Besides being sweet enough already, there is another good reason to stop sugar. It dramatically increases your pain!
In my practice, muscle and joint pain is so common that I am shocked when someone doesn’t have something bothering them. Often there was a traumatic event like a sport injury or motor vehicle accident but sometimes the pain just arose over time. And of course, I see a lot of arthritis and fibromyalgia. And these issues take a big toll on people. They affect their ability to do the things they love, like play sports or play with their grandchildren.
What is also worrisome is the reliance on pain relievers such as Tylenol and ibuprofen. They both can damage organs such as the liver, digestive tract, kidneys and heart. Anything that you can do to reduce the amount of these drugs that you take, will benefit you in the long run.
Besides seeking therapy, you have a lot of control over the amount of pain you feel. Just by changing how you eat. Yes. No matter where and why you have that pain – eating sugar makes it worse.
I’ve seen first-hand the affect that refined sugar has on pain. I had an ankle surgery 7 years ago in which pins were placed between the tarsal bones. It took a few years before I could say that I did not feel those pins anymore. If I eat sugar, I feel a sharp pain. It’s astonishing!
This is how sugar increases pain:
- You eat sugar.
- Your blood sugar (glucose) level spikes.
- Glucose sticks to proteins on surfaces of your cells.
- The cells are damaged and some may leak their contents.
- Immune cells in the vicinity are alerted by the damage and cellular debris and put out an alert by secreting molecules called cytokines.
- Cytokines circulate throughout the entire body, putting immune cells in remote locations on alert (such as the ones that are close to an old injury – there are more there than in uninjured locations).
- The cytokines and activated immune cells increase your sensation of pain via signals to the nervous system.
- You are in pain.
Anything that you do to reduce the blood sugar spikes after a meal can reduce your pain experience. Eat meals with a low glycemic load. Add fiber to your meals. Start by eliminating refined sugar – it has no redeeming nutritional quality.
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