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Nutrition and Dietetics

What to eat when you have chronic pain

Most patients who suffer from chronic pain develop central hypersensitivity and very often become sensitive or intolerant to certain foods. The most common intolerances are lactose/dairy products and gluten/wheat products. Very often, patients who become hypersensitive to certain foods have a limited diet with the consequence that they may become vitamin deficient.

 

At The Pain Clinic, we will explain how certain food may effect pain levels and about the importance of gut health. We advise that for optimal pain control, patients should eat a diet high in green vegetables with a good amount of healthy fats. Alcohol, refined sugars and processed food should be avoided. Patients are advised to eat small portions at regular intervals, drink plenty of water and avoid drinks containing sugar or caffeine.

 

Very often, patients experience bloating after eating certain foods. Some may have loose stools while others may be constipated. Malabsorption of vitamins can result in worsening of symptoms. Our priority is to identify if there are signs of gut pathology, exclude gluten intolerance and Vitamin D deficiency and and advise on a healthy, well-balanced diet tailor-made for the patient’s needs. Supplementation is very often recommended when there is evidence of vitamin deficiencies.

 

For more expert advice, we recommend a consultation with our dietitian and nutritionist, Dr Mario Caruana.

What you can expect from a consultation:

 

Initial consultation:

Your first appointment will last about 30-45 minutes and includes:

  • A thorough assessment (medical history, weight history, food choices, eating pattern and lifestyle)
  • Nutrition information that is scientifically supported and translated into practical advice
  • Tailored and individual advice
  • The opportunity to ask any questions you have relating to your diet and lifestyle
  • Support to set achievable goals
  • Depending on your needs, you will get some documentation supporting the advice provided during the consultation

 

Follow-up:

Depending on your situation, it might be advisable to have a follow-up appointment after a few weeks. This usually includes:

  • Feedback about your experiences (successes and difficulties)
  • Remaining questions
  • Coaching to overcome remaining difficulties

 

For more information contact Dr Mario Caruana, Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist