Tag Archives: joint pain

SUGAR & DRUG ABUSE? Winning the War

sugar heroin

Recent studies have found that sugar can be as addictive as cocaine or alcohol according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. For some people, eating foods high in sugar may produce chemical changes in the brain’s “reward” center causing addictive cravings. Sugar is sugar … don’t be fooled by replacing white table sugar with honey, agave, or brown sugar. Those may have some nutritional value, but they are still sugar with calories and addictive qualities. In fact, sugar overuse may sometimes lead to problems other than addiction like diabetes and liver disease.

SUGAR IN TWO FORMS

  • Free sugars are those added to food and liquids whether at the table, in the kitchen, or at the manufacturer. Free sugar is the form we need to cut down on consumption. Identifying these sugars can be difficult since they appear in many different forms like agave, raw sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, molasses, glucose, dextrose, coconut sugar, and honey.
  • Natural sugars are those found in fresh, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables. They are also found in dairy products like milk, plain yogurt, and cheese.

WHAT FREE SUGAR DOES TO OUR BODIES

Consuming excessive sugar over long periods of time stimulates our brain activity and hormone levels. This increases glucose levels which lead to the pancreas releasing insulin. This causes the body to retain calories as fat, causing weight gain. Carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, chips, and fries process slower than free sugar, however, still break down into sugar. The result: the excess weight puts strain on our joints and we crave more sugar.

Since these sugary foods stimulate the same areas of the brain as drugs of abuse, they may cause loss of control over consumption and cravings. Currently the average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons of sugar every day; that’s over 65 pounds of sugar a year, per person!

SO HOW DO WE WIN THIS WAR?

  • The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 10% and ideally less than 5% of our calories be consumed from added or natural sugar. For the average person per day, the recommendation is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
  • Read labels; food labels list ingredients in descending order. If sugar or a form of sugar is in the first 3 ingredients, put it back on the shelf.
  • The same goes for a packaged food with more than one sugar listed — put it back!
  • Eliminate soft drinks and fruit juices; they are jam packed with sugar.
  • Limit consumption of candy, baked goods, and desserts to special occasions.
  • “Low fat” packaged foods often compensate with extra sugar; read the label.
  • Eat fresh fruit rather than canned which have added syrup containing sugar.
  • Protein such as eggs, beans, and nuts can help control sugar cravings.
  • Eliminate sugars from your diet s-l-o-w-l-y; don’t go “cold turkey”.
  • Drink water!

The good news is that when cutting back, no math or calorie counting is involved in eliminating sugar. Try replacing sugar with tempting flavors like ginger, lemon, vanilla bean, nutmeg, or cinnamon.  Bottom line, the easiest way to cut back is to avoid processed sugar whenever possible and eat fresh fruits instead.

Taking care of our bodies through eating well and proper exercise is paramount to healthy bones and muscles. If you experience pain or discomfort in your joints or muscles, give us a call at 941-951-2663 for an appointment. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have four locations and offer same day appointments when needed.

sugar

Sources: WebMD; Authority Nutrition; American Diabetes Association; US National Institute on Drug Abuse; World Health Organization

 

SUMMER IS A PERFECT TIME FOR POOL THERAPY

pool therapy

One of the advantages living in Florida is our sunny weather year round so it is not unusual to have daily access to a pool, whether at a private home, community development, or a local Y. Even if you’re in a climate with cold winter temperatures, there are gyms offering year round swimming. From an orthopedic perspective, swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do, and better yet, it can be so much fun that you don’t think of it as exercise.

When prescribed as Aquatic Therapy, there are many techniques and forms of bodywork. Applications include those for spine pain, musculoskeletal discomfort, post-operative rehabilitation, and disabilities or disorders. It may be most beneficial when non-weight bearing exercises are needed or when normal range of motion is limited due to pain, inflammation, or rehabilitation.

Water has properties that provide resistance which are beneficial in exercising. Because of these properties, the muscles actually work harder when submerged in water compared to doing that same exercise on dry ground. Try to imagine running through water and how much more difficult it would be and how much more time it would take to cover the same distance as running a mile on land. Submersion into the water makes it harder to move because of the buoyancy. This resistance also helps tone muscle and improve balance.

Pool exercise can also burn calories. An average 30 minute pool exercise routine can burn off approximately 300 calories. The water also helps reduce body fatigue as it supports so much of the body weight. Pool exercises, done three or four times a week, could result in weight loss and be fun in the process!

Water is also known to have an added benefit on the body and brain. There is a theory called “blue mind” that suggests being close to, in, over, or under the water makes us happier and healthier. For this reason, yoga studios and massage spas incorporate waterfalls into their décor. The gentleness of being near or in the water sends a soothing feeling of relaxation and can lower blood pressure.

PT Pool

Pool therapy has become a widely accepted form of exercise and is now offered in many gym facilities, parks, and community developments. The Arthritis Foundation has even partnered with many YMCA’s across the country in a program called PACE, or People with Arthritis Can Exercise. In fact, they have an excellent website with great tips for a water walking routine. Always check with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/simple-routines/water-walking.php

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have an on-site therapy pool at our Bahia Vista location as well as a team of expert physical therapists at our offices. To learn more about us, click here or call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment.

 

Sources: brainline.org; SOA.md website; Wikipedia; Arthritis Foundation

Sugar & Drug Abuse? WINNING THE WAR

sugar heroin

Recent studies have found that sugar can be as addictive as cocaine or alcohol according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. For some people, eating foods high in sugar may produce chemical changes in the brain’s “reward” center causing addictive cravings. Sugar is sugar … don’t be fooled by replacing white table sugar with honey, agave, or brown sugar. Those may have some nutritional value, but they are still sugar with calories and addictive qualities. In fact, sugar overuse may sometimes lead to problems other than addiction like diabetes and liver disease.

SUGAR IN TWO FORMS

  • Free sugars are those added to food and liquids whether at the table, in the kitchen, or at the manufacturer. Free sugar is the form we need to cut down on consumption. Identifying these sugars can be difficult since they appear in many different forms like agave, raw sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, molasses, glucose, dextrose, coconut sugar, and honey.
  • Natural sugars are those found in fresh, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables. They are also found in dairy products like milk, plain yogurt, and cheese.

WHAT FREE SUGAR DOES TO OUR BODIES

Consuming excessive sugar over long periods of time stimulates our brain activity and hormone levels. This increases glucose levels which lead to the pancreas releasing insulin. This causes the body to retain calories as fat, causing weight gain. Carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, chips, and fries process slower than free sugar, however, still break down into sugar. The result: the excess weight puts strain on our joints and we crave more sugar.

Since these sugary foods stimulate the same areas of the brain as drugs of abuse, they may cause loss of control over consumption and cravings. Currently the average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons of sugar every day; that’s over 65 pounds of sugar a year, per person!

sugar addition

SO HOW DO WE WIN THIS WAR?

  • The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 10% and ideally less than 5% of our calories be consumed from added or natural sugar. For the average person per day, the recommendation is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
  • Read labels; food labels list ingredients in descending order. If sugar or a form of sugar is in the first 3 ingredients, put it back on the shelf.
  • The same goes for a packaged food with more than one sugar listed — put it back!
  • Eliminate soft drinks and fruit juices; they are jam packed with sugar.
  • Limit consumption of candy, baked goods, and desserts to special occasions.
  • “Low fat” packaged foods often compensate with extra sugar; read the label.
  • Eat fresh fruit rather than canned which have added syrup containing sugar.
  • Protein such as eggs, beans, and nuts can help control sugar cravings.
  • Eliminate sugars from your diet slowly; don’t go “cold turkey”.
  • Drink water!

The good news is that when cutting back, no math or calorie counting is involved in eliminating sugar. Try replacing sugar with tempting flavors like ginger, lemon, vanilla bean, nutmeg, or cinnamon.  Bottom line, the easiest way to cut back is to avoid processed sugar whenever possible and eat fresh fruits instead.

Taking care of our bodies through eating well and proper exercise is paramount to healthy bones and muscles. If you experience pain or discomfort in your joints or muscles, give us a call at 941-951-2663 for an appointment. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have four locations and offer same day appointments when needed.

 

Sources: WebMD; Authority Nutrition; American Diabetes Association; US National Institute on Drug Abuse; World Health Organization