Patients with the same medical diagnosis present not only with differing reasons as to why they become ill, but also with differing degrees of difficulty as to their getting well.|
CASE STUDY SERIES II: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
A further example of the confusion seen among patients with a similar diagnostic title can be seen in three case studies from our office files of patients who presented with medically diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis.
Please note the following:
Two years ago, I began working with a 55-year-old lady with medically diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis. She had been suffering for three years. Her hands were markedly gnarled, and she was unable to write or grip any objects. Multiple joints were inflamed, and her sedimentation rate was over 100 (normal for a female being 0 to 15). She was disheartened by the failure of the standard poisons (drugs) used for this condition medically (steroids, anti-inflammatory agents and immune suppressants) to help her, as well as discouraged by the failures of a host of natural remedies she had tried that she had read were "good for arthritis." She was a heavy starch and protein eater.
- Each case had similar symptoms.
- Each case had received the same diagnosis of "rheumatoid arthritis."
- Each case was being treated based upon their medical diagnosis.
- Each case was getting continually worse.
- The etiological factors behind their conditions differed.
- The hygienic protocols used in helping the patients to recover had similarities along with distinct differences as per the patient's individual biochemical natures.
The case was not an easy one, and it took over three months to see the initial signs of improvement: lowering of the sedimentation rate, improvement in the overall blood chemistries and significant reduction in the patient's pain, swelling and general discomforts. She continued under care for an additional 18 months before reaching a reasonable level of mobility. It took almost two years, however, for her recovery to reach its optimal level, and there were ups and downs along the way.
We had to alter the course of her care several times as her condition changed, and if not for her diligence and perseverance we would not have been successful. It was difficult for her to reduce her heavy intake of proteins and starches and to establish regular rest and sleep habits. Consistently applying hygienic principles, balancing the diet, along with periodic supervised fasting, and extensive rest were the foundations of her recovery, along with excellent support and encouragement from the patient's family.
Compare this with a more recent case of "rheumatoid arthritis" (same medical diagnosis) I worked with:
Four years ago, a 42-year-old female from the Midwest came to us, upon referral from a doctor of chiropractic, with the medical diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. She could walk only very slowly with great pain. The joints (hands, knees, wrists, hands, and feet) were markedly inflamed. Sleeping was difficult because of the constant pain. She was receiving the usual steroids, anti-inflammatory agents and immune suppressants. The patient followed a reasonable diet and had taken fairly good care of her self in terms of general lifestyle habits. She had, however, recently undergone an unexpected divorce from her husband of over 20 years, whom she had put through school and been instrumental in building his successful business by working long hours. To put salt on the wounds, within three weeks of the divorce her husband married his secretary.
Her blood work showed her to be badly depleted, including being anemic and having very low serum protein levels and a sedimentation rate of 110.
During the first two months, the patient made rapid progress. She stayed with a very loving sister, who lived in the area and cooperated in her care. The initial sedimentation rate of 110 dropped to the mid 60s within just a few weeks, and the patient felt much improved, stating that she was about 30 percent better. The patient then returned to her home state for several weeks to take care of business matters prior to returning to my office for further care. When she returned, I found that her progress had not only halted but that she had lost ground on the progress that we had made. She had maintained her dietary plan and saw a competent chiropractor while home, and yet the sedimentation rate had climbed back up over the 100 mark.
Spending time to conduct an interview with the patient revealed that while home she had seen, on two separate occasions, her former husband and his new wife in a convertible bought shortly before the divorce. My client experienced a tremendous surge of anger and resentment that was not quieted until she returned to Georgia and the comfort of her sister's company and caring. I recommended outside counseling, which she obtained to address this issue. Within the next 60 days, with hygienic care and individual counseling, the patient improved both emotionally and spiritually. Her sedimentation rate dropped to 30, and she was able to return home without carrying such a tremendous emotional burden ready to trigger her body's immune system back into disease. She has remained in good health with only very occasional mild arthritic flare-ups since then.
Four months ago, a doctor of chiropractic in East Georgia referred a 27-year-old male, medically diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
The patient had been seeing a rheumatologist for a number of months and was continuing to worsen while taking Prednisone and anti-inflammatory agents. He had formerly been very active with weight lifting, running and other pursuits, but at the time I first saw him the patient was in great discomfort, had stiff, swollen joints, was weak and tired and was becoming very depressed. He had been cautioned by the rheumatologist that "rheumatoid arthritis" was "incurable" and that he would have to adapt to the "reality" that he would become increasingly crippled as time went on.
We ran a number of tests on the patient, with the dietary habits being most notable. The diet was heavy with items that can be pro-inflammatory in nature, including heavy usage of "soft drinks" (four or more cans per day) in addition to numerous other sources of refined sugar. Processed fats were heavy in the diet.
I arranged for him to undergo a six-hour glucose tolerance test. The results were significantly abnormal. The heavy usage of refined carbohydrates had weakened his sugar-regulating abilities. Following complete removal of the refined carbohydrates, an improved diet, a short fast, and repletion of nutrient imbalances, the patient experienced a near complete reduction in his discomforts without taking any more drugs. This was over a period of less than four weeks. The patient's family and girlfriend were supportive of his efforts to reverse the course of his disease through natural hygienic measures. Three months later, the patient continues to be well and has resumed running and weight lifting. All signs of the "rheumatoid arthritis" were gone in just a few months.
The background of all three patients included an identical medical diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Their presenting symptoms were similar. The factors behind their illnesses, however, were vastly different. In each case, different biochemical factors played a major role. In each case, the social and emotional background of the patient played different roles in the disease process. The times needed for recovery and the strategies used in effecting a recovery, while similar, also differed on a number of key points.
Yet, each patient had been given the same medical diagnosis, and each patient had been given similar pharmaceutical agents. In each case, both the internal and external environments of the patients had been ignored by their rheumatologists. In each case, the patient's own unique biochemistries had been overlooked.
The background of all three patients included an identical medical diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Their presenting symptoms were similar. The factors behind their illnesses, however, were vastly different.|
[In the final installment of the series, Dr. Goldberg will address some of the specific methods used to uncover common, basic, etiological factors in both the internal and external environment that help us to understand the patient's biochemical individuality and how to best address it.]
1. Dubos, René, Mirage of Health, 1959, p. 119.
2. Dubos, René, Mirage of Health, 1959.
3. Ibid., p. 113.
4. Goldberg, P.A., "Hanging Hippocrates," (an overview of the misuse/overuse of radiological studies by health-care professionals), Today's Chiropractic, May/June, 1983, pp. 22-23.
5. Baker, Sidney, M.D., Detoxification & Healing: The Key to Optimal Health, pp. 122-123.