Could Your Blood Sugar Be Causing Your Joint Pain?

I know you’re aware that repetitive stress, sitting too long, being overweight, an old injury, poor posture and even ill fitting shoes can all contribute to joint pain whether that’s in your back, your knee or your neck. But are you aware that your blood sugar and how you manage it can be THE source of your joint aches and pains?

You heard that right and here we go again… your diet and your body parts are most definitely connected. I know you’re aware of that and if you follow my articles, you know that certain foods like gluten and dairy can really be culprits for a whole host of health ailments. But now I’m not just talking about what you eat, I’m also talking about how you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, how fast you eat, the stress that is present when you eat and believe it or not, even if you eat!

All of these aspects about eating are incredibly important when it comes to managing your blood sugar level. In other words, everything about your pattern of eating including what you eat results in either a stable blood sugar level that gently rolls up and down like the soft swells in the ocean on a very calm day, or it results in jagged spikes that soar upwards like the Eiffel Tower and plunge downward like a roller coaster or maybe your blood sugar rises but then keeps slipping to the bottom where you’ll simply want to eat again to revive your brain and yourself back to productivity. And I can’t leave out the blood sugar that promptly rises with eating but then stays up there like the world’s most efficient hot air balloon, never to come down but also never to really deliver the glucose in your meal all the way into your muscle cells for fuel. You’ll want to eat again even though you just ate, and you’ll particularly want something sweet since your muscle cells are actually starving! This is an example of overeating and starving all at the same time! A common nutritional picture in America: overfed and undernourished! This last scenario where your blood sugar level stays elevated means that your insulin level also stays elevated as it works like a dog trying to get glucose into the muscle cells but can’t. That’s because insulin has worn out its welcome and the muscle cells have stopped responding to insulin. Elevated insulin is a key to turning on the body’s inflammation waterfall and thus begins the joint destruction process! Arthritis starts out as systemic inflammation that ultimately focuses at the joints and surrounding tissues.

So let’s review! You haven’t had great eating patterns for awhile now, even though you might eat healthy foods. Then you notice that you really crave sweets, especially after dinner. Or, you get really tired after you eat or you have to eat again even though you just ate. Now you’re getting cranky and maybe a muffin top too and just like your mood, your sleep’s not so great either! And before too long, the morning stiffness and aching joints with exercise start showing up! Maybe it just shows up in your fingers, hands or feet but joint inflammation is definitely setting in! Do you see how the joints become a problem but it started way back with inflammation coming from poor eating patterns? Arthritis is a condition and it’s also a clue. A clue that something deeper in the body needs help.

Please let me know the next time your orthopedist tells you to take a look at what you’re eating or how you’re eating when you go in for a visit because your joints are hurting or your arthritis is acting up!

I won’t hold my breath waiting!

About Sheila Wagner PT, CN, BCHN

Sheila’s cutting edge ability to uncover hidden source(s) of health issues when no one else has is the first piece to her step wise approach in solving your persistent health complaints.

+Sheila Wagner is the ultimate expert assisting people nationwide to finally fix their health through 1:1 consults, group programs, lectures and classes.

Opinions & Feedback:

  1. How interesting, Sheila! I always find some great take-aways from your posts! Thanks for sharing, Katherine

  2. That’s such great information, Sheila, I’m going to take a look at the connection you’re talking about here.
    Thanks for the info.

  3. As someone who has spent a lot of time in rheumatologists and orthopedist’s offices, I can tell you I won’t hold my breath, either! Good points, as usual, Sheila.

  4. “So let’s review…” love it and yes, it spoke to me (as your messages usually do!). Who knew blood sugar had such a global impact on your body’s functionality? As always, Sheila, very impressed with your knowledge and expertise. Any tips on cutting back on sugar for the holidays?

  5. Ah, just found your “7 Tips to Dampen the Blood sugar Flame over the Holidaze” from last year holiday time:


  6. Sheila,

    Great tips especially around the holidays when sweets are so abundant.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon

  7. Sheila,
    Seeing many patients suffering with joint pain, I agree whole-heartedly about watching the diet. Great article.
    Dr. Robert Fenell

  8. Sheila,

    Diet is SO important to feeling good. I am going to share your article with my friends. Thank you.

    Kiyla Fenell

    • You’re so right–Thanksgiving is a great hdaloiy! Family and food–what could be better? It’s also a wonderful time to count our blessings and share our gratitude by helping those less fortunate. Love your blog and I’ll be back!

  9. Sheila,
    Well we certainly know where you stand on this issue!
    Chocolate anyone?

  10. Sheila – I am floored by this! I’ve had joint pain lately, so now I want to know if maybe there is a correlation. Thanks for the insights!!! ~ Carmen

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