Do you struggle with joint pain? Are you taking a number of medicines to help subdue the pain? The answer to your joint pain could be improving your diet. A recent study conducted at the University of Alabama suggests that your diet may be to blame for your prolonged and worsened health issues caused by chronic pain.
Poor Diet & Chronic Pain
The study was conducted in a lab and looked at the Typical Western Diet (TWD) and its effects on mice. The typical western diet is characterized as foods with fewer calories from protein and increased carbs and saturated and monosaturated fats. The TWD consists of junk foods and low levels of fruits, vegetables, poultry, seafood and whole grains. A diet like this has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The study found that there was a link between poor diet and increased pain.
The study looked at a group of mice over 13 weeks. They fed the mice the TWD so that researchers could study the effects of a poor diet. After 13 weeks, mice showed an increase in fat mass and a decrese in lean mass. Several tests were run on them, which found increases of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and serum leptin. Serum leptin works to regulate the appetite and energy expenditure in the body. Other research has shown that obese people have higher levels of serum leptin and pro-inflammatory cytokines than those with a healthy weight.[the_ad id=”940″]
This meant that a poor diet led to increases of these hormones and functions. Next, University of Alabama researchers look at the connection between diet and chronic pain. They found that poor diet and poor diet quality did appear to lead to hypersensitivity to heat and touch. This was described as more pronounced and prolonged pain. Poor diet was found to heighten hypersensitivity. Those with poor diets and suffering from chronic pain are likely to experience increased pain responses and slower recovery from injury or surgery.
The study also states that prolonged exposure to poor diet resulted in an “altered perception of pain through acute nociceptive sensitivity, systemic inflammation and persistent pain”.
Of course, more work is needed to connect poor diet to chronic pain, such as studies conducted on humans. However, this is a promising start to this research
The takeaway from this, is that your poor diet could be affecting you in so many ways! Poor diet is attributed to a number of health conditions. By simply changing your diet to a healthier, well-rounded diet complete with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole-grains and fewer carbs, you will lead a healthier life.