Do you suffer from inflammation? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world deal with inflammation daily. While many things can cause inflammation, food is one of the most common sources. Certain foods can trigger inflammation in the body, while others can help to reduce it.

One of the common symptoms of inflammation is chronic pain in the joints and muscles. Your body’s natural response to injury is to release inflammatory chemicals, which can lead to swelling, redness, and pain. A pain management clinic offers various treatments for chronic pain, including natural approaches like dietary changes.

Read more: What Happens At Your First Pain Management Appointment?

Inflammation is part of your body’s natural defense against illness-causing bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Here are some foods that cause  inflammation and what you can eat instead:

1. Sugar

One of the worst foods for inflammation is sugar. Consuming too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance, a significant cause of inflammation. Sugar is also pro-inflammatory, which promotes the release of inflammatory chemicals in the body. If you’re struggling with inflammation, limiting your sugar intake is best.

2. Trans fats

Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen when manufacturers turn liquid oils into solids. This process is called “hydrogenation.” Trans fats are often found in margarine, fried foods, and commercial baked goods, such as cookies and pastries.

Cons of trans fats replace healthier fats in your cell membranes. This increases inflammation and can lead to conditions like heart disease and stroke.

3. Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates are found in foods like white bread, white rice, and pastries. They’re also often used to make processed foods like chips, crackers, and cookies.

These foods have been stripped of their fiber and nutrients, so they cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. This can lead to inflammation, especially in people who are already insulin resistant or have diabetes.

4. Dairy Products

Dairy products are a major contributor to inflammation due to the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol they contain. Saturated fats cause inflammation by increasing the production of inflammatory cytokines, while cholesterol promotes plaque formation in the arteries, leading to heart disease.

Plaque is a sticky substance that contains fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances. When plaque builds up in the arteries, it makes it difficult for blood to flow through them. This may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Joint problems like arthritis are also linked to dairy consumption. When you consume dairy products, your body produces antibodies to fight the proteins in dairy (casein and whey). These antibodies can cause inflammation in the joints.

5. Alcohol

One of the offenders when it comes to causing inflammation is alcohol. Alcohol consumption has increased the risk of developing various inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and hepatitis. Additionally, alcohol can exacerbate existing inflammation and lead to tissue damage. It is best to abstain from alcohol if you suffer from inflammatory conditions.

Facet blocks occur when the small sacs or facet joints cushion the spine and become inflamed. Facet joints are located between each vertebrae and act as stabilizers for the spine. When these joints become irritated or swollen, it can lead to pain and discomfort. Pain and Spine Institute offer the best treatment for facet blocks in Chicago. We use a variety of approaches, including medication, injections, and physical therapy, to relieve pain.