Anyone who is struggling with any type of pain and illness will be experiencing inflammation somewhere in the body. Inflammation is the natural response to any irritant as it tries to heal the body. However, inflammation can become, in itself, its own health issue, especially if it remains present for too long.
There is chronic and acute inflammation and whilst acute inflammation is painful- it is usually the result of an injury or bacteria and is short lived. It is chronic inflammation that can scar connective tissues, damage cells and/or tissues, and even impact your cardiovascular system over time.
Suffering from any of a large array of health issues, which include diabetes, arthritis, any chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy, heart disease, cancer, thyroid and dental problems, etc. will produce prolonged inflammation.
N-SAIDS, such as naproxen, ibuprofen and aspirin are the quick fix in reducing pain and inflammation, but their prolonged use can bring about a whole new set of side affects. These may include stomach ulcers, kidney damage. internal haemorrhage and even stroke or heart attack.
Choosing a lifestyle that naturally reduces inflammation, by incorporating a few vigilant practices as well as anti-inflammatory foods and herbs will go a long way in improving inflammatory conditions.
Dietary considerations that reduce inflammation
Doctor Andrew Weil, in his magazine Women’s Health Over 40, gives an anti-inflammation food pyramid to follow but highlights eating lots of fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is that the “full rainbow mix of produce is packed with phyto-compounds and other antioxidants, which help to neutralize the free radicals that may cause inflammation.”
A further consideration in reducing inflammation is using healthy fats like mono saturated fats as a main staple and staying clear of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and trans fats. Healthy fats also include omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish, ground flax seeds, eggs and some nuts such as walnuts.
Dr. Weil also recommends limiting high glycemic-load carbs, such as flour and sugar as well as cutting back on animal products such as red meat and dairy, which are high in arachidonic acid- a pro-inflammation fatty acid.
Using herbs with anti-inflammatory compounds like ginger, turmeric, and hyssop in cooking as well as adding some of the wide range of health supplements that have been used effectively against inflammation are all beneficial choices.
Natural treatments that reduce inflammation
Acupuncture has showed some promise and of course, modalities such as physiotherapy, laser therapy and chiropractic methods all work to reduce pain, which is one of the major causes of inflammation.
These simple lifestyle practices can at least make the inflammation sufferer pro-active in reducing inflammation and help improve the quality of their lives.