If you find yourself cravings sweets and feel that your mouth is drier than usual, these symptoms could be the result of your new and healthier dietary habits, and can usually be explained by changes to your diet. If such symptoms persist for a considerable period of time, consult your doctor for advice.
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Cutting Out Sugar
The most probable cause for your sweet cravings and dry mouth is likely due to a switch to a lower-carb or low-sugar diet. If you recently cut all sugar from your diet, by eliminating soft drinks, fruit punches and juices, energy drinks, jams, syrups, honey, cakes, cookies, baked goods and other desserts, your body might need a few days all the way up to a few weeks to adjust to this dietary change. Restricting your intake of simple carbs can result in more cravings during the withdrawal period, in addition to leading to mild dehydration because of the diuretic effect of a carb-restricted diet.
Sweet Withdrawal and Cravings
Sweet cravings can either be the result of low blood sugar or sugar withdrawal. If you sometimes experience low blood sugar levels, also called hypoglycemia, check your blood sugar level to see if it might be the cause of your sweet cravings. If your blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL, it is important that you treat your hypoglycemia by following the guidelines provided by your health-care provider. If your blood sugar levels are in the normal range, you might simply be experiencing withdrawal symptoms as your body is trying to get you to eat its usual energy source: sweets.
Restricting your carb intake by cutting out sweets from both sugary foods and beverages can have the same mild diuretic effect as low-carb diets. Eliminating sugar can help your body rid itself of the water it was retaining, but if you don't replenish some of the lost fluids by drinking enough water, you could become mildly dehydrated. Dry mouth is one of the common symptoms of mild dehydration. You could also feel more tired or have headaches if your body is lacking water.
Drink More and Persevere
If you suspect your sugar cravings and dry mouth are due to a recent reduction in your sugar intake, the best things to do are to persevere and drink more water. Not much can be done to facilitate sweet withdrawal. Make sure you nourish your body properly during the transition by fueling up on more protein from eggs, cheese, meat, chicken or fish, and healthy fats from avocado, nuts, nut butter, seeds and olive oil. To prevent your dry mouth symptoms, drink more fluid, preferably water, to stay properly hydrated.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- "The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great"; Eric Westman et al.; 2010
- "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable"; Stephen Phinney et al.; 2011