Nutrition :: Diet and Nutrition in Pain Management

Numerous research studies have confirmed that diet and nutrition play a significant and important role in the management of pain. Success relies on a multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach, incorporating lifestyle & dietary changes to achieve optimum health and well being.

Nutritional therapy is using diet to treat and prevent illness, and restore the body to a natural healthy equilibrium. Some believe that deficiencies of minerals and vitamins are responsible for much disease and weakness in the body. Examples of conditions resulting from deficiencies include fatigue, lethargy and susceptibility to colds and viruses.

The foods we eat are far less nutritious than they appear thanks to intensive farming methods, pesticides, additives and preservatives. We now know that food intolerance and allergies significantly contribute to various conditions such as asthma, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis. But on a more positive note, we also know that certain types of food can actually support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. A healthy diet is one in which the food you eat contains all the nutrients needed by the body for it to grow, heal and to function on a day-to-day basis. Diets that are low in fat and cholesterol, and high in whole grains, dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables, are healthier and provide more energy.

As a general rule, supplements should be taken regularly over a period of months. Vitamin B3 and B6 and magnesium deficiencies are well recognized in fibromyalgia sufferers and therefore taking a good quality multivitamin and multi mineral supplement is the best way of ensuring you to get a balance of nutrients.

Eating the right kind of food can go a long way in helping your body’s own healing forces. You need sulfur-containing foods to repair and maintain bone, cartilage and connective tissue. Foods high in sulfur are – asparagus, eggs, garlic and onions. Eat less saturated fat and more alkaline-forming foods like organic fruits and vegetables. Other good foods are green leafy vegetables, fresh vegetables, non-acidic fresh fruit (avoid oranges, plums and rhubarb), whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice and fish.

Certain foods may aggravate various musculoskeletal conditions and therefore should be avoided. They are dairy products, gluten (as found in wheat, oats, barley and rye), corn, sugar and members of the nightshade family – potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and tobacco. Reduce your intake of acid-forming foods such as tea, coffee, alcohol and red meat. You may want to check for other food allergies as well (especially if you have Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue). Coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like substance, plays an important role in the enzymatic process of producing energy within cells and particularly muscles. Your doctor can perform a blood test to determine your CoQ10 levels, if low, supplements of 100mg per day may actually boost energy levels and help lift fatigue and lethargy.

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