PCOS, Sugar, Candy

PCOS and Candy: How Sugar Can Make Your PCOS Worse

We’re creeping up on Halloween season, and that means that the stores are loaded with pumpkin-themed everything, costumes for the kids, face paint, decorations – and TONS of candy. I mean, literal tons! Endless quantities of refined white sugar, cheap chocolate, crispy things made out of highly processed wheat flour, artificial colors and dyes, soy lecithin and emulsifiers, you name it.

When I describe it like that, it sounds so much less enticing, doesn’t it? Sorry to burst your bubble, but Halloween candy is one of the worst things you can put in your body.

When you add refined white sugar to your body in any quantity (because guess what, I am NOT the sugar police, and a little bit used here and there, strategically, adds a great deal of flavor and sweetness to life), you kick-off an epic round of insulin resistance.

For most of us with PCOS, insulin resistance is a thing – a big, bad, ugly THING. Too much insulin resistance and you end up pre-diabetic, or even worse, diabetic. As in 40% of us will be in that zone by the time we’re 40. Trust me, you really don’t want diabetes. I got diagnosed with early-onset Type 2 diabetes (the most common kind) when I was 32, and, while I’ve mostly managed it incredibly well, it’s led to a whole lot more time spent in laboratories and doctor’s offices than I would like.

In case you don’t already know the potential damage from diabetes, here are the highlights:


  • Reduced immune function
  • Higher risk of infections, including yeast infections
  • Poor wound healing
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Reduced sexual functioning
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of amputation
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart disease


Quite a few of these are already a high-risk association for women with PCOS; adding diabetes to the picture is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Inflammation just skyrockets, and it makes everything harder, including managing food cravings.

That’s right; your food cravings are directly related to your insulin levels. When you eat sugar, your body sends out a surge of insulin to “cover” it. As soon as it’s processed, you feel hungry again, and cravings may kick in. So you eat and start the cycle all over again. If you’re insulin resistant, as most of us are, that insulin can’t do its job effectively, by unlocking the cells and allowing the sugar (glucose) in so it can get used. Net result: fatigue, cravings, weight gain, ever-greater insulin resistance, and eventually, Type 2 diabetes.

Plus, diabetes is linked with a much higher rate of depression. Check out this article on Science Daily for more information. And you know how bad the depression problem already is for those of us with PCOS. If you’re still sorely tempted to load up on Halloween candy, come to join the PCOS Psychology group on Facebook. It’s my private page where I offer all of my best tips and tricks to combat food cravings, depression, and healthcare management woes.

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