Interviewer: In your opinion, what is the biggest problem that people are having right now with their current approach to joint pain?
Dr. Stern: Number one, they take too many over-the-counter medications and they think it's okay.
Advil, Aleve, Tylenol. People take these on a daily basis, they're billion dollar businesses, and the problem is, they do reduce the inflammation, but they really hurt you on a couple levels.
Although they reduce the inflammation and mask the pain, they're not facilitating anything in the body on a healing process, and they're actually proven to wear the cartilage down, therefore worsening the problem by delaying the healing response.
So, if you come to me and you have inflammation in your knee and you're taking a lot of Advil, you're gonna be doing certain movements that you shouldn't be doing because the Advil's gonna reduce the pain and mask the symptoms.
Number two, it's gonna delay your healing response so now it's going to take longer to get better. Number three, it's actually wearing the tissue down, which is making that problem even worse.
Number three, they don't look at their diet as a cause of inflammation. There was some question you asked me, today or another day, about certain foods that can decrease inflammation.
Nightshades have been shown that they're foods that might create an inflammatory process in certain people. Nightshades are tomatoes, eggplants or peppers. Now a lot of people have tomatoes, tomato sauce, on a daily or weekly basis, they put tomatoes in their salad. Some people can trigger an inflammatory process in their body with these foods.
It's not just doing something in a gym or sitting at your desk all day, which people tend to know is not the greatest thing. Certain things people recognize might be a cause of inflammation and pain, they don't look at whether their diet has an effect on knee pain, and it does.
Interviewer: It does, yeah. I remember a few years ago, we couldn't figure out the source of the problem in my spine. I kept having this killer pain and we thought it was meningitis. And, before I went for tests, you said, "do you know what nightshades are?" And I was like, no I've never heard of them. Because I was eating guacamole all the time with a little bit of Jalapeno and a bunch of tomatoes.
I had tomatoes, more or less, in every meal. We're a Russian household.It's a staple.
We only have like four vegetables. And they're all a problem. I cut it out and boom, in two, three weeks, no more pain.
Dr. Stern: Right, and you think it's healthy and that's the problem. People know they shouldn't be eating donuts, or drinking soda, but tomatoes is something they're taught is a healthy food.
It's promoted as having lycopenes: lycopenes are good for your vision, and it's a good antioxidant.
And certain foods do have benefits.The problem is, they also can create inflammation in our system and that's what you have to watch out for.