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The Pain Diet

“The Pain Diet” and Why It Exists

Societies, throughout history, have used a healthy diet and herbs for promoting overall health and well-being. Yet for the past 100 or so years in United States we lost touch with these practices and adopted what is currently known as a western diet, known to bring diseases that require treatment by western medicine. While life spans may be longer than they were 50 years ago, the quality of life for the elderly has diminished considerably. People have more pain, less energy, poorer memory, are less mobile, and more depressed. This is associated with the high cost of medications, insurance, doctor visits, and surgery. The system is clearly not working. For this reason, there is a shift to more appropriately understand and integrate proper nutrition back into the standard western medical practice.

The practice of integrative nutrition takes a powerful, complimentary, and holistic medical approach to treating chronic disease. It’s based on the principals that healing and health are significantly based on a proper and nourishing diet, allowing optimal function of your body. The reality is that not all pain problems can be cured with the simple western medicine model of medications, surgery, nerve blocks, or physical therapy. The toolbox of treatment options has to grow to include eastern techniques, such as acupuncture, as well as holistic approaches to appropriately treat the broad spectrum of pain syndromes. Due to the changing lifestyles and dietary habits in our fast paced society, pain issues are more commonly derived from a product of lifestyle and nutritional abuses, in comparison to the patient population as recently as 20 years ago. Without acknowledging the influences of these nutritional issues, there is often a complete failure to get relief using classical western “allopathic” medicine models, serving only to drive up health care costs without any discernible patient benefit.

For this reason, a trend amongst physicians, especially those treating chronic pain, elderly, or the physically and medically disabled, have expanded their practice to include holistic approaches to more comprehensively and effectively treat their patient population. The necessity of a “pain diet” became clear to combat our nutritional depletion from surgical and medical alterations in metabolism, lack of appropriate food choices, and the increasing exposure to preservatives, which act as toxins as they accumulate in our bodies. This imbalance may often result in a common denominator of pain. Simple dietary changes, educated healthy choices, “mindful eating” with possible supplements, all tailored uniquely to each patient by a holistic nutritionist or physician, can halt or turn around the course of the pain and disease. Our diet health is not contingent on any one factor. Not on protein or Vitamin E, not on herbs or chelated minerals, not on probiotics, miracle food, or some esoteric berry from some far away island. Balance is Nature’s inconvertible law. Your genes are not your fate, they’re your blueprint. It’s the epigenome, or things you do to those genes thereby turning them on or off, that matters. Therefore, every plate of food you eat makes you more “alive” or more “dead”. Clearly, it does not take a PhD to realize the relative value of eating a potato versus a potato chip.