Posted on Jul 09, 2012 | Tags: Arizona, Pain Doctor, Arizona Pain Doctors, Pain Management, Phoenix Pain Doctors, Chronic Pain, Paleo Diet, Healthy Eating
At The Pain Center of Arizona, the pain specialists stay educated about all of the latest developments in healthcare, including alternative therapies and programs. It has long been known that certain ways of eating can help or hinder one's pain level, but recently, light has been shed on the Paleo style of eating, and its possible benefits for those with chronic pain.
The Paleolithic diet is also referred to as the caveman diet. It is based on the ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species consumed during the Paleolithic area (a period of about 2.5 million years that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture).
But why do people think that eating more like our caveman ancestors by consuming mostly meats and vegetables while eschewing dairy and grains will ward off many different diseases, including arthritis?
Unlike most diets, the Paleo diet does not involve controlling portions or counting calories. Like most diets, however, it does provide a list of foods you can eat (lean meats, eggs, fish, produce, nuts, and seeds), foods you may consume in moderation (certain oils, and coffee or tea), and foods to avoid.
Forbidden foods on the Paleo diet include dairy products (yogurt, cheese, milk, and ice cream), grains (wheat, rice, barely, corn, and rye), legumes (beans, peas, and peanuts), starchy vegetables (potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes), processed foods (this includes processed meats such as bacon and sausage), and candy.
So can a protein-heavy diet such as this one really help patients suffering from arthritis?
Researchers are on the fence. While there is some evidence the Paleo diet works, doctors and researchers cannot say for sure that it eases pain from arthritis, mainly because there have been no randomized human trials.
The reason the diet may be beneficial is because it’s an anti-inflammatory diet which has been shown to ease pain from arthritis in some people. The Paleo diet encourages fish consumption, and the types of fish patients are encouraged to eat—salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines—are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (as are walnuts, another pro-Paleo food). Studies have shown that omega-3 fish oils tend to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which includes joint pain and stiffness. Unfortunately, their effect on osteoarthritis isn’t clear. Another benefit is grass-fed meat, which is also higher in anti-inflammatory essential fats.
Good sources of antioxidants, which have been shown to be important anti-inflammatories, are encouraged during the Paleo diet, such as fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Another important aspect is the discouragement of eating refined sugars and grains, saturated and trans fats, salt, processed foods, and high-glycemic carbohydrates which can all cause weight gain and other health problems.
As always, it is recommended to speak with your pain specialist at The Pain Center or with your physician before beginning any new diet or eating plan.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa, Gilbert, Deer Valley, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson! We take multiple insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
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