SWEAT TEST A new study finds waiting
for a diagnosis causes more anxiety than
actually knowing you’re seriously ill.
exercising or work out harder than
you would have otherwise. Just don’t
overdo it. “If you are going to work
out, get a cup of coffee on the way,”
Black says. “There’s good evidence it
makes your muscles feel better.”
The omega- 3
fatty acids in
fish that help
ticker in top shape may also tame the
pain or inflammation of rheumatoid
arthritis, migraines, and some auto-
immune diseases, including Crohn’s
disease. Even chronic neck- and back-
pain patients can benefit: In an open
trial at the University of Pittsburgh,
60 percent of respondents experi-
enced some relief after taking fish oil
for three months, and almost as many
dropped their pain drugs altogether.
“We found we could substitute fish
oil in place of drugs—an anti-inflammatory with no side effects in
place of pharmaceuticals with side
effects,” says Joseph C. Maroon, M.D.,
clinical professor in the Department
of Neurological Surgery at the
University of Pittsburgh Medical
Center and the study’s coauthor.
Aim for two to four meals a week
of fatty fish such as salmon, Atlantic
mackerel, sardines, or trout—all top
omega- 3 sources. Halibut, light tuna,
snapper, and striped bass are good,
too. Not a fan of the fin? Consider a
daily supplement containing both
EPA and DHA—the key omega- 3
fats—suggests Maroon. If you are
taking a blood thinner, check with
your doctor first; omega-3s may
increase that drug’s effects. ;
FROM TOP: ILLUSTRATION BY DOMINIC CLIFFORD; ISTOCKPHOTO; ILLUSTRATION BY
RYAN SNOOK. ANXIETY-STUDY FINDINGS: ELVIRA LANG, M.D., HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
The Anti- inflammatory Diet
response to infection, injury, and even
environmental toxins like pollution and an
unhealthy diet—is essential to the healing
process. But chronic inflammation can
cause pain in and of itself. A good way to cut
pain across-the-board: Give your entire menu a
makeover. “An anti-inflammatory diet is the
single most important thing I offer patients for
pain control and the single hardest thing for them to do,” says William Welches, D.O.,
Ph. D., a pain specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
That’s because the typical American diet is awash in inflammation-triggering
omega- 6 fatty acids—found in meat, eggs, and the vegetable oils prevalent in
processed foods—and low in inflammation-calming omega-3s fats. The goal is to
strike a better balance between the good and the not-so-good fats. Here’s how.
Limit processed foods, such as lunchmeats and boxed cookies or crackers.
Avoid saturated fats, trans fats, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Cook with olive and canola oils.
Consume more fish, nuts, seeds, and beans—and less animal protein.
Aim for at least eight servings daily of fruits and vegetables, which are
chock-full of inflammation-quelling antioxidants. —B.H.