What is it?
Pain can be classified as a Early warning physiological protective system, essential to detect and minimize contact with harmful stimuli or protect an already injured region from a new injury. There may also be its pathological form, which results from an abnormal functioning of the Central Nervous System (CNS).
What’s the pain for?
This mechanism that the body makes use of exists precisely to protect us. When we feel pain and discomfort, it warns our CNS that something is not right, as in the case of a tight shoe or stepping on a very hot floor: if we did not feel pain, we could do it for a long enough time to damage and even destroy our cells, which would be harmful to the body. Therefore, pain functions primarily as a warning.
How does it work?
There are specific sensory channels related to pain in the peripheral nervous system that drive it. There is a specific set of sensory neurons that is specialized to respond only to harmful stimuli, expressing proteins that detect intense hot, cold, mechanical and chemical stimuli and transduce them into currents in the peripheral terminals of sensory fibers that then activate the action potential, and cause the pain we feel.
What is the ideal diet to relieve pain?
As there are different types of pain, with different causes, the treatments are also very heterogeneous. Ideally, you first investigate the cause, then adjust the dietary pattern. Below are some examples of dietary patterns that can be followed based on what type of pain the patient is feeling.
- Abdominal by lactose intolerance: lactose-free diet
- Constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome: high-fiber diet
- Fibromyalgia: Low FODMAP diet, gluten-free or fasting
- Lumbar: lacto-vegetarian and hyperprotein diet
- Knee osteoarthritis in obese patients: calorie-restricted diet
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Article: CJ Woolf. What is this thing called pain? J Clin Invest. 2010 Nov;120(11):3742-4. doi: 10.1172/JCI45178. Epub 2010 Nov 1. PMID: 21041955; PMCID: PMC2965006.
Dragan S, Mc Șerban, Damian G, Buleu F, Valcovici M, Christodorescu R. Dietary Patterns and Interventions to Alleviate Chronic Pain. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 19;12(9):2510. Doi: 10.3390/nu12092510. PMID: 32825189; PMCID: PMC7551034.