Health Resources Library

Control Inflammation Naturally

I was researching something for a patient today and came across some startling numbers. It turns out that there are over 70 million prescriptions written every year for NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and over 30 billion tablets sold over-the-counter each year. WOW! That’s about 22% of the entire population of the US taking at least one prescription of these drugs every year.

This family of medications is so popular that many people forget just how dangerous they are. NSAID’s are responsible for over 107,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths every year due to gastric bleeding and that is a very conservative number because it was only accounting for those taking these drugs for osteoarthritis.

Unfortunately, the public at large seems to think that these medications are as safe as candy and they are quite cavalier about taking them whenever they have the slightest ache. I even know friends who take them before they play a sport just so they won’t be sore after. Let me state unequivocally that post-exercise soreness is not due to a drug deficiency!

So if taking these meds isn’t a great option, are there other safer options available? Absolutely!

Start with the Basics


What we eat makes a dramatic difference in how much inflammation we have in our bodies. Foods like refined sugar, processed man-made foods, and even excessive intake of grains are pro-inflammatory. Foods like grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, organic fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats are all anti-inflammatory.


When we flex and contract our muscles during exercise we release anti-inflammatory chemicals called “myokines” to counteract the fact that some of our muscle fibers are breaking down during the exercise. This small stress on the system reduces chronic and systemic inflammation. It is also important to balance our exercise with proper rest and recovery.

One of the best approaches to exercise that maximizes the anti-inflammatory response in the body is called Interval Training.  These short bursts of intense workouts increase the production of human growth hormones and stimulate the production of chemicals that trigger the immune system to decrease inflammation.

Vitamins and Herbs

There are some great natural anti-inflammatory nutrients and herbs that can be taken to further reduce inflammation. Probably the most well-known is a compound called curcumin, found in the spice turmeric. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. My patients often tell me that it works as good, if not better than their ibuprofen pills. And it turns out that it is great for your brain too.

Important vitamins like Vitamin D, either from sun exposure or in supplement form can also help to balance the immune system and regulate our inflammation levels.

Other helpful compounds include resveratrol, quercetin, omega-3 fish oils, black seed oil, enzymes like nattokinase and serrapeptidase, and antioxidants like NAC, glutathione, and Vitamins C and E.

Advanced Treatments


When significant damage has already been done to joints or there is an acute injury there are some impressive new technologies that are available.  Where typical injections such as cortisone have been shown to accelerate the degeneration of the joint, these newer approaches can speed the healing and even regenerate the lost cartilage.


Ozone injections stimulate a healing response in the tissues by stimulating the release of chemical signals that typically accompany an injury, thus fooling the body to send a more robust healing response to the area.


Similar to the mechanism at work with ozone injections, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections can recruit the body’s repair system to accelerate the resolution of injury and inflammation.

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2 responses to “Control Inflammation Naturally”

  1. Deborah Sudweeks says:

    Would you consider teaching a class in South Salt Lake?

  2. Duggar Wellness says:

    Yes, we love teaching and if you have a location and an audience that is ready to hear about a specific topic we can certainly arrange something. Send us an email at and we can discuss what you have in mind.