Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Has anyone else noticed that sugar increases pain?
    debrabrooks1960 posted:
    I recently started a no sugar or white flour diet. I have been on it for a little over 2 weeks. My pain level has went from a level 10 to a 2 or less. I am amazed how much better I feel. I had to wean myself off of the Cymbalta I was on due to money problems. I feel like a new person now and I have lost 12 pounds. I noticed if I cheated and ate sugar or white flour that I would have pain. Has anyone else noticed the connection between sugar, flour and increased pain? I know it is better to eat healthier, but I had never guessed on how much better I would feel. Now I do not even crave sugar. I am afraid if I do eat any the cravings will return. I think the Cymbalta was making me extremely tired during the day. So having to stop it turned out to be a good thing. I have so much more energy now. I do have to warn anyone that wants to stop sugar that you will have a few bad days of being irritable and even have headaches. But that will pass after just a few days.
    Soft hugs,
    Your not over the hill until you are under the hill.
    Was this Helpful?
    3 of 4 found this helpful
    bette_kaffitz responded:

    Gosh it's great that you have been able to drop sugar and white flour. It's even greater that this change has made such a positive effect on your pain level.

    I KNOW I should follow your example. How do I know? The very idea of going without sugar makes me break out in a cold sweat. (Remember, my dad was a baker. We grew up with sweets for breakfast every day. I have the missing teeth to prove it.)

    How did you do this? Did you go cold turkey, or did you wean yourself gradually? What was it like while your body was adjusting?

    One of the many diets I've been on over the years cut down on all sugar but required 5 servings of fruit a day. (I did well, but--as usual--gained back huge amounts on the first week of "maintenance" where you gradually add back other foods. That first bowl of oatmeal is always worth 5 lbs.!)

    Congratulations on your success. Please keep us all posted on how things continue on your journey without all the foods I hold near and dear.

    Bette (Ms. 5' 3 1/2" and 168 pounds)
    debrabrooks1960 replied to bette_kaffitz's response:
    Dear Bette,
    I stopped cold turkey. I knew I had to do something to try to help my pain. I was having level 10 at work. I would sit in my office and tremble with pain and cry. Where I am also diabetic I knew that sugar made things worse. So I thought I would have to give it a try. I know if I start eating sugar again I will gain the weight back plus more. So right now that is my motivation not to start back. I did cheat a little today and had two dinner rolls with butter melted on them. Oh, they melted in my mouth. I truely believe that sugar and white flour is like a drug for me. I am so addicted to both. So far I have lost 14 pounds since not eating sugar and white flour. I have lost a total of 43 pounds in the last two years. I still have over a 100 pounds to go. I am 5'8. I wish you good success with loosing weight. It is so hard and living with so many chronic illnesses does not help things.

    Soft hugs,
    Your not over the hill until you are under the hill.
    mariajohnson responded:
    Sugar can increase blood sugar swings and the drops in blood sugar can cause muscle tightening and anxiety. I have read that sugar affects your arthritis pain.

    meg_k replied to mariajohnson's response:
    I have "given up" sugar but not white flour. I applaud you for doing both, Debbie!

    I placed "given up" in quotes because I've given it up except when I cheat, which is often. To be fair, I find even reducing sugar intake helps. For example, I eat my same old peanut butter (Jif) which certainly contains sugar, but I wouldn't eat donuts or a chocolate torte or a can of Coke because it's too much sugar. (Except if cheating!) I still eat all the fruit I want, etc. I just try to minimize processed sugar.

    For me, I tie the feeling better to the chronic infections part of what MiMi calls "the dragon" (aka Fibro). I have chronic yeast/athletes' foot infections. (I know several of us have posted about this in the past.) Sugar is food for yeast and encourages its growth. Giving up sugar not only got rid of these infections, but (I think) because now my immune system is not trying to fight it off constantly, I feel better! I am serious, people, I had toenail fungus that would scare off a serial killer, and without sugar, it's simply gone! Ew! TMI!

    The more I read and experience, I just feel that processed sugar is really toxic to our bodies. Probably true of white flour, too, but I haven't gotten there yet.

    Thanks for the post, Debbie.

    Meg K
    debrabrooks1960 replied to meg_k's response:
    Dear Meg,
    It has been hard giving up sugar and white flour. I have not been as good on the white flour as I would have liked. I am trying very hard to eat whole grain bread. We had a pitch in lunch at work yesterday. It was very hard not eating the cakes that were brought in. I get depressed and feel like I want to cry at times because I will not allow myself to eat sugar. I have to keep telling myself that not hurting as bad will be worth the price of eating a piece of cake. Plus the weight loss has been good. I have lost 14 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks. I had not thought about sugar helping fungal growth on my toes before. I have suffered with fungus for a little while. Now that I look at my toes they are looking better! I agree with sugar being toxic. I truely believe it is as addictive as any drug. I wish you luck with your journey not to eat sugar.

    Your not over the hill until you are under the hill.
    meg_k replied to debrabrooks1960's response:

    I really think you are being so smart about this all. One of the best pieces of advice I've received is if you have a temptation -- something you are trying to avoid bc it makes your symptoms worse -- instead of picturing yourself enjoying whatever food or drink it is -- instead think about the symptoms you will likely experience if you go ahead with it, and think about whether it will be worth it. If you decide it's worth it, then go for it without guilt. (For example, a piece of cake on your birthday may be worth it.) But usually it won't be worth it, and it may stop you from injesting something you will really regret later. I find this mind trick helps, and it sounds as if you are doing something similar.

    Congrats on the weight loss, too.

    Take care, Meg.
    bette_kaffitz replied to debrabrooks1960's response:

    When I was hospitalized for C-Dif, I was put on I.V. antifungals AND a clear liquid, sugar free diet. You're right about all kinds of infectious agents just loving our high sugar/high white flour (easily converted to sugar) diet. Thank you for the reminder. I get these sore spots under the boobs and in the groin that are pure fungal. Now I have one more impetus to kick the habit.


    Anon_57995 replied to bette_kaffitz's response:
    C-dif is a short name for the bacterium Clostridium dificile

    It is not a fungus, so IV anti-fun gals would not be indicated as treatment for this bacterial infection.

    One could also have developed a fungus/yeast overgrowth, also as a superinfection also from antibiotic treatment.

    Yeast infections are commonly as result of antibiotics killing the "good" bacteria that keep the ever-present yeast in your intestines under control, just as with the C-diff.

    Your body has lots of "good" and necessary bacteria. It also has some "bad" or dangerous bacteria.

    Clostridium difficile is a "bad" bacteria.

    Fortunately, when you are healthy and not taking antibiotics, the millions of good bacteria in your system keep the c - diff under control and in smaller numbers.

    However, when you take an antibiotic, the levels of good bacteria are reduced down to a smaller number.

    If your c-diff is strong and doesn't get killed by the antibiotic along with the good bacteria, then it is possible that the c-diff will overpopulate inside your intestine or colon.

    When this happens, you may get the illness called clostridium difficile colitis.

    Diabetics are also at higher rinks for Candidiasis. The pathology involved is a bit different and is, indeed, related to elevated blood glucose.

    However, eating white sugar and white flour will not cause C-diff colitis
    bette_kaffitz replied to Anon_57995's response:
    Thank you so much for this clarification. I know that I was hospitalized for 6 days with the C-dif and that there were several different medications. I went home from the hospital with an anti-fungal and an antibiotic. It must have been both.

    My doctor has told me since that the best treatment for diarrhea is a liquid diet with no sugars. It has worked on those times when I have used it.

    Gosh it is great to have so many knowledgeable people here. Someone always has an answer.

    Thanks again.

    annamarrs replied to bette_kaffitz's response:
    I can relate. I went through a bout with C-diff after I had my son. I was put on antibiotics and ended up with more than I bargained for...It's not a fun infection by far! Of course for those of us who have chronic stomach/intestinal issues, sometimes it all just seems par for the course. Its interesting to see that some of us are susceptible to the same things. Makes me feel more confident in all the testing I am having done.

    annamarrs responded:
    I applaud you for your "old turkey". I can say from my own personal experience of cutting sugar/white flour in the past that I noticed an increase in energy and less stomach bloating and cramping. Of course, sometimes it is easier to go back to our old ways than to embark on a life long change. Although reading your post makes me think that you definitely have something there. When you live with chronic pain, sometimes it doesn't matter how silly the idea sounds, regardless of the studies, you just know you will try anything. If it means a more healthy lifestyle and less medication that's awesome. Right now because I don't have my official diagnosis my Dr has me on Norco and ibuprofen for my pain...its VERY hard to focus at work while taking half a Norco which just increases my fatigue. I think your post might have given me the encouragement I needed to try it again...I mean at this point, how can it be negative right!! SO proud of your wt loss too. That's awesome. Its not easy and when you get the motor running on weight loss keep it going. Especially like you said, for people like us who have a tough time exercising as it is.

    mnjeepguy replied to annamarrs's response:
    I just read this whole thread, very interesting. I am a tall skinny guy who used to eat whatever I like. A couple of years ago I started to have dry skin issues on my upper lip. This then spread to my cheeks, nose, and eyebrows. I tried several different skin lotions with little relief. Then I became sensitive to deodorant. I had to switch to Dove and that worked. I tried just cutting back on gluten and my face improved. I switched to Udi bread as I took sandwiches to work every day. Just doing that alone and not eating things like donuts helped my skin. No beer either.

    With sugar, I liked energy drinks on 12hr night shifts and would get bloated and have increased pain. I don't drink soda hardly at all now, and no candy or harsh sweets, just the rare small serving, and that has helped. Do keep in mind that any sugar free products trick your brain. It will actually make you crave sweets. My DW noticed this after quitting her diet Coke habit.

    Processed food of any kind is not good for us. Eat as clean as you realistically can. You will feel better and your body will love you for it.

    Great discussion people!

    missist replied to mnjeepguy's response:
    Very interesting discussion. I tried gluten free for a short time--about a month. I did feel just a little better at the start but it didn't seem to last. Maybe I should have kept it up--but it didn't occur to me to just do it partially--and at least get some benefit. Good idea.

    I don't know if sugar bothers me, but I do think flour might.. I've been slowly reading a little book on cultured foods and it has sourdough recipes in it. I wonder if that might be better. Udi bread is good though-but its spendy and we do not have a health food store near here. There's one I go to in nearby city but its not a place I'd go very often.

    I've had dry skin issues lately too--but I thought maybe it is from the hot tub. But then I thought maybe detergent--then realized I'd been using a new soap that has a scent in it--and I stopped that--and I think I got the culprit. Turns out as I get older I'm having more and more sensitivities too. I've begun to make more homemade cleaners and stuff. And looking for home remedies for things. Maybe our bodies just overload on the fibro and other issues and issues to do with RX meds?

    Perhaps adding in white flour and sugar just is too much?

    Helpful Tips

    Welcome to Our FMily! My name is MeMe, I'm an FM suffer of 19 years, along with autoimmune diseases & other conditions. ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    489 of 564 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.