Carbohydrates make up the majority of the calories in many Americans’ diets. Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient which provide the body with energy. Grains such as bread, cereals, pasta and rices are all types of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also come from fruits, vegetables and the natural sugars found in dairy products.
Some quick education on Carbs can help patients to have a better understanding of foods to be wary of in fighting chronic pain. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, cookies and candies, sodas, contain very little benefits to our general health. Refined carbs are low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, broccoli and asparagus, are rich in dietary fiber, help to stabilize blood sugar levels and are better choices for pain patients. Complex carbohydrates also contain high levels of vitamins and minerals.
Interesting enough most chronic pain patients, specifically Fibromyalgia, patients tend to have more frequent cravings for carbohydrates than healthy individuals. When patients give into the simple carbs they can enter a hypoglycemic state, or a sudden drop in blood sugar, perpetuating the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
Cutting out all carbohydrates from the diet is not recommended, since they do serve an important function in the metabolic process. Instead, we recommend cutting out all refined carbohydrates and choosing complex carbohydrates to make up 30-40% of your daily calorie intake.
These changes can significantly decrease inflammatory levels, improve energy and decrease pain.