There may be a direct correlation between gut inflammation and your back pain. We touched on this in Lower Back Pain: 5 Causes & Treatments. Your digestive system—your large intestine, small intestine and stomach—plays an important part in the overall health of your body. When you eat, everything stretches and works to extract nutrients from your food before passing it on to be eliminated. However, your digestive system struggles to perform its job well when faced with too many inflammatory foods. These are usually things like sugar, saturated fats and chemicals that your body has difficulty processing. When your gut is always in a state of distress, your lower back suffers as well.
Low Back Pain and Gut Inflammation
You may have experienced discomfort in your lower back after a particularly large meal. This is because your digestive system sits right in front of your lower back. As your stomach expands to accommodate food, you may experience an increase in pressure on your lower back. As your body digests your food that discomfort will probably subside over time. However, if your gut is always inflamed, you may experience discomfort continuously. Fortunately for you, there are three easy ways to reduce inflammation in your gut. This, in turn, should help reduce your lower back pain.
1. Eat smaller portions
When you eat something, your stomach produces acids to break the food down so that your small intestine can extract nutrients from it. It is actually a pretty amazing process. What is less than amazing is when your stomach goes into overdrive. When you overeat, your stomach struggles to keep up and can sometimes produce more acid than necessary. This excess acid then erodes the walls of your stomach. Like any chemical burn, the tissues that line your gut get aggravated and inflamed. Inflammation leads to swelling and swelling causes a pressure increase on your lower back.
To avoid this, eat smaller portions. If you are someone who is used to a big meal, add more vegetables to your plate for bulk. Vegetables are mostly water and will fill you up without overtaxing your gut. Try and space your meals out and have small snacks if you feel yourself getting hungry between meals Take time to chew your food and put your fork down while you do so. Try not to mindlessly eat while scrolling through social media. If you are eating with other people, match your pace to the slowest person at the table.
2. Avoid inflammatory foods
Certain foods trigger an inflammatory response in your body simply because they are difficult for your body to break down and/or integrate. In extreme cases, people have or develop allergies to things like lactose, eggs and peanuts. However, just because you don’t have a full blown allergic reaction to something does not mean it isn’t harming your body. Foods such as refined sugars and saturated fats cause an inflammatory response in your gut because they send your digestive system into overdrive. This panic response to these unwelcome foods causes your gut to swell as a natural form of defense. Just like overeating, the swelling causes a pressure increase on your lower back.
Foods such as pop, candy, deep fried and processed foods are the most common inflammatory foods out there. If you do not want to eliminate them from your diet, at least reduce your intake of them. Sugar is by far the worst thing to eat when you are trying to reduce inflammation in the body. According to Harvard University, eating refined sugars increases inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Cytokines are large groups of proteins that are produced to protect the body. They cause inflammation as a defense response. Which is helpful when your immune system is working to clear up and infection. Less helpful when your daily diet is causing chronic inflammation in the body.
A program that many people have had incredible results with is called the Lean Gut Diet. It has proven to shed unwanted fat, increase energy levels, boost metabolism, clean your body, and even boost your sex drive. Click here to watch a short video about it.
Most Inflammatory Foods
- Refined carbohydrates
- French fries and other fried foods
- Pop and other sugar-sweetened drinks
- Red meat and processed meat
- Margarine, shortening and lard
3. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
Just like certain foods create inflammation in the body, other foods help to reduce inflammation. These foods are high in antioxidants and other protective compouInflammation-Fighting
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish
- Fruits such as berries and oranges
Whether or not your gut inflammation is the sole cause of your back pain, changing your diet will have a positive effect on your body. Try and reduce your intake of inflammatory foods while increasing your consumption of inflammation fighting foods for a month. See how your back and you feel. The proof is in the pudding! (Not that you will be eating pudding; that stuff is full of sugar.)
What you eat can fuel or cool inflammation, a key driver of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. (2005, September). Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/family-health-guide/what-you-eat-can-fuel-or-cool-inflammation-a-key-driver-of-heart-disease-diabetes-and-other-chronic-conditions
Foods that fight inflammation. (2014, July). Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation