Hi Chad. I used to be in good physical shape about 5 years ago. I worked out 5-6 times each week and adhered to a pretty clean diet. Then I started to experience pain all over and it became hard to motivate myself to exercise. I quit my working out and gained 40 unwanted pounds. Whenever I try to exercise, all of my joints hurt and that kills my motivation. My doctor couldn’t find anything wrong and just told me to take ibuprofen, or naproxen to control the pain. That helps a little but I don’t want to be dependent on these medications long term. Any advice on what I can do would be most appreciated.
It can be really tricky to find an effective way to manage chronic pain when you can’t pinpoint the specific cause.
For example, if you sustained an acute injury or have been diagnosed with a health condition like lupus, cancer, gout, arthritis, MS, Lyme’s disease, etc., then the pain you’re experiencing would make sense. If all other plausible causes have been ruled out by your MD, then you’re plagued with a very frustrating mystery.
The first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor about possible conditions that could be contributing to your pain, then go get the appropriate diagnostic tests done to rule out all of those possibilities. If your doctor isn’t sure, request a referral to see a Rheumatologist or some other type of specialist who could offer you some better ideas.
I fully support your decision not to rely on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to control your pain. Long term, these medications can cause much more harm than good. They’ve been proven to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal issues, ulcers, and liver damage.
There are several safe, natural measures you can take on your own to relieve pain and inflammation not only your joints but throughout your entire body. I’ll list them below…
1. Avoid Consuming Most Grains and Sugars: Avoiding grains and sugars will help lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are associated with higher levels of inflammation in your body. Especially try to avoid fructose, which can lead to higher levels of uric acid; a major inflammation trigger in the body.
Also, the more processed and modified a whole grain is, the more likely it is to cause an inflammatory reaction. This is because immune cells recognize these processed and modified grains, not as food, but as a foreign invader. Since some groups of amino acids in our body tissues are similar to those in grains, the immune system’s recognition of those proteins can cause our immune system to attack and inflame various tissues of the body.
I recall 4 years ago when my dog began experiencing severe pain that actually made him immobile. When I switched him to a grain-free food, he was pain-free and running around like a puppy again after just 1 week.
2. Take Curcumin or Turmeric: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added only 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. In fact, curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity.
Although taking turmeric powder in spice form doesn’t taste very good, research has shown it assimilates better in the body this way than taking it in supplement form. Adding a pinch of black pepper along with it has been shown to enhance the assimilation of turmeric as well.
3. Supplement with CMO (or Cetyl Myristoleate): CMO is an oil found in fish and dairy butter that serves as a joint lubricant and anti-inflammatory. To obtain an effective dose, it would be best to purchase this at a health food store, or from a reputable online supplement store. There are topical pain relief creams, as well as oral CMO supplements available. For optimal results, it may be best to use both versions to fight the pain from the inside out… and the outside in.
4. Obtain Plenty of Magnesium: One of magnesium’s most important functions is blocking your brain’s receptors for glutamate, a neurotransmitter that may cause your neurons to become hypersensitive to pain. This is especially important because an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Taking prescription drugs and eating processed foods can put anyone at risk of magnesium deficiency. I suggest taking magnesium citrate at bedtime on an empty stomach.
5. Consider Enzyme Therapy: The enteric coated enzymes in Wobenzyme N are thought to activate macrophages that attack inflammation-causing circulating immune complexes. Customer reviews on this product are pretty compelling. I’ve had good luck using this product to relieve pain and speed healing during the times I’ve been recovering from injuries. After using this product, I can understand why surgeons in Germany routinely prescribe it to their patients to prevent bruising, swelling, pain, and inflammation—which they claim also significantly reduces post-surgical recovery time.
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6. Consume Research-Backed Foods That Show A Positive Effect On Inflammation: Some such foods are pomegranates, garlic, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, beets, dark leafy green vegetables. Others are fatty fish like wild salmon, herring, and bluefin tuna.
As you incorporate foods that help fight inflammation, you should avoid fast food, processed food, and pre-packaged foods that tend to significantly increase inflammation.
Hopefully, these suggestions help you out. I wish you all the best!
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