BEWARE OF SUGAR IF YOU HAVE PAIN
BEWARE OF SUGAR IF YOU HAVE PAIN
Halloween is almost here and I couldn’t be more excited! I love Halloween for the creativity of the costumes, the outdoor decorations, and the CANDY. I don’t usually have a sweet tooth, but when Halloween rolls around I turn into a candy monster. The only thing scarier than Candy Man popping out of the mirror or the Blair Witch chasing you in the woods are the effects of sugar on chronic pain. With my chronic back pain from a herniated disc, I am being extra careful to not overdo it with the sugar.
It is estimated that an astounding 18% of an average person´s dietary intake is sugar and sugar derivatives. This means that an average adult is consuming more than 80 grams of added sugar per day; this translates to more than 66 pounds of added sugar per year. For years now, the medical community has had a clear understanding of sugar´s role in the development of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease; but is there more to sugar than meets the eye? There is growing evidence to suggest that there is a direct link between sugar and chronic pain.
SUGAR TAKES ITS TOLL
Metabolic Syndrome, responsible for elevated cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity is just one of the many chronic adverse side effects of consuming these high levels of dietary sugar. Other known side effects of high sugar consumption include:
- Sugar decreases immune function and increases the risk for infection
- Sugar, when consumed in excess, increases the risk of developing a chromium deficiency
- Sugar adversely affects gingival health and promotes tooth decay
- Sugar induces an aging effect on the skin
- Sugar has been linked to Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Liver dysfunction
The actual list is much longer. In fact, research suggests that sugar contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year across the globe.
How does sugar link to chronic pain?
Sugar that goes by many names often ending in “ose” releases cytokines. These are inflammatory messages that may cause you to feel more pain when you consume processed sugar.
TIPS TO SCARE PAIN AWAY
Sugar is highly addictive and hidden in several of the foods we eat such as bread, pasta sauce, and more. Here are some tips you can use to help reduce the impact of sugar on your chronic pain.
- Drink lots of water. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to drink water to help the body get rid of toxins and keep your organs working in premium condition. If you are tired of plain water, add some drops of lemon or lime, drop a few berries in the water, or even some ginger.
Flow is a brand of alkaline water that has subtle flavors.
- If you are going to eat fruit, trick your eyes and cut up your fruit into smaller pieces and put in in a small bowl. It will make you think that you are consuming more than what you actually are. The best fruits are berries and apples, due to their higher levels of vitamins that help your immune system to fight off all sorts of inflammation causing culprits. Avoid juice since it is high in sugar and low in fiber.
- I will most certainly be eating candy on Halloween because avoiding it will only make you feel worse. Buy high-quality chocolate that has a higher percentage of Cocoa and have less added high fructose corn syrup. The list of ingredients should be short. Eating these types of chocolates will make you feel satisfied with a smaller quantity since they are pack full of flavor. The body will also have an easier time digesting this type of candy versus mass chocolates. Did you know that to keep some chocolates from melting, the fats are surrounded by another substance that also makes it harder for the body to break down?
We love chocolate from Moon Cycle Bakery that makes them with ginger and cinnamon plus they are gluten free and dairy free.
- The week of Halloween walk 3 extra blocks every day, this will keep your joints and muscles in better shape for trick or treating. Plus, the extra walking will help you burn off that delicious chocolate you will eat without guilt.
Life is short, so definitely enjoy yourself and keeps these tips in mind to make the best of your Halloween. You might even thank me once you discover super delicious and less addictive high-quality chocolate.
My name is Annabel Mendez and I am the founder of Workvie, a brand dedicated to helping people that work with pain through our paraben free and great smelling pain relief creams. I also work with chronic back pain.
- Calin, A. (1984). Pain and inflammation. The American journal of medicine, 77(3), 9-16.
- Merskey, H. (1994). Classification of chronic pain. Description of chronic pain syndromes and definitions of pain terms, 1-213.