Sugar raises cortisol and insulin levels. This creates higher inflammation in the body’s tissues and destabilizes glucose levels. It also leads to pain.
Chronic severe pain also causes excess secretion of cortisol. It’s basically a double whammy because your joints and spine have low blood circulation. They are highly susceptible to inflammation but you can reduce back and joint pain by regulating your blood sugar levels. This decreases the release of stress hormones and insulin which decreases the inflammatory response.
You can start by just cutting back on sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 38 grams of sugar per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. But first, you have to be able to identify it in ingredients. It can be listed as fructose, maltose, glucose, and dextrose. Basically, things that end in -ose.
You also want to lean towards foods lower on the glycemic index. Think of non-starchy vegetables like squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots versus starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn. Eat more tart fruits like berries, citrus fruits, and peaches versus sweet fruits like mangoes, lychees, and passion fruit. Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and steel-cut oats versus refined grains where the bran germ and nutrients have been milled away like white flour, white rice, and white bread.
Comment below if you’ve got a sweet tooth.