Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Back Pain Diet

One of the most common complaints of patients consulting a physician is back pain. The condition, regardless of its severity, is really debilitating. It can affect one's work and daily living. While most people do not know is that eating certain foods can actually be the source of this of this muscle aches.
There are certain diseases that can cause referred pain in the back. One of which is cholelithiasis or gall bladder stones. Due to the complex nerve distribution in our body, certain organ diseases can be manifested in other body parts such as gall bladder diseases. One of the causes of gall bladder stones is high fat intake. In fact, there is the medical term for this, 4Fs- fat, female, forty and fertile. Fatty foods such as meat, dairy product and fast foods, even though delicious can actually cause gall stones. These people affected with the disease would often go to the hospital feeling aches in the abdomen and back.
Another dietary related cause of back pains is low intake of Vitamin B, specifically B12. This vitamin is vital for nerve function. When severely low in the body, it can manifest as muscle aches especially in the legs and even in the back together with gastrointestinal problems, weakness and disorientation. It can also cause tingling sensations in different parts of the body including the back. People lacking in Vitamin B12 would feel that they are afflicted with severe diseases while in fact, it is in their diet. This can be remedied by eating foods rich in this vitamin B12 such as liver, liver oil, turkey, tuna, lentils, chili peppers, bananas, tempeh (soy based), potatoes, brewer's yeast and molasses.
Inflammatory conditions can cause a painful back. Surprisingly, there are many foods that are considered inflammatory foods. Examples of which are sugar (whatever the source),processed foods, fast foods, French fries, white bread, ice cream, pasta, cheddar cheeses, oils such as vegetable and corn, caffeine, soda and alcohol. A typical person eats a lot of these. One should be careful as these might be the cause of muscle aches in the back.
If there are inflammatory foods, not surprisingly, there are also anti-inflammatory foods. Alaskan salmon (wild) is said to be a potent anti-inflammatory food. Drinking lots of water and green tea can also be beneficial to reduce or prevent inflammation that can cause back pain. Other foods also known for their anti-inflammatory effects are fresh whole fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, old-fashioned oatmeal, lean poultry and dark leafy vegetables. Spices such a turmeric and ginger also have anti-inflammatory effects based on research.
Back pain really has a negative impact on one's life. It can affect work, studies and leisure. It ruins special occasions and supposed-to-be-happy memories. While medical interventions can alleviate these aches, it is also important to modify one's diet as it may be the cause of pain. There is no harm in eating healthy foods and avoiding the bad ones. Healthy foods are indeed the key to healthy living.

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