Diet and nutrition can have a direct impact on chronic pain
Chronic pain is often a complex condition which nutrition can have a direct impact on through:
- Inflammation in the joints and throughout the body
- The pressure on back and joints from weight gain
- Food allergies and intolerances
- Side effects of medications which reduce appetite and gastrointestinal symptoms
- Hormone imbalance and appetite changes from sleep disturbances
Inflammation and Chronic Pain
There are two types of fats that seem to have a significant impact on inflammation and pain in the body. These two fats compete for the same enzymes and they work in opposite ways. Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation and Omega-6 increases inflammation (Goldberg 2007). Eating more omega-3 than omega-6 (some research suggests a ratio of 4:1 is optimum) is needed to see the benefits.
Oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3, however, plant sources of the essential oil have limited benefits in the body. A dietitian can help you get the right mix of fats to give you greatest benefits and advise if a supplement is needed.