Between Valentine’s Day and Easter, it is quite hard to avoid all those delightful sweet treats that the grocery store always has fully stocked this time of year. While it’s more obvious how sugar can impact weight gain, obesity, and cause serious medical conditions like type 2 diabetes, have you ever thought about how sugar affects muscle and joint pain? If you answered “no,” you’re not alone. Many people don’t even realize the devastating effects sugar can have on the musculoskeletal system.

What Are Added Sugars, Anyway?

Naturally occurring sugars are found in most fruits, whereas added sugars are additives found in a wide range of processed foods and beverages to enhance the flavor. Added sugars come in many different forms including corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, raw sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, and glucose, to name a few.

The Trouble With Added Sugar

Added sugar can be found in everything from juice to pasta sauce. This food additive, delicious as it is to eat, can cause or contribute to a range of health problems including:

  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Stress
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Other

How Does Sugar Affect Muscle and Joint Pain?

In addition to these health and wellness problems, sugar contributes to pain in the muscles and joints in a number of ways. Let’s take a look.

Inflammation and Swelling

According to The Arthritis Foundation and numerous other studies, there is a definitive link between sugar and inflammation, also referred to as the “sugar aches.” Foods with high sugar content can cause inflammation to develop not only in the gastrointestinal systems, but also in the joints such as knees, shoulders, and ankles. This is due to a biochemical response in the body that releases inflammation when triggered by a high-sugar diet.

Age-Related Pain and Stiffness

As we age, the joints begin to wear down due to decades of wear-and-tear, but some studies suggest that sugar consumption can trigger the onset of age-related illnesses like arthritis and osteoarthritis. When overconsumed, sugar can reduce bone density and leave bones brittle and weak. Additionally, regular consumption of sugar can reduce calcium intake.

Difficulty Relaxing the Muscles

Consuming high amounts of sugar regularly can deplete the body of nutrients for strong cell and muscle function. A diet high in sugar contributes to the loss of nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which helps regulate relaxation and contraction in muscles. When muscles are constantly contracting (muscle spasms), they become tense and tight which means a greater risk for aggravating nearby nerves.

Contact Your Top Rated Local® Littleton Chiropractor

Pay attention to how much sugar you consume and find ways to cut sugar out of your diet for good. Doing so can help relieve those nagging aches, pains, and reduce troublesome inflammation that impedes joint movement and function. If you want to reduce your sugar intake, check out these sugar-conscious recipes shared by The American Diabetes Foundation.

If you have questions about how sugar may be affecting your body, or you want to schedule chiropractic care in Littleton, don’t spend hours or longer searching “chiropractor near me” when your Top Rated Local® wellness team is just a call or a click away. Contact Arne Wellness Center to arrange an appointment.