I’m a 50-year-old man with a serious back problem. An MRI scan taken two years ago found I had significant wear and tear on the joints in my lower back along with spondylitis.
I’ve tried almost everything, from physiotherapy to tablets, but have had no lasting relief from the pain. Most days I feel stiff and find it difficult to move around. Is there anything you could recommend?
The term spondylitis is often used to describe inflammation in the vertebrae and pelvis, while the specific term ankylosing spondylitis, or AS, is where the sacroiliac joints at the base of the spine actually become fused together.
This not only contributes to significant pain, but also severely affects posture and restricts movement.
As a result of spinal inflammation and/or fusion of joints, other areas of the body — such as shoulders, hips, knees, hands, feet, and ribs — tend to develop inflammation, stiffness, and discomfort.
It is no wonder that you are having difficulty with general movement and pain.
Since there is no known cure for spondylitis, people tend to try different treatments in search of symptomatic relief. Many find acupuncture useful in managing symptoms, as this can be used to trigger the body’s own pain relief pathways.
For those who are not keen on needles, electrical stimulation of the nervous system using a TENS machine is a good option. Portable TENS machines have become widely available and more affordable, in the last 10 years.
As far as remedies go, there is an unusual, high-dose vitamin therapy treatment worth looking into.
Dr Robert F Cathcart III, an orthopedic surgeon who invented a widely used hip replacement prosthetic, routinely advised patients to use therapeutic doses of vitamin C to treat inflammation.
The difference between taking vitamin C from the health store and following Dr Cathcart’s recommendation is that he would use 100,000mg or more to get results.
He safely and effectively administered this high-dose vitamin C treatment to tens of thousands of patients with arthritis, back pain, injury, and ankylosing spondylitis.
Megadoses of vitamin C have also been successfully administered to achieve prompt and significant pain relief.
During the 1970s in Scotland at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Dr Ewan Cameron, was successfully giving 10g (10,000 milligrams) daily of vitamin C intravenously, replacing large doses of morphine or heroin, to terminally ill patients as pain relief.
You may find it worthwhile to seek out a naturopathic doctor who is experienced in administering megavitamin therapy and discuss your options with them.
I went through a stressful period recently and developed acid reflux as a result. It tends to flare up at night time. Is there a natural treatment I could take?
Acid reflux as a result of stress often indicates an existing issue in the stomach. Reflux conditions are typically a sign that your stomach acid production is low. When stomach acid levels are low, food is held for longer since it doesn’t break down so readily as it would with sufficient acid.
This can lead to the food/acid combination being forced back into the oesophagus, causing the burning sensation known as reflux.
This is often remedied through supplementation with a digestive aid containing digestive enzymes and Betaine hydrochloride.
Quest has a combination supplement called Enzyme Digest which combines Betaine HCl with papain, amylase, lipase, bromelain, and peppermint oil (180 tablets costs around €18).
Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) is a bacterium which is often the root cause of reflux, stomach ulcers, and gut fermentation or dysbiosis.
It is a good idea to get yourself tested for the presence of H pylori, as it is relatively simple to eradicate naturally using mastic gum. Mastic gum will also help to reduce gut inflammation and restore digestive function.
Mastika is a supplement containing 250mg of mastic gum and can be purchased from health stores.