Temperature and sugar for brain productivity

I’ve had my brain injury about three years, and I am so frustrated with how temperature changes can so instantly limit my capabilities. About once a year I have a day where it just so happens that my brain doesn’t overheat because it’s been just the right cold enough temperature that’s not too cold all day in my apartment…

And I’m also very very very frustrated about how I crave sugar all the time whenever I just try to chill out and enjoy watching a video or reading because my brain wants to cheats and have more sugar for more energy in my brain, if I eat a whole meal that saps my energy by having to digest it. And I’ve gained a huge amount of weight from trying to eat mostly sugar. Do you guys have any advice anything that helps you with these problems? Thank you.

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I’m sorry, LeilAloha, I don’t have any advice, but I certainly do understand what you are saying. Especially about the temperature changes. It is crazy to me just how the weather can affect me too.
When you mention your brain over heating, what exactly do you mean? Do you get a bad headache? Does it really feel like your brain is hot?
I get migraines a lot, some worse than others. Sometimes the migraine meds help, other times not at all.
I can relate to the craving sugar also. I try to not keep sweet stuff in the house, try not to bake a lot of sweets. Of course, I made banana nut bread earlier…
Just know you aren’t alone in your struggles.

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Hey LeilAloha,
I too have some wicked temperature issues and as for the weather it makes a huge difference. I was going to say ‘I have no issues with sugar’ but my wife just read it over my shoulder and told me ‘BULLSHIT’, I have a stock of chocolate in the fridge. I’m not sure if that’s a sweet issue or I’m just addicted to chocolate :yum: You state that “…if I eat a whole meal that saps my energy by having to digest it…” and weight issues, have you been tested for diabetes? My weight issues have gone the opposite way, I’m losing HEAPS of weight.
When I was having major temp issues it was recommended I have it tested for diabetes, which I did with no issues (nor answers).
One theory that was suggested was that there had been damage to my hypothalamus and that this was the cause with my temperature issues, but even so I never did get a definitive answer. The closest I got to an answer was that “The brain is a complex organ, so any damage may cause an issue…” Talk about stating the obvious. Even I could come up with that theory.

You know, I’m doing better now :blush: thank you all so much for your support :slight_smile: I have acquired the ability to feel full and just stopped eating when I’m full and to enjoy healthy meals again like a nice green salad I have more energy when I snack on vegetables like even just dipping green beans into ranch dressing :slight_smile: and I got the pre-cut fruit from the supermarket and that just makes it easier for me to have that if I want a sweet:-) so it’s not that eating makes me too tired because I have to digest it, it’s when I eat too much that that happens so I’ve learned to not eat too much :slight_smile: I’ve been just very thoroughly chewing what I eat and that helps me slow down and concentrate on figuring out when I’m full :slight_smile:

And I’m better at maintaining my temperature when I eat less, too especially when I eat less grain. Because I was eating way too much grain before especially grain plus sugar so that heats the body up . Now that I’m eating more vegetables I’m cooler

I am so glad you are doing better. Sounds like you know your body well, and have figured out what you need.
I know I feel better if I can just start the day off with a healthy smoothie, but a lot of times I don’t eat anything for breakfast, then
am starving by noon and don’t make good choices.

The brain has no energy reserves so it needs sustenance and neurotransmitters. How are you getting energy into your brain?

Hi, I appreciated this sugar/energy craving question coming up & remain curious … For those that do experience this, (cravings that are excessive compared to your pre-injury self), it is especially bad in the evening and worse if I am staying up later in to the evening. In the first 8 months after my injury, I gained 11 pounds and I am relatively tall and WAS slender.

At one point, a specialist actually asked me how I felt about the weight gain… It turned out that the medication that I had been prescribed for nerve pain was known to be an appetite stimulant (a side effect). No one had mentioned that!

Although we tried other substitute meds that had less appetite-stimulating qualities, they were far less effective for the migraine-like head pain so we went back.

Now I try to deal with the cravings and weight gain as much as possible, but it is a big battle. I am 26 lbs heavier than pre-accident. i kind of live on A Jenny Craig program half the time, and that just keeps me maintain at this weight rather than gain more.

I also was on a weight gaining side affect medicine. I gained 45 lbs
Lowering my dosage of one and easing off of another helped, also finding safe kind friends to exercise with.

But when I do certain activities, read, watch a show, make art, I crave sugar. I’m sure it’s because my brain wants instantly absorbed sugar. Juice is best for me, hard candy once in a while now ok, and organic brown sugar in herbal tea helps too

I recently got a reminder that when I do aerobic exercise I can sweat! I Can’t Sweat even if I’m too hot unless I already wasn’t too tired and I eased into aerobic exercise for a while and then I sweat a little bit. So I Theorise that the more I get my aerobic exercise, the faster my body will we learn how to sweat :slight_smile:
And I’ll be infinitely more functional cuz I’ll be able to control my own temperature hopefully :slight_smile:

I started craving sweets or carbs when I actually needed serotonin which you can get by eating tryptophan which is in chicken turkey and goat’s milk it’s in a lot of other things but those are the ones I remember :slight_smile: my favorite thing is to buy powdered goat milk and mix it into many things, like potatoes and homemade salad dressing a


Aerobic exercise really helps, so does cinnamon which helps circulation that helps energy move


Excellent point. They say that aerobic exercise helps with… basically everything.


I agree with the above. I have kind of learned from trial and error to plan my diet around my activity goals and save the big sleepy meals for those times to help me sleep. I do notice that i like the cooler weather and I am more productive with it lately but I wasn’t sure if it was cause or effect. I also agree with the exercise and just getting moving and blood flowing. I definitely notice the difference on days or periods of when I am active compared to when I am not. It also helps my general mood.


I agree Sitka. I find its all about management and planning. Diet, activity, weather, sleep, medications all have a huge impact. If I have one thing out of proportion my whole day is screwed up. I, like you, like to be active but when I haven’t planned it and I overdo it, I pay for it.
I know for me if tomorrow I have a task to complete and I’m prepared, the weather’s OK, I’ve slept and I’m medicated, I can get thru it OK. But I am unable to plan for everything and often those ‘unforeseen’ activities can throw me and my balances all kinds of sideways. Then to recover those balances can take me a few days. And this doesn’t help my mood at all.


Ditto! Ditto! The unpredictability of whether my health can sustain the plans for the day or not… On a good day, (and after 6 years of Physio coaching/support), I literally have 37 small Physio exercises to fit in to the day … Or as much as I can. Even on a routine like this, a minor injury from turning too quickly and having a fall, or overestimating my capacity to carry groceries, it can lay me up. It is this unpredicatability that is so frustrating and sometimes scary… But I digress. Would love to hear more on if/how others experience and/or manage food/sugar cravings differently post-injury. Thanks all!


Maybe you could use limiting your aerobic exercise to only 1 or 2 times a week, and maybe having strength training one day a week, cuz I really had to learn that balance to not try to do every kind of thing every day but balance More thinking of the whole week… I’m trying to fix a little bit of everything in the right balance in a week instead of a day.
If you fall it really sounds like you’re working yourself too hardperiod it takes much longer to recover after you work yourself too hard and if you rest before you work yourself too hard

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Yeah I really have to budget my energy thinking of the whole week, sometimes two weeks, like if I no I’m going to go to a birthday party I have to save up most of my energy all week for that birthday party and then rest the rest of the week.

Or if I go visit my Grandma for Christmas a couple of hours away, I need to make sure I stay at least a week or two to get enough rest, and then have the whole week when I get home to mostly rest and recover from the journey

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But I don’t think you do digress at all Shannon, if fact I believe this is a very valid point. I used to know my limits, I used to be able identify my abilities. As we mature we know what works for us both in our sugar or dietary intake and in our physical and mental abilities. And now, well, none of it is ‘normal’. My appetite has disappeared, my physical ability has vanished and this adds to my mental load. Like you say ‘a minor injury’ can now have a major impact, where previously a minor injury caused a minor inconvenience. Trying to workout my new tolerances and limits is a bit like asking “How long is a piece of string?” so many variables and like I say have one thing out of balance and the whole day, even the whole week, can be screwed. This ‘management’ thing ain’t easy and anybody who tells you it is has NEVER been in this position.

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