Pain is a complex experience that can be both emotional and physical. The effects can be devastating if you’ve experienced chronic pain from fibromyalgia, arthritis, or another condition. But what if we told you that your pain starts in your belly? While it’s not exactly the first place that comes to mind when thinking about where the pain originates, it’s true. Pain doesn’t just hurt; it also affects our digestive system and can cause nausea, vomiting, and other stomach-related side effects. So before you discount the role of your gut when it comes to pain, read on to discover why your belly is where pain begins.
Last week, I saw one of those T.V. commercials for a famous brand of antacid tablets.
The main character, 45+ years old, overweight, clearly has digestive problems. Big zoom on his concerned face.
He wants to eat more pizza and drink more soda, but his heartburn and stomach cramps tell him he better not.
Then something magical happens.
He takes the antacid tablets, and the problem is solved. More pizza, soda, ice cream, and cookies; pain-free!
This commercial is another example of how misleading pharmaceutical companies are about pain relief.
Of course, you can pop another antacid tablet and continue eating those treats.
Of course, you can pop some Tylenol and forget that your back hurts like crazy.
But you know these pills will never really FIX your pain.
When Pain Starts In Your Belly
Like Rick, I never advocate going for the quick-fix solution. In the case of our overweight pizza-eater, he’s worsening his pain in two ways:
- When you get heartburn, it’s for a reason. The antacid tablets are not fixing his digestive problems, only hiding them. ‘Poor digestion, allergic response, you name it. The important thing is: that if you ignore what your body is telling you. It will eventually catch you up in the long run.
- Because pain starts in your belly, any joint or muscle pain will be aggravated by bad food choices.
I’m not talking about heartburn or stomach cramps here.
Pain and chronic inflammation start in the belly under constant stress.
In plain English, the more you damage your gut flora (microorganisms that live in your digestive tract) with lousy food and bad habits, the more you’re making your shoulder, neck, elbow, and knee pain worse.
Our couch potato “hero” can eliminate these inflammatory and gut-damaging treat foods 90%+ of the time. If it’s something he’s very allergic or intolerant to (dairy and gluten are very common), he may have to stop eating those foods altogether.
Sugar, pasteurized dairy, refined grains, and refined vegetable oils can weaken your digestive system and potentially increase that nagging pain that won’t go away whatever you try.
- The first step is to reduce or eliminate the foods that damage your gut flora.
- Second step: add foods that will rebuild and strengthen your digestive system and reduce your pain long-term.
Here are my four favorite gut-friendly foods that you can start using today:
#1 – Probiotic Supplementation
Probiotics are live microorganisms that will help rebuild some balance in your gut flora.
Note that I didn’t advise you to eat more probiotic-containing yogurt here for two reasons:
- Most people can’t tolerate dairy anyway, and it doesn’t make sense to damage your gut flora with the food you’re allergic to while trying to rebuild it.
- Most yogurts contain too much extra sugar or artificial ingredients to justify their use.
#2 – Fermented Foods
Kimchi, sauerkraut, or any fermented veggies can contain even more probiotics than most supplements and can be bought for a fraction of the price.
If you’re on a budget, prepare your fermented veggies. Many tutorials will show you how to can veggies and make them develop these precious gut-friendly probiotics you’re looking for.
#3 – Apple Cider Vinegar
This vinegar is shown to help your stomach acids digest your food. Bonus, it’s delicious when used in your homemade salad dressing.
Important note: choose the unpasteurized version. Apple cider vinegar that has been processed and pasteurized doesn’t show the same benefits.
#4 – Coconut oil
This oil is a proven fat-burner; it has anti-microbial properties and is a recommended cure to ward off candida. Use within your daily caloric needs for cooking, in shakes, or if you’re like me – by the spoon.
I’ll be honest here.
Working on fixing your gut won’t give you instant pain relief like painkillers or antacid tablets do. But it will fix the problem instead of hiding it temporarily.
In my new book, Healthy or Not, I reveal what foods can damage your gut flora and make your pain worse and what anti-inflammatory foods will be the best ally on your journey to be pain-free finally.
Keep it simple and healthy,
Hey, it is Rick now; thanks, Nick.
P.S. – If you liked Nick’s article, here are a few more from him: