Many of us are suffering from aches, pains, stomach issues, frequent illness, and the rest of the day-to-day health complaints that are so prevalent in today's culture. And we're looking for relief! But many medications come with a host of side effects, and can lead to even more issues.
Chronic pain, digestive distress, and poor immune health are some of the most common complaints heard by doctors. It is estimated that 60-70 million Americans suffer from digestive issues, and another 50 million or more American suffer from chronic pain. Digestive health issues are also commonly linked to poor immune health—since we now that most of your immune system resides in your gut.
With millions of Americans suffering from pain, digestive distress, and poor immune function, it is essential that we take our health into our own hands where we can to help support optimal health and proper body function. While there are countless modern medical treatment and drug options available for these health concerns, there are also some alternative treatment options that should be considered to either serve as complementary therapy, or independently to help you control your symptoms.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular alternative and natural treatment options for pain, immunity, and digestion today:
Alternative Treatment Options for Pain
- Massage: If you suffer from chronic pain, especially back and neck pain, regular therapeutic massage can be beneficial for reducing some pain.
- Lowering inflammation: Studies have shown again and again that chronic inflammation in the body can lead to all kinds of health issues, including chronic pain. Addressing the symptoms of pain feels urgent, but addressing the root cause that contributes to the pain is even more important. To lower the inflammatory load on your body naturally, there are several steps you can take. An anti-inflammatory diet is a crucial step. Eliminate inflammatory foods like processed foods, trans fats, refined sugars, and replace them with antioxidant rich foods like dark, leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Next, make sure you support your diet with clean supplementation like Curcumin, which lowers inflammation, and fights free radicals and oxidative stress. Make sure to take time every day to practice stress reduction techniques, since stress is a major contributor to chronic pain, and take steps to ensure you’re getting good, quality sleep each night. Finally, make sure you’re exercising or moving your body in some way on a daily basis. All of these may seem simple, but over time you’ll find that you feel better, your pain decreases, and your overall health can improve.
Alternative Treatment Options for Immunity
- Dietary Change: Diet plays a central role in overall health. The right diet will support a healthier immune system and the wrong one can make you more prone to getting sick. The foods that can weaken your immune system include sugar, artificial sweeteners, and fried and processed foods. The foods that can help support a stronger immune system are found in the anti-inflammatory diet and include Manuka honey, garlic, onions, dark leafy greens, turmeric, ginger, berries, and omega-3 oils from olives, avocados, and supplements.
- Move Your Body: Staying physically active can be a great way to keep your immune system strong, and a great way to help maintain a healthy weight, another important part of building a strong immune system. Try to do some form of exercise each day, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk. Your immune system will thank you for it.
- Vitamin D: Studies have found that vitamin D deficiencies are linked to an increased susceptibility to infections as well as increased autoimmune issues. Vitamin D influences approximately 3,000 of your genes and plays a major role in immune response. To boost your immune system, make sure you’re taking a clean, plant-based Vitamin D3 supplement that includes vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is crucial for making sure the vitamin D works properly in your body.
Alternative Treatment Options for Digestion
- Diet: It shouldn’t be a surprise that this is part of the solution for all of the health issues we’re talking about today. As we already discussed, inflammation plays a major role in your health or lack thereof. An anti-inflammatory diet is critical to supporting better digestive health by providing more beneficial bacteria in the gut. Steer clear of inflammatory foods like sugar and dairy, as well as artificial sweeteners, colors, and processed foods.
- Probiotic Support: To help support digestive health, you can also add probiotic-rich foods into your diet. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, or full-fat unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, and kombucha are all great probiotic-rich foods. It also may help to take a clean probiotic supplement to help support proper gut bacteria balance.
- Stress Reduction: The gut is sometimes referred to as the second brain. In fact, many experts believe there’s a definite relationship between your microbiome (the bacterial balance in your gut) and brain function. Studies suggest that chronic stress can trigger and intensify gastrointestinal and digestive issues. Since the brain and the gut interact closely with each other, restoring proper gut bacteria balance may help relieve stress, and conversely, relieving stress can contribute to better gut health and fewer digestive symptoms. Taking time daily to practice stress reduction may seem like something you don’t have time for, but it’s crucial to your health. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or even time consuming. Take a walk, read a book, take a hot bath, or just sit for a few minutes and practice conscious breathing. Whatever you enjoy doing, take time to do it. Your health depends on it!
The Bottom Line
Poor gut health, chronic pain, and poor immune function are three of the most common health complaints patients speak with their doctors about regularly. They are also health concerns where you can make a proactive difference, and the three are also commonly linked. That being the case, many of them share the same natural remedies. By supporting your digestive system, you will automatically be supporting better immune function, and by getting chronic pain under control, you may reduce unwanted digestive health complaints. It all goes hand in hand, so it’s important that we look at health holistically and implement as many alternative, safe and natural, side-effect free options as we can to support better health.
Try implementing some of these natural practices and see if they make a difference in your symptoms and how you feel overall. You may be surprised that when you get one symptom under control, the rest of your body starts to feel stronger and healthier too. That’s the beauty of holistic health!