Physical Pain, Depression and Healthy Eating – How Are They Related?

Physical Pain, Depression and Healthy Eating

During the last few decades, people have grown more aware of their eating habits and more of them have decided to change their life style and to eat healthier. However, most of the times, these changes were made with one single purpose: that of losing weight to look good.

Healthy eating is more than that though, as you will discover in this article. As a matter of fact, healthy eating (or, rather said, unhealthy eating) lies at the base of many health-related issues that you may not have thought of.

First of all, let’s start by describing one of the most mysterious syndromes of our age: Fibromyalgia. This syndrome has no actual known causes and its symptoms may sometimes be more than misleading for the diagnosticians.

Of course, research has been and is being done, and various theories related to the causes of this syndrome arose from the work of the specialists. Still, no clear and universally acknowledged answer has been given yet (or, at least, an answer that is acknowledged by a large majority of people).

Fibromyalgia is characterized by a lot of very different symptoms that affect all areas of the patient’s body. However, the most poignant one is chronic pain which may appear at a neurologic level, at the level of the bone structure, as well as at the level of the digestive system.

Furthermore, the entire diagnosing process is very difficult because these symptoms may sometimes overlap almost 100% to those of other medical conditions. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus and Lyme’s Disease are just a few of these commonly mistaken medical conditions.

Among them, Depression plays an important part from many points of view. The first reason it is so important is the fact that, for a long while, Fibromyalgia has been mistakenly taken as a form of Depressive Disorder. This happened first of all because it was already known that Depression can cause physical pain and various types of abnormalities in the patient’s body.

Secondly, this idea was widely spread because other typical Fibromyalgia symptoms overlapped considerably on those of Depression.

However, the more recent research has shown that Fibromyalgia is a completely different syndrome. Its relationship with Depression is still not very clear though. Some of the specialists in this field consider that Depression may actually trigger Fibromyalgia. This theory is based on the idea that Depression can cause unbalances at the level of the brain.

These unbalances can, in their turn, lead to an abnormality in the way the brain is perceiving pain. Associated with stress, as well as other environmental factors, these abnormalities are, according to this theory, the cause that leads to the development of Fibromyalgia.

Other specialists, on the other hand, believe that Depression is actually just an effect of Fibromyalgia. Living with such a syndrome can be very difficult, especially when the level of pain is very high. Certain repercussions of dealing with Fibromyalgia include having to permanently undergo treatment, having to isolate yourself as a patient of Fibromyalgia from work, friends and family, as well as the sleepless nights.

All these can eventually lead to the patient feeling deeply saddened, discouraged and even useless, which are the most common symptoms of developing a Depressive Disorder.

Even though it is not certain whether Depression is a consequence or a cause of Fibromyalgia, most doctors will analyze a patient’s state of spirit and, at need, they will prescribe anti-depressive medication to help them ameliorate their symptoms.

Now you understand how physical pain in the form of Fibromyalgia is related to Chronic Depression. Still, how are both of these related to healthy eating?

At the beginning of the article it has been mentioned that healthy eating can influence the development of various forms of medical conditions. Fibromyalgia is one of these.

First of all, eating badly can worsen your condition by a lot. Providing your body with proper nutrition is crucial in ameliorating certain symptoms of Fibromyalgia, such as the irritable bowel, the low level of energy, the bad sleeping patterns, and so on.  For instance, eating foods rich in additives will irritate your digestive system.

Eating foods high in saturated fats will decrease your level of energy even more. Sweets, as energizing they may appear for the moment, will also eventually decrease your general level of energy. As for caffeine-based products, you should avoid them at all costs, especially if you suffer from Insomnia or the Restless Leg Syndrome, because they will only make you feel more agitated and less energized the next day.

Depressive people should also take into consideration the benefits of eating healthy, regardless of whether they do or do not suffer from Fibromyalgia too. Fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and home cooked meals will make you feel better and look better. Thus, your general mood will improve by a lot.

In addition to healthy eating, exercising is very important as well. Not only will you benefit from it physically, but studies have actually shown that proper exercising can increase the levels of serotonin, also known as the “hormone of happiness”. For patients suffering from Fibromyalgia exercising may seem quite an impossible thing to do, but as long as you keep it low-impact, you will only reap benefits and you will not experience pain during the work out and neither will you experience it afterwards.

Fibromyalgia, as well as Depression, are very commonly encountered, quite mysterious and definitely connected to each other. What makes them so close to each other has not yet been proven scientifically, but surveys show that they almost always come together in one way or another.

Furthermore, there is no actual cure for any of them and their amelioration is, in its most part, related to changing one’s life style. Healthy food and exercising are not just for those who are trying to lose weight and they are not only for those who suffer from cardiac diseases, but also for those who are facing other types of medical conditions as well (among which Depression and Fibromyalgia are just two examples out of many, many more).