Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.
by Phillip Day
Everyone knows someone who suffers from the degenerative condition of arthritis. Stiffness, pain in the early morning upon rising, incapacitation, joint swelling, bony fingers, bone spurs, hip and knee problems – those aluminium walkers.
Arthritis in all its manifestations has traditionally been regarded as an old person’s disease, and yet, more and more, children and teenagers are afflicted. Arthritis, as we shall see, is the most treatable of illnesses, and extremely easy to prevent. Once again, cultures adhering to proper water and salt intake, plenty of sunshine and exercise, and an adequate plant-based diet full of fresh whole-foods free of pesticides, sugar and other contaminants DO NOT GET ARTHRITIS.
There are several forms of the disease to review. Firstly, the extremely common…
Osteoarthritis: First manifests with stiffness or pain in the wrist, fingers, knees, hips, etc. Joint crepitus, stiffness after periods of inactivity, narrowed joint spaces, cartilage erosion, bone spurs, etc. Over 45 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, many undergoing joint replacement surgery after many years of pain killers and other drugs.
Primary osteoarthritis is the manifestation that leads one to believe that this form of arthritis is simply a disease of old age. Science believes that a breakdown in the cartilage matrix forming the cartilage, the gel-like material that acts as the shock-absorber layer between the joints, provokes an enzyme reaction which destroys further cartilage formation, causing bones to abrase, creating pain and extreme discomfort.
Secondary osteoarthritis is the term usually given to osteoarthritis which has occurred as a result of some primary incident trigger, usually an accident, surgery, hormonal irregularities, gout, previous fractures, etc.
Problems with the official treatments
Drs. Murray and Pizzorno report that in many cases, osteoarthritis, if left alone without any nutritional or therapeutic intervention, will clear itself.1 One study catalogued the natural progression of the disease in the hip over a ten-year period with no therapeutic intervention. X-rays were taken to confirm that the disease was in its advanced stages in the subjects to be studied. Later, after the patients were left alone with no therapeutic intervention, X-rays taken later confirmed that improvements did occur over time, with complete recoveries being experienced in fourteen of the thirty-one hips studied.2
Usually, arthritis sufferers are treated with aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen derivatives (Motrin, Advil, etc.). Many of these drugs have side-effects which include gastro-intestinal upsets, headaches, dizziness, ulcers, and a propensity to inhibit cartilage synthesis and promote further cartilage disintegration.3 As Murray and Pizzorno conclude, “NSAIDS appear to suppress the symptoms but accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis.”4 Eventually, the patient either has to opt for joint-replacement surgery where applicable, or simply ‘put up with it’ and suffer progressive degeneration with the help of a constant diet of painkillers.
Animal-based diets are known to cause arthritis, plant-based diets don’t. Animal-based diets come with a slew of dietary cholesterol, toxins, hormones, bad fats, heavy metals, are invariably cooked, and cause a range of problems for the immune system in particular. Switching to a 100% plant-based, organic diet is strongly recommended for those suffering from arthritis in any form. This way of eating enables the body to clear itself of toxins fast, normalise insulin, boost oxygen, toughen bones and cartilage, increase hydration and provides the correct nutritive elements such as fine calcium and whole salts with which to repair damage.
Vitamin D connection
Chronic shortage of vitamin D has been linked to various forms of arthritis.5 Vitamin D is now known to be intrinsic to the proper functioning of cells to the extent that this secosteroidal hormone up-regulates around 10% of the human genome. Regular exposure to sunlight is often discouraged by authorities due to misplaced fears of skin cancer, and yet cancer itself is linked to chronic vitamin D deficiency!6 The elderly don’t often put themselves out to get proper sun exposure and so the deficiency deepens.7 Likewise those from other countries with darker skin are far more vulnerable to developing arthritis in northern-latitude countries.
The hormone connection
In females, increased incidences of osteoarthritis coincide with estrogen dominance, provoking menopausal symptoms of flushing, mood changes, sweats, etc. (see Menopausal Problems). Tamoxifen, an estrogen suppressor and chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of estrogen-positive breast cancers, appears to decrease the erosion of cartilage, but Tamoxifen brings with it an increased risk of uterine cancer and mortality.9 Osteoarthritis in women is clearly linked to hormonal irregularities, which is why the most effective natural and non-toxic protocols for menopausal problems work so well with arthritis in women. As proof of this, estrogen dominance also coincides with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) (see Hypothyroidism). Those with hypothyroidism are known to have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis as time proceeds.
Causes of primary osteoarthritis
- Animal-based diets predominant in sucrose, white flour products and refined processed foods
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Chronic long-term dehydration. Acidic metabolic by-products are not washed from the system with a consistent supply of fresh, clean water. In dehydration, the body initiates drought-management procedures designed to create pain to limit function and avoid damage to joint structures
- The nightshade family (Solanaceae) of vegetables have been known to trigger osteoarthritis. These include tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant. Some speculate that it is not the vegetables themselves but pesticides residues on the plants that are to blame
- ‘Junk in the joints’. Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where excessive wear on the intestinal membranes (usually by gluten and other antagonists), render them permeable to undigested food proteins passing from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, thickening up the blood (a condition known as ‘Rouleau’). The body attempts to stash the ‘junk’, sometimes into the joint area, provoking an immune system reaction. Excess acid is a common by-product of 21st century diets, which inhibits the formation of new cartilage10
Causes of secondary osteoarthritis
These, as mentioned in the ‘secondary osteoarthritis’ section above, will include ‘primary events’ that trigger the condition. This could be a fall, hormonal problems, or other conditions usually revolving around an overly acidic body system.
Rheumatism involves fever, weakness, swollen and ‘warm’ joints, deformities of the joints in hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis has long been termed an ‘auto-immune disease’, wherein the immune system appears selectively to destroy connective tissue, tendons, joint muscles and bone. Traditional medicine points to a specific genetic marker, HLA-DRw4, which allegedly predisposes the subject to RA. In reality, RA cannot thrive without key environmental factors being present, the chief of these being vitamin D deficiency11, malnutrition and dehydration.12
Other related conditions:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): A chronic, inflammatory disease involving connective tissue and other organs of the body. Symptoms include a red, scaly rash on the face, affecting the nose and cheeks. Mouth sores, arthritis, progressive damage to the kidneys and heart, low white cell count and anaemia. The condition is diagnosed by the presence of abnormal antibody activity. Lupus is described as an ‘auto-immune’ condition. Stress, shocks, personal distress are implicated. Fungal involvement producing these antibodies is suspected and should be verified as a secondary factor to the original cause.
Ankylosing spondylitis: An inflammatory disorder of the joint capsules which affects young men, mostly damaging connective tissue around the spine and large joints.
Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis): A chronic disorder affecting skin, internal organs and joints, presenting waxy, scaly skin, ivory in colour, due to blood vessel abnormalities. The illness can extend to other organs of the body, changing the character of tissue and presenting a whole range of symptoms from mild to fatal. Abnormal cell growth in the oesophagus is characteristic of about one third of cases. Again, vitamin D deficiency and secondary fungal involvement are suspected.
All rheumatoid arthritis sufferers demonstrate an altered microbial flora and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The severity of RA in a patient correlates to the degree of fungal overgrowth in the body.13 Medicine has fixated on the presence of antibodies in RA sufferers without zeroing in on why they are there in the first place (dehydration). Mycoplasmic microbes are known to infect joints which trigger specific attacks on them by immune factors.
Other causes for RA will be an immune system reaction to foreign proteins (antigens) such as casein in cow’s milk. Also, grief, stress, poisoning, a physical blow or accident can trigger the immune reaction we know as rheumatism.
Nutritional support for arthritis centres around optimising vitamin D levels, hydration, detoxification, diet changes and exclusions, stress reduction techniques, the ingestion of suitable mineral salts, parasite-cleansing if applicable, and the ingestion of joint factors such as glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate (sulphates have been found to incorporate sulphur into cartilage and promote healing).14 Boron, manganese, chromium and zinc also help.
Summary of arthritis
All the evidence from science and practical application in clinics around the world indicates the following:
- Those with arthritis are vitamin-D-deficient
- They consume the traditional animal-based diets of western cultures
- They possess an acidic, dehydrated system for which traditional drug medicine is of little to no help
- Dehydration, loss of mineralised salts, diet and lifestyle are all primary factors in the development of the conditions. Food sensitivity problems and heightened ingestion of junk trans-fats are key areas for investigation
- Chronic long-term stress or a one-off social catastrophe/shock can be a trigger to auto-immune conditions
- Yeast, fungi and associated mycotoxins are implicated in rheumatoid arthritis
- Impaired or dysfunctional digestion must be corrected
Patients suffering from any manifestations of arthritis may benefit from::
- SUPERVISION: Secure the services of an MD or ND knowledgeable in nutritional treatments for arthritis
- DIET: Commence hydrating the body to the extent of half the patient’s bodyweight in ounces of water per day (viz: a 160 lb male can drink 80 oz of water a day, which is approximately 10 glasses). Half a teaspoon (tsp) of Himalayan salt is recommended per 10 glasses of water. Maintain over the long term
- DIET: COMMENCE THE ANTI-CANDIDA DIETARY REGIMEN. High quality, organic food is the key here, as always, eaten four or five times a day. The diet should be 100% plant-based and at least 80% eaten raw to preserve enzyme activity, vitamins and other nutrients. Remember, cooked food is dead food nutritionally. Avoid ALL meats, fish, eggs, cow’s milk and dairy in general
- DIET: Hyaline Liquid Formula supplement or similar which contains extremely high-grade forms of glucosamine, chondroitin, aggrecan, dermatan sulphate, keratan sulphate, hyaluronic acid, fibronectin, collagen and elastin, boron, manganese, chromium and zinc. 10 ml once a day or as directed by your healthcare professional. Children, as directed
- DETOXIFICATION: Magnesium oxide bowel cleanse
- RESTORE NUTRIENT BALANCE: COMMENCE THE BASIC SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM or ANTI-FUNGAL SUPPLEMENTATION, ensuring:
- Vitamin C complex (ascorbates plus bioflavonoids), 25–50 g per day or to bowel tolerance (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements before taking)
- Get vitamin D blood level tested using a 25(OH)D serum test available by mail order from www.vitamindtest.org.uk, even if you live abroad. Optimise levels to 150–200 nmol/L. If you live in a country with poor weather, supplement with vitamin D3, along with periodic checks on D3 levels (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements before taking)
- Vitamin B6 pyridoxine, 75 – 200 mg per day, preferably with a B-complex supplement (do not exceed B6 500 mg/day)
- Vitamin B3 niacin (not sustained release), 500 mg, twice a day. For acute cases, niacin may be applied at this dosage up to 6–8 times a day (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements before taking)
- Selenium, 200 mcg per day
- Digestive enzyme supplement, as directed, taken between meals on an empty stomach
- TIP: Essential fatty acid intake is vital (this is part of THE BASIC SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM). Ideally, increased intakes of krill oil and/or flaxseed oil (1 tbsp per day) meal should be included.
- TIP: Pay special attention to foods that need to be avoided in THE ANTI-CANDIDA DIETARY REGIMEN. These will also include a precautionary embargo on the nightshade family, e.g. potatoes, peppers, tobacco, eggplant and tomatoes
Excerpted from The ABC’s of Disease by Phillip Day
1 Murray, M & J Pizzorno, Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine, Little, Brown, UK, p.696
2 Perry, GH, Smith, MJG & CG Whiteside, “Spontaneous recovery of the hip joint space in degenerative hip disease”, Ann Rheum Dis 31 (1972): pp.440–8
3 Shield, MJ, “Anti-inflammatory drugs and their effects on cartilage synthesis and renal function”, Eur J Rheumatol Inflam 13 (1993): pp.7–16
4 Murray, M & Joseph Pizzorno, Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine, op. cit. p.697
5 Studies can be viewed at www.vitamindcouncil.org
7 Breijawi N, Eckardt A, Pitton MB, Hoelzl AJ, Giesa M, von Stechow D, Haid F, Drees P “Bone mineral density and vitamin D status in female and male patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip”, Eur Surg Res. 2009;42(1):1–10. Epub, 2008 Oct 30
8 Goswami R, Mishra SK, Kochupillai N “Prevalence & potential significance of vitamin D deficiency in Asian Indians”, Indian J Med Res. 2008 Mar;127(3):229–38.
9 Ransom, Steven, Great News on Cancer in the 21st Century, op. cit; Lavie, O, Barnett-Griness, O, Narod, SA & G Rennert “The risk of developing uterine sarcoma after Tamoxifen use”, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, vol.18, iss.2, 16 Aug 2007, pp.352–356
10 See index: Molecular mimicry
11 Mouyis M, Ostor AJ, Crisp AJ et al “Hypovitaminosis D among rheumatology outpatients in clinical practice”, Rheumatology (Oxford). 2008 Sep;47(9):1348–51. Epub 2008 May 22
12 Batmanghelidj F and Phillip Day The Essential Guide to Water and Salt, Credence, 2008
13 Henriksson, AEK, et al, “Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with rheumatoid arthritis”, Annals Rheumatic Dis 52 (1993): pp.503–10
14 Karzel, K and R Domenjoz, “Effect of hexosamine derivatives and uronic acid derivatives on glycosaminoglycan metabolism of fibroblast cultures”, Pharmacology 5 (1971): pp. 337–345. Also Vidal, RR y Plana et al, “Articular cartilage pharmacology: In vitro studies on glucosamine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs”, Pharmacol. Res Comm 10 (1978): pp. 557–569. Also Mazieres B et al, “Chondroitin sulphate in the treatment of gonarthritis and coxarthritis. 5 months results of a multicenter double-blind controlled prospective study using placebo”, Rev Rhum Mal Osteoartic Vol 59 (7–8) 1992, pp. 466–472.