Supplements For Chronic Pain

No supplement or miracle drug in the world can make up for unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle choices. And in general, there isn’t much scientific support for using supplements or vitamins to manage pain. That being said, there are a few options to consider:

• Fish oil—Many studies have shown that fish oil can help fight pain. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, potent anti-inflammatory agents made up of a combination of two forms: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). To ease inflammation, daily doses of 2-3 grams of EPA and 1-2.5 grams DHA are recommended.

• Alpha-lipoic acid—If you are experiencing some form of nerve pain, consider alpha-lipoic acid, a very potent anti-oxidant that clears potentially harmful free radicals from the tissues. Alpha-lipoic acid has been used for years in Germany to treat painful neuropathies like diabetic neuropathy, and recent studies in the Netherlands have shown similar promise. Anywhere from 200-600 mg/day might be considered.

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• Vitamin D—A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to musculoskeletal pain. This is more

commonly seen in those living at higher latitudes or those who spend too much time indoors and get little exposure to sunlight. If you are concerned about being vitamin D deficient, ask your doctor to check your blood levels to see whether supplementation is warranted.

Ingest Quality Only

What you consume can alter your “pain brain” and pain experience. There is a strong connection between what is happening in your gut and how you feel—physically, mentally, and emotionally. So be extra vigilant when deciding what to put into your body, and choose foods and medications that support and enhance your recovery. Change is never easy, but it will be well worth the effort.

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