It may seem like one has nothing to do with the other, but there’s a growing body of research suggesting a very real connection between bad gut health and achy joints. The source, experts say, can often be traced back to one thing: inflammation.
What is Gut Health?
The phrase “gut health” is an umbrella term that refers to the complex sets of bacteria present in, well, your gut. Your stomach does more than simply digest food—it orchestrates a whole slew of important activity, from regulating your immune system to creating serotonin, which plays a key role in our mental health. (Low serotonin is linked to both anxiety and depression.)
What Does Gut Health Have to Do with Our Joints?
When the gut is imbalanced, it can lead to a variety of mental and physical health issues. Chief among them is joint pain. According to Harvard Medical School, a number of studies have found a connection between unhealthy gut bacteria and rheumatoid arthritis. Other experts point to conditions like leaky gut, which causes systemic inflammation and autoimmunity.
Not surprisingly, getting your gut health in order appears to improve joint pain. According to Arthritis-Health, our gut microbiome is associated with a wide range of chronic inflammatory diseases. And this goes beyond rheumatoid arthritis; the latest research is finding a similar connection between gut bacteria, obesity and osteoarthritis (a.k.a. “wear and tear” arthritis, characterized by gradual deterioration of protective cartilage in the joints). Medical News Today reports a viable link between the three.
This is among the many reasons why tending to our gut health is so important.
How to Repair Gut Health (and Joint Pain)
Repairing poor gut health is a powerful, yet easy, way to reduce systemic inflammation, leading to joint relief for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Begin with your diet. Insiders at Mind, Body, Green say to make sure you’re getting enough fiber, for starters. In addition, anti-inflammatory foods, like those containing omega-3 fatty acids, should be at the top of your list. Taking a daily probiotic, which naturally balances the gut microbiome, is another important piece of the puzzle.
Finding lasting joint pain relief is usually a multi-pronged effort. Getting your gut health under control is an expert-backed place to start. It also comes with some pretty significant added benefits, like improved immunity, mental clarity and much more. On top of setting the foundation for a healthy gut, finding local effective, non-surgical treatment options is a great way to tackle joint pain from all sides.
Health Star Clinic in Montgomery and Prattville specializes in non-invasive, non-surgical approaches to lasting pain relief. Schedule your appointment today!