Each stage of life comes with certain expectations.  Kids are filled with energy that many parents would pay to have.  Teens are typically risk-takers, engaging in fun, but at times, dangerous activities.  And most people take good health for granted . . . until they’re sick.

Healthcare professionals are concerned with treating your symptoms to get you back on track.  Dr. Rob Fast wants to keep you healthy before you experience any pain or discomfort.  Part of staying healthy starts with nutrition; filling our bodies with the proper vitamins and minerals can promote bone and tissue health.  Take a minute to see how these five compounds affect your body:

Calcium: Your muscles require calcium to facilitate muscle contractions. If you don’t consume adequate amounts of calcium, your heartbeat can become erratic and you can experience muscle cramping or twitching. Foods that are high in calcium, such as dairy, dark green leafy vegetables or fortified foods, contribute to your available calcium levels. If there is not adequate calcium, your bones will release calcium for use, which, over time, weakens them.

Protein: Your body uses dietary protein to repair tissue, build muscle, form immune and blood cells, synthesize enzymes and manufacture hormones.  Insufficient protein intake inhibits your body’s ability to make the proteins you need for good health and can lead to muscle wasting, a compromised immune system, and lack of energy.

Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that support your health by assisting in a wide array of your body’s processes. Eating foods of low quality that lack some or all of the vitamins and minerals you need each day can lead to symptoms relating to the specific function of the missing nutrient.  These compounds help ward off health issues such as cancer and inflammatory disorders, like arthritis.

Carbohydrates: The starches and sugars you eat are your body’s main source of fuel. Consuming enough carbohydrates in your diet ensures you have the energy you need to go about your daily activities.  However, when you consume too many carbohydrates that you’re not burning with exercise, then you start to gain weight. Extra weight can negatively affect your skeletal system.

It is never safe to start a diet without consulting a healthcare provider first.  Make an appointment at the Back Pain Clinic located at the west end of Belleville, located minutes away from Memorial Hospital.  Be sure to inform Dr. Fast about your concerns, including any medications you’re currently taking.  Together you can create a plan for incorporating the proper foods into your diet and eliminating things that can lead to back, neck, or joint pain.