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When it comes to healthy living, diet is a key ingredient for everyone, but for those diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a good diet, a healthy menu with just the right foods, is crucial. Medical experts believe the wrong foods and other unhealthy behaviors can make a CRPS patient’s symptoms worse.

CRPS is often diagnosed after an injury to an extremity, an arm, a leg, a foot, or a hand. Those inflicted are forced to live with excruciating pain. In fact, the severity of the pain ranks even higher than childbirth and amputation on the McGill Pain Index, an index used by doctors.

Categorized as an autoimmune disease, an individual with CRPS has an overactive immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells as if they were foreign cells. This results in painful inflammation. Many physicians believe that complications and pain from CRPS could be due to this inflammation. Eating foods that trigger inflammation in the body can increase the joint pain, redness, and swelling associated with CRPS.

What types of food can trigger inflammation?

Processed meat: Deli meats, bacon and sausage are examples of meats holding high amounts of advanced glycation end products. 

Refined carbohydrates: Think of sugar and starches not found in nature. Some examples are white sugar, white bread, white flour, pasta, and some breakfast cereal.

Sugar and high fructose corn syrup: Although these two sweeteners are staples in American diets, they cause inflammation within the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. 

Seed and vegetable oils: Specific oils to avoid include peanut, canola, corn, sesame, and cottonseed. They can be found in baked goods, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and margarine.  

Gluten: Gluten is found in rye, rice, wheat, and barley. When these types of grains are processed into flour and mixed with water, the gluten proteins create a sticky consistency, similar to glue. It is this glue-like consistency that gives the dough its elastic properties. It is known to cause severe inflammation throughout the body. 

CRPS patients should also avoid smoking, caffeine, and excessive alcohol. Studies have shown consuming alcohol can increase inflammation levels in the body with heavy drinkers taking on more risk. Alcohol is tied to a condition known as “leaky gut,” which occurs when toxins pass from the colon and spread into the rest of the body causing severe inflammation.

Instead of the above-mentioned foods, CRPS patients should consider foods known for aiding an anti-inflammatory diet. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet of foods can naturally reduce inflammation. Some of these foods include fish like tuna and salmon, colorful produce like spinach, broccoli, celery, apples, blueberries, and pineapples. And to sweeten or spice up your diet, good cupboard items include honey, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 

Navigating CRPS alone can also increase pain and make symptoms worse. It’s vital to surround yourself with the proper medical team of doctors and therapists, supportive family members, and a CRPS support group. Being among others who share similar struggles has tremendous benefits including the most up-to-date information on the disease.

If you are living with CRPS you need to understand what makes symptoms better and worse. CRPS sufferers should consider leading a healthier lifestyle and finding a proper support system as part of their treatment plan. Together all of these things can help create a more successful outcome in managing CRPS.

If you believe your CRPS condition is the result of an injury from an accident or negligence of another, you may be able to file a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. By pursuing a claim, some of the financial burdens can be lessened, allowing you to focus on managing your physical and mental well-being. The Cochran Firm is experienced in handling CRPS cases and is here to help. For more information, you can reach The Cochran Firm at THE FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or contact us now via our online chat.

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