New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Crash diets and rapid weight loss can be harmful to your health, especially the back, says an expert.
Meenakshi Sharma, Spine Specialist at Qi Spine Clinic, shares how:
* Undernourished body, weak muscles: Cutting back on essential food items such as grains and fruits by following low carbohydrate diets can make you lose out on some of the vital nutrients required by the body. This type of under-nourishment affects the whole body. Muscles are not able to function properly causing them to become easily strained.
How it affects the back: Your lower back and abdominal muscles provide a base of support for your spine, holding your body upright. The muscles of the lower back and abdomen are meant to work together to support the upper body and the spine’s alignment. As these muscles might not get the essential nutrients required, their ability to repair may become poor. At the same time the amount of time taken for these muscles to recover from injury may increase. Also the muscles fatigue early if the nutrition is not as per the requirement.
Solution: A well balanced diet including appropriate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat should be taken. The diet depends on the body type, Body Mass Index and Basal metabolic rate. Percentage of protein, carbohydrates, and fats should be taken according to the body requirement and needs. Along with this, an exercise regime comprising aerobics and weight training should be included.
* Dehydration and spinal discs: Some of the low carbohydrate diets are meant to increase water loss in the body for quick weight reduction. If followed without proper guidance, the body can easily become dehydrated while following these diets. Major content of spinal discs are water. Dehydration could occur in the discs as well.
If your body’s water content drops by as little as two percent, you will feel fatigued. If it drops by 10 percent, you will experience significant health problems, such as arthritis and back pain.
How it affects the back: Our body is made up of about 70 percent of water. Weight loss that results in a significant amount of water and mineral loss contributes to decreased bone density. Weaker bones can cause spinal misalignments and result in pain. Spinal discs in the body need fluid to maintain height and their ability to absorb shock. Dehydration can lessen the fluids available to spinal discs, which could lead to speedy disc degeneration, bulging or herniation.
Solution: Make sure you drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily. Dehydration is no form of weight loss. Also, it doesn’t aid in weight loss. With dehydration, you also lose many important nutrients which are required for the body and the spinal discs.
*Over-exercising and back pain: In addition to crash diets, when you are over-exercising, without the correct nutrients, you are accelerating the process of bone loss and muscle loss.
How it affects back: Calories are a source of energy and repair for the body. If your body is working your muscles extra hard without minimal fuel, then it becomes susceptible to strains. Not resting enough can also add to the back pain. Not to forget that the high intensity workouts lead to a lot of pressure on the spine in turn jelly i.e. the disc.
Solution: Over-exercising and poor nutrition adversely affects your back and may cause back pain. One should also know the right form and extent of exercise required. Wrong forms of exercise loads the spine and could affect the discs and the muscle.