Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coping with Chronic Pain, Part 4: Diet

The next installment in the Chronic Pain Series is...

I am going to talk about some specific changes that I have made to my own diet and offer some other options that may work for you.

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to chronic pain and diet.  Some experts believe that excluding certain foods from your diet is the key.  For me personally, there are no absolutes when dealing with pain.  Every person is different.  Every condition is different.

That being said, I think it is important to try different options.  As long as you are eating a balanced, healthy diet, there is no harm done (just be sure to consult with your doctor).  There could also be some other potential health benefits by reducing/eliminating some things from your diet.

Here are some ideas to consider:
  • Consult with a nutritionist and/or naturopath.  There are many of them out there that deal specifically with chronic pain.  They are also able to do some testing to see if you have any food allergies that might be working against you.
  • Go dairy, gluten and wheat free.  I know that I mentioned that this didn't work for me, but it might work for you.  Many experts believe that eliminating these food will reduce inflammation in the body.  If you are going to try this, start with one food at a time to make it a little easier to adjust.
  • Eat whole foods.  You can't go wrong when you eat grains, vegetables, fruits and lean meats.  I must admit that I did noticed a difference when I reduced the amount of processed food I consumed.
  • Limit your sugar intake.  Sugar has also been associated with inflammation.  The more sugar I eat, the worse I feel.  You don't have to give it up, just reach for a piece of fruit more often than a chocolate bar :)
  • Get your Omega-3's.  Flax seeds, walnuts and fish oil are great sources.  Omega-3's are anti-inflammatory and I make sure to include them daily.

What diets have you tried to deal with your chronic pain?  Have you eliminated/reduced any foods from your life?

Stay Healthy,

P.S. What do you think of the new blog?



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