As we discussed in-depth on the blog this month, eating right plays a key role in managing and avoiding some of the pain caused by chronic pain conditions. The basic building blocks of nutrition can give you the foundation for a healthy diet, but a pain healthy diet that focuses on anti-inflammatory foods and clean eating is especially helpful for those with chronic pain.

Since they are of special interest to many of our patients, we discussed how eating right can impact the following conditions:

For all pain patients, certain foods can exacerbate symptoms, with sugar as one of the main culprits. Because of these types of food (that feature some of the unhealthy fried and fatty foods you would suspect), we suggest that all pain patients try to cook at home in order to create the most nutritionally sound meals that can benefit their condition. Online blogs and cookbooks provide a treasure trove of pain healthy recipes to try out in the kitchen!

Just as important is the discussion about the effects of obesity and overweight on all people, but especially those with chronic pain conditions. We covered some of the largest benefits of losing weight, as well as the health risk factors that can be caused by excess weight. While pain conditions can certainly be impacted, obesity and overweight have also been associated with greater rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

It’s important therefore to find safe, healthy, and sustainable ways to lose weight when overweight or obesity becomes a problem. Safety is the key word here, as many fad diets (such as the Atkins diet or cabbage soup diet) can be particularly harmful for people already suffering from a chronic pain condition and may exacerbate or worsen symptoms.

There are as many different ways of eating as there are people in the world. It’s important to listen to your body when considering any diet, but also to consult with your doctor. The most simple and straightforward diets that focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein are often the best for anybody, regardless of medical condition. Your doctor, however, can suggest some additional tips to help with your specific pain condition and lifestyle.

What are your thoughts about nutrition and health? Do you find that eating right benefits your pain condition? 

Image by momo via Flickr 


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