Sugar Intolerance Test

Today in America the average person consumes roughly 160 lbs. of sugar per year. This has sky rocketed when you consider that less than 100 years ago the average person was consuming about 9 lbs. of sugar. Believe it or not the average person today is consuming about:

  • 100 – 160 pounds of refined sugar
  • 300 cans of soda
  • 200 sticks of gum
  • 18 pounds of candy
  • 5 pounds of potato chips
  • 63 dozen doughnuts
  • 50 pounds of cakes and cookies
  • 20 gallons of ice cream

When a person consumes too much sugar, a condition called Sugar Intolerance can develop. In the following article is a list of symptoms associated with Sugar Intolerance and how to assess your own body and fix the problem.

Performing the 21 Day Sugar Intolerance Test:

This is a very simple test and akin to an elimination diet. If you get off of sugar and carbs and have your symptoms disappear, then you can be sure you have a sugar intolerance. If you have any nagging health problems that concern you, this test is an absolute must.

Before starting this test write down any health concern that you have.

Here is an example:

  • Pain in back getting out of bed
  • Low energy after lunch
  • Bloating and gas
  • Pain in joints
  • Inability to sleep through the night
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased weight
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Low mood, anxiety or depression

Now for the next 21 days you’re not going to eat sugar of any kind. Remember that all carbohydrates turn into sugar.

Here is a list of foods to avoid:

  • Bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, rolls, pastries, desserts
  • Potatoes of all types, corn, rice and beans
  • Fruit and fruit juices
  • Energy drinks and bars
  • Sugar of all kinds – candy, honey, ketchup.
  • Alcohol of all kinds
  • Sweetened yogurt

Foods you can eat:

  • Eggs
  • Meat of all kinds
  • Vegetables of all kinds – except potatoes
  • Salads
  • Vegetable juice
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Oils and Fats (Olive, coconut, butter)
  • Water

What’s going to happen over the next 21 days is your insulin and stress hormones that respond to sugar are going to come back to a normal range. If these hormones are increased due to sugar, you’re going to feel a change.

One of three things is going to happen to you depending on how addicted your body is to sugar. The first possible outcome is that you’re going to feel terrible. For up to 5 days you are going to be lethargic, bad mood, more achy, and irritable. Don’t fret, this will pass. You are addicted to a drug and you are going through withdrawal symptoms. On the 5th day you’ll feel like a fog has lifted from you body and all of a sudden the world will look different to you. You will have more energy then you ever remember having, your spouse will once again look beautiful to you and you will start liking your job. Those last two might be a slight exaggeration, but honestly when you feel better, your life is better.

The second possible outcome is that you immediately begin to feel better. This means that you have an intolerance but your body has not become chemically addicted to the substance.

The third possibility is that at the end of 21 days you will feel no different. If this is the case, you have not developed symptoms resulting from a sugar addiction.

Why 21 days? According to experts your brain actually changes it’s chemistry after 21 days and therefore is the time frame necessary to break a habit.

Once you’ve completed the 21 day test look back at your original list. How many of symptoms are still there? It’s impossible to heal from years of abuse in 21 days, however, if your symptoms are caused by sugar intolerance you should at least begin to start feeling better.

What now?

Now you have a choice. Many people have been wishing for the pizza pie. Some of you, despite your better judgement, will go and eat that pizza. Those of you who do may feel horrible. Many of the symptoms that went away will come back. Remember this was not a diet, this was a test to see how tolerant you are to sugar.

The best way is to slowly bring back carbohydrates/sugar into your diet and be very aware if any of the symptoms that went away start to come back. Everyone in the world has a carbohydrate intolerance at some level. The reality is the older we are and the more stress we have in our lives, the higher the intolerance will be. Also, watch your weight. Most of you will lose weight with this change of lifestyle. If your weight starts to go up again it means that you’re eating too many carbohydrates/sugar.

32 replies
  1. carbs allergies
    carbs allergies says:

    Hi Gloria, i am sugar allergy. That means even carbs because carbs are sugar. With my 5 year struggle and experience, Dairy products are simply milk and milk product of any kind. Cheese, yogout etc. But unprocessed milk from grass fee animals is an exemption.

  2. Allison
    Allison says:

    I have prurigo nodularis. Because of that, I avoid almost all of the foods. Love potato chips, but notice problems after eating them. I started eating black rice with veggies and this helps.

    • Debi
      Debi says:

      Allison I have been struggling with prerigo for several years. Tried steroid injections, allergy injections, lotions, supplements. All with little relief. I ended up going thtough acupuncture treatments for digestive issues and an unexpected benefit has resulted in my dramatically less amount of sugar in my diet. I used to crave sugar. I will not list everything because the list was long. I no longer crave sugar but I do eat it on occasion. My fasting glucose went from 107 to 84 in 3 weeks! My skin no longer itches. My joints no longer ache, my digestion is much better. The prerigo has begun to heal! I ditcged the sugar and the benefits gave been enormous.

  3. Georgia
    Georgia says:

    I recently noticed when I eat sweets (which is very!! Rarely ) my chin starts to itch and my throat feels like its swelling and is all red on the outside , inside it itches til , does that mean im allergic to sugar?? Of any kind
    I drink alot of tea and never have sugar in my tea unless I need energy as I don’t eat alot through the day either and I used to eat alot of junk food but I’ve started cutting down??
    Anyone know what todo ??

    Thank you

    • Dr. Tim Weeks
      Dr. Tim Weeks says:

      Hi there! Thanks for commenting!

      Our general recommendation is to cut sugar out of the diet for no less than 21 days. Then, when you’re ready to re-introduce sugar, test it in small amounts and build up slowly. When your body starts displaying symptoms again (like the ones you described) then you’ve reached your tolerance level and should not consume more than that amount on a daily basis.

      Your body can and should be burning fat for energy – cutting sugar out of your diet will enable it to do just that.

  4. Debralee
    Debralee says:

    If you know you’re addicted to sugar, is it really a good idea to go “cold turkey?” Several years ago I tried it. After three days of no sugar, my blood sugar crashed so low at one point that I passed out and fell, which resulted in a serious injury. Now I’m afraid to try it again. Any suggestions?

    • Dr. Tim Weeks
      Dr. Tim Weeks says:

      Sugar is an addictive poison and we do recommend you go cold turkey. However, if you’re diabetic or fully addicted to sugar and you want to ween yourself off slowly, be my guest, as long as you do eventually go totally off sugar.

  5. Rebekah
    Rebekah says:

    I feel sick after eating sugar. Even if I don’t eat a lot of it. I could eat two or three chocolate cookies and feel like I will throw up. I never actually throw up but it makes me feel horrible. Does this mean I have a sugar intolerance?

  6. Marilyn D.
    Marilyn D. says:

    I’ve had bone and joint pain ever since I can remember. When I was a kid I was constipated all the time. When I was about 25 I got diagnosed with RA. Now if I eat everything I used to eat, for the last 15 years I get all the symptoms of Celiac Disease, it starts with eczema on the front of my ankles, and progresses up to the knee. By that time, I end up having to sit in the bathroom all night. My stomach feels weird, and my head feels off center too. At one point, I had a colonoscopy, it turned out great, the doctor was smiling ear to ear, said I had a beautiful colon, in great shape. The allergy and Celiac Panel tests were all negative, but, it never fails, every time within 3-7 days I still end up in the same predicament if I eat the “Standard American Diet”. I ate GF, and thought I was safe, but it happened anyway. I tried the Paleo diets, and they work but it’s impossible to stay on them, I drop weight like a stone. I don’t need to lose weight!!! This makes eating out, or at friends near impossible, especially around the holidays!! Nobody can tell me what the problem is, and I’m to the point when I think about eating, I feel stymied. I don’t want to end up with a food eating disorder! I’m not diabetic yet, (my Mother died from Adult Onset Type 2, she weighed 110 lbs.) I tried to start the 21 day plan. After only 3 days, I was back to eating carbs again, no sugary stuff, but GF bread, potatoes. I tried to keep it under 100 g carbs for the day. I don’t get hypoglycemic, I just get a craving for it. I don’t know what to do anymore, and it’s a real bummer.

  7. Marilyn D.
    Marilyn D. says:

    That’s ok, I woke up this morning with the same answers that always come to me, and that is to do the same as I used to do, avoid all the carbs, sugars and alcohol. Sorry, didn’t mean to waste your time.

  8. Keller
    Keller says:

    I normally eat a generally carb free diet. With the holidays I did over indulge for about 4 days. Not just on carbs: mashed potatoes, grave, lasagna, garlic bread; but straight sugar: cookies, icing, etc. I feel like I’ve been beat from the chest down. My intestines hurt when I bend over. I get some relief after going the bathroom. Is this just sugar related? I have known for awhile that real sugar and I don’t get along but it’s never hurt this much. I was glad to find this article.

  9. Annie
    Annie says:

    Hi there. I have a chronic (non-productive) cough along with a tickle down in my throat. Sometimes I cough so hard that my gag reflect kicks in. Is a Chronic Dry Cough also a symptom of a sugar intollerance?

  10. Amala
    Amala says:

    Hi there! From my symptoms I suspect I might have a sugar intolerance, because I have tried most other elimination diets with no success. My question is: I am vegan — can you do this regimen on a strictly plant-based diet?


    • Dr. Tim Weeks
      Dr. Tim Weeks says:

      You can definitely do this as a vegetarian. The only sources of energy are carbs and fat, so if you eliminate carbs you need to increase fats – lots of coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil etc. You should, however, have your B12 and Vit D checked, because if those are low it’s very difficult to utilize minerals properly.

  11. Tennyson
    Tennyson says:

    What the hell do you people eat? Grass? No beans, rice, or potatoes? Seriously? You must have eggs 2x a day and chicken for dinner all week. Sounds like eating the same thing all the time would suck. I can’t afford decent meat for a few meals, let alone an entire diet. And I don’t really like chicken! lol

    • Dr. Tim Weeks
      Dr. Tim Weeks says:

      Hi Tennyson – Cutting out carbs for 21 days doesn’t mean just eggs and chicken. We encourage all types of meat and a wide variety of vegetables. Please see the full list above.

      And if you don’t like chicken, you’re not cooking it right 🙂

  12. Mish
    Mish says:

    Hi i tried to manage my hives by not eating so much carbs and sugar. I can eat daily with carbs but only five spoonful every meals loaded with vegie or meat and chicken .i noticed that eating smaller amount everyday can make ur hives go away…i am now 85% hives still getting hives but only 1 or two small bumps in my legs…God bless us all…hope this 2017 there is a genius who can invent a Cure for our next generation will not going to suffer the way we do.

  13. Christine
    Christine says:

    I seem to be reacting to sugars and grains a lot. I can eat healthy grains (brown, black rice, quinoa, etc), but I have an allergic reaction to wheat and white rice. I have almost completely cut out sugar, but after having 1 tsp in my tea this morning, noticed the burning mouth syndrome I’ve had for years, but managed, seemed to flare. Could sugar be the cause of this all-too-painful problem? I noticed it is bad if I eat tomatoes, citrus, certain teas, coffee, dairy, and mint (no sugar) … but could I be reacting to these because of inflammation due to sugar? I am at my wits end trying to manage this burning mouth – it’s very painful! Thank you!

    • Jacqueline
      Jacqueline says:


      I’m my own search for what I’m experiencing, thankfully, I’ve discovered this blog. The past 8 years, I’ve tried to stay away from processed sugars due to my knowledge of sugar feeding cancer (I’m a cancer survivor). About 2 years ago, I developed thrush, and doctors could not figure out how to get rid of it. I was even sent to a specialist. They couldn’t even help me. Through my own research, I realized I had to take all sugars out of my diet. I have accepted this, because sugar is very toxic. After 3 months of absolutely no sugars, the thrush finally went away. Now, if I have “too much” processed sugar, I have burning tongue syndrome flare ups. “Too much” can be one Hershey kiss, so my body doesn’t tolerate much. You mentioned ONE teaspoon of sugar in your tea…that is actually a lot of sugar, so yes, that can bring on your symptoms. One ingestion of a very small piece of sugar for me can cause weeks/months of body (tongue) pain.

      I also get extreme bone pain. It’s only happened a few times within the past 10 years, but it’s bad enough that I’ve been hospitalized for it. I’ve never been told by a doctor that I’m sugar-intolerant, but I’ve questioned multiple times if there is such a thing as being allergic to sugar. My question has always been ignored or brushed aside. Reading all these entries tells me that I am probably correct in my self-diagnosis.

      If you get the chance, please read “SOS Diet” by Dr. James Surrell. *SOS = Stop Only Sugar. It may change your life.

  14. Mark
    Mark says:

    I suffer from eczema, digestive issues, and joint pain, mental fog… All the good stuff.
    Got much improvement after going gluten free, and going organic.. however after reading this article, I feel the way fire me to completely heal is by eliminating the carbs in the form of starches and anything processed. When I have dinner it in the past I lose fat right away, and I’d like to lose about 20 lbs… Symptoms improve within 24 hours of no sugar. Symptoms return if I eat damn corn chip! It comes down to not being addicted to food I think, And preparing your Meals in advance. Thank you dr weeks, for describing and educating on what I’ve been feeling but not understanding.

  15. Sierra E Griffin
    Sierra E Griffin says:

    I eat a pretty low carb Paleo diet but apparently still have carb intolerance, which is probably the new term for sugar (mis)handling, which is mentioned in Standard Process Supplement survey that my healthcare practitioner uses. Is stevia ok for the sugar free diet?


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