Inflammation is behind a myriad of disorders and thought to be associated with diseases as serious as cancer and diabetes. In our business, we treat patients whose inflammation causes significant pain in varying parts or throughout their body. In addition to the treatments we offer to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, we also counsel patients on steps that they can take on their own in their everyday life to fight inflammation and maximize the results of their respective treatment plans.
How to reduce inflammation in the body with food and exercise
Focusing on a healthy diet and good exercise can help confront inflammation in multiple ways. In addition to directly calming inflammation, the benefits in terms of your waistline can, by extension, relieve some inflammation by reducing the amount of weight you carry. Although researchers are still working out the exact relationship, excess fat triggers an immune system response that leads to inflammation. And carrying excess weight can further aggravate certain inflammatory disorders by, putting even more structural stress on affected areas like your knees or back.
Additionally, there is research to suggest the exercise may help reduce inflammation, even when accounting for weight and body mass index (BMI). In one study, it was found that C-protein concentrations (a protein the liver makes in response to inflammation) were inversely related to the amount and intensity of participants’ exercise regimens. It is important to note that if you are suffering from back or joint pain, you should be very careful about how you exercise. Ironically, athletes are more prone to these types of pain-causing disorders because of injuries. We often find that they have an attitude of “I am just going to run (or lift or swim or …) through the pain.” However, it can actually exacerbate the problem. Be sure to consult with a licensed health professional to make sure that any physical activity is undertaken with your condition in mind so that you can make sure you do not inadvertently make it worse!
A healthy Diet Can Go a long Way…
There are certain foods that also have natural anti-inflammatory properties. For example, turmeric is shown to be very effective at reducing inflammation in your body. Tomatoes, blueberries and olive oil are other great food choices. Polyphenols that are abundantly present in green tea (and, to a lesser extent, black tea). Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation associated with oxidative stress.
On the other hand, foods like refined carbohydrates, fried foods and sweetened beverages like soda should be avoided as they can make inflammation worse. Pretzels, waffles and corn chips are just a few examples of foods that researchers have found can trigger inflammation.
And while you may be thinking that you should eat more eggs because of their protein and omega-3 content, it turns out that they can actually make inflammation worse because of arachidonic acid, a particular molecule that increases inflammation in the body and is found in egg yolks. Opt for egg whites instead if you still need your fix in the mornings!
Supplements to reduce inflammation in the body
Of course, it can be difficult to eat well all of the time. And sometimes we do not take in as many nutritive foods as we would like. Luckily, there are certain nutritional supplements that can also help fight the effects of inflammation. Look out for supplements like curcumin (found in turmeric), fish oil, resveratrol (found in blueberries and red wine) and ginger. Be sure to check out the ingredients list or ask your health provider to recommend supplements so that you can be sure that you are taking the appropriate amounts, your supplements will not have an adverse effect on your health (because of an allergy or interference with a prescription, for example) and that you do not waste money on a supplement with lots of fillers or additional ingredients that can have the opposite of the intended effect and make inflammation worse.
Studies have shown that stress is associated with inflammation. In some studies, participants have gone to therapy sessions to manage their stress and, by extension, reduce their inflammation. If therapy is not your thing, you might also consider participating in a hobby that you enjoy or spending time with your family and friends. Anything that makes you feel happier or relaxed will be good for your mental health and good for reducing inflammation in your body to some extent.
If you have any questions about natural steps to reduce inflammation in your body, or if you would like to discuss other treatment options to supplement your efforts to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, contact us today. With decades of experience in treating all types of pain, our practitioners are full of practical advice and options to accommodate a multitude of conditions and lifestyles.