Living with lower back pain can negatively affect your life in many ways. In extreme cases, lower back pain can impede your mobility, making even basic daily living tasks difficult or impossible to perform. Even in cases that aren't that severe, lower back pain can reduce your quality of life, preventing you from being able to participate in work or recreational activities as fully as you might like. Unfortunately, lower back pain is also difficult to treat, as the causes for it are often unclear. If you've had no luck pinpointing the cause of your lower back pain, the answer might lie in your daily diet. While the association between your digestive system and your back may seem unclear, it turns out that certain foods can significantly contribute to back pain. Take a look at some dietary choices that may be causing your pain.
Nightshades are a plant group that contains a number of popular vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. You would probably consider all, or most, of these vegetables healthy food choices, and in many respects they are. However, nightshades contain alkaloid compounds that are known to contribute to inflammation in the body.
Some of these alkaloids are linked to intestinal conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, side effects of the alkaloids in nightshade plants can also cause muscle spasms, stiffness, aches, pains, and tenderness, all of which could affect the muscles and joints in your back. Some researchers theorize that some arthritis sufferers have been misdiagnosed and are actually suffering from nightshade side effects.
If nightshades make up a large part of your diet, you can test to see if they're responsible for your back pain by cutting them out of your menu for several months, then slowly reintroducing them. If the pain disappears when the nightshades are out of your system and reappears when you reintroduce them, then it's likely that nightshades are the source of your problem.
You probably already know that trans-fats aren't exactly healthy for your body. Trans-fats are linked to heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers, among other conditions. They also contribute to heightened levels of LDL cholesterol and lowered levels of HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is known to be unhealthy, and HDL cholesterol is good for your body.
It's the connection between trans-fats and cholesterol levels that may be contributing to your lower back pain. Studies have shown that patients with higher LDL cholesterol levels also experience more back pain symptoms and feel more severe pain than patients with normal LDL cholesterol.
If your LDL levels are high and you're experiencing lower back pain, cutting out trans-fats could do more than just give you a better result on your next cholesterol level test. Taking the steps to cut trans-fats out of your diet and decrease your LDL cholesterol levels could be the key to ending your back pain.
Gluten is a protein that's found in many starchy foods like bread and pasta, or anything else made with wheat. It can cause digestive problems in people that are sensitive to the protein. Gluten sensitivity appears to be more and more common in recent years. Chances are that you know someone who has cut gluten out of their diet, or perhaps you've thought about trying to go gluten-free yourself to eliminate digestive troubles. But you've probably never associated your back pain with the bread on your sandwich.
However, there is a connection between gluten and back pain. If you're sensitive to gluten, you'll experience inflammation in your lower abdominal wall when you eat it. This prevents your abdominal muscles from working correctly and destabilizes your pelvis and spine, resulting in back pain.
You can go on an elimination diet for gluten the same way you would for nightshades. Cut it out of your diet for a few months to see if the pain goes away, and slowly reintroduce the gluten to see if the pain comes back. This test will tell you if gluten is the source of your back pain.
Remember that an unhealthy diet can also contribute to back pain, even absent any food sensitivities or cholesterol problems, by causing you to pack on the pounds. If you're too heavy for your frame, you'll experience pain in your musculoskeletal system. Talk to your doctor about creating a back-healthy diet plan full of foods that will help you feel your best.
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