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Doctor Ignoring Your Pain? Turn To Nutrition Instead

Pain management as a topic is one that we need to be giving more attention in our healthcare system, so it's a difficult topic for a lot of treatment providers to discuss.

Why is it so hard to find a doctor who can offer viable solutions for pain management? A Swedish study which looked at the relationship between chronic pain patients and their physicians, found that doctors often fear that they can’t successfully treat the pain.

 

Another issue is that, too often, doctors often have only minimal training in pain management. A December 2011 study reviewed pain education programs at 117 U.S. and Canadian medical schools found that most devoted less than five curriculum hours to pain topics. 

But that’s not the only reason.

 

Pressure on Doctors

A big part of why opioids became the problem that they are now is that they presented or were, in some ways, billed as a solution and as an easy solution to the problem of pain. 

However, faced with skyrocketing drug overdoses, states are cracking down on opioid prescribing. Some patients with chronic pain say they are becoming collateral damage.

Since many of the law's passed that tighten the prescription of pain medication, some doctors in the USA report feeling pressure to lower patient doses, even for patients who have been on stable regimens of opioids for years without trouble.

 

Pain Patients Treated as Drug Abusers

There is a further component to the chronic pain patient now where there is now the stigma that if you’re in chronic pain you’re automatically a drug addict or “pill seeking”.

The topic of opioid use and opioid overuse has received a lot of attention in the national media.

So now just the plain act of stating that “I am in pain, and I need help with it,” makes the doctors compartmentalize patients, putting them into an unfavorable category, as though they do not deserve medical treatment since their ailment happens to be pain.

 

And yet countless patients have never used my medication to get high, have never sold it, and have never taken more than the amount prescribed. Still, patients with chronic pain are labeled a possible criminal because of disease they neither asked for nor wanted.

 

Veering Away from Western Medicine

If you don’t think your doctor is listening to you or helping you with your pain, look for another one who will. When you’re in chronic pain, you want your doctors to listen to you so that you can find relief. Be assertive and take charge, and together you will find ways to manage your pain.

But a true, honest conversation about chronic pain requires going into more depth, understanding what the patient's going through, getting better diagnostic information about the pain, and then coming up with coping strategies that are more comprehensive that go beyond what you can usually achieve with medication alone.

 

Nutrition as a Treatment for Pain

 

As more and more patients suffer from pain and are dismissed by doctors, much more are finding reprieve and alleviated symptoms in nutrition. Treating pain and inflammation with nutritious foods is a natural, easy, and healthy way to ease your discomfort.

 

Living with chronic pain isn’t easy, but eating healthy, well-balanced meals can have a positive impact on your life by relieving some of the symptoms associated with chronic conditions. Those that suffer from chronic pain can see a reduction in inflammation, decreased stress and improved mood when they eat a variety of nutritious food. Additionally, a healthy diet of this type can help fight infections and improve your energy levels.

 

Dietary modification has the potential to alleviate chronic pain by reducing intake of pro-inflammatory foodstuffs and increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, superfoods, and omega-3 fatty acids. Diets that incorporate high-nutrient density foodstuffs like turmeric and moringa, fish, whole-grains, legumes, and fruit, and low in red meat and butter are associated with lower levels of inflammation.

 

Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods

An anti-inflammatory diet is helpful for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and IBS.

Superfoods: Moringa, turmeric, and ginger are considered superfoods with their dense high-nutrient content (ie Vitamin A, B12, C, Calcium, Magnesium, etc), brimming with antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turning to Supplements to Achieve Maximum Support

Try to incorporate more of these nutrients in your daily diet, but it may not be as easy for many people. Supplements can plug dietary gaps. 

The idea behind food supplements is to deliver nutrients that may not be consumed in sufficient quantities. Taking supplements leads to an increased level of total nutrient intake. 

Supplements aren't for everyone, but older adults and other people who have a hard time absorbing nutrients may need them to get the nutrients they might otherwise lack.

 

Worst Inflammatory Foods

Many of the bad foods are processed "junk" foods with low nutritional value, including soda and other foods that contain simple sugars like high-fructose corn syrup; processed meat; and white bread, white pasta, and other foods high in refined carbohydrates. (These are foods you want to eliminate for other health reasons, too.)

  • Red meat, such as beef—if you do eat beef, have it only on special occasions. Grass-fed beef is the best, but it costs more than regular beef, so you might want to plan for it in your grocery budget. Eat less of other beef, including hamburgers, steaks, ribs, and beef in tacos, stir-fry, and sandwiches.

  • Processed meat, such as ham, bacon, sausage, and lunch meat

  • Certain oils and fats, including margarine, shortening, lard, and oils from soybean, safflower, corn, and sunflowers

 

Fish: Choose fish that live in cold water, including salmon, herring, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. Wild salmon is healthy to eat, but farmed salmon is not because it usually has a lot of antibiotics in it.

Nuts and seeds: Various nuts and seeds have a good amount of magnesium, l-arginine and vitamin E, and studies have found that eating nuts can decrease the amounts of inflammatory biomarkers in the body.

The best dietary approach to help your immune system, and thus help reduce chronic inflammation, is to cut out the bad inflammatory foods and adopt more of the good anti-inflammatory kinds. The fundamental principle of the diet is that patients with chronic pain need a high-nutrient density diet with avoidance of red meat, carbohydrates (sugars and starches), and “bad oils.” The dietary supplements also recommended are intended to assist regeneration of tissue.

Keep in mind that you have to make lasting changes in order for your diet to work for you.