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Chronic pain plagues 100 million Americans according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and is presented in a variety of forms including, headaches, back pain, inflamed joints, tendonitis, arthritis, fibromyalgia or pain that is associated with an old injury or past surgery.

Many fall into the trap of treating the symptoms with NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen to keep chronic pain at bay.  However, this provides only temporary relief as NSAIDs merely mask the symptoms instead of reversing it.  Still more than 30 billion NSAIDs are consumed each year which if taken long term, can lead to harmful effects including, gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure and increase risk of ulcers.

Fortunately, there are natural approaches to take that will reverse the onset of chronic pain and inflammation simply by adjusting your diet habits, targeting pain at the source.  Although we can’t control how our bodies respond to the day to day demands, what we choose to consume can significantly mitigate the inflammatory response which these demands can trigger.


What to take out:

There are certain foods that must be eliminated from your diet that are the biggest culprits of inflammation.

  • Refined sugars: White sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. A dangerous culprit for diabetes and obesity, but also produces serious inflammation.  Refined sugar is a foreign substance to our body, and when consumed in amounts greater than what our bodies can handle, the pancreas goes into overdrive releasing too much insulin thus, promoting inflammation.
  • Refined Carbohydrates: Foods that absorb quickly in the body and turn into sugar include white and wheat breads, pastas, white potatoes, white flour.
  • Gluten: Causes severe gut inflammation and can lead to leaky gut syndrome where toxins eventually escape into your bloodstream. As modern-day gluten has been heavily processed and the amount of gluten present in foods have increased dramatically, the body becomes overwhelmed and reacts accordingly to this overload by elevating gluten antibodies.


What to add in:

  • Pineapple:  The secret ingredient is bromelain which is in the core of the pineapple.  Juice the core instead of pitching it to get the most nutrient dense portion of this anti-inflammatory sweetener.
  • Turmeric and Ginger: Comes in powder and tablet form. Recommended dose 1000 mg  for each.
  • Greens or chlorophyll such as kale, collard greens, arugula, broccoli, spinach.  These foods are dark and leafy which also mean they are alkalizing, counteracting the acidity in the body.
  • Chlorella and spirulina: Comes in powder and tablet form.  Extremely alkalizing and arguably the most nutrient dense supplements available.
  • Sweeteners: Honey, dates and fruit, especially pineapple bromelain.


Finding the right balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3                    

Obtaining the appropriate ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 is crucial.  Both must be present in the body however too much of omega-6 promotes inflammation while a lack in omega-3 does little to counteract it.  Unfortunately, there is a strong presence of omega-6 in the western diet as it’s found in corn, hydrogenated oils found in Jiff peanut butter, peanut oil, safflower oil, corn syrup and vegetable oils.

The ideal ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 should be around 4:1 however the foods readily available to us make the estimated ratio closer to 20:1. To help counteract this imbalance, limiting sources that are high in omega-6 while adding sources high in omega-3 help to achieve the appropriate ratio.

Sources of omega-3 and healthy fats include, fresh fish or oil (wild caught salmon packs the biggest punch), chia seeds, coconut oil, avocado, flax seed and walnuts.


Better Absorption

Increased activity and raising the heart-rate moves the blood through your body and shuttling nutrients to be better absorbed.

Epsom salt baths are used by athletes and is a natural muscle relaxant.  Providing significant amounts of magnesium, this mineral itself promotes better absorption making the changes in your diet even more impactful.

At Forum Health Clarkston by using Functional Medicine and getting to the root cause of your pain, we have several ways we can treat your chronic pain without the use of harmful medications.  We have helped many clients improve their quality of life, pain free.  Let us customize a plan for you. Call today 248-625-5143!


Forum Health Clarkston


7300 Dixie Hwy, Suite 500, Clarkston, MI 48346




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