to feel better. Unfortunatley, I fell off the wagon on my last attempts and resumed eating sugar sIowly but surely. I am currently not eating sugar for what is hopefully the last time. The symptoms have been a bit less severe this time, thank goodness.



Wow—that is insane!  Do I believe you?  100 percent I do believe it.  We are so addicted to a sugar us and all our friends that no sugar lifestyles is something utterly new to us.  We are all jumping off the wagon together and relating our journeys.  Can’t jump off the wagon and not expect some bruises.



wow, this is so inspiring: well done to all of you living sugar free; and hang in there, your tenacity is motivating and helpful.
I am on day 9 and I have bloating, headache, feel fragile, I have anxiety and gloominess, gas, dry skin, lethargy and fatigue.
I am eating plenty fruit, vegetables, starches such as brown rice, lentils etc; I am pleased with my diet, I do feel better and I am optimistic and determined. I have been a sugar addict for 40 years, since early childhood.
I am finding liquorice tea to be soothing and bananas, apples and tahini (sesame seed spread), also potatoes.
I am taking a muscle repair supplement as well as evening primrose oil.
I would be desperately sad to fall off the wagon and I have no intention of doing so.



hi everyone,
I am starting my sugar detox tomorrow and plan on staying off sugar for good. I will eat naturally occurring sugar, from from and such but no added sugar. I am scared. I feel like I am going into rehab. I am most likey going to suffer because I am loading up on sweets now. I hope I get thew this.



I just gave up sugar again for the umpteenth time. Well, this time the withdrawal is the worst. Chills, can’t sleep, congested, fatigue, worse muscle/body aches I have ever had. This is day 3 and I just want to cry.  The flu or withdrawal symptoms?  I don’t know?

Lyn O'Donnell


Day 5..I am type2 diabetic .. Blood sugar levels now 4 to 6 which is amazing.. we’re 10 to 20…having 20 units less insulin..feeling good except for the diarrhoea and stomach pain when I eat ..I’m not at all hungry and have to force myself to eat.. Can only get better .. Very happy 😍



Day 1 of NO sugar/caffine (breaking my Frappachino addiction cold turkey)
All day I’ve had a terrible headache in the back lower area of my head and shoulder muscle aches.



Just eat some sugar, for crying out loud. I went off sugar for about five weeks and have been constipated for as long! I’ve developed hemorrhoids because of this! Last night, for 4th of July, my husband and I had cake and ice cream. I pooped this morning! I’m back to coffee without sugar, and I’ll continue to try cutting out sugar FOR THE MOST PART, but not much is worse than not being able to evacuate your bowels. Probably not a better way to get really, really sick, either! Renal failure anyone? Not for me, thanks!



I am, thankfully, staying sugar-free, because I had the ability and good fortune to get through the painful detox and come out somewhere near the other end - now I am more healthy than ever and have been sugar-free for six months, and continue to be so.



Day 14 no sugar have had headaches today first day headache free .. Have bipolar my mood has been really good.. feeling positive knowing i am making a healthy choice for myself. Today heaps of energy cleaned cupboards not done for years and did so effortlessly very unlike me…so far so good if this is what quitting sugar does think I will make it a lifelong change…



I stated eating healthy the last four days small meals pretty much no sugar been going to the gym and hour a day .today I feel horrible bad headache shaking dry mouth and diarrhea increase anxitey. It is because I changed a kot in a few days and I used to eat a lot of sugar like most of my diet .will this pass I feel like I’m withdrawling ?



It will pass. It’s that kind if physical reaction that keeps people from going off sweets. Drink lots of water and eat replacement foods. Lots of veggies will help too.



Day 3 of reduced sugar.  I’m really not counting how many grams.  I’m basically avoiding Dr. Pepper, fast food, and white bread.  If I eat pasta, it has to be whole grain.  So far so good.  I’m pre-treating the headaches.  Usually I wouldn’t start having headaches until 9 or 10:00 in the morning if I hadn’t had a soda.  So, I’m taking an Aleve in the morning and then 6 hours later.  Tomorrow I’ll cut out the second Aleve in the afternoon.  Next Monday, I’ll cut it out completely.  No headaches.  No irritability.  I am having cravings like crazy for fast food and sugar.  But, some of my issues are already getting better.  I am not diabetic, but I did have some pre-diabetic symptoms.  So far so good.  It’s a long hard road.  Weekends are the hardest which is why I started on a Monday .. Wanted 5 full days before the weekend hit.  Yeah, I know I’ll have my slip ups, but I have to at the very least consistently cut out soda.  That’s an absolute must for me.  On the down side, I am peeing like crazy.  I started the greatly reduced sugar thing on Monday morning.  By Monday night, I had to pee all the time.  I peed 3 times while getting ready for bed.. had to get out of bed twice.  That’s been the only huge symptom for me so far.



How’s it going now, Murph?



I’m surviving.  Actually, my blood sugar is sitting in the high 70s.  Blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect.  I’ve dropped 15 pounds, but I probably have 15 more to go.  I fell off the wagon pretty hard for a week or so after severely straining my calf. While running.  But, I’ve been back in track for over a month now.  Hopefully I’ll be able to run again in December.



Glad to hear you are recovering and are on track. Hope you get running soon!



I’m currently on Day 3 of a 6 week elimination diet (no sugar, no dairy, no gluten) and OMG I feel like death! I found this post through a quick google search last night. I thought I was crazy with the intense symptoms I’m experiencing, but on reviewing my diet from the last few years, I have used sugar as my primary energy source throughout the day (yoghurt, muesli, fruit, biscuits, cakes and always, always made room for dessert…doesn’t help that I love to bake sweets!)...I’m definitely addicted & just never realised how bad the withdrawal symptoms are! It’s kind of disturbing to realise these things, but I’m also feeling really proud of myself, as I never thought I’d even contemplate giving up my sweet treats. So far the worst symptoms have been constant nausea (& pretty much zero appetite as a result), diarrhoea, headaches, muscle pain and moodiness. Breakfast is the most difficult as I’m not even allowed fruits on this particular part of the diet. I am over eggs, meat, raw nuts & vegetables…and it’s only day 3!! Anyway, stay strong all! We can do this!



I gave up sugar two days ago and I am so bloated. anyone else have this issue and how long did it last???  It is so discouraging…I didn’t have a “belly” before hand but now I do. :(  Will this go away?  As I said it is so discouraging, I want to go back to sugar…but won’t!!!



Yes, bloating will go away so keep off the sweets!



been day 4 for me and I my biggest issue is deep depression and lack of energy. Encouraging to hear others experiences. Will try to hang in there.



The symptoms of withdrawal are the reasons to stop using sugar. I no longer use sugar (it will be a year in January) and I think my detox has completed now - so for me, it took a fair amount of time. I don’t have deep depression or bloating or anxiety or chronic fatigue, all of which I had both on sugar and when withdrawing. Hang in there and let the symptoms encourage you to keep hanging in there, because the symptoms are showing you what sugar does to you, and the way out is through. Or, as I did many times (though not in the year of recovery that is coming to completion now) - fall off the wagon, get back on, until there is balance and no more falling off: It can be done, it can be done, it can be done.



My husband and I have been working toward cutting out the sugar in our diet over the past few weeks. Week one we cut out the soda. Week two, the alcohol. By week four, all refined sugar. This past week I’ve had a screaming headache and have been having trouble sleeping. At first I thought it was the caffeine, but I’ve cut out the soda before and the headache usually only lasts a day or two. After reading your posts I feel much more ‘normal’... I can gut this out as long as I’m sure these side effects will pass. Thanks!



I’m glad to find this site and I’m hoping it’s still read and advice still given.  So I know I have a problem with sugar.  It’s my drug of choice as they might say and I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs.  But I love the sugar loaded refined foods and I turn to them when I’m stressed.  Decided a week or so ago, after putting on my typical winter weight, to cut sugar out of my diet.  Cold turkey.  The first two days, I thought honey was OK, read somewhere that it was.  I then read an article that convinced me that honey was just like having sugar, even it is the natural, unrefined kind.  So last Wednesday, 9 days ago, I started giving up sugar.  I went through the uglies, even in those first couple days of a TBSP of honey in yogurt in the evening.  Wednesday, Thursday, I was so very tired.  Spiny head and a headache late in the evening.  Over the weekend, wasn’t so bad.  Headache seemed to lose it’s grip on Friday afternoon.  Not too bad Saturday, Sunday.  I really felt like I was on top of it.  That’s how it went in the past, a week of yuk and then out of it.  Well Monday as the day wore on, my headache came back.  I’ve been so tired.  Could just fall asleep.  I’m on Day 9 of being off the stuff.  I’m fighting the impulse that I’m just sick.  Feels like I am.  I feel cold, head woozy (headache most days by late in the day).  The fatigue.  And weirdly, I’m struggling with anxiety!  Just worked up about stuff.  I’ll be honest, I am at the point that if sugar will make me feel better, fine.  This is wearing me out.



Don’t give up, Larz. I felt that way too, but am feeling much better now… Still have headaches in the afternoon sometimes and I also feel like I could just about sleep anywhere, but I’m making a decision to hang in there. If my body thinks it needs something THAT bad (that I KNOW isn’t good for me) then I have to find a way to ‘kick’ it! We’ve been ‘sugar-free’ for a few weeks now and I’m finally having some ‘good’ days (you know, days I don’t feel like hurting someone for a piece of chocolate! haha). Hang in there!



Larz, never give up! You’re learning a new skill and it’s gonna take some time and discomfort before you’re a master. You’ve removed a coping mechanism (sugar) and so all your inner baggage is going to come to the surface and have no way to be relieved for a while. That means you’re gonna deal with some of the stuff that makes you want to eat sweets when you’re stressed in the first place. The good news about doing so is that you’re going to grow in ways you’d never expect just from going sugar-free.



It gets easier and smoother as I go along, even when there are bumps, such as recently eating sugar due to feeling under pressure because of Easter and my birthday coming up. Still, I am more determined than ever and I do very much enjoy life without sugar use.

Hang in there Larz; the only way out is through.



Thank you for your responses.  Just like last Monday, when I woke up feeling really go, headache free, on top of the anxiety, only to cruise right back there by the end of the day, yesterday was another good day.  Out of the blue, just felt great.  Then woke up with that familiar headache, spiny head thing and feel lousy today.  Have any of you have these random breaks in the sugar withdrawal symptoms?  I am on day 11 and hanging in there.  Glad to have all your support.



Sorry about the typo.  One finger typing…ugh.  I woke up last Monday and felt good.

I was thinking of my note and for the sake of those who are following me now and those that will be on this journey later, here is what I have experienced so far.

The bad:
Really do feel flu like, without the major congestion.
Tired…oh so tired.  Just wanted to go to sleep at the end of the day.
This is fun, couldn’t sleep when I then tried, or would go a couple hours and wake up.
Moody…especially anxiety.  Should preface this by saying I can tend toward anxiety but cope well.  This is weirder, like it has me not able to cope as well.
Runny nose…could be winter, but doesn’t feel like a cold.
Headache…this one is hard.  Coming from my shoulders through my neck and bang…in my head.
Spiny head/swimmy head.  Can just get woozy a bit.
Stomach hurts from time to time.  Like an acid stomach pain.  Can be mild, can really hurt. 
Bloat….something newer today.
Weight gain initially.  A couple pounds.  With the drastic cut in eating that goes with this as so many calories come from sugar products I was eating, I expected to be losing!

The Good:
Less joint soreness.  My knees tend to ache especially after exercise.  I ave noticed improvement there.  Less inflammation just has to be good for me in general in was I don’t even feel so much.

Weight loss.  Finally stared showing up.

On those two up days, I felt great!  Don’t know what changed or why, but it was great.  I am hoping that there is more of this as time goes on.



Yes, I have had the random great days: I don’t think they are random really, just everything comes together on those days until there is more healing to do the next day.

In a way, I still have them: what I am going through at the moment ( triggered by deep healing taking place, ironically) is that I have great days and then from deep underneath (because I have been working this a long time, and it goes deep for me) some trauma comes up for healing - may be what we are calling a bad day, or a random bad day - and mostly I win, stay on the wagon, and lately I have lost and fallen off. However, I am back on now and my resolve is stronger than ever, and it is wheat addiction I am healing now, which has its own set of associations and is linked to sugar addiction. So, I think, ‘bad days’ are when healing is taking place.

I can relate so much to your list of symptoms, and I feel so sick now from recent wheat and sugar use. A few good ones I have are a sense of hope and confidence, an ‘edge’ that I am non- using and freeing myself, and a natural euphoria and energy and strength I never had on sugar.

I live on a different level, sugar free, and I absolutely crave it now, having lost it lately. Tomorrow is another ( sugar/ wheat free day).



Just checking into document my journey for those who might follow.  Things have mellowed out as far as symptoms.  Headaches are getting better.  Found that going to the chiropractor for a neck adjustment helped.  My headaches came from my neck into my head.  The extreme fatigue has gotten better, though I still get tired, just not as severe.  Spinning head comes and goes, but is also better.  So all good things so far.

Have noticed that my joints, especially my knees don’t hurt as much after exercise.  In fact, I wasn’t sweating normal there for a while, like very little which is not usual for me.  But literally the last two days, it’s been more normal for me.  I have good energy in the morning, although sleep isn’t as solid for me…been a while since I slept through the night. 

I suppose my biggest frustration, and question to others who have been through this, is surprisingly little change to my weight, although trying and in fact, find that it tends to go up rather than down.  Not much, but to be frank, I expected it to fall off like water!  When I’ve started “diets” in the past, I’d see big loss the first week or two.  Here, I weighed in exactly where I was one month ago.  Don’t understand but I see weight gain was a symptom of withdrawal.  Any other experiences with that?

Today I’ve started to follow my calories a little more in the hope of making sure I’m not overeating.  I feel like my eating has been better though (just giving up sugar is better) and not doing anything unusual outside that in the form of compensation.  But I really want to see results on that scale!



Some folks claim to lose a ton of weight right off the bat when they go off sweets. However, I found the opposite. When I went off sugar I was constantly hungry at first and always looking to satisfy my cravings. The result was that I ended up eating more of other stuff—mostly carbs. I experienced the same with my joints. When I eat sugar they are more stiff, click more and sometimes hurt.

Here’s a post about going off sugar to lose weight.



I’ve been off sugar for 7 days now and I’m struggling.  I quit cold turkey.  My doctor told me not to eat anything that tasted sweet,  so that includes artificial sweeteners, honey, agave and everything.  I am also a Type 2 diabetic so I ate a lot of artificial sweeteners and would let myself have up to 25 grams of sugar a day.  The bad thing is that I have no energy at all.  I feel like just lifting my legs is a huge effort.  My head isn’t hurting too badly but my joints, especially me knees, hurt. 

An interesting thing is that I already feel like I’m taking too much blood sugar medication and I’m going to talk to my doctor about cutting some of it out.  My blood sugar numbers are much lower.  I also am on blood pressure meds and my blood pressure is getting better too, so I may be able to cut back on that soon.  These are the things that are keeping me going.

Any tips for motivation would be appreciated.



Susan, As seems to be the mantra on this any other sites, is to “stick with it”.  It does get better.  The first two weeks were tough.  Headaches, aches, fatigue….terrible.  Week three it started to ease up.  I’m on day 27 without sweets, also having gone “cold turkey” and gave up sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweetners…which means, no pop, pastries, candy, jams, jellies and desserts of any kind.  I do still eat fruit and although I try to steer away from white rice, white pasta and potatoes, at this point I haven’t given them up.  Definitely cut back though.  I shop for low sugar items from health food store (like ketchup, etc). 

Even today though, I still have some mild symptoms like woozy head, slight headache (not bad), tired (not bad), etc.  But the good side is that the benefits of not being on sugar are outweighing the side effects of having given it up.  For example, improvement in my joints not being sore (in my legs especially).  I feel more energy than I did.  My head is clearer in my thinking.  My complexion rocks!!  I have lost weight (down now about 11 pounds).  Knock on wood, I didn’t have diabetic issues (yet) and I haven’t checked my blood pressure since I gave up the sugar but I have to believe they have improved.

So the message here, hang in there and keep us apprised on your progress.  I found having this site so helpful in my journey!



In my experience,  the weight does not fall off like water: I too expected it would and felt disappointed when it didn’t.

I think that the first thing the body does in sugar-recovery is recover and heal itself: although some weight may come off, losing weight is not a priority for the body at this stage - it first needs to rid itself of the toxins and then heal the damage, and this takes time.

The health gained is wonderful - no matter that it can be a slow journey, it is well worth making.



Just quit sugar yesterday.  Omg. I have joked around forever about my sugar addiction. I work in retail where we have all kinds of sweets and goodies at the register and not far from that is the freezer where we have all the yummy ice cream. I have had some health issues and tried to quit before to help myself with that but I always go back. I am not overweight but I have had health issues.  Recovered last year from a stomach infection I struggled with for two years. Another story. I have had some immune system issues and have to cut sugar when the come back. And also that + stress+ a lovely women’s health issue that my sugar addiction is feeding… I had to stop.

So I have had the withdrawals before but thus time is worse. By today, it wasn’t just headache and out of it,  but hot and cold and dizzy.  Tonight I have been throwing up.  Thought maybe I was just run down or coming down with something.  But when I got to work I felt like I didn’t have my morning coffee.  A coworker gave me hers… yes sugar in it, and in short order started to feel normal and a leg to function.  But the added caffeine didn’t help. By the time I had my break I couldn’t help it anymore and had a mac and cheese,  and fruity yogurt. That helped some. But even so it was still a very drama tic cut in sugar.

I keep going back and forth if it is a cold or small flu, but it happened pretty suddenly within 24 hours of me quitting sugar. I felt so rotten after throwing up and having the shakes, after some of it passed, I tried to eat something.  I had half a piece of banana bread and a banana and yes I am feeling quite normal. Ugh!  :( sugar how I love thee! Why have you forsaken me? Sigh.

Also started this to starve off my infection that loves sugar. I had no idea I would feel this terrible!  During the last 24 hours I have been having foods and teas known to kill this thing, cut out sugar, taking supplements,  and medicine I though I am not going down without a fight!  But was learning about die off.  If you kill it too soon, it releases toxins that can make you sick. That plus my withdrawals are killing me. :( throwing up is the worst! Sigh… I hope it is just a short flu bug or something.  Otherwise cold turkey might be too much of a shock to my body. I might wean off over a period of time. I am not sure how to do that with such an addictive substance?

I did like stevia in my coffee this morning.  No 2 sugars,  plus molasses, or the spoon full of ice cream I started putting in it. .. why did Ben & Jerry’s decide to give out free ice cream on the day I quit? :’((



Hi Sheri, thanks for commenting (I fixed the duplicate comments). A little further up (comment 4 and 50) folks had similar sickness just after quitting sugar as you have.

You’ve got to wean off sugar because you’re gonna hit a wall really soon. One way to wean off is to pick one or two things that you’ll allow yourself to eat and only eat that as a sweet. Or cut out one thing at a time—so go a week without ice cream and then cut out another thing next week until you get into unknown territory where you have to seek out new foods. There are many ways to do it and you have to find what works for you, which might take several months of trial and error.

It seems daunting but it’s totally worth it!



Thank you so much! There are so many sweets in my house my family buys also which isn’t helping.  Hopefully I can find a solution.  I think you are right!  If having something sweet made my symptoms go away pretty quick,  I need to be honest with myself that sugar addiction is real and probably what I have. :( I am in denial.  I had no idea that this is what could be part of what has contributed to me feeling tired and groggy over the years.  If I quit sugar, maybe I wouldn’t need coffee? I have started walking a few weeks ago. It helps some.

Thank you for having this place!! People around me have me thinking I am being dramatic and it’s no big deal. Of c ouse they are the ones buying all the sweets! Haha. 😁

Does anyone have suggestions how to be able to do this when living with family who buys sweetc?  What has worked for you?  I have talked to them about it in the past. They are right that it is their home and I shouldn’t expect them to change their lives or environment for me. But I don’t know how to start this with everything around me. Has anyone else had thI’d delema?

Thank you do much! I feel like I am trying to do this alone and I don’t know how. Thanks!  smile



Thought I’d give a little update… My husband and I have been ‘off’ the sugar for about 2 months now. For the first few weeks I had terrible withdrawl symptoms (just goes to show me what a drug it is!), headaches, mood swings, terrible sleep, etc. and I thought the weight would just melt off, and at first it did… a little. The ‘feeling terrible’ finally went away, much to my relief, but I stopped loosing weight (so sad!). I stopped getting on the scale because it was just too depressing. However; apparently it’s been melting off little bit by little bit. In the past two months I’ve lost about 10 pounds (which, for me is pretty good). The withdrawl symptoms are gone and I don’t really miss it too much at all. I do have a ‘cheat’ now and then. If we’re out to dinner and I want a bite of dessert, I eat it. Or if the family goes out for frozen yogurt, I’ll indulge. But on an everyday basis, it’s off limits - yes, even in coffee. I’m sleeping better and can get up in the morning without wishing I could sleep 3 more hours! For those trying to ‘kick the habit’, I might suggest substitutes (at least at first). Instead of a candy bar, try dates (they’re delicious). And I’d also suggest that you read labels. You’ll find sugar in EVERYTHING (even bacon!). I think that if you cut sugar from those ‘hidden’ places it becomes easier to leave it alone at the obvious times (like when you want a snickers bar). grin



Hi all.  It’s been a while since I checked in.  I’m like 64 days off sugar and although I don’t SUPER scrutinize everything I eat to see if it happens to contain a gram of sugar, I stay away from obvious sugar.  I do eat fruit and three times I had “fake sugar” items (a small “sugar free” pie for example).  Early on, I counted every day I didn’t have sugar.  Now, it’s such a part of life, I had to go back and see how long it’s been.

Sheri, How do you live with people who eat sweets?  For me it’s understanding that I choose not to have sugar.  Being lactose intolerant, I had to learn to give up milk.  Doesn’t stop others from having it…I just decided I can’t have it and don’t want it.  It has worked for me with sugar too.  In fact, it’s empowering when you turn it down and are OK with it. 

On to sad news, my father is very ill with bone cancer.  The doctor made a comment to me in regards to a PET scan.  “Cancer feeds on sugar…it loves it.”  All the effort we make to avoid cancer causing agents….how about cutting the item that feeds it.  Let’s starve it.  Not sure it would make a difference for people, but I am coming to believe it does.



I gave up sugar 3 weeks ago.  On reading this site I realise that I have been eating hidden sugars in food without knowing.  However I have cut out all obvious sources.  I have experienced tiredness/fatigue, an achy back and knees, and have felt like my ears are blocked.  I do not have any bad sugar cravings thankfully, but that maybe because I have been eating some hidden sugars, which I will now cut out ie in bread.  I have noticed that my tummy is flatter so that is a major plus.

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