Inflammation and how to ease the pain

Published 4:22pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

It has been suggested that measuring blood levels of “C-reactive protein” (CRP), a marker for inflammation, may be a way to assess one’s  risk for heart disease. One study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that high levels of CRP were associated with a 70 percent higher risk of heart disease in men and women.
Other conditions thought to be facilitated by inflammation include rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, gouty arthritis, polymyalgia rhuematica, head-aches, muscle stiffness and loss of energy.
Now we know what inflammation is, and what is does to our bodies, how do we deal with it?
First, lose weight. Excess weight can accentuate the risk of low grade inflammation. There is a strong association between hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and diabetes with regard to the integral role of fat cells.
In addition to losing weight, quitting smoking and regular exercise play a huge role in reducing inflammation.
Avoiding saturated fats, and consuming fruits, whole grains, richly colored vegetables, beans, seeds, and fish, are also associated with a reduction in low grade inflammation.
Also, consuming omega 3 fatty acids reduces inflammation. Omega 3s are found in fish like salmon, tuna and halibut. They are also found in nut oils and some other plants like flax. It’s important though to have a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 (another essential fatty acid) in your diet. There are medications like statins, ACE inhibitors and some diabetic drugs that are anti-inflammatories.
There are also non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs  such as aspirin and ibuprofen, but don’t take any medication without first consulting with your doctor.
Diet or exercise question? Email me at or visit David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and personal trainer for 26 years.
He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A. , head strength coach for the S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, Converse college equestrian team, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

Editor's Picks