Yes. Our bodies, especially our joints, react to barometric changes. As we find ourselves in another monsoon season, or at least a time of year when the barometric pressure changes become noticeable, we also find ourselves in a little more pain than usual. Our joints creek a little more and we tend to feel a little stiff or sore in the mornings. As the fluid in the barometer changes, so does the fluid in our joints. The pain is a result of inflammation in these joints. There is something you can do to diminish the symptoms, and it doesn’t have to involve medication. Inflammation causes many serious conditions, including diabetes, coronary artery disease, and cancer to name a few. Most of the time, this inflammation remains hidden until it has reached debilitating conditions. I’ll be sharing some natural alternatives to anti-inflammatories, and some simple dietary changes that will aid in the relief of inflammation.
How do we know if we have inflammation?
The mechanism behind this inflammatory process can be catalyzed by a number of factors. The damage resulting from a cut, bacteria or virus, even hypertension, can trigger a series of responses. Part of this chain reaction involves the liver producing C-reactive protein, CRP. Today, it is routine to have CRP tested in basic bloodwork, so we as doctors can monitor those levels. The amount of CRP circulating in your bloodstream indicates how much information your body may be suffering from. Levels should be below 3.
How can we reduce it naturally?
Certain foods can increase or decrease the levels of CRP in the blood. Dairy and grains are inflammatory foods, while most vegetables are noninflammatory foods. It’s not quite that simple, however, as even your blood type plays a role in which foods are good or bad for you. There are also healthy oils you can eat or take a supplement that are good for you. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and more. Today, our population’s consumption of foods high in Omega 3’s is at the lowest ever. Our western diet is killing us. These fats are different from most other fats, they are not used for energy. They have important roles like slowing clotting to decrease inflammatory responses. Our bodies don’t have the enzymes to make them on our own so we have to get them from our diet and supplementation. If we don’t get enough of them, we become sick. That’s why they’re called “essential” fatty acids. Studies today show that Omega-6 can be inflammatory, not anti-inflammatory. The latest theory is that a diet high in Omega-6 fatty acids, and low in Omega-3 fatty acids actually cause inflammation. The average Western diet today, is high in Omega-6 fatty acids. We need to balance the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. Before the Industrial Revolution, our ratio was 4:1, today it’s about 1:4. Studies done by anthropologists suggest that the ratio human beings evolved eating was about 1:1. Today, the ratio is about 16:1. Another issue for preindustrial revolution was people eat much less Omega-6 from their diet, eat less sugar, and got more physical exercise. Modern junk food didn’t exist. Today the Western population eats a lot of processed seed and vegetable oils. Most of these oils are very high in Omega-6. Especially soybean oil.
How can we control the ratio on our own?
The confusion arises when people think that only junk food has bad oils. The truth is, many foods and a lot of restaurants use bad oils as well. Try and find restaurants that use healthy oils, read your labels, and make most of your own food. Eat more nuts, and not peanuts. Those are legumes and are loaded with yeast. Also be careful of packaged nuts that are salted and flavored. There are usually many chemicals and artificial flavors in those. One of the easiest ways to eat the right ratio, is to increase your Omega-3 consumption. Medical grade fish oils are the best for that. Eating fatty fish is another way, however you have to be careful of mercury levels. Research the Paleo lifestyle and diet based on reducing inflammation. I have personally lived a Paleo lifestyle for over five years now. My CRP level is very low, and I feel great. If you’d like more information on an anti-inflammatory diet, call my office. I offer food programs that make it easy.
If you have any questions for me, please email them at DrLeisa@CaringPainRelief.com
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C. Chiropractic Physician
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
21043 N. Cave Creek Rd. #A9 Phoenix, AZ 85024