A-Z of health J- Joint Pain

As with many aspects of these A-Z posts I often find that many symptoms, even entire diseases are caused by a western diet and that in other cultures there’s sometimes not even a word for something very common in the west.

Why is this? What on earth are we eating that is causing so many lifestyle (yet serious) diseases and either creating or worsening the symptoms of so many other diseases?

When it comes to today’s post and the issue of joint pain there is once again a link with our western diet. There is also once again a link with obesity.

Very overweight people are a staggering 14 times more likely to get osteoarthritis of the knee than those in a healthy weight range.


Arthritis Research UK

There is more to joint pain than Osteoarthritis but let’s look at that for a second: –

  • Can be extremely debilitating
  • There is no cure
  • Once damage has started it is not reversable (unlike with the start of metabolic damage – you can prevent Type 2 Diabetes)

There is a real concern that unless rocketing rates of obesity are tackled, the numbers of people needing joint replacement surgery would soar, which would have a considerable impact on the NHS.

Professor Silman

There are many other forms of joint pain that might not lead to a debilitating condition but still be painful and cause limited mobility. Limited mobility through joint pain can lead to many factors: –

  • Increased weight gain
  • Reduced self esteem
  • Increased comfort eating
  • Decreased productivity
  • Depression

I refer to the limited mobility that means you struggle to play with children, walk upstairs, transition easily from sitting to standing, join in with physical activities you used to enjoy because they now cause pain.

So how is diet and lifestyle linked to this and in particular what are the issues with a western diet?

  1. Obesity – we have seen how this is a contributory factor
  2. Processed foods – here in lies the difference with a western diet – the volume and nature of processed foods consumed and the ticking time bomb of health problems they are creating!
  3. Sugar – can increase inflammation
  4. Too much Dairy – some people find a protein found in dairy products can be an irritant
  5. Smoking – generally nasty on all fronts but being a smoker increases your risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis, carrying on smoking with RA will make the condition worse and smoking will reduce the positive effect of RA medication
  6. What is missing? – along with the over consumption of processed foods (which we have seen add very little to our health but create a lot of problems) we generally DO NOT eat the nutrients we should to support our health.  Remember the majority of processed foods is nutrient devoid (empty calories).

We are living in an obese yet malnourished society.

When it comes to how nutrition supports your body, it is those nutrients that are generally missing that do the work.  When it comes to joint pain, I have supported clients to reduce inflammation, improve microbiome health and tweak diet so that symptoms have significantly reduced (remember you cannot reverse osteoarthritis once the damage is done).

As ever please contact me to discuss how I can help either as a one off consultation or via my nutrition coaching.

Louise promotes how nutrition shapes current and future health

About the author of this blog

Louise Mercieca is a multi award-winning author on children’s nutrition with her book ‘How Food Shapes Your Child’ winning the Parenting award in Janey Lee Grace’s Platinum awards.

Louise has also won a SBS or Small Business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis and was recently crowned as Queen of Child Nutrition in the #Queenof Twitter awards.

Louise has worked as a Nutritional Therapist for 8 years supporting hundreds of clients and does take on a limited number of personal coaching clients each month – contact Louise to discuss this. Louise has also created an accessible and affordable webinar schedule covering many topics discussed in this A-Z post series.https://www.louisemercieca.co.uk/webinar

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