The FDA issued a very strong warning about the use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). This class of medications includes Motrin, Naproxen, Voltaren and many others. It has been found that NSAIDs increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, both of which can lead to death. This increased risk occurs even with short term use and even in individuals without preexisting heart problems.
NSAIDs are broadly used over the counter for fever, pain and swelling. They have become a staple in medicine cabinets across the country. Pair this warning up with recent increased warnings placed on the popular pain reliever Tylenol, and many Americans are likely at a loss for what to do for pain.
Here are 5 tips to naturally relieve pain:
- Eliminate ALL refined sugar from your diet. Sugar is one of the most inflammatory substances you can ingest. If you think of pain and inflammation as a fire, eating sugar is like throwing gasoline on it. Saying no to sugar is the most important favor you can do for your body to help it heal.
- Eat less than 75 grams of carbohydrates per day. Carbohydrates are the component of food that turns in to sugar. In individuals with very high levels of pain and inflammation, often refined carbohydrates must be totally eliminated to get it under control. On the other side of this, you can make up for the lost carbs in your diet with high quality proteins and good fats which help rebuild tissues.
- Use essential oils: Essential oils are a phenomenal way to help reduce your pain. Many oils can be used not only topically but also internally if you have a high quality product. A fantastic essential oil for lowering inflammation is Frankincense. There are also some pre-mixed essential oil products. An example is topical Deep Blue rub made by DoTerra.
- Use supplements: There is an art to determining what supplements are correct for you. This is best determined with the help of your practitioner. The supplements I find that have the broadest application to pain are the herb Boswellia, Cataplex ACP by Standard Process (a must have in your medicine cabinet for pain and swelling) and Arnica.
Get adequate sleep:
This sounds like a no brainer, however the majority of patients that walk through our doors are not getting adequate sleep. Different individuals have different sleep needs, however; the majority of people need 8 plus hours of sleep a night for optimum regeneration of tissues.
The majority of medications, including pain relievers, mask symptoms rather than treat dysfunction. Pain and inflammation are a warning sign that the body is in distress. Although popping a pill may make you feel better over the short term, it can actually increase your level of pain and dysfunction over time.
Yours in Health,
Amanda Childress, PharmD
The Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor