While you may want to reach for that ibuprofen to treat your inflammation, it may not be the wisest choice! It can definitely help now, but those aches and pains will be back once the medication wears off and you’ll just have to take another pill. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can definitely help with pains, but taking too much can severely impact our stomach and gut health.
Thankfully, there are holistic approaches to inflammation you can begin today and start seeing results!
What Does Inflammation Look Like?
First, before we get into the relief options for inflammation, let’s cover what inflammation actually is.
Inflammation can present in 1 of 2 ways. Acute inflammation is generally from an injury, and it’s your body’s response to start the healing process. Chronic inflammation, however, is your body reacting to a danger that may or may not be there.
And inflammation can present as more than just aches and pains. You could experience
Mouth sores and ulcers
What Are the Causes of Chronic Inflammation?
When you think of “chronic inflammation,” your mind likely jumps to rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders. It can also be associated with illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, not all inflammation is caused by these! You are likely not destined to a lifetime of dealing with inflammation. In fact, there are likely plenty of changes you can make right now that will help reduce your body’s aches and pains.
A few common causes of chronic inflammation are:
Not enough exercise
Too much alcohol intake
Habits like smoking
Exposure to toxins
A Holistic Approach to Reducing Inflammation
So what steps can you take that are in your control when it comes to reducing inflammation? I put together a few suggestions here:
Start Building Healthy Habits
One of the first things you can do to find relief from chronic inflammation is start incorporating healthier habits into your life. This can range from brushing your teeth to getting to a healthy weight. Exercise, drinking less alcohol, and enough sleep can also reduce aches and pains, while also improving other areas of your health.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety Levels
Stress and anxiety, like inflammation, don’t have to be an everyday presence in your life. It’s all about taking the right approach to your mental wellbeing. This one can take time to incorporate, but reducing stress can have a positive impact on your inflammation as well as your gut health, heart health, and brain fog.
To reduce stress, I recommend
Getting outside more
Improving your sleeping schedule and habits
Spend time with friends, family, and loved ones
Incorporate creativity into your life
If you deal with chronic stress, however, making these changes can feel tough or even impossible. It may be worth your time to discuss your stressors and anxieties with a therapist.
Improve Your Diet
Since your diet can impact inflammation, it’s definitely worth a second look. Are you eating too many fried foods or items that contain sugar? You can see an uptick in inflammation if you are! Trans fats, cured meats, and heavily refined oils can also lead to aches and pains.
Thankfully, there are many foods that have anti-inflammatory properties! Add these items to your meals to find relief:
Collards, spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables
Strawberries, oranges, cherries, and other fruits
Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon
Take Daily Supplements
Another healthy habit you can start today is taking daily supplements! You don’t have to take every supplement known to man, however. Things like daily vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D have been shown to reduce inflammation, among other health benefits. I also recommend you take a daily fish oil. It has been shown to help with chronic inflammation and pains caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have also found that fish oil may improve heart health, skin health, and depression.
Inflammation doesn’t have to be something you “just live with.” And there are other avenues available to you than simply reaching for NSAIDs. By making healthier life choices, reducing stress, improving your diet, and taking daily supplements, you can take a more holistic (and healthier) approach to your health, well-being, and inflammation.
Getting to the root cause of inflammation is essential for finding relief. If you’re not quite sure what is causing your chronic inflammation, it may be time for a conversation with a professional. Reach us at 626-360-3418 to schedule your appointment.
“12 Tips to Tame Stress.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 Mar. 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relievers/art-20047257.
“Foods That Fight Inflammation.” Harvard Health, 16 Nov. 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation.
“Inflammation: What Is It, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21660-inflammation.
Robertson, Ruairi. “12 Important Benefits of Fish Oil, Based on Science.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-fish-oil.
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