Costochondritis is a condition in which one of your ribs -- or the cartilage that attaches to your rib -- becomes inflamed. Costochondritis is a relatively common cause of chest pain. In most cases, notes MayoClinic.com, the cause of your costochondritis may be unclear, although certain illnesses, including fibromyalgia, trauma, costosternal joint infections, may contribute to this condition. To better understand the role of diet and nutrition in your costochondritis treatment plan, meet with your doctor to discuss diet-related topics.
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Costochondritis most commonly affects teenagers and young adults, notes the National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics. This condition is characterized by prolonged aching chest pain mixed with periodic bouts of stabbing pain in your affected area. In some cases, costochondritis-related pain may mimic the pain of a heart attack. Deep breathing and altering your posture or position often exacerbate it. Pain and tenderness next to your sternum, or breastbone, is the most common symptom associated with this condition.
One of the most helpful dietary approaches in treating your costochondritis may involve the elimination of foods from your diet that promote inflammation and increasing your consumption of foods with known anti-inflammatory effects. According to certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," foods high in flavonoids are particularly helpful in quelling inflammation throughout your body and include spinach, blueberries and strawberries. Fresh pineapple and papaya may also be beneficial for this health purpose. Consider eliminating soft drinks, sugar and junk foods from your diet.
A Beneficial Food
Strawberries may be a beneficial food in reducing your costochondritis-related inflammation. Strawberries, states George Mateljan, a nutritionist, biologist and author of "The World's Healthiest Foods," contain nutrients called ellagitannins and anthocyanins that possess powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Strawberries are excellent sources of vitamin C and manganese and good sources of iodine and dietary fiber. Strawberries, notes Mateljan, can last for up to three days if they are properly stored and refrigerated.
If you develop the characteristic signs and symptoms of costochondritis, do not delay seeking treatment for your ailment. In most cases, this health problem will self-resolve, although conventional and conservative treatment measures may speed your recovery and improve your quality of life. To learn more about natural treatment methods for this condition, including diet and nutrition, schedule an appointment with a naturopathic physician or a medical doctor who specializes in clinical nutrition.
- National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics: Costochondritis
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
- "The World's Healthiest Foods"; George Mateljan; 2007