You may be surprised to learn that there are some foods that can cause or exacerbate pain. You probably know about celiac disease and gluten intolerance, but sometimes the issues go beyond specific related conditions. What foods can cause pain or exacerbate chronic conditions such as arthritis?
- Sugars: Increased sugar intake, which increases the body’s production of insulin, can dramatically increase pain in patients already suffering from chronic conditions. Sugars can come from sources such as fruit and grains, as well as sweetened and processed foods.
- Caffeine: While many people rely on caffeine to boost their energy throughout the day, you may be doing more harm than good with your daily coffee. Caffeine is related to poor sleep which can lead to painful conditions. Because this stimulation is artificial it can cause long-term problems.
- Nightshade vegetables: Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all part of the nightshade family and may be contributing to some chronic pain. Some compounds in these foods cause an increase of pain and inflammation in the body.
- Dairy products: Of course, lactose intolerant individuals avoid dairy because of the negative effects on their body. However, some research is showing that pasteurized milk is having an effect on patients with fibromyalgia. Raw milk does not seem to trigger pain symptoms in patients, though more research is needed in this area.
- Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame and artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas and some other foods contain chemicals that can increase sensitivity to pain.
- Additives such as MSGs: Monosodium glutamate, which can be found in some processed foods, can stimulate pain receptors in the body. Anyone already suffering from a chronic condition can have increased symptoms just by ingesting MSG.
While no one diet will work for every individual, there are some key points everyone should know about nutrition. Organic whole foods and raw foods should be consumed as much as possible. Avoid sugar and caffeine to reduce stimulation that can cause pain. Avoid processed foods where you can and drink plenty of water rather than sodas or other sweetened drinks.
Have you noticed more symptoms after consuming certain foods?
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