It’s been said that you are what you eat, and that’s definitely true when it comes to chronic pain. Chan School of Public Health. When you are injured or get infected, your body signals the immune system to send white blood cells to the affected areas to repair the injury or fight the infection. When the injury heals or the infection goes away, inflammation normally goes away too. However, sometimes your immune system gets turned on and stays on after the “crisis” has passed. Over time, this can damage healthy cells and organs and cause constant pain in muscles, tissues, and joints. Chronic inflammation also can raise your risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and even Alzheimer’s disease. How does your diet fit into all this? It’s much like a domino effect that works two ways, according to Dr.
Vitamin D is important for building strong bones. The recommended dosage is IU per day. This is especially important if you take opioids for pain as they can affect your hormones and lower your body’s ability to effectively build bone. Calcium is also important for maintaining good bone density. If you are on opioids, you may consider taking at least one calcium tablet containing mg of elemental calcium per day. It is recommended to combine it with magnesium as it counteracts the constipating effect of the calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to relieve pain, particularly reducing the use of anti-inflammatory drugs among people with rheumatoid arthritis. Char, herring, mackerel, rainbow trout, salmon and sardines have very high amounts of omega-3 fats. Talk to you doctor if additional supplement of omega-3 can help improve your pain. Magnesium is necessary to relax smooth muscles and plays an important function in blocking pain transmitting receptors. Health topics.
Research finds that you can eliminate many of the effects of chronic pain and side effects of medications with an anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise and stress management. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Welches says. Welches advocates the following three basic diet guidelines, noting that physicians should encourage all of their patients to consider them. To make your diet part of an integrative lifestyle built to reduce chronic pain and reduce or eliminate inflammation, Dr. Welches recommends these additional priorities. Exercise is an added benefit, particularly if people are overweight.