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This business of getting 'cranky' or 'moody' because of food

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  • This business of getting 'cranky' or 'moody' because of food

    Like 'cranky' the morning after eating cakes, etc...I completely cannot relate to it.

    Does food actually affect emotions, or is it physiology which makes one feel tired or hungry, etc (which makes them cranky, but they say it's the food?).

    I'm young but I'm old school in that regard, I don't think our minds and feelings are just helpless we can control how we feel/react/act to others a lot more than we give ourselves credit

    I just find the idea that what I'm eating can determine how I act and feel...strange.

    Mind you this post is not to apologize for gluten, grains, sugars--they should still be avoided, but because of the pysiological damage, not because "you won't be cranky anymore".

  • #2
    Originally posted by superseiyan View Post
    I just find the idea that what I'm eating can determine how I act and feel...strange.
    Of course some of it is how you are able to manage your emotions/mood/attitude, but I have strong empirical evidence with myself that my food choices have a direct impact on how easily I am able to manage my emotions/mood/attitude.
    "Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me

    My primal log

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    • #3
      I had a friend who would get extremely cranky if he was hungry. It was super unpleasant - we once went to a restaurant where there was a 40 minute wait. It was raining so we decided to stick it out and have a drink at the bar instead of going somewhere else. The whole time he was in such a bad mood from the hunger that he shut down and barely spoke to me. I made sure to never go to dinner with him alone again. How ridiculous to pout and sulk and ignore your companion for 40 minutes because of hunger!
      My food blog, with many PB-friendly recipes

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      • #4
        Originally posted by superseiyan View Post
        Does food actually affect emotions, or is it physiology which makes one feel tired or hungry, etc (which makes them cranky, but they say it's the food?).
        Food can affect physiology.

        That's not to say grown men and women shouldn't be responsible for how they act regardless of physiological promptings.

        But I know in addition to the rush of fatigue and general ookieness that follows sugar consumption for me (diabetic) I also tend to get irrationally snappy and angry whenever I'm schtoopid enough to overindulge. *shrUg* It's just one more thing that convinced me that there was something to all this primal stuff and one of the reasons I converted in the first place.

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        • #5
          I've found when I eat grains now, I get super anxious and cranky, sometimes downright mean. I control it, obviously, I don't say the things I think, or act the way I feel like, but I sure do feel like it.

          I used to be anxious/depressed all the time, and I truly believe it was because of poor eating habits. My husband has type 2 diabetes, and if he is late on food, he is really cranky and mean.


          Crap! I'm An Adult!

          My Primal Journal

          http://badquaker.com <--- podcast I'm a part of. Check it out if you like anarchy, geekiness and random ramblings.

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          • #6
            Food can profoundly affect brain chemistry for many people. It can affect them to the point that they have a hard time controlling their emotions and if your brainwave balance is off enough, you're totally at the mercy of your brainwaves, no matter how hard you try to control your emotions. I know because I work with people's brainwaves and I see their behavior and emotional states change dramatically once their brainwave output is altered.

            Check out the books "Primal Body, Primal Mind", "The Mood Cure", "Sugar Blues" and "The Ultramind Solution". All of these talk about things like anxiety and depression being directly related to the dietary effects on brain chemistry.
            http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              I personally don't think it's the food that can alter our emotions (unless you reach a state of hunger to the point of becoming sick) but people tend to create stress when they get derailed off of their mental tracks. Whether I'm hungry or not, I always try to think before I speak, act, & react & treat others how I would want to be treated.
              -Connoisseur Guy

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              • #8
                Emotions are not a separate entity - why wouldn't what you eat effect how you feel emotionally in the same way it effects how you feel physically? That's kind of like asking how does the food we eat impact our appearance? It seems weird that it does-why does eating leafy greens give me clear skin?-but it does...

                Plus, a diet high in processed foods is correlated with ADHD in children and depression/anxiety in general.

                When there isn't a clear-cut scientific explanation for something, professionals always say, "It's in your head"- a modern day example is fibromyalgia, which was considered a hysterical/depressive problem when I first started practicing 20 years ago. Now it's thought to be due to the brain's difficulty processing pain signals. I expect that at some point we will know that many psychological disorders are actually related to diet and other "real" problems.

                Having said all that, people do have an individual responsibility to treat each other with respect. I don't care how bad you feel, it's not okay to refuse to speak to your dinner partner for 40 minutes because you are hungry!
                My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread51572.html

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                • #9
                  I don't understand people who can't grasp the difference between "feelings" and "actions".

                  When I was on the SAD diet, I would get low blood sugar. This would make me "feel" moody, depressed, anxious, and cranky. However, I would not allow those "feelings" to dictate my "actions". Actions =/= Feelings.

                  Does food play a huge role in mood and feelings. You bet. Does it play a role in our actions regarding those feelings, not in the slightest. We can't control our moods. Our hormones, blood sugar levels, and body chemistry do that. But we can sure as heck control our actions. That's why we're humans, not animals who lash out and act out their emotions.

                  Bah: not being specific: I do think to some degree how we feel will effect our actions. But there are degrees. If I'm tired and cranky and hungry, I'm not going to throw a tantrum like a two year old, but I might say to my husband "I'm really cranky right now, and I'm sorry if I come across as a bitch". I can take responsibility for my actions, I can choose to not say things I think. I'm not always perfect, I don't think anyone is, but there's a huge difference in having our feelings control us, or suppressing our feelings completely. There's a balance to be struck, that a mature person can find.
                  Last edited by CoyoteVick; 05-12-2011, 12:10 PM.


                  Crap! I'm An Adult!

                  My Primal Journal

                  http://badquaker.com <--- podcast I'm a part of. Check it out if you like anarchy, geekiness and random ramblings.

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                  • #10
                    I know I turn into a monster after a workout until I've eaten something. I'm hugely irritable and snappish. Feed me and I'm awesome & silly again. I don't know what it is, but... IT IS!
                    --Trish (Bork)
                    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      Low blood sugar causes me to be irritable and short.

                      Regular sugar consumption leads to depression for me.

                      Gluten makes me downright sick and that does affect how I act, or rather it did, for the 3 years I was ill.

                      I don't really understand what you mean by is it food or is it physiology. It is food affecting physiology, surely?

                      Any time I act this out, I'm always doing my best. But it doesn't make sense to claim anyone has 100% control. When my blood sugar is low, my brain isn't functioning properly and I have a huge rush of adrenaline, it is hard to think straight. I can't just pretend I am fine. It is more about learning strategies to handle it, being able to say to my husband for example "sorry, I can't concentrate on what you're saying right now, I need to eat" and then getting some food ASAP. Thankfully due to primal I rarely have this problem any more .

                      Would you tell a depressed person they were wrong to let their depression affect how they behave? I'm not saying it is okay to just let go and not try but even when we're doing our best we can't be perfect! My dad had depression the last few years of his life, and he was sad and self-centred but I would never hold that against him, he was still the same deeply caring man he'd always been, it was just that he was sick.

                      My husband has no food issues but sometimes gets stern or snappy when he's tired and feeling overwhelmed. I'm quite prepared to cut him some slack too. Up to a point of course.

                      This stuff is just part of life IMO.
                      Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                      Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                      Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                      "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                      Harold Whitman

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                        I had a friend who would get extremely cranky if he was hungry. It was super unpleasant - we once went to a restaurant where there was a 40 minute wait. It was raining so we decided to stick it out and have a drink at the bar instead of going somewhere else. The whole time he was in such a bad mood from the hunger that he shut down and barely spoke to me. I made sure to never go to dinner with him alone again. How ridiculous to pout and sulk and ignore your companion for 40 minutes because of hunger!
                        Well, going from my experience with low blood sugar, he wasn't pouting and sulking - he was likely being quiet because his low blood sugar was making him feel like crap and he was trying mightily not to be cranky or bite your head off.

                        I don't really have blood sugar issues anymore, except if I take a nap in the afternoon. I wake up SUPER cranky, and I know it's because of a blood sugar crash. I have to fight really, really hard to be a decent human being until my body regulates itself, and that usually entails being pretty quiet until I can interact with others as a human instead of a nasty shrew.

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                        • #13
                          If you can take drugs and they affect how you think, act, and feel, how is food any different? It's all chemicals in the end.

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                          • #14
                            I've been lurking for about a month now and this is teh first time I felt absolutely compelled to respond. While I agree that its important as an adult to control your actions despite your mood, I have found as I've slowly removed gluten (and now all grains) from my diet the number of times that I've felt anxious (that inner chest ache kind of feeling) has virtually disappeared.

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                            • #15
                              I'm highly gluten intolerant, and depression and anxiety are two of my main symptoms of getting "glutened" ie when I accidentally ingest gluten. It's a definite physiological response, as it happens even if I don't realize I've eaten something containing gluten. It's also well-documented that gluten intolerance can manifest differently for different people. From what I understand, it has to do with which part of your small intestine is the most damaged, determining which nutrients become most deficient.

                              I'm now discovering that rice and possibly corn cause similar problems, but I think the issues are more related to blood sugar swings than an actual intolerance. At any rate, my mood is tremendously improved when I stay off all grains.

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