We’re a nation of inflammation, with many of our health problems related to this cellular process. When we have an injury, some inflammation is healthy and normal, which allows the body to do what it need to do to repair. However, when the issue becomes chronic or excessive, it impairs healing.
Here are some natural healing ideas I’ve learned over the years from several sources that can help with many cases of inflammation.
First of all, avoid all SUGAR and WHEAT in general! Due to the manipulation of wheat over the past several decades, our bodies tend to have more difficulty processing the wheat. This creates an inflammatory reaction since the body really doesn’t recognize it as food. Please refer to the books Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD and Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD for more details. Cut back as much as you can, especially if you’re hurting all the time. Just doing this step could do a world of good to help you get over the pain of inflammation that’s out of control.
Avoiding any processed or fried foods is also a general good rule of thumb, since they are low in nutritional value and are empty of enzymes that allow your body to function properly. Choose fresh, raw, organic foods as much as possible, up to 70% if you can. This is especially true when you’re in the “world of hurt” category—you gotta make the effect to see if this makes a change with you! Give it a try for about 2 weeks and see how you feel—I’m guessing you’ll feel a lot better when combining it with good movements and treatment in physical therapy!!
Meats can also be inflammatory, especially if they have drugs such as antibiotics and hormones in them. Choose wisely and read the labels. Red meats tend to have something called purines in them that can increase inflammation as well. If you tend to eat a lot of red meat and are having pain, you just might want to go off the meat for a little bit to see if that makes a difference for you.
Another consideration is the Nightshade Diet, in which you avoid any “nightshades”: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant. (Tobacco is also in this category, which should of course be avoided completely). Dr. Norman Childers’ website www.noarthritis.com has more information and recipes. Some people are REALLY sensitive to these foods and have no idea until they go off them for a little while, then see what happens when eating them again. If you are really hurting, then this is really important to look into.
An enormous factor with the inflammation of the body is how our gut biome is. We need healthy bacteria to help us digest food and fight off invaders, but generally this has been thrown out of balance with the use of antibiotics. I could go into a whole article about this (and will), but right now I’ll just mention that it’s a factor in a lot of chronic pain, especially fibromyalgia. There’s more to it than simple probiotic supplementation, but it’s a good start if you have been on antibiotics at all in your life and tend not to eat a lot of fermented foods like sauerkraut. Sources I’ve found helpful on the topic is www.summerbock.com and www.gutrebuilding.com.
A very captivating series on the gut is called Betrayal, which is about autoimmunity, or when the body attacks itself and impairs health. Do yourself and your family a favor and watch this online, or get the video.
Please look into removing as many inflammatory foods from your diet as much as you can. There are many other things that we can do todecrease inflammation, but this is a really good start.
There are many foods and supplements that you can take, but PLEASE do your own research and consult with your healthcare provider. I am not a nutritionist, but I can tell you what I’ve found to be helpful for several other patients and runners. I will go more in depth on most of these supplements in another blog post.
Omega 3: This seems to be a consensus pick to address inflammation, especially DHA. Taking up to 2000mg of the DHA could give a great boost to healing. Most people don’t take enough—read the label carefully.