Is There a Link Between Pain and Obesity?

Americans are becoming a society of everything fast and instant from news to food. According to the Gazette Review, the U.S. ranks #10 as the fattest country with Kuwait as #1 , Saudi Arabia as #2 and Belize as #3. This fast and instant lifestyle can lead to additional stress on the body along with the consumption of a poor diet filled with processed and fatty foods. A healthy diet though can really impact the quality of one’s health. Destressing, exercising and taking the time to eat whole foods can change the fat levels in the body.

Researchers are discovering certain foods in the Mediterranean diet also have a connection between body weight and chronic pain. Studies lead by Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University points to anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, nuts and beans as a key to preventing or reducing pain. Through their research (studying 98 men and women ranging in age of 20 to 78 years old), they found eating more fish and plant-based proteins such as nuts and beans were linked to less pain no matter what one’s body weight is. The Mediterranean diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice. There is very little red meat consumed in this diet, and the fat comes from olive oil. The target goal is nine servings a day of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Since there is a lot of fat in nuts, one should just eat a handful a day.

The obese population often suffers from multiple medical problems and pain such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, type 2 diabetes and back pain.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than one-third (36.5%) of the U.S. adults have obesity. Obese patients usually experience sensitivity to pain due to their inflammatory state. Research through the Practical Pain Management firm shows there are chemical mediators and inflammatory mediators which can be related to the percent of body fat and insulin sensitivity of a person. In Australia, a national study showed obese people were seven times more likely to have arthritis, low back and neck pain.

Dealing with pain management is never easy especially when dealing with other influencing factors such as obesity. Take time to speak with Dr. Jonathan Newton, MD, PhD at North Atlanta Spine and Pain to discuss options which will lead to a healthier and pain-free lifestyle. You’ll be encouraged by their solutions to getting your life back.

Contact North Atlanta Spine and Pain Care for more information.

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