Better Food Choices May Be the Ticket to Reduce Chronic Pain

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LOUISVILLE Nutrition is not the first treatment option that comes to mind for most people battling chronic pain or for their healthcare providers, but maybe it should be. The opportunity to change the chaos within may come from choosing the right foods for the body.

Physicians and other healthcare providers are often at a loss for options to help their patients with fibromyalgia, migraines, IBS, and other painful health conditions. Medications, surgeries, and other treatments don’t work in many cases, and the patient is left to their own devices to find some relief. Sometimes it can seem like every avenue has been explored, but what about the diet?

Eating reactive foods that stimulate the immune system to produce mediators that create pain and inflammation throughout the body can be limited and controlled. We are bombarded by food at every turn, and unless we know what works for our particular body and we stick to safe items, we could be fueling an internal storm. Just because a food is touted as healthy for the general public does not mean it is safe for everyone.

Unlike food allergy symptoms that occur immediately, food sensitivities have a delayed response. The immune system perceives the ingestion of certain foods or chemicals as foreign and proceeds to unleash a flood of mediators from white blood cells. Humoral and cellular mechanisms can cause this process to happen. The mediators (cytokines, prostaglandins, histamine, etc.) cause tissue inflammation, smooth muscle contraction, mucus secretion, and pain. And because blood flows freely throughout the body, symptoms can arise anywhere.

Today we have the scientific ability to identify foods and food chemicals in our food supply that are reactive for individuals and cause them harm. The patented Mediator Release Test (MRT) by Signet Diagnostic Laboratories was created for this purpose. With this tool, a patient with chronic pain and inflammation will have a personalized road map of safe foods and chemicals to follow. This eliminates the need for guessing, which is the usual and time-consuming method followed when foods are suspected of causing symptoms.

Once trigger foods are identified, it is possible to custom make a diet that is truly tailor fit to an individual’s needs based on their personal immune system. This diet treatment program is called LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance). At Nutrition Works in Louisville, this is the program I use to help clients get long lasting relief when nothing else has worked.

I am a Certified LEAP Therapist who is specially trained and will create a custom elimination diet and carefully develop meal ideas with the patient taking into consideration any other health conditions they are facing. This addition of Medical Nutrition Therapy into the patient’s care plan is well integrated into the whole healthcare team approach.

With MRT results as a guide and following the LEAP diet plan, thousands of people have been able to reduce their symptoms to the point where they no longer rely on drugs for relief. They can go back to enjoying their lives as they did before being overwhelmed with pain. Symptoms are often cut in half after the initial seven to 10 day period on the elimination diet.

If diet modification were one of the first choices for treatment for chronic pain patients instead of a last resort, then fewer people would continue to suffer needlessly. The LEAP program helps physicians and patients get the results they are looking for so everyone wins. It is an effective treatment option that can be appropriately targeted to patients with hard to resolve chronic pain issues.

Today we have the scientific ability to identify foods and food chemicals in our food supply that are reactive for individuals and cause them harm.

Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, LD, CLT, is a nutritionist with Nutrition Works. You can reach her at sandra@smartnutritionworks.com or by calling (502) 339-9202. For more information about the MRT blood test and the LEAP program, visit www.nowleap.com or www.smartnutritionworks.com.