Alimentation and Chronic pain
The negative impact of an imbalanced diet on your CRPS.
Complex Regional Pain Symptom is the most painful chronic pain condition known to medicine. As with any condition with inflammatory origins, its patients have to be extremely attentive to specific external factors that can worsen or improve their daily wellness. For example, changes in weather, stress, anxiety, physical activity, clothing items, and last but definitely not least: alimentation.
“Your diet can help support your immune system by having it turned on and turned off at the appropriate times. A poor diet can alter your immune system, so it acts abnormally, and can contribute to persistent low-grade inflammation.” – Dr. Tabung, researcher with the Department of Nutrition at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The CRPS patient should be concerned with what he puts in his plate. Following an adequate diet could improve his day to day feelings, his ability to do certain activities etc.
“An anti-inflammatory diet primarily involves adequate quantities of Vitamin C, which in some studies has even been seen to prevent the onset of CRPS following a bone fracture. This vitamin has innumerable functions, including collagen production, iron absorption and a powerful antioxidant activity. The foods with the highest vitamin C content are: currants, peppers, rocket salad, kiwis, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, orange, lemon, grapefruit.
Also, very important, is the introduction of omega 3 fatty acids, which can be found in big quantity in salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, dried fruit (especially walnuts and almonds).
Legumes are important as a source of non-animal proteins and abundant minerals (including magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc). Spices such as turmeric, nutmeg and ginger have a good anti-inflammatory action and should also be added to the diet.
The foods that should be drastically reduced in an anti-inflammatory diet are refined sugars (contained in bread, pasta, white rice, donuts but also drinks with a high sugar content), in general products derived from flours which are also found in red meat, hot dogs, sausages, bacon, coffee and chocolate.”
Another issue with chronic pain, is that it often goes along with obesity, in a sort of “vicious circle way”. The pain prevent the patient to be able to exercise, and in some cases, move all together. This leads to weight gain, which itself brings your body to be in a constant level of inflammation, which aggravate the chronic pain.
Hence CRPS patients affected by obesity have to be even more focused on switching to an anti-inflammatory diet, as it could help breaking the cycle.
See here a tab with some examples of food that will help you reduce inflammation:
There are many ways to work on helping your body when it finds itself in a “chronic pain crisis”. Alimentation should be on top of your list, as you will experience miraculous changes in your pain levels, range of movement and general wellbeing. Do not hesitate in getting in touch with a dietician who will help you create the perfect diet adapted to your body.
If you have any questions on this particular subject and/or have any questions about Chronic Pain, get in touch with one of our Patient Care Coordinators, who will be happy to help!