Janine Costanzo

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Hi all,

I'm on day 20 of my Whole30. One of the symptoms that I was hoping to clear up a little bit is the chronic neck/shoulder pain that I have, which sometimes gives me a headache. I was doing well in that regard until last night, when my neck was tight for some reason and I had a really bad headache.

Normally I would take two ibuprofen and it'll go away. I looked at the bottle, and saw a fairly long list of inactive ingredients. At least two of them aren't Whole30 compliant: corn starch and lactose. There's other things that may not be compliant either (I don't know what they all are).

I don't have any other painkillers in my house, so I decided to go to bed and hope that it'd go away on its own. I woke up around 3 AM, and my headache was worse than before. I tossed and turned for half an hour before I decided that there was no way I was going to be able to get back to sleep while in that kind of pain. I got up and took two (200 mg) ibuprofen tablets. I was able to fall asleep about 15 minutes later, as the pain wasn't quite as bad by then.

I woke up today and so far, I seem to be better. My neck is stiff but the headache is gone. Meanwhile, I'm feeling guilt about taking the pills that I knew had non-compliant ingredients in them. I'm really hoping this doesn't mean I need to start my Whole30 over...does it? I did a forum search and it was said that while NSAIDs aren't good to take, they are permitted. But nothing I found said anything about the inactive ingredients needing to be compliant or not. Do they have to be?


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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 years later...

I threw my back out almost two days into the whole 30. On day 20 after an excruciating day I had three ibuprofen and finally the pain subsided enough so I could sleep. Again I am waking up at 4:30 in the morning writhing in pain in my bed on day 22. Heat, epsom salt, massage, acupuncture, .. I'm miserable. My entire whole 30 i''ve been in terrible back pain. Tigers blood!!!?? I'd be grateful if I just felt normal. The ibuprofen is the only thing that took the pain down to where I could function. I don't want to take it, what can I do. Is this some sort of healing crisis to suffer through or can I just feel absolved to take the ibuprofen and manage the pain enough to stand on my feet, be a parent, work, and make all the clean food I'm eating. I mean I cut out coffee, nightshades and egg whites too, but I haven't had back pain this bad since my original injury over twenty years ago??!! 

Trying to hold off on the Advil, but what's going on?

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@Michael in Portland You mightn't have had back pain this bad in 20 years, but just 20 days ago you injured yourself again. It's not for anyone on this forum to diagnose as to whether or not you should continue to take ibuprofen or suffer through pain. Eating clean food and cutting out coffee and nightshades is fine if that's what you've chosen to do. But that is unlikely to help heal an injured back.

Sometimes.....it's not about the food at all.

Sorry you're struggling. :( 

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You've listed heat, massage, acupuncture, and other things, but you haven't mentioned going to the doctor. It's possible that this isn't connected to your original injury...trying to fight through the pain and tough it out because you don't want to take some ibuprofen is just adding stress to your body. Added stress and pain helps absolutely not at all. 

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