Chronic Conditions A Bad Diet Makes Worse
We live in a society that has a pill for every symptom, and we often visit doctors who don’t take a moment to consider the simple lifestyle choices that could be causing and worsening chronic conditions. Many western doctors work from the outside in, performing several complex (and expensive) tests to figure out what’s going on in your body. Meanwhile, if you visit a holistic doctor, she’ll probably ask you about things like the fabrics on which you sleep, stress in your life and—you guessed it—your diet. Small factors that are totally within your control can be the source of a condition that you’re treating with expensive medication, which only causes other side effects that must also be treated. You should, of course, consult a doctor if you’re suffering from any of these conditions. But also try adjusting your diet to see if they get better. Here are chronic conditions that are made worse by a poor diet.
If you eat a diet high in processed foods, your body doesn’t quite know how to break down a lot of the chemicals you push through it. While your organs try to decipher what to do with these non-nutrients, and your gut bacteria is completely thrown out of whack, your body will react by becoming inflamed. If you already have arthritis or any other condition that causes joint pains, you can’t afford to eat a diet low in essential nutrients because the inflammation will make your symptoms much worse.
Too much meat, a lack of fiber, not enough water, not enough fruits and vegetables and plenty of processed foods will just mean bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and gas all become worse. While you could be suffering from something that does require medication, like motility issues, a poor diet will only make symptoms of IBS worse.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with anemia, then you probably feel overall weak and tired. Before turning to harsh medication, check your vitamin B12 levels through a simple blood test. Anemia is often caused by a lack of vitamin B12. Vegans and vegetarians are the most susceptible to this since your body best absorbs the B12 found in animal products.
Characterized by weak bones and muscle pain, this condition makes doing simple, everyday tasks very difficult. It can also be caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus. You can get vitamin D from the sun, of course, but you can also get it from several types of fish, egg yolk, cheese, mushrooms, and beans. You’ll get calcium and phosphorus from dairy products. Phosphorus is also found in meat and fish so you can easily see how vegans and vegetarians would, once again, be susceptible to this condition.
If you are feeling depressed, look at your vitamin B12 levels again. They play a large role in feelings of well-being, creating neurotransmitters essential to proper brain function. A diet high in processed foods, saturated fat and sugar has also been linked to depression. Combining a healthy diet, along with therapy, could be an effective way to treat depression from two angles.
High blood pressure
You likely know to avoid a lot of sodium if you suffer from high blood pressure, but salt hides in unexpected places. That frozen pizza you’re eating could be loaded with salt in the dough. Meanwhile, the skin on your favorite rotisserie chicken could be seasoned with a lot of salt. But in addition to sneaky salts, coffee, alcohol and even dairy can raise your blood pressure.
If your hair is losing its luster, you could be eating a diet that is low in protein and essential fatty acids. Find these in things like almonds, walnuts, whole grains, olive oil, and flax seeds. Vegans and vegetarians can again be prone to hair loss because they don’t get enough protein.
Do your gums bleed, no matter how often you floss? All the dental care in the world cannot combat a poor diet. A diet low in riboflavin (found in beef liver, spinach, yogurt, and almonds) can lead to swollen gums. Not getting enough folic acid (found in green leafy vegetables, seeds and enriched cereal) can also cause this problem. And finally, failing to get enough vitamin c (found in kale, oranges, strawberries, and guava) can also lead to bloody gums.
If you feel constantly mentally exhausted, it could be because you aren’t getting enough omega 3 fatty acids. Fish and nuts are strong sources of this important nutrient, but if you don’t like those foods, you can also simply take a fish oil supplement each day.
Low immune system
If there’s a cold going around, do you always catch it—several times? Are you always plagued with some infection? You could be lacking zinc, vitamin a, c and e, as well as selenium. If you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and eat too many simple carbs, there is a good chance you’re lacking these nutrients.
Dull, sagging skin
Don’t just accept dull skin as a part of aging. Sure, you’re bound to get wrinkles, but if you notice your skin sagging and losing its luster early, you may not be getting enough antioxidants or vitamins a, c d or e.
The chances of diabetes, as well as the severity of it, are increased by high blood pressure, obesity, and cholesterol. All of these are, naturally, made worse by a bad diet. If you are obese with diabetes, controlling your condition through insulin is not enough. You need to work on losing weight through diet.
If your wounds take a noticeably long time to heal, this could be due to a poor diet. Research has found that making sure elderly individuals have the proper amount of protein and micronutrients can aid in wound healing.
Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of a serious condition like cancer but if you’ve been screened for serious issues and come home with a clean bill of health, it could be time to evaluate your diet. A diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein can cause chronic fatigue.
If you suffer from skin discoloration, this could be a sign of inflammation in your body, caused by a poor diet. As stated before, diets high in processed foods can confuse your body, and its reaction can cause inflammation that you see on your skin.