What’s for dinner tonight? The answer matters more to your pain than you might think.
You change your body chemistry every time you eat. It changes from meal to meal. It can either make yourself more inflamed or less inflamed. And so if you’re going out for hamburger and fries at a fast food joint, you’re going to have increased inflammation.
We tend to eat lots of high-glycemic food. That’s not great. They spike our sugar quickly. That causes inflammation. It causes a flurry of activity in the body with a lot of insulin release which in turn drops your blood sugar. You end up being cranky, feel really hungry, and you have less resilience to anything happening.
When you eat a diet that’s high in vegetables, you decrease your inflammation. You get anti-inflammatory molecules in the vegetables. You also get lots of minerals, vitamins, other antioxidant molecules. Fried foods and meat increase the acids in our body. We know what would happen if I poured acid on a table every day. Now imagine your tissues bathed in that after each meal.
Food and pain are deeply connected.
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I don’t think a lot of people would connect diet to pain but I think we’re hearing more and more about how certain foods can react negatively in people’s body and there’s a connection there though correct?
Dr. Heather Tick:
Absolutely. My mantra, and my patients will tell you that they’re sick of hearing it from me, is you change your body chemistry every time you eat. We truly do. It changes from meal to meal. It can either make yourself more inflamed or less inflamed. And so if you’re going out for hamburger and fries at a fast food joint, you’re going to have increased inflammation.
As a matter of fact, for the next 8 hours to 12 hours after a fast food meal, you’re also going to have an increased risk of dying suddenly of heart attack. That has led one British doctor to recommend that every time somebody orders fast food they should get a standard cholesterol lowering drug with it.
Our food choices make a big difference. So in North America we tend to eat a lot of very refined foods. They’re refined carbohydrates and they’re very high-glycemic which means they spike our sugar quickly. When you spike your sugar quickly, initially it rises. It causes inflammation. It causes a flurry of activity in the body with a lot of insulin release and that in turn drops your blood sugar.
When your blood sugar drops, you’re also in a pro-inflammatory state. You’re also tired. You’re cranky. You feel pain more when your blood sugar has dropped because you have less resilience to anything happening and you’re starving. What you’re craving is another high-glycemic food. If you go to all of the places that are not even the ones that are not supposed to be food outlets but certainly the food outlets and now in gas stations and drugstores. You go around the cash register and there’s all these high glycemic snacks. It’s not a coincidence. They know that people are rushing in there. Blood sugar is dropping because of their last fast food meal and they’re going to grab something and they’re going to grab something unhealthy.
When we eat a diet that’s high in vegetables, we decrease our inflammation. So you get anti-inflammatory molecules in the vegetables. You also get lots of minerals, vitamins, other antioxidant molecules. You get the nutrients you need to heal and those fruits also decrease the acidity of our body. When we eat the fried foods and a lot of meat we also get very acidic. We know what happens if I poured acid on the table. You know that wouldn’t be very good for acid. What happens when we lay our tissues day in and day out and excess acidity it causes excess wear and tear decrease healing.