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Reducing pain in many conditions with anti-inflammatory foods - The Lupus Diet

A quote attributed to Hippocrates states, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Food is not only important for growth and development, but certain foods can also reduce risk of disease and inflammation. 


Lupus

Starting with my specialty, Lupus can cause joint and muscle pain that prevents you from enjoying so many activities in your life.

First and foremost, choosing more unprocessed foods is a great way to start. Trade the fruit gummy snacks for a piece of a fresh fruit, eat more vegetables and move away from the canned and boxed foods. Increasing your intake of fresh produce, certain vegetables, and omega 3's are great changes too. Drink more water, heal your gut health, and move your body are other habits that can make a huge difference in how you feel! Check out my other blog posts for even more great information!





Now for the others in your life struggling with inflammation, here are some tips on diet that can help them if Lupus isn't the cause of their pain ...


Arthritis 

Osteoarthritis affects the joints (especially knees, hips and hands) of more than 30 million Americans. The most common symptoms are pain, swelling and limitation of the joint’s range of motion. According to The Arthritis Foundation, the following foods help reduce pain and swelling: omega-3 fatty acid containing fish (sardines, salmon, tuna), fruit (berries), vegetables (spinach, kale, onions, carrots, peppers), nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds), beans, and extra virgin olive oil.  Top kale with olive oil, grated carrots, peppers, slivered almonds and a salmon filet for an anti-inflammatory boost.

Anti-inflammatory choices can also help Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), including avoiding alcohol and smoking.


Fibromyalgia 

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by pain through the body: both widespread muscle pain and localized hypersensitivity to touch or pressure.  As per the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, adequate sleep can be helpful in reducing your pain.  Avoid spicy meals, alcohol and caffeine containing foods such as coffee, sodas, and chocolate before bed to reduce your risk for acid reflux and improve sleep quality and duration. Additional personalized recommendations help further!


IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition characterized by symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, bloating, stomach cramps and pain.  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends eating more fiber, avoiding gluten, and trialing a low FODMAP diet.

Add fiber (whole grains, fruits, vegetables) gradually and increase fluid intake (particularly water) concurrently to avoid worsening constipation and bloating. Limit these often-problematic foods: dairy, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, beans and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower). Lastly, discuss a trial of the low FODMAP diet with your gastroenterologist and dietitian as it can be confusing to follow.



Headaches

Headaches can be caused by dehydration, skipping meals or high blood sugar. Headaches known as migraines have the best-known dietary triggers: food additives (especially those in processed meats), chocolate, cheese, wine, alcohol, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and caffeine. Keep a food diary to track what dietary habits are personal triggers for you.


Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by high blood sugars. While future research on anti-inflammatory foods may find some that improve retinopathy, the current recommendations are to keep blood sugars well-controlled. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, refined carbohydrates (white rice, white bread), and excess dessert or sweets to maintain better sugar control. 



What you Should Know: Foods linked with inflammation 

• Red meat (hamburgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, bologna, sausage) 

• Sweetened beverages - sodas, coffee and tea drinks, energy drinks

• Fried or charred foods 

• Simple and refined carbohydrates (sugar, white breads, white rice, white potatoes) 

• Monosodium glutamate (MSG) 

• Gluten and casein (wheat, barley, rye, dairy products) 

• Alcohol



If you're ready for more personalized help - contact me today!




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