As with most conditions, there is often more than one cause (see: Chronic Illness Protocol). Pain results from the stimulation of pain receptors (nociceptors) by noxious stimuli. Noxious stimuli are usually one of three things:
•Build-up of common inflammatory substances, •The internal fluids of damaged cells, or •Toxic levels of waste products from normal cellular functions.
Chemical Reasons For Pain This is the most important reason for pain. No matter if pain is the result of trauma or emotional overload, chemicals are always part of the equation. It is the chemicals themselves that cause the pain neurons to send signals to the brain. Here is a list of the most common chemical causes of pain:
Lactic acid and other metabolic by-products: These are released during athletic performance. They often build-up when the body loses the ability to detoxify properly or when it lacks the necessary nutrients used to breakdown toxins.
Electrolyte depletion (mineral imbalance): Poor daily intake or failure to replenish after extended activities are the two most common causes.
Hormonal imbalances: Usually occur with poor intake of required nutrients, prolonged stress, or surgical removal of hormone producing tissues (ex. Hysterectomy). This topic is a book in itself.
Free radicals: These propagate if you experience prolonged exposure to chemicals such as beauty products, industrial chemicals or household cleaners. Powerful anti-oxidants like glutathione, N-A-C, vitamin A, vitamin C and others are the best ways to help.
Partially hydrogenated fats: These are some of the worst artificial substances because they are so plentiful. They promote many harmful processes including high cholesterol and arthritis. They are found in margarine, packaged foods, fried foods, snacks, cereals and almost any other food that is boxed or has a long shelf life. With continued ingestion of these poisonous substances, an essential fatty acid imbalance will result. An easy way to know that you have a fatty acid imbalance is to take an over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin or acetaminophen, the next time you have pain. These substances work within the normal fatty acid cascade, and are only effective in the presence of an imbalance. If your pain goes away, you have a problem with the natural balance of good fats. Unfortunately, these pain relievers do not fix the imbalance; instead, they make it much worse. Most people need the addition of either omega 6 or omega 3 fats into their diets. Most often omega 3 is required. Omega 3 fats include: flax seed, cold water fish, EPA and olive oils. Omega 6 fats include: safflower, sunflower, peanut, black currant seed and corn oils. Avoid partially hydrogenated fats. READ THE LABELS!!
Histamine reactions: These occur in the presence of an allergen and usually mean a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing etc. Many histamine reactions are present without symptoms. They create inflammatory responses that produce pain. I recently had a ptient whose daily migraine headaches were a result of his seasonal allergies - he had no other typical allergy symptoms.
Kinin reactions: This is another form of allergy. It is slower and tends to cause stuffiness instead of sniffling and sneezing. These are often delayed food reactions. People tend to think that in order to have a food allergy, they must experience some problem within a few hours of eating the food. Not so. kinin reactions can take days to fully manifest.
Conclusion Most of these chemicals are normal. They are supposed to be in the body. It is only when they are not processed properly that problems begin to occur. Pain is a signal by the body that something is wrong - an imbalance between necessary components. There are only two things you can do with pain: cover it up, or correct it. In most cases people prefer to do the former for the simple reason that it is as easy as taking a pill. However, pain is the last thing to show up and the first thing to leave. This means that when you cover it up, you miss your chance to discover what was wrong in the first place, while at the same time, increasing the chance that it will return again in the future.