Natural Remedies to Reduce Inflammation: Bromelain, Black Cherry Concentrate, Diet, Exercise
It seems recently, more than ever, I've been representing the phrase I once heard - "I'm so far behind, I think I'm FIRST!" In trying to figure this out, it's occurred to me that I'm a big part of my own problem. For a great deal of time in the last three years, I've been living and volunteer working in Tanzania, and then trying to return to the U.S. and catch up on my life here. Of course, I guess I forgot to mention that I've also had three major joint replacement surgeries during that time, with lots of therapy and recovery time. No wonder I'm behind!
At first I thought perhaps that, since I'll be turning 68 very soon, THAT was the problem; the reality is I've just been trying to do way too much. Of
course the people reading this who know me well are probably mumbling to themselves, "Gee, maybe she's catching on!"
Yesterday, I made the mistake of looking realistically at my backyard in horror and wondered when the jungle suddenly appeared. With all of the rain we've had recently, my yard is starting to look like a rainforest. When I returned from Africa in April with a broken fibula, I finally accepted that I needed help with my mowing, and luckily found a
super guy to help. (I'd decided that since my surgeon was sending me to physical therapy for several weeks, mowing was probably nothing I should attempt.)
Today, I swallowed my pride and asked Tom for help with the jungle also; he was pleased that I'd asked for his help. I probably need to learn to deal with my challenges one at a time, but I admittedly am not good at doing that.
On a very positive note, I've learned to eat differently than I use to (something I learned from my native friends): I eat primarily fresh fruits and vegetables, some grains, grilled fish, and a variety of dried beans (cooked of course). My primary care physician is thrilled with all of my lab results and many friends are amazed at the amount of weight I've lost. I continue to avoid spicy food at the recommendation of my healer friend in Africa. My orthopedic surgeon was thrilled at how rapidly my knee healed after the total knee replacement last May, and agreed that the change in diet seemed to be a vital part of it.
Many traditional medical doctors are starting to work as a team with native healers. My
first concern when this was suggested was a mental image of someone in a grass skirt dancing around me with rattles and chants like my image of a voodoo doctor from TV!
Much to my pleasant surprise, my healer wore khaki trousers and a polo shirt instead.
There are many other non-traditional NATURAL things that are being used in several countries. I had a severe black eye from my fall in Africa (when I broke my leg). A friend in America suggested I try Bromelain which is an over the counter pineapple enzyme which her eye surgeon had recommended she try after surgery. It worked very quickly as an anti-inflammatory for me.
I read later that some ear, nose and throat doctors were also using it orally to reduce sinus inflammation. I mentioned that to my friend who was amazed how quickly it worked. Many years after I was first diagnosed with osteoarthritis, my workout partner recommended I try taking black cherry concentrate capsules. When I asked our rheumatologist on the arthritis board about it, his response was, "Of course it helps many people; where have you been?"
I'm not a doctor, but I am a concerned and interested OA patient. I would love to avoid more surgery if possible, and prefer the natural remedies to the prescription painkillers. I KNOW that I have OA and have to deal with its' challenges, but will continue to be open to new and varied treatments. I'm maintaining workouts several days per week at our fitness facility, alternating exercises in our warmwater therapy pool and days on treadmills, exercise bikes, and light free weights.
I'm also concentrating on helping a friend produce a new website for my photography business.
I really don't mind hanging up my pruning shears and putting away the lawnmower. I
need to concentrate on what helps my health and makes me happier and less frustrated.