Disclaimer for Shirley's Wellness Cafe

Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease Natural Remedies

"Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common autoimmune disorders diseases caused by the immune system attacking the body's own tissues. Arthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are common autoimmune diseases in which killer T-cells of the body's own immune system reprogram themselves to attack joint cartilage, resulting in inflammation and joint destruction. Standard treatments involving pain killers and anti-inflammatories address only the symptoms, not the underlying causes and can produce dangerous side effects." - Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D

Contact Shirley for Assistance

Underlying Causes of Arthritis in People and Animals

Arthritis in People and Animals Hepatitis B vaccine might be followed by various rheumatic conditions and might trigger the onset of underlying inflammatory or autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Bonnie Dunbar, PhD, a Texas cell biologist and vaccine researcher, says, "It takes weeks and sometimes months for autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis to develop following vaccination". The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) released figures showing that the number of hepatitis B vaccine-associated adverse events and deaths reported in US children under the age of 14 is exceptionally high, significantly outnumbering the reported cases of hepatitis B disease in that same age group.

Klebsiella activates an autoimmune reaction

Ronald Hoffman, M.D. - "Bacteria-induced immune reactions. It’s also been shown that some infectious organisms may not directly induce arthritis but can set off an immune reaction in the body that produces arthritic symptoms of inflammation in the joints. The Klebsiella bacteria, for example, make up part of the normal intestinal flora that inhabit the gut, usually without any adverse effects. But in a certain genetically defined section of the population, Klebsiella activates an autoimmune reaction called ankylosing spondylitis, which involves inflamed, arthritic joints. There are no bacteria in the joints themselves, but the immune response triggers the symptoms."

Two broad categories of immune system disorders or dysfunctions: Inappropriate immune response; Excessive or lacking.

  • Immunodeficiency (lacking or deficient) - when the immune system does not recognize invaders as being undesirable and therefore does not mobilize to destroy them.
  • Autoimmunity (excessive or self-destruction) - when the immune system fails to recognize 'self' as friendly and mounts an attack on itself"
Page Divider
Side Effects and Ineffectiveness of Drug "Therapy"

Ronald Hoffman, M.D. - "Nowhere in medicine do we see sharper distinctions between conventional and alternative therapies than in the case of arthritis, especially Rheumatoid Arthritis. The high prevalence of poor outcomes and undesirable side effects in patients receiving conventional therapy and the beneficial results obtained by patients using alternative therapies suggests that the latter should be given greater attention than they are getting.

Even by the admission of many arthritis experts, conventional therapy for arthritis, especially for Rheumatoid Arthritis, is far less than optimal. The first step is often palliative therapy with aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin, Naprosyn, Voltaren, Clinoril, and, most recently, Ansaid and Relafen. These first-line drugs quench pain and stop inflammation to a certain extent, but they have little if any beneficial effect on the ultimate clinical course of arthritis. Some studies show that they may actually hasten joint damage .These drugs possess several other unfortunate side effects, especially the tendency to cause stomach irritation and even severe gastrointestinal bleeding.

Steroid injections for arthritis and bursitis are another favorite tool of orthopedists. As we’ve noted, they are progressively less effective, and repeated injections can damage joints and induce osteoporosis. In the case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, doctors often prescribe more powerful second-line drugs. These are the so-called DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs). These agents are designed not just to control symptoms but actually to delay progression of the disease. Unfortunately, many of them can cause severe adverse effects . They include such drugs as hydroxychloroquine sulfate, gold, penicillamine, sulfasalazine, prednisone, azathioprine, and methotrexate. The last-named is a powerful chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of cancer. Some of these drugs possess potent immunosuppressive effects."

Low Level of Glutathione Linked to Arthritis

Research has shown that individuals who have low levels of glutathione are susceptible to chronic illness such as arthrtitis and rheumatoid arthritis

Dr. Gutman, M.D - "Glutathione is not yet a household word, but it soon will be, now that we know how important this substance is" He explains the critical role of glutathione in the maintenance of health and wellness with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Those with arthritis pain will likely benefit from raised glutathione levels and experience relief from many of their Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms. Being able to raise glutathione easily, conveniently and safely through nutrition is a breakthrough health discovery for the arthritic pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Only Immunocal is clinically proven to raise the glutathione level in a safe, effective and convenient way."

"On the fourth day of taking Immunocal, I remember thinking that I felt no different , but at 8:30 that night I got out of my car like I was twenty one , full of energy. It was an incredible feeling especially considering the fact that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to my rheumatoid arthritis. On day seven my hands looked and felt normal. They had looked like lobster claws, red, swollen, and painful. I must have looked at my hands every ten minutes for the next week with a big smile. Amazing!! . What happened about three weeks ago , six months after I started taking Immunocal, inspired me to tell my story. My psoriasis started to disappear, after thirty-six years. I had tried everything I could think of, even the doctors told me nothing would ever work, I still tried." - Henry Cheung, Ph.D.

"I am a (100 lb) 85 year old masters swimmer. I have also been struggling with arthritis for the past 20 years. I have to wear a brace on my wrist as a bone is missing in my thumb. I was first introduced toImmunocal by Paul Rothe in the hot tub at our local rec center. I have been taking two packs a day every morning for almost a year. Since taking Immunocal, I have experienced more energy and less pain from my arthritis. I work out and swim almost every day, and I have just returned from the Canadian Masters Swimming Championships (May, 2004). In the 85–89 age category, I set a Canadian record for the 100 metrer breaststroke (3:01:49) and knocked a second off the 200 meter backstroke (6:56:00), which is one full minuite better than my personal best last fall! I am already working toward getting down to the 5–minute record for the World Masters Championships in Edmonton for 2005." Marion D.

Page Divider

Animals with Arthritis - Natural Solution

Arthritis in PetsArthritis and osteoarthritis in dogs and cats can be cured by a program using nutritional supplements according to Veterinarian Brian Beale DVM. Arthritis need not ruin the lives of our animal companions. A combination of nutritional supplements and immune support, a healthy diet, and mineral supplements can halt, reverse, or even cure the pain of arthritis. This is the painless, low-cost, natural approach that countless pet owners can use at home.

A suppression of the immune system can occur when the body's system is compromised by immune suppressing factors. These can include over vaccination, vaccinating during a bitch's heat cycle or pregnancy, antibiotics, use of steroid drugs, protein malnutrition, insufficient calories, vitamin or mineral insufficiencies, hormonal fluctuations, virus and disease and other specific drugs. Other illness and systemic diseases can also lower the immune system, such as diabetes, renal failure, systemic lupus erythematosus and neoplasia.

NuJoint Plus and Nuvet, Anti-inflammatory Hip and Joint Therapy Pets are just as susceptible to inflammatory joint disease and ailments as their human companions. Pets of all ages often become afflicted with joint problems due to contaminated food, household and environmental toxins, injury and genetics.

A suppressed immune system leaves the dog with poor ability to fight bacteria and virus, prone to infections and poor health, and leaves a dog susceptible to cancer and poor ability to fight insults of the environment, such as pesticides, herbicides and other pollutants. The dog lacks the ability to develop normal immunity to everyday exposure to routine infections that other dogs can fend off naturally.

Over-active Immune System This condition is called autoimmune disease. The body literally overreacts to normal agents found in the body, and develops antigens to destroy them. The immune system goes into overdrive, and not only tries to destroy the cells it may see as bacteria, but can start to destroy normal red blood cells. The body will begin to see these cells as foreign, and react by developing skin allergies, hot spots, teary eyes and other common symptoms of allergic response. However, the autoimmune response can go further, creating other autoimmune disorders.

Inflammation Root Cause of Arthritis

Inflammation is a complex process that causes swelling, redness, warmth, and pain. It's the body's natural response to injury and plays an important role in healing and fighting infection. Joint injury can be caused by trauma or by the wear and tear of aging. But in many forms of arthritis, injury is caused by the uncontrolled inflammation of autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues. In severe cases, all joint tissues, even bone, can be damaged.

arthritis In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation accompanies thickening of the synovial membrane or joint lining, causing the whole joint to look swollen due to swelling in the joint capsule. The inflamed joint lining enters and damages bone and cartilage, and inflammatory cells release an enzyme that gradually digests bone and cartilage. Space between joints diminishes, and the joint loses shape and alignment.

Perhaps the most important inflammatory conditions to affect humanity are the varieties of arthritis and rheumatism. Throughout the world herbal medicine is used in its treatment. Arthritis is a general term for approximately 100 named diseases that produce either inflammation of connective tissues, particularly in joints, or noninflammatory degeneration of these tissues. The word simply means joint inflammation, but because other structures are also affected, the diseases are often called connective tissue diseases. The terms rheumatism and rheumatic diseases are also used. Besides conditions so named, the diseases include gout, lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative joint disease, and many others. Causes of these disorders include immune-system reactions and the wear and tear of aging, while research indicates that the nervous system may often be equally involved. About one out of seven Americans exhibit some form of arthritis. Many of these diseases are characterized by inflammation in the affected tissue. The usual signs of inflammation (warmth, redness, swelling, and pain) are often present.

In some conditions, the inflammation is an immune reaction. This may be the body's defense against invading microorganisms, but often the immune reaction against the body's own tissue is of unknown cause. The body seems to react against itself rather than against an invading microorganism. Anti-self antibodies react with intact connective tissue and synovial membranes and thus cause inflammation. A common auto-immune form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Whilst the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are due to inflammation of the connective tissues, the cause is not at all clear. Characteristically the synovial membranes, or inner linings of the joint capsules, are chronically inflamed. The synovial mass proliferates and thereby destroys cartilage, bone and adjacent structures. Widespread inflammation may involve other tissue leading to painful joints, loss of mobility, and a generalized soreness and depression. Blood tests often reveal the presence of rheumatoid factors, proteins produced by the immune system in response to the rheumatic process.

The connection between inflammation and heart disease, arthritis, and other chronic ailments has become increasingly clear. Many food allergies and poor dietary choices over stimulate the immune system and cause inflammatory responses that erode the body’s wellness and pave the path for ill health. Based on her naturopathic practice, Jessica Black has devised a complete program for how to eat and cook to minimize and even prevent inflammation and its consequences. The first part of the book explains the benefits of the anti-inflammatory diet with an accessible discussion of the science behind it. The second half contains 108 recipes. The author offers many substitution suggestions and includes a healthy ingredient tip with each recipe. Most of the dishes can be prepared quickly and easily by even novice cooks. A week of sample menus for summer months and another for winter are included, as well as a substitutions chart, allowing readers to modify their favorite recipes to increase their healing potential.

Anti-inflammatory Property of Marine Phytoplankton

Marine phytoplankton not only heals the cell membrane, thus reducing inflammatory messengers, but it also increases the ability of our bodies to get rid of toxins that lead to inflammation, oxidation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Healing these processes reduces pain. Marine phytoplankton also have a lot of anti-inflammatory molecules that directly neutralize the messages of inflammation. Of course, when such blockage comes from natural food ingredients, such as minerals, antioxidants (zeathanthines, etc.) flavones, isoflavones, curcumins, etc., one does not find such catastrophic side effects as we do with the pharmaceuticals mentioned above.

Page Divider

The Role of Diet in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis

Diet in Arthritis For years people have suspected that foods are an important factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Many notice an improvement in their condition when they avoid dairy products, citrus fruits, tomatoes, eggplant and certain other foods. Initially, the evidence was anecdotal. A woman from the Midwest once suffered from painful arthritis. Today she is a picture of health, thin and athletic, and her arthritis is totally gone. It seemed that dairy products were to blame for her arthritis, for when she eliminated them from her diet, the arthritis disappeared completely. Another woman, from Wisconsin, also found that her arthritis was clearly linked to dairy products. Although she had been raised on a dairy farm, she learned that staying away from dairy products was the key to relieving her symptoms.

A 1989 survey of over one thousand arthritis patients revealed that the foods most commonly believed to worsen the condition were red meat, sugar, fats, common table salt, caffeine. All foods in the nightshade family ( which include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant etc ) should be eliminated as they contain solinaise which inflames the fluid in the joints. Once the offending food is eliminated completely, improvement usually comes within a few weeks. Dairy foods are probably the principal offender, and the problem is the dairy protein, rather than the fat, so skim products are as much a problem as whole milk.

An increasing volume of research shows that certain dietary changes do in fact help. For example, polyunsaturated oils and omega-3 supplements have a mild beneficial effect, and researchers have found that vegan diets are beneficial. Several studies have also shown that supervised fasting can be helpful. Iron acts as a catalyst, encouraging the production of these dangerous molecules. Vitamins C and E, which are plentiful in a diet made of vegetables and grains, help neutralize free radicals. Meats supply an overload of iron, no vitamin C, and very little vitamin E, whereas vegetables contain more controlled amounts of iron, and generous quantities of antioxidant vitamins. As well as being helpful in preventing arthritis, antioxidants may also have a role in reducing its symptoms. Some arthritis treatments, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, work at least in part by neutralizing free radicals. For the most part, however, vitamins and other antioxidants will be of more use in preventing damage before it occurs, rather than in treating an inflamed joint.

Ronald Hoffman, M.D.- "Certain individuals may have trouble digesting or tolerating other types of foods, including wheat, corn, and dairy products, and may develop chronic aches that resemble arthritis. The condition may not be a classic allergy but a kind of intolerance in which digestive fragments of certain foods may induce an immune response or mimic other metabolic components of the body, causing chronic illness. One diet that works with some people is to eliminate the nightshade foods, which include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, paprika, and cayenne. Tobacco is also a nightshade. In fact, there’s an animal model for arthritis: if cows are mistakenly given fodder that is heavily laced with wild-growing nightshade family plants, they actually develop a type of osteoarthritis. Anyone who suffers from arthritis could try avoiding these foods for a month and then gradually reintroducing them to see whether they affect the symptoms."

Natural Healing Modalities for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers at the Glasgow homeopathic Hospital U.K. demonstrated in a small-scale controlled study that homeopathy may be particularly beneficial for patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Twenty-three patients with rheumatoid arthritis were given conventional treatment using anti-inflammatory medications together with a homeopathy preparation (which was individually prescribed by an attending homeopathic physician). They were then compared with a similar group of twenty-three patients who received the same conventional anti-inflammatory medications but with an inert placebo homeopathic preparation. The results revealed that the patients receiving homeopathic remedies in addition to conventional treatment showed a significant improvement in subjective pain, movement (articular index), stiffness and grip strength, whereas there was no significant change in the patients who received the anti-inflammatories with placebo. Two physicians were involved in prescribing for the patients and there were no significant differences in the results, which they obtained. As one would expect, no side effects were observed with the homeopathic remedies. Gibson R.G.; Gibson S.L.M.; MacNeil! AD.; Buchanan W.W. Homeopathic therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: Evaluation by double-blind clinical therapeutic trial. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1980, 9/5 (453-459)


Ronald Hoffman, M.D.- "Fasting has been shown to be therapeutic in some cases for both osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Fasting allows the body to detoxify and offers a break from the onslaught of food antigens that may trigger joint inflammation. This traditional therapy seems to work in many cases — you go on a fast and your arthritis gets better. It may help because of food intolerances, or it may allow your gut to stop supporting the growth of certain harmful bacteria or fungi that produce toxic byproducts that somehow trigger the arthritis. In the "Leaky Gut Syndrome," a stressed intestinal tract may become permeable to microscopic food protein particles, allowing them to enter the bloodstream and set up an immune reaction in the tissue. An overgrowth of harmful intestinal bacteria or yeast, otherwise known as dysbiosis, may compound the problem. Detoxification regimens sometimes use fibers like psyllium or absorbent clays like bentonite, with or without the assistance of colonic irrigations or enemas. It may also help to replace harmful intestinal flora with cultures of benign bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus from yogurt or supplements."


Traditional acupuncturists treat the whole person rather than a disease and therefore attempt to get to the root cause of the problem rather than treating the symptoms and, like other holistic practitioners, will consider all lifestyle and environmental factors before commencing treatment. Controlled medical studies indicate that acupuncture is an appropriate therapy to adopt in holistic treatment of Arthritis. Acupuncture has been used to treat both OA and RA. In a randomised study for OA, the acupuncture group had a significant reduction in pain, pain medication and clinical parameters, compared to the no-treatment group; there was an 80% subjective improvement, with significantly improved range of knee movement. In a clinical study using acupuncture to treat RA, good clinical results were observed in 100% of cases. In addition, laboratory immune parameters including natural killer (NK) activity and interleukin-2 (IL-2) values, increased following acupuncture treatment.

There are several studies suggesting that acupuncture can be very helpful in the treatment of arthritis. For instance, a recent study in Russia found that 73% of patients suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis benefitted from acupuncture treatment. When acupuncture was combined with UV light treatment the response rate increased to 93%. In another study, 54 Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers were given acupuncture (warm needling) with Zhuifengsu (chinese herb) The effective rate was found to be 100%. A study of auriculo-electropuncture (AEP) - treatment of points on the ear - by a double blind method was conducted in Russia with 16 arthritis patients. Not only did they all feel better as a result of the treatment but they all showed "statistically significant" improvement in blood samples.

Benefits of Cayenne

Cayenne is one of the most-often used herbal remedies and is commonly recommended by herbalists for increasing circulation in people with cold hands and feet, as a metabolic stimulant for people with sluggish metabolisms who are overweight, as a warming stimulant with other herbs such as garlic and ginger for protecting against colds and upper respiratory tract infections, and externally as a liniment or in ointments for sore muscles, arthritis, rheumatism, low back pain, strains, sprains, bruises and neuralgia. Studies show that cayenne may block the feeling of pain by depleting and then blocking the production of "substance P," which is thought to be the main chemical messenger of pain from the peripheral sensory nerves to the brain. It may also be involved with the release of inflammatory substances in affected joints of arthritis.

Question Mark Do you have a question about Natural Health or need assistance? Contact Shirley
Call 323-522-4521 or 323-989-3372

Page Divider

Osteoarthritis: Preventing and Healing Without Drugs

Natural help for Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis affects over 20 million Americans and is the most common degenerative disorder in the United States. It causes more disability than any other degenerative disease and is occurring in epidemic proportions throughout the world. In this novel approach to understanding and treating osteoarthritis, orthopaedic surgeon Peter Bales highlights the nutritional connection to this painful and debilitating condition, Dr Bales focuses on new genetic research, which shows that the same poor nutrition responsible for causing increased inflammation in our bodies, along with epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, is also fueling the development of osteoarthritis. Among the topics discussed are the following: the mechanisms by which our joints become destroyed.

The culprits are increased inflammation, increased oxygen free radicals causing our joints to 'rust' from chronically elevated blood sugar levels and hormone imbalance. Dietary strategies to decrease the production of oxygen free radicals, and to turn off genes that lead to cartilage breakdown. Joint nutrients that can combat osteoarthritis and specific dietary recommendations for the treatment and reversal of osteoarthritis based on the more current genetic and nutritional research. The disadvantages of treating osteoarthritis with drugs and the exciting promise of using nutritional intervention that directly affects the expression of our genes.

In osteoarthritis, cartilage breaks down and the bones rub together. The joint then loses shape and alignment. Bone ends thicken, forming spurs (bony growths). Bits of cartilage or bone float in the joint space.

Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting about one out of every six Americans, including 80 percent of persons over the age of 70. Most have few, if any associated symptoms, and the disease is diagnosed only because X rays of the vertebrae show characteristic spurs or because the fingers are knobbed by bony proliferations (Heberden's nodes) at the distal interphalangeal joints. In some the spurs encroach on nerves as they emerge from the spinal canal and produce nerve-root syndromes. In others, the malpositioned joints are a source of ligamentous strain and abnormal muscular tension. The result is pain that becomes worse as the day goes on.

These degenerative processes are in part caused by wear and tear. They affect primarily weight-bearing joints and joints subject to trauma or to malpositioned anatomy. Joints damaged by other forms of arthritis are prone to later degenerative joint disease. Heberden's nodes are more prominent in the right hand of right-handed individuals and in the fingers of typists. Traumas produce microfractures in the cartilage that lines the articulating surfaces exposing raw underlying bone. The bone cells then release enzymes that destroy the protein and polysaccharide components of bone. Frayed pieces of cartilage may be taken up by white blood cells and thus add an element of inflammation.

What’s the Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis usually occurs in older individuals, but can also be caused by repetitive stress or acute trauma. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, can affect you at any age, including children. Fortunately, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is relatively rare.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease usually affects the distal joints, or the joints at the end of your fingers and toes, not the middle ones. Additionally, it’s not symmetrical, so typically you may have it on just one joint, or on one hand or foot and not the other.

Rheumatoid arthritis – RA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to break itself down. Therefore, it tends to be bilateral and symmetrical, meaning it’s the same on both sides of your body. If you only have a specific joint affected on one side of your body it is far less likely to be RA.It also affects your middle joints, and is associated with joint deformities, especially your hands and fingers. It can be very crippling, and people do die from rheumatoid arthritis, so it’s not something to be treated lightly.