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Spine and Back Health

Lower Left Back Pain - Tied to Sugar

12/30/2008

Question:

Hi, I`m a 35 year old man, 5`10" 190 lbs. I`ve been having problems waking up with an intense pain in my lower left back, just under the ribs. This has been happening for a couple of weeks now. The pain seems to get better after I stand up for a while. I`ve noticed that it seems to be worse the day after I eat a lot of sugar. I tried going a day without any sugar and it was the first day I didn`t wake up with pain. I`ve decided to give up sodas and try to avoid sweets, but I`m concerned that there may be a serious problem and want to know if there is anything I need to do.

Answer:

Your pain sounds musculoskeletal in nature; for instance, it may be related to a strained muscle, or to a problem with the discs in your spine. It is difficult to imagine how it could be related to eating, or not eating, sugar -- but since you are overweight, it would not be a bad idea to have yourself tested for diabetes. For the back pain, have your doctor examine you and show him/her exactly where the pain is. Then the cause can better be determined, and the appropriate tests can be ordered.

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University