4 ways in which excess sugar affects the nervous system

4 ways in which excess sugar affects the nervous system

Sugar is one of the most widely and regularly used ingredients in many foods and beverages. It provides a short energy boost that can be quite rewarding. This is why many people indulge in sugary sweets and beverages, to repeatedly mimic the benefit. However, indulgences can turn into addictions, leading to excessive sugar consumption that disrupts the functioning of the central nervous system. Here are some common signs one should look out for.

Cognitive issues
Excess sugar negatively impacts a person’s memory and learning capabilities. High glucose levels in the blood stream can slow down thinking, affect attention span, and trigger inflammation in the brain. Sugar can also create an imbalance in brain chemicals and affect hormones to cause mood swings. One might experience depression and increased anxiety as blood glucose levels continue to fluctuate.

Vision problems
Overindulging in sugary foods can trigger focal nerve damage that directly affects one’s vision. Common signs of vision problems in the early stages include trouble with focusing on objects or experiencing double vision. The brain loses its ability to automatically identify and focus on individual objects in the foreground while blurring the background and vice versa. Peripheral vision is also affected due to these reasons.

Loss of gross motor skills
Focal nerve damage also affects a person’s fine gross motor skills causing numbness and weakness to develop in the arms and hands. One might also continually feel a tingling sensation developing in the fingers and palm of the hands and struggle with holding objects due to lack of grip. Sudden pain may also develop behind the eyes affecting the muscles around the eyeball. Some people also experience Bell’s palsy, a condition that causes paralysis of muscles in one side of the face. 

Prickly feeling
Excessive sugar intake also leads to peripheral nerve damage that affects the hands and feet. Most people refer to the sensation as developing pain that is quite similar to having pins under the skin that makes it extremely painful and sensitive to touch. Furthemore, proximal nerve damage can disrupt communication between the central nervous system and major muscle groups. This makes simple tasks like sitting down, standing up, and moving around extremely painful. This type of nerve damage affects the thighs, buttocks, hips, and legs, triggering sharp pain and weakness.