Foods Chronic Pain Patients Should Avoid

Chronic Pain and Diet

Chronic pain has impacted the lives many. Chronic pain comes with symptoms which include fatigue, insomnia, and depression. Another aspect of chronic pain is inflammation or flare-ups. Often times, medication is not enough to treat chronic pain and a change in lifestyle is necessary. Healthy eating, along with exercise, is necessary to advantageously manage your chronic pain. Often times patients are told what to eat to naturally treat their chronic pain.

However, often times they are not educated enough on what not to eat. Eating certain foods can actually worsen your chronic pain experience. This is primarily due to chemicals that particular foods have that increase your sensitivity to your pain by releasing certain neurotransmitters.

Though you may love to indulge in sugary treats, it is important to limit your sugar intake. Your insulin levels are very much related to your sensitivity to pain. Similarly, an increased sugar intake increases your insulin levels. You can start monitoring your sugar intake by eating foods that have reduced sugar. Your sugar intake can also be adjusted by consuming whole grain foods as opposed to refined grain foods like white bread and cereal. These options have less sugar. Similarly, consuming fresh fruit as opposed to packaged juices or purees will also be an advantageous change.

Coffee is a staple of most adult American diets.

However, coffee contains caffeine that increases brain activity. A common symptom of chronic pain is insufficient sleep and fatigue, so consuming caffeine may seem like a good option to battle these symptoms. However, after that initial high of energy, caffeine will make you crash. This will only deflate your mood and increase your fatigue in the long run.

Too much caffeine will also affect your sleep cycle, further decreasing your small amount of sleep you get each night due to your chronic pain condition.

Avoiding oily foods is also a helpful tip when trying to balance a healthy diet with chronic pain. Oily foods and foods that have trans-fat trigger inflammation in your body, only to increase your pain. However, all fats are not bad. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be helpful in reducing inflammation.

When choosing your produce, it is important to buy items that are free of preservatives and pesticides. This can be primarily accomplished by purchasing organic foods. In the case you do use non-organic produce, remember to wash them thoroughly before use to get rid of harsh chemicals. Chemicals and preservatives encourage adverse effects, such as irritable bowel syndrome, that are associated with chronic pain.

Chronic pain patients often have the goal of losing weight. By losing weight, they have less weight to put on their joints, decreasing their overall pain.

Dieting is one of the most common ways to lose weight. With dieting, people often make the wrong decision to consume diet or sugar-free drinks. What people are unaware of are the artificial sweeteners and chemicals that replace the sugar in these drinks. These chemicals, or toxins rather, increase your sensitivity to pain by activity respective neurons.

Reading the ingredients on packaged food is one of the first steps you can take to leading a healthy lifestyle. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a popular additive that is found most commonly in Asian cuisine. This additive is what makes your food more tasty and addictive. Not only does MSG make you want to consume more food, it also stimulates the pain receptors in your brain, increasing your sensitivity to your pain. It is popularly known to cause inflammation.

Overall, eating healthy will allow you to lead a more active and fulfilling lifestyle which will cater to your chronic pain. Adjusting to chronic pain is hard, but the key is to make slow changes over time in order to manage your pain successfully and comfortably.

Continue Reading