‘Guest post by Nutritionist & Naturopath Rebecca Grant, Sprout Wellness Yea’
Depletion and Deficiency causing Muscular symptoms?
Muscular symptoms….what’s nutrition got to do with it?
Pain. Cramps. Spasms. Tight muscles. Restless legs. Twitches. Heavy aching legs. Muscle weakness.
We are all likely to experience these uncomfortable symptoms at one time or another.
But what has nutrition got to do with these symptoms?
Well, the answer is a whole lot. Nutrients are the tools and building blocks for every function in the human body. Amazingly, all of these muscular symptoms can be signs of nutritional deficiency.
Deficiency: a state of not having, or not having enough, of something that is needed.
Many nutritional deficiencies have an impact on how our musculoskeletal system is operating.
Minerals such as magnesium and calcium are crucial to the muscles ability to contract and relax.
Not having enough may lead to tight, stiff muscles, cramps, spasms, headaches, restless legs and pain.
Essentially fatty acids such as those found in deep sea fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil help to reduce inflammation, and therefore reduce pain. They also play a role in keeping our joints mobile.
Iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin E deficiencies can contribute to heavy aching legs and pain.
Not enough protein can lead to poor muscle repair and weak muscles. The list goes on….
So in a land of plenty such as Australia, how do we end up with nutritional deficiencies?
There are many factors that contribute to our nutritional status.
First, we need to consider our diet. Does what you are eating contain adequate nutrition? Is your diet broad enough to contain the full spectrum of nutrients required for optimum function and muscular health? Think “eating a rainbow”. Fresh, unprocessed foods contain the greatest amount of nutrients. Bonus points for homegrown and organic.
Cooking can also reduce the nutritional value of foods. How the food is prepared greatly affects its nutritional content. Raw, or lightly cooked for the win!
Eating foods that are incompatible to your individual needs can also drive inflammation and pain.
Next, we need to consider absorption. How is your digestion going? Great health comes from a great gut and this includes muscular health. We cannot expect to have great nutritional status and balance if we can’t absorb the nutrients required. Poor digestion such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating and reflux can all reduce your absorption of nutrients, and therefore contribute to muscular symptoms and pain.
Then there is demand. Many factors increase our demand for nutrients: stress, exercise, injury, surgery, growth, hormonal changes, menstruation, etc can all lead to increased demand for nutrients, including those responsible for reducing inflammation, relaxing muscles and reducing pain.
Have you ever noticed that your muscles get tight and stiff when you are stressed? This is often due to our magnesium supplies being exhausted by our nervous system. Magnesium is required for our muscles to relax. Without enough, our muscles stay in a contracted state, are difficult to relax and lengthen, often resulting in tension, headaches, and pain.
When an injury is sustained, the body is required to perform more repair work, another process dependent on nutrients. When deficiencies are present, the repair is difficult, and pain, and the risk of re-injury increase.
The human body is incredibly complex and clever. Listen to it! When things are out of balance, the body will show signs, often in our musculoskeletal system. We must give the body the right conditions and tools- including nutrition.
Addressing underlying nutritional issues can make a profound difference to your muscular symptoms.
There is much interplay between nutrients and our requirements are unique. If you are considering nutritional supplementation, please see an appropriately qualified healthcare practitioner who can prescribe high quality, therapeutic supplementation that is specific to your individual needs.
For professional nutrition advice please see a qualified nutritionist or naturopath.
Rebecca is the owner of Sprout Wellness Natural Health Clinic & Herbal Dispensary in Yea, where she provides professional, individualised, patient-centred care that truly gets to the root cause of ill-health. She supports clients of all ages in face-to-face consultations as well as via Skype/phone.
Rebecca has a strong focus on nutrition and also utilises a unique Bio-Compatibility testing program (using hair testing) to individualise her dietary recommendations. Rebecca has a special interest in mental health, sleep disorders, stress, breathing disorders, and kids health.
Rebecca is passionate about all things natural health, and improving the health of the Yea community and beyond.
Rebecca lives in beautiful Yea with her husband and vibrant, healthy and hilarious 6-year-old twins.
To take advantage of Rebecca’s service phone Sprout Wellness on 03 5797 3009 or book online at https://sprout-wellness.cliniko.com/bookings#service