There is a link between chronic pain and eating disorders

It has been proven for some time that between food and pain there is a strong link. Indeed, people who suffer from weight problems generally suffer from chronic pain. Recently, researchers from the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience may have found an explanation for this phenomenon.

The study was published in PLOS ONE. Dr. Paul Geha, who is the lead author, noted that research results can reveal physiological mechanisms linking chronic pain to a change in an individual’s eating behavior.

To achieve concrete results, it was necessary to taste experiences on diseased subjects. Subsequently, the scientists were able to analyze the reactions of the patients’ brains.

Observe subjects’ reactions to food

Researchers fed a dessert made from gelatin (sugar) and pudding (fat) to people who were subjected to theexperimentation. The latter are patients who suffer from chronic pain of all kinds. They then recorded their brain activities, especially those of the circuits responsible for motivation and pleasure. And if none behaviour change was found for sugar, this is not the case for fat.

People with acute lower back pain who recovered were likely to lose pleasure in eating fat. They also presented disturbances of the satiety signals and tired quickly. But patients with acute lower back pain with pain lasting for over a year did not show the same changes.

However, they reported that foods high in fat and carbohydrates, such as ice cream and cookies, caused them problems over time. The brain scans showed a disturbance of the signals of satiety.

A previous study confirmed by this new

All the results of this study confirm the words of Dr. Paul Geha in a previous research. This was published in the medical journal BREADa site devoted topain study. Thus, according to the lead author of this study, obesity in patients with chronic pain may not be due to a lack of movement, but that they may be changing the way they eat.

The researchers went further by analyzing scans of specific areas of the brain. Specifically, the they scanned the nucleus accumbensa small area of ​​the brain known for its role in decision making. They found clues about who might change their eating behavior over the long term.

Note, however, that the nucleus accumbens does not show the evaluation of pleasure in patients with chronic back pain and in those whose pain had become chronic after an acute episode of back pain.


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