What does my sugar intake have to do with my pain?
Chinese medicine has been claiming for thousands of years that one of the most common causes for joint pains we have is “dampness” which is caused by inadequate nutrition that causes the accumulation of undesired “liquids” in the joints.
Modern practitioners of Chinese medicine do not necessarily expect to find actual liquids in these joints, but rather a stiffness, reduced Range of motion and pressure pain as if these liquids are present in these joints. These pathological (unhealthy) liquids can either be cold, in which case the joint will inflict sharp, stabbing pain, or hot, in which case the joint will be hot and red.
Based on the distinction between hot and cold dampness, Chinese medicine devised techniques using herbs, acupuncture and manual therapy to deal with these types of “dampness”.
As farfetched as it sounds, western science now seems to concur with this assumption. Western medicine preferred referring to the syndrome that causes impairment of joints as “rheumatism”, and regards it as an inflammation that is not caused by a pathogen. It is often referred to as either a sterile inflammation or autoimmune disease, which is again a disease that is formed within the body with no external cause.
For years we see an increase in the popularity of autoimmune diseases, allergies and rheumatic occurrences. Researchers started looking for environmental factors that may explain this increase in these occurrences.
The culprits that were found so far are processed foods and sugar. Consistent research results indicate the link between added sugar and higher inflammatory markers. Another research stated that drinking sugary drinks can spike inflammations, and their affect may linger over a considerable period of time.
More dramatic experiments show the connection between consumption of excessive amount of sugar will dramatically increase the production of AGE (Advanced glycation end products) which lead to systemic increase in oxidative stress and inflammation factors.
Examples of sterile inflammations we frequently see in the clinic occur in the shoulders, little joint arthritic pain (fingers, toes), ankles (particularly plantar fasciitis) and lower back pain cases.
Often times a drastic reduction in the consumption of sugar can by itself resolve the problem!