Did you know that 65% of people age 65 and over suffer with joint pain and stiffness from arthritis? As the #1 source of chronic pain, it is no wonder that so many are dependent on anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Unfortunately, there are some serious side effects to taking these types of drugs. Luckily, we had the chance to interview Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, an expert on joint pain and fibromyalgia, about some natural arthritis treatments that are still just as effective.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): Why do you choose to use to treat arthritis naturally, rather than conventionally?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: If you want to do the best you can for the patient, you need to use the entire tool kit – which means the best natural therapies, but sometimes medications and prescriptions. I’m not against medications and medical procedures; I am against how they are used in this country. Safety comes second to profitability – that’s why we are seeing 200,000 deaths a year from inappropriate use of medication.
Of course, there are times they (medications and surgery) can be lifesaving – appendicitis, for example – at that point I’d go with surgery. But for arthritis, there are 30,000 unnecessary deaths a year from medications.
Natural remedies are almost always safer, usually more effective, and generally come at a lower cost.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): Arthritis affects a lot of Americans. Who is at risk? What are the symptoms?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: Basically, when you experience achy joints but not achy muscles, you most often have wear and tear arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder – associated in large parts with the Standard American Diet ( appropriately called SAD—with 18% of the calories coming from sugar, another 18% from white flour, and 12% saturated fats) – this is a highly inflammatory diet. When inflammation goes into overdrive, your joints become inflamed.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): Is there any way to tell that you are in “inflammation overdrive”?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: Here’s an example. When you get a papercut, it usually hurts for about 5 minutes and then you forget about it. Sometime, you’ll see it is still swollen 6 hours later – that means you inflammation system is in overdrive.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): What is the standard allopathic method for treating arthritis?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: It is treated with NSAID medications like Motrin and Celebrex. These are used on a daily basis, are expensive, and only mildly effective.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): What are some of the risks/side effects of NSAID’s?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: A British Medical Journal study showed that these medications as much as double or triple heart attack death risks as well as strokes. What’s worse is that the most vulnerable population for these diseases (65 and over) is taking these medications. Another study suggests they cause 16,500 deaths a year from bleeding ulcers as well.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): Can you tell us about natural arthritis treatment?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: I use a 4 step program for arthritis.
Step One: Feed Your Joints
Glucosamine sulfate (750mg 2x a day) and Condroitin sulfate (400g 2x a day) will give the joints the nutrients they need to help rebuild.
Step Two: Knock Out Inflammation
Natural arthritis treatment is actually far more effective. A herbal mix using special forms of curcumin and boswellia ( a great health food store product by Europharma called “Healthy Knees and Joints” that contains these specific ingredients) was far more effective than the arthritis medication Celebrex in a recent head on study. You can take it along with your regular medication and the effects over 6 weeks are very dramatic. Then, when your pain is gone, ask your doctor to stop your arthritis medication.
Step Three: Use Your Joints
Muscles get tight and people aren’t able to have full use of the joint. If they try to stretch, it hurts. The way to get around it is a hot compress (whatever kind) over the joint. After 10 minutes, you can stretch the joint without it hurting. Stretch it after heat and you’ll find that once you reclaim the range of motion, it’s yours. Exercise and stretching are so important.
Step Four: Check For Food Allergies
For those with horrible arthritis that nothing helps, check for food allergies. A simple elimination diet and acupressure treatment called NAET can discover the food allergies and clear them. There are increasing correlations between arthritis and nightshades.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): Is there anything else we missed that you’d like to share with our readers?
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum: The key thing, for pain in general…if you hurt all over and you also have trouble sleeping along with fatigue, there is a good chance you also have fibromyalgia -which requires a special form of treatment.
One in four adults have chronic pain in the US. It is poorly treated. But pain is not the enemy: it is like the red flashing oil light on your “body’s dashboard” telling you that something needs attention. Don’t put a band aid on it. Recognize what your body is telling you , so you can give it what it needs. This can make the pain go away! For Fibromyalgia, our major placebo controlled study showed 91% of fibromyalgia patients improved, usually dramatically, by treating with the SHINE Protocol; Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition,Exercise . By the end of 3 months of treatment, most people no longer even qualified as having Fibromyalgia!
Jacob Teitelbaum MD, is medical director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, and author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! and Pain Free 1-2-3—A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now. www.EndFatigue.com