Using food to ease chronic pain

using food to ease chronic pain

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by Kathy Schoemehl

Chronic pain is hard on your body: physically, emotionally and spiritually. Controlling inflammation is imperative to managing pain from interstitial cystitis (IC), fibromyalgia, arthritis, back pain, neuropathy, neuralgia or headaches. Inflammation also makes insomnia, constipation, frequent urination, bloating, and the side affects from carrying extra weight worse.

Many foods and drinks are “natural” inflammatories. It’s important to be aware of these so  you can make food and drink choices to support your health instead of impede it. For example, cranberry juice has been in the media and supplement advertisements as a “natural” treatment for urinary tract infections. The truth is that cranberry is full of acid that actually “causes” bladder pain, inflammation, and IC flares.

Using food to ease chronic pain

In America, many do not associate diet with illness (diabetes being the exception). Doctors do not recommend nutrition to many it would help primarily because they are completely unaware of the connection.

Food and drink choices are a type of “natural” drug to lessen your pain. It’s true. With the right diet, people who suffer from chronic pain can improve how they manage pain by using food to ease chronic pain.

Americans like quick fixes. When you’re using food to ease chronic pain, it is not a quick fix. Healing with diet is a way of life and it takes commitment, training, and time.

Research your condition, and the connection between what you eat and drink and inflammation. And know that changing your diet doesn’t work immediately. For example, the IC diet (also known as a Clear, Bland diet) takes 3 months (at a minimum) to stop adding to the inflammation, calm muscles in the pelvis, calm nerves in the pelvis, and limit or eliminate IC pain.

Here’s a taste of what you can eat on a bland diet (for people with IC and GI issues). Not really bland at all. I especially like this when my pain is flaring up and I can’t do any prep in the kitchen. I can still make this and it’s delicious.

using food to ease chronic pain, pork pizza

Pork on a boboli crust with a few veggies is a simple meal perfect for the Bland diet. Just one way of using food to ease chronic pain.

Recipe: IC Pizza

Summary: An easy and great meal if you’re having an IC flare up and can’t cook.


  • 1 frozen or Boboli pizza crust
  • 1 tub of Lloyd’s barbeque meat (found near packaged deli meats. If chronic pain is a concern, choose pork over beef)
  • 1 bag of shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spread meat over pizza crust
  3. Cover meat with cheese
  4. Cook 15 – 18 min.

Quick notes

Feel free to add any veggies you like. If chronic pain is a concern, stay away from peppers of any kind. Barbeque may be an inflammatory to some, so know your body when picking this dish.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 18 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Kathy Schoemehl

Kathy Schoemehl was born with her sacraspinal and sacrotubrial ligaments grown together and has suffered neuralgia and pelvic floor dysfunction for her 34 years of life. She’s had 7 surgical procedures, nerve blocks, acupuncture, physical therapy (internal and external), ultrasound therapy, biofeedback therapy and many oral pill therapies. She has created many lifestyle changes to deal with her disability and has counseled others with chronic illnesses.

Kathy recently started to support others looking for lifestyle changes to manage chronic conditions.  Her site focuses on natural and cheap ways to care for ourselves and for loved ones with chronic illness.

You can find her on Face book at!/HealthyHappyPeopleNowLLC, a page created to share free information on supporting individual health needs.

Kathy holds a Masters degree in Reading, a BA in Early Childhood and has worked for Special School District and First Steps. Her background in education shows her experience in supporting students as they learn how best to support their health needs while guiding them to a better understanding of their health.

This advice on using food to ease chronic pain is not intended to diagnose and should not substitute for advice given by a licensed health-care professional. If you have, or suspect you have, a medical condition, please work with the proper health-care provider.

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