SOLUTIONS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND CHRONIC ILLNESS
FORTUNATELY THEY'RE MOSTLY THE SAME!
"Nearly 45 percent of all deaths in the developed world are attributable to fibroproliferative disorders." Dr. Thomas Wynn talking about fibrosis on the National Institutes of Health website. Dr. Wynn says that Fibrosis is the number one cause of death, not only in the United States, but the world (HERE).
"These are the days of miracle and wonder... don't cry baby, don't cry." Paul Simon from 1986's Boy in the Bubble (Graceland)
Follow along as I show you that not only are most chronic conditions not hopeless, in many cases they can be turned around quickly and radically --- sometimes in a matter of months; or even weeks (HERE). This is because most sickness, disease, and pain tend to be different manifestations of the same aberrant physiological processes (HERE). Thus, for most of you, the fundamentals of effectively addressing said diseases will be similar.
The medical community often acts as if they have all the solutions --- solutions that practically always revolve around DRUGS & SURGERY. But when these approaches don't work, you become the scapegoat, frequently being told that your problems are all in your head (psychosomatic), due to YOUR AGE, or because of the "BAD GENES" you inherited from your mom and dad. The problem is, EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is not bearing this out. In fact, you do not have to look very far to see that the practice of medicine is not only terribly ineffective for getting to the root of most Chronic Conditions, it can be quite dangerous as well (see the first link in this paragraph). Fortunately for the majority of you, there are some simple and straightforward methods for effectively addressing the problem(s) you are dealing with.
Although there are a wide range of approaches for regaining one's health, the starting point for practically all patients dealing with Chronic Pain and / or Chronic Illness will be similar. In other words, although some of you might require some very specialized tests and treatment (HERE), the first steps will be identical or nearly so for almost everyone (HERE). No; I won't kid you --- it's not as simple as POPPING A PILL OR RECEIVING AN INJECTION. But the results that you get, you get because you're really better --- because you've actually CHANGED YOUR PHYSIOLOGY. Not because you've simply covered or masked the symptoms, all while digging yourself deeper and deeper into the rut that will one day (probably way too soon) become YOUR GRAVE.
Because the root causes of pain and disease are SO SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER, below are some universal concepts that have the potential to change your life. They happen to be the very same things that I would advise my own family to do if they were struggling with chronic health-related problems (speaking of that, HERE are my sister's amazing results from working this plan). And although I would contend that there is nothing on this list that is harmful, make sure to consult with your physician before starting this or any other protocol related to health. The information on my site is just that --- information, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific person or condition. Heaven forbid someone actually "cured" themselves of anything without their doctor's permission!
- DO A THIRTY DAY ELIMINATION DIET: If you are dealing with Chronic Pain or Chronic Illness and still consuming GLUTEN, stop it already! There are so many reasons that a PALEO DIET will help you, I am not really sure where to begin. Simply follow the links and start studying. Just the other day I saw a patient who I have been urging to do an ELIMINATION DIET for well over a year. She finally got up the gumption to do it, and cut her (serious / severe) symptoms by 80% in about a week. HERE is another example (this person's debilitating back pain was 100% resolved with some simple dietary changes). On top of everything else, the old excuse that you can't afford to eat healthy because it costs too much doesn't work any more (HERE). Bottom Line: If you have food sensitivities of any sort, whether overt or occult, you are risking a host of out-of-kilter Immune System reactions that will end in INFLAMMATION, AUTOIMMUNITY (your body's own Immune System attacking itself), and something called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which I will discuss in a moment.
- EAT PLENTY OF THE RIGHT FATS: It amazes me that after all this time there is still a war against dietary fat (HERE, HERE, and HERE). Sure, there are some deadly fats out there (HERE), but once you understand that good fats are extremely anti-inflammatory (HERE), you'll wonder why the whole "fat free" craze ever happened in the first place. Bottom Line: The fats you consume are either driving inflammation or squelching it. It's critical to understand the difference.
- GET OFF AS MANY DRUGS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN: Our own government has shown that despite the United States having only 3% of the world's population, we consume 75% of the world's pharmaceuticals (HERE). This would be fantastic if said medications actually did what they claim do. In most cases, they don't, and it's not even close (HERE is a common example). If they did, we would rank number one in the world as far as overall health is concerned. Instead, year in and year out we hover in the mid thirties (and when it comes to chronic, degenerative, inflammatory diseases, we rank around 90th). If you want to see a few of the numerous and sickening way that we are collectively being duped by BIG PHARMA --- a group that views sick and suffering humanity as little more than walking, breathing dollar signs --- HERE and HERE are the posts. If nothing else, skim the titles. Oh, before you decide to simply stop taking your meds or flush them all down the toilet, talk to your doctor first. Bottom Line: Drugs kill, whether pushed or prescribed (HERE). They also foul your liver function, consuming valuable cellular-detoxification resources (more on this in a moment).
- CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR: Although this one could easily be incorporated into the bullet point above, it's so important that I gave it it's own. Strictly regulating your Blood Sugar is vital to your health, as almost every conceivable health problem you can name (even many of those that are supposedly "GENETIC"), is intimately related to this issue. BLOOD SUGAR issues are not only intimately related to ENDOCRINE and HORMONAL ISSUES, they are usually the top factor in your ability (or inability as the case may be) to LOSE WEIGHT as well. I have written numerous posts on this topic, and shown you REPEATEDLY that if you fail in this point, you will not succeed in regaining and maintaining your health. For some of you, a KETOGENIC DIET might be a better option than a Paleo Diet. And if you are one of those who are fighting a hardcore SUGAR ADDICTION (as severe as an addiction to cocaine or other hard drugs --- HERE), there are ways to conquer this as well. Furthermore, if you are one of the numerous people who thinks their DIABETES MEDS are controlling the problem, you had better click the link to see just how badly you are being conned. And if you think you're off the hook because you only have "PRE-DIABETES' and not the full-blown disease, think again. Bottom Line: Blood Sugar Dysregulation strongly promotes virtually every health problem you can name (including INFECTIONS and CANCER) and most you can't. Oh; I forgot to mention that blood sugar roaches your fascia and other connective tissues as well (HERE).
- IF YOU TAKE SUPPLEMENTS, MAKE SURE THEY ARE MOSTLY WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: Supplements are just that ---- they "supplement" (NOT SUBSTITUTE for) a healthy diet. If you are going to take supplements, I strongly recommend that they be WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS. If you think I am blowing smoke about THE DIFFERENCE between natural and SYNTHETIC NUTRITION, I have some COAL TAR for you. Should you consult your doctor on this subject? Sure. Just realize they might know less than you do --- and if they are in the know, they probably won't take the time to share it with you because they are either "BURNED OUT," told by their employer they can't, or have realized that prescribing drugs is much easier and is covered by insurance (HERE). There is a time and a place for synthetic supplements, but just realize they act like drugs in your body, as opposed to food. This might be the best place to suggest using copious amounts of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES for cooking as well. Bottom Line: There is a large difference between food or supplements that come from nature, or foods / supplements created synthetically / artificially / chemically.
- FIX YOUR GUT: By now, most of us have heard that 80% of our Immune System is found in our Gut (HERE). GUT HEALTH is so critical to your overall health that in similar fashion to Blood Sugar, virtually every disease you can imagine is being tied back to what is going on in your DIGESTIVE TRACT. Furthermore, this issue goes far beyond simply taking a few PROBIOTICS every time your doctor gives you ANTIBIOTICS (HERE). In fact, for some of you dealing with certain serious illnesses or out-of-control inflammation, you might have to contemplate measures that many would consider DRASTIC OR BIZARRE. And because this post is aimed at those of you who are struggling with Chronic Conditions, make absolutely sure you understand what "THE LEAKIES" are before you read any further, as they are a deal-breaker as far as successfully addressing any Chronic Condition is concerned (and don't forget that your SMALL INTESTINE --- SIBO --- could be the source of your problem as well). For many of you, fixing your Gut is going to require that you INCREASE YOUR STOMACH ACIDITY by getting off PPI'S. And while this might seem like a strange place to mention it, if you click the link, you'll understand why ANEMIA is not only a deal-breaker as far as getting healthy is concerned, it also happens to be another aspect of health that is intimately related to the health of your Gut. Another factor that seems strange to find filed under Gut Health is VACCINATIONS. however, there is ample evidence that vaccinations of all sorts, including the FLU SHOT, cause numerous problems by attacking both the Brain and the Gut. As a bonus, HERE is a post I wrote on what it takes to heal your Gut. Bottom Line: The 'olde-tyme' healers had things right with their simple mantra, "Heal the gut, heal the body."
- DEAL WITH YOUR BODY'S TOXIC BURDEN: We are all exposed to a plethora of TOXIC CHEMICALS and ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS on a daily basis. Do what you can to reduce your exposure, and make sure your liver is functioning as it should. Your liver is where most detoxification (the medical community refers to this as "Biotransformation") takes place. If your liver is not functioning properly (HERE), you are going to have a difficult time clearing toxicity from your body. Bottom Line: Whether you are polluting your body from without or within, doesn't really matter as far as your liver is concerned.
- DRINK WATER AND ONLY WATER: It's 2014. I should not have to tell you to maintain your level of hydration, and do it by drinking plenty of water. Unfortunately, far too many people in the United States understand this point as, "drink more fluids". In fact, many people seem to be drinking everything but water (HERE). Of course, the worst of these drinks is probably SODA (yes, especially DIET SODA), but there are any number of others that people FOOL THEMSELVES WITH as well. Also be aware that besides drinking enough water, the kind of water you are drinking is critical to your health as well (HERE). Just don't get stupid about it as you can literally run your body's minerals out in your urine if you are drinking too much --- something I occasionally see. Bottom Line: Most people live in some degree of dehydration, which is crippling when you realize that between 2/3 and 3/4 of your body is made up of water.
- CONTROL YOUR AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) has two separate and distinct parts to it --- the SNS or Sympathetic Nervous System, which is based on "fight or flight," and the PNS or Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is the "rest and digest" or "feed and breed" system. As you might guess from this little tidbit of knowledge, you do not want your ANS to stay in a state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE --- something that the medical community can actually measure via Heart Rate Variability (HERE). Tipping the balance of your ANS away from the SNS and toward the PNS has been shown to be a potent attenuator of inflammation. Want to see how easy it is to reduce inflammation and halt Sympathetic Dominance at the same time? Check out THIS POST --- a post that next to the one you are reading right now, is arguably the most important I've ever done.
- EXERCISE WISELY: Although exercise is wonderful; depending on what sort of health issues you may be dealing with, you must be wise about the way you attack this bullet point. LESS IS MORE --- particularly for those of you dealing with Chronic Pain or Chronic Conditions. For many of you --- particularly those of you with ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA --- the last thing you want to do is to stimulate anything that would lead to a further state of Sympathetic Dominance. This is only one of the many reasons that when I suggest exercise, I often suggest some sort of short-duration RESISTANCE TRAINING or INTERVAL TRAINING as opposed to STRAIGHT CARDIO. REBOUNDING has proved to be extremely effective as well --- not only for weight loss but for boosting Immune System function via stimulation of the lymphatics. For those of you who simply cannot exercise, WBV can be helpful to get the process started. Bottom Line: Although everyone needs to be doing some form of exercise. Not all exercise is created equal.
- LAY OFF THE SCREENS AND PUT YOUR BED TO GOOD USE: Our beds should be comfortable enough that we enjoy sleeping in them. By the way, "getting plenty of rest" does not mean spending 8 hours a day lounging in front of the TV, in front of your computer, or on your phone (HERE). If you are having trouble resting, you are likely in a state of Sympathetic Dominance --- the "Fight or Flight" response turned perpetually to overdrive --- which is burning out your Adrenal Glands (HERE) and at the very least, contributing to the FIBROMYALGIA you either already have, or soon will. Another function of the bed is for sex. I'll not delve into the benefits of sex on your health here, but suffice it to say there are lots. Unfortunately, our collective ill health is taking a toll on our ability to enjoy this part of our lives (HERE). And lest we forget, there are many of you who cannot sleep simply because you cannot breathe (SLEEP APNEA). If this is you, click the link. Bottom Line: All too often here in America, the bedroom is not being used for purposes it is intended to be used for.
- UNDERSTAND INFLAMMATION: If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: not one person in a thousand has any real idea what INFLAMMATION is, how it works, what drives it, what do do about it other than take DANGEROUS DRUGS, or the many ways it will devastate your MIND and BODY if left unchecked. It is my belief that understanding Inflammation is so critical to the ability (or inability) of those of you struggling to regain and / or maintain your health, that a failure in this department usually translates to overall failure. Some of the common (but hidden) things that tend to drive Inflammation include YEASTS, MOLDS, ANTIBIOTICS, DYSBIOSIS, HEAVY METALS or ALUMINUM, PARASITES, OVER-CLEANLINESS, as well as many others --- some of which I have previously discussed in this post. I always suggest you deal with Inflammation by consuming an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET. I would also add that you take a look at GROUNDING / EARTHING as it may be a missing link for you. Controlling inflammation is critical for you to understand because Inflammation ALWAYS leads to Scar Tissue and Fibrosis (HERE). Bottom Line: A failure to grasp the implications of Systemic (whole body) Inflammation will prevent you from getting out of pain and regaining your health.
- MAKE SURE YOUR MOUTH IS NOT THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM: No; I'm not talking here about being a bit too lippy or sassy. I'm talking about ORAL HEALTH. You would probably be shocked to learn that BAD TEETH, unhealthy gums (see first link in this bullet), and particularly ROOT CANALS have the potential to drive all sorts of chronic health issues. Bottom Line: Problems in your mouth can act as a "toxicity pump" that spews forth any manner of disease-causing microbes as well as the toxins they create.
- MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BODY IS MECHANICALLY SOUND: Although this could easily encompass any number of topics, I am talking specifically here about biomechanics. In other words, if your body is not functioning like it was mechanically created and designed to, it will not function well electrically or chemically. This is a simple fact seen in the practice of CHIROPRACTIC and our work with FASCIAL ADHESIONS. To understand more about this particular point and understand that I do things much differently than most chiros (HERE), take a moment to watch a few of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS. Because so many of you deal with CHRONIC NECK PAIN and HEADACHES, I would suggest you read THIS as well. Oh, and don't forget about DRY NEEDLING FOR CHRONIC TRIGGER POINTS. Bottom Line: As crazy as it may sound, an intact Fascial and Musculoskeletal System are directly related to your overall capacity for health and being touted as the number one causal factor in chronic pain and chronic illness (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE).
- ADEQUATE VITAMIN D: Vitamin D is not so much a vitamin as a type of gene-biomodulating compound that acts as the precursor for numerous hormones. It is also intimately associated with proper immune system function. The cool thing is that your body can make Vitamin D out of cholesterol in the presence of sunshine. This is why exposure to some sun is one of the best ways to get real Vitamin D. In the off-season I recommend supplementing with liquid D drops. Bottom Line: Since Vitamin D is related via peer-review to almost every major category of health you can name (the studies are virtually endless), it would behoove you to keep your levels up. This is especially true if you are dealing with or prone to autoimmunity.
- LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY: Although MEDICAL LASERS are not new technology, the vast majority of practitioners continue to ignore this amazing modality. No; Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is not going to help everyone struggling with Chronic Pain. But if you take a few minutes to understand how it works, you will understand why it has the potential to help people with such a wide variety of problems. While we are talking about light, this might be a great place to mention that we all need to be getting some sun. I am not talking about baking yourself for hours. But the truth is that all the forms of Vitamin D that you take orally, do not even come close to doing what some real sunshine can do for you. Bottom Line: Laser Therapy is as close to a "cure all" modality I have found (term used metaphorically of course).
The truth is, there is an array of things that can go wrong in the body, and this list is by no ways definitive. For some of you, there are any number of issues you may have to deal with. For instance, how is your HPA-AXIS holding up? Might you be dealing with CENTRAL SENSITIVITY? Are your HORMONES out of balance? What about METHYLATION or the energy production cycles (MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION)? OXIDATIVE STRESS can be a deal-breaker as well. Around here, Tick-Borne Illnesses are especially common. HEAVY METALS and HALIDES can present major problems for some people as well. And as far as the BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM are concerned, it's a wild-card that might require the intervention of a qualified FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST.
Bottom line; you can't go wrong using this post as a template for getting your health back. For Pete's sake; forget everything else and just go Paleo. Worst case scenario, it won't make you worse (HERE). HERE is one example of a person who used the ideas in this post to turn her life around and lose 100 lbs in seven months, getting off her meds in the process --- this after being diagnosed with and bedridden by five (5) different autoimmune diseases, including RA and a lupus-like disease with no name.
Also, HERE is a generalized "Life Plan" from a friend of mine who is a motivational speaker and life coach. Years ago his wife developed interstitial cystitis (an autoimmune disease --- HERE), and after using some of the techniques described in this post, she got her life back (and he got his wife back). Super powerful stuff that helps transform the hopeless into the hopeful! BTW, if you appreciate free material like this, be sure to show us some love on FACEBOOK --- it's a great way to reach those you love and care about most with important health-related information.