Diet, Chronic Pain and Addiction
There are some things in life that is it simple to connect. While others take a deeper understanding to see the actual connection. It may difficult for some to see the connection between diet, chronic pain and addiction. But for those suffering and especially those in recovery, the connection is clear. Read on to learn how the connection is made.
Pain is a normal bodily reaction to illness and injury. It is a way for your body to warn you something is wrong. Along the same lines, when the injury is healed or the illness passes, the pain should also subside. Unfortunately for some with extreme injuries, the pain continues long after the problem is gone. When pain lasts for at least 3 to 6 months or more, with the originating cause being gone, it is known as chronic pain. Chronic pain can take a toll on the body both physically and mentally. All energy goes to dealing with the overall pain and other basic functions can suffer.
For many with chronic pain, a pain reliever is prescribed. This pain reliever is often very strong and contains a narcotic or opioid of types. As chronic pain sufferers build a tolerance to the medication, they may start abusing it and even become addicted. Though it started as a helpful option, a full blown addiction can be dangerous and is doing nothing to alleviate the pain.
Due to the nature of chronic pain, and the toll it takes on the body, nutrients may be quickly depleted due to the body trying to heal or simply function with the pain. Additionally, those with chronic pain may be unlikely to spend time cooking healthy meals. This is because standing and moving around can be painful. This means poor food choices may be made and the body suffer more from lack of nutrition. The same is true of those with addiction as eating is not always a priority over the addiction. In this way, diet, chronic pain, and addiction are all related.
Diet and Treatment
While healthy foods, vitamins, and minerals cannot heal all issues, chronic or otherwise, healthy choices can help the body fight. This applies not only to defending against germs. However, keeping the mind healthy and the body ready to replenish important nutrients lost when in active addiction or chronic pain. It is not far fetched to think that a healthy, proportional diet can help the body to rid itself of toxins allowed in by drug abuse. Allowing to heal bones and muscles, and even to allow for clearer thinking.
If you are suffering from chronic pain that has led to addiction or you are concerned about addiction than a diet change could help you both heal and wean off of any medication. Those who take opioids are prone to crave sugar and sweets. However, avoiding these foods in excess and replacing them with high protein foods and green vegetables will actually help the body and mind heal better over time. For those with addictions, the overuse of medication can also deplete the vitamin and mineral stores in one’s body. By choosing to eat healthy and get plenty of vitamins, especially B and D, the body can detox more efficiently and begin to heal.
If you feel a diet change could make a difference in your pain or addiction, then seek help. Many inpatient and outpatient facilities like DARA, have a nutritionist on staff that can help you begin healing from the inside out. Don’t be afraid to make that call.
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