Along with the rise in awareness about the dangers of sugar, people have also become more conscious about how much fat they eat. If you are trying to limit your fat intake, then keeping it in check can be challenging.
However, there is a lot of good fat that our bodies need to function optimally. But what happens if you eat too much fat? Well, it can actually increase your pain sensitivity slightly.
So rather than decreasing your pain threshold as you might expect, eating an abundance of fatty foods could actually make you more sensitive to pain over time.
This article explores why this is the case and how excess fat affects both the nervous system and endocrine system. Scroll down to read more about this topic and learn whether limiting your intake of fatty foods will help reduce your pain level.
What is Fat?
Fat is one of the essential macronutrients that our bodies need to survive and function. Fat is composed of a set of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are vital for proper brain and nervous system development.
Fat is stored in adipose tissue – organs such as the brain, the eyes, and the nerves. Fat is also found in the liver, pancreas, and muscles. Fat is one of the most studied macronutrients in the diet due to its critical role in the human body. Fat is essential for our health and survival, but too much fat in the diet can lead to an increased risk of chronic disease.
What is the Role of Fat in the Body?
Fat has several important roles in the body. It provides dietary energy, and vital nutrients, and helps the body maintain a healthy weight. This role of fat in the diet is particularly important for children and athletes who require high-performance levels but may be at a higher risk for weight-related issues.
The body needs to consume certain nutrients, such as EFAs and vitamin D, to properly use fat. Vitamin D is needed for the body to use fat for energy. Vitamin A and D deficiencies are associated with pain and inflammation, so increasing your intake of these nutrients can help reduce your pain sensitivity.
Fat also has a role in building and maintaining bones and cell membranes. These functions make fat critical for survival. So a lack of fat in the diet can lead to an array of health issues. But excess fat intake can increase pain sensitivity and health issues.
Why Does Excess Fat Increase Pain Sensitivity?
It is well-known that excess weight is a risk factor for chronic and serious health conditions. However, this is not a concern if you maintain a healthy weight throughout your life.
But, if you gain too much weight, it is important to find ways to reduce your intake of fatty foods. There are a few reasons why excess fat can increase your pain sensitivity.
Firstly, fat is the most concentrated source of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. This hormone is known to affect pain sensitivity. The brain is also affected by excess cortisol. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory, but it is also involved in regulating pain sensitivity.
Excess cortisol can alter the structure of the hippocampus, resulting in more pain sensitivity and even an increased pain threshold. This process is known as hippocampal atrophy, and it is a common consequence of chronic stress.
How to Reduce Pain after Gaining Too Much Fat?
One way to reduce pain after gaining too much fat is to reduce your stress levels. Chronic stress can cause an increase in cortisol, which can lead to more pain sensitivity.
You can also try to increase your intake of vitamin A and D, which are essential for the body to utilize fat. Vitamin A is also useful for improving mitochondrial function, which is another aspect of pain regulation.
Should You Avoid Dairy Products for Pain Management?
Some people are concerned that consuming dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese could increase their pain sensitivity. However, many of these concerns are unfounded. Dairy products are high in calcium and vitamin D, which are important for pain regulation.
Vitamin D is also found in other foods such as salmon, tuna, and mushrooms. Furthermore, consuming dairy does not increase the cortisol level in the body. This means that increased calcium intake does not lead to an increase in pain sensitivity.
Fat is an important macronutrient that our bodies need for survival. However, excess fat intake can increase pain sensitivity and impair the nervous and endocrine systems.
One way to reduce pain after gaining too much fat is to reduce your stress levels and increase your vitamin A and D intake.
Dairy products do not have an adverse effect on pain regulation, and consuming them will not make you more sensitive to pain.