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|Healing Your Body Naturally: Alternative Treatments to Illness by Gary Null|
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In Healing Your Body
Naturally, Gary Null interviews leading alternative health
practitioners nationwide to learn the secrets of their successes. He
asks the hard questions, about heart disease, mental illness,
cancer, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, back and leg ailments, and
digestive disorders. The answers he receives, distilled here
into one volume will thrill and surprise anyone suffering from the
symptoms of any of these conditions who has been frustrated by the
conventional approaches of traditional Western medicine.
Nutritionist Gary Null is one of America's leading health and fitness advocates. He has testified on health issues before the U.S. Congress and made guest appearances on various national television shows. In the New York City area, his one-hour radio program airs daily, and his syndicated two-hour show can be heard across the country. His long-running series of articles investigating the politics of medicine in the U.S. is a monthly feature of Penthouse magazine. He is the author of dozens of previous books, including The Complete Guide to Sensible Eating and How to Keep Your Feet & Legs Healthy for a Lifetime, written with Dr. Howard Robins.
The following information is excerpted from pgs. 155-165:
The orthodox treatment for arthritis includes rest and exercise; heat; surgery, including the replacement of entire joints; rehabilitation; and the use of various drugs. Arthritis medications are primarily painkillers and anti-inflammatories. They do little to stop the progress of the disease and many of them have severe side effects. The arthritis establishment that promotes these treatments has branded as quackery all other approaches, particularly chiropractic and those involving diet and nutrition.
While there certainly are worthless treatments for arthritis, the alternative approaches highlighted in this chapter have been shown to be beneficial and can be substantiated scientifically.
Nearly 40 million Americans have arthritis; over 16 million have osteoarthritis with painful symptoms. More than 250,000 children suffer from arthritis, and the prevalence of this disease is rapidly increasing. Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the primary sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, while x-rays reveal osteoarthritis in most people over the age of 65. Over 1 million American men are afflicted with gout. Arthritis costs Americans in excess of $13 billion a year. It is high time to take seriously affirmative treatments that are safe and effective.
There is evidence from various disciplines that the westernization of culture worldwide is responsible for the rapid global increase of arthritis and other degenerative disease. The underlying causes of arthritis include the nutritional deficiencies of commercially grown, processed foods; the presence of pesticides and other toxins in the environment; and the quality of the soil in which food is grown. Thus, detoxifying and cleansing both the body and its external environment are issues relevant to the long-term prospects for overcoming arthritis.
The Arthritis Industry
A few years ago the New York Times ran an article on arthritis in its Sunday business section. The title, "Arthritis: Building an Industry on Pain" (August 18, 1985), together with its placement in the business section (as opposed to the health, lifestyle, or human interest sections), gave the article a uniquely realistic point of view. For many people arthritis is seen not as a health issue per se but rather as a very lucrative growth industry. Using the example of Ann, a fairly typical arthritis sufferer, the article reveals how the symptomatic approach to arthritis of traditional medicine offers little in the way of health benefits while providing tremendous profit-making opportunities for those involved in the arthritis industry.
Ann began to suffer from arthritis at age 28. She was walking downstairs when her knees suddenly gave out, followed by a sharp burning pain. Ann's doctors diagnosed her as having rheumatoid arthritis and started her on an arduous and expensive journey through the maze of treatments used to battle arthritis in the United States. According to the Times, Ann spends more than $200 a year on medication (this is probably a very conservative estimate compared with the amount most arthritis sufferers spend for antiarthritics). This includes a daily dosage of 8 to 10 Ecotrin (aspirin) tablets, a prescription pain reliever, and 5 mg of the steroid prednisone. She visits the doctor at least once a month, at $20 to $50 a visit. Even with all this medication and regular medical attention, Ann is physically incapacitated. She has found it necessary to acquire a number of new arthritic devices designed to replace her ever-decreasing mobility: $35 for a walker, $25 for a set of canes, $15 for a reacher to get objects from shelves or retrieve them from the floor, and $130 for a padded bathtub seat. Ann has also had four of her joints replaced at a cost of $15,000 per joint. "And so," the article concludes, "Ann ... is one of the nearly 40 million consumers of the arthritis industry. It may sound odd to label arthritis as an industry, but in fact any disease-cancer, diabetes, AIDS-is not only an affliction, it is an employer. For thousands of people and scores of companies, battling arthritis is a livelihood."
The Times estimates that arthritis costs this nation $8 to $10 billion annually in medical bills and adds to those figures another $7 billion in lost wages and taxes resulting from absenteeism.
Arthritis medications are one of the pharmaceutical industry's biggest and most lucrative products. In 1982, the Times estimated in another article (also in the business section) that the projected $717 million in industry sales that year for prescription arthritis drugs would continue to increase at a phenomenal 20 percent annually.
Additionally, according to the Times:
"Drug company estimates suggest that arthritis relief accounts for anywhere from one-third to one-half of the $900 million in annual aspirin sales."
"Some arthritis sufferers gulp down as many as 10,000 aspirin tablets a year, 30 a day. The extra-big bottles, with as many as 1,000 tablets, are earmarked for arthritis sufferers."
"It is hard to pinpoint how much drug-makers earn from arthritis because anti-arthritis products also are taken for headaches, trick knees, and the many other guises of pain. But when one considers all the drugs that find use in fighting arthritis, the market bulges to something close to $3 billion in retail sales, according to analysts. Over-the-counter sales make up more than half of that total, but the swiftest growth comes from prescription drugs."
According to the New York Times (August 18, 1985) article, a spokesman for Upjohn, the manufacturer of Motrin (ibuprofen), one of the best-selling prescription antiarthritics, says about the market for arthritis products: "Every new drug that comes out seems to expand it. Since no one has a cure for arthritis and it's such a debilitating disease, people seek everything that comes along, hoping and praying that this may be the ticket."
One reason the arthritis industry is so lucrative is precisely the attitude expressed above. The arthritis establishment, which includes the pharmaceutical companies, special interest organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation, and specialized medical personnel such as rheumatologists, physical therapists, and surgeons, has consistently maintained that arthritis is an incurable disease. Therapeutically, this translates into physical therapy, ad hoc surgical intervention to replace joints, and a lifetime of medication which, even if it is effective at relieving pain, does nothing to address the cause or arrest the progression of the disease. Economically, addressing arthritis as an incurable disease is a prescription for steady, long-term profits.
The Nature and Treatment of Arthritis
While a whole variety of aches and pains are commonly attributed to arthritis, the term technically refers only to an inflamed condition affecting the joints, of which there are 68 throughout the body.
Bones cannot move upon themselves without creating a great amount of friction which would not only make movement awkward but would also cause the bones to wear down very rapidly. The joints, which are the connections between two bones, make smooth and efficient movement possible. Within the joint are the two bone ends covered with a spongy substance called cartilage, which becomes slick when lubricated. Between the two bones is a cavity containing synovial fluid, which is manufactured and contained within the joint to lubricate the cartilage and thereby ensure proper movement. The cartilage-covered bone ends, the synovial cavity, and the fluid are encased in a fibrous layer called the capsule. The capsule in turn is covered by ligaments which stretch across the joint and connect to the two bones on either end.
When the joints function normally, movement is smooth and effortless. However, if any part of the joint becomes injured or damaged, ease of movement may be replaced by pain, swelling, stiffness, and often disability and deformity In osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis, the cartilage may be worn and brittle so that it ceases to act as a shock absorber and fails to provide the cushion of support between the two bones. In rheumatoid arthritis, another very common form, the membrane that produces the synovial fluid becomes inflamed and extra fluid is leaked into the joint; the result is swelling and pain in the entire joint.
Before turning to alternative methods of treating arthritis, it is important to look at the manner in which this disease is treated by the orthodox medical establishment.
Typically, arthritis is diagnosed on the basis of a patient's symptoms, which most commonly include pain or swelling in the joint areas or some limitation of movement. There are some diagnostic tests, and x-rays may show abnormalities in the joints, but often these tests are not accurate. Thus the patient's symptoms are the central factor in determining the diagnosis.
Because medical students have been taught that there is no cure for arthritis, as doctors they do not look for the cause of the disease but rather focus on alleviating the symptoms. This approach can be very dangerous because many of the drugs used to counteract pain and swelling can have serious side effects. Even aspirin, which is ordinarily considered one of the least toxic medications and normally constitutes the first line of attack in the traditional treatment of arthritis, is not without side effects. In the treatment of arthritis, aspirin is given in large doses on a constant basis. Consequently, arthritis patients have consistently high levels of aspirin in their systems; this can result in dizziness, ringing in the ears, intestinal tract bleeding, and kidney damage.
When aspirin does not work or an arthritis sufferer develops adverse reactions to it, newer medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as the widely advertised Motrin, are used to control inflammation. Since these drugs are nonsteroidal (i.e., do not contain cortisone), they are less toxic than some medications commonly used to combat inflammation, but they nevertheless have side effects.
The NSAIDs came onto the market as effective alternatives to aspirin, which had caused intestinal bleeding in many long-term users. Ironically, while the NSAIDs are less effective than aspirin as anti-inflammatories, they also have side effects which include gastrointestinal bleeding and peptic ulcers. Other side effects include dizziness, nervousness, nausea, vomiting, and ringing in the ears. If these drugs are unsuccessful, doctors will often prescribe cortisone-derived drugs such as prednisone. These drugs are notorious for their severe toxicity. They interfere with the immune system, leaving the patient defenseless against infection and other diseases. Cortisone-type drugs also interfere with the body's healing ability, and it is not uncommon for a person taking these drugs to have bone fractures or wounds that do not heal for long periods of time.
Some rheumatologists, or doctors who treat arthritis patients, also use gold injections. This method of treatment was abandoned years ago because it was considered too dangerous, but today gold treatments are finding their way back into vogue with the medical establishment. Another technique gaining acceptance among arthritis doctors despite its tragic consequences is the use of chemotherapy drugs. The theory behind this drastic measure is that when a patient's immune system is knocked out, the patient's body is no longer able to form the antibodies which may be causing the inflammation in his or her joints. Other expensive and highly dangerous techniques include radiation therapy in the area of the inflammation, again with the intent of destroying the patient's immune response, and plasmapheresis, a procedure by which a patient's blood is drained out, filtered to remove antibodies, and then reinjected into the patient.
While the traditional medical approach to arthritis is undeniably becoming more sophisticated, it also appears to be totally missing the mark. Not only do these treatments fail to get at the cause of the disease, they are becoming more expensive, invasive, and toxic and lead to the inevitable question, Do the ends justify the means? When traditional medicine begins to turn to anticancer therapies to treat arthritis-therapies which often are cancer-causing themselves and result in such radical side effects as nausea, hair and weight loss, and total devastation of the immune system-this question becomes even more pressing.
The remainder of this chapter will discuss alternatives to the traditional approach to treating arthritis. These are not the only alternatives. There is also cod liver therapy, exercise and swimming therapy, and anti-nightshade-diet therapy These therapies will not be discussed here because they have not shown consistently favorable results. In this chapter the focus is on therapies that have had a consistently high success rate, are not toxic or expensive, and in some cases may actually get to the cause of the disease rather than merely masking symptoms.
Dr. Robert Liefmann: Holistic Balanced Treatment
Holistic balanced treatment (HBT) is derived from the work of the physician Dr. Robert Liefmann (1920-1973). Dr. Liefmann first used this treatment in 1961, after 20 years of research. Since that time over 30,000 arthritis sufferers have received the treatment, and many of them are living pain-free, normal lives.
HBT is based on the results of Dr. Liefmann’s research, which showed that many arthritis sufferers, especially those with rheumatoid arthritis, have specific hormonal imbalances. Within the body there are naturally occurring hormones called glucocorticoids whose role is to reduce inflammation and raise the level of simple sugars in the blood. One of the ways these hormones raise blood sugar levels is by converting nonglucose molecules such as protein into glucose. If unchecked, these glucocorticoids can be responsible for the collagen breakdown of cartilage in joints, which, as we discussed above, may be a contributing factor in the development of arthritis. The glucocorticoids are balanced within the body by other hormones such as testosterone and the feminizing hormones, which include estradiol; these hormones induce tissue building and hence balance the tissue-wasting effects of the glucocorticoids. If the body is not regulating these hormones, there are therapies to correct these imbalances. Dr. Liefmann developed formulas consisting of varying amounts of three basic ingredients: (1) prednisone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, (2) estradiol, an estrogenic hormone, and (3) testosterone.
According to the proponents of HBT, the anti-inflammatory property of the steroid prednisone and the healing properties of sex hormones can be used to treat arthritic conditions with minimal side effects because of the balancing action between the different components. The anabolic, or building, quality of the sex hormones acts to control the catabolic, or devastating, effects of the steroidal drug therapy (these include infection, decreased immunity, improper healing, suppression of pituitary and adrenal gland function, and fluid retention). On the other hand, the feminizing and androgenic activities of sex hormones are kept in check both by the catabolic nature of the glucocorticoids and by careful adjustment of the concentration of the sex hormones in accordance with the specific requirements of the individual patient during treatment.
Dr. Liefmann, an American married to a Canadian, was graduated from McGill Medical School in Montreal, Canada. During World War II he was drafted into the U.S. Army. A doctor in the medical corps, he was left relatively free to do research on endocrinology. After the war Dr. Liefmann continued his research in endocrinology, focusing in particular on the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Around that time cortisone was being researched and developed at the Mayo Clinic by Dr. Philip Hench, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1950 for his work on this wonder drug. In the early stages of research, cortisone was hailed as the miracle cure for arthritis for which scientists had been searching for many years. This fanfare caused many sources of research funding to begin funneling grant money into research on cortisone; accordingly, Dr. Liefmann also began to explore its potential uses and effects.
Early on, it became apparent that cortisone produces dangerous side effects when used alone. Dr. Hench and his associates continued their work to see how they could counteract the effects of cortisone. Even as early as the 1950s, Dr. Hench and his associates observed that there were fewer side effects when the drug was used concurrently with estrone (the estrogens include estradiol, estrone, and estriol) and that side effects were almost nonexistent when testosterone was used with the cortisone. It is unclear why Dr. Hench apparently discontinued his research into the benefits of combining hormones with cortisone to minimize potential side effects. However, around this time both Dr. Liefmann and another American physician, Dr. W K. Ishmael, and his colleagues were conducting similar work which essentially confirmed the finding of Dr. Hench, namely, that the side effects of cortisone could be reduced greatly when it was administered in conjunction with the proper balance of sex hormones.
Parenthetically, 30 years later, in November 1975, another group of researchers would confirm these results in a paper presented at the Southern Medical Association's 69th Annual Scientific Meeting in Miami Beach, which followed the direction of the work done earlier by Drs. Hench, Liefmann, and Ishmael. In their study the researchers measured the responses of 14 women with severe rheumatoid arthritis who were given estrogen and progesterone in amounts similar to those present in pregnant women. (In 1948, Dr. Hench had observed the effect of pregnancies on 34 women. In 30 of the 34 pregnancies, the women experienced substantial or total relief from arthritic symptoms during pregnancy. He also noted that the disease rarely began during pregnancy) In the 1975 study researchers found that the response to the hormones was often very rapid and dramatic. Not only were decreases in pain and swelling, together with increases in mobility and strength, noted, but objective test results also improved. The degree of inflammation decreased, and 6 of the 14 patients had normal sedimentation rates (which indicate the extent of inflammation) at the time the paper was presented. Before treatment, 12 patients had been moderately anemic; after the hormonal treatment, their blood tested normal. Also, x-rays indicated a lessening of soft tissue and bone softening (osteoporosis) and increased calcification of bones.
When, in the 1950s, he received an offer from the Arthritis Hospital in Sweden to apply the results of his work, Dr. Liefmann decided to leave Montreal. For a year he was given carte blanche to put to clinical use the research he had done on balancing the body's hormonal system. Much to his surprise, almost all the rheumatoid arthritis patients he treated showed great, if not total, improvement. A paper he wrote on his work was published in one of the leading medical journals in Sweden. Quite naively, Dr. Liefmann expected that when he returned to North America he would be acclaimed for the fine work he had done. He was sorely disappointed when his medical professors and colleagues were not interested in his findings. He attempted to sell his treatment to one pharmaceutical giant after another, but none was interested because his hormone compounds could not be patented and hence could not generate the type of profits to which the drug companies were accustomed. These companies told Dr. Liefmann that instead of bothering them, he should give away his medication to the government. He went to the Veteran's Administration (VA) and offered to treat the veterans with his hormonally balanced formulas, but the VA rejected his offer because the Food and Drug Administration had not approved this medication that is composed of federally approved prescription medications that can be prescribed separately by a licensed doctor.
Knowing the value of his treatment, Dr. Liefmann began quietly treating patients in his home in Montreal. His first patient was a doctor who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. After several days on the hormonally balanced treatment, all the doctor's crippling symptoms disappeared. The doctor in turn sent a child who was suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and the same thing occurred. Word began to spread, and before long Montreal newspapers were running stories on this "miraculous" new treatment for arthritis discovered by a local resident.
The news of a miracle cure for an "incurable" disease was met with considerable skepticism in the United States. Look magazine even sent two investigative journalists to Montreal to "expose" this "quack" doctor who had bamboozled the Canadian press into believing that he could treat arthritis successfully The journalists spent a week or so outside Dr. Liefmann’s home, where they observed people entering in wheelchairs and on crutches. After spending a few days there, many of those people left without their wheelchairs or crutches. Based on the personal observations of these journalists, Look did a very favorable report on Dr. Liefmann’s work which explained his method of treatment and told of the high degree of success he was having. Following that article, people from all over the United States and Canada flocked to Dr. Liefmann for treatment. With this mass migration came the wrath of the medical establishment, which was outraged that an individual doctor could succeed where they had failed.
Over his lifetime, and notwithstanding persistent harassment by the medical establishment, Dr. Liefmann treated over 20,000 arthritis patients with a very high level of success. These were for the most part people who had tried orthodox medical treatment to no avail and had been essentially abandoned by the medical establishment as hopeless. Professor Henry Rothblatt, an attorney and a close friend of Dr. Liefmann who was to defend Liefmann throughout the many legal battles waged against him, recounts how they met:
"I came to know about Dr. Liefmann from a woman physician who learned about his treatment through Look magazine and went up to see him. She was literally left to die by her colleagues. She had been rheumatoid for 25 years. She had been in one of the leading hospitals in New York, and her colleagues said, 'Doctor, we have done everything that medical science can do for you. You are just going to have to suffer your last few years and make the best of it.' Well, she decided not to suffer. She went up to see Dr. Liefmann, and within one week her crippling symptoms came to an end. She became one of his biggest fans and one of his most zealous disciples. It was through her that I met Dr. Liefmann at a time when the Canadian bureaucracy finally decided to go to work on him...."
The persecution of Dr. Liefmann was unfortunate since his treatment has been so effective for an illness that affects so many people. The fact that it is innovative and unconventional is probably the main reason for its unpopularity within the medical establishment.
The Success of HBT
In contrast to the symptom-suppressing approach taken by the traditional medical establishment, HBT is designed to address the causes of arthritis. It does this first by restoring a positive protein-building balance within the body through the administration of the trihormonal formulas described above, which at the same time works to stop pain and inflammation. Secondly, according to Prof. Rothblatt, "HBT is never administered without considering the particular need of the individual patient. The medication is adjusted for every patient ... so that the proper tissue-building and healing response can be obtained.
Respect for the uniqueness and the unique need of the individual patient is one of the essential principles of the holistic approach to health." Dr. Liefmann developed four basic formulas to account for the different requirements of each individual using HBT: (1) White Cap, which contains prednisone, testosterone, and estradiol, (2) Black Cap, which has only prednisone and estradiol, (3) Red Cap, which contains prednisone and testosterone, and (4) Green Cap, which contains only prednisone and is used only to allow women to shed the endometrium proliferation caused by the intake of the estrogen-containing preparations. In turn, the proportions of these different compounds may vary from individual to individual and may also be altered for the same person during the course of treatment.
In addition to the importance of balancing the anti-inflammatory hormones with the sex hormones to establish a healthy protein-rebuilding environment, Dr. Liefmann explored other biochemical interactions within the body which play important healing roles in arthritis. For example, he discovered that growth hormone, which is produced in the pituitary gland, acts synergistically with estradiol and testosterone to stimulate bone growth. He looked at the health of the pancreas to determine whether adequate insulin was being produce to ensure the efficient breakdown of sugar within the body, because without proper sugar metabolism, the body lacks sufficient energy to build and repair bones.
HBT also incorporates principles of nutrition and stresses the importance of regular exercise. The diet recommended in HBT eliminates "junk foods" such as sugar products and refined foods. The diet is essentially high in protein, especially animal proteins, and emphasizes high-fiber complex carbohydrates in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Vitamin and mineral supplements (prescribed by a hair analysis) are used to bolster the patient's immune system and enhance the body's natural healing abilities.
Exercise is also an important adjunct to HBT and is recommended to restore joint and muscle mobility and function as well as muscle mass lost during periods of inactivity. However, patients are generally told not to exercise until they are free of pain, swelling, and stiffness and feet confident enough to engage in it. Walking may be the first exercise; then, as patients improve, they are given specialized exercises for the hands, knees, fingers, shoulders, and other areas which may have been affected by arthritis.
The medical establishment has basically ignored, attacked, or criticized HBT therapy, even though its basis is drugs already widely used by the medical establishment. All Dr. Liefmann did was combine certain commonly prescribed drugs so as to maximize the benefits and minimize the side effects of each component drug. The balanced hormonal approach to arthritis did, however, do one unorthodox thing: it challenged the rigidly held position of the medical establishment that arthritis is an incurable disease. Was it for this reason alone that before his death in October 1973 Dr. Liefmann faced considerable opposition from the American arthritis community and was actively persecuted by the FDA?
The following are some examples of the results arthritis patients have had from using HBT:
Example 1: Malcolm had his first attack of arthritis when he was 21 years old. By the time he was 44, the pain had become constant. Deformities started to appear in the joints of his shoulders, hips, knees upper and lower spine, and breast bone. He was diagnosed with Strumpell-Marie disease (spondylitis), a form of arthritis which causes such deformities in the spine that the patient is literally bent over double.
Malcolm also had severe iritis, an inflammation of the eyes which is not uncommon in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and later extensive retinal hemorrhages were found in both eyes. During the year before his treatment with HBT, he was taking 12 to 14 aspirin tablets daily, received cortisone injections in his knee once a week, and had tried another medication which had no effect.
Malcolm began treatment with HBT in August 1962 after reading the aforementioned Look magazine article in May He experienced almost immediate relief. According to his physician, his arthritis had almost disappeared and his eyes were normal. When he was unable to get his medication in 1968, his symptoms began to return, but they subsided upon resumption of the HBT. About his treatment, Malcolm writes:
"In August 1962, when I started the medication, I weighed 149 pounds and was using a cane. I could not turn my head and could do no physical work. Today I weigh 190 pounds (I am 5 feet 11 inches tall), show absolutely no sign of arthritis, and maintain an active schedule 7 days a week. I have had my blood checked three times, and each time I have been pronounced to be in top physical condition.
"I would like to add that in 1961 I was in the hospital for tests and observation. X-rays showed that my hips were so clouded with calcium that the joints could not be seen and five vertebrae in my back were fused. I was told that in about 5 years I would be so bent that I would not be able to sit in a wheelchair. About 5 years ago, for my own information, I had a set of x-rays taken and was told that my back and hips were in better condition than the average person's."
Example 2: In 1972, at age 19, Cynthia began to experience the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Initially the arthritis was confined to her jaw and elbows, but over a period of 2 1/2 years, while she was undergoing treatment by a traditional physician, the arthritis spread to nearly every part of her body Five years later Cynthia was so crippled with pain and stiffness that it took her a half hour to get out of bed in the morning. The morning after she started HBT, her pain had almost disappeared except for some stiffness and soreness, which also went away during the following 3 days. About her condition and her subsequent treatment at the Arthritis Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, which administers HBT, Cynthia says:
"I was getting worse and worse. When I first went to my doctor, I had it just in my jaw and elbows. After 2 1/2 years, I had it in just about every place except my hips and knees. I couldn't turn my head at all.
"The doctor actually told me once that he felt really bad, that he had tried everything and didn't know what else to do, and that I had better go to the crippled children's center in Palm Beach. To tell a young woman that ... I just wanted to drive off a bridge. But I thank him for saying it because if he hadn't, I don't think I ever would have tried this place. I did it in desperation."
At the time Cynthia started HBT, she was taking 30 aspirin tablets a day which were causing headaches, ringing in her ears, and ulcers. She was spending approximately $1,000 a month on painkillers alone. While Cynthia found that she bruised and bled more easily after starting HBT, she notes that she had the same symptoms while taking large doses of aspirin. On the other hand, while the aspirin and other treatments did nothing to arrest the progression of Cynthia's arthritis, a day after she started treatment with HBT, her pain virtually disappeared and returned only when she forgot to take her medication. At present Cynthia is pain-free and works out three times a week at a health spa. She continues on her medication, but in much smaller dosages than when she started treatment with HBT.
Example 3: June also suffered from severe crippling arthritis for 2 years before starting treatment with HBT. Over that 2-year period, June received almost every form of traditional arthritis treatment available: gold injections, penicillamine, Butazolidin (phenylbutazone), small doses of prednisone, and 16 aspirins daily. June says that she was spending over $100 a week for medication alone. In the meantime she kept getting worse, and when she started HBT, she says, "I was immobile in my hands and shoulders. It was at the point that I thought, 'What's the use of living.' I couldn't even turn my head." Additionally, her liver, stomach, and kidneys were damaged by the large doses of medication. She was forced to give up her business because she was too weak and in too much pain to work. Her medical bills were ruining her financially. The second day after June received HBT in July 1979, her pain disappeared. June says about her progress with HBT:
"I woke up and I could move my ankles, I could move my hands and my feet. When I stood up, the pain wasn't there. I said to [my husband], 'My God, there's been a miracle.' It got better and better, and I guess within 2 months I didn't even know I had rheumatoid arthritis. I got a bicycle, and I started dancing again and going to the beach again. It used to be if I lay on the sand, I couldn't get up again."
June continues to be pain-free, leading a normal life, and her medication has been reduced by more than half the initial amount.
Example 4: Carolyn had complained of arthritis since she was in high school. In 1964, at age 27, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It had begun in her knees and had spread to every joint in her body except her spine, although she also experienced neck stiffness at times. In 1970 some deformities were noted, and in 1971 she had synovectomies (an operation which removes portions of the synovial membrane in the affected joint) on both knees.
From July 1973 until August 1976 she was receiving biweekly gold injections and taking Indocin (indomethacin), aspirin, and cortisone, but her condition continued to deteriorate. She was in constant pain, movement was greatly impaired, deformities were developing, and she was suffering from weakness, indigestion, nausea, and lack of appetite as a result of the medication. She was semibedridden and required splints.
Four hours after starting HBT on October 13, 1976, she experienced almost total relief from pain. Swelling and stiffness decreased, and within a few months she was able to perform all her regular activities.