Search This Blog

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to fight inflammation.

By Dr. Jon Thomas, DC, PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Inflammation can be divided into two broad categories. Acute inflammation happens after a person has been injured. Wikipedia defines acute inflammation as “the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli. It is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes) from the blood into the injured tissues.” 

The symptoms of acute inflammation include redness, swollen joints, joint pain and/or stiffness, and loss of joint function. Although acute inflammation is painful, it’s actually good for the body because it means that the healing has begun. 

Chronic inflammation is persistent and ongoing. It can last for weeks, months, or years. With acute inflammation, after a period of time, a person returns to his or her normal activities, almost as if nothing ever happened. With chronic inflammation, it can seem like the injury never really heals. 


Courtesy of
When people have inflammation, they want it to go away. That goes for both acute and chronic inflammation. Many use common over the counter anti-inflammatories including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Doctors also frequently prescribe a variety of other anti-inflammatory drugs to patients suffering from inflammation. 

Drugs can be helpful in combatting acute inflammation and giving the injured part of the body the opportunity to heal. However, using anti-inflammatories on an ongoing basis is not a good strategy for finding a permanent solution to inflammation. Over time, a person may find that the drugs he or she is using do not work as well as they initially did. 

In those cases, a doctor may simply prescribe something else. The problem is that, like all drugs, anti-inflammatories come with side effects. Some of the most common side effects are nausea, headaches, upset stomach, and drowsiness. There are also some very serious side effects from prolonged use, including ulcers, bleeding, and kidney and liver failure. 

Taking anti-inflammatories for months or years as an ongoing strategy will eventually cause the body to start breaking down in other ways. Fortunately, there are a number of natural approaches to inflammation, which produce far better long term results.  

Weight loss. 

Being overweight or obese puts more stress on the joints than maintaining a healthy weight level. When people weigh more, it takes more work to get up out of a chair and simply to walk around. Most people wouldn’t voluntarily lug around a fifty-pound bag of rocks all day every day. However, whenever a person who is 50-pounds overweight moves around, he or she is carrying that same weight around in the form of excess fat. 

Losing weight reduces the stress on a person’s joints. That reduces inflammation. One of the things I see over and over in NutriMost patients is that as they lose their excess weight, their aches and pains go away. Sometimes they don’t even realize how troublesome their aches and pains were until they have begun to experience life without them. After losing twenty, or forty, or eighty pounds, people invariably feel much better than they have in a long time. 

Consuming the right nutrients.

Losing weight is one great way to reduce inflammation. Another way to alleviate pain and inflammation is to consume the right nutrients. Eating right and losing weight go together! When you’re eating the right stuff and maintaining a healthy weight, it has a tremendous effect on overall health. 

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Fruits and vegetables will help in the fight against inflammation. They also help with weight control. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are all good. Berries including blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries will help. Tart cherries are recommended for people who have gout, which is one of the most painful forms of arthritis.  Eating five to nine daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables can ease discomfort from inflammation. 

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation, and they also boost heart health. Generally, fish from cooler waters like the North Atlantic Ocean will have more fat than fish from tropical waters. 

Other Foods that are good for reducing inflammation. Olive oil, nuts/seeds, walnuts, almonds, and beans all can help. Whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat are good as well. Don’t forget to consume some garlic, onions, leeks, red grapes, and green tea. Eat lean protein sources such as chicken. 

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant which may slow the progression of Osteoarthritis. Although many people associate vitamin C with oranges and citrus fruits, it’s available in many other fruits and vegetables, sometimes in higher concentrations. Papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, and raspberries are also good sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin D3 is an initiator for a lot of processes in the body. It has a lot to do with the absorption of calcium, which is very important for bone health. Fatty fish, mushrooms, cheese, and egg yolks are good sources of vitamin D. 

Calcium promotes bone health. Low-fat dairy products and green leafy vegetables are good sources of Calcium. 

Ginger and Turmeric have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Season meals with ginger and turmeric as often as possible. Ginger also helps with digestion.

Foods to avoid.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
If you think a particular food is causing inflammation, by all means, stop eating it and see how you feel. As you experiment with changes in your diet, you will discover which foods have a positive effect on inflammation and which ones have a negative effect. The following guidelines can also help. 
  • Reduce intake of red meat and full-fat dairy foods.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats as much as possible.
  • Reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates in the form of pasta and white rice.
  • Cut out soda and energy drinks with fructose. They may taste good going down and make you feel better temporarily, but they can also cause inflammation. 
  • By now, most people understand that smoking is bad. Tobacco can also cause inflammation. Most smokers know that it would be a good idea to quit smoking. 
  • Alcohol can also cause inflammation. If you drink, do it in moderation. If you have gout, you should especially avoid drinking beer.

Life in Balance and Micro and Macro Nutrient Testing

Living a vibrant and healthy life involves several elements working together. Proper diet, effective exercise, and spinal health are three of the key components. Vibrant Life Health Center is now offering a 6-month Life in Balance program which brings everything together under one roof, so to speak. It’s designed to help people achieve their wellness objectives by showing them the big picture and empowering them to incorporate what they’ve learned into their lives. 

Due to the complexity of the human body, an individualized healthcare approach is the only way to guarantee optimal results. As part of the Life in Balance program, we run a number of tests in order to develop a comprehensive plan which will address the specific needs of each patient. Our Micro and Macro Nutrient tests measure the function of 35 nutritional components, including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within our white blood cells. This gives us a precise picture of what’s going on in a person’s body. 

This type of testing is particularly effective for identifying the causes of inflammation and developing an effective and natural long term plan to eliminate or reduce inflammation. If you’d like to learn more about Micro and Macro Nutrient Testing at Vibrant Life, or if you’d like to find out more about our Life in Balance program, please call. 
This article discusses inflammation, its causes, and some of the natural ways people can eliminate or reduce inflammation without drugs. I’ve also discussed Macro and Micro Nutrient Testing at Vibrant Life and the Life in Balance program which is helping people to get a handle on all of the areas of life that affect health so they can achieve the level of wellness they desire. 

If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section below. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends and colleagues, and also on social media.

The Google Plus button and other social media sharing buttons are below.

At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.

Courtesy of
Vibrant Life HealthCenter
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weightlifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.


  1. The problem with pain killers is they only mask the symptoms related to inflammation. If you want to attack the underlying cause of inflammation and pain, talk to your chiropractor. It made a world of difference to my life and it can help you too.

  2. I got off the pain killer merry go round years ago. Thank God for all the natural anti inflammatory things on earth.

  3. When part of your body feels like it's on fire, it's good to know there's something you can do to cool it off.