How do people learn? Do they learn by doing, or by not doing? I believe that they learn by doing. However, learning what not to do fills in the gaps of knowledge and if learned appropriately, emphasizes the things that should not be done so that these things can be avoided, leading to correct and proper procedures of what to do. Here then are what chronic pain sufferers should ideally not consume:
Aspartame People avoid sugar (sucrose) by taking aspartame, but people suffering from pain ought to avoid taking aspartame (often found in diet sodas). It is one of the chemicals that comprise excitotoxins, which activate the neurons that can increase your receptiveness to pain.
In a survey of 551 people who reported adverse effects upon taking aspartame, 9% reported pain in one or both eyes; 45% had headaches; 7%, atypical facial pain; 15%, paresthesias (“pins and needles”, tingling” or numbness of the limbs); 8%, atypical chest pain; 13%, abdominal pain; 5%, pain on swallowing; and 11%, severe joint pains
Caffeine Caffeine is one of many things that are good for something, at the same time that it is bad for something. I am just making up the following in saying that there are studies that show chocolate to be good for the heart, and studies that show that chocolate is bad for the heart.
Regardless, for every study that shows that caffeine can be good for some pains, there is another study that shows that caffeine ought to be avoided if you have pain.
The theory is that caffeine keeps you awake, resulting in inadequate sleep and fatigue, creating an imbalance of the brain chemicals that control mood, and which is linked to fibromyalgia. The reality is that caffeine gives you no better than a 50-50 chance of relief, so why tempt theory?
Carbohydrates Caffeine can be good or bad, fats can be good or bad, and so can carbohydrates. Regardless, about 9 out of 10 people who suffer from fibromyalgia have low adrenal functioning. This affects the metabolism of carbohydrates and which may lead to hypoglycemia (a medical emergency caused by virtually no glucose in the blood (“low blood sugar”). Reducing carbs helps your body function better.
Grains One of the four food groups, but not if you are suffering from chronic pain and are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. Grains, including organic unprocessed grains, are metabolized in much the same way as are sugars. Wheat and gluten grains are the top ones that are to be avoided.
Junk food There are very many good reasons to limit or eliminate junk food, and probably no good reasons to continue taking such unhealthy food. For those with pain, additional good reasons to avoid these are that they can irritate your muscles, compromise your immunity, and disrupt your sleep (which can lead to a whole host of pains and maladies).
MSG and other food additives. Fewer than 15% of Americans are sensitive to monosodium glutamate but that still means close to 50 million people. Of those that are sensitive, common symptoms of pain are headaches, chest pain and heart palpitations, facial numbness.
Pasteurized dairy As with carbohydrates, many fibromyalgia patients have trouble drinking and eating dairy products. However, many of these people find that there is little or no problems with grass-fed organic products.
Sugar The sugar alternative of aspartame is to be avoided, and sugar itself ought to be avoided by those with chronic pain. This includes otherwise healthy things such as fresh fruit juices. The preferred method of consumption is eating, not drinking, the fruit. Instead of drinking orange juice, eat the orange.
Trans fats Yes, Omega-3 fatty acids are good, but all trans fats and fried foods can promote inflammation.
Yeast The growth of yeast fungus can be an adjunct to the experience of pain.
Lifestyle & Routine
You ought to consult with a physical therapist to see what routine(s) and how much is appropriate for you. Do not try it if your body is unwilling or incapable of it. If you are in pain then some part of you is weak and it may good to strengthen that part, but certain conditions do worsen with strength training. So seek a physiotherapist’s advice.
Do not smoke tobacco, it can worsen pain. Alcohol when consumed in moderation can be ok and sometimes alleviate pain, but do not use it as a crutch because if you do, it can make things worse.
Do not call yourself names like “weak” or “stupid” or blame yourself for your chronic pain. Do not think about what life was like before your pain and try to imagine yourself then; do not try to relive the “good old days”.
Do what you can, but do not do what you cannot do. If you kept your home clean every day before you started experiencing pain but now find it difficult to walk around then simply ignore the dirt and dust. Your home will still remain regardless of whether or not it is cleaned by you each day.