Diet Changes that may help Reduce Pain

I’m always looking for ways to help reduce my pain besides just taking more pain medicines.  I happened upon this article and thought I’d share it.  My doctor had already told me that going gluten free is one of the best things you can do if you’re suffering from any sort of chronic health problem, from chronic pain to cancer.  Humans were not made to consume as much processed grains as we do now.  Gluten (which is wheat, barley and rye) is in lots of things besides bread.  I’ve found in in spices, vitamins, cereal, soy sauce, and lots of other things.  I didn’t have a choice in going gluten free as gluten makes me really sick.  I thought this article was good as it discusses diets that improve chronic inflammation, which many think is a component of chronic pain, as well as diets that make it worse.  After reading this, I know I need to eat more fish.  What are your thoughts on this topic?  Anything that might reduce my pain is good in my book!

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Aches and pains, whether they result indirectly from a condition like arthritis or cancer, or directly due to injury, can be destructive. However, research is beginning to discover the power of diet–such as Mediterranean-style eating patterns–to help manage pain.

INFLAMMATION AND PAIN

When you injure yourself or get an infection, acute inflammation is your body’s natural defense response. Redness, swelling, and pain are the telltale signs as immune cells flood the area to target infectious organisms or push out debris from the site. But chronic inflammation occurs when the inflammatory process is triggered with no real threat at hand; this slow simmer of inflammation may underlie the pathogenesis of many diseases, such as cancer and arthritis–which cause pain.

Anti-inflammatory drugs have been used to treat pain and inflammation for more than 40 years, and now scientists are turning their attention to foods that can act as anti-inflammatory agents.

DIET AND INFLAMMATION

Studies show that your daily food choices can either reduce or increase levels of inflammation in your body. A 2006 review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that a dietary pattern high in refined starches, sugar, saturated fats and trans fats and low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids increased inflammation.

Mediterranean diet patterns, characterized by high fruit, vegetable, whole grain, healthy plant fats, and fish intake and low intake of processed foods, refined grains, and red meat are linked with lower inflammation.

“Making poor food choices like high-fat, high-sodium foods, can increase inflammation levels in our bodies that can trigger flareups and cause further problems,” says Jessica Crandall, R.D., C.D.E., Wellness Director at Sodexo Health Care and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chicago, Ill.

“Foods that contain high amounts of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, such as berries, beans, broccoli, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, grapes and fish will help reduce inflammation throughout the body,” Crandall notes.

For the rest of the article, click here:  Soothe pain with foods, from fish to fruits.

 

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