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Pain management

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of "Pain Free 1-2-3," discusses natural pain management, without dangerous drugs

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: pain management, chronic pain, health news

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Mike: Hello, everyone. This is Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, joined here by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of "Pain Free 1-2-3," which we'll talk about later. Dr. Teitelbaum is an expert in pain management, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and many other topics. Thanks for joining me today.

Jacob Teitelbaum: Mike, great to be with you.

Mike: Pain is an issue that affects millions of Americans, and unfortunately they tend to rely on over-the-counter drugs that can cause gastrointestinal distress and prescription drugs that have certain inherent risks. You say there's an alternative, a natural alternative, for pain control and relief -- and long-term solutions for this.

Teitelbaum: Absolutely. There's not just a single magic bullet, although any one of the natural things comes close. If you go ahead and just use a natural pain formula with willow bark, boswellia and cherry, it will still be much more effective than Vioxx, Motrin and those families of medications, without killing over 16,000 Americans, which is the number that die unnecessarily because the media promotes those drugs each year.

Remember a couple of things here: One, pain is your body's way of saying something desperately needs attention. It's like the "oil" light on your dashboard. Unfortunately, what most doctors do is, if your oil light goes off, they'll put a Band-Aid over the oil light and say, "It's not bothering you anymore," and then your car dies. In human beings, all doctors have been taught is to give Motrin or Celebrex medications and Tylenol -- and narcotics if you have cancer. That's all your doctor knows about pain management, and it's pathetic because there are hundreds of effective treatments.

The first thing you do is treat the underlying cause of the pain. I call it, instead of the oil light, the SHIN light. You want to treat Sleep, Hormonal problems, Infections and Nutritional support. If you treat those four areas, our double-blind studies show that 91 percent of patients will improve -- with the majority being pain-free by the end of three months.

Mike: That's astounding to learn, especially with all the advertising and marketing money going into prescription pain medications. Now, you said you call it "media spin." Can you elaborate on that a little more?

Teitelbaum: Well, let's take a look at the numbers. You have $3 billion being spent on just NSAIDs like Motrin and billions more on Vioxx. You have $4 billion being spent on treating the side effects of Motrin-family medications when people get put in the hospital -- because, as I mentioned, there are over 16,500 deaths a year. The recent study out of the New England Journal of Medicine had a headline like this: "Natural remedies don't work for arthritis." When you look at the data for mild arthritis, Celebrex and the natural remedies are about equally effective. For moderate to severe arthritis, the natural remedies are far more effective -- and the spin headline says, "Don't use natural remedies." Now, there are two things that help me figure out what's going on with that. One, it's in the New England Journal of Medicine, which almost never prints anything positive about natural remedies.

Mike: Yes -- and look at who their advertisers are.

Teitelbaum: Well, look at all the drug companies, and where they advertise. You know, doctors should wear a button that says, "I do what the drug companies tell me to do," because all of our journals and all of our conferences, by and large, are paid for by the drug companies -- and also, our professors for the research. If you look at the study, the natural remedies are far more effective. But the headline reads, "Natural remedies don't work, use Celebrex." Why? I suspect it's because 11 of the authors on the study -- 11 -- were on the payroll of drug companies that make pain medications. Now, you know it's one thing to do spin for business -- and people do it all the time -- but not when you're killing tens of thousands of people unnecessarily a year with that. That's just not acceptable.

Mike: Those reading this right now are somewhat used to hearing this from critics of conventional medicine -- these are the people who focus on alternative medicine. But you are an M.D.?

Teitelbaum: Right.

Mike: Yet, you are saying this. I think you bring a lot of credibility to this message. What is your background?

Teitelbaum: Well, I've been treating chronic pain for over 25 years now. I'm the medical director of the Annapolis Research Center for Effective Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Therapies. Again, I have no problem with medications. I use a lot of prescriptions. But -- you want to remember -- it's kind of like having a whole tool kit if you're a builder. You want to have a hammer -- which is what the medications are and surgery is -- but you want pliers, wrenches, saws and everything else. All that most doctors have is a hammer, which is why most people feel like they've been nailed by the time they walk out of the office.

Mike: Right.

Teitelbaum: If you have a whole tool kit, the natural remedies are much safer. I would say, overall, more effective than the medications, but there's a time for the medications. In my book, I talk about more than 100 treatments, natural and prescription, so I don't really have a vested interest. Also, you know my policy. I don't take money from any companies -- pharmaceutical or natural -- and enormous sums are offered, even for the products that I make. One hundred percent of the royalties go to charity.

Mike: That's very important to note. So, again, you have pledged not to take any money from either natural companies or pharmaceutical companies.

Teitelbaum: I don't take it -- and they offer enormous amounts. But, it's a credibility issue. The message is too important -- that people can get well using natural remedies and do so safely. It's all right to be kind of drowned out on this hyper-selling stuff.

Mike: When you say they offer enormous amounts, what are you talking about? What's an enormous amount that doctors are offered?

Teitelbaum: Oh, the royalties for my products were almost a quarter million last year that went to the foundation. My wife says, "Honey, can't we keep some of it?" I say, "No, dear." She's very patient with me.

Mike: Well, good for you for having that kind of credibility -- and I think that really supports the message that you have as well, because you're not pulled in one direction because of a financial incentive. Let's talk about your book, "Pain Free 1-2-3: A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now." How long has this book been available?

Teitelbaum: One month in McGraw-Hill. It came out about four and a half weeks ago.

Mike: You mentioned briefly that you cover some natural and even conventional pain control.

Teitelbaum: Absolutely, because it is never acceptable to leave somebody in pain. You can almost always get people comfortable, usually without narcotics. But, if you need narcotics, you need narcotics. The vast majority can get pain- free without them. Like you said, when you treat the underlying causes of pain -- and let's talk about those in a moment -- you want to outline the kind of pain. Is it nerve pain, muscle pain, bone pain, inflammatory pain? The book will take people through each kind of pain and how you can tell what's causing the pain. Is it a migraine or is it a regular headache? Then it talks about how to get rid of it naturally. We always like to go through natural treatments first. So, for example, migraines -- if you take vitamin B2 at 400 milligrams a day, that will decrease migraines by 67 percent after six weeks.

Mike: That's phenomenal.

Teitelbaum: That was on one of the national news services a while back. Right before it, they had this thing about cutting out major face muscles to decrease migraines by 50 percent. I wanted to stick my head in the studio and say 10 cents of vitamin B2 is more effective. Also, B12 -- there's a whole host of natural things that are great for treating the food allergies. The book will take you through how to prevent the pain, how to treat the pain and how to use the natural things followed by prescription options for each type of pain.

Mike: Do you also cover things people should avoid? For example, dietary influences like aspartame or things that might promote migraines -- or is that a danger zone?

Teitelbaum: I suspect there's some hanky panky with aspartame ever being approved. Stevia is a good natural sweetener, but get one that's filtered so it tastes good. I tell people you need to cut out sugar, and I always have the three magic words: Except for chocolate. So -- you know -- you want to keep pleasure. Pleasure is good for you.

Mike: Now, let's talk about some of the products that you have helped formulate or you're an advisor on. Again, you don't accept any royalties from anyone.

Teitelbaum: My royalties all go to the foundation.

Mike: Let's talk about them so people can find these solutions. What do you have available?

Teitelbaum: Well, you want to remember SHIN -- that's your checklist for getting well from pain; sleep, hormones, infection, nutrition. For sleep, you want to start with natural remedies. There's one called the Revitalizing Sleep Formula. It's a mix of valerian, Jamaican dogwood, Sun Theanine and wild lettuce -- and a number of other excellent herbs that work very well for sleep. Anybody with insomnia can take one to four of these at bedtime and it's excellent. I do want to note one thing about theanine, which comes from green tea. It is the only nutrient that has been shown to increase deep sleep -- and there are very few medications that have been shown to do this. Sun Theanine -- and it needs to be the Sun Theanine form, not the regular theanine -- has been shown to increase deep sleep.

So, you can get your eight hours of solid sleep a night. Let me also note that the average night's sleep 100 years ago was nine hours a night in the United States. We're now down to less than seven. Think about taking a 20 percent pay cut -- and that's how your body feels when you don't get your sleep. You really want to get your eight to nine hours of sleep a night because, again, your body heals during sleep and makes growth hormones during sleep -- that's what heals the tissues and gets rid of the pain.

Mike: Very good. What else do you have?

Teitelbaum: Well, for hormonal support, the two key hormones would be adrenal and thyroid. If you get irritable when you're hungry, which is hypoglycemia, you need adrenal support. Our Adrenal Stress End is outstanding for that. Take one in the morning, maybe even one at noon, and it'll smooth your energy throughout the day and you won't feel like biting your spouse's throat out when you get hungry. It's going to make you feel a lot better. Also, for low thyroid, it's critical to know that the blood tests are horribly unreliable. If you're tired, achy, have weight gain and you're cold and intolerant, find a holistic doctor to give you a prescription to Armor Thyroid. It's all natural and very effective. It can make all the difference in the world in pain and how you feel overall.

Mike: So, when you say watch out for the blood tests, you're saying they can be inaccurate.

Teitelbaum: Yes.

Mike: A lot of people are misdiagnosed with thyroid malfunctions just from blood tests, correct?

Teitelbaum: No. They're told they don't have thyroid problems.

Mike: Oh, I see.

Teitelbaum: We need to understand what the normal range means for blood tests. When I was in medical school, I was under the impression that the wisest people in the field got together and looked at the things and said, "If it falls within this normal range, you can presume that there's no problem -- don't worry about it." It was a shock when I realized that the normal ranges are usually based on what's called two-standard deviations. That means they take 100 people -- the highest and lowest two and a half are defined as abnormal -- and the 95 in the middle are defined as normal.

Mike: Yes.

Teitelbaum: Let's apply this to shoe sizes. Say you come to Hawaii to visit me and we have a Hawaiian luau -- my wife and I are there, and we leave our shoes at the door and they get the mixed up on the way out. I put on her size-five shoe and she puts on my size-twelve shoe -- and we go to the shoe doctor. She says, "My shoes are falling off", and the doc says, "Sounds like maybe it's too big. We'll check the tests." He says, "Honey, it's no problem. It's a size five, and it's in the normal range." -- because sizes four to 13 would be normal for shoe sizes.

Mike: I see.

Teitelbaum: I can't even get in the dang shoe and he says, "Oh, Jacob, sounds like it may be too small." Then he says, "Nope. Good news. You have a size five -- there's nothing wrong with the shoe."

Mike: Right.

Teitelbaum: And remember -- I can't even get in the thing. The same applies to thyroid. There's as much variation in thyroid function size as is in shoe size, and to say that, because you're not in the lowest three percent of the population means that you're normal is absurd.

Mike: Yes it is.

Teitelbaum: The studies show that if you take the thyroid hormone when you're tired, achy, cold, intolerant, have weight gain -- those kind of things -- the majority of people are going to feel a lot better, and it's healthy for the heart.

Mike: Outstanding.

Teitelbaum: So, that's the "H" in SHIN for hormones. "I" would be infections. The yeast would be the main ones. Most chronic sinusitis and most spastic colons come from yeast overgrowth, or Candida. We've been saying this for well over a decade -- and the doctors say there's no such thing as yeast overgrowth. We know that you can knock out chronic sinusitis. I like to use a mix of natural and prescription things, like avoiding sugar. I like grapefruit seed extract, acidophilus -- which is healthy bacteria -- but you have to use the acid. You need to use the acidophilus pearls because most of the acidophilus products are either dead in the bottle or as soon as they hit the stomach acid. The pearls won't dissolve in an alkaline environment. It's like a tank that keeps the soldiers safe until it gets past the stomach.

Mike: Right.

Teitelbaum: Two pearls, twice a day, for five months. This is the case for medications -- Diflucan, 200 milligrams a day for six weeks -- and the sinusitis will go away and the spastic colon will usually go away. We've talked about all that in detail in the book and people can go on my website at www.Vitality101.com and actually download information sheets for a lot of these things.

Mike: Excellent.

Teitelbaum: We talked about "N", which is nutritional support, and what's critical is to get overall nutritional support. People are tired of being part of the handful club where they're taking a handful of tablets everyday. The Energy Revitalization made by Enzymatic Therapy is one drink and one capsule -- and it replaces over 35 tablets of supplements a day -- and it actually tastes good.

Mike: Wow.

Teitelbaum: The other thing I'd recommend people get is something called ribose or CORvalen. We just finished a study on this. It's a special sugar that makes energy in DNA -- and in this study, two-thirds of patients with fibromyalgia -- just with that single sugar -- had an average 44 percent increase in energy. Take this and take your ribose or CORvalen and it will have a dramatic effect on well-being. For pain, I would go ahead and take the End Pain product. As soon as you're feeling better, give natural things six weeks to work because they're building the health, not tearing it down like medicines do.

Mike: Right.

Teitelbaum: In about six weeks, you'll go to your doctor, tell him your pain's much better, and they'll probably be able to take you off that medication that may kill you.

Mike: It sounds like you a have a wealth of information in your book and on your website. We've been talking here with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., and author of "Pain Free 1-2-3," also formulator and advisor of a number of Enzymatic Therapy products. This is good advice. Well, thank you, Jacob. It's been a real pleasure.

Teitelbaum: It's been a pleasure for me as well.

Mike: You're very knowledgeable on this subject and again, visit www.Vitality101.com. The book is "Pain Free 1-2-3" by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. Again, thank you for joining me today.

Teitelbaum: You're very welcome.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

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