PAIN MANAGEMENT

Pain-Relieving Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Pain management specialists say that people who adhere to a strict vegan or Mediterranean diets may see a complete turnaround in their pain symptoms. Getting regular exercise, controlling stress levels, and eating healthy foods can all work together to reduce inflammatory responses and therefore, chronic pain. Research indicates that diet should be an integral part of any pain management program. This is especially true as patients age. A vegan or Mediterranean diet, or healthier eating plans inspired by such diets, can manage insulin and cholesterol levels and lessen inflammation—which is the main culprit in pain responses.

A response to toxic stressors

Inflammatory pain is the body’s response to toxic stressors. The immune system reacts to toxic stressors by triggering inflammation. Thus, the body works to cleanse and detoxify itself. Inflammation does not only cause pain in the body. Over a length of time, it also can trigger chronic disease conditions, such as: 


Stroke
Heart disease
Cancer
Type 2 diabetes
Insulin resistance
Metabolic syndrome
Depression
Anxiety
Cognitive decline
Alzheimer’s disease
And much more

An anti-inflammatory diet

There are many avenues to take when treating and managing chronic pain. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can be one of the most effective approaches. Dietary treatment for pain is a proven, natural approach. More invasive or harmful options from conventional medicine don’t always work. Neural (nerve) blocks and medication therapy many not provide lasting benefits and often leads to undesired side effects.

An anti-inflammatory diet may go so far as to eliminate the unpleasant side effects of some medicines that cause brain fog, memory loss, and drowsiness. An anti-inflammatory diet is also considered to be an integrative approach to pain management, and its effect is enhanced by:

  • Exercise and movement therapies
  • Stress management
  • Osteopathic and chiropractic manipulation therapies 
  • Acupuncture

Research also shows that adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can ease fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other chronic pain symptoms.

Three basic dietary guidelines

The following three basic diet guidelines are effective for inflammation and pain reduction. Patients should be encouraged to consider all of them.

  1. Eat the rainbow: Eat eight to nine servings of multi-colored fruits and vegetables each day.
  2. Restrict or avoid dairy and grains: Dairy products should be consumed only in limited quantities. When choosing grains, steer clear of simple carbohydrates with refined sugar. Choose whole grains, instead.
  3. Limit or avoid red meat: Red meat should be consumed infrequently. Have it on special occasions. Include fish and vegetarian main dishes instead. Chicken is neutral meat—it is not harmful but not beneficial for inflammation reduction either.

Additional steps to enhance your results

Some additional priorities can help make a diet part of an integrative lifestyle intent upon reducing inflammation and chronic pain includes:

  • Attain and maintain your ideal weight—weight loss is anti-inflammatory.
  • Get daily exercise—walking is great
  • Manage stress with relation and mindfulness protocols

The diet, not individual foods, control inflammation. Overall nutrition that supports a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods is the key. Adding the right combination of foods into your diet can produce amazing results.

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