How junk food is linked to nerve pain

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Millions of people worldwide suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes.

One main reason is the consumption of the “Western diet” – think junk food, red meat, and fried items.

These unhealthy foods can cause a lot of problems for our bodies.

Nerve Pain: A Major Issue

One of the most troublesome problems from these health conditions is nerve damage in our hands and feet.

This nerve damage can make people feel constant pain, weakness, and sometimes even lose balance. At its worst, some may need to amputate a limb.

Even though we know unhealthy diets can lead to this nerve pain, the exact reason remained a mystery.

A Big Breakthrough

Scientists from Michigan Medicine might have cracked the code. They believe that our gut’s bacteria, which number in the trillions, might be the missing link.

These bacteria might explain how unhealthy foods lead to nerve pain. Their research findings are in a journal called Microbiome.

The researchers studied mice and their gut bacteria. They noticed that mice eating fatty diets had different gut bacteria from those on regular diets. Mice on fatty diets also had nerve problems.

Interestingly, the gut bacteria of these fatty diet mice seemed to cause inflammation and changes in fat processing. One nerve, in particular, the sciatic nerve, was badly affected.

Mohamed Noureldein, one of the researchers, mentioned that when this nerve is affected due to obesity, it is the most worrying.

Looking Ahead

This discovery can pave the way for new treatments for those with obesity and diabetes. Merely changing our diet might not cut it; we might have to alter our gut bacteria too.

How can we do that? Treatments might include probiotics or even fecal microbial transplants, which add good bacteria to our guts.

Or maybe, we need to find ways to prevent bad bacteria from harming our nerves.

Next Steps

The research isn’t over. The team wants to see if changing gut bacteria can improve nerve health. They’re curious if giving probiotics to mice on fatty diets can heal nerve damage.

Eva Feldman, another researcher, shared that this new knowledge provides a solid base for potential treatments for nerve pain in those suffering from obesity and diabetes.

What we eat affects the bacteria in our gut, and these bacteria might be causing nerve pain in people with obesity and diabetes. With this new knowledge, we can hope for better treatments.

If you care about pain, please read studies that vegetarian women have a higher risk of hip fracture, and these vitamins could help reduce bone fracture risk.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that Krill oil could improve muscle health in older people, and Jarlsberg cheese could help prevent bone-thinning disease.

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