By Dr. Bruce Fife
“I have had chronic pain for 10 years,” says Barbara Moody of Redmond, Washington. “Because of the pain I had to end my career as a firefighter.” She also was an avid rock climber and runner, but had to give those up too. Barbara suffered from arthritis in her knees and back with accompanying nerve involvement in her feet. Walking summoned pain with every step. Over the years she endured four back surgeries and a spinal fusion. Despite medications and surgeries, her condition continued to worsen. Doctors recommended a fifth surgery and second fusion.
Conventional treatments for arthritis rely on drugs and surgery to calm inflammation and deaden pain. Doctors have yet to fully understand what causes arthritis. Treatment consists of trying to ease symptoms. This approach may help reduce the pain and discomfort temporarily, but does nothing to stop the progression of the disease.
Although arthritis can occur at almost any age, the risk of developing this degenerative disease increases as we get older. Many doctors consider it an unavoidable part of the aging process. They give their patients pain killers and tell them to “learn to live with it.”
Over the years many theories have been proposed as to the cause of arthritis including food allergies, genetics, trauma, and infection. As the evidence mounts it is becoming evident that arthritis occurs primarily as a consequence of infection. Researchers have identified numerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi with all the forms of arthritis. The disease can be triggered by almost any type of infection, such as the flu, a urinary tract infection, or even candidiasis. The most common cause, however, appears to be from infected teeth and gums. Bacteria from oral infections can easily filter into the bloodstream and cause secondary infections in the joints.
If arthritis is caused by microorganisms then you might think the solution would be simple—antibiotics! While antibiotics can help with the systemic condition, they often have little effect on the joints. One of the reasons for this is that joints do not have a blood supply like other organs. Our joints are encased in a tough protective membrane. Blood cannot pass through this membrane, but bacteria can. Consequently, joints make a good hiding place for them.
Without blood circulation, white blood cells and antibiotics are less effective in fighting off invasion. If the infection is caused by a virus or fungus, antibiotics are completely useless. Chronic infection in the joints can cause arthritis during or immediately after an illness or it may not show up for months or years. Infections can flair up whenever the body is put under stress. Therefore, people with no apparent symptoms or who have only a mild case of arthritis can go alone fine without problem and then suddenly be hit was an attack of arthritis pain. Triggers can be anything that stresses the body such as poor diet, allergies, illness, excessive physical or emotional stress, exposure to toxins, and even aging.
If antibiotics are of little value in combating the arthritic infections what can be done? Knowing what causes arthritis provides a key to understanding the cure. The book The New Arthritis Cure: Eliminate Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Pain Permanently outlines several important steps you must take to overcome this crippling disease, stop the pain, and restore flexibility and motion.
The first step is to build up your immune system so it can more effectively fight off chronic infection. The primary way to do this is by dietary modification. In fact, a poor diet is a major contributing factor to the development of arthritis. A lack of good nutrition depresses immune function allowing infection to spread and migrate into joint tissues. A diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, organic meat, eggs, and dairy and the reduction or elimination of overly processed foods is a must. Sweets and refined carbohydrates are the worst offenders. They contain little nutritional value, deplete essential nutrients during metabolism, and feed oral and intestinal microorganisms that cause most of the trouble.
The second step is to actively fight off the infection within the body and the joints. Antibiotics have only a limited ability. They cannot fight viruses, fungi, or drug resistant bacteria. However, there is a natural product that can. That product is coconut oil. Unlike any other dietary oil, coconut oil is composed predominately of a unique group of fat molecules known as medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids possess potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral activity. Taking 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily, with meals can help rid your body of chronic infection.
The third step is to address your oral health. Since the vast majority of arthritis cases involve oral infections, this is an essential step. If you have any known dental issues you need to get them taken care of. Regular tooth brushing, flossing, and the use of mouthwash are not enough to remove infection and keep it out. Many people with good oral hygiene habits still get infections. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 90 percent of the population has some level of tooth decay. So apparently these methods aren’t working. What does work is a process called oil pulling. Oil pulling is basically rinsing your mouth with vegetable oil, much like you would a mouthwash. However, in this case you would rinse your mouth for 15-20 minutes at a time at least once daily, before breakfast. After breakfast you would brush your teeth as normal. The oil attracts and collects the microorganisms in your mouth along with toxins, mucous, and pus. After swishing the oil in your mouth for the allotted time, spit it out, then rinse your mouth with water. Your mouth will feel clean and refreshed. There are other steps described in the book, but these are the most crucial.
Barbara, who was mentioned at the beginning of this article, followed these steps. “Here are the results I have noticed so far,” she says after only four weeks. “Reversed documented nerve impingement and foot drop. Reversed documented osteoarthritis of my spine and knees. Avoided my fifth spine surgery and threatened second fusion. Restored my ability to exercise. I am able to walk down a flight of stairs without pain, limping or gimping. I can also walk two miles without knee pain!…My prior problems were well documented with MRI and PET scans that showed nerve impingement, lack of ankle reflex and foot drop (inability to heel walk), inability to resist downward pressure on my great toe and foot. Then only four weeks later, I had a perfectly normal EMG; I could heal walk; and I had a normal ankle reflex and good toe, foot, and ankle strength. The fact that this was so well documented, my doctors were completely amazed.” A diagnosis of arthritis is not a life sentence. There now is a cure for arthritis. ■
Bruce Fife, CN, ND is a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician. He is the author of over 20 books including The New Arthritis Cure: Eliminate Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Pain Permanently.