CRPS stands for chronic regional pain syndrome. As indicated by its name, CRPS is a condition that causes chronic pain in those afflicted. This pain typically occurs in a limb, such as an arm or leg. CRPS pain may also spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, there is no single cure for CRPS. However, a number of available treatments may provide patients with pain relief.
Many patients take a holistic approach to managing their pain, such as a specialized CRPS diet. CRPS diet typically varies among patients, as there is no one diet to follow. All forms of specialized CRPS diet focus on eating foods that improve overall well-being and bodily function, especially the function of nerve cells that suppress pain input in the body. These foods include fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.
CRPS Diet Basics
In short, a CRPS diet typically consists of fresh, natural foods that offer optimal nutrition with few – if any– fillers, preservatives, or other ingredients that do not offer nutritional value. Many identify a CRPS diet to be similar to a “raw” or “whole foods” diet. The main goal of a CRPS diet is to provide the body with pure nutrition. A CRPS diet high in nutrition can reduce bodily inflammation, expand blood vessels, and help to maintain the function of the central nervous system.
CRPS Diet Foods
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables often constitute the majority of a CRPS diet. When selecting produce, patients should choose from a wide variety of colors. Often, fruits and vegetables of different color offer different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. By filling a CRPS diet with a variety of fresh produce, the patient will consume vital nutrients that enhance overall health and improve CRPS symptoms.
CRPS patients should consume a range of fresh produce, such as:
• Apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, and pears
• Berries, including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
• Tomatoes and avocados
• Garlic, onions, carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli
• Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and collard greens
• Red, green, yellow, and orange bell peppers
• Eggplant, squash, and sweet potatoes
A well-rounded CRPS diet typically also includes lean meats such as skinless poultry, veal, fish, and other seafood such as lobster, shrimp, and crab. Meats such as roast beef and lamb may be eaten as well. However, it is recommended that red meats are consumed in moderation due to the high fat content. When cooking, meats should not be fried. Baking, broiling, roasting, and grilling are preferred cooking methods.
Eating Organic Foods
When possible, CRPS patients should eat organic fruits, vegetables, and meats. By doing so, patients can reduce their consumption of pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that may be used during the growing and manufacturing process. In addition to aggravating CRPS, these substances can cause a number of other health problems. Unnatural chemicals such as pesticides can contribute to birth defects, cancer, nerve damage, and other harmful conditions.
Foods to Avoid
A CRPS diet should avoid processed foods as much as possible. These foods contain trans fats and other ingredients that can disturb the body’s natural digestive processes and create inflammation in the body. In turn, CRPS pain and other symptoms may be worsened. Sweets and other high-sugar foods should also be avoided as often as possible, as sugar can be a major trigger for inflammatory disease.
Foods to avoid as much as possible include:
• Processed and internal-organ meats, such as liver, bologna, salami, and hot dogs
• Enriched, or bleached flour products, such as white breads and pastas
• Margarine, Crisco, and other shortenings – olive oil should be used instead
• Sweetened beverages such as soft drinks
• Cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, and ice cream
• Alcohol, such as beer, liquor, and wine
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