Obesity is often referred to as a low-grade inflammatory disease. A large study involving more than 75,000 women found that those who consumed a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar had up to a 98% greater risk of heart disease, compared to women with the lowest intake of refined carbs (17). For those of you with chronic aches and pains and other health issues, following an anti inflammatory diet is a sure way to keep inflammation in your body at bay. (1). A diet high in whole foods like fruit, vegetables and whole grains can have other health benefits, too. Elevated blood sugar can also lead to inflammation. One study found that when mice were fed high-sugar diets, they developed breast cancer, which then spread to other parts of the body (3). Lastly, sugar also raises cholesterol levels in the body that causes more inflammation and pain. We do not have a biological need for fructose, according to the American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Check for ingredients ending in "ose" — that's the chemical name for many types of sugar, such as fructose, glucose, maltose and dextrose. The intake of soft drinks that contain HFCS or sucrose has risen at the same rate as the obesity epidemic. By Kate Crosby, BS, CNP March 29, 2017 . Dietary Sugar and Inflammation in The Body. Eating sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise and then drop quickly. As a physician, I believe avoiding sugar today is more important than ever. Natural sugar is usually consumed within whole foods. But what about the relationship between excessive sugar and heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, eczema and other chronic diseases?There are 2 steps along the sugar-inflammation-disease pathway: 1. For example, consuming fructose has a dose-dependent impact on inflammation. 2 Inflammation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process. Here's what you can do about it. Aches and pains. Sugar hurts. © 2018 Integrative Pain Science Institute. (2)  Not only does this put us at risk for cardiovascular disease, but it’s also associated with the pain of weight gain and obesity. What’s the Connection Between Hypoglycemia and Pregnancy? Kids? Rheumatoid arthritis advocate Ashley Boynes-Shuck partnered with us to talk about the free RA Healthline app. Before long, you are in an endless loop of cravings, hunger, and more sugar intake. A high intake of added sugar and refined carbs has been linked to the development of other diseases, such as liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, mental decline, arthritis and others (2, 32, 33, 34). Excessive sugar intake can trigger stiff, painful joints … It’s much sweeter than glucose or sucrose and provides a sweet taste but no nutritional value. By sugar I mean table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, honey (even raw), maple sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, fructose and any other word that ends in an “ose”, barley malt, rice syrup, liquid cane sugar… However, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the chemistry lab version of fructose, and it’s made from the overabundance of genetically modified corn. More and more cutting edge studies are substantiating the fact that sugar leads to inflammation-- which then leads to so many chronic diseases. However, regular physical activity has been shown to reduce belly fat and inflammatory markers in humans (46). Sticking with a whole-food diet will make it easy to avoid both added and artificial sweeteners! The average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year, where less than 100 years ago, the intake was only about 4 pounds per year. While more research is needed, it is thought that the increased risk of cancer may be due to the inflammatory effect of sugar. HFCS has been steadily replacing table sugar in foods, and now accounts for as much as 40 percent of caloric sweetener used in the United States, according to the Princeton University study. This is due to the increased inflammation caused by sugars and by giving rise to an oxidation-reduction imbalance in the body. And the truth is, sugar is hiding in the food and beverages you consume all day long! During injury or infection, the body releases chemicals to help protect it and fight off any harmful organisms. Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, eating too many inflammatory foods may cause chronic low-grade inflammation. This means the more you eat, the greater the inflammation in the body (42). Most forms of joint pain and muscle aches involve inflammation and, even if pain is the result of trauma, symptoms may be exacerbated and prolonged by eating foods high in sugar. Gluten. more harmful than other caloric sweeteners. However, natural sugar has not been linked to inflammation. Even though sugar and inflammation serve important functions in our bodies in moderation, the problem arises when we eat too much sugar, … The more HFCS you consume, the worse it is for your health. Proceed … Damage to nerves can also manifest in restless leg syndrome, plantar fasciitis, car… There isn’t enough evidence to say that HFCS is less safe to eat than table sugar, according to the American Medical Association, which has stated that HFSC does not appear to be more harmful than other caloric sweeteners. A large analysis including over 38,000 people found that just one serving of sugary drinks daily was associated with an 18% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes (26). HCFS is not just found in sodas – it’s also used in juices, juice drinks, flavored milk products, tonic water, smoothies, energy drinks and flavored coffee drinks. Therefore, they cannot prove that sugar alone was the cause of these health problems (34). It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. Several studies have found a strong link between consuming sugary drinks and an increased risk of heart disease (16). When your blood sugar is not stable, it leads to mood swings, fatigue, painful headaches, and more cravings for sugar. In particular, excess fructose consumption has been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. “One of the biggest offenders of inflammation is ingestion of sugar. In one study, eating just 50 grams of refined carbs in the form of white bread resulted in higher blood sugar levels and an increase in the inflammatory marker Nf-kB (10). We are all familiar with the connection between sugar and tooth decay. This can often lead to weakness, numbness, unpleasant and often painful sensations, usually in hands and feet. For example, one can of soft drink has been found to increase inflammatory … To put this into perspective, one can of soda contains about 35 grams of sugar! Frequent breakouts are often a telltale sign your body is inflamed. Therefore, it seems possible to reduce inflammation levels by making dietary changes. Several animal studies have shown that a diet high in added sugar leads to obesity, insulin resistance, increased gut permeability and low-grade inflammation (5). You may not think that you are eating much of the sweet stuff, but when you consider the hidden sugar in your food, plus the fact that even healthy carbohydrates turn to sugar in your body, it can all add up quickly. Observational studies in humans have linked high added sugar and refined carbohydrate intake to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and more. While there are lots of different potential causes for pain in the joints, sugar is one that many people aren’t aware of. Other factors like stress, medication, smoking and excess fat intake can also lead to inflammation (15). With the increase in sugar consumption over the last several decades, we have … In contrast, fiber intake helped protect against the development of diabetes (27). All Rights Reserved. Let’s look at the most damaging sugar of all: high fructose corn syrup. It also brings excellent results when applied to sprains, bruises and soreness caused from over-exertion. Inflammation can be caused by a number of things such as autoimmune genes, a poor diet that's high in inflammatory foods such as gluten, sugar or dairy, leaky gut, fatty liver, trauma from accidents and injuries, wear and tear of the joints, adrenal insufficiency, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, viruses, chronic infections,or pro-inflammatory hormones. And it’s not me saying this, it’s science. Here are some of the ways … Similarly, it’s a good idea to avoid sugary alcoholic beverages, as sugar is also known to cause inflammation. Sugar may be the direct responsible for diabetes, but it’s also one of the best … Sugar worsens arthritis symptoms such as pain. The more HFCS you consume, the worse it is for your health. Because a diet rich in sugar can aggravate arthritis, experts often advise people who have this condition to reduce their sugar … Consuming a 50-gram dose of fructose causes a spike in inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) just 30 minutes later. We explain this connection and how to manage and prevent your symptoms. Research shows that the effect of stress on the body — chiefly the way it triggers inflammation — contributes to the development and worsening of many chronic conditions. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. These people tended to gain more weight, too (6). Savory foods like chips, popcorn, and pretzels can be problematic too, as well as granola bars, rice cakes, buttery crackers and fruit bars! Diagnosed as a Child, Ashley Boynes-Shuck Now Channels Her Energy into Advocating for Others Living with RA. Some people may also find that foods high in purines and nightshades trigger arthritis flare … Maybe you picked sugar to be the food you avoid for the next 22 days. Natural sugars include those naturally occurring in foods. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines… 1,2. Studies link the increased consumption of added sugar to type 2 diabetes (25, 26, 27, 28). That’s because high quantities of sugar increase the swelling throughout our whole body. That’s because there’s a good bit of evidence linking sugar for joint pain. 1 This physiological process, the inflammatory response, is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection due to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign substances. If you’ve been dealing with chronic back pain for a while, then you know that inflammation only worsens – or even causes – the pain. Inflammation is one of the factors that cause pain and stiffness with osteoarthritis. The main reason: It’s cheaper. Spinal steroid injections can significantly alleviate inflammation and, therefore, pain – but there are things you can do every day to reduce pain and make your life a lot easier.. One of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation? Below are some simple tips to help reduce inflammation: The evidence suggests that eating too much added sugar and too many refined carbohydrates causes inflammation in your body. Alkaptonuria is a rare genetic disorder that causes homogentisic acid to build up in your body. However, if you are experiencing aches and pains as a result of eating too much sugar you are creating inflammation in those areas of your body. Sugar can cause back pain, in fact in the past ten years researchers have found a solid link between sugar consumption and inflammation. Foods high in fat and sugar, trigger inflammation throughout the body, including the lower back. Consuming natural sugars should not be any cause for concern. You cut calories, fit in time at the gym, and never eat after 8 p.m.So why is it that you still can't deflate that spare tire hanging around your tummy? 1. Sugar is also found to increase the weight which is not recommended in arthritis as it can worsen the pain and disease control. Your Joints. While there are many symptoms of diabetes, those that are most painful include osteoarthritis, neuropathy, slow wound healing, and neuropathy. Sugar drives fat storage, and with more and more Americans consuming hidden sources of sugar, both adults and children are heavier now than in the last several decades. Experts suggest that modern diets, which are often high in refined carbs and added sugar, can lead to an imbalance in gut bacteria. What they don’t think of is sugar, but they should. Joint Pain and Inflammation. You can calculate this by knowing that one teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams. One study found that replacing processed foods with whole, unprocessed foods improved insulin resistance, improved cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure, all of which are related to inflammation (47). (3). Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar in fruit. Is your daily intake of sugar causing you pain and inflammation? Yogurt. The simple carbohydrates that break down quickly include natural foods such as milk and fruit, but also processed foods like candy, sugary drinks, chips, cereal and baked goods. Many yogurts are nutritionally equivalent to ice cream and full of fat with lots of sugar. It may surprise you to know that it’s not just the obvious foods like cookies, cake, ice cream and candy bars. Though the exact causes are unknown, the obesity epidemic is one likely culprit. Be a sugar detective, read labels, and see how many places you spot these sugary ingredients in the foods you eat on a regular basis. High fructose corn syrup is addictive and should be eliminated from the diet as you begin to heal your pain naturally. The steady absorption of natural sugar prevents blood sugar spikes. Millions of people in the United States are sensitive to gluten, the proteins found in grains … Not only do many of these foods contain HFCS and other added sugars (see the list below), but they are often loaded with carbohydrates, which when eaten, turn right to sugar in your body. Your intestines are sensitive to inflammation, which can cause pain, diarrhea and bleeding. High blood sugar damages the nerves and can cause pain and numbness in the hands and feet, as well as problems with blood vessels, the heart, and the digestive and urinary tracts. Another study found that increasing corn syrup intake was strongly associated with diabetes. Consider this: your body might be fighting against your weight loss efforts because you're eating too many inflammatory foods that cause chronic inflammation. While weight gain and tooth decay may be the most obvious consequences of excessive sugar… Continue reading Sugar Causes Inflammation and Pain   Inflammation is an amazing unifier of most chronic diseases, so if you want to optimize your current and future health, you can do so by minimizing inflammation. Consuming excess added sugar and refined carbohydrates causes several changes in the body, which help explain why a diet high in sugar can lead to chronic, low-grade inflammation. This can lead to some serious issues as your liver gets overworked and it can really do a number on your joint … However, added sugar provides zero nutrients plus calories, and this is what we want to limit. Subscribe to receive free training and the latest episode of the Healing Pain Podcast. Added sugar is removed from its original source and added to foods and drinks to serve as a sweetener or increase shelf life. These in turn create more inflammation – not just in the gut, but throughout the body. And some critics charge that this has led to a situation where foods that never used to include sweeteners, or did so in limited quantities, now are routinely made using copious amounts of high-fructose corn syrup. The link between sugar and type 2 diabetes is fairly accepted too. When giving up sugar, which some people refer to as a sugar detox, people may notice side effects. 5. Increases inflammation: All of that sugar has the painful side effect of increasing inflammation. It turns out, the sweet stuff appears to be a bigger health risk than ever imagined. In fact, the PET scan, which is used to detect cancer, uses radioactively labeled sugar to detect tumor cells. You can also eat anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, and fruits such as oranges, strawberries, blueberries, and cherries. (2)  One to two servings of fruit per day can be a part of a healthy diet. How this happens isn’t fully understood, but is thought to be due to a mix of increased gut permeability, bacterial overgrowth in the gut and ongoing low-grade inflammation (35). Pregnancy affects your blood sugar and may increase your risk for hypoglycemia. One can of soda contains about 35 grams of sugar! Inflammation Relief Therapy targets the aches, pain and stiffness caused by inflammation with key ingredients like Glucosamine Sulfate, Ginger Root Extract, and Dimethyl Sulfone (MSM). Last year, the FDA announced a new look for nutrition labeling, and added sugars will appear under the carbohydrate heading, making it easier to keep track. Blood sugar levels creep higher and higher, eventually resulting in type 2 diabetes. Most women should limit added sugar to 25 grams per day, and men should limit to 35 grams per day. The more complex the carbohydrate molecule, the more slowly it breaks down. Sugar is highly addictive, and especially the HFCS variety because it alters the transmissions of brain chemicals and triggers the pleasure center of the brain. When giving up sugar, which some people refer to as a sugar detox, people may notice side effects. Aim for 'clean' whole foods instead of processed ones whenever possible. The more HFCS you consume, the worse it is for your health Click To Tweet. Some experts believe that chronically high insulin levels, which can result from consuming too much sugar, may also play a role in cancer development (24). 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