As we investigate further and keep looking at how this inflammatory cascade into chronic pain starts we discover INSULIN and sugar.
Insulin is a response to sugar consumption, and accelerates an enzyme conversion that can speed up the formation of prostaglandins (inflammation).
If you remember back in the omega-3 article,
1982 the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to 3 guys for their discovery of PROSTAGLANDINS. These are hormones that determine whether or not you are inflammed.
Inflammation leads to PAIN, arthritis, artery disease, auto immune diseases, dementia, and cancer. Inflammation control is wildly important to modern life.
American Journal of Cancer Nutrition in March of 2002 found that foods high in sugar resulted in inflammation. The researchers used C-reactive protein blood testing to measure the inflammatory response. The high sugar foods increased the body’s inflammation. If you are getting blood testing done, have them test C-reactive proteins for you.
Where to start?
Sugar is used as a generic term for all the sugar types, carbohydrates and even calories. What we are really after is control and elimination of ADDED sugar to your diet. We aren’t going to count naturally occurring sugars from whole foods.
The American Heart Association has a limit for added sugar.
MEN =150 calories or 9 teaspoons / day
Women =100 calories or 6 teaspoons / day
Another way to evaluate this is by looking at the carbohydrates.
4 grams carbohydrate = 1 teaspoon sugar.
If you want an amusing look at how this affects you, Amazon Prime has a great movie called That Sugar Film.
This is a note from a patient in 2004.
“Dr. Altman, Thank you for all the info that was passed on to me from you. I have changed many things about my eating lifestyle. I can’t stick to a strict program like you were suggesting though, after 8 days I was becoming depressed and missing my cereal and toast.
All in all, I have been more conscious of what I put in my mouth now. My fibromyalgia is at about a 5- not an 11. Thanks for taking the time to see me.”
Her pain was 50% better in 8 days. Sugar increases pain through the action of high levels of insulin. But, you might have caught a problem in her story. She got depressed and couldn’t hang with it, even though she felt better.
Would you choose cocaine or sugar?
Please watch the Movie “Fed UP” (Netflix) they highlight the many troubles with sugar. The most astonishing one is when researchers took 43 cocaine-addicted laboratory rats and over a 15 day period gave the rats a choice of cocaine or sugar water; 40 out of 43 chose sugar. If you crave sugar you should ask me about the 10 day sugar cleanse.
Things to watch out for.
Any food in a package.
Yogurt -one small container of commercial yogurt can have 4-5 teaspoons of sugar.
A small bag of chips can have 32 teaspoons.
A small ice cream treat from a store can have 21 teaspoons
A 12oz can of Coke has 140 calories, 39g of sugar= 9.75 teaspoons
That one can of soda exceeds a man’s entire daily amount of sugar.
Obvious things like cookies, candy, and Holiday treats are easy. Where I see people missing the sugar is in the more common things.
Cereal. This is may be the single worst thing you could put in your body in the morning. Donuts might be worse. Cereal is all carbohydrate and no nutrition. Eggs will be infinitely healthier for you.
Yogurt. If it isn’t plain yogurt you might be in trouble, look at the label. Try plain, full fat yogurt with berries on top.
Fruit juice. This is as bad as soda. Kids don’t need it. Kids only need water.
Low fat foods. Sugar is often added to give it taste. Eat real foods. If you still feel compelled to eat low fat foods. Watch In Defense of Food on Netflix. It’ll give you a fast summary of diet. I have a mountain of resources if you want to discover more, just email me by replying.
Two things to remember about sugar
It increases pain.
It increases obesity.
P.S. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in the 10 day sugar cleanse.
Review of previous articles
Chronic Pain: Part 1 Why my personal nightmare can change the world and your life.
Chronic Pain: Part 2 If you are tired of using pain drugs…this is for you
Chronic Pain: Part 3 Hospitals new pain reducer…psst, it’s not a drug
Chronic Pain: Part 4 The 3 absolute critical components of a pain-free life.