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Posts Tagged ‘inflammation’

6 Foods that Fight Chronic Pain

Friday, February 15th, 2013



Foods that prevent chronic pain: Previously, we discussed foods that cause chronic pain by triggering the inflammation response. Here are foods that help to prevent chronic pain by preventing an autoimmune inflammatory response.

6 Foods that Fight Chronic Pain- B12 Patch

Inflammation is natural

As mentioned in our earlier post, 6 Foods that Cause Chronic Pain, your body responds to foreign invaders by causing pain, inflammation. This is a normal healthy reaction to injuries that could become life-threatening if left untreated, like an open sore or a bacterial infection.

With chronic pain, people often suffer from inflammation as part of an autoimmune reaction to foods that your body doesn’t recognize, and labels as “dangerous.” These foods should be avoided, especially if you suffer from autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or pernicious anemia.

Eat this!

At the same time, certain foods help to actually improve your body’s response to inflammation by serving as antioxidants and promoting “good” bacteria for digestive health.

You should try to include these foods as part of your natural chronic pain management strategy:

  1. Dark leafy greens- Green lettuces like romaine, spinach, kale, and arugula are excellent anti-inflammatory agents that contain natural antioxidants.
  2. Spices- Certain seasonings such as turmeric, ginger, red chili pepper, and cinnamon are renowned for their ability to fight inflammation and relieve chronic pain symptoms caused by arthritis, sinusitis, and digestion problems.
  3. Blueberries- Blueberries are among the richest sources of natural antioxidants that fight chronic pain by supporting your body’s healthy inflammation response.
  4. Avocados- avocados contain healthy fats, in addition to carotenoids that fight inflammation.
  5. Probiotics- To improve digestion and prevent chronic pain caused by ulcers, acid reflux, or diarrhea, eat foods containing probiotics that enhance gut flora, detoxify, and reduce inflammation.
  6. 6. Omega-3’s- Flaxseed and fish oils contain healthy fatty Omega-3 acids which reduce inflammation and also support healthy brain functioning.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

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Like this? Read more:

Acid Reflux Medication Warning: One Big Reason to avoid PPIs

The Best- and Worst- Cooking Oils for Heart Health


9 Foods that Cause Inflammation and 9 Ways to Fight it

Photo courtesy of threelayercake/flickr

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Thursday, September 8th, 2011



Deluded about the Digestive System? If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then you’ll hear many myths about Crohn’s, colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); here are 15 IBD facts.


“IBD is a mental disorder,” and other digestive system myths

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both forms of IBD.  People diagnosed with IBD often suffer in silence with symptoms like stomach bloating, cramps, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation.

That’s because people who have IBD are often ashamed to discuss it with friends and family.  As a result, it is all too easy to fall victim to the many misconceptions, myths, and general confusion surrounding Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Fortunately, the truth is out there; you just have to know where to find it.  Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions you’re likely to hear about digestive diseases.




IBD fallacies we’re tired of hearing:

1) “Supplements are useless for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.”

Many homeopathic medicines and other alternative treatments are helpful for relieving symptoms like occasional constipation, nausea, and stomach pains.

Moreover, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 are beneficial for anybody suffering from IBD.  More often than not, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with digestive disorders, for several reasons.

Sometimes, gastritis or other kinds of damage to the stomach inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to severe depletion.

Other times, treatments for IBD, such as medications or surgeries (ileostomy) are the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In such cases, regular supplementation of vitamin B12 is crucial to avoid debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

2) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

IBD and IBS are two separate conditions that affect the body differently, although the symptoms are alike.

IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts; with ulcerative colitis IBD, the colon is also affected.

IBS, or “spastic colon,” causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.

3) “By following a healthy diet, I have completely cured myself of IBD.”

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and identifying “trigger foods” is an excellent way to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBD and prevent flare-ups, but you should nevertheless continue to visit your doctor, and take your medications, unless otherwise prescribed.

4) “I’ve heard that IBD is caused by really bad stress.  And depression.”

It’s unclear exactly what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Some scientists believe it may result from a virus. Still, we do know that certain factors may complicate IBD; prolonged stress, unhealthy diet, and smoking may exacerbate the symptoms of IBD, but they are not the underlying cause.

To minimize stomach ailments and stay in remission, you must continue to eat healthy, reduce stress, and avoid smoking.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

5) You have Crohn’s disease?  I’ve heard that IBD is just a fancy term for chronic diarrhea.”

Diarrhea is one of many symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In some cases, Crohn’s disease patients don’t even suffer from diarrhea, making it even harder to get an IBD diagnosis.  If you do suffer from chronic diarrhea, don’t ignore the symptoms; see a doctor immediately.

6) “If you don’t see any blood, then it’s just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

See a doctor if you have any digestive disease symptoms, even when blood is not present.

Just as the absence of diarrhea symptoms does not negate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither does the absence of blood in your stool mean that you necessarily don’t have IBD.

7) “I’ve been having fewer bowel movements, so I must be in remission.”

Only your doctor can confirm if you are in remission.

Having fewer loose stools is only one of several indications.  To find out for sure, visit your doctor for blood testing and a complete checkup.


8) “You have Crohn’s disease?  That means you can’t have children.”

Most prescribed treatments for Crohn’s disease are safe to take during a pregnancy or while nursing a baby.

Unless you take antibiotics, thalidomide, or methotrexate, there is no reason why you may not plan to have a baby while continuing to take your Crohn’s disease medications.

Nevertheless, make sure that your OB/GYN knows about all medications you are taking, including IBD treatments and vitamin regimens.


9) “Once you’ve had ostomy surgery, you will never be able to conceive a child.”

There is no direct link between ostomy surgery and male or female infertility.

Ostomy surgery is a procedure in which a part of the intestines is removed, and the remaining piece is attached to a pouch that is connected to a tube protruding from a stomach opening.  While there are some instances of erectile dysfunction following ostomy surgery, in most cases, that is not the norm.

Likewise, women who undergo ostomy surgery might have reduced sexual desires related to physical discomfort, poor body image, and the “newness” of the whole procedure, but her reproductive organs remain unaffected.

Related reading:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info


5 Things You Need to Know About Colitis

Myths Revealed: Irritable Bowel and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Nine Digestive Disease Myths

Common Digestive Problems Myths: IBS, Gas, Diarrhea, Heartburn, and More

Qualitative research in inflammatory bowel disease: dispelling the myths of an unknown entity

I Hate IBD- Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis

Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Crohn’s Disease Management: Stay in Control

Setting the Record Straight – The MYTHS of Crohn’s Disease

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Free Stock Photos

Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011



What foods should I eat…or avoid if I have IBD? Here are some proper nutrition tips for ulcerative colitis


Ulcerative colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) that creates painful ulcers in the large intestinal tract and the rectum.  One of the main causes of ulcerative colitis is poor digestion.  

Sufferers of ulcerative colitis experience symptoms such as:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Inflammation of the colon
  • Stomach cramping
  • Nausea
  • Excess weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

    (Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency here: B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms)

Some good rules of thumb


While diet doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis, it does affect chronic pain symptoms that are associated with IBD. 

Below are some helpful food preparation tips for eating with ulcerative colitis:

  • Cook vegetables well.  Raw or partially cooked vegetables are difficult for ulcerative colitis patients to digest completely.
  • Cut your food into small pieces that are easy to masticate thoroughly.
  • Avoid very small food morsels, such as corn kernels and peas; swallowing tiny bits of food without chewing them properly creates stomach upset, such as cramping and diarrhea.
  • If you experience any setbacks, it’s a good idea to restrict high fiber food items, such as whole wheat breads, legumes, and cereals, at least until your diarrhea has subsided.

Ten foods to avoid if you have ulcerative colitis:


Caffeine not only draws water out of our system, contributing to dehydration, but it also triggers bowel movements. 

If you have ulcerative colitis or any other type of IBD, then caffeinated teas, coffee, and chocolate could wreak havoc on your digestive system, in addition to robbing your body of much-needed fluids. 

Try sipping on something more tummy-friendly, such as comforting herbal tea and carob chip cookies.  

Trouble staying awake?  Read:  Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue


Bubbly Beverages

Carbonated drinks are refreshing, but they are full of tiny air bubbles.  Swallowing excess amounts of air causes flatulence and irritates the stomach linings of chronic colitis patients.  If you cannot resist the lure of an icy cola on a hot day, then sip slowly.  Nix the straw, as it will only make you swallow even more air.


Alcoholic beverages act as stimulants, and may aggravate the intestines.  However, not all alcoholic drinks are cut from the same cloth, so to speak.  White wines go down easier than red wines.  Avoid beer and mixed drinks that often cause diarrhea. B12 and Alcohol Consumption

Milk Products

Contrary to popular belief, there is no direct correlation between lactose intolerance and IBD, though individuals with irritable bowels might have a slight sensitivity to milk sugar. 

If you have colitis, then your best option is to cut back on dairy whenever possible.  A pat of butter on some low-fiber toast or a bit of milk in your coffee is okay, but don’t get into the habit of drinking large amounts of cow’s milk. 

Opt instead for other calcium-rich foods such canned salmon (bone-in), collard greens, and fortified low-pulp orange juice.  

Addicted to ice cream?  Who isn’t?  Try out one of these  10 Most Tempting Vegan Ice Cream Recipes.



Unless your body is accustomed to digesting beans and legumes, then you should proceed with caution

For many of us, beans such as garbanzos and pintos are difficult to digest and cause uncomfortable bloating and gas. 

That doesn’t mean you should cross three-bean salad or minestrone off your list, though, as beans are rich in protein and vitamin B12

Some methods of cooking beans produce less gas, and chewing thoroughly helps to aid digestion.  If you buy canned beans, rinse well to remove sugars, and experiment with pureed bean recipes, such as hummus or low-fat bean dip.

Stringy Veggies

Some vegetables are hard for IBD patients to absorb, and fibrous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, and celery are high on that list.  Focus on the have’s instead of the have-not’s.  You can have delicious, vegetarian side dishes without the accompanying tummy aches.  Some yummy green-light veggies include roasted cauliflower, carrot pennies, and baked potatoes.

Seeds, Skins, and Pellets

Certain foods irritate the lining of the intestines as they shove their way through our digestive system.  These include:

  • Fruit seeds, such as those found in strawberries, figs, and melon
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit skins, such as cranberries, blueberries and persimmon
  • Spongy pithy foods, such as mushrooms, citrus rinds, and orange marmalade
  • Fruity pellets, such as corn and pomegranate


Fatty Foods

Oil is not absorbed well in colitis patients, so avoid high-fat meals and condiments.  These include:

  • Rich sauces, such as Alfredo sauce and other cheesy toppings
  • French fries, and other fried foods
  • Fatty meats, such as steaks, ribs and hot dogs
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise, melted butter, and rich salad dressings


Small nut pieces are hard for the body to digest completely, and may irritate the stomach. 

Colitis patients should avoid treats containing roasted peanuts, cashews, or raw almonds.  Ground nuts and seeds are fine, though. 

Small amounts of creamy peanut butter, all-natural almond butter, or tahini are great sources of healthy fats.


Whole Herbs and Spices

If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from a diet of bland, tasteless foods as well.  Take advantage of the many pungent, sweet, and tangy herbs and spices that are available, but remember to grind them well. 

If you buy dried seasonings, make sure that seedy spices such as cumin, pepper, and nutmeg have been ground to a fine meal.  Chop up fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, and rosemary, into small pieces before adding them to casseroles, roasts, or sauces.

Read more about Crohn’s and colitis:

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

“I’ve heard of the X Factor and Fear Factor…But what’s Intrinsic Factor?”

15 Steps to Better Digestion


Foods to Avoid If You Have Ulcerative Colitis- Health.com

Diet in Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan: Best and Worst Foods

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