Carb-addict patch, like smokers' patch

No! It is not yet available. But If you can buy this carb-addiction suppressor patch, are you going to use it? I will. Your input will be gratefully appreciated. In denial carb-addicts can also comment.

PS: please post your daily carb consumption. Optional of course. If you do, we will keep it secret. LOL

Question, are pharmas working on this?

Is this patch something you believe is actually being studied and tested or is it hypothetical?

It is hypothetical. If available, will it work? If yes, why have I have not seen any mention of it being developed?

I do think carbs have an addictive quality. I seem to remember that brain imaging studies have shown that carbs light up the same regions of the brain that cocaine does.

Having said that, my experience with the addictive quality of carbs is that they did not have nearly as tenacious of a hold on me that cigarettes did. Within two weeks of my reduction of carbs to a low amount, my addiction was broken. I quit cigarettes twice for two years each time before relapsing. I think it took me ten years to extinguish the allure of smoking.

A patch like you mention would be useful providing there were no serious side effects. Interesting notion.

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There are so many studies showing so many things activate regions involved neural reward networks—definitely does not mean anything does = addiction though. Neuroimaging research in reality is a lot more complex than that, but the coverage of it in popular media tends to be overly simplified and make it seem like just because something activates the same region that cocaine does, it is also as addictive or something, which is absolutely not true.

That said, as far as what real world options actually do exist, you could try naltrexone, which is a med that’s used to block opiate action but also reduces alcohol cravings and now is being prescribed off label to try to treat other types of cravings. Similarly, bupropion, which is an antidepressant that’s also prescribed to help manage cigarette cravings has been floated as a food cravings med. I don’t think either has any substantial evidence for that application though (although lessened appetite is a known side effect anyway of bupropion).

Lucky! I’ve been eating low-carb (90 grams of less) most of the time for the past two years and I still crave carbs on a regular basis. About once a month I do something stupid like buy cereal, spike to 20 mmol/L after trying to eat it for a few days, and then give up. If it didn’t cause negative effects, I’d most definitely be eating carbs in an instant.

So, yes. If said patch had no side effects and was something I could slap on and have it take effect for a few hours and then wear off, I’d use it.

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@Jen, Reality Bites! Hey, what about joining CAA. Carb Addicts Anonymous. Does CAA exist yet? I need a CAA sponsor. I love to hate carbs.

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Hello, neuroscientist here. Anyone who tells you that carbohydrates are “addictive” is just farting in your face. Carbohydrates are NECESSARY. When you eat them, since you are evolved to NEED them, your body will reward you for eating them. This is the same reward pathway network that is hijacked by addictive substances. “Carb cravings” are a psychological construct. They start with (usually very mild) hunger. This gets psychologically interpreted as a specific “craving”, but there is no specificity to it. Instead, we get conditioned to treat the purely biological message with specific foodstuffs. That turns into a conditioned reflex, where we are primed to see those foodstuffs as the “best” treatment for the biological condition.

In short, there is no such thing as “carbohydrate addiction” in any biological sense. It cannot be “treated” by any biological means. It is purely psychological, aka behavioral. It can only be “treated” by purely psychological/behavioral means.

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These authors are farting on our faces? Borrowing your words.

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Also a scientist studying (real) addiction and neuroscience, among other things. Yes, the title of that book is bull****. Low-carb may help some people manage their weight, but that’s for physiological reasons unrelated to addiction. If someone has perfectly effect insulin responses, carbs are probably not a big deal. For those of us who do not, carbs are likely to result in more variability in blood sugars, and those rises and (especially) drops may indeed increase subsequent diet. Has nothing to do with the types of processes underlying real physiological addiction though, that a nicotine patch addresses (i.e., withdrawal).

There’s a trend in neuroscience right now to do the following: show that X activates the nucleus accumbens/ventral striatum (aka “reward center” of the brain) and then proclaim X “addictive, just like using drugs!” While it’s true drugs activate those regions, so do loads of other neural processes unrelated to addiction—scientific reasoning around the brain just doesn’t work how pop psych coverage of these types of findings wants to pretend it does.

I have an insulin addiction. I have been battling it for 46 years. I just can’t stop.


FWIW, the whole premise of a carb patch is fundamentally flawed. A “smoker’s patch”, aka a nicotine patch delivers what the smoker’s body is craving … nicotine. Therefore, a carb patch would have to deliver what the body is craving … carbs!