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Diet and Inflammation

How Anti Inflammatory Diet Can Help Relieve Chronic Pain

When immune systems recognize a foreign microbe, it attempts to fight it with inflammation. 
Triggering temporary inflammation to fight the foreign microbe is a normal and healthy reaction. 
But, when inflammation takes over the body and does not stop fighting, then inflammation 
becomes a problem rather than a solution.  
Inflammation often happens when the body is injured. As the body heals, inflammation goes 
away. But, injuries can damage healthy cells, and as we age, those cells can become painful. 
So, inflammation can be a source of chronic pain in the muscles, joint, and tissues. Diet can 
have an impact on how inflammation comes and goes in the body. Research shows that a poor 
diet can affect the immune system, which can exacerbate chronic pain.  
Diets high in processed foods are often lacking the micronutrients that help fight inflammation. 
These micronutrients include zinc, iron, folic acid, and several vitamins. Those same heavily 
processed foods often have high levels of sugar, which contributes to growing obesity numbers. In the same study researchers also noted that people who suffer from eating disorders are also 
lacking in micronutrients and have problems with inflammation, too.  

Diseases Connected to Inflammation

Many diseases that run rampant in the United States and around the world have ties to inflammation. They include chronic problems like diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and cancer. Depression and Alzheimer’s also have connections to inflammation. 

Research shows that diets that mimic the “Mediterranean Diet” can help improve the quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The diet includes foods like olive oil, tomatoes, olives,and flax seeds. The subjects in th study reported feeling better while removing foods that cause inflammation and replacing them with anti-inflammatory foods.

Anti-inflammatory foods have natural antioxidants and polyphenols, which are found in plants. 

Research has even found that coffee may fight inflammation, and reduce the signs of aging. 
Drinking coffee could be a way to relieve back pain as it fights the debilitating effects of aging.  

How Do Anti-Inflammatory Foods Help

These healthy foods have several natural vitamins, minerals, and other properties that help the body fight inflammation and reduce pain and disease. For example, green tea includes a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which fights pro-inflammatory cytokines.
EGCG reduces obesity, heart disease, and other chronic problems.  
Grapes are another food that is commonly cited as being highly anti-inflammatory. They have 
anthocyanins that reduce inflammation. The colorful fruit also includes resveratrol, which 
as the food increases adiponectin levels.

Working with Chiropractors for Nutritional Counseling 

To benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties in these healthy foods, it can be helpful to work with a chiropractor. They can provide nutritional counseling to help them find the best foods to remedy their problems. Research found that diet and inflammation rests in what is called the “innate immune system” or “silent inflammation.” Diet changes have increased inflammation, so diet changes can also remedy the problem.

In the same study, researchers found obesity can speed up chronic diseases, which includes chronic pain. So, when removing highly refined carbohydrates and other inflammatory foods, obesity decreases and so does pain. Chiropractors can help people who want to see a difference in their lives eat the right foods for their problems.

In the study about chiropractic nutritional counseling, researchers found that chiropractors are trained on nutrition, in more ways that medical doctors are. Since chiropractors treat patients who suffer from various forms of inflammation and autoimmune disorders, helping their patients with nutritional counseling makes sense. They often recommend that their patients eat less processed, which can cause inflammation. They also recommend that they eat more whole foods like fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats. This nutritional counseling helps improve  the health of their patients. 

It is appropriate for chiropractors to offer nutritional counseling to reduce pain caused by inflammation. The inflammatory response can affect the central nervous system, which can cause the body to respond in a variety of ways. Research found that when the central nervous system is attacked by inflammation, the body experiences fatigue, depression, nerve pain, and fever.

The same research found that diet in isolation will not cure inflammation. Diet needs to be combined with a holistic approach that also involves dietary patterns, lifestyle changes, and knowledge of genetic makeup. Patients with chronic pain need to start somewhere, and dietary changes are one way to target inflammation and reduce pain.

The body is complicated as many systems are interconnected. Eating a diet rich in real foods, especially in the Mediterranean Diet, is helpful in reducing pain in people who suffer from chronic inflammation.

About Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in 1998. He became passionate about being in the chiropractic field after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.


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