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Tiferet Chiropractic


Food and Pain

We truly are what we eat.  Food provides the building blocks for a strong, healthy and energetic body.  However, eating the wrong foods can tear us down and make us feel tired, weak and sick.  We all know that a poor diet increases our risk of developing heart disease and cancer, but our diet also affects our mood and energy level and contributes to increased pain sensitivity.  Yes – food affects your perception of pain.  In fact, a survey of people with chronic pain found that 42% of respondents felt increased pain and stiffness when they ate certain foods.  Many people have food sensitivities that do not show up in food allergy tests.  What is your food doing to you?


Pain sensation is transmitted by nerve cells that travel up the spinal cord to the brain.  The sensitivity of these nerve cells affects the way that people process pain.  If these nerve cells are overly sensitive, you may experience exaggerated pain compared to what might be considered normal.  Certain foods trigger the release of chemicals that increase this nerve sensitivity.


Vegetables in the nightshade family release a chemical that in some people can aggravate the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.  Foods in this family include tomatoes, chile peppers, potatoes, and eggplant.


Foods containing yeast and gluten can increase your pain sensitivity as well.  Yeast is most commonly found in breads and baked goods and it contributes to the growth of fungus in and on the body.  Fungus is a stressor on the body and increases pain sensitivity.  Gluten is small protein found in anything made with wheat, rye, or barley.  This protein binds to tissues throughout the body and can cause a variety of problems – from headaches and sinus trouble to digestive issues and increased pain sensitivity.  Quite frequently, people with gluten sensitivities have no digestive complaints at all.


Another food group that creates problems for a lot of people is dairy.  Dairy contains two proteins that cause an immune response in the body: whey and casein.  Sensitivity to these proteins results in pain and inflammation – not the digestive problems associated with lactose intolerance (gas, bloating, diarrhea).  Dairy products also contain a type of saturated fat which the body uses to produce a chemical that stimulates pain sensation.  Less consumption of this type of fat results in reduced signaling of pain.


Finally, some artificial sweeteners contribute to pain sensitivity in a big way.  Products containing aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal) have been associated with pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle and joint pain.  Aspartame activates the nerve cells that increase pain sensitivity.


The point is not to avoid all of these foods.  Listen to your body.  How do you feel after eating certain foods?  You might not be in overt pain, but some foods could create subtle disturbances that affect your mood or performance in your favorite sport. Chiropractic is about total health.  We want you to feel your best – to feel amazing – each and every day of your life.  This life is yours to create.  

Passion. Commitment. Belief.

Key Points

Foods associated with increased pain:

Nightshade vegetables


Baked goods & grains (pasta, bread, cereal)




Aspartame (artificial sugars)


Inflammatory foods

Call us today to begin your journey from pain to a stronger, healthier you.  

Racine Chiropractor / Scott T. Sheriff, DC / (262) 554-6869

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