Can your intestinal health affect your pain?

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gut health, microbiome, pain, pain management, osteoarthrits

Can your intestinal health affect your pain?

You may have noticed that at any time your pain levels may fluctuate depending on many different variables, including the weather, the number of hours you slept the night before and if you are having a stressful day or not. But you may not have thought too much about the role that bacteria might be playing in how you feel.

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It has hundreds of different types of bacteria that live inside the intestine that form what is known as the microbiome, and as a fingerprint, each person’s microbiome is a bit unique but influenced by factors such as diet, environment and lifestyle habits. As we begin to learn more about how our microbiome affects our overall health, we are also beginning to see evidence that it can also play a role in how much it hurts.

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Consider a recent study published by researchers at the University of Rochester that analyzed the effects of microbiome on joint pain and swelling in mice. When comparing the intestinal bacteria of mice that had been fed an unhealthy diet with mice maintained on a healthy diet, they discovered that the intestinal bacteria of obese mice were not only different from those of their thinner counterparts, but also included strains Causes of inflammation . These intestinal changes coincided with signs of inflammation throughout the body, including the joints. The researchers also discovered that when both groups of mice experienced cartilage damage to the knees, obese mice with the intestinal bacteria that cause inflammation experienced rapid deterioration of their joints compared to the other mice.

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In a short time, these unfortunate mice developed advanced osteoarthritis of their knees. When the researchers treated obese mice with a prebiotic (a source of food for the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestine), they were able to prevent inflammation and arthritic deterioration in the joints of their knees, without changing their body composition.

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we experience, it is still unclear how to take advantage of this information. To treat the pain In our daily lives Unfortunately, in humans we have not found that simply adding a prebiotic to our diet will make all pain and inflammation magically disappear. There may be a number of reasons for that, including the wide variation in microbiomes from person to person and the unique environments in which we live.

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But, just because we don’t know exactly what foods might help improve intestinal health doesn’t mean we can’t try. Personally, I set out to increase my consumption of prebiotics and probiotics (live and beneficial bacteria). Prebiotics can be found in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and you can get probiotics in foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut, or by supplements. As always, be sure to talk to your doctor before making major changes or starting a supplement.

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