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What Triggers Sciatica? 8 Foods to Avoid When You Have Sciatica


If you’ve ever had sciatica symptoms, you know how excruciatingly painful they can be. It burns from the lower back to the buttocks and might even reach the foot. Sharp, shooting, or electric pain is also possible. Weakness, numbness, and tingling may accompany it. Coughing or sneezing might make it worse, as does sitting for a long time.

You could be looking for ways to deal with sciatica in the hopes of preventing future flare-ups. So, does your diet have an impact on your sciatica? Yes, what you eat could affect your symptoms, and a few small modifications could have a major impact.

Where does sciatica originate?

The sciatica nerve, a major nerve formed from a bundle of five nerves that originate from the vertebrae in the lower back, is the source of sciatica. This bundle of nerves reaches all the way to the foot, splitting off into different nerves as it travels, as you can tell from the agony of sciatica.


Sciatic pain is frequently caused by disk problems in the lower back, such as herniated disks, a bone spur on a vertebra, or a disk that has fallen out of place.

How food choices reduce sciatic pain?

Sciatica is mostly an inflammatory condition, and unfortunately, many foods consumed by the average American cause inflammation. If you have sciatica, removing these foods from your diet will help you recover faster and prevent recurrence.

But, more specifically, what is good for sciatica? Since there will be higher than typical levels of inflammation around the sciatica nerve when sciatica attacks, it makes sense to change your diet to lower the amount of inflammation in your body.

What should you NOT eat if you have sciatica?

Sciatica rarely goes away quickly once it begins. Pain may be gone in a matter of days for a few lucky people, but it usually lasts a month or even longer. While disk problems may require immediate attention, a person suffering from sciatica can significantly improve their condition by eating the right foods and using nutritional supplements.

Check out this list of foods you must avoid when experiencing sciatica:

1) sugar

When you have sciatica, you should avoid simple sugars like sugary drinks, sweets, and extravagant desserts, as well as hidden sugars such as those found in table sauces.

Simply put, when sugar is ingested in moderate to high amounts, it causes considerable inflammation throughout the body, worsening the sciatic pain.

2) Trans fat

Trans-fats, also known as trans-fatty acids, are synthetic fats that can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol while lowering your HDL (good) cholesterol.

Trans-fats are likewise pro-inflammatory, and they make up around 1% of the calories in a heart-healthy diet. Stick margarine and packaged meals containing hydrogenated vegetable oil are all common sources of trans-fats.

3) Vegetable oils

Vegetable oil appears to be harmless, but it contains far too many omega-6 fatty acids in comparison to omega-3 fatty acids, which causes inflammation. It is advised to avoid vegetable oils if you are experiencing sciatica.

4) Excessive alcohol

Excessive alcohol intake is related to “leaky gut” syndrome, a condition in which toxic bacteria escape from the colon into the body, causing widespread inflammation and even organ damage. This is what accounts for avoiding alcohol when experiencing sciatica.

5) Refined grains and dough

Pizza, bread, and pasta all contain gluten, which can be difficult to digest for some people and can trigger inflammation in others; as a result, these are sciatica foods to avoid. Gluten-free alternatives are a good option to try for a few weeks.

Many minerals are removed from refined grains, including the majority of B vitamins. Many key components are missing from bleached and refined flours, which your body requires to stay healthy and pain-free. You can switch to ancient grains, quinoa, and whole wheat products to ensure you get the correct amount of nutritious carbs and fiber.

6) Processed meat

Sausage, bacon, ham, hot dogs, smoked meat, and beef are frequently processed at high temperatures, resulting in inflammatory chemicals. It is best to avoid these foods when experiencing sciatica.

7) Artificial sweeteners

Sugars used to make soft drinks tasty may have an adverse effect on the body’s inflammatory processes, resulting in worsening of sciatica. There is also evidence that artificial sweeteners enhance sugar cravings, according to several studies.

If you’re using an artificial sweetener in your tea or coffee, replace it with a teaspoon of honey. You’ll still receive that delicious sweet flavor while avoiding the harmful effects of refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.

8) Processed foods

You should avoid fried foods for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they were most likely cooked in sunflower or vegetable oil. Due to their high fat content and pro-inflammatory quality, foods like fries and onion rings should be avoided if you have sciatica. Home-baked kale chips are a terrific alternative to fried and processed foods.

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