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CPE article for Spring 2018 Issue of The Integrative RDN, the quarterly newsletter of Dietitians in Integrative & Functional Medicine (DIFM), on the use of nutrition for management of chronic pain. Reprinted by BHN DPG with permission from DIFM.
In the current opioid epidemic, nonpharmacologic pain management is receiving unprecedented attention. In a widely reported clinical practice guideline, the American College of Physicians recommends trials of evidence-based nonpharmacologic modalities – acupuncture, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapies – before pharmacologic treatments for chronic pain. Dietary interventions are noticeably absent from this list of evidence-based approaches to pain management.
Is there no evidence base for nutrition in pain management? To the contrary – evidence exists, but the connection between food and pain is multifactorial, and cause and effect is not always linear. This article will review evidence in four distinct areas of the relationship between nutrition and pain: nutrient insufficiencies, inflammatory load, the potential role of the microbiome, and overall eating patterns.
CPE Level: 2
Learning Need Codes: 5420, 2070, 2090, 2100
Performance Indicators: 10.4.4, 10.4.5, 8.1.3
- Discuss three mechanisms that explain the relationship between nutrition and pain.
- Describe the basic components of an anti-inflammatory diet and the contribution of each component to balancing inflammation levels in the body.
- List three chronic pain conditions which have been shown to be directly related to nutrient insufficiencies.
- Recognize the potential role of the microbiome in modulation of inflammation and pain.