I can’t think of many things that are more personal than pain. Pain impacts every part of life from our daily physical tasks like chores, all the way to our sex drive. Chronic pain has a negative impact on the brain leading to moodiness and ultimately neuronal degeneration. 
I have had the privilege of helping patients reduce pain over a twenty year span. As father time tics we are all more prone to injury. I had my share of car accidents, concussions, pulled muscles, tendinitis and the usual physical traumas over the years. Most people experience a variety of traumas at some point in time.
In this article I share with you my viewpoint on pain and how to find a holistic and long lasting management for reducing pain and promoting recovery. In doing so, it is important to gain perspective on what causes pain and it’s not solely injury!
Here are eight commonly seen clinical scenarios that lead to chronic pain:
Injury – Pain can be caused by physical injury to soft tissue, joints, or nerves.
- Nutrition- Deficiencies in various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or macronutrients can lead to neurological pain and poor recovery from injury.
- Food sensitivities particularly gluten and sugar can lead to joint pains, headaches, fibromyalgia and many more pain syndromes.
- Environmental – Living in a home or working in an environment that has mold or water damage can lead to ice pick pains, headaches, joint pain, morning stiffness, poor recovery from injury and many more debilitating symptoms. This is one example of how the environment can cause pain by aggravating inflammation. For many on the surface this will not make sense right away, but I assure you it’s more common than you think, especially here in Florida.
- Infection: Lyme disease, or other tick-borne illness Babesia, Bartonella or Rickettsia, can all cause joint pains, neurological pains and muscle aches.
- Yeast overgrowth – Use of Antibiotics, heavy sugar intake, and stress can all contribute to a candida overgrowth which can cause fibromyalgia or similar pain syndromes.
- Stress- Elevated cortisol is common when we are under stress. Cortisol that is constantly elevated will upregulate inflammation and pain.
Any chronic stress, a job, relationship, divorce, loss of health, childhood trauma can raise cortisol.
Please don’t discount the impact stress has on pain! I see this way too often in practice. Resolving stress and improving sleep with natural supplements can make a world of difference. In my practice I use nutrients like theanine and honokiol to calm the nervous system and provide a good night’s rest to the patient.
- Hormone Imbalance: Low testosterone particularly in men can cause poor recovery and pain. In women excess estrogen can lead to inflammation and ultimately pain.
Hypothyroid – Patients on Synthroid or levothyroxine may experience muscle pain or weakness, and if not adequately treated can have a hard time recovering from injury.
Holistic Perspective on Pain
Think of your resilience like a bucket you hold. Everything counts when it comes to filling your bucket. When the bucket overflows, there is now a loss of resilience, as your body has become overwhelmed. There are many factors that cause a loss in resilience and ineffective healing from pain. Loss of resilience is the culmination of what has gone in your bucket over a lifetime and how your body has responded. What has gone in your bucket? Think about the causes of pain we discussed in the previous paragraphs. You may find your bucket filling quickly. Speak with your provider not just about your pain, but what the causes may have been. They won’t always ask. In my practice I use peptides to assist patients in building resilience.
What Are Peptides?
Peptides are naturally occurring chemical compounds — short chains of fewer than 50 amino acids — that serve as building blocks of proteins (much longer chains of amino acids) and as signaling molecules that call the body’s self-healing mechanisms into action. They’re not drugs, but they’re commonly used as medications. More than 60 FDA-approved peptide medications are currently available, including insulin, which has been in use since the 1920s.
What Is BPC-157?
BPC-157 is a 15-amino-acid sequence that’s present naturally in the stomach’s gastric juice, from which it is derived. BPC-157 is a body repair protein.
It helps to protect and repair the lining of the stomach and intestines. It’s stable in gastric juice, which degrades most other protein molecules for digestion and absorption, so it’s commonly used in the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, including ulcers and Crohn’s disease. While BPC – 157 can help with GI concerns, it also plays a role in repairing soft tissue damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Personally, I have used BPC 157 to heal my frozen shoulder and reduce soreness after workouts. It has helped many of my patients with knee injuries, shoulder pain, tendonitis, and hip pain.
Benefits of BPC-157
BPC-157 has a long list of potential benefits, including the following that can help alleviate acute and chronic pain:
- Reduces inflammation.
- Restores tendons, muscles, intestinal tissue, bones, brain tissue, and cornea.
- Increases blood flow to the area of injury – helps to oxygenate tissues allowing for healing
- Promotes neurological remodeling – think brain and nerve health
BPC – 157 is taken by subcutaneous injection or orally.
Assessing Patients with Chronic Pain
In my assessment of patients with chronic pain I look at the following:
- Bloodwork – checking the thyroid, sex hormones, cortisol, inflammatory markers, vitamin and mineral panels
- Urine – If there is history of mold exposure which can be correlated in the patients timeline to pain- I use a urine test to look for mold toxins coming from the patient’s body.
- Organic Acid testing – A urine test that assesses yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract which can cause pain and inflammation systemically.
- Dietary assessment – are there foods that are contributing or not allowing you to heal from pain?
- Are there any environmental concerns with mold or mold toxin? – an old HVAC system, water leak, a musty smell? Usually in these cases there will be many symptoms ranging from Gastrointestinal, brain fog, fatigue, neurological concerns and pain.
I am happy to provide a consultation where we can discuss your concerns and I can offer you my opinion and treatment/ testing that is appropriate.
You can use this link to schedule a Zoom consultation by scrolling to the bottom. If you have a hard time finding an appointment or need something sooner please schedule what you can find and then email to request an earlier appointment and I will see if I can accommodate you.
Once you have scheduled please be sure to fill out your functional medicine analysis so that I may review your case before our appointment.
 May, Elisabeth S.1,2; Ávila, Cristina Gil1,2; Dinh, Son Ta1,2; Heitmann, Henrik1,2,3; Hohn, Vanessa D.1,2; Nickel, Moritz M.1,2; Tiemann, Laura1,2; Tölle, Thomas R.1,3; Ploner, Markus1,2,3 Dynamics of brain function in chronic pain patients assessed by microstate analysis of resting-state electroencephalography, PAIN: April 08, 2021 – Volume Articles in Press – Issue –
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