Updated: Oct 9, 2018
One day your knee is sore, the next it's your back? If you think toxins or gut health do not matter, please read on and learn how they can attack the collagen in your joints and create chronic pain. Here is an exert from a lecture (and a slide above) with Dr Campbell McBride from the 2013 Gluten Summit hosted by Dr Tom O'bryan.
'The immune system has many other mechanisms to respond to invaders in the body. And, they are nonspecific responses, such as inflammation or the complement cascade. Inflammation is something that everybody knows. When you cut yourself or hurt yourself, the place becomes swollen, red, and painful. And, the movement is limited. That’s inflammation. And, that is a nonspecific response.
When a bunch of toxins comes out of the digestive tract in your body. And, if these toxins, for whatever reason, like to attach themselves to collagen... And, collagen is that elastic protein that helps hold our bodies together. It’s one of the most ubiquitous proteins in the human body. A large percent of your muscle is made out of collagen. And, certainly, your joints are largely made out of collagen. And, many toxins that pathogens in our gut produce like to attach themselves to collagen molecules. And, once they do that, they change the three-dimensional structure of collagen in your joint, for example. So, the immune systems comes along, looks at it. Your immunity surveys your body all the time. It looks at it and says, “You’re not mine. I don’t recognize you anymore,” and attacks it.
And, the first thing the immune system will always do before even thinking about a specific response such as autoimmunity--that takes a while to develop--the first response will be inflammation. Usually this situation happens overnight. The person wakes up in the morning. And, one of the joints is swollen and painful. And, movement is limited in there. A couple hours later, half a day, perhaps, later, you start walking about. The inflammation subsides, goes away. And, then, a couple of days later, you wake up in the morning, another joint is swollen and painful.
Another few days, the inflammation disappears. You wake up again, another joint is swollen. A third joint is swollen. So, this inflammation usually migrates. And, what happens here, inflammation is a very powerful, cleansing mechanism in the body. So, when this bunch of toxins came in and attached itself to collagen in one of your joints, the inflammation is launched. It will remove the toxicity. It will clean up your joint. And, the inflammation will go down straightaway, as soon as toxicity is removed.
So, the next batch of toxins coming in cannot be stored in the same joint because the immune system is still keeping surveillance over it. It’s still keeping a tab on it. It will target another joint. It will get stored in another joint attaching itself to collagen molecules. So, inflammation will be launched there, as well. Once that joint is cleaned up, the toxin is removed, inflammation is removed. So, that’s how this pain migrates. And, that usually happens in the initial stages when the toxicity coming out of the gut is not very large. But, if the toxicity keeps coming, and the levels of it are increasing so the immune system can’t keep up with the whole process, you develop chronic arthritis. It becomes chronic. And, not just one joint, but many joints get involved as a result.'
If your chronic pain isn't being relieved by rehab and corrective exercise, it's time to look deeper at diet and lifestyle! Here are some ideas to try:
Eat more Collagen to assist in joint repair: collagenous meats, bone broth, or simply supplement with collagen powder (it's tasteless)
See a Functional Medicine Practitioner or health coach who can work with you to investigate gut function and restore gut health.
Increase you intake of antioxidant rich foods and fiber to help reduce oxidative stress, and improve gut function to sequester toxins.
Reduce intake of inflammatory foods like sugar, vegetable oils, non organic meats, refined grains and ai to eat real food at the best quality you can afford.
Increase intake of nutrient dense foods like organ meats or seafood, to help iron out nutrient imbalances, and fuel your body with what it needs to repair.
Everything is connected, so make sure you are doing more than just the physical work to reduce pain, and you'll get rapid, and sustainable results.