Aches and pains

Why is my body aching all over?

What is the cause of body aches and pains?

Are you someone for whom joint and muscle pain has become the norm?

Is the muscle soreness starting to impact the quality of your work, family life and or ability to exercise and get fit?

You may be sitting in your chair thinking that your joint aches and muscle soreness are just part of getting older. (Or how am I going to get off this chair!)

Have you been trying everything to overcome the muscle aches and joint pain with over the counter medications, home remedies, creams and/or supplements but can’t work out why your whole body aches so much?

One of the main reasons you are suffering from persistent all over body aches is due to poor food and lifestyle choices that affect your cortisol production and regulation which is essential to managing inflammation.


In our busy lives, it can be very easy to attribute muscle aches to a host of common factors such as too much exercise, stress, getting old, and the everyday pressures of work or home life.

And whilst it’s true that these things can hold an influence on common symptoms that your muscles are trying to repair healthy tissues, the presence of a constant body ache may in fact be a clue or symptom of poor metabolic health.

Yes, there are many causes of body aches and pains, but did you know that how your body manages your stress levels could be one of them?

If you have been managing constant body aches and pains, or delayed onset muscle soreness this indicates an underlying imbalance within your main metabolic pathways.

What are the impacts of body aches and muscle pain on metabolic health?

With that in mind, if you experience body aches and pains for two or more years with only the use of pain relievers or over the counter medications to manage your symptoms, then your metabolic pathways are likely struggling to utilise the energy and absorb the nutrients from the food you eat and dispose of toxins properly to repair inflammation.

I’m Jen Adams, a functional personal nutritional therapist and my purpose is to teach those who want to learn how to improve their metabolic health for energy, vitality, and future wealth and to better understand how their food and lifestyle choices affect every part of their life.

In this series of articles about the symptoms of poor metabolic health, you’ll understand the importance of how you feel and what you can see when you look in the mirror as contributory factors to your future metabolic health.

Identifying your everyday symptoms as clues to various underlying systemic imbalances will help you to enhance your future metabolic health and prevent the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

Is your body shape another clue to your future metabolic health risk? Find out here

If you only treat your body aches and muscle pains with medicine alone for more than two years, without any nutritional lifestyle intervention, your metabolic pathways will begin to fail, and your symptoms may develop into a systemic imbalance in your metabolic health.

Your metabolic health is incredibly important and fundamentally everyday symptoms related to an imbalance or malfunction relating to either one of in part all three of functional metabolic pathways: Delivery of energy to your cells, detoxification of toxins and absorption of raw ingredients.

Body Aches and Pains

One of the main causes of body aches and pains is due to elevated cortisol levels contributing to chronic low-grade inflammation, which causes an autoimmune response to attack healthy tissues.

Furthermore, the constant demand for cortisol to manage stress caused by food and life choices can result in cortisol resistance, or cortisol dysregulation, which means that the body can no longer rely on cortisol to trigger the pro-inflammatory response to repair the aches and pains.

All of this adds up to a situation where you are constantly feeling below par, or flu symptoms and extreme exhaustion with no real explanation for why you feel this way.

You may, at this point, consider treating your aches and pains with painkillers, but this doesn’t target the root causes of body aches and pains.

The pain you experience might be a constant, steady pain, or it could feel more like throbbing or stabbing – whatever it feels like, painkillers nor anti-inflammatory [NSAIDs] will not help the underlying condition.

In normal circumstances, the immune system releases the Pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to infection or injury for repair. But unfortunately, due to exhausted cortisol levels, the pro-inflammatory response isn’t properly managed, and the immune system attacks the healthy tissue which creates widespread pain and muscle weakness.

A proinflammatory cytokine, also known as an inflammatory cytokine, is a molecule secreted from immune cells and promotes inflammation.

These little molecules are likely to be the reason you feel pain.

They react to how your body functions and are produced accordingly.

Cortisol is an important hormone that helps to modulate the immune system, but when it’s constantly being triggered by daily stressors, it can no longer perform its function properly.

And guess what? Elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines are also associated with the development of blood sugar imbalance or insulin resistance.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines are responsible for the chronic pain and inflammation associated with many diseases in the muscles and joints, such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.

In many cases, the overproduction of cytokines can be resolved by focusing on your metabolic health rather than reaching for over the counter pain killers and anti-inflammation medication.

Either not eating enough of the right anti-inflammatory foods or consuming ultra-processed foods in excess will create daily stress within your metabolic pathways.

Poor metabolic health is a key player in the development and severity of chronic pain and inflammation.

What are the consequences of chronic aches and pains?

If your body aches and your muscles are sore your ability to complete simple tasks and exercise for health and fitness is more than difficult, it feels impossible.

It can be hard to concentrate on anything else when we’re in pain, and this can lead to a feeling of isolation, frustration, and hopelessness.

The physical pain we experience can also have a significant emotional impact, leading to anxiety and mood swings.

Chronic aches and persistent pain can also cause problems with sleep deprivation as it can be difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep when we’re in so much pain.

In addition, the lack of quality sleep can exacerbate the pain with muscle cramping, chronic fatigue syndrome, extreme tiredness, thyroid problems and other symptoms, creating a vicious cycle.

To address the root cause of body ache and pains, it’s important to manage your stress levels, as this will reduce the demand for cortisol for everyday functions and allow your body to manage the amount of inflammation produced.

  • Identify your main daily stressors
  • Balance blood sugars
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid inflammatory foods

If you feel your aches and pains are due to unmanageable stress or an unknown reason is important to talk to your doctor and seek medical attention from a qualified health professional to investigate any underlying medical condition, such as Lupus, or Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Fibromyalgia or other chronic diseases.

Eating a clean and healthy diet is also important for reducing inflammation and any autoimmune disorders throughout the body.

Processed foods, sugary foods, and alcohol can all contribute to inflammation, so it’s important to try to avoid these as much as possible.

If one of your stressors is cravings then your blood sugar levels are too high, you may be consuming food and drink that is high in aspartame and fructose corn syrup. 

In normal (and ‘diet’) fizzy drinks, fructose corn syrup is often present in fast food, sweets and prepared sweet goods such as pastries.

By eliminating foods for more than two weeks from your diet, you will be sure to notice a reduction in how you manage your stress and how you feel as your blood sugar levels return to normal.

In summary, when your body aches the quality of the food you eat will impact your ability to manage stress efficiently and reduce aching muscles and joint pain.

You should also focus on eating the Perfect Plate for every meal as this will ensure your body has the building blocks it needs to create the hormones required to repair as processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol all contribute to the production of cytokines in your muscles and joints.

It is important to identify your stressors and manage them in a way that doesn’t tax your adrenal system as your cortisol is essential to reduce your inflammatory response to muscle tension.

You should also look to eliminate any inflammatory foods, such as aspartame and fructose corn syrup from your diet as these will only exacerbate the problem.

The long-term consequences of body aches and pains create inflammation triggered by your immune system, leading to various autoimmune diseases and metabolic syndrome.

In conclusion, the best way to manage inflammation is to focus on balancing your blood sugars, cleansing your liver and improving your gut microbiome. This will enable you to help regulate your cortisol and insulin sensitivity and deliver energy to your cells, detoxify toxins that disrupt your metabolism and create beneficial bacteria to reduce inflammation, therefore, improving your overall metabolic health.

Your body aches and muscle pain is related to what you ate yesterday NOT what you want today. Breaking the vicious cycle is easy to do by changing what you eat next, reducing the production of cortisol hormones.

What’s next? What is your metabolic health age – use the online Metabolic Age Calculator and answer a few simple health and lifestyle questions. It takes a few minutes, but it could help you reduce your daily pain.

If your Metabolic Health Age is equivalent to or lower than your actual age, then that is great news! This means your blood sugar levels, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference are potentially all within an ideal range.

However if your Metabolic Health Age is more than 10 years of your actual age, and you are struggling with aches and pains you could be prone to some or all of these conditions as these are all markers that directly relate to your risk of insulin resistance, fatty liver, dysbiosis, high cholesterol and blood pressure.


This article is part of my WHY series to help you to identify the symptoms of poor metabolic health. Do you often ask yourself any of these…