Proper nutrition can be a remedy for sufferers of chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain that affects 2% to 4% of the population, especially women. This is because certain nutrients are responsible for the synthesis of neurotransmitters (brain messengers) associated with pain sensitivity and sense of well-being.
Using Food to Relieve Chronic Pain
Nutritions has been proven to being a key factor in alleviating chronic pain. Affirmed nutritionist Camila Prospero (Institute of the Heart (Incor) in Sao Paulo), who has witnessed the improvement of many women with fibromyalgia who received nutritional advice in parallel to conventional treatments for the disease.
She explains that one of the nutrients that can not be missed on the plate of chronic pain sufferers is tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for the synthesis of serotonin. It is found in foods such as lean meats, skim milk and bananas.
Another important element in this process is carbohydrate. “It is recommended that 50% to 60% of daily caloric intake is composed of carbohydrates, present in fruits, breads, potatoes and cereals, preferably wholegrain,” she says. Sugar may even cause an immediate sensation of energy, but the surge in blood glucose levels later leads to the sensation of fatigue and drowsiness.
The dietitian also recommends eating foods rich in magnesium (such as spinach, soy, cashews, oats and tomatoes), folic acid (orange, apple and green leaves), calcium (milk, yogurt and lean cheeses) and selenium (nuts, walnuts). , tuna and sunflower seed).
Remember that the effect of these nutrients is not immediate and nutrition is only one of the pillars of treatment. In the case of fibromyalgia sufferers, eating properly is still useful to combat overweight: “It is common for patients to gain weight because of drugs, or the lack of pain-induced physical activity,” says the expert.
The disease does not have a definite cause. It can be caused by infectious, rheumatological, neurological and even psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders. The treatment is multidisciplinary and includes drugs such as antidepressants and painkillers, as well as psychotherapy and physical activity.
Although it is difficult to start, exercise is an effective weapon for pain relief, as emphasized by physiotherapist Vivian Domit Pasqualin of the Fibromyalgia Patient Support Group in Curitiba. “The activity should be slow and short at first, but it needs to be daily,” he says.