The Institute of Medicine reports over 116 million people suffer from chronic pain. This number is referenced by dozens of medical organizations, including the National Institutes of Health and the FDA. The 116 million is considered conservative and is only a reflection of patient accounts reported to medical providers. The statistic does not include individuals who suffer chronic pain without treatment or oversight. Learning to live with chronic pain is difficult and discouraging journey, without the addition of unwanted side effects from many pain medications. Many patients feel there is nothing that can be done to reduce the side effects of modern pain medications.
The unwanted side effects of pain medications can be just as frustrating as the chronic pain. Upset stomach, chronic constipation, weight gain, and lethargy are just a few of the common side effects people experience regularly when managing chronic pain with medication. But, by making a few simple changes to a patient’s diet with foods and nutritional supplements it is possible to drastically reduce unwanted side effects from a prescription pain management program.
Increasing fibrous vegetables like broccoli and beans, adding a soluble fiber supplement, and magnesium citrate to one’s diet, along with drinking plenty of water, can promote regular bowel movements. This combination of nutrients is also helpful in reaching weight loss goals, and is often a part of health and wellness plans to address hypertension.
Ginger, Peppermint, and Fennel have been used for centuries to naturally treat the queasiness of an upset stomach. These remedies can be found in a variety of liquids, bite-sized chews, and gel caps. The remedies should be taken at the onset of nausea or upset stomach.
Feeling tired, worn down, or simply having no energy is a common side effect of contemporary pain medications. Feelings of low energy may be alleviated by the introduction of a general multivitamin or vitamin B-complex supplement.
To get the most out of a pain medication program without sacrificing one’s quality of life I encourage patients to speak with their pharmacist and a certified nutritionist about their medications and supplements to identify any interactions and potential nutrient depletions.
If the medications you currently take are known to cause an increased need for a specific nutrient. Your nutrient supplementation may be beyond what the average diet and multivitamin offers. While this may seem complicated, Dougherty’s has the qualified professionals you can rely on to have the knowledge, experience, and understanding of how your medications and nutritional supplements work together.