Food really is medicine. Every meal alters the internal chemistry of the body. Nutritious food improves many aspects of human health while consuming unhealthy food contributes to the rise of illnesses. Patients should consider the foods they consume with the same seriousness they do when taking pharmaceutical drugs – and diet plays a big role in mediating the conditions that cause pain.
Inflammation is one of the natural defenses of the body against diseases, but excessive inflammation may hasten their development. Furthermore, chronic inflammation is known to cause chronic pain.
One of the natural ways to manage severe pain involves adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. This diet often gets prescribed along with physical exercise, stress management, and alternative medicines.
The foods included in an anti-inflammatory diet vary depending on the overall health of a person and the severity of his or her symptoms. Generally, it includes whole fruits and vegetables, as well as moderate amounts of chicken, fish, and animal proteins.
The anti-inflammatory diet requires complete avoidance of simple carbohydrates, dairy products, and red meat. It also prohibits the consumption of sugars, corn, rice, and wheat, which are all foods that increase inflammation. (Related: Simple lifestyle changes to relieve chronic pain.)
Support the anti-inflammatory effects of healthy foods by taking health supplements. Supplements that contain natural ingredients may help reduce chronic pain.
Turmeric is an edible root that is used to make curry. It comes in powder, tea, liquid, and capsule forms. Studies show that it is a very effective anti-inflammatory spice. Experts prescribe a minimum daily dose of 500 milligrams turmeric for people plagued with chronic back pain and joint pain.
Human cartilage contains considerable amounts of chondroitin and glucosamine. These natural substances can also be found in health supplements and help improve pain in the joints. Taking them daily may bring a measure of relief to patients.
Getting high levels of vitamin D also helps in pain management. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that regulates the immune system. It prevents extreme immune responses that may result in chronic inflammation. Since one of the root causes of pain is excessive inflammation, curbing inflammatory responses results in reduced pain.
Fish oil contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. These fatty acids contribute to the production of resolvins, a class of chemical compounds that help alleviate severe pain. Resolvins act on immune cells and nerve cells and regulate inflammatory signals to reduce pain.
Take two or three grams of fish oil every day to enjoy its therapeutic benefits. According to a 2012 study by researchers from Korea University, taking that amount of fish oil for more than three months decreases the need for aspirins, ibuprofen, and other NSAID drugs.
Finally, a person suffering from chronic pain should give cannabidiol (CBD) oil a try. One of the many cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant, CBD offers several health benefits, including pain relief. It is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. CBD does not cause people to experience a high, and CBD oil is usually sold without THC.
In summary, a holistic approach helps patients manage chronic pain. Combining health supplements with an anti-inflammatory diet, physical exercise, stress management, and other alternative therapies can give patients drug-free relief from severe pain.