Most people with peripheral neuropathy also have inflammation that goes with their neuropathy pain. And they often get treatment with a variety of drugs by different doctors. But the truth is that the same factors that led you to having neuropathy pain may also lead you to inflammation pain.
Inflammation causes swelling, painful joints, painful muscles and weight gain. It can also cause problems in all the body’s systems. For example anyone overweight is headed for diabetes due to inflammation’s effects in their body.
The medical approach to inflammation is to use drugs to decrease the symptoms. However many of the anti-inflammatory medications when used for prolonged times have side effects. These serious side effects include stomach ulcers, heart problems, kidney or liver damage. And, the medications don’t usually solve the underlying problem that started the inflammation in the first place.
Here at Neuropathy North Shore, we use a range of natural methods that that decrease your inflammation and avoid the bad side effects
Reducing inflammation by natural methods means you feel better. And, it sets you on the pathway to staying that way long term, not just while you are taking a dangerous drug.
Here are some ways you can reduce inflammation using natural methods.
The Foods You Eat Do Make A Difference
Some foods are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they push you towards inflammation and some are anti-inflammatory; meaning they push you towards having less inflammation.
Meats, chicken, eggs and grains (except for grass fed beef) as well as peanut oil tend to be pro-inflammatory.
Processed foods (things with a lot of chemicals, usually found in boxes in the middle aisles of the grocery store) are pro-inflammatory.
By contrast, flax seed oil, and many fruits act as natural anti-inflammatories.
Veggies (except for nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants for some people) also tend to be natural anti-inflammatories.
So eating more of the right fruits and vegetables and eating less meats and grains tips your nutrition towards being anti-inflammatory.
Anti-inflammatory Foods and Supplements
- Your body uses Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils and flax seed oil to make its own anti-inflammation chemicals
- Foods high in gamma linoleic acid help balance essential fatty acids. They also help with inflammatory and auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Foods high in gamma linoleic acid (GLA) include:
- spirulina or blue green algae
- olive oil,
- hemp oil
- and evening primrose oil (usually found as a supplement)
- Phytochemicals such as bioflavonoids are found largely in citrus fruits, tea and wine or taken as supplements
- Proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain from pineapples and papain and chymopapain from papayas help with digestion while lessening inflammation.
- Research studies showed ginger lessened pain for patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and muscular discomfort
- Turmeric (curcumin) a popular herb used for centuries in the Ayurveda system from India flavors curries. It is good for a variety of both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. Some studies suggest that turmeric also has an anti-histamine effect. I have used supplements containing turmeric to successfully treat patients’ conditions such as digestive tract inflammation and asthma as well.
Making Dietary and Supplement Changes Safely
Please keep in mind that if you are on a blood thinner you must check with your provider monitoring your blood before making dietary or supplement changes.
Also, before adding in a new supplement, make sure that it will not interfere with your medications.
Here at Neuropathy North Shore we check medication lists on a data base when deciding on supplements to offer our patients. This way we make sure there will be no problems. We also go over dietary suggestions based on each person’s individual condition.
We offer guided nutritional consults to all our neuropathy patients to help with their unique needs.
You can find more helpful articles on our dedicated Peripheral Neuropathy web site at www.neuropathynorthshore.com. Or you are welcome to call us at 978-535-6155 to ask for a complementary 15 minute analysis to find out if our NeuropathyDR approach to care may be helpful for you.