Reduce Inflammation to Reduce Pain

by Elisa Olivier-Nielsen, MA, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, EON Consulting

One of the hallmark signs of chronic inflammation is pain. Pain can be centralized in one location or spread out throughout the body, and its intensity can vary from dull to debilitating, which can greatly reduce one’s quality of life.

Chronic inflammation can be impacted by several factors such as:  


Inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration that in turn can cause headaches and muscle cramps.

In addition, a considerable amount of toxins stored in the body can lead to increased inflammation. Adequate hydration can help the body to eliminate such toxins via urine, feces, sweat and your breath.

The rule of thumb is to consume about half of your body weight in fluids daily, preferably as noncaloric or low-caloric beverages such as water, coconut water/ milk, unsweetened iced tea and herbal teas, and also by eating water-rich foods such as lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon or zucchini.

Food allergies, food sensitivities

Food allergies usually revolve around eight typical foods (wheat/gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, dairy products and eggs), and they can lead to adverse reactions including pain, shock and loss of consciousness.

Food sensitivities can develop when consuming any food, depending on the individual. The symptoms may start after one single or repeated exposures, and it may take up to three days before they become noticeable.

Common symptoms include headaches, migraines, joint pain, bloating, stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation, etc.

So, it is recommended to look at different foods and explore how they may be affecting you, as part of your pain management protocol.


After ruling out food allergies/sensitivities, you may also want to look at certain inflammatory foods that could be adding to your pain level such as nightshades, gout-triggering foods, trans fats, saturated fats (when consumed in excess), sugar, oxidized oils and refined carbohydrates. Additionally, you may want to read food labels to avoid MSG while reducing your alcohol intake.

Exposure to toxins

Toxins are in our environment: water, food, skin care products, air, soil, etc. So, it is advisable to take certain precautions by eating organic foods as much as possible, having an air/water filter installed in your home, reading labels to identify toxic ingredients and avoid eating burnt foods to lessen your toxic load.