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Story: Molly was a five foot, four inch, 120-pound runner who
looked great but was feeling worse day by day. Over the previous six
months, she had developed pain in her hips that was aggravated by
taking long runs with her dog in the mountains. At 48, she was showing
signs of wear and tear that included migraine headaches, digestive
complaints, sleep disturbances, and asthma.
Molly found that taking Advil before a run enabled her to keep moving for 45-60 minutes. Afterwards, if the pain in her hips, knees, ankles, back, and neck started to surface, she took other NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs). She graduated from ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) to the prescription drug her doctor advised (Celebrex), noticing nausea and photo-sensitivity upon use. Molly was often sick to her stomach with bouts of diarrhea. Her lower back ached and her kidneys felt tight and sore. Her doctor ordered a CRP (C-Reactive Protein) lab test and found her score was 10, which was more than two times the reference range, indicating severe inflammation.
When Molly did her annual bone density test, there was substantial deterioration when compared to only one year before. She was told she had osteoporosis and needed to go off her NSAIDs immediately. A scan of her upper GI organs showed gastric bleeding and hyper-permeability (also called leaky gut syndrome), caused or exacerbated by daily NSAIDs use. So much for doctor's orders!
Finally becoming pro-active and health conscious, Molly looked up NSAIDs in the Physicians Desk Reference. She learned that these drugs have analgesic, antipyretic, and, in higher doses, anti-inflammatory effects. They reduce pain, fever, and inflammation. The term "non-steroidal" is used to distinguish these drugs from steroids, which have a similar eicosanoid-depressing, anti-inflammatory action (among a broad range of other effects).
In 2001, NSAIDs accounted for 70,000,000 prescriptions and 30 billion over-the-counter doses sold in the U.S. (Green, 2001). NSAID-associated upper gastrointestinal adverse events are estimated to result in 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths per year in this country alone, representing 43% of drug-related emergency visits. Many of these events are avoidable; a review of physician visits and prescriptions given estimated that unnecessary prescriptions for NSAIDs were written in 42% of cases (Green, 2001).
Molly was most disturbed to find out that NSAIDs are never to be used in individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Celiac, Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis) due to their tendency to cause gastric bleeding and ulcerations in the gastric lining.
Molly eventually came to me seeking advice on natural ways to heal her gut, cleanse her liver, address her osteoporosis, and cool her inflammation. I introduced her to the Eating for Health system, based on appropriate amounts of local, seasonal, and organic whole foods, including high-nutrient "boosters." She was amazed to find out that many of the foods she had been eating were pro-inflammatory, including red meat, processed cheese, coffee, pastries, refined sugar, and sugar substitutes. I gave Molly a list of anti-inflammatory foods, which eaten together would be more powerful than any single herb or dietary supplement.
She decided to embark on a 21-day supervised Jump Start Cleansing Program built around foods, herbs, and dietary supplements to restore her proper pH mineral balance and repair and rebuild her thinning joints and bones. I suggested a morning and mid-afternoon Vital Scoop™ smoothie containing whey, flax, micro greens, fruit extracts, coconut water, with fresh berries, cherries, or pomegranate, which she loved.
She increased her fresh vegetable intake to 6 servings a day, her fruits to 3 servings a day, and began eating wild, cold-water fish; brown rice; local, seasonal veggies; and a fresh-brewed tea of mint, rosemary, hops, and lemon verbena.
Within three weeks a seeming miracle happened. Molly's pain vanished! The vitamins, minerals, and phyto nutrients necessary to bring her body back into balance had quenched her pain and cooled her inflammation. Her CRP level normalized. Now, Molly is back in stride--swimming more and running less, to ease the stress and strain on her joints, tissues, nerves, and muscles.
Top Nutritional Supplements to Cool Inflammation
Note: It's best to work with a certified nutrition consultant to select the combination, dose and duration of supplementation.
Magnesium - 200 mg every 2 hours if in pain
Calcium - 200 mg every 2 hours if in pain
Zinc - 20 mg 3 times per day
Selenium - 200 mcg. 3x/day for immune support
Vitamin D - 2 grams 2x/day
Vitamin C - 3-6 grams per day (buffered with bioflavonoids)
EFAs (high-quality fish oil) - Up to 4 grams (4 Tbs) daily
Grape Seed Extract - 300-500 mg daily to heal damaged cells and cell membranes
Soluble Fiber - 2 T. 2x/day (flax seed or oat bran)
Vitamin B Complex - Good for pain and fatigue, balances energy/mood associated with pain
Bromelain - 1500 mg before bed and upon rising
Melatonin - 1-5 mg before bedtime for night-time pain, to support sleep
Phenylalanine - 1000 mg 1-3x day, supports endorphins that lift pain/depression
Foods to Eat Daily To Cool Inflammation
Cold-water Fatty Fish for their Omega 3 fatty acids
Flax, Hemp, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, and Almonds for protein, good fats, minerals
Cruciferous Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts for help in body detoxification
Dark Leafy Greens for B vitamins and magnesium
Colorful Fresh Fruits & Veggies for Vitamin C and bioflavonoids
Turmeric, Ginger, Clove, Nutmeg for improving circulation, easing pain and swelling
Rosemary, Basil, Hops, Boswelia for cooling, nerve tonics
Foods to Avoid that Contribute to Inflammation
Fatty red meat High saturated fat content
Commercial organ meats, Contain fat-soluble antibiotics,
and dairy products pesticides, hormones
Charbroiled meats High cooking temperatures create denatured proteins
such as hamburgers
Cold cuts, bacon, jerky, Contain nitrates, preservatives, additives, colorings
Partially hydrogenated Damages cell membranes
Refined and artificial sugar Neuro-toxic, acid forming
Artificial colors, flavors Stimulate immune reaction
Lifestyle Factors to Help with Inflammation
* Keep a food/mood diary
* Do regular non-impact exercise, such as walking, swimming, yoga, pilates.
* Take time out for relaxation, such as reading, baths, and gardening.
* Face and resolve stressors in your life.
* Calm your mind and send love and healing to inflamed body tissues.
Dr. Ed Bauman has been a ground-breaking leader in the fields of whole foods nutrition and holistic health for over 30 years. He is the Director of Bauman Nutrition, a natural health clinic in Sonoma County that provides nutritional consultation to individuals, families and business groups. He is also founder of Bauman College for Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. For more information call 707-795-1284 or visit www.baumancollege.org.
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