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Leave the cookies for Santa

Leave the cookies for Santa if you are experiencing arthritis pain in your joints. There are several steps you can take toward easing the pain of arthritis and they should be explored before you consider surgery to replace a joint.

One factor that is front and center during the holidays is nutrition! Tempting as it is to take a bite of every Christmas goody that passes you by (after all, it’s only polite!), the extra calories will be doing more harm to your joints than goodwill to all men. Your nutrition plays a major role in how you feel pain. What you eat will give your body the chemistry it needs to make an inflammatory response. Inflammation is what your immune system creates when there is some kind of insult or damage to your tissue. Inflammation is not the only cause of pain but it can make your pain feel more intense and last longer.

The chemistry that creates pain signals in your body is increased by starchy and sugary foods. It can be decreased by protein foods. Controlling inflammation and therefore pain is done best by avoiding carbohydrates you don’t need. This means sweets and many of the grain products. Sadly enough, Christmas cookies fall into that category, so leave the cookies for Santa.

Meals that regularly include lean meat, fish, and eggs are essential for controlling pain chemistry. Portion control is also central in controlling inflammation, and to successful weight loss. Portion control means not eating more food than you are using for fuel on a daily basis.

Research suggests that losing as little as seven to 10 per cent of your current body weight can help. Such a weight loss can change your body chemistry for the better. These changes can help decrease physical pain. You won’t even miss the cookies!

For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.comThe information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments, or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read on this topic. 

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