Anti-Inflammatory / Detoxification Plan
Many chronic conditions of the nerves-muscles-joints in the body require more than just physical treatment directed to the affected area(s). Often a broader approach is needed to reduce any systemic irritability that may be aggravating or perpetuating the situation. Usually the issue is not that a person is lacking something, but rather that a person needs to decrease or eliminate exposure to some irritating substance(s). The majority of the time this has to do with food.
Pro-inflammatory foods will increase inflammation, increase pain from the inflammation, and may also raise the risk for chronic disease. Toxic foods will stress the body's immune and digestive systems, often resulting in fatigue and poor healing. These types of foods also tend to be acidic to the body's chemistry. Follow the dietary guidelines below to choose healthier foods and beverages for at least a two-week period. If you start feeling better, give the plan an additional few weeks, then gradually reintroduce some of the restricted foods you wish to eat again-one at a time-to judge your body's reaction. Permanently eliminate any offending pro-inflammatory or toxic foods or beverages that seem to be aggravating any chronic conditions.
Foods to Avoid:
· Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners
· Partially hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids (shortening, margarine, dressing)
· Polyunsaturated vegetables oils (corn, soy, safflower, canola oil)
· Processed foods (packaged, boxed, or canned foods, most frozen foods)
· Junk food (candy, cookies, donuts, pastries, pies, chips, pretzels, crackers, frosting)
· Fried food (fried chicken, French fries, onion rings, wings)
· Fatty red meat and pork (burgers, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, salami, bologna)
· White bread and pasta (bleached white flour)
· Soda, alcohol ,blended coffee drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice
· Dairy (milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt)
Foods to Eat:
· Wild salmon and other fresh fish (avoid shellfish)
· Organic or free range poultry, turkey, game hens
· Egg whites
· Raw Nuts and Seeds (except peanuts)
· Extra Virgin Olive oil, almond or avocado oil (coconut oil for high temp cooking)
· Fruits (limit dried fruit to raisins / avoid oranges)
· Vegetables (especially leafy greens and beets)
· Whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat flour, sprouted grains)
· Water, herbal and green teas, plain black coffee (moderated)
Moderate protein and grain intake, favor vegetables
Some people will need to avoid potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant, which are in the nightshade family of plants that contain solanine.
Some people will need to avoid grass-related grains such as wheat, rye and barley due to gluten intolerance.
The next step is to look at lifestyle habits that may be contributing to toxic exposure. Reduce as many of these potential stressors as possible to avoid added strain on your system. It's a cumulative effort that may help to make the difference in your condition.
· Medications - Interactions between prescription and/or over-the-counter meds are common. Coordinate the reduction of as many medications with your MD as possible.
· Mold / mildew / dander / dust exposure - Clean your home environment of potential irritants, paying close attention to your carpet, drapes, mattress, pillow, furniture, air ducts, sheets and blankets. Open the windows daily to cross ventilate your home.
· Food preparation - Keep cutting boards, knives, and sponges clean at all times. Cover and refrigerate unused food quickly and discard leftovers after two days.
· Hygiene - Regularly clean your toothbrushes and hair brushes. Try using natural soaps, cleansers, deodorants, toothpaste, body lotions, cosmetics, hair sprays and coloring.
· Household items - Air fresheners, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, bleach, cooking sprays, and cleaning products that you come into contact with should be reviewed.
· Outdoor and indoor hobbies - Exposure to inhalants such as glue, paint, and pesticides, or contact irritants such as certain plants, solvents, or rough materials should also be reviewed.
· Air and water - If you have air or water filters, be sure to change the filters regularly, including the air filter for your central heater and the water filter for your ice maker. Filter out the chlorine in your drinking and shower water if possible.
· Sleep - Sleep is like food in that you need just the right amount. Too little or too much are counterproductive and you can't really make up in a weekend what have you missed all week. Most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
· Hydration and fluid exchange - Drink water throughout the day and try to sweat passively 10-15 minutes via hot tub, sauna, steam room, or bath several times per week.
· Exercise - Lack of activity is harmful to your physical and mental health. Minimal exercise recommendations are 20-30 minutes sessions four days per week.