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Anti-inflammatory diet/lifestyle has been a lifesaver for my chronic pain!!!!

Just wanted to share with all of you, that I have been on the anti-inflammatory regimen for a year now. I feel wonderful!!!!
Such a change!! I have my life back!!! Keeping the inflammation down keeps my pain down!

As a short back ground: I have had 16 years of chronic back pain and leg pain, to the point where I have been walking on crutches, or on my toes, for 9 months at a time, several times during these 16 yrs. I could constantly feel the inflammation in my whole body and as a "sunburn" on my skin, and pressure in my head. I had tried burning the nervendings, diffrent conventional and unconventional therapies, medications, injections, you name it. Some disc degeneration at L4-L5, L5-S1 showed up on MRI, nothing other than that. The EMG finally showed that there is an ongoing inflammation, and pain signals from L5-S1, but the docs have never discovered what actually is causing all of it, and why it would effect so heavily on my walking. Medrol dosepacks seemed to be the only thing to calm the situation down for a couple of months at a time. My life was very restrected. Chronic pain had taken over all aspects of my life. I decided to try the anti-inflammatory diet. I read up on it to make an informed decision.

I started the process slowly by cutting down on sugar, salt, and sodas (used to drink a diet soda or energy drink a day) and cutting out red meat. I added green vegetables in different forms to all of my meals, and berries daily, as well as greek yoghurt. I cut down pasta, rice, bread and potato consumption. Sugar seems to be my main culprit in my body's inflammation process. For a while I cut out as much sugar as I could. I did not even eat fruits (fruit sugar). In 2-3 weeks I felt a jolt of energy and I started to lose weight. In 3 months my pain started decreasing. This all is not to provide any kind of guide lines, but to share my individual experiences with all of it, and perhaps to get one of you interested in trying it out. Eating healthy cannot hurt you, even if it would not have as dramatic results on you as it has on me. My pain levels kept decreasing. I started pilates little by little to build up my core strength again. Then increased exercise to include other floor exercises, again little by little. I started decreasing my pain pills, staying on the anti-inflammatory one and cymbalta. I was able to start low impact cardio exercises. Now I am to the point where I follow the anti-inflammatory diet quite carefully. I try not to eat anything with over 10-13 grams of sugar, if I feel like having sugar. I don't have fruit everyday. I do it greens everyday (broccoli, spinach, herbs, certain lettuces, aspargus, kale, etc.), and add almonds or cashews a couple of times a week. I still don't eat red meat, and keep even chicken at a minimum. I get my protein either from beans, lentils, eggs, quinoa, or soy. I eat berries and greek yoghurt almost daily. I eat ginger, garlic, turmeric, onion , greens, and chili daily, as well as drink 2-4 cups green tea a day. In addition, I use a superfood powder daily. A new "aquaintance" of mine is chia seeds. I have completely gone off my pain pills since 2mos ago. My pain mgmt doc recommends staying on the anti-inflammatory pill, which I am on one a day. Still also taking the lowest dose of cymbalta. Exercise wise I am to the point where I can do zumba. I exercise changing between low and high impact cardio,hydrobics, pilates, and other floor exercises, for about 1hr, 6 days a week. I feel like I am back to myself. I am so much happier and energetic.

But it is a life style change, not a quick fix or a quick diet. And it is not always easy to resist bad foods. I do check the labels on all foods for sugar and sodium content, as well as fats. On special occasions like birthdays I will allow myself a little candy or cake, or a couple of bites chips, but otherwise I stay away from it completely. However, it is all worth the hard work! I have my happy personality back. I am able to work, I keep it down to part time 5-6hrs a day. I am able to do things with my kids, to do every day "normal people stuff". I am able to plan the next day. I am able to go places with my family. My marriage is better than it has been. I don't get frustrated over small things. I don't have to lay down every so often. I am able to go shopping, go to the zoo, you name it..... Instead of parking closest to the entrance using my handicap sign, I now park further away to get the extra exercise in;)

You can ask me anything either on this website or email me. I will answer the best I can. I just want someone else to experience the relief I have. And no, I am not trying to sell anything. I just want someone else to feel as good as I do right now!

Hugs to you all!!!


  • Thanks so much for sharing your healthy change- good for you!
  • Happy for u and ur great a results! I was wondering how long , in time, was it till u saw results and how long have u been felling so well? Good job. Alsmom
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  • Thanks for the encouragement mskathy and Alsmom! My pain started decreasing after being on it for about 3 months, but my energy levels increased in 1-2 weeks. I know that keeping this life style will be good for me. My inflammation levels seem to go up right away if I start eating too much sugar or skip the workouts. It's all about keeping the inflammation down, and the pain levels stay down. I have been this good for about 6 months, which is a personal record for me.
  • I just finished the book Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter. It is all about grains and carbohydrates and how they affect the brain through inflammatory responses. It was very interesting. I've been gluten free for 6 years but tend to eat a lot of carbohydrates. I started to clean my diet up a few days ago. I am also hoping to help my pain levels. Thank you for reporting your response. I hope to have the same happen to me. Your time line will help me not get discouraged.
  • hi finnoa....my rheumatologist put me on this diet last year and i lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks! but then depression and other health problems kicked in and i stopped....thanks for reminding me of how important this lifestyle changes is!
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  • finnoraffinnora Posts: 31
    edited 01/29/2014 - 7:49 AM
    I was in good shape for a long time, over 6 months with minimum pain. Now I am having a bad flare up. In fact I had been feeling so good lately, that I wanted to forget about being a back patient. I just wanted to break free and do too many "normal" things. Clearly, in retrospect, I was overdoing it. I wanted to try things I had not been able to do for 16 years. I stopped resting my back. I thought I did not need it anymore. Well, I just hope this is a minor set back, and I will be back to my new normal soon. Now I know I just have to apply a brake on it, and look for my new limits - not as strict as before, but still remember their there. In the mean time I am waiting for my medrol dospack to kick in, the gels and icepacks to do their job, and take the rest my body needs.

    Hugs to you all!
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