|Pain and inflammation shouldn't kill you|
|Written by Kimberley Barker, BA, LMT, CNMT, NTP|
ShareIn the United States chronic pain and inflammation are a multi-billion dollar industry. According to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention report, over 15,000 Americans died in 2010 due to prescription pain killer overdoses. 16,000 deaths per year are also related to complications from Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) use. Chronic inflammation has become an epidemic that puts us all at risk for developing illnesses such as arthritis, digestive disorders, allergies, asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease and cancer.
Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to injury, trauma or immune response. Classified as acute or chronic, inflammation can start as a beneficial condition, only to persist and become a degenerative process.
Acute inflammation is characterized by localized heat, swelling, pain, redness, and often loss of function. It is your body’s “defend and repair” system.
Chronic inflammation starts where acute inflammation leaves off, and will continue until negative triggers are removed. Negative triggers include: obesity, stress, pain, physical inactivity, sugars, poor quality or rancid fats, high protein diets, food and environmental allergens, processed foods, dehydration, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and pesticides and chemicals in your food, cleaning and beauty products, to name just a few.
Luckily, there are easy ways to help reduce chronic inflammation. Since it may take many years to feel the results of stress, poor diet and lifestyle, you can’t expect the problems to disappear overnight. However, with time and the right choices, your body can begin to heal.
To start, here are a few changes that can help reduce chronic inflammation.
• Eat more nutrient dense vegetables, raw foods and sprouted seeds and grains as they contain beneficial enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and fiber
• Exercise aerobically at least 30 minutes a day
• Stay hydrated so your body can transport nutrients to vital organs and remove toxins and waste
• Consume healthy fats. Essential fatty acid combinations such as fish, flax, and borage seed oils improve the body’s ability to heal
• Reduce known negative triggers
Not all nutritional protocols are appropriate for every individual. If you are considering making changes to your diet please consult your healthcare provider for options best suited to you.
Kimberley Barker is owner of Balanced Health Massage & Nutrition in Woodinville, WA. Balanced Health is located in Butterfield Chiropractic in the White Stallion office building.