How Food Effects Joint Pain

Written by Changing Habits

March 12, 2014

Have you noticed that many weekend warriors, elite athletes and people who love to get into the great outdoors seem to be plagued with injuries.  Is it over use – RSI, is it getting old, is it too much training or could it be the food you eat that is causing unexplained joint and muscle pains and injury?

face it, the only way the cells of the body are made, which then in turn make
muscles, tendons and joints come from the food you eat.  Eat good quality
foods and guess what, it’s a no brainer you get good quality body parts.
But many athletes and people who love to exercise don’t seem to get this
concept.  Their belief is if they exercise then they can eat anything they
like.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If you don’t pay
attention to what you eat, then you will have to pay attention to pain and
injury when you can no longer do the things you love to do.

Protein is often seen as something to take to build muscle and strength.  There are many protein powders on the market that are made from soy (could be GMO) and whey and have been processed to either be a concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate.  Then because they don’t have much taste, flavours, colours and sweeteners are added to the protein.  Due to the processing of these proteins which strips away much of the nutrients, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added back in.  This has never made much sense to me, why not just eat a good quality protein like a raw egg, fish, chicken, meat, nuts and/or seeds.  

We have a human body that has evolved to eat real food not man made manipulated processed foods.  Our bodies perform better when we eat quality foods.  People who eat a real food diet have more health and energy then those who choose a diet based on processed and non essential additives.

Having said that sometimes even real foods can cause problems. In recent years, real foods have been associated with joint pain and injury.  The growing epidemic of autoimmunity which includes migraines, headaches, osteoporosis, joint pain and muscle pain has bought about more research on the topic.  Gluten which is found in wheat, barley and rye as well as  any food made with these three grains has been implicated in joint and muscle pain and injury.

Why has gluten in recent years become a problem?  The answer to this is not simple but can be explained by the change and hybridisation of the wheat grain as well as the processing, refinement and amount of wheat that is eaten.  Couple that with the growing number of people with GUT issues due to excessive amounts of antibiotics prescribed and used in the domestic meat market and the human race is primed for health issues that go beyond coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease and arthritis, joint and muscle pain fall under the umbrella of autoimmunity.  Autoimmunity is when the body does not know itself from an enemy and so it begins to attack itself.  In the past if you go to your doctor with aches and pains they would have said that you are getting old or you are using the joint too much, but our knowledge is so much greater now.  

Gluten is a protein made up of peptides these peptides are sometimes very similar to the peptides that make up body parts such as muscle, bone, connective tissue, joints etc. When we consume wheat (containing gluten) every day and the body views gluten as the enemy due to antecedents throughout life and a leaky gut then the immune system will start attacking similar peptides, this is called molecular or cellular mimicry.  These peptides can be in any part of the body including joints and muscles or it could also be the thyroid, pancreas and other important organs.  We know that this happens but we don’t know why one person gets joint pain and another has thyroid problems.

The Paleo diet and lifestyle is making a resurgence back into sport (Australian Cricket Team) and mainstream eating.  Dropping grains including the gluten and non gluten containing grains has become a popular diet trend and mainly because the weekend warrior and the elite athlete is feeling the difference, with more energy and less injuries and pain.  Not only are the results anecdotal but science is catching up with why this is so.

If you do have aches, pains, unexplained injuries then why not try a diet based on our hunter gatherer ancestors.  The best way to do this is to first eliminate most foods except for flesh foods, greens, some fruit and seeds, then add back.  Your body will tell you through pain very quickly if you are eating something that is not conducive to a healthier, fitter, more energetic you.

Thousands of people have found by doing one of our Changing Habits protocols, either the Hunter Gatherer Protocol or the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol, their pains disappear. When the introduce foods back into their diet, they can find what foods are the trigger of that debilitating pain. By finding this, they can live a pain free life.

Find out more information about these protocols here:

4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol

Hunter Gatherer Protocol


Cyndi O’Meara


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