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Body Pain & Aches: Is Your Food Killing You?

Body Pain & Aches: Is Your Food Killing You? 

You know the saying: “You are what you eat.” What if food is responsible for the total body pain and random joint, bone, and muscle aches you experience?

In the Scientific American article, Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious, the authors reported on a landmark study from the University of Texas that showed the fruit and vegetables of today, are not the same as what our parents and grandparents ate when they were kids. And it’s only getting worse.

Researchers from the study surveyed more than 40 different fruits and vegetables and found they all contained significantly lower levels of vitamin C, B12, iron, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. And the depletion isn’t happening in just fruits and vegetables either. Research from early 2018 published in Science Advances found nutrient loss in popular grains, too.

According to the Texas study, “Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance, and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly, but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”  Humans need balanced nutrition, so is this essential nutrient depletion in our food killing us slowly and painfully?

The Health Dangers of Non-nutritious Food

Our supermarkets are stocked with preservatives, chemicals, and food-like products. These foreign substances can trigger serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, headaches, lower immunity, and a laundry list of others.

Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances are on the rise. Leaky gut syndrome is a significant cause of chronic inflammation, and irritable bowel syndrome cases are steadily rising, affecting 7-10% of the global population. These conditions are directly related to the type and nutritional value of the food you eat. Improper nutrition makes it difficult for your body to recover from the assault on your digestive tract.

The BIG Picture Impact of Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Research shows that approximately 3.6% of Americans have a food allergy or sensitivity, and that number continues to climb. Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances wage a chemical war on the body, leading to conditions like fibromyalgia and generalized back and body pain. The damage isn’t always immediately apparent either. Food-related symptoms are rarely consistent.

A healthy digestive system is critical to good physical and mental health. It’s responsible for breaking down and distributing food and nutrients.  Something as seemingly harmless as a few pieces of chocolate can lead to an immunologic, inflammatory, or toxic response, with symptoms like:

·         Headache

·         Muscle aches and joint pain

·         Diarrhea

·         Colitis

·         Asthma

·         Gout

·         Fibromyalgia

·         Generalized or chronic pain syndromes

·         Edema

·         Depression and anxiety

The food you eat matters more than anything else when it comes to good physical and mental health. 

Tips for Better Food Choices

Whether you’re going grocery shopping or out to eat, here are a few things to consider. These will help you focus on getting pain-fighting foods:

·         If you MUST eat fast food, choose a grilled chicken salad or something that’s not loaded with empty calories.

·         Be creative with home cooking so when you go out, you can eat a salad instead of something fried and smothered in butter.

·         Stay away from artificial sugars and sweeteners.

·         Buy organic every time you can. Most pesticides can’t be washed away.

·         Try the elimination diet to identify your food triggers.

See sources at the end of this article to learn more about these tips. 

At Slovin Chiropractic Center, we have over two decades of experience dealing with food-related problems that cause bone, joint, muscle, and total body pains. Pain isn’t easy to treat, but it always starts at home, inside your body and mind. We can help you find your way back to good health.  We’re accepting new appointments at our Norwalk office, and we’re available for telehealth consultations. 

Sources

Environmental Working Group: Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Shopper’s Guide

Healthline: How to do an elimination diet

National University of Natural Medicine: Addressing Chronic Inflammation

National Institutes of Health: The Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Inflammation and Chronic Pain

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Stress Causing Pain? 3 Things Your Doctor CAN’T Do


Stress makes everything—especially pain—worse. Unfortunately, medical science and a doctor’s skill can only take you so far. We can show you the water, but it’s up to you to drink.

How Stress Impacts Health

Stress increases brain activity, making your nervous system more sensitive, and tightens the brain’s blood vessels. It’s often a subtle culprit to chronic pain, but it’s manageable when you’re aware of your stressors.

Chronic stress—physical, mental, or emotional—forces the body into survival mode. Your adrenal glands atop each kidney constantly release stress hormones, which inhibit the gland’s proper functioning. That affects other glands and organs as well.

Anything that runs at full speed for long periods is bound to overheat and eventually break down; your body’s stress response is no different. Even the most minor problems—like a traffic jam or a bad day at work—can affect your physical and mental health. Consistently high levels of big and small stressors lead to:

  • An overworked endocrine system that can’t keep up with high-stress demands
  • Too much effort required of the heart
  • Cravings for unhealthy and damaging foods
  • Higher risk of prediabetes, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
  • Muscle tension, headaches, and back pain
  • Menstrual irregularities (or your period stops completely)
  • An overwhelmed immune system
  • Increased risk for chronic stomach pains and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Memory loss and cognitive decline

Stress is common in this chaos-driven world. It’s essential to learn ways of coping with stressors, primarily if it’s affecting your health and quality of life. Pain lowers your tolerance and kicks you in the teeth if left unaddressed.

I know it’s tough to change behaviors and find new coping mechanisms, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your doctor can help you find practices that work with your schedule, preferences, goals, and personal situation; however, there are a few things doctors can’t do for you when it comes to treating stress-induced pain.

We Can’t Do the Hardest Work

The hardest part of relieving stress-caused pain is what you do at home and in the privacy of your thoughts. That doesn’t mean your doctor can’t help you discover new coping mechanisms and support to reach your goals. It means we can’t change the way you think about and deal with your troubled teen, wandering spouse, or terrible boss. As a chiropractor, I can help relieve some of the tension in your spine, giving your internal body a fighting chance to regulate stress’s chemical and hormonal response. I’m able to provide you with a wealth of information about coping techniques, and I have dozens of resources at your disposal. The rest is up to you

We Can’t Make Promises About a Cure

Doctors aren’t in the habit of making promises, especially in medical treatments. I can’t and won’t promise spinal manipulation will relieve your neck pain. It probably will if you follow treatment protocols, but that’s not a promise I can keep. As your chiropractor, I can only promise to provide you with all the necessary tools to improve your health and quality of life.

We Can’t Make it Stop Without Time

As much as we wish it were different, doctors know there’s no magic touch or cure-all pill. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for stress-induced pain because, like everything else about you, each case is unique. We’re doctors, but we’re also whole humans bound by Time. Good health doesn’t happen overnight. With patience, perseverance, and commitment, a good doctor can help you through the long-haul journey.

If you’d like to learn more about how we treat chronic pain at Slovin Chiropractic Center, let’s have a chat! Our doctors stand ready to help you take the next step to a healthier life.

Request an Appointment

Resources:

Healthline: The Effects of Stress on Your Body

Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials: 7 Strange Things Stress Can Do to Your Body

EXCLI Journal: Experimental and Clinical Sciences: The Impact of Stress on Body Function: A Review