Articles by Dr. Arnold

Articles by Dr. Arnold

Small RhombusHealth articles by Dr. Fred Arnold focus on prolotherapy, pain rehabilitation and natural healing.

Articles by Dr. Fred Arnold


Fred G. Arnold, DC, NMD

In 431 B.C., Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine said, Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food. The healing properties of food have been reported by cultures worldwide throughout history. However, the past decade has presented an explosion of clinical research to show specifically what health benefits individual foods can offer, identifying the various nutrients and phytochemicals associated with these benefits. Neutrigenomics is the science that identifies the impact of dietary control on genetic expression and our overall health including pain. The foods that we eat have a profound effect on our body sending information to our genes that tell our body to ‘age slowly”, ‘burn fat’, and ‘be more or less inflamed’. It is the chronic inflammation cycle that contributes to many chronic painful conditions. The fact that inflammation is part of chronic pain conditions explains why many doctors prescribe pain medications to treat inflammation.

The origins of pain stem from inflammation and when we minimize the amount of negative foods that contribute to inflammation we can begin to take control of our pain. Taking control of what we eat and put into our body greatly influences inflammation. The foods we eat can either exacerbate or calm down chronic illness and pain.

Foods That Can Help Treat Pain
The best foods to eat in order to help prevent chronic pain will be those that help to reduce and minimize inflammation in the body. These foods tend to be high in fiber relative to starch and sugar content. It is the naturally occurring chemicals in vegetables and fruit that send anti-inflammatory messages to your genes. The following includes some of the specific nutrients that help to deal with chronic pain:

  • Turmeric: used in cooking and can also be taken as a supplement.
  • Ginger: may be taken as a tea or used in cooking.
  • Bromelain: an enzyme found in pineapple or can be taken as a supplement.
  • Tart cherries: a powerful inflammation inhibitor; and Berries: these alter gene expression and reduce inflammation.

Foods that contribute to pain
There are certain groups of foods that will significantly contribute to almost any chronic disease and pain and should be avoided to help reduce chronic painful conditions: high amounts of sugar or starch ,white flour, soda drinks, margarine; hydrogenated fats and oils, and processed foods.

Food Intolerances
Foods that are considered healthy, natural or even anti-inflammatory for most people may have the opposite effect in others. Identifying these food intolerances is especially important in someone suffering from pain. Through a careful history and specific food testing, I have helped many patients significantly reduce or eliminate pain by removing intolerable foods from their diets. Some of the more common foods people are intolerant to include: dairy products, eggs, gluten products (wheat, rye, oats, barley), and peanuts.

Night Shades and Chronic Pain
In her book, Pain Free in 6 Weeks, Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., discusses how a group of plants called nightshades contributes to chronic pain. Nightshades include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tobacco, and spices.

Potato Category: obvious sources are baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, French fries, scalloped potatoes, and foods that contain potato products.

Tomato Category: obvious sources in ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and pizza. Other sources include A-1 Steak Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, baked beans, barbecue sauces, meat load gravies and Thousand Island salad dressing.

Pepper Category: includes red, green, yellow, orange, jalapeno, chili and pimento.

Eggplant Category: rarely disguised and prepared as eggplant Parmesan, eggplant lasagna, or stuffed eggplant.

Tobacco: each puff on a cigar or cigarette is like an intravenous injection of nightshades.

Spices: spices of the nightshade family include cayenne, chili, curry, ground red pepper, crushed red pepper, and paprika. Nearly all processed foods and commercial salad dressings contain nightshade spices.

Never give up hope of curing your pain. Realize that your pain has a source or cause, even if your doctor has not been able to find it and realize the cause of your pain is not due to the absence of pain medications. It is always amazing what our bodies are able to do with proper nutrition and when food intolerances are identified and eliminated from our diet. As a Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Fred Arnold, performs testing that is able to identify food intolerances that can be a source of inflammation and pain in the body.

Brownstein, David M.D., Overcoming Arthritis, Medical Alternatives Press, West Bloomfield, MI
Food and Pain, Pain Pathways, Fall 2011, pgs. 63-66.
Rogers, Sherry A.M.D., Pain Free in 6 Weeks, Sand Key Company Inc., Sarasota, Fl

With over 20 years of clinical experience, Fred G. Arnold D.C., N.M.D specializes in Prolotherapy/Pain Rehabilitation services. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy Health Care Providers, member of American Academy of Pain Management and he is one of the few physicians in the nation with both a naturopathic medical degree and chiropractic degree. 602-292-2978.