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Oral Fixation

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Similarly to how smokers crave oral stimulation long after they quit individuals who have used oral pain medication for long periods of time have the same issue. Some take up smoking, drinking copious amounts of soda, or eating when in pain. This is when an oral fixation becomes a ‘pain behavior’. For those of you who are not familiar with the phrase, a ‘pain behavior’ is an act that an individual partakes in when chronic pain is flaring up. It can be anything from rubbing the site of pain to compulsively eating. I am one of the lucky ones who has manifested with compulsively eating when in pain. In part it is because of my brain thinking, “Oh you want pain medication, what else can you consume instead? FOOD!” This has caused me to gain a decent amount of weight since Mayo PRC, an issue that I continue to want to address yet continuously fail to. This is in part because I feel that if I didn’t have this pain behavior that I would easily get sucked back into the constant pain medication cycle. I mention this because so few people talk about this aspect of chronic illness, I only know a handful of other people in similar positions to mine. In the not too distant future I hope to get a better handle on the ‘food as a pain behavior’ thing. If anyone has had any similar struggles I am more than happy to receive advice on the issue.

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3 responses »

  1. I did not think of this.
    I don’t know how I did not think of this.
    I too have been eating a hell of a lot more recently and I cannot figure out if it is my medication or just my body trying to do something to avoid the symptoms.
    I have been trying to exercise to lose the weight, but I keep eating more – not helping. No advice from me but let me know if you figure something out! The picture also had me thinking!!!! X

    Reply
    • I have found that sucking on candy canes, hard candies, and gum has helped me curb the pain behavior eating. It may be worth a shot for you to try, it’s nice to know it isn’t just me.

      Reply
  2. Maddie, you have again written an very informative piece.  I’ll bet that the “food as a pain behavior” thing, as you call it, is very common.  So why isn’t there more information about it?!  Your writing might just get more discussion going.  Here’s hoping you open up a lot of talk and advice. My admiration for you grows. Love you lots, Mimi

    WordPress.com | RA Supergirl posted: “Similarly to how smokers crave oral stimulation long after they quit individuals who have used oral pain medication for long periods of time have the same issue. Some take up smoking, drinking copious amounts of soda, or eating when in pain. This is whe” | |

    Reply

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