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In my last article I talked about non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are a group of drugs that are commonly used for everyday aches and pains. Since they are used so frequently, many people do not think about the fact that they can reduce the effectiveness of certain prescribed medications. I thought in this article I would address natural ways to reduce common pains without using drugs like Motrin, aspirin and other NSAIDs.
The first step I always take when treating a patient for pain of any type is to identify the root cause. If you notice that you are having pain that comes several times a month or every week it is important to go to your naturopathic doctor or conventional doctor to have a work up to find the root cause. This step is an important preventative one to ensure that you do not allow any medical condition to progress or get worse. I often find the root of the problem can stem from the foods we eat and when this is the problem, change in our diet can make all the difference in our need to take NSAID pain relievers. Since many of my patients do not realize how their diet is a part of their pain problem I will discuss this as a natural way to treat pain. It also teaches patients what to look out for to treat the problem in the future.
Oftentimes when people have recurring pain like migraines, sinus headaches, menstrual cycle pain, arthritis or digestive pain, part of the root cause can be the food they are eating. The chemicals that make up the foods can cause reactions in the body that create pain. For example fried foods create chemicals that increase inflammation and pain in the body so while we might like the taste it might not be worth the pain it causes. Sometimes foods like chocolate, cheese or wine that contain tyramine or phenylethylamine trigger migraines. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reported increases in food allergies and food sensitivities in the last 10 years. Food allergies can often be associated with pain in different parts of the body.