24 Jul How Diet Affects People with Chronic Pain
Throughout the world, 1 in 5 people suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain. In the United States, chronic pain affects more people than cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Did you know that what you eat–or more specifically, what you’re not eating –could affect your nerve pain? Getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet is mandatory for healthy nerve function. Deficiencies in vitamin B12, for example can result in weakness, tiredness, lightheadedness and nerve problems such as numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and problems walking.
A diet that is high in calories and concentrated fats not only make us more prone to obesity, but may actually increase inflammation in the body, which can be of particular concern if you have muscular or joint pain. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet, by replacing saturated fats with healthy fats, is a powerful way to control pain without negative side effects as well as building your body’s immune system and healing power.
Aim to eat a variety of healthy foods such as:
- Whole grains
- Low fat dairy
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein and fish
Some research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in olive oil, flaxseed oil, and fatty fish. Omega-3 fats play a role in altering inflammatory process and regulation of pain. Antioxidant rich foods can prevent, delay, or repair some types of cell or tissue damage. An anti-inflammatory diet often eliminates the unpleasant side effects of medications that cause fogginess, memory loss and sleepiness.
The best way to reduce chronic inflammation is to cut out unprocessed foods (high sugar and unhealthy fat) & “junk food” and adopt more of the good unprocessed kinds. Getting regular exercise, controlling stress, and eating healthy foods all work together to reduce inflammation and chronic pain.
Nutrition can be your ally in fighting pain and inflammation.
-Exclusive Nerve & Disc Centers®