Did you know chronic pain affects more Americans than heart disease, diabetes and cancer – combined? Check out these numbers:
• 100 million Americans experience chronic pain.
• 80 percent of people will experience back pain in their lifetime.
• 1 in 5 adults has arthritis.
• 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches.
• Americans spend $17 billion a year on over-the-counter pain killers.
“The numbers don’t lie. We are an inflammation nation,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “The numbers are so overwhelming, but here’s the good news: There are proven ways to reduce pain, fight inflammation, take back your body, and I’m not talking about drugs. Believe it or not, the answer just might be in the food you are eating.”
The Food Pharmacy: Surprising Cures for Your Everyday Aches
Why Natural Remedies Might be Better than Painkillers
Americans make up about 4.5 percent of the world’s population, but we use 80 percent of the world’s opioid painkillers.
“We are a nation addicted to quick-fix pills. Now, they can be wonderful, but even over-the-counter pills can have their problems,” Dr. Travis says.
The number one cause of acute liver failure in this country is the misuse of acetaminophen, which can be found in pain relievers, cold medicine and some allergy medicines.
Muffin Migraine Cure?
Three out of four people who experience migraines are women, and Jessica is one of them. Joy Bauer, author of Food Cures, joins The Doctors to help Jessica identify foods that can trigger migraines.
There are foods you can eat to help you fight migraines. Joy shares her recipe for migraine muffins.
“The migraine muffin has two migraine-fighting ingredients — very powerful. The first one is, believe it or not, pumpkin seeds, which are so easy, so I worked them into my migraine muffin,” Joy says.
“The pumpkin seeds are loaded with ample amounts of magnesium, and we know, through research, that magnesium helps to almost stop a migraine attack before it sneaks up on you, and specifically in women who have menstrual migraines, so that’s great," said says. "So the second ingredient, which makes them nice and moist, are chia seeds. And chia seeds are one of the top plant-based sources of omega-3 fats Omega-3s suppress inflammation so they can actually reduce the frequency, the duration and the intensity of migraines.”
Food Fixes for PMS
Do the symptoms of PMS slow you down every month? OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains that caffeine and salt can contribute to PMS symptoms, while calcium, magnesium and vitamins B and D can help reduce those symptoms.
“Every layer is strategically designed to zap symptoms associated
with PMS,” Joy says.
The Dangers of Fad Cleanses and Juice Diets
“This whole idea of a juice cleanse just doesn’t work for me, and I’ll tell you why,” Dr. Travis says.
Anti-Inflammation Cleanse for Chronic Pain
In some cases, Dr. Travis says a doctor-supervised cleanse can help people who suffer from chronic pain, including conditions such as Crohn’s disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Laura suffers from Crohn’s disease, an inflammation of the small intestines, and says it has caused severe stomach pain and gastrointestinal issues for years. After seeing several specialists, Laura discovers The Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Myles Spar, a board-certified internist, and Dr. Maggie Ney, a certified naturopathic doctor, agree Laura’s symptoms could be dramatically reduced with a medically-supervised cleanse. The doctors prescribe Laura an anti-inflammatory protein powder to blend in a morning shake and a diet free of wheat, gluten, dairy and added sweeteners.
“We hate the term cleanse,” Dr. Spar says. “People do think of these cleanses like you’ve talked about — that are actually depleting, not providing nutrients to the body. This cleanse, if you call it that, is really about providing the right nutrients.”
Here are some foods that help fight inflammation:
• Tumeric is packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals. Curcumin in turmeric inhibits enzymes linked to inflammation.
• Carrots and cantaloupe contain beta carotene, which fights against arthritis.
Food Fixes for Your Child's Earache
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explain how mucus builds up in the Eustachian tubes and can cause an ear infection. Nutritionist and author of The Food Cure for Kids Dr. Oz Garcia joins Dr. Sears to reveal surprising foods that trigger mucus production.
Children with earaches should avoid bananas and wheat, but they can eat plenty of pineapple! The fruit has been shown to help fight mucus buildup; plus, it's packed with bromelain, which has been shown to reduce sinus pain.
Does your child suffer from chronic earaches? Try this guide to help prepare a mucus-free menu for your kids.
Take the Eat-Fresh Challenge
Several months ago, The Doctors challenged Collette, a self-professed junk-food junkie, to eat fresh. Collette joins The Doctors to share her progress.
Have you experienced burning, itching and bleeding “down there?” You are not alone. Three out of four adults experience hemorrhoids, and they can be a real pain in the you-know-what. The Doctors have a smoothie recipe that might help! Bottoms up!