Pain is part of life, but like fever, it is not always a bad thing, because it is actually your body’s way of of protecting itself from, or restoring itself to, a state of health after injury or infection. Usually an inﬂammatory response, pain is only a serious concern when it is excessive or chronic in nature, and uncontrolled to the point that it interferes with daily function.
It is at this point, that many people seek the help of a doctor who generally will prescribe medication to reduce inﬂammation, effectively stopping the body’s natural healing processes, but hopefully, relieving the pain. But prescription and OTC medications used long term often have undesirable side effects.
There is a more natural and safer alternative for the management of pain and inﬂammation, and it is as easy as changing your diet. “Easy,” of course, is a relative term, because if it were truly simple, we would all be at our optimal weight and have great numbers on our annual lipid proﬁles. But more and more research suggests that overall physical, mental and emotional health begins with the diet, because the foods we choose set off certain processes in the body that enable us to either ﬁght or feed illness and disease.
The body’s nutritional state at the time of injury or illness can often determine the success it has in repairing itself. Proper nutrition and a balance of speciﬁc dietary elements, particularly certain herbs and fatty acids, can help manage and control pain and inﬂammation. Conversely, the absence of certain nutrients, such as the vitamins C and E, can lead to slower healing.
To try to keep it simple, inﬂammation in the body is regulated by a number of chemical mediators with complicated names like eicosanoids, kinins, complement proteins, histamines, and monokines. Some are pro-inﬂammatory agents, other anti-inﬂammatory, but the amount and rate at which these mediators are produced can determine our bodies reaction to foreign invaders, be it illness or injury. Diet-related anti-inﬂammatory therapy involves balancing the production of some of these chemical mediators as a means of controlling inﬂammation.
Some areas of research include supplemental essential fatty acids, which can be found abundantly in certain oils or obtained directly from meat, eggs, and various plant products in the diet and can have strong anti-inﬂammatory effects. Problems occur when our diets are too heavy in the wrong kinds of fats and foods, causing an imbalance of these mediators that results in pro-inﬂammatory agents outweighing anti-inﬂammatory ones.
The de-evolution of the American diet has led to mounting health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, IBS and more. Evidence suggests that it also contributes to increased inﬂammation. Maintaining proper dietary balance in key areas is one of the most effective measures you can take to prevent and reduce the chances of developing certain chronic conditions, reducing the likelihood that chronic pain will be an issue.
If you already suffer from one of these diseases, consider addressing pain management and inﬂammation naturally, through dietary balance and herbal supplementation. They are proven therapies that do not include long term medication and its unwanted side effects. A wellness doctor could help guide you through that process. Contact us at Whole Body Health today to learn more!